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


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Old November 21st, 2010, 06:58 PM   #16
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Hi Peter,
I bought an iMac 27" with i7 processor, 8Gb RAMs, 2TB harddrive it cost me around 2400 us$ in my country..and it's a powerful machine to edit AVCHD files using FCP, it can preview real time for footage with around 2layers of effect..but there are quite complex workflow if you're working with AVCHD files because the system have to convert it to .mov beforeyou can edit it..but overall it is a great machine..:D

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Old November 24th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #17
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Avid still shines in the one place where they got started so many years ago; long form complex editing tasks. Avid took a feature film editor's needs in mind and built their system from there. Avid has the tools for editing very complex projects and they have developed the tools for integrated multiple-station editing projects that many high end series need to stay on time and in budget. But we are talking tens of thousands of dollars here. There are plenty of industry stories of producers switching to FCP from Avid and a year or so later going back to Avid because of workflow logistics that neither Apple or Adobe have successfully addressed if they have even bothered. These are workflows that the average editor would rarely come in contact with. Avid also offers some very souped up systems that require little rendering for most effects. Avid's low end offerings have their benefits but they certainly don't offer the integrated production packages of Adobe or Apple.

Avid goes for the high end with a glance at the middle.
Apple, Adobe and Sony go for the middle and let third party suppliers try to cover the jump to the high end.
Apple and Sony also go for the low requirement editor / amateur.
This is the best, most simplistic comparative overview of the major NLE's I've ever read and it's spot-on. And clearly shows there is no "end-all-be-all" from any offering.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #18
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This is the best, most simplistic comparative overview of the major NLE's I've ever read and it's spot-on. And clearly shows there is no "end-all-be-all" from any offering.
Yea, it was pretty good! I do have to say though, even though I am a 1-man shop most of the time, I am finding Avid to not be NEARLY as daunting as many make it out to be. After several smaller projects, I am editing my first film in it. Other than a very basic tactical mistake that's slowed me down, it's been quite painless and more real time than any similar project I've ever done.

I'd really like to get my hands on FCP for a few weeks and give it a thorough run. And it's been years since I've touch Premiere...
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Old November 25th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #19
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Make the switch.

Where Macs shine is in using Apple-made software, because their hardware and software are optimized to work with each other, unlike PCs which can be a crap shoot when dealing with various updates and incompatible 3rd-party drivers. FCP uses system resources with incredible efficiency, and even low-powered systems are useful edit machines (Photoshop uses more system power and RAM running a simple multi-layered document than FCP does for its basic operations). The more effects you pile onto your timeline, the more system power comes into play. Exporting is another area where power makes a big difference. But editing and standard effects and transitions can be done very quickly without much computing power, and plenty of them don't require full rendering to play through with higher-powered chipsets.

But if you plan on doing motion graphics, you'll want a better box. I just bought the newest Mac tower in order to run After Effects, which I couldn't do on systems that ran FCP pretty smoothly.

As a former decades-long PC user, I will only edit on Macs.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
This is the best, most simplistic comparative overview of the major NLE's I've ever read and it's spot-on. And clearly shows there is no "end-all-be-all" from any offering.
Thank you. Feel free to pass it along (with credit of course).
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Old November 28th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #21
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Thanks for all the info guys - My budget is actually more like $3500 which should nicely get me a nicely specced imac 27" and Final Cut Studio here in the UK.
I'd recommend getting this if you can:
BH (Links)

$1900 for a Quad-Core Mac Pro, New. (2009 model). Add a 2TB drive ($150) and 4 more GB of Ram. The whole thing is around $2200 (use your current PC monitor). I just bought one for FCP and it's probably the best deal going. It's a lot more flexible than an iMac. (For example, I also use a Matrox MXO2Mini MAX hardware breakout/h.264 compressor plugged in.) I moved up from editing on a Macbook Pro for the past couple years (edited about 200 videos on that notebook). I shoot with an NX5U so I live in AVCHD workflow. (yes kinda painful on the notebook, but not unbearable.)
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:59 AM   #22
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ok, many years back, I ditched media100 for FCP. I just ditched FCP for Prem Pro CS5. why ? CUDA !

with a QFX4800 ( GTX285 just about as good ) CUDA gives me full time full res full frame rate really real time fx on the same hardware FCP barfs on - 8 core 2.8ghz 12G ram tower.

