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


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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #16
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I bought a Macbook Pro last year and Final Cut because I was losing freelance jobs not knowing it. So I figured it was a good thing to learn. Up until then, I had only used Avid on PC professionally.

My experience has been that I find the OS X interface okay but harder to use than Windows. About the same with Avid and Final Cut. I thought it would be a lot easier to learn since I know Avid pretty well. But it was very difficult, at least in the sense of getting up to speed. I find a lot of nickpickyness (I just made that word up, I think) in the interface that slows me down. Perhaps it's just the learning curve still.

You would have to be ready to lose a LOT of time learning a new OS and NLE. So it's up to you to decide if that time has a return on investment. For me it does because it allows me to accept freelance jobs requiring Final Cut. But if it weren't for that, I'd drop Mac in a second. I'm way happier cutting on Avid.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #17
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I find a lot of nickpickyness (I just made that word up, I think) in the interface that slows me down. Perhaps it's just the learning curve still.
I'm going to assume you had the same issues that I did - operations in FCP are VERY specific to the highlighted -or active - window whereas a lot of actions in AVID MC are "smart" globally. I learned on MC1000 v. 6 (I believe...) running on a beige 9600 and "graduated" to owning my own B&W G3 450 a year later.

And Ken, there has been a good point brought up - if you're looking to edit your own stuff, use whatever works FOR YOU. If you need to "play well with others" and share stuff routinely with post houses and other producers, Vegas may not be your BEST option in the long run. If you want to be a freelance editor (instead of "just" an editor) getting up to speed on either FCP or AVID will bode well for you.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #18
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My philosophy in "the biz" has always been "The more you CAN do, the more you WILL do." Basically, if you know how to work in different platforms on different NLE's you're more likely to get work in them.

But as others have pointed out, it costs time/money to learn and acquire those skills and that hardware.

Only you can determine when and in which direction to make a move.

I cut in AVID, with MC at home. At work I deal with FCP and Vegas. They all have 'issues'. They all freeze and crash. They all make me want to pull my hair out at some point or another.
(fwiw - I see 'the spinning beach ball of death' more often than the old 'bsod')
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Old November 13th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #19
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Ken,

I used Vegas for a very long time and can say without question it is an underrated program. However, do yourself and your career a favor and switch to Final Cut or Avid. I switched to Mac/FCP and never looked back. There are job openings, freelance gigs, and networking connections that come along with using FCP or Avid. The cost between a good PC w/ Vegas vs. a Mac w/ FCP isn't that much when you figure it over the long haul and the increased income that goes along with it.

With FCP, you'll get Color which can easily replace Magic Bullet, Motion which will give you many options for creating nice CG and effects, not to mention Sound Track that comes with thousands of sound effects, and DVD Studio Pro.

You'll be fine. These things are just tools for us to use.

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Old November 13th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #20
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Why not have the best of both worlds? Since all Macs can now run Windows as well, you can have your Mac, partition the drive for a Windows install, and put Vegas in that partition. Vegas seems to do very well in that environment. You can add FCP when you desire, and learn it while you continue to use Vegas for producing income.

If you install the Parallels software, you can run both OS's concurrently and pass files back and forth between them. This may allow you to perform a task in FCP say, then round trip the output over to the PC side for some polish with a different app, before saving and bringing it back to FCP.

As Jeff said, these are just tools for us to use, and the more tools you have in your arsenal, the better equipped you are to take on a larger variety of tasks.

Just a thought,

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Old November 13th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jeff Krepner View Post
Ken,

There are job openings, freelance gigs, and networking connections that come along with using FCP or Avid. The cost between a good PC w/ Vegas vs. a Mac w/ FCP isn't that much when you figure it over the long haul and the increased income that goes along with it.

With FCP, you'll get Color which can easily replace Magic Bullet, Motion which will give you many options for creating nice CG and effects, not to mention Sound Track that comes with thousands of sound effects, and DVD Studio Pro.
Hmmm. This is a compelling argument, sort of why I asked the question in the first place. And I could keep my Dual Core 32-bit XP-pro system to keep things going as I learned FCP...
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Old November 14th, 2009, 04:52 AM   #22
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As to whether to go Premiere or FCP... PPro CS4 may look awesome on paper, but I don't know anyone who can actually edit in PP for a day without crashing. I have a turnkey Wintel machine built specifically for Premiere, but since CS3, it's incredibly unstable and MUCH slower than FCP on similarly spec'd machine.

