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My first thoughts on my first week with a new Retina MacBook Pro

As one of the early adopters of Thunderbolt, I ordered my new Retina MacBook Pro from my friends at Tekserve (NYC) the day after they were announced. With the Retina {Retina-MacBookPro is too much of a mouthful) Apple finally has added a second TB port to the laptop line, something the iMac has had from the beginning and added a HDMI output that allows me to use a Projector or monitor with my laptop and not take up my TB connection.

First off, who here on the Cow does not like a new toy, and opening a new laptop ( or any other new gadget) has always been a point of joy for me. Opening the Retina was no different, but it was. This is the first laptop I have had that ships sans disks, not an issue when the realization that there is no longer any DVD drive in the computer.

Apple tells me that the Retina is a little more than one pound lighter that my first gen TB model, when honestly, it feels like more, I swear it seems to weigh 1/2 what my previous laptop weights and it is considerably thinner, with the entire laptop not even as thick as the bottom half of my 18month old 1st Gen Thunderbolt MacbookPro

The entire Retina MBP on the right is noticeably thinner than just the bottom half of my 1st Gen TB version

OK lets remember a couple of things about this 15in Laptop, the size if beguiling, not having the same screen limitations of the previous 15" models the Retina display supports a stunning 2880 by 1800 px screen resolution. Even though Apple has made it a tad difficult to figure what your actual screen rez is, let me say that the high rez screen requirements of color grading applications like DaVinci Resolve and Autodesk Smoke both work flawlessly on the new machine.

Now that Apple has 2 TB ports on the laptop, most of my connection issues with monitoring via the TB connection have been alleviated, mostly because Apple chose to add a dedicated HDMI output instead of hanging a dongle off the Thunderbolt data pipe. That HDMI connection solved something that has caused grief among those of us that try to use a projector at the same time as a video device like Aja's IoXT or BMD's UltraStudio3.

Handling video content as YPrPb while sending a signal out t would supply the projectors that same YUV signal, even though the projector was expecting RGB, making for some nasty colored images being projected on screen. Now with the HDMI connection I no longer have to retune every projector that I work on to use YPrPb / YUV instead of the RGB default.

OK, so it's lighter, it's faster but what about connectivity, without an ethernet jack or a firewire 800 port, I am stuck with USB3? Well yes and no,
I have a collection of TB adaptors already. Apple just released their TB to Firewire adaptor today, but most of the people I talk to are not bothered by that.

My $150 Sonnet TB to Express card adaptor facilitates most of my connection issues so far in addition to being my main card reader for Sony and Alexa media, having that as a TB device has saved me scad's of worry. Since I have rarely carried a 17" for the express slot, it is not something I have even missed, but I welcome no longer having to move media over USB2.

Now that I can use the entire Thunderbolt architecture to handle data onset, handling data has a totally different attitude.

So far this laptop has been a dream, its lighter and faster than it's predecessors and with the increased speed and functionality from the internal SSD drive, multiple TB connections and lower power consumption Apple's Retina MacBook Pro is by far the best machine available for the portable, power user. Yes I will need to carry multiple connectors and adaptors to make all of this technology work correctly, but that is a small price to pay in the scheme of a lighter faster laptop. And while FCPX has updated graphics supporting the Retina display, there is no doubt in my mind that with the updated Nvidia graphics, that Premier Pro and the Adobe CS6 Suite can truly perform at it's peak on this Mac system.

At last I am finally thinking about ditching my desktops for good, because when I can handle data as fast or faster than I can on my desktops I am finally at piece with that notion.

I do not know about you, but numbers like these are hard to argue with on a laptop.

Posted by: gary adcock on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:05:14 amComments (9) FCPX, Retina

Summer's back, FCPX turns 1, ProFusion2012

Ok, I am back once again.

Those that know me, understand that some of my clients are reticent to having me posting/ blogging while working on their long term projects, so if I periodaclly fall off my blog here on the Cow, know that I am working, not just avoiding all of you.


Last Week I was lucky enough to be brought in as one of the guest speakers at Vistek's ProFusion2012 Event. < >
Billed as the largest Tv Technology show in Canada, to my eyes it was, not to mention it is one of the better mid sized trade shows I have been to. ProFusion2012 seems a little odd, covering both the still and video marketplace, when it shows what a vibrant cross over market Toronto has and how the world of imaging for still and video has dramatically changed while preserving the need for both disciplines.
It was also good to see Alex Buono from SNL, Jeff Schewe, Dougas Spotted-Eagle, and to meet Greg Gorman in addition to talking with friends from Sim Video, TheCameraDept, Arri, Dashwood 3D, ToolsonAir, Fujinon and others.

