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FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All

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CreativeCOW presents FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All -- Apple FCPX Debates Tutorial


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The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.



The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.

Another aspect of Simon's wizardry: this is something he quickly whipped together springing out of two very energetic conversations in Creative COW's FCPX or Not: The Debate forum. The first is based on Charlie Austin's presentation for FCPWORKS' FCP Exchange, called Making the Switch to X: A Comparative Study. As the conversation evolved, Simon more deeply explored the specific question, what might happen if you used one Library, one Event, one Smart Collection to organize everything? He continued to explore this on the new thread from whence this tutorial emerges, One Smart Collection to Rule Them All'>One Smart Collection to Rule Them All.

Take a look at this, then take a look at those, and prepare for your workflow to be transformed. Not unlike magic.









ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon Ubsdell


Simon Ubsdell


Hi, I'm Simon Ubsdell, Creative Director of TOKYO PRODUCTIONS, a UK-based boutique creative shop specializing in movie trailers, sales promos and TV Spots for the independent film sector both in the UK and across Europe.

I've been a film and video editor for over 25 years as well as being involved in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, 3D modelling and animation, and colour grading, not to mention writing, directing and producing.

I am also a developer of plug-ins for the video post-production market having released a range of successful and acclaimed products both under the Tokyo brand and as Hawaiki with Robert Mackintosh.

Comments

Re: FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
by Jamie LeJeune
I spent this afternoon testing out the "One Smart Collection" method and ran into a hitch due to the differences in the way that smart collections filter clips and ranges versus the way the search field of the browser filters clips and ranges.

I cut documentaries and constantly need to break up long interviews with searchable metadata while using as few keyword collections as possible. I name each interview clip with the name of the person interviewed, I apply a single keyword "interview" to all the interview clips. Then I go through each interview and I favorite the good responses while renaming each "favorite" range with a few identifying words of what was said.

Now, if I try to reveal ranges of an interview clip that refer to a particular phrase using only a smart collection filter, the browser will show every single favorited range of the entire interview clip, even if only one of the favorited ranges includes the text entered into the search field. This is totally not what I want. However, if I set the browser drop down menu to show only favorites and then at the browser level search for text that includes a selected word plus the name of the person along with the keyword "interview" the browser will now show only the favorited ranges containing that word from the selected interview.

Working with a master smart collection for these types of range based filters of long clips unfortunately does not work due to the way FCPX is designed. To use it at all I would need to keep the library panel open so that I can switch control of the floating window from the browser level back to the Master Smart Collection selection. This kills one of the benefits.

My unsucessful attempt to make it work highlights how the browser is an area of the UI that Apple could definitely improve upon. The most glaring issue is that there is barely any visual indication of whether the floating window is showing you the selections made for a Smart Collection or for the search field of the browser. A deeper structural problem is there are too many different areas of the UI from which selections can be made that affect what is seen in the browser. Currently we've got:
1. Selections of events, keywords, or smart collections made in the library panel
2. The browser level menu to select "All Clips", "Favorites", "Hide Rejected" etc.
3. The Smart Collections floating window
4. The Browser search field floating window

It would be much simpler if there was just a single panel for controlling the browser rather than a panel, a drop down menu, a floating window (that can be controlled from either a library selection or a browser selection) plus a search bar on the top right side. It's kind of a mess.

For most of what I do I'm unfortunately stuck using the standard browser search. I wish the One Smart Collection would work, but the current design of FCPX doesn't allow it. With luck, Apple is paying attention to Simon's great idea here to streamline the library+browser and they will update the FCPX interface to better support it.
Re: FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
by Simon Ubsdell
I think I'm right in saying if I were actually 25, I would at this point type something like "Whoosh", possibly followed by "LOL".

But given how old I actually am, I've probably not got the youth argot exactly right, so I hope you will correct me if I've got that wrong.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki
Re: FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
by Nick Toth
Dude....
Re: FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
by Jeff Kirkland
Love the tutorial! And perfect timing. I was in a middle of an edit that was doing my head in and Simon's advice just got me out of a whole world of pain where I was having to jump from event to event to find what I needed.

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland
Re: FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
by Peter Wilcox
Dude if your 25 and you have been editing nonlinear since before they where invented you must have been editing when you where in the womb. Maybe you got on a Media 100 when you where 2. Dude get over yourself and just move on. Lol


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