I was doing some broadcast work the other day and was forced to use PP CS4, because my Mac hasn't arrived yet. You wouldn't believe the number of crashes and hiccups (every time you switch between apps, Premiere has to think about it). We even missed the deadline by a couple of minutes.

Then, my old, trusty iMac with FCP came, and everything was great again.

Then again, Apple seems to rest on its laurels. Premiere has a much better support for P2 and tape-based media. Its inline search in Project browser is awesome. Final Cut needs to COPY that. But what is it good when the underpinnings of PP are rotten?
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Old November 14th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #23
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Jiri, you should reallly look into the stability of that win-tel machine. I have a copy of Production Premium running on a Vista-64 system with zero hiccups and it's MUCH faster than FCP 6 or 7 at renders and exporting when using same-clip comparison.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #24
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I made the switch nearly a year ago. I have struggled with the conversion, the different interfaces and terms, but am making progress. I chose to go with Bootcamp so I can still use Vegas on the Windows side, but have been forcing myself to learn FCS because, like others have said, Final Cut has done a better job of marketing itself as a pro tool than Vegas has, so many people in the business assume it's better and if you aren't using it, you're not a pro. I confess I oftentimes go with Vegas over FCP because it's faster to work with (for me.) Final Cut is annoying in that you have to go out of the program to do a lot of things Vegas will do right from the timeline. Little things, like crossfades for example, are a pain in the patooty in FCP... you have to put "handles" on each end of the clip in the edit window, then drag it into the timeline, whereas in Vegas you just grab the clip and drag it into the clip next to it right on the timeline. Those kinds of things are what I find annoying about FCP & FCS. I do like the library for sound files and some of the templates that come with FCS, however. I love how quiet my Mac is. My PC has always been noisy... so much so that even with headphones on it is sometimes difficult to edit sound. I cannot hear my Mac at all, even during rendering. I do hear the external G-drives spin up, but that's about it. And I love the aluminum chasis on the Mac. It says "quality" in my mind. I think I'm a Mac convert forever... even if I am using it to work in Windows. I now have a Macbook Pro, too. Same thing... solid. Quality. And one thing that, to me, makes the price difference worth it is Apple Support. You don't have to go through a gazillion manufacturers to deal with a specific problem. They answer the phone and talk to you like they appreciate your business.

The one thing I hate about Macs is Mac snobs. They make me gag. Sorry. That's just how it is.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #25
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ILittle things, like crossfades for example, are a pain in the patooty in FCP... you have to put "handles" on each end of the clip in the edit window, then drag it into the timeline, whereas in Vegas you just grab the clip and drag it into the clip next to it right on the timeline.
Here I have to digress - FCP does transitions CORRECTLY. You set in and out points of media and FCP respects that. If you don't have enough media before your edit point, it won't arbitrarily ignore your in and out points JUST to add a dissolve. In my world, in and out are sacrosanct. If I messed up, I need to be the one to fix that error, although some kind of on screen warning that you don't in fact have a 30 frame cross dissolve like requested would be welcomed.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #26
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I haven't got many problems with Final Cut Studio.

The tone of this thread is very negative towards Apple which I think is unfair. FCS 2009 wasn't the upgrade we were all hoping for but it is very stable. And down the road there will be a major update to 64-bit cocoa. I really don't believe Apple is abandoning the pro.

Also, I had a CS2 system running on Windows XP and it was a nightmare. Crash after crash. I also have used Sony Vegas which was very stable. But I just don't like the interface of it compared to the traditional Avid/FCP/Premiere setup.

Choose whatever system works best for you. If your current system is working, a Windows 7 system with Sony Vegas and good hardware components will definitely work.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:23 AM   #27
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I moved to FCP from Vegas around 2 years ago. I can do some things much faster in Vegas (sound editing in particular), but some of the actual cutting and editing tools I find to be better in FCP.

