View Full Version : Take me to your leader...
June 4th, 2005, 09:26 PM
I'm about to jump into HDV editing as soon as the Sony HC1 comes out. Meaning, I need a non-linear software editing program. Can anyone make a recommendation based on my peculiar preferences...
1--For insert editing, a timeline or storyboard approach where you drop the video to be inserted onto a second timeline overhead so that it's always visible.
2--Has a fast learning curve
3-Has a good means of managing lots of clips, preferably many visible clip frames that can be seen at a time.
4--Allows more than two audio tracks (hopefully not a dumb request)
5--Good for documentary projects. I don't need the latest special effects, just straight-forward long form editing.
6--And finally, the option of being able to use something other than a mouse to primarily edit with.
Is this attainable in HDV? I've been using an editing appliance (ScreenPlay) for the past 5 years so I've been tainted by its simplicity. I guess the party's over now and it's time to enter the big leagues. Any suggestons? Thanks in advance.
June 15th, 2005, 06:19 PM
What is your general budget if you have one? Avid Xpress Pro HD will do everything you want and more, but it will be a bit expensive. (About $1695 MSRP) Additionally, It will need a pretty powerful computer.
If you are a student, running Final Cut Pro HD will be alot more friendly to your credid card and will be able to do most anything you need.
You can also look into Adobe Premier Pro 1.5 which would be a great choice if you can qualify for student discounts. Look into the Adobe Video collection on
www.campustech.com or www.studica.com
June 15th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Thanks for your reply. I wish there was a way to see these various editing systems side-by-side to see how they each handle the issues of concern to me (insert editing especially, intuitive interface too).
No, I'm not a student and am willing to spend what it takes to find a system I can live with for a long time. I've gotten some ads recently from the Avid folks that show that Digi 002 "control surface." I like dedicated hardware stuff like that.
Are you aware of any web site that compares editing interfaces? Or is Avid a stand-out because it makes more sense than the others? later--lynne
June 15th, 2005, 08:57 PM
The Digi 003 I believe is a control surface for Pro Tools (audio editing). I don't think it does anything for video editing. It may make audio editing a little faster, because you can move faders on the control surface instead of rubberbanding everything.
June 15th, 2005, 09:36 PM
Avid has keystrokes for every mouse move. Some people almost never touch the mouse, and claim it's much faster. I'm about half and half.
The AvidXpressPro Suite comes with the audio board that runs with the audio program. But if you're concentratin on docs, then the suite might be overkill with the 3D apps and all.
Avid Xpress Free DV is a free download you can try to get a feel for the interface. It's very limited, and only allows a couple of tracks for audio and some simple transistions, but you'll get a feel for how the thing works.
Likewise Premiere and Vegas and others, have 'demo' versions that are time locked and feature locked as well.
You really can try before you buy.
June 15th, 2005, 09:40 PM
Glenn is correct in saying the Digi 002 is a control surface for ProToolsLE, the industry leader in sound editing. Digidesign, the maker of ProTools is owned by Avid. The majority of editing systems made by Avid rely on dedicated hardware and if you are "willing to spend what it takes to find a system you can live with for a long time," I think Avid is definitely the best choice.
June 16th, 2005, 06:12 AM
For HDV editing then, are the main contenders I should look at:
Final Cut Pro
They seem to be the ones mentioned most often.
June 16th, 2005, 08:09 AM
Your list is simply a list of the most used NLE systems, period.
Avid has the largest market share overall, because the high-end systems for broadcast and filmmaking are mostly Avid. Avid has been around the longest and is generally considered the industry standard. (And Avid has just purchased Pinnacle systems) Avid I think, is still the only NLE that ships with versions for MAC and PC in each box.
Final Cut is moving up fast from the IndyPro shops and Ad Agencies, making serious inroads into film productions. But still, way down the list in market share. Final Cut only runs on Macs.
Premiere has a huge leap on the event/prosumer market, because for a long time, it came bundled with various computers and hardware cards. PC only
Vegas (PC only) is the 'new kid' on the block, comming as is does from an audio editing paradigm, it has a distinctly different user interface and workflow. Lots of people like it. Sony has a 'high end' editing app called Xpri that operates more like Avid... time will tell if Sony will change Vegas to mirror Xpri's interface which is more like the industry standard ... Avid.
Avid XpressPro does not capture/cut HDV at the moment. They are polishing up their workflow and codec now, and it's slated for release in Septermber... ish. Right now, people are using other apps to convert and edit with. So keep that in mind.
June 16th, 2005, 08:36 AM
The Edius 3.0 software will edit HDv files without any special hardware. Add the edius NX for HDV hardware and you've got a very nice real-time HDV workflow.
Edius NX for HDV gives you the same level of real-time performance and stability DV Storm users have had for years, only with HDV footage. We are running Edius NX for HDV on our new DIY3 machine and we are blown away by the real-time performance. What makes Edius NX for HDV different from the other HDV solutions is that you can view the HD footage in real-time, full resolution on an HD monitor via the component output.
June 16th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Avid Xpress Pro HD does not yet have support for HDV. Avid is working diligently on this and we hope tohave HDV available this summer. Avid will be combining native HDV support with their DNxHD CODEC.
DNxHD is Avid's biggest weapon in the upcoming HD race. How you edit, manage, store and move around all this beautiful HD footage is the biggest challenge ahead. Uncompressed HD files are MASSIVE. And they require not only enourmous storage solutions, but super fat pipes move it.
With DNxHD you get all of the great quality of HD (in every imaginable format) at a fraction of the bandwidth. Avid ran something they called the DNxHD challenge. They had HD images with a split somewhere inside it. Comparing uncompressed HD footage and DNxHD footage. No one can tell the difference. Including Hollywood professionals who had the test done privatley for them on the best glass available.
