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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #1
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Motion 3 or After Effects

I'm trying to make a decision on which one I should focus my attention on learning. I want to eventually learn both but can only devote serious time to one.

So, which do you prefer and y?
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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Jessica I purchased both in Oct and have only spent my time in Motion since I am using FCS2. But I did take two 4 hr courses in After Effects. If you learn one the other will go fast. I suggest if you are using FC learn Motion and if you are using Adobe use After Effects. They both are great programs.

Check out for great tutorials on both.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

I've been hearing alot recently about I'm gonna check it out also.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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Without a doubt, concentrate on After Effects. AE is far more powerful than Motion and, if you become good enough at both the technical and creative you can become an AE specialist.

We have often hired people who really do nothing but build things in AE simply because it is such a highly specialized application; people who are AE specialists are never without work and are charging anywhere from $75 to $350 an hour depending on their experience, quality of output work and whether or not they're working solo or for a major studio.

AE will also make you cross compatible between platforms and NLE's; not everyone uses Final Cut Studio/Motion and it's footprint in the commercial industry isn't as deep as Apple would have you believe from it's glossy ad campaigns. However, almost every post-house and production facility has an AE specialist on-hand or, wants to have sequences built in AE, just because it's become a standard. Motion is not an industry standard, it's simply what Apple offers as a "sort-of" competitor to AE.

Go for AE, you'll never regret the amount of work you get.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 03:59 AM   #5
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It depends what you want to get out of your software in my opinion.

If you want solid and approachable usability, basic 3D and quick, stunning animated text/graphics, then choose motion. It takes a short while to learn the basics, but still has enough of a dark side to get your teeth really stuck in to.

But if you really want the top end 3D and compositing, but don't mind putting in a lot of time and effort to get to a fluent pace of work-flow, I would go with AE.

I chose motion for it's ease of use, for non-broadcast animated titles and basic quick motion graphics. But now i've just got AE for more top end work that's starting to pile in.

Hope that helps.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 06:58 AM   #6
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Thanx for the info.....another quick ?

Thanks alot for your input guys. The thing is, I start a 3 semester nle course next Mon and they teach Final Cut with AE. (I'm switching from PPRO but never did a lot with AE). I was wondering if digging deep into AE would put me behind the industry standard 8 ball with all the buzz about Motion. I understand that they are both good products, but with the input from this forum I'm glad I'll be learning some heavy AE stuff.....and that $75 - $350 an hour doesn't hurt either, Robert. Any job openings in AZ? :-)

One more quick question, and this will probably get moved to another thread, but is there a big difference btw FC and PPRO? I know there is a diff, but I'm asking bc although I'll be learning FC, I'll still be editing on PPRO until I get a Mac. Is it difficult switching from one platform to another or will I be able to do the same things, at least in principle?
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:16 AM   #7
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I teach FCP part-time at Scottsdale Community College. I have found that students with prior Premiere experience have a mostly seamless transition to FCP. Students with Avid-only experience are more frustrated by differing keyboard shortcuts and changing from a modal-based interface to a more tool-centric timeline style of editing. The nice thing about FCP is you can choose which style of working suits you, more than I think any other Non-Linear editing software.

As far as the After Effects/Motion argument, I am a bit biased. I took an AE course from Trish Meyer at the American Film Institute just prior to the publishing of her book "Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects" (AE 3.5 when I took the course, still the gold standard for learning AE). I had been using AE since it was CoSa AfterEffects. Motion is a great product if you think about it as a rapid design tool, not a full-fledged animation interface. Generally, everything is an "behavior" or a "plugin", so to speak. The parameters are tweakable, but in the end you are limited to the (admittedly large) menu of choices inherent in the program. You also have to learn to give up exact control and just go with the flow by tweaking behaviors until you get something you like. The more experience you get with Motion, the more comfortable you will be designing within it's interface.

After Effects' core interface and design scheme is a timeline with keyframes. And I mean a LOT of keyframes. You see, the decision early on in AE was that any parameter that is animate-able should be keyframe-able. That means that every single setting, from simple geometry of a layer to each minute little setting deep in a plugin can be animated over a number of frames. This gives the motion graphics artist a huge amount of precise control over what happens when in an animation. When learned fully, it's hugely powerful and unmatched by any other software remotely in it's price range. Even the semi-automatic functions such as pre-packaged text animation generates individual keyframes that you can drill down into and change.