FCPX celebrates one year.

Wow, it's only been a year since FCPX came out, and I still hear the vitriol spewing out at Apple. Get Over It people, either use FCPX or choose one of the alternatives. I had to switch to Premier Pro just because I was just starting work on 2 year project that required workflows and tools that FCP lacked.

Adobe's CS6 was just into early beta at that point, and with their help I was able to create a solid workflow for that project, even though 3D was not technically a full part of the CS6 release. Adobe is going out of their way to make contact and examine every possible senario for the Premier editors, and from my perspective doing an excellent job of it. While I admit that I set my PPro to look and act like FCP, I have been slowly changing back to the PPro defaults as a work on newer segments of that project.

However, for the Record, I still use the FCPX / Compressor workflow for certain things i work on, most of all transcoding.
I have a workflow set up to take Alexa 4444 ProRes files and with a couple of clicks, add a LUT, drop on a Timecode reader and then burn them to h.264 for iPad dailies. When I add a Matrox Compress HD card hiding out in an M-Logic TB Chassis to the mix and this laptop based setup allows me to do "faster than realtime" conversions for a dailies workflow.

More to come.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:38:26 amComments (3) FCPX, Premier CS6

NAB 2012, Apple Releases FCPX 10.0.4, Avid Motion Graphics, Autodesk Updates Smoke

This close to the show and things are still happening.

Apple released the 10.0.4 update for FCPX yesterday and I believe Matrox, BMD and Aja have all now released updated drivers also, Please make sure to update both the software and the hardware drivers at the same time, word is that there are a number of fixes that resolve many of the hardware related issues.

Avid has really been hyping Avid Motion Graphics and it will be a big part of the Avid Booth this NAB

Autodesk has also been pounding the street about the "big" changes that are happening with Autodesk regarding Smoke at this NAB, while time will tell, we only have a few more days to wait.

And while NAB is always about the hardware and software tools, let it be known that some people are actually working torwards making life better in Vegas. Gizmodo is reporting that a zip line is being planned to connect some of the casino's. I am hoping for one from the Marriott to the middle of the LVCC South Hall

Posted by: gary adcock on Apr 11, 2012 at 7:05:44 amComments (2) FCPX, Autodesk

Oh yeah It's NAB time- FCPX 10.04 is now available for Download

So Apple has released the FCPX 10.04 update in the App Store.

Fixes a bunch of issues with TB devices, Monitoring and a couple of real issues with Multicam Sync.

available from the App Store.

Posted by: gary adcock on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:04:11 pmComments (1) FCPX, FCP update

Apple adds function, delivers on promises for FCPX with 10.03 update

Macworld.Com has my take on the FCPX Update that landed this morning.

I am thinking there is much more to come.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:43:19 amComments (5) FCPX, macworld

Off to Macworld - follow my twitter feed to see what's there

So once again we start the year with Macworld now more of an iPhone /iPad show rather than a place for the best in new toys and technology for Print and Moving Pictures.

I will be tweeting from the show floor and supermeet,while my twitter feed normally has a fare amount of "Foodie fare" from my travels, for Macworld and again at NAB, it's all about the technology weneed to do our jobs. I will compile the best of tech and post that here on the blog next week.

See you at the show

Twitter: @garyadcock

Posted by: gary adcock on Jan 26, 2012 at 4:04:22 am Macworld, FCPX

Creativity boost or those of you concerned about your NLE

There is now a truly creative fuel to use when you no longer are sure of your project or future in the film and TV industry.

Now you have "Bay in a Can" to increase your creativity and T&A levels in all your current and future projects.

Posted by: gary adcock on Oct 10, 2011 at 7:48:22 amComments (2) FCPX, FCP

Back into the fire.


Yeah, me again. There is alot happening in the industry right now, here is an interview with MacVideo's Rick Young that I did at IBC.
My thanks to Dean Cleary on Bcam and AJA for allowing us to shoot in the booth, that is a 3ality Technica Atom Rig, with 2 Red Epic's behind me in the interview.


Posted by: gary adcock on Sep 26, 2011 at 9:42:50 amComments (83) FCPX, Smoke

Posted by: gary adcock on Sep 1, 2011 at 4:17:19 pm FCP, FCPX

If FCPX was beta tested like the iPhone

Since Apple seems to be using lost iPhones as part of their beta testing program, I am longing to wonder what would have happened had they lost a beta copy of FCPX in a bar in Hollywood?

