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


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Old November 10th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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PPro CS3 to FCP Express

Hi-

I shot some footage for a friend's documentary on my JVC HD100 in 720 24p. I use Adobe PPro with Cineform, so I have everything .avi cineform files. All on a windows pc.

My friend has found an editor who will help with the editing, and they will be using iMovieHD and Final Cut Express on a Mac. I've been asked to put the footage on an external drive and hand it to the editor.

I've never used IMovieHD or FCP Express, but I imagine they can use all sort of formats. I'm thinking I will export everything out of PPro into a Quicktime format - I guess when I think Mac, I think Quicktime.

My friend has a left a message for the editor to see what format she thinks is best. I also thought I'd post this question (however open-ended and unspecific it is, my apologies).

thanks

Does that sound correct to all you FCP masters?
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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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Ick- not sure FCE will be much help as it has limited format and EDL type support which you'd definitely require to get from Premiere, especially on a PC. iMovie is even more useless here. And going back and forth with you- bigtime forget about it.

Tell the buddy he needs to get the editor Final Cut Studio or find another editor. That or just stick with Premiere and your PC and finish up the project. The egg's already half scrambled so why try to unscramble it now?

Noah
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Old November 10th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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agreed. no editor worth working with would be using iMovie, or even FC express. maybe if cineform has a mac codec you might be able to read the AVI files on the mac, but realistically its better to output a EDL or cut list from PP and bring that over to FCP, and reload with FCP. really it will be faster / easier / simpler / cheaper... really it will be.

even if you can read the files, they may not play back in realtime. so there would be some trial and error to see if it works at all.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #4
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There hasn't been any editing done in Adobe. That's my set up. My friend, who is directing the doc, wants to edit some elements together into a short film essentially, and use that for further fund raising.

When we finished shooting each interview, I transferred the footage to my drive. It's just been sitting there, and now the director has apparently found an editor she likes. I suggested to her she edit herself, as she's very close to the material.

But she's the director, if that's what she wants to do, then I'll help.

Basically the director has apparently found a professional editor who's interested in the short fundraiser, and I have to put the footage on an external drive for the editor to work with, however they plan to do it.

So my thought was I would export from Adobe to some format that will play well with Final Cut. I didn't think it would just read the .avi files.

Yeah, that'll be a lot of exporting. I will have access to mac and drive the editor will be using for a few days. I suppose I will export small pieces into different formats to find which one works best.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #5
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FCp will read AVI files because its QT under the hood which is handling it. however, you will need the right codec on the mac side. unless you loaded selects rather then whole tapes, it will be

faster simpler easier cheaper

to just reload the tapes in FCP.

by exporting to yet another compressed codec you are adding two compression hits to the process of images that already are compressed. thats not good.

even worse you will also loose source TC and reel info as well. if they ever have to go back to the source tapes for a reload, find something, ect, they are 100% screwed and will have to find everything by hand.

you could place all your clips into a single TL, order doesn't matter, export that as a EDL, then load that EDL into FCP, and capture into FCP based on the EDl. then drag the clips from the TL back into bins as needed. that is the best way even if you have to use the camera to reload from. exporting is not the way to go for the material involved.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #6
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Not trying to be contrary here but a professional editor would not be using iMovie or FCE. Those are consumer/prosumer apps that you'll rarely if ever find in use in a professional edit bay. I'd charge by the hour on this one...

Noah
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Old November 11th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
FCP will read AVI files because its QT under the hood which is handling it.
Not only that, but since you're using Cineform .avi files, you can just re-wrap to the more Mac friendly Cineform .mov without re-encoding. Also, under Premiere Pro, Cineform .avi files can store the original timecode, so when you re-wrap to QuickTime, it should include the timecode.

I went through this whole rigamarole last year with FC Express, (when I was still mainly on Vegas). It turns out that FC Express can edit Cineform 24p files. Just load the Cineform encoder/player onto the Mac, and FC Express will be able to see the Cineform .avi/.mov files. The downside, it's still only a 50i/60i timeline, but once the basic edit is done, it's easy to transfer to a FC Pro system. Please note, I was only able to get this to work with Cineform 24p files, all the other 24p files I tried biffed it hard.

I'm constantly having to mix & match all types of files & NLEs. For HDV, I always capture the original .m2t files using a PC, and then create a mirror image of the files using ClipWrap on the Mac. Exact duplicates, same timecode, just in different wrappers. It's a little more work up front, but it nips those cross-platform issues in the bud before they happen. Hopefully, future versions of FCE & FCP will fix this problem.

Another plus, if your footage is heading to film, the online editors can choose their preferred format to convert using HD-SDI. And I'm not suggesting in anyway that the online editors even like any form of HDV, but I think they appreciate the thought.

[EDIT] I agree about using FCP if possible, but I'm guessing, if they're still looking for funding, the director may have limited resources and only have access to Final Cut Express. So getting a basic cut done in FC Express to secure more funding makes sense ... as long as the file format and conform issues can be ironed out, which I think they can. But I do agree about charging hourly in that situation, and getting paid 24-50% up front if possible.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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I think the idea of just re-exporting from tapes is the best bet. I know there was a day where the tape got screwed (a problem with the camera that got fixed) but recording to .m2t files with dvrack saved us. So the tapes aren't going to help. I think I still have the original .m2t files. But I have all the original tapes.

I started to write more about the situation, but that would take a very long post, while I was looking for a fairly narrow technical discussion.

As far as how much am I charging, well, this whole project is sort of personal, so that's a whole other issue. All I can tell you right now there is a whole movie behind the making of this movie.

thanks for everyone's help, though.
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