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Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Bug with dissapearing markers on the primary storyline

  • Bug with dissapearing markers on the primary storyline

    Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere on September 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    So after loosing markers on my timeline for the second time, I finally know where the bug is, and I could reproduce it, and I also made a screen recording. I filled in feedback to Apple, but I also wanted to post it here, to make people aware of the issue and hopefully not experiencing the same.
    If you ever had an edit session with a client where you depended on the information you put in your markers, it can cost you a lot of time, money and energy if you loose all your markers…

    The problem: Dissapearing Markers on the Primary Storyline


    Although we like the benefits of the magnetic timeline, for certain complex edits we do, we have to do them as connected clips, to avoid magnetism. We have to work with layers anyhow, but in those edits we only leave gaps in the primary storyline for specific editing reasons.

    Anyhow, we have a primary storyline full of gap clips (not one big long gap clip, but they are cut in multiple clips). We have connected clips on all of those.
    We do put our markers with to do’s etc on the primary storyline.

    When you put a dissolve between 2 connected clips, it automatically becomes a connected storyline, you cannot change this.
    But here comes the bug: if you select a clip in the connected storyline, and do the shortcut LIFT FROM STORYLINE, suddenly ALL your markers dissapear on the primary storyline, and it also made one big clip of all the different gap clips on the primary storyline (which explains the markers dissapearing as they were connected to those gap clips).

    Pretty serious bug, and easily reproducable.
    Here is a link to a screen recording showing the bug in action:

    Mathieu Ghekiere replied 10 years, 1 month ago 7 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • Loren Risker

    September 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Great find! Thanks for sharing.

    OutOfFocus.TV – Original series, music videos, mini-docs.

  • Charlie Austin

    September 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    [Mathieu Ghekiere] “Pretty serious bug, and easily reproducable. “

    Honestly, i don’t think its a bug… it’s a feature. For your workflow, yes, it’s bad. For me, I’f I’ve lifted clips from a storyline, I want all the gap clips to reunite.

    If I need fixed markers throughout a cut, since ya can’t have markers in the timecode/navigation bar, my solution was to make a long, silent audio clip. Add it to the timeline first so it “sticks” to the primary, and make sure it begins, and is connected, to the first frame of your timeline. Give it a unique role, uncheck that role in the index to disable it, and also minimize it using the button in it’s Role in the index. Put your “sequence markers” on this clip. Voila! Markers that don’t move, unless you want them to.

    If you think you may want to cut the marker clip to pull it up, say if you cut out a section but want your markers beyond the cut to stay in sync… create a secondary containing the marker clip and you chop it and pull it up with everything else, but the secondary will alway be connected to first frame so it won’t move. The markers will reference timeline position unless you cut the marker clip within the secondary and move it manually.

    It’s actually way better than “sequence markers” from the old FCP, since they stayed put no matter where you moved the clips underneath them that the markers may have referred to. 🙂


    ~”It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools.”~
    ~”The function you just attempted is not yet implemented”~

  • Ronny Courtens

    September 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I agree with Charlie.

    You must understand that gaps are NOT clips and you should not work with gaps like you work with clips. Gaps are only useful when they are placed between clips. Sliced-up gaps (without any clips between them) don’t have any use and they will always be joined by FCPX whenever it can. So you never should put markers on top of a sliced-up gap.

    If you want to edit without using the Primary Storyline but you still want to put markers on it, just put a slug generator or an adjustment layer in the Primary. This will act as a regular clip to which your secondaries and CCs are attached and above which you can add markers.

    – Ronny

  • Loren Risker

    September 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I agree that the workflow is questionable, but auto-deleting markers for any reason isn’t acceptable.

    OutOfFocus.TV – Original series, music videos, mini-docs.

  • Charlie Austin

    September 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    [Loren Risker] “but auto-deleting markers for any reason isn’t acceptable.”

    i agree with that, but when you are placing markers on something that, really, is not a clip at all, it makes sense. Gap is essentially a visual representation of nothing. If you want to use the primary only as a giant marker or scene separation reference then, as Ronny points out, you need to put a clip or something into it. Gap is not a clip – and, all due respect to the OP, this is not a bug.