I used to have my Mac as a dual boot with Vegas on a Windows partition. But I never use it any more. Nobody has asked me for Blu-Ray yet. If the demand was there I would have to get CS4 in order to get Encore. The idea that you can't burn Blu_ray on Mac is frankly ridiculous. You can. It's just that Apples own editing suite doesn't come with the capability to author discs with full menus etc.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #28
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I am a Mac CS4 user and am very satisfied with the workflow. Bugfixes and optimizations have come late in Premiere but the 4.2 update really works good.
A few months ago I thought about switching to FCP or even a PC but no need anymore.
I prefer the Adobe way of video editing and other than a few presets, I see no difference between CS4 Mac and CS4 Windows. Above all, editing is smooth on my Mac Pro and crashes haven't occurred since the 4.1 update.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
Just like the commercial...
I'm looking move from dual core 32-bit XP pro to a 64-bit windows 7 system anyways, so I thought it may be a good time to think about switching systems entirely. I've happily used a PC-based Sony Vegas NLE for the last 4 years. I find Vegas very easy to use, and use Magic Bullet Looks - though the renders with a core duo are getting pretty slow. So I am seriously considering switching out to iMac or Mac based system with FCP.
Thanks in advance.
Ken, exactly my situation, I have made the move to a MBP with FCS from years on Sony Vegas. For the 1st weekend 1 cursed because OSX is just so different, I couldnt find anything. By 2nd weekend I was cursing FCP because it is just DIFFERENT to the vegas philosophy. By weekend 3 I started a serious 2 camera edit. Over 4 weekends I got to know FCP, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro, DVDpro. Here are my gut impressions with no axe to grind as I still have my Vegas system:

1/ Accept its different philosophy and there's a learning curve
2/ I was struck by how SOLID FCP feels and works - its difficult to explain but Vegas just feels a bit odd when i go back to it
3/ The SEQUENCES approach in FCP is great for putting together long 1 hour shows
4/ The export using XML to Soundtrackpro and Color works great - I can easily get the Magic Bullet looks i got on Vegas - but I can still use my MB looks in FCP as well
5/I havent compared render times, but I am happy with the MBP 2.8Ghz with 4Gb RAM - I have had no problems with a 1 TB USB2 drive bringing across 2 channels of video (I dont do After Effects stuff or Motion) at full frame rate. But if render time is your challenge then a Macbook Pro will be easily outdone by a MacPro or a fast i7 I believe.
6/ I am so glad I have left behind the horrible preview window in Vegas - apparently its better with i7 processors but FCPs Canvas feels solid; of course if you stress it out it gives you the option of reducing frame rate, or rendering - it depends what your after - with Vegas you dont have to render but when the fps crawls down to 2 you might as well - anyway I prefer FCPs approach to handling intensive video/filters than Vegas
7/Unlike when I first got Vegas 7, my first capture, edit, render and compress went without a single hitch or crash. The number of times Vegas used to crash without even leaving a error message used to freak me out, though it stabilised by Vegas 8. I didnt bring Cineform across because I capture HDV to Prores Standard, render out to Prores after color correction and then in Compressor convert the prores to MPEG2 - i got a great result on DVD only let down by my dodgy camerawork :-)
8/ There are lots of plug-ins for FCP (less so for Vegas) which is useful to have access to.
9/I could have got a Mac Pro but I wanted the mobility - if mobility wasn't important the Mac Pro would have been my choice.
10/ Next on my list is the Matrox MX02 so I can get a proper feed to a color corrected LCD TV. Not having this option on Vegas sucks as color correction is the most vital thing on any edit i do.

So I have no regrets. I have had a great move across and wont go back to Vegas and am now as productive as I ever was but with a more powerful and supported toolset.

Hope this helps.
cheers
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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:30 PM   #30
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Apple produces a quality product with very limited build options that are tightly integrated to the operating system, thereby offering an out of the box stability and reliability that is appealing to me. Do I pay a premium for this? Yes...
This sums up my opinion. If you have the money and the time to learn FCP you will be happy. I'd suggest getting an iMac and run it along side your PC. That way you can learn at your own pace and have the option of using your PC if you need meet a deadline.

I haven't used Vegas but have been told its very user friendly and faster for simple editing work. I took FCP stability for granted until I used Adobe CS3/4. Adobe has lots of good features and lots of crashes and strange bugs to deal with. I'll echo my dissatisfaction others raised about Apple's handcuffing you both on the hardware and software side.
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