I crash FCP out probably every couple of hrs. . its easy if you edit deep multi layer projects because FCP is a 32bit app that only uses 2.5gb of ram. anyone who tells you FCP is super stable isn't pushing it with long, multi layer stuff with one ore more filters on every clip ( like even 3way CC for starters ). if you keep it to 1-2 layers of video, and a couple static layers of titles, well it can be stable. FCP will handle huge complex projects ok, I have 2000 clips in one project, and several cuts of a 90 minute show working fine if yo udon't want to count the every few hours crash.

OTH, PP powers thru multi layer TL's with CUDA in a way that badly smokes FCP. I can put on 2 RGB curves with secondaries + blurs on the mattes in RT on 1080p24 clips, no problem. Hit play, full res, full frame rate.

FCP can't edit native EOS h264 files. transcode to ProRes. Eats huge amounts of time and drive space to do so. FCP wants to transcode flavors of EX XDcam to ProRes as well, same deal. PP CS5, just import and play. there are many hours to be saved in native format editing.

adobe may have some cross grade deals for platform change overs -
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 02:25 AM   #23
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My experience with FCP's stability is contrary to yours -- even on an underpowered notebook. Rock solid with lots of layers, filters, Boris and Magic Bullet. It's not a perfect system, but I'd never say it had crashing issues. (With the exception of the known scrubbing bug that was improved in the recent patch.) Using it almost every day I've maybe crashed 10-15 times in the past five years? If you have any pro app that crashes "every couple hours" you have a serious problem -- quite likely somewhere else. (Beta NVIDIA drivers perhaps?) But, I guess I'm getting off topic.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 06:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
ok, many years back, I ditched media100 for FCP. I just ditched FCP for Prem Pro CS5. why ? CUDA !
...
with a QFX4800 ( GTX285 just about as good ) CUDA gives me full time full res full frame rate really real time fx on the same hardware FCP barfs on - 8 core 2.8ghz 12G ram tower.
...
PP powers thru multi layer TL's with CUDA in a way that badly smokes FCP.
...
FCP can't edit native EOS h264 files. transcode to ProRes. Eats huge amounts of time and drive space to do so. FCP wants to transcode flavors of EX XDcam to ProRes as well, same deal. PP CS5, just import and play. there are many hours to be saved in native format editing.
Steve, I'm glad you made this post. I've spent the last several days researching and pondering Premiere Pro (with the Production Pack with After Effects and PhotoShop).

Time really is money and I've been cranking out a long series of training videos with various overlaid graphics on 1080p25 XDCAM EX footage and I'm really looking for a better (and faster) way. Everything you say in your post is spot on. I have to transfer the BPAV folder onto my hard drive. But then I have to take up more space (and waste more time) turning them into QuickTime files and then I'm waiting around constantly for the rendering (to ProRes) as soon as I add my second graphics layer, etc., etc.

The other thing about Premiere is that Encore is bundled in with it and means you can do professional authoring of Blu-rays as well. I've been scouring the auctions for a used 2009 model MacPro tower and, while NVIDIA no longer make the GTX 285 card (apparently), it has a much sweeter price and there are still some available online.

What I was going to ask you about was if you are also using PPro with After Effects and/or PhotoShop. How is the integration between the three? I currently use GIMP (a free application) and Motion plus FCP for my workflow on these videos. What is the learning curve like for PPro? (And After Effects? And PhotoShop?) The time to learn these applications has to be weighed up against the time to be saved in using them. I know there is a Premiere Pro forum on DV Info. And it even has in its title "Cross-Platform". But when I started looking through the threads there, all I saw was PC stuff and PC guys. I didn't see anything relevant to the Mac. (Although I wasn't being completely meticulous about it.) Which is why I've jumped into this thread as soon as I've found someone on the Mac talking about PPro.

While I know that "one day" FCS will be upgraded, there's no guarantees as to what exactly that upgrade will consist of. The same as when the RED company says "everything is subject to change" and then cancels the Scarlet S35 a few months before they were due to release it - after a two-year-long wait. Fair enough. Apple have similarly made no firm promises.

