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Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


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Old September 27th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #1
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Virgin ready for his first time.

I have been using windows and vegas7 to edit and I am about to buy a new system and was thinking now might be a great time to switch over. I have NO CLUE of macs, FCP. I have always been a windows guy.
So where would you suggest I begin. I would ask questions but toooooo many are jamming my head.

This is virgin territory I am entering.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #2
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Start easy with OS X.

Get used to using "Show Desktop" command Expose. They are lifesavers when it comes to editing, compressing and file managment. Use spotlight often, as its searching power is 100 times better than windows.

Just start easy with FCP.

Digitize something. Make a simple edit. Export Via Compressor. Import to DVD Studio. Burn a DVD.

The documentation is fantastic with the application.
It would be way more intimidating to go from Vegas to an Avid IMO.
The mouse is your friend in FCP, in Avid it's not.

-C
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Old September 27th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #3
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Hey Joe,
I'll just go ahead and say that I love Mac's and Final Cut Pro! Now, personal bias aside I have never used Vegas so I can offer no comparison between the two, but are there some things about Vegas that you don't like, or really like? Try posting some of these features and we can describe if a particular issue exists in FCP,or if a certain feature is possible.

Personally I love the integration between all the Final Cut Studio apps, especially Motion now that Final Cut can use all the Motion filters, effects, and templates. Motion is no After Effects, but can do a lot of great stuff including 3D, and it can do a lot in real-time.

DVD Studio Pro and Compressor are great for authoring DVD's and Soundtrack Pro does a fair job of mixing audio. Neither of these are my specialty so they easily meet my needs. Color has a lot of power under the hood, which I have yet to unleash ;), but maybe others can offer more experience.

As far as hardware is concerned I use a first gen Intel iMac, and it does a great job cutting DV, and it can do alright with Motion. If you're planning on editing a lot of HD material you'll definitely want the biggest bad-ass system you can afford, but again others who do more HD work are the ones you want to listen to, my only advice is get third party RAM and Hard-Drives, and wait till later in October when the new OS is released, that will save you the few bucks it would cost to upgrade.

The Mac operating system only takes a few days to get your head around, and then you'll be up and running in no time. Lynda.com has a great online library of tutorials on all the Final Cut Studio apps, as well as the Mac OS X itself.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #4
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Joe, Jump in mate. I made the switch a couple of years ago (from prem pro on windows) and it was the smartest move i ever made. I got a mac pro with final cut studio and have never ooked back. The build quality of the machines is fantastic, the OS is solid as a rock, and FCS is the best value package around by a mile. I can't believe i spent years of my life with premiere and Microsoft.
Nate's advice to check out Lynda.com is excellent. You can get a years membership for a couple of hundred dollars or a month for $24. I'd get the month to start with and see how you go. This will give you access to dozens of tutorials about the mac OS and FCS and various programmes. In fact you can see some of this stuff without paying at all so have a look.
If you think you will be using Color a lot you may want to consider going for the higher end graphics card for your mac pro and a 23 cinema display(or dell 24 to save a bit).

I highly reccommend joining up to the Los angeles FCP users group as well. A real aladdin's cave of Final cut info.

Enjoy

Dom
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Old September 28th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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I also recommend Lynda.com training videos. It's how I learned the basics of FCP.

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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #6
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thinking macpro too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Schmidt View Post
my only advice is get third party RAM and Hard-Drives, and wait till later in October when the new OS is released, that will save you the few bucks it would cost to upgrade.
i don't know much about the world of mac OS, as i'm looking to make the leap too, but is this new OS release date speculation or common knowledge? how often/when was the last OS update? i'm just wondering how big of a deal this is? and what kind of cost would you incur to upgrade?
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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Mike the last OS update was in April of 2005. So about every 2/3 years Apple updates their OS. However the new version that is coming out is quite a substantial upgrade, so in my opinion I wouldn't expect a new upgrade until 2010/possibly even 11.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #8
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Not necessarily everything its made out to be...

I was in exactly the same position: moved from Premiere Pro 2 to Vegas but got tired of the crashes and sluggish performance working with HDV on a 20 month old PC. Splurged out on a MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz, memory upgraded to 4GB RAM and the better screen) and Final Cut Studio 2. In other words, the whole shebang.
The only problem is that the MacBook Pro, touted everywhere as being capable of this stuff effortlessly, is slower than Vegas 7; it crashes and freezes --- it's almost like being in Windows all over again, except that the icons are prettier. The moment the MacBook sees Motion being started, it shakes, quivers and collapses in sheer terror. In FCP, no matter what I did with the RealTime settings, it would start dropping frames with only a brightness and contrast filter on a piece of 1080 - 50i (PAL country).
I actually went back to using DV-proxies (.avi's made in Vegas) instead of the HDV-capture Quicktime files. And then I gave up.
Now you must understand this: this is not a part of the world where there are Mac stores all around. There are two actual stores in town, and of course the machine (now all of 1 month old) simply keeps going back to the store it came from. I got an e-mail this morning saying that my USB keyboard had arrived: after a 6 week wait.
Am I frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned? You betcha. Will the problem be solved? I have no idea --- the local tech guys are great, and they're doing what they can.
Am I now somewhat sceptical about the Mac hoopla? You betcha again.
In other words (the moral of this story): good luck. I hope you won't need it.

Carl
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Old September 28th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Mischke View Post
The moment the MacBook sees Motion being started, it shakes, quivers and collapses in sheer terror. In FCP, no matter what I did with the RealTime settings, it would start dropping frames with only a brightness and contrast filter on a piece of 1080 - 50i (PAL country).
Motion is resource heavy even on a Mac Pro. It's not a laptop program. The specs, while not excluding a Macbook Pro more or less hint at this.

The other tidbit I'd say is that in FCP, some filters are more RT friendly than others. Modifying your brightness and contrast with the 3-way color corrector would not only allow for full quality, full frame rate, it would also afford better control for the effect you're trying to achieve.

In short, I don't think any experienced FCP editor would have suggested a Macbook Pro for HDV work if you're going to be critical of how fast things are happening on it.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #10
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Just jump in and start using it.
If you've used any NLE, then you've got enough experience to pick at stuff til it works.

Note: cmnd = ctrl... the control key on a PC does the same thing as the apple key.
cmnd+x... cut. Etc. All of the commands are the same, but you'll need to know that to access them.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the responces. I went to apples website and looked at the FCP videos (demo) WOW. It looks like a very powerful editing system.
I shoot on the JVC HD 100 camera so I was looking at the new I macs prefer the 24 in model I think around $1700. Would this be a good system to edit FCP on?
What I liked in vegas was I just captured, grab clips and adjusted the length on time line dragging them to size rather than using I and O.
Anyways the apple store near here has FCP demo classes for free so I am going to attend one and get some hands on.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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There are a number of different ways to adjust clip length. Easiest, though, is hitting I and O on the keyboard for precision. You can also drag, though.

24" iMac will be fine. My friend has a similar model. Might consider upgrading the RAM, and you'll want some more hard drive space as you accumulate lots of media files. External drives are nice for that. Cheap, now, too.
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