I've just spent a week learning FCPX to see if it's a viable alternative to fill in Premiere Pro's gaps (for example, it's terrible Multicam interface).
After a week with FCPX, I've decided to stop a client project and start over in Premiere. From what I can tell FCPX isn't quite ready for prime time yet: i.e. no effect/transition presets, no proper interface for keyframing, buggy clip speed controls that work on some clips but not on others, Timeline workflow that's confusing as hell, etc.
However, there are several great features in FCPX that Premiere Pro users would definitely benefit from (Adobe, please take notice. Forum users, if you like any of these ideas, please send them to Adobe as feature requests, as I will too).
FINAL CUT PRO X FEATURES THAT ARE NEEDED IN PREMIERE PRO:
- First and foremost, the ability to use keywords to sort and organize subclips. This is HUGE and probably the biggest thing missing in PP's workflow! In FCPX, you can assign 1 or more keywords to clip selections. Each keyword becomes the equivalent to a Bin in PP's Project window. An interview clip, for example, can quickly be marked with in/out points during live playback, and each clip selection can be sent to its own respective keyword 'bin(s)' for easy finding later on. Thus a long interview clip can be broken up into any number of subclips organized by terms such as 'soundbite', 'nod', 'smile', 'reaction shots', 'favorites', etc. And since up to 9 keywords can be assigned their own keyboard shortcuts (e.g. 1-9 on the number pad), assigning keywords and thus organizing subclips into logical 'bins' can even be done on the fly during playback! Lastly, the 'subclips' in FCPX are intelligent in the sense that you can still drag the in/out points out up to the original duration of the clip, unlike PP's unusable subclips that create hard in/out points that can't be reset. Adobe, PLEASE add intelligent ways to organize subclips into bins! This is still the biggest thing missing in Premiere IMO.
- Easy way to export/import keyboard layout presets.
- Graphical keyboard layout preset interface. i.e. ability to set shortcuts by dragging commands to the keys of a graphical keyboard interface, or to click on any keyboard key in the interface to see and change all associated shortcuts (with and without modifiers).
- Better multicam interface with automatic synchronization of clips based on audio analysis (i.e. built-in PluralEyes software). (I won't elaborate on this point since I've discussed it extensively in other threads)
- Timeline Audio keyframes that only move left/right or up/down, depending on initial movement after selection. This would make it so much easier to reposition keyframes in the Timeline without inadvertently changing their dB values. And no, PP's current keyboard modifier to restrict audio keyframe movement to left/right or up/down does not work properly. It never did!
- Intelligent audio waveforms in the Timeline. i.e. Waveforms that grow or shrink to graphically represent their volume settings.
- Ability to change a clip's audio from Stereo to dual mono and back to Stereo after it had already been used in the Timeline.
Here's my short list. If you've used FCPX before, please add your suggestions to the list! Overall, I would much prefer that Adobe integrate some of FCPX's great ideas than the other way around, because after using FCPX for a week, it's become clear that Premiere Pro is so much closer than FCP to giving editors what they want and need. Just adding item 1 from my list would go a long way towards PP achieving the goal of perfect NLE!
Thanks for reading.