final cut pro wish list

This post is kind of like a love letter to final cut pro. I love it enough to want to change it. In fact I must love it a lot, because there are a lot of things I would like to change. Admittedly I am still on FCP 6, so hopefully they read my mind and put all of these in there for FCP 7, but somehow I doubt it…

Here are my top five.

1) Have project settings, capture scratch and all other settings follow the project. If I’m working on three simultaneous jobs I don’t want to have to reset my scratch 6 times a day. Let me set those things once and have them follow the project.

2)APPLESCRIPT SUPPORT! (or some other kind of scripting)
Soooo…. Apple invents a great scripting language that lets you do cool things to automate your applications. The only problem is that it needs a little help from apple to create “handles” or “hooks” for the language to use. Most apps have a few of these, some even have a ton. Lots of third party apps even have them – it can’t be THAT difficult. For whatever reason Apple has never gotten around to building it into final cut pro.

Final cut editors are _exactly_ the kind of people who would sit down and figure out workflows that enable them to do things faster or better with applescript. I think I have probably found 20 ‘solutions’ that utilize applescript in the last year alone. Sadly none of them can do anything within the fortress-like walls of final cut (without getting overly geeky that is…) Photoshop has their own internal scripting language. Hell, even Vegas has scripting! Something similar to that would be an acceptable substitute.
Click the link to

3) More accurate render estimates
I can’t say I understand how they have it implemented right now, but whatever they are doing isn’t working. Maybe if they did a test pass and rendered every 30th frame they could get a more accurate estimate. I’m tired of having 3 minute renders take half an hour and hour long renders taking far less.

4) Color coded tabs and/or the ability to rearrange tabs in the timeline window. I don’t know if I’m obsessive, but it’s too easy to confuse simultaneously open projects. I have had a few jobs where I made updates to an old edit and then had to go back and try to re-implement them in the correct edit. This would be a good way to differentiate between previous edits. (Update-I hear fcp 7 has this. I’m not running it yet though.)

5) Have compressor bring all windows to front when one is selected. It doesn’t make sense to click on a compressor window and then to have to hit f10 to bring up the rest of the windows. I can’t even think of a good reason for this behavior. The sheer fact that I am talking about this part of the user interface means that it is broken. Come on Apple, you’re the “great UI guys” right?

6)Change compressor so it doesn’t hang when you cancel or pause a render
Maybe I have bad luck, but it hangs more often than not. Here is what I usually go through: force quit compressor, restart qmaster, struggle, get angry, restart computer, kick wall. There has to be a better way.

Here is a link from the creative cow on the same subject: FCP 7 features wish list
If you have something that you’d like to add put it in the comments and I’ll put it up here in the spotlight!

~ by ross on January 9, 2010.