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


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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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Making me MacNuts

Okay. After 20 years I made the switch from a PC to a 24" iMac. But learning my way around is NOT as easy as Apple led me to believe. Now, they did offer some classes at the store, but the store is 120 miles each way from here over a mountain pass.

One of the things driving me nuts is when rendering in Windows (Sony Vegas), you select the file format you want to render to, and you do it. In Final Cut, you either export, or share, or save as. WTF? How do you know which one to use? And when you do chose one, you look in the Finder and it says it's a Quicktime Movie, unless, of course, you select H264 and then it really gets confusing.

Is there a resource available to help MacMorons like me?
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #2
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Resources abound in the form of DVD-based training, online web-based tutorials and the classic book & and DVD lessons combo; choose the type that best fits your learning style. And there are also Apple-certified trainers than can do one-on-one personal training (for a premium, of course). Look at Lynda.com; the Apple Pro Training series of books and the plethora of free forums - such as this - where you can search for your answers.

To answer your question about rendering; there's a big distinction between "rendering" and output - you seem to be talking about exporting your final movie. Suffice it to say FCP can output your final movie into more formats than Vegas is capable of and also perform frame rate, codec type, and even convert from NTSC to PAL or prepare for telecine - the list is immense.

What you're experiencing is the cross-platform learning curve headache common to all of us who've had to learn or re-learn an NLE package. As I say, self-paced training modules are plentiful and after a few days following lessons you'll catch on quickly.

A word of advice about posting future questions on forums: Chances are the questions you're asking have been recycled dozens of times in many threads; try doing a search first and see if you find relevant posts before making a fresh one.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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A word of advice about posting future questions on forums: Chances are the questions you're asking have been recycled dozens of times in many threads; try doing a search first and see if you find relevant posts before making a fresh one.
Well, I typed "making me MacNuts" in the search box, but nothing came up :)
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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Suffice it to say FCP can output your final movie into more formats than Vegas is capable of and also perform frame rate, codec type, and even convert from NTSC to PAL or prepare for telecine - the list is immense.
Really? I find that VERY hard to believe.

Out of curiousity, does FCP output to DPX. EXR maybe? Vegas is pretty extensible. Wonder is FCP is also.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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Unlike Avid neither FCP nor Vegas can handle DPX transfer files natively. FCS has "Cinema Tools" which handles the telecine offline process and using third party devices such as a KONA 3 with AJA software can allow for direct DPX file usage. RED users have a similar DPX workflow using FCP and REDCODE for handling DPX files.

EXR is also not natively supported in any NLE and requires the ILM plug-in (if available for your NLE) to work. I've never worked with those files so I can't speak to it's platform compatibility.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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Really? I find that VERY hard to believe.

Out of curiousity, does FCP output to DPX. EXR maybe? Vegas is pretty extensible. Wonder is FCP is also.
Which is why I still have Vegas on the Windows side of the iMac. But since I spent all that money on the Apple machine and software, I'm making an effort at trying to use it. I find myself getting frustrated with FC, then moving everything over to the Windows side and finishing. I didn't mean to start a Windows - vs- OSX debate; but making the switch isn't as simple as Apple claims. That's all I was saying. And some of it's like when I learned to fly: I learned in a Cessna, so I think they're easier to fly than Pipers.

I must be doing something wrong. I rendered the exact same clip to mpeg4 in Vegas, and then in FCPro, and it took twice as long to render with "export using Quicktime," as it did just "render as" in Vegas. The clip was HDV captured as a .mov file via Final Cut.

By the way, Robert... I've already ordered a book and DVD, but I was hoping someone here would have a quicker, simpler suggestion. Maybe a link or something... without the slap on my wrist for not doing a search first.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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when i bought FCP two years ago it came with 5 books. i'm still reading and re-reading them. they seem to be a good resource for FCP... as well as searching this site!
(i'm not trying to be TOO much of a smart ass...)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #8
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Hey Charles Simpson

Go to Online software tutorials, training CDs, Photoshop Tutorials, Dreamweaver Tutorials, Apple Tutorials from vtc.com

here is the full name
Virtual Training Company (VTC) let me know if you cant' find that
Tamim
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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:52 AM   #9
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Charles, welcome to the former Vegas users club, just know you're not alone. The switch from Vegas to FCS was brutal for me. I did the whole 6 week training class + certification (through work). And even after working full time with FCS for nearly a year and a half, and being able to fly over the editing keyboard without having to look down from the monitor, I still reach for Vegas when doing my own personal projects.

But, in the end, FCS is a standard, so if you need to learn it, you'll just have to bite the bullet and learn it's workflow and quirks. Just keep in mind, it's better to forget comparing Vegas to FCS, or you will drive yourself really nuts.

FYI - careful when you mention "rendering" to FCP users. it means something completely different than in Vegas

In Vegas, render = output, that's it end of story. When a Vegas user says rendering, it means they are outputting the media on the timeline to an external file. But in FCP, if you mix and match media on the timeline, FCP has to "render" incompatible media for playback. After which, an FCP user might "output" the finished edit to an external file. Thankfully this FCP idea of "rendering" media on the timeline so it can be played back, only exists in Vegas as a rarely used command.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 02:07 AM   #10
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Oh and another thing, which you've already stumbled across. Outputting a file in Vegas is a straight forward affair. It basically just works, and you can get great looking files very easily, just using the built-in templates and maybe some minimal tweaking.

Outputting a file in FCP is not as straight forward. There is a lot more tweaking involved and it's not as obvious. Personally, I've found that the basic default FCP settings are not as good as they could be, when compared to similar output using the Vegas default templates.