Posted by: gary adcock on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:25:27 am FCPX, iPhone

IBC is just around the corner...

hey everyone,
I am back from 30 days of restricted access to social media for one client.

IBC, the second major broadcast convention of the year, is starting in barely a week and there should be a number of annoucements to discuss in the comming weeks, and hopefully there will be some new news on the editing fronts that many of us have been waiting for.


Posted by: gary adcock on Aug 31, 2011 at 4:45:40 amComments (7) IBC, FCPX

The realization sets in


When I posted the first comments on FCPX 4 weeks ago, I thought I was going to be strung up and burned at the stake by some of the commentary. Now everyone seems resolute to the fact that FCPX is finally out and it does not do a lot of what its predecessor did.

I am waiting for Lion at this point, since the people I am talking to are waiting for the release also.
There is no guarantee that when Lion ships any of the tools will work there anymore than they do now.

Someone will make it work, there is too much money on the line for any of it to be left on the table, someone will snatch it up if Apple does not want the Pro space.

Avid and Autodesk have made great products for a long time and Premier has come a very long way since some of us used it to join the pre-FCP multi-media revolution.

I just keep thinking, with all of that power underneath FCPX when that epiphany of knowledge the app is mining will make itself aware.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:05:54 amComments (110) FCP, FCPX

From the Editors Guild...

Mitch Jacobsen's Friday evening video chat for the Editors Guild was released over the weekend.

Myself, Scot Simmons, Phillip Hodgetts, Larry Jordan, Steve Hullfish, Angus Mackay and others joined in to talk about the FCPX, Avid and what is comming for the future.

or from the editors guild web site.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jul 10, 2011 at 9:41:48 amComments (2) FCPx, FCP

FCP X updates High Level July 6th Meeting in London

Even as I get ready to publish the next of my articles on FCPX, the enviroment is changing so fast it is hard to keep up.

From the News wires today about a highlevel meeting with EU broadcasters held yesterday in London.

• FCP XML in/out is coming via 3rd party soon
• FCPX EDL import/export coming soon
• FCPX AJA plugins coming soon for tape capture and layback; capture straight into FCPX [events].
• XSAN support for FCPX coming in the next few weeks
• FCPX Broadcast video output via Blackmagic & AJAVideo coming soon
• Additional codec support for FCPX via 3rd Parties coming soon
• Customizable sequence TC in FCPX for master exports coming soon
• Some FCPX updates will be free

It was also revealed that Apple is working on allowing existing enterprise deployments under FCS3 to purchase additional licenses.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:14:32 amComments (12) FCPX, FCP

My Macworld Podcast is Live

So there is not much editing of me when my mouth is running.


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 29, 2011 at 10:28:08 amComments (1) FCPX MEDIA, FCPX

Apple Answers Some of Your FCP X Questions (Corrected URL)

There are fewer times than I have fingers that Apple has made announcements regarding un-released featues for an exsisting product.

This page on the Apple website has responses to many of the burning questions that all of us have, and it is not a message passed thru "trusted" media but rather actually posted on so that there is no confusion on whether or not Apple acutally said this.

So lets be clear on a few points. < editorial comments from me> " quotes from Apple"

Multicam- YES

External Monitors - working on more, but for now Aja's FCPX Beta drivers for the Kona 3G are linked

3rd Party Plugins- "You’ll be able to use them as soon as they are updated."

XML EXPORT IS COMMING!!! < we have to write the API's- we are working on Lion right now >

OMF, AFF and EDL are comming too! < but that other stuff needs to wait for the XML import / output modules first >

ASSIGNABLE AUDIO TRACKS! " An update this summer will allow you to use metadata tags to categorize your audio clips by type and export them directly from Final Cut Pro X."

There are other ideas and correct info items like previous version imports (not going to happen) and scratch disks

It is a start.


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:47:40 amComments (9) FCPX, FCP

FCPX: Let me Count the Ways to Organize your Media in Final Cut Pro X

This is meant as a simple guide to the some of the media handling commands in FCPX.

I have augmented the Apple menu items with some of my own experiences and concepts. Your experience will vary but this is to give you a running start on how to keep things organized.

The project is the movie you create using clips from your Events and media. Its was considered a Sequence, Events can have multiple project files, I treat them like I would treat Sequences in FCP7

An Event is like a folder that contains all the media recorded on a certain date. It’s a more sophisticated version of a Bin, but it nothing more than a virtual repository for your media. You never want to mess with your Events folders, that is where the media storage itself is.

