Friday, October 14, 2011

Prior to my workshop I hadn’t had much time to look into the new “Roles” feature in FCP X. Now that I’ve had an hour to spend on it, I have decided that I am never going back to FCP 7! (or Premiere for that matter!)

Roles are FCPX’s answer to the workaround that many of us have been using for years to keep track of the Role that clips play in our shows. For example, many people have been putting the Sound On Tape audio on Track 1, voiceovers on Track 2, and background music on Track 3. Defining the Role of a clip by using metadata frees us from all the complications that sort of workaround introduced. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, don’t sweat it -- you probably never had to feel that pain!

FCPX’s metadata Roles let you identify things like voiceovers, sound on tape, and background music directly, without having to place them on separate tracks to identify them. Now we can export the voiceover clips by exporting Voiceover clips instead of by exporting just Track 1!

Roles not only make rigorous track discipline unnecessary, but make it very simple to locate different types of clips in the timeline. Using FCPX’s timeline Index panel, you can highlight clips with different Roles as well as collapse or expand them to get them out of the way or make them very visible as you’re working with those clips in the Timeline panel.

You can create your own Roles in addition to the default ones and you can even create sub-roles to, for instance, identify a particular speaker within the voiceover Role!

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