Hence my intense interest in what the learning curves are like for these Adobe products. Adobe are delivering things - right now - which I need and want. I'm just trying to figure out how viable it will be to "buy in" (cost of software, hardware, plus time spent in learning it).

Thanks.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 09:28 AM   #25
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to be specific about FCP : I run 8-12 layers at the same time most of the time in almost any given spot X 30-60 minutes in length. add in 1-3 filters on every clip. I can bring my projects to ANY FCP system and crash it regularly, its not hard at all. my systems are fine with other apps. FCP simply isn't stable with really large complex projects that I do. if FCP is stable for you, you aren't pushing it the way I am.

then there are never fixed FCP bugs : the worst offender is all the premultiply with black render errors that would bite all the time in transparencies. HDV false TC breaks during capture, TC errors in capture, and a few more that escape me. the stabilizier always stabilizes entire clip media rather then the trimmed section. these are bugs I can repro on any system you want to try. they are very real, and major problems.

another way to unstablize FCP - use motion clips in the TL

PP CS5. learning curve is pretty small if you set it to use FCP shortcuts. there are a few things you'll need to figure out, but its not bad.

AE. its not motion, thats for sure. its got a bigger learning curve. there are tons of tutorials out there though, and some online learning courses for AE. you can still nurse motion along while you learn AE. AE -> PP integration is very good. better then FCP/ motion.

encore can burn BluRay discs, but not ones for stamping. considering blur ray is a dead format ( really it is ), thats no real loss.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 10:56 AM   #26
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another never fixed FCP bug : media that gets its path mangled, or the file name of the media file for a clip gets corrupted to be a blank. I get one of those in most projects, especially larger ones. I've got 1200-2000 clips in some projects.

another FCP bug : FCP looses its render files every time you start it up. I normally don't have a problem with this one but I've watched another user have huge problems with this, even after a clean install. FCP seems to corrupt internal paths / file names.

out of memory errors when rendering

doesn't play nice with CMYK graphics files. usually some one gets handed artwork from a client, and just assumes its RGB. if you try to use it in FCP, it'll do it, but with all sorts of wierd problems. FCP should either not accept CMYK files and issue an error message, or fix how they handle these files.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:10 PM   #27
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Thanks for the info, Steve!
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:27 PM   #28
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im a PC guy; my main editors (3) are all FCP guru's. since CS5, we've all been studying working and practicing with CS5. UNLIKE CS4, it works (LOL), and UNLIKE FCP (for the same money), its FAST with MPE.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #29
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Get A Mac

If you want a Mac, go for it. You know you can run Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium and Final Cut Studio on the same box? Many do. How many editors worth their salt do not use After Effects and/or Photoshop? As long as you have CS5, why not put Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 into your workflow too? No waiting around for Log and Transfer guys, just start editing RED, P2, XDCAM and AVCHD. You can round trip from Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 to FCP or the other way 'round without any trouble. Dynamic link into After Effects? An Adobe Premiere Pro rough cut XML export to Apple Color? There are many more workflow possibilities. Why not try it? You've already got the tools.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
another never fixed FCP bug : media that gets its path mangled, or the file name of the media file for a clip gets corrupted to be a blank. I get one of those in most projects, especially larger ones. I've got 1200-2000 clips in some projects.

another FCP bug : FCP looses its render files every time you start it up. I normally don't have a problem with this one but I've watched another user have huge problems with this, even after a clean install. FCP seems to corrupt internal paths / file names.

out of memory errors when rendering

doesn't play nice with CMYK graphics files. usually some one gets handed artwork from a client, and just assumes its RGB. if you try to use it in FCP, it'll do it, but with all sorts of wierd problems. FCP should either not accept CMYK files and issue an error message, or fix how they handle these files.
I was going to buy a new Mac for my buisness. But I also want to be able to do some artistic crazy stuff on the side and in some of projects. This post and all of your posts Steve make me want to learn CS5 (I only know FCP, but I know it pretty well). I will still buy a Mac, but FCS or CS5? I don't have the budget for both (yet)


Decisions decisions...
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