    ~”It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools.”~
    ~”The function you just attempted is not yet implemented”~

  • James Cude

    September 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Yeah I could see why you’d do it this way but as a workflow it’s not really the norm. If you *had* to do it this way- use a disabled clip instead of gap. That way your markers will be preserved but functionally it’s going to look the same as the gap you’re doing.

    Also I think it would make way more sense to nest these compositions into Compound Clips instead of trying to force things into place with gaps all over the place.

  • Jeremy Garchow

    September 26, 2013 at 2:34 am

    The certainly feels like it could be fixed by Apple if they wanted to. It is advantageous to have multiple gap clips in the primary sometimes.

    My bigger question is why not use the primary?

    Perhaps, put the audio in it?

  • James Ewart

    September 26, 2013 at 3:42 am

    “Although we like the benefits of the magnetic timeline, for certain complex edits we do, we have to do them as connected clips, to avoid magnetism. We have to work with layers anyhow, but in those edits we only leave gaps in the primary storyline for specific editing reasons”

    Why? What are those reasons please?

    Am I correct in observing that you have just gaps on your primary storyline?

    If so it looks a little to me like you may be trying to bypass the magnetism and edit in FCPX as if it were 7.

    Is that the case?

  • Mathieu Ghekiere

    September 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

    *double post

  • Mathieu Ghekiere

    September 26, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I very much think this is a bug: remember: I have 2 connected clips, which I just put a transition between. I have no choice but this to become a connected storyline (I get the ‘logic’ behind it, but I do wish Apple would make this optional). I select ONE clip in a CONNECTED Storyline, lift that clip from that same connected storyline, and suddenly FCPX decides to remove cuts in gap clips (and thus removing markers) in the primary storyline, which is a DIFFERENT storyline.
    If it would have been a clip that I lifted from the primary storyline, I could see this logic happening (maybe not agreeing with it, but you could know something like this happen). This is just one shortcut, completely having an effect on a different storyline.
    I don’t think how anyone can not see this as a bug.
    Ps, by just dragging the clip out of that secondary storyline, you do not get the bug.

    That being said, I do appreciate the time, and efforts for everyone’s reaction, and Ronny and Charlie, thank you for the alternative methods, I will make sure to check them out!

    About our decision to leave the primary storyline out and just work with connected clips:

    It’s not aversion for the magnetism of the primary storyline. We like the advantages it gives, and we use it. But not when we do *these* edits. These are specific edits where we do things with a reason 😉

    So what are *these* edits?
    We record medical procedures, sometimes up to 9 hours long (but ALWAYS continuous recordings of at least a couple of hours). We end up with about 6 Prores streams, timecode-locked. Not always do they all have sound. These often exist out of 2 camera-images, and the other 4 being medical monitors that are tapped. These can be pressures, an echo view of a heart, a fluroscopy, an any case: an image that is only logical for doctors, and not for editors. The only way we have to make sure that these images are in sync, is timecode, because we do not have a visual reference.

    FCPX, as you know, does not have timecode overlays in the canvas or viewer, like FCP7 had.
    If we put clips in the timeline in FCP7, and one would get out of sync, by accident, with the other streams, we would see it by the timecode overlays. Because we do not have a visual reference, we can NOT see on 6 hours of a black-and white medical image if something is a couple of seconds or minutes out of sync, but doctors can.

    The way we work around this, is by making our source clips into compound clips with a timecode generator on them. We make sure the compound clips have the same timecode as the original. So then we have 6 big compound clips, each with a timecode generator on it. If we now drop them on the FCPX timeline, and we make them all small so we have one image with 6 picture-in-pictures, all of these images have a timecode generator so if something would get out of sync, we immediately see it just by the timecode in the frame.

    We do not do multicam for these edits. It’s not that the doctors want to see this OR that, they often want to see multiple images at the same time.

