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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:35 PM   #1
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OMG. What have I done?

I've used Sony Vegas since version 4. I'm used to it. Most things I just did from the timeline: like render an mpg4 file. "Switch to FCS like the rest of the world," my son-in-law insisted. "It's much more intuitive and you'll pick it up in no time."

Yeah. Right. Like I've spoken English for 60 years and now I have to speak Egyptian because it's more intuitive and I'll pick it up in no time.

So I got new 24" iMac. A new Powerbook Pro. FSC 2. That's a lot of money, children.

And it won't even import the freekin' audio with an mpg2 file. That mpg4 (h264) file? Well, you have to go into Compressor to do that. What, are you nuts? You can't do that from the timeline! What do you think this is, an amateur program?

I've also got a new EX3. I won't go into the expletives I screamed as I tried to import files using the XD Cam transfer.

By the way... FCS puts all this stuff in a scratch disk. But nowhere does anyone explain what the hell a scratch disk does.

So I watch all the Apple tutorial. All they did was make me feel stupid because I cpouldn't figure out what they hell they were saying.

Then I subscribed to Lynda.com. Now we're getting somewhere: At least they have a dozen different ways to make me feel stupid.

Go to the Mac store and do a sit-down class or two, Mikey (my son-in-law) advised. The only trouble is, the closest one is 140 miles each way.

Just venting. Thanks. Another Jack Daniels and I'll be just fine.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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Interesting, you went straight for the few things FCP doesn't do as well as Vegas. FCP never treated mpeg files like they were regular professional video files. That's because they aren't. Mpeg is a format designed for compression and reduced bandwidth program delivery not professional editing. But Sony decided to program around that, other parts of Vegas aren't as easy, at least for me. Initially all professional video file formats were frame based which MPEG isn't. These days mpeg is now an accepted shooting format but FCP wants it converted for frame accurate professional editing and to reduce processor load so the program can devote processor resources to other important functions like real-time color correction. It's not amateur, it's a professional way of doing things.

Convert mpeg2 and mp4 files with MPEGStreamclip, it's a free download and one of the best programs out there. Many people work with EX3 files (which are also MPEG) without a problem, search here and you'll probably find your questions solved.

A scratch disk is where you'll find all the video files captured by FCP. This can be your main hard drive (not recommended but workable) or an external drive (recommended). Vegas works this way also but I think they call it something else.

In a week, you'll be up and running fine.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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Hang in ther you will get it.
It will take time as you will have to re-learn the FCP way but once you get it sorted out it becomes fun just like Vegas did.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Charles, you're on one of the best FCP boards on the web. I'm pretty sure our experts here will help you ease through the transition.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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OK you are using XDCAM transfer. This is good. There are other options but this is the way many "injest" into Final Cut.

So starting from scratch, assuming you have all the Sony drivers and software installed. You have the SxS drivers installed and the XDCAM Transfer software (version 2.9 is the current one).

Make sure you launch Final Cut Pro first, then XDCAM Transfer, setup your project file the way you normally would in Final Cut with your "bins" for video, audio, titles, etc. Then put in your SxS media (or your SDHC card, if you have recorded on that - don't worry if you don't know about SDHC stuff yet. That will come later). You should have your media acknowledged by your XDCAM transfer software. At this point, if you have the XDCAM Transfer software in the foreground, you can go into your preferences in the pull down menus and see where all your stuff is extracted to. This should give you a measure of comfort. If you are in there, close it down now...

In the XDCAM transfer software, you can either select the WHOLE clip, or SUBCLIPS. Look in the lower righthand quadrant of the software window. You will see the clip & subclips there with checkboxes to the left of them. Check the appropriate clips or subclips. Above that are fields to fill out to label your clips globally. You should do this as you would during any kind of import/ingest. Now in the very lower right hand area of the app you will see the import button. Hit it. OK hit the liquor cabinet and get your well deserved single malt scotch now. The injest is now underway.

After it is finished, make Final Cut the active app and then drag the clips showing in the middle of your screen into your video clips "bin" and save your document.

That's enough for now.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Simpson View Post
. Thanks. Another Jack Daniels and I'll be just fine.
when i started on FCP about 2 years ago, Compressor drove me to drink on several occasions...
i think i'll still be learning FCP for several more years, but it is worth the effort of the somewhat steep learning curve...
courage!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Made some headway today, but I still feel very overwhelmed... probably due in part to the different terminology for things. On the up side, I'm becoming very fond of the Mac platform, despite the fact it has so many terms I don't recognize from my years of PCing.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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Believe me, every time I have to work PC based studio video equipment (servers, TBC frames, etc.) and that happens a lot these days, I have the same problem.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Believe me, every time I have to work PC based studio video equipment (servers, TBC frames, etc.) and that happens a lot these days, I have the same problem.
I hope to soon understand what you mean.

My son-in-law has been nagging me to do this for a couple years now. He works for his family-owned business, Foto-Kem, in Burbank, and they've invested millions in data acquisition even though they've made their fortune on film processing. So his opinion carries great weight with me, despite my being an ardent Sony Vegas supporter.

But like I said: It is somewhat overwhelming and I get very discouraged in the process. I ain't no spring chicken, you know.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #10
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I understand this process very well, since I made the transition to mac about a year ago. I was teaching myself the entire FCS suite as fast and dirty as possible, since I was in the process of working on a short film with a deadline!

I will agree with what others have said, that the learning curve is kinda steep at first, but it's entirely worth the effort. What's great about Final Cut is that while it's not as point-and-click friendly, it gives you so much more control over things like ingesting footage, color grading, etc. My dad works with an older version of Premiere, and the options he has for compressing and outputting the shorts he makes are puny compared to what I can do with FCS. [note: I'm not bashing Premiere!]

I also understand your frustrations with new and different terminology. Went through that as well, and found google was my best friend. Searching "what is [blank]" made my life SO much easier the first few days. I also think that the videos from lynda.com are great for beginners like us, keep watching them!

Good luck, you'll be a pro much more quickly than you think!

Chris
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Old June 24th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #11
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The single most relieving thing I've taught windows > Mac folks... the apple key does most of the same stuff you're used to using your control key for on the windows side of things (mostly the same keys in combination as well) :)

As for the scratch disks, under the "Final Cut Pro" menu, select "System Setup" and you can get to the scratch disk controls (also accessible through the capture window tabs on the right).

I use it thusly (order is important, if you'd like to know why, just ask):
1. Make folder (directory) for new project where ever you would like it to reside.
2. Set scratch disks to point to that folder.
3. Make new project and save it into that folder.

If you switch projects, just switch the scratch disks to the folder you're working with before you start and everything will be where you expect it to be - in the project's folder. Now you can back up a project to an external disk or transfer it for storage by simply moving the whole folder in the finder (windows explorer).

Parenthesis behind terms in bold show windows terms/concepts for you :)
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