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Old July 18th, 2002, 03:12 PM   #1
Tom Boucher
 
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Where does iMovie end and Final Cut begin?

I'm in the process of researching my first DV camera and I'm wondering, at what point do you not want to use iMovie and the Final Cut Pro software become something you want to use?

What kind of features are there? I've not seen a good comparison of the two.

Thanks
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Old July 18th, 2002, 03:33 PM   #2
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As I understand it, and from the perspective of an iMovie user...

Better audio handling and the ability to blend multiple images are the two key advantages of FCP. Split screens are impossible with iMovie. So is Chroma Key assembling.

iMovie is easy to use, but lacks the tools for the more artistic side of editing.

FCP guys, what did I leave out?
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Old July 18th, 2002, 04:05 PM   #3
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The biggie, iMovie is free, comes with the Mac. FCP is $1,000 and has major differences. The list would fill a small book. I suggest you try iMovie when you get your Mac and/or camcorder. It's free why not try it? If it doesn't do what you want then the next step is Adobe Premiere, around $600. Premiere has been around a long time and the current version is quit stable. If money is no object, get FCP and satisfy your curiosity. But the learning curve, to a novice, is very steep. It might take the fun and sheer joy out of creating your first DV movie. You'll know when the time is right to drop the $1,000 because iMovie won't do the kinda effects and edits you see in your mind. You can't get your ideas to tape, so you drop the big bucks. Good luck.

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Old July 26th, 2002, 09:50 AM   #4
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EDL handling makes the difference. And the ability to use real video cards like Aurora Igniter, Digital Voodoo or AJA.

A modern - fully featured NLE has to handle this.
1. Uncompressed video (or close to it - not "DV only")
2. EDL in and out.
3. "JKL" style editing.
4. Realtime output to a broadcast monitor.
5. OMF audio support.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 10:01 PM   #5
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Tom,
iMovie will give you a result that satifies most of your needs. FCP will really test your patience. Fortunatly you can have both on the same machine,, and while you're pulling your hair out with FCP, you can have fun and see results with iMovie2. ( go to GeeThree.com , APPLE and other locations - lots of free goodies for iMovie 2.

You can accomplish 80-90% of what you want and walk away happy, buts thats only my opinion.


Bruce
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Old July 27th, 2002, 12:34 AM   #6
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Am I the only one here who has always found Final Cut Pro MUCH easier to use than iMovie? I can't make heads or tales of what is going on in iMovie's confusing user interface. Final Cut Pro is set up just like it should be. I fail to see what everyone finds so difficult about it. Don't let these guys scare you... Final Cut Pro is easy to learn. It can do simple projects and complex. If you understand the concept of a video timeline then you already know enough to use Final Cut Pro.
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Old July 27th, 2002, 01:19 AM   #7
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I have to agree. I've been using FCP for a couple of years, and I tried to put something together in iMovie and got completely lost.... basically its just lack of familiarity with the software... but it's kind of like going from Photoshop to Adobe Elements (or deluxe or whatever they are calling it)...the simplicity of the program starts to get in the way once you've learned a more sophisticated program like FCP. I find FCP much more intuitive (once you learn the rules) and exponentially more powerful in terms of layering, effects and sound.
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Old July 27th, 2002, 01:24 AM   #8
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I have to agree. I've been using FCP for a couple of years, and I tried to put something together in iMovie and got completely lost.... basically its just lack of familiarity with the software... but it's kind of like going from Photoshop to Adobe Elements (or deluxe or whatever they are calling it)...the simplicity of the program starts to get in the way once you've learned a more sophisticated program like FCP. I find FCP much more intuitive (once you learn the rules) and exponentially more powerful in terms of layering, effects and sound.
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Old July 27th, 2002, 10:40 AM   #9
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Agree! I come fron an Avid backgrund via EditDV and FCP 1.0. I opened up iMovie - captured some clips - and then got completely lost. How on earth do you do a straight cut in that thing??? I stared at the interface for 15 minutes and desided that an app that stops me from making a straight cut in 15 minutes is totaly beyond me. I write KeyCode EDLs manually and work 150 layers in AE with expressions but I can't edit homemovies in iMovie (???). Was iMovie written as a neurological science experiment?
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Old July 28th, 2002, 04:25 PM   #10
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Sounds like some people have plenty of spare time to read 1400 pages of FCP2 manual but not around the 200 for iMovie2. Get the missing manual by Pogue
press - 1st 100 pages of 370 cover video basics.
FCP is definately a pro program, with ALL the bells and whistles, thats why they offer FCP and AVID classes. Like anything else in this world, you can specialize in anything, for some it's shooting videos, some it's editing.
I believe in the KISS system (Keep It Simple Stupid) and there is nothing simple about the FCP system learning curve unless you're traped in the house all winter under 10 ft. of snow!
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Old July 28th, 2002, 06:17 PM   #11
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Come on.....I got started in FCP with a borrowed copy and no manual, and my only previous experience with a timeline was spent watching someone edit on an avid for a hour or so. I was editing pretty well in a few hours, and became damned good by the end of my first project.

FCP isn't difficult -- it's deep.... just like photoshop isn't difficult, and I've been working with it for 12 years and still don't know everything it does, yet almost every day I learn something new. FCP is the same way...it's a program you can grow with...and iMovie isn't the same animal by a long shot.

...and it hasn't snowed in my part of california in a very long time.

surf's up!

Barry
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Old July 28th, 2002, 09:49 PM   #12
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I don't think I've ever cracked open my manual for Final Cut Pro. Yes, it is thick. The only reason I'd ever have to open the manual is if I couldn't figure out how to do something on my own in the program. Usually I am able to figure it out, create my own method, or ask other FCP users including the ones on this board. Before FCP I used Edit DV. I don't think I read that manual, either. When I first got FCP I didn't like it (I only tried it for about 3 minutes) because it was different than what I was used to. But then I edited an entire project in it and never used Edit DV again.
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Old July 28th, 2002, 09:54 PM   #13
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The difficulty or ease of a program is all relevent to ones computer experience. My eight year old son makes movies on his iMac with iMovie. He doesn't do anything fancy, just basic click, drag and drop. That's how simple it is. I have a hard time with it, I tend to over think what I'm doing in the program. Or I try to force iMovie to behave like FCP. But it's a very simple program. It's free, try it. If you don't like, you can always spend more money
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Old July 28th, 2002, 10:19 PM   #14
Tom Boucher
 
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I understand that there may be intereface issues between the two, one is designed for anyone, and the other is designed for people who do this day in/day out.

What I was kinda looking for (aside from the other good comments) is something like, oh,

iMovie only lets you insert MP3s, but not change the volume levels without a kludgy method and FCPro let's you fade in/fade out the sound files you ad.

Something like that.

Are there any biggies like that? I picked up the Optura 100MC from Canon and have made a few movies with iMovie. The sounds being at 100% volume are rather annoying, and I'v enot figured out how to lower them.
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Old July 28th, 2002, 11:48 PM   #15
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Tom

Extract the sound from the clip, fool,with the fade in / out. If you're adding music or sound adjust your input volume. Once again the missing manual is well worth the bucks and will definately surprise you with its capabilities.

Bruce
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