    So we put this compound clips as connected clips on a sequence timeline, that again, has the same timecode as the originals. Why? What we do then is, we send the doctors a copy of this hour-long case (or they come and do it with us at the studio) so they see everything. They need to cut this hours-long video down to a 20 minute video to show on a congress. They need to see everything to make a selection of what is important.

    So, they send us back often a timecode copy. It’s a word-document that says:
    10:45:98:10 – 10:45:98:10 I want to see Cam 1 and Echo (for example).
    I will have a list that has hundreds of these selections. If I make sure that my timecode of my sequence matches up with those of my compound clips, and IF I only put them on the timeline as connected clips (so why do we have gaps? We just do Q, Q, Q to get them all above each other on the timeline), then we do not LOOSE the time relationship between the connected clips and the sequence timecode. Why is this important?
    If I have to go trough hundred clips, I cannot skim always to the right frame and cut. It would take days to cut it. No, I look at the timecode in the document, type in the dashboard, and make the cuts. (pity we still cannot copy and paste timecode in the canvas or dashboard, but oh well…)
    If I now blade all, I have this selection where a cut on 10:00:00:00 in the dashboard, I also makes a cut on 10:00:00:00 in the originals. I have to keep all the streams, because it happens often that we afterwards get the remark: oh in that selection I also want to see that. It doesn’t take a lot of time to just leave an extra stream and put the visibility off, then to add it afterwards back in.

    That’s why we work with connected clips. We cannot loose the relationship with the source timecode. And because these are medical monitors, it is very dangerous to loose sync without visual reference because chances exist you won’t notice. And then we work with connected clips in a way of being able to cut very fast trough time codes that we type in the dashboard.

    We then do blade all, make the selection, and if it’s a selection the doctor doesn’t want to use, we put the visibility of all layers of (including the primary). Because I bladed all, including the primary, if I change the visibility on these 6 streams, it’s only on the selection of for example 2 minutes I made, and not on the 5 hours of material after that selection.
    I then also make a small marker on the primary storyline (gap) of that piece with markers. For instance, if I put 3 of the 6 layers visible, I have a marker saying: ‘this one should be big, the other 2 should be small’.
    Once you use the primary storyline with a video image you use to also cut, there is a lot of chance, because of the magnetism, that you loose the relationship between timecode of your source, and timecode of your sequence. And because in a way, you *only* have your sequence timecode in the dashboard of X it’s pretty dangerous.

    This method which included a couple of work-arounds in comparison with our workflow in FCP7, but it also included a couple of extra benefits. (we can drag a piece of primary storyline with gap to another place, and immediately have all those layers going with it, this is when we can use the magnetic timeline to our benefit.) We can also, if there is a patients name that needs to be covered from a medical monitor for privacy reasons, we adjust it in the compound clip, it ripples trough to our edit. Just before export, we just open the compound clips, put out the visibility of the timecode generators, it ripples trough to all our edits, and we can export. Do they need changes? We just put the visibility on again, and we can start editing again.
    In FCP7, using only one timecode generator would have a lot of impact on performance and export times. In FCPX, we use 6 of them, unrendered, and play it all back at the same time. It’s great.

    Now it is easy to afterwards say: just use a title or something to put your markers on. It is a good idea, and I will do so in the future (thanks again). But we never had issues with this complete workflow or way of editing, on the contrary, it was the only way we could do this kind of edits in FCPX (and enjoy X’s many other benefits) without getting into a mess or loosing too much time 6x 9 hours of material and making sure everything stays in sync. It works.
    The only reason why would now change gaps to titles, or do them on a separate adjustment layer, is because X decides, if you lift a clip from a connected storyline, it immediately deletes cuts on the primary storyline, although I cannot fantom any reason to do so or any logic behind it. So yes, I still think this is a bug. And I am not a fan of connected story lines (they serve their purpose, but I’m just talking about – again – these specific edits) but there is no way to avoid them if you want to make a transition between 2 connected clips.

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