You can add media to it by dragging or by ingesting it to this location. Events allow you to re-create a folder within a folder level hierarchy in the Event Library to your projects.

Deleting media from an Event will delete that media completely from your project and place it in the trash. If you empty the trash, you will be discarding that media from your project, and it will not be recoverable.

Moving Events
The easiest way to move the Event is to just drag the icon to a new Disk in the Event Library, This also allows the user to re-define the location of the media and all related files.

Delete a project or project folder
Deleting a project folder deletes the folder and all of the projects it contains. Your media is not deleted because media is stored in Event, however all of your edits and adjustment stay within the Project file.

Duplicate Project- functions much like media manager did simple selections for Project only, Project & all References or Project with just used media.

Duplicate Project Only: Duplicates files specific to the project you selected, best if multiple projects use the same media

Duplicate Project and Referenced Events: Duplicates the project and any Events referred to by the project. This will include all media associated with your project and it includes all unused materials ingested.

Duplicate Project + Used Clips Only: Duplicates the project and the media for any clips used in the project, but none of the render files, this is the best for archive of a single project.

There is also an include Render files check box at the bottom of this dialog box that will include and re-link renders in the project you are duplicating.

Move Project- Move all media and associated items to new volume. | used this for uploading an on location edit to a desktop system. It too can move just project or project and all referenced media again with or without renders.

You can also move projects by clicking and dragging the Project icon to another hard disk in the Event Library. Apple mentions to use CMD + Drag of Project icon to the new disk, but I can see no difference between using or not using the CMD key while dragging the file.

Merge Events- can combine 2 copies of the same project into a single Project file, say to bring last nights changes you did on the train into your desktop at the office

Consolidate media- This is the clean up your desk command.

Copy Referenced Events: Duplicates the referenced Events (and all the clips in those Events) to the location of your project.

Move Referenced Events: Moves all the referenced Events to the location of your project. Do not use if other projects use some of the same media- media will not be available to other projects.

Copy Used Clips Only: Duplicates only those media files used in the project. This option gives you only the media used in the project

New Event Name field: If you select Copy Used Clips Only, you can create a new Event to hold the consolidated media.

Organize Project is the consolidate media for your scratch disk only moving all of the related renders and data files to your scratch disk location. This is used when you have not been working with all of your media on a single volume.

People do not realize that having media on multiple drives will slow the ability for the media to properly handle your audio and video files in realtime. Using the Organize Project is useful to gather all of your project files to a single scratch volume.

A note about available disks / disk storage with FCPX:
I have had no issues with FW, USB, eSata or Fibre attached storage volumes on my test systems. There are currently a number of reported issues with devices that rely on ethernet for connectivity.

I hope this helps alleviate some of the stress more to come later this week.


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 27, 2011 at 6:11:10 amComments (22) FCPX, FCP Media

OK, time to jump back into the fray my Macworld review is online.

I was under contractual restrictions from posting any additional commentary until my Macworld review was released.

I am sure that the slings and arrows of outrage will be flying, my commentary will stay here on the cow.

Now on to finish the the next part of my cow article


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 24, 2011 at 12:23:34 pmComments (19) FCPX, Final Cut Pro

Updates on the hardware side of FCPX

since my first notes were released the hardware companies have responded.

Blackmagic, Aja and Matrox solutions are all being updated to allow users to handle some of the montioring via the desktop out funtion.

This does allow users to mirror their second display out via HDSDI or HDMI for monitoring on a professional display while this is a temporary work around, but it does allow exsisting hardware to be used to monitor the FCPX signal.

Just saying, as fast as this is changing I would not be too fixed in my mindset about anything related to FCPX for the next 6 months


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 21, 2011 at 11:30:17 amComments (1) hardware, FCPX

A Correction about my statement regarding "professional editors"

I wanted to take a minute and correct a misconception from my Cow articles regarding "Professional Use" of FCPX.

I have always held the view of professional editors has those that make their living working in a field, to me that has always been
the hardware based solutions that allow users access to the widest variety of workflows because of the add-ons one uses.

This is my rather narrow view of the modern state of editing, even for professional users.

There are many editors that do not use external hardware. TV News producers or Wedding Photographers would both be good examples of existing workflows that do not need to have external hardware as part of their productions.

While it may not be the way I work, is was erroneous of me to assume that my definition of professional was the only one.


Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:13:14 amComments (3) FCPX, Professional Editors

Join industry geek Gary Adcock as he explores the world and technology as it relates to Film and Video production. I am also a Glass artist, so I spend my free time creating art from silica and fire when I am not cooking.


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