Unfortunately, this means AE has a huge learning curve. It can literally take years to get (truly) comfortable with managing huge numbers of layers with tons of keyframes on each. That said, it is hugely rewarding to master even the basics of AE. I recommend Trish's book and the Total Training series if you are serious about AE. It is possible to get up to speed with the basics of AE in perhaps 80-120 hours of good study, and be proficient with all the basic animation needs of your average videographer. I have to admit that AE is so deep and wide that I myself would never become masterful at even a subset of it's features. I felt pretty good about my own AE skills at around v.3, but once 3D was added into the mix, AE quickly moved beyond my desire to keep up.

AE is a great big toolbox: Keying, Compositing, Text and Graphic Design, 2.5D animation (flat layers in 3D space), Motion Tracking, Color Finishing, Filters and Plugins galore...AE can do pretty much anything you want it to do, but it will frustrate those who don't like to dig deep into the program.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:17 AM   #8
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Final Cut and Premiere Pro look pretty much the same, and editing is pretty much the same in either though.
Some little controls make (to my opinion) FCP a bit more fluent and faster, in workflow and FCP has much more built in codec support.

Ow Jessica, I've never touched AE before, untill I saw the free Flash tutorials of AE on the website and afterwards I could make some pretty nice things (for someone who never touched the program before, that is).

The guy explains it very simple, and he has like 10 basic trainings and 54 (and going up) normal tutorials, all for free...

So spread the word, I learned A LOT of this website. (I even didn't know properly what a keyframe was before I touched the program, now I already pretty much can work fluently with it)
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #9
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Scott and Mathieu, that was some awesome information. Thank you very much.

The books they will be teaching from are the apple pro training series, but I have been looking into getting more books and videos for my personal use. I'm familiar with total training bc my cousin and I bought some tutorials from them for Premiere and we learned alot from watching the videos.

I'm already like a kid waiting for Christmas as I wait for classes to start next week, now you've got me even more excited about it. Thanks alot, it's hard enough for me to stay focused at work as it is... 4 example has absolutely NOTHING to do with my job; but it sure keeps me awake. :-p
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 08:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jessica Gourdine View Post
The books they will be teaching from are the apple pro training series, but I have been looking into getting more books and videos for my personal use.
Jessica, I'm a recent convert from a PC to Mac and Premiere Pro to FCP. I just purchased my Mac a couple weeks before Christmas and started training in FCP via Diana Weynand's Pro Training series "Final Cut Pro 6" not 3 weeks ago. I've completed the first 13 lessons of 14 total and I have to tell you, I feel like I know more about FCP now then I ever did knew about Premiere Pro and I've been using PPro since version 5.1. You're going to love the footage on the Killer Whales which you'll use to learn FCP. Those Whales are amazing, as well as the trainers.

I have enjoyed Diana's book so much that I have purchased Final Cut Pro Beyond the Basics, written by Michael Wohl. I've also purchased soundtrack Pro 2, Compressor 3 Quick-Reference Guide, and have Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4, 2nd Edition due to be released on Jan 11th.

I also own The Total Training Premium Bundle for Adobe Production Studio and have learned a lot from it. However, for me anyway, there's nothing better then learning form a book using the provided lessons such as those that come with the Apple Pro Training Series. I can't imagine needing anything else.

As far as the learning curve going form Premiere Pro to Final Cut. It has been virtually nonexistent for me. I was amazed how the two programs are so much alike. I had made the commit on another forum that it appeared to me the same people that programed for Adobe writing Premiere Pro in the morning, worked for Apple in writing FCP in the afternoon. I learned that there is a lot of truth to that statement actually.

Keep us posted on your progress!
Ron Priest
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Old January 4th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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Wow Ron,
I haven't purchased a Mac yet but all of the books u mentioned are on my wish list. I checked the UPS website and my 1st book from the series is at my house waiting on me.

I'm glad to hear that there's not much of a learning curve. Hopefully as I learn things in FCP that I never knew in PPro, I'll be able to apply in PPro until I make the full switch and get a Mac of my own, or until then, since besides weddings most of my editing is done for my church, maybe I can get a proposal together to convince my Pastor to switch to Mac platforms. ??????

Thanks for your post!
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