DNxHD technology is in every Avid HD product. On the more affordable Xpress ProHD level, you'll be able to ingest HDV via FireWire or DVCPRO50 via P2 cards and edit away. For heavy compositing, graphics, keying and animations you'll be able to use DNxHD for fantastic quality and efficient storage utilization.
For now you'll need Adreneline class hardware or better for SDI & uncompressed HD ingest, but given the competitive landscape I don't think Avid is going to be able to avoid giving us a MojoHD with SDI and uncompressed HD capabilities. [Note: pure speculation on my part - I have no actual knowledge of any such product being in developement]
While every NLE out there today has an HD path, I think Avid's is going to prove the winner. We don't need uncompressed HD editing with $10,000 external storage solutions. We need a manageable HD editing solution that takes advantage of the power, speed and performance of computer technology. DNxHD provides this capability.
The media management tools in Avid are second to none. It is the standard by which all other NLEs are judged, and no other NLE comes close here. The more clips/footage you have, and the more time you spend editing, the more important this becomes.
June 16th, 2005, 08:44 AM
I'm not very impressed with the natice HDV support in Premeire Pro. It is slow and clunky. Unfortunately the chips on real-time cards like Matrox RTX100 and Canopus DV Storm can not support the higher resolutions. So what is a Premeire pro editor to do to get real-tiem HDV performance?
Cineform Aspect HD is the solution! Think of AspectHD as a software accelerator for Premiere Pro. It works just like a real-time hardware accelerator but with this new technology - it's software only! Now you can get real-time tranisitions, filter sna dneffects with HDV footage in Premiere Pro. The new 3.1 version is the first to offer special support for the progressive CineFrame™ modes in Sony’s HDR-FX1 and HVR-Z1 HDV camcorders. Aspect HD (v3.1) for Adobe® Premiere® Pro can create a 24-frame progressive output file while ingesting footage shot in Sony’s CineFrame modes.
June 16th, 2005, 08:49 AM
The new verison 6 of Sony Vegas has full support for the new Sony HDV cams. You'll see that many folks refer to Vegas as the 'new kid on the block' or the 'best kept secret in video editing'. This is becuase it doesn't get near the publicity of these othter well known apps. But vegas has a loyal and thriving and growing community of users. The interface will take gettingused to - it's based on audio workstation software. but once you get the hang of it, it's truly remarkable how stable it is and how smooth the workflow is.
Teh audio toolset in vegas is by far and awya the best of any NLE on the market. I love how well it handles photomotages. Vegas users can share scripts with eachother, so their is a vast (pun intended) collection of low cost or affordable plug-ins that add additional functionality to Vegas.
June 16th, 2005, 08:56 AM
I've been a huge fan of this software since I was was first shown it by a couple of german guys from Fast. The technology under the hood here is still ahead of the industry.
Background rendering allows you to keep editing while your computer renders whats needed in the background. you never have to wait, and when the background rendering is complete, you can immediately play your timeline in full resolution and speed. Actually you can even begin playing while background editing is working on later parts of the timeline.
the integrated DVD authoring form the timeline is limited compared to what you can do with EncoreDVD or even Sonis DVDit!, but it's a super cool feature. And for 90% of your projects I think you'll find it more than adequate.
Liquid Edition also leverages the GPU powwer of your graphics card to deliver addtional real-time perfomance.
LE6.1 now has excellent HDV support for the new Sony HDV cams.
June 16th, 2005, 09:04 AM
And finally, the option of being able to use something other than a mouse to primarily edit with.
You can add the Contour Design Shuttel pro 2 to whatever NLE you decide to go with. It will give you joig shuttel control of your clips. it also has dedicated buttoms that you can program with your favorite keyboard shortcuts.
Speaking of keyboard shortcuts. You will be interested to know that most NLEs come with a slew of keyboard shortcuts to make editing easier. What's the best way to learna nd use them? Easy! Get a color coded keybaord like the Bella EZ Key Professinal series. These not only include the shortcuts, but you get an integrated jog shuttel controller
June 16th, 2005, 11:45 AM
I appreciate all your feedback. Is there a store in the US where all of these editing programs are set up side-by-side for demonstration and comparison? Kinda like the way Video Expo does cameras? Or maybe a video that's been produced to illustrate the differences and advantages?
June 16th, 2005, 01:41 PM
No. There is no side by side comparison site that I am aware of. Occasionally video stores will set them up for some sort of comparison, but it's usually on a limited basis, as part of a sales or upgrade. Also, sometimes a particular product will go out on 'tour' and in the demonstration, they will do a side by side comparison with their major competitor. You can bet that the hosting NLE comes off better, so I hardly think of that as a fair sampling.
Most of the Video Magazines will do an 'end of the year shoot-out' comparing system features... but again that's an annual thing.
You'll just have to do your homework, download some demos and try them out.
June 16th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Lynne: it's probably most convenient to simply download the demo versions of each program from the manufacturers' web sites, but if you want to see everything shown in one place you might try coming to the WEVA convention in Las Vegas this August:
Also note that while there are occasionally some good reviews about various editing software choices, no such review can tell you which program is going to suit you best. You simply have to try them for yourself, after doing your research to understand some of the basic differences between programs.
June 16th, 2005, 07:30 PM
I like the idea of the WEVA convention. You see, my problem is that my current computer just isn't up to the task of handling demo versions of any of those programs mentioned before. It does strike me as odd that a place like B&H or other major sellers don't have a standing display. But what do I know?