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Old January 11th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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Digitizing: FCP vs iMovie

Alright, here's the deal. A company wants me to digitize some miniDV tapes for them, that's it...just pull the video off the tapes and stick it on a hard drive.

Now, They have requested that I use FCP 4 or better for this. My question to the community here is Why?

Seems to me like it would be faster (system resource-wise) to use a smaller-footprint app like iMovie to pull the video off the tap. Why would it make any difference at all what I use to do that?

Does FCP save the raw footage file in some sort of proprietary format?

Thank you for any info on this.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #2
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use FCP...I was using iMovie as a deck to import and cut footage into takes. I ended up not being able to use any of the realtime editing features of FC due to the audio being slightly incompatible...had to render everytime i made a change of any sort, even just a cut or a resize of the clip. iMovie is evil as part of a workflow...works great standalone (I may just have been doing it wrong too).
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #3
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FCPvsimovie

I second what cole has said. I to had arather large project imported into final cut. And discovered the audio problem the hard way. Other than that imove
works flawless when you wanna go staight to idvd. Which is what i do a majority of my weddings with.

shawn
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Kessler
I second what cole has said. I to had arather large project imported into final cut. And discovered the audio problem the hard way. Other than that imove
works flawless when you wanna go staight to idvd. Which is what i do a majority of my weddings with.

shawn
I think iMovie .DV files lose the imported timecode info too?
Not sure exactly how important that is in all cases, but could be an issue.
Also, I think iMovie is forced to use Apple Intermediate Codec for it's imports, whereas FCP has some better choices.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 12:02 AM   #5
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iMovie does not capture timecode. Not sure the importance of that? Well, if you lose a hard drive, or the clip gets deleted accidentally, if you captured with FCP and had TC, all you'd have to do is pop in the tape and recapture. ALl the footage will fall into place. Without timecode, you are re-editing from scratch.

#20 Using iMovie to Capture for FCP edit

Shane's Stock Answer #20:

iMovie handles the media differently from FCP, specifically where audio is concerned. So it is not a recommended workflow. Here's why...

iMovie captures using DV Stream (.dv) standard which does not use timecode. That is a big disadvantage over the way that FCP captures in that you can't go back and recapture the material at a later date if you need to revisit a project.

The DV/NTSC specification (the one FCP uses) also calls for seperate tracks for audio and video, even if you capture it as one clip. iMovie' DV stream format is muxed audio and video, which means that they are tied together (I can't get into specifics because I ain't no engineer or programmer). FCP is a bit more demanding and captures the seperate audio/video tracks, either in a single media file or as seperate video and audio files. With FCP you could capture video only or audio only because each is defined by the DV specs. while with iMovie you can't.

Also, if you drop the iMovie footage into the timeline, your will get the RED render bar forcing you to render the footage in order to see it...
\
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Old January 12th, 2007, 12:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Ross
iMovie does not capture timecode. Not sure the importance of that? Well, if you lose a hard drive, or the clip gets deleted accidentally, if you captured with FCP and had TC, all you'd have to do is pop in the tape and recapture. ALl the footage will fall into place. Without timecode, you are re-editing from scratch.
yeah, i meant I wasn't sure of the importance of timecode for the person posting this message

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Ross
Also, if you drop the iMovie footage into the timeline, your will get the RED render bar forcing you to render the footage in order to see it...
\
Isn't the "render" option just the audio?
I have imported some files from iMovie and I usually delete the audio (dive movies -- no one wants to hear me breathe) and then the red render bar goes away.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thank you

Thank you guys for all the input. I definately see what the deal is now - I'll be doing it all in FCP not iMovie. Really, was hoping that I wouldn't have to get FCP yet - but it's not a problem.

I wish there was an inexpensive "FCP Digitizer" app for someone who is just employed to digitize the tapes for later editing somewhere else. That would be handy.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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i use iMovie for quite a few things, mostly it is handy for workarounds and some rush jobs and my home movies. i am a big fan of this powerful little program. but i simply would not use it for a professional job. the audio quality is simply not as good. if they are paying you a pro rate, you should give them the best possible audio output, and that would not be through iMovie.

why not FCE, for the price? if you don't need the full features of FCP, you can still get a very powerful full-feature NLE, for a fraction of the price.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Shofner
Thank you guys for all the input. I definately see what the deal is now - I'll be doing it all in FCP not iMovie. Really, was hoping that I wouldn't have to get FCP yet - but it's not a problem.

I wish there was an inexpensive "FCP Digitizer" app for someone who is just employed to digitize the tapes for later editing somewhere else. That would be handy.
On a mac I have used "Live Capture Plus" from squarebox? A company in the UK.

Seemed like a good idea at first -- how hard could it be? The entire purpose of the application is to digitize a tape, produce clips (with timecode) and possibly generate previews.

However.

1) It does not do HD, and the company cannot tell me when it might (and then it might be a whole new product)

2) The thing does one thing. Well, maybe two. But it is so confusing and jumbled up that I would never be able to recommend it to anyone. Definitely money wasted for me.

To add to this, the company is extremely unresponsive, taking over a week to respond to my "do you support HD" email and never responding to my other detailed email at all.

However, their "CatDV" product for keeping a database of your clips/previews etc. is somewhat useful (although the basic version for $75 or so is almost worthless as you cannot exchange data with FCE or I think FCP -- you need the "pro" version for that)

Other similar ones might exist though that work better.
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