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Old March 24th, 2020, 09:48 PM   #1
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Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly - SOLVED

I need to get my head around how FCPX (latest version) handles media/project management.

I come from the "old school" NLE environment - which is part of why my swiss-cheese brain is struggling with this. I've no problem with the magnetic timeline (originally I tossed it out as iMovie on steriods) or how to physically work with footage/filters etc. That's all good.

My main issues are all about understanding Projects, Events, and Libraries. I've read all the whitepapers from Apple (very cool that you can download them into the Books app), and seen countless videos/explanations from various sources. So far none of them have really helped understanding this new method of thinking. Each time I setup a new "project" and try to setup the rest of my media environment things don't go the way I think they should.

All I can find are two types of "help": Boring, mind-numbing long-winded tutorials that I can't follow because it's far too deep in unrelated crap (I think that dude just loves the sound of his own voice) or, vids that are of people saying, "Yeah, Final Cut is weird, and you kinda have to do things like this...".
ugh.

What I'm looking for are clear, concise instructions that definitively say, "This is how things work - and why.". Not droning yarns, and not "kinda-sorta do it like this...".

To give an example: I thought "folders" were a way to create "bins". They're not. I thought "events" were a way to sort all the different assets required for a single, massive project. They're not. (I've got 4 camera sources, several different types of graphics, titles etc, and then there's the tons of photos and music that all needs to be sorted separately, not ganged together into a single event.) And then somehow tie that all into FCPX's version of a "project".

That's the core of my struggle - how to manage all that in way I can understand and fits the FCPX methodology.

I know FCPX is the game-changing NLE I need to work more efficiently, and there's lots of things I can do faster on that platform than any other NLE I've used. I've just got to get my head around it's media-management schema.

There's TONS of stuff out there about FCPX, I just need a quick, easy-to-understand reference that deals only with Projects, Events and Libraries.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by Robert Lane; March 25th, 2020 at 04:38 PM. Reason: answers found
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Old March 25th, 2020, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

I can help you Robert. PM me.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

The hardest part for me to learn was the nomenclature that fcpx uses. What they call a Library, I think of as a Project, what they call a Project I know it as a Sequence or Timeline, they’re Events are nothing more than Folders, and their Folders I think of as sub folders.

When comes to organizing everyone has their own preferences. My projects aren’t that complex but I prefer to do most of my organizing at the computer finder level. I rename video clips and put them in folders then import them into fcpx.

Fcpx has ways to organize such as tagging clips. If you’re doing complex things like cinema movie or commercial project that spans over many days, uses multiple cameras, and have hundreds of clips then you will need to become fully invested in an approach. So if this is the case it would be best to fully learn and understand what fcpx method is. I film events with at most two cameras so it’s not necessary to use or understand the advance organizational features of the program.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 09:09 AM   #4
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

I made the transition to FCPX from legacy FCP about 4 years ago. It took awhile, but wasn't all that difficult. If you need to learn "quickly", that certainly could be a challenge - I wasn't in a hurry. For me, it was just a matter of jumping in with both feet, then googling whenever I couldn't figure things out for myself.

Regarding the magnetic timeline, that was really a difficult change for me. Then I finally "discovered" the Position Tool, which works pretty much like the arrow tool in legacy FCP. If you haven't tried that yet, check it out.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

The magnetic timeline is fantastic for simple one channel edits but when working with multiple channels for complex edits it’s terrible. Sometimes it doesn’t allow you to drag a clip from the primary channel to the channel above it. Adding transitions to anything in the channel above gets put inside a container that can’t be moved or adjusted. You have pull the clip out then re apply.

For complex edits that have sound tracks, sound effects and dialogue, you’re fighting against the magnetic feature of the primary timeline. Delete or modify a clip in the middle of your edit will cause everything after to shift and become out of sync with the audio. I don’t know why they just don’t give the ability to turn off magnetic for complex edits.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

Thanks guys. Nate has offered some direct tutelage which I'm looking forward to.

Pete - I had a bit of a breakthrough last night where I *think* I came to the same conclusion, and after my time with Nate today I'll see if I'm on the right path. And yeah, I've already got the mgmt strategy set, I just need to plug it into the FCPX schema.

Boyd - My background is similar. Cut my NLE teeth on FCP 5 thru FC Studio (7) and in 2016 finally cut it loose for Davinci Resolve because it's so damned similar to FCP 7's setup and style of use.

But DR has become very buggy - even the paid Studio version - with very basic features that either don't work properly or, just not at all. BM tech support acknowledges the issues but instead of fixing them they just keep adding more features. (seriously??)

I'd tried FCPX countless times and would give up in less than a day mostly because of not being able to figure out media management. The timeline was not much of an issue for me and quickly learned to use the "P" tool when needed. As I get more used to the mag-timeline I use it less and less.

But what finally convinced me to start moving away from DR was that I've gotten to a point where I can actually grade (color-correction/finishing) way faster than in DR, with even better results because the workflow is so much more intuitive. (I still struggle with "nodes".)

Side note: DR has always been known to be the gold-standard in color-correction/finishing, and to a dyed-in-the-wool colorist it will probably always be, what with all the "mission-control" style panels available. But to someone like myself and likely the majority of people on this forum, I say FCPX can give you stellar, commercial-grade results just like DR. You just need to learn how to use the deeper tools - which are fantastic and to me far faster than DR's node-based system.

I'm hoping Nates' got the magic because I would love to go full-circle and get back to where my editing experience got it's start. (Well, aside from physically cutting super-8 clips together in the late 70's as a kid. haha)

Thanks for the support, guys.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

Thanks to Nate I'm all setup, got the info required.

I stopped posting info here a long time ago and don't have a social-media following otherwise I'd summarize what I learned, because it's valuable, to-the-point info.

But if anyone else needs similar help with FCPX hit up Nate. Consultation rates are worthy.

Thanks again, Nate!
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Old April 2nd, 2020, 10:47 PM   #8
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

I looked through and didn't see anyone mention keywords (could have missed it). To me, these are basically FCP7's "bins", and I like to use them as such.

I graded a personal music video project in DaVinci after running into the color correction limitations in FCPX and starting over with the grade in Resolve. I don't have the newest version of X (still on Sierra), but unless they've added a bunch more stuff DR is still way more powerful. Will most people need all that? Very possibly not. But I would think for something where you were doing all kinds of tracked power windows and truly sophisticated grades you would need something like DaVinci.
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Old April 5th, 2020, 01:09 PM   #9
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Re: Learning FCPX Media Mgmt - quickly

Nothing (currently) replaces the full console-based finishing abilities of DR, which are designed for those who are specifically colorists. Not the typical indie filmmaker who's doing nearly all the work.

The way my swiss-cheese brain works I don't fully understand "nodes", nor am I going to take more time to self-educate. I've gotten by with finishing in DR but FCPX simply works the way my brain does, so for me it's the best all-around tool. And for my style I've actually gotten better, more polished results in FCPX because I'm not fighting a system I don't fully understand.

Use the best tool for the job - for the way *you* work. It's the mantra of our industry.
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