FCS can give you fantastic video, but I would highly recommend investing in a good DVD or book tutorial on using Compressor. I found I really needed to do this, to get the best out of FCS. (I used the Ripple Training videos). You might also search the forums for different workflows to get the best out of your DVDs, as you'll soon find out, the workflows to get the best video for your DVDs is a little more convoluted in FCS.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #11
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Oh and another thing, which you've already stumbled across. Outputting a file in Vegas is a straight forward affair. It basically just works, and you can get great looking files very easily, just using the built-in templates and maybe some minimal tweaking.

Outputting a file in FCP is not as straight forward. There is a lot more tweaking involved and it's not as obvious. Personally, I've found that the basic default FCP settings are not as good as they could be, when compared to similar output using the Vegas default templates.

FCS can give you fantastic video, but I would highly recommend investing in a good DVD or book tutorial on using Compressor. I found I really needed to do this, to get the best out of FCS. (I used the Ripple Training videos). You might also search the forums for different workflows to get the best out of your DVDs, as you'll soon find out, the workflows to get the best video for your DVDs is a little more convoluted in FCS.
Thank you, Michael. This is exactly what I had hope to find when I posted this... a little moral support. I tried on another site before this one and the Mac-Snobs got into such a tizzy I finally left them to their Cheetos and Dr. Pepper and name-calling.

If the PC were so much better I would not have bought an iMac this time, after all these years. But now that you can run WIndows on an Apple, allowing me to make use of a lot of expensive software I've purchased, and it makes sense to have both at one's disposal. I have found that Apple people and Windows people seem inherently distrustful of each other, and both have some who are quick to go after the people who are trying to discover the benefits of both worlds. It's like Democrats and Republicans: They both make noises and promises about bipartisanship, but both show their real colors when it really gets down to it.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:42 AM   #12
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Actually Charles, you'll find that most people on this forum are brand agnostic, myself included. I certainly don't think Apple has a lock on NLE software not by a long-shot. Personally I find Vegas to be an amazing package and if there were a Mac version I'm sure myself and others would be using it. The only reasons many of us are using FCP is because it's become a "standard" just as Avid and has amazing third-party support both in hardware and software offerings and, because of the rock-solid stability of OSX.

However in all honesty if Apple doesn't provide some serious updates to FCS this year and their "pro" hardware I'm going to be taking a serious look at an Avid system.

It's really too bad Sony and Apple don't play well with each other; a Mac-version of Vegas would be a major hit.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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It's really too bad Sony and Apple don't play well with each other; a Mac-version of Vegas would be a major hit.
There's actually been some discussion on Sony sites about this and the consensus seems to be "it ain't gonna happen" because it would just take too much work for the potential return on investment. This comes from editing celebrities such as Douglas Spotted Eagle.

What I've encountered when I have certain issues, particularly with Windows applications on the iMac, is this: Apple says it doesn't support Windows stuff. Sony says it wasn't designed to run on a Mac (even though i'st really on Windows). And Windows says it doesn't know nothin' 'bout no Apples.

I love many things about this new machine of mine; but these little annoyances sometimes make me wonder if I made a wise choice.

Lasty: Don't go back to Avid. You'll regret it. Remember all the crashes and lockouts? I certainly do.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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I love many things about this new machine of mine; but these little annoyances sometimes make me wonder if I made a wise choice.
Time will tell. I think after spending some time to learn a different way of doing things -- that is, after you get over the learning curve (which is steeper for some than others) -- then I think you will find yourself wondering why you didn't do it sooner.

I started on Apple computers, when I was a kid, on the Apple ][e. When I was a teenager my family got a new fangled PC with a colour (!!!) monitor and some fancy state-of-the-art Windows 3.0 OS. From then on I was a PC guy, doing lots of graphics and especially audio (Cubase, etc) stuff. Back in 2002 or 2003 I was at a buddy's studio and he was showing me his PowerMac G4. It had two (!!!) processors in it. Wow! He was introducing me to Final Cut Pro (v3) and Shake. Holy cow! That evening was, for me, like I had encountered the monolith in 2001:A Space Odyssey. A few months later an opportunity for me to afford one myself presented itself and I seized it. Have not looked back since.

For me the learning curve was over in about a weekend. That's just me. I dig in and obsessively learn a tool. You'll get there too, don't despair. I strongly recommend reading the user manuals. Most software (and hardware) user manuals tend to be thin and useless . The manuals for Apple's Pro apps tends to be very helpful and rich with information. I keep all of them organized in a "stack" on the Dock for easy access.


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Lasty: Don't go back to Avid. You'll regret it. Remember all the crashes and lockouts? I certainly do.
How about those bloody Flamethrower errors? Every time one came up, everyone in the studio would hear "What the f*ck is this 'flamethrower' sh*t?!" It was fun.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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One this site, there will be no platform wars or snobbery. If it gets posted, it gets yanked. If it persists, threads get closed. If new threads pop up from the same person or persons, accounts get closed.

I have both systems in my house. There will always be learning curve frustrations as Robert alluded to. Many times, it's one step back to go two steps forward. And if you need basic help with the variation in the two OS platforms, Apple has some tutorials and videos on their site to assist those making the switch from Windows.

Just understand that you won't be an overnight expert and take it piece by piece. The entire printed manuals are only a mouse click away in the form of PDF replicas in the program's Help menu.

This forum will help you, but courtesy and professionalism are expected at DVINFO.

regards,

Greg Boston
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