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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:41 AM   #1
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Premiere or Final Cut for Feature Films?

We're just finishing editing the feature in Premiere CS3. Never again, but obviously we're finishing this project in Premiere. There's got to be better program.

We've even tries two very different computers, but still have the same problems. Sound effects like equalisation, etc., randomly cause sound distortion. We had to split the movie into 4 parts of about 20 minutes each. Trying to edit the whole film on one timeline was practically impossible, due to crashes.

We don't use any plug-ins (not even Cineform). We add some colour correction (either fast color corrector or color match), the occasional sound EQ or denoiser, some slow-mo, using Premiere's new feature (can't remember the name).

To finish it off we imported the parts into one separate project. Very unstable. We are trying to export in so many different ways & discovering so many bugs, it's not funny. On v3.1.1 we found exporting upper field first caused all sorts of weird picture stuttering (a few frames being repeated over & over). We tried exporting to tape, but after 24 hours eventually realised it had probably crashed as the hard disk was in sleep mode, but the processors were still showing 50% usage, so probably stuck in a loop.

We have the Master Collection, and for so many thousands of dollars we're spent, we expect dramatically better downconversion from HDV to SD DVD than Premiere provides. It's a disgrace - output is very soft and many artifacts. I could (sort of) tolerate that output from Windows Movie Maker, but not something I've paid for.

We're not going to go through the pain of Premiere again.

So, should we change to a Mac and Final Cut Studio for our next feature? I realise that Macs do crash, despite what so many Mac enthusiasts would like to think. But is FCS much more practical than Premiere for a feature length film in HDV?

Last edited by Colin Pearce; May 21st, 2008 at 04:15 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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My comment would be that HDV is not appropriate as an editing format for a full length feature film.

As an acquisition format - sure, but as an editing format - no way.

Transcode your media into something better to edit and you would probably have far less problems in EITHER Final Cut or Premiere.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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Working without Cineform in Premiere is like playing Water Polo with one arm tied behind your back..
If you've got export issues (web, DVD etc...), it's Mainconcept that needs to be approached..Premiere is an intermediary..It simply hands over the information to Mainconcept.
Right clicking on the audio tracks allows to open up Audition/Soundbooth for serious audio work..But i'm sure you're aware of this...Working with anything but a .WAV/.MP3 track will only cause headaches..

I find that Premiere needs to be researched ahead of time for specific workflow. Unfortunately, it needs to be configured ahead of time, and you need to do lots of reading to avoid headaches ahead of time.

I'm assuming FCP relieves most people of this headache...At least, that's what it seems like.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Parkes View Post
My comment would be that HDV is not appropriate as an editing format <snip>
It annoys me that Premiere claims it is an editing program suitable for HDV.

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Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
I'm assuming FCP relieves most people of this headache...At least, that's what it seems like.
So Mac aficionados would have us believe, but I need the reality to justify spending thousands on new hardware and software.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Colin, Cineform may very well help, but I thought I'd just throw in my many years of experience with Premiere, (since v.5) view. First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. And while I haven't used the CS3 package, over the years I've used Premiere and PPro in a variety of systems, many of them home brewed, and including both Matrox RT and DigiSuite accelarators, and I've had very few problems. I've edited longform projects in HDV, and with HDV in an SD timeline. I even tried, and succeeded in simple editing of MPEG 2 footage, (i.e. files ripped straight from a SD DVD) and PPro 2 held it's own up to about 90 min.s and it really doesn't/ didn't do regular DVD mpeg2.

I've also edited similar things in FCP 5.1. In the mixed format, HDV on an SD timeline, I find myself going to PPro 2 because it's faster, though still slow. OTOH, because FCP is created by the same company that creates the OS, and also builds/integrates their computers with a pretty small list of different hardware components, it is bound to be more stable. And I haven't used ProRes yet.

Actually, right now, I use a Macbook and OSX and WinXP with Bootcamp, and have had good results with both FCP and PPro. Again, sorry for your problems, Windows and PPro can sometimes argue, but isn't a given. BTW, you might get help from some of the more tech oriented guys if you mention your system specs, OS version, RAM, etc. Anyway, good luck.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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FCP does not come without its own share of problems.

Forget about audio editing in FCP. You can't even set the global levels for an audio track there. Not even mentioning the track effects. True, you can move to Sountrack pro, but if you are used to working in Premiere, this roundtripping might become a hassle.

Or don't even try importing mp3 file in FCP - you need a converted wav or aiff.

Or image sequences.

Some things are better, some things are worse. Let's say that I gained new appreciation for Premiere Pro after I started editing in FCP.

But indeed FCP is much more robust than PPro.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Pearce View Post
Trying to edit the whole film on one timeline was practically impossible, due to crashes.
Did you try Premiere 3.2.0? It made significant improvements to how it handles HDV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Pearce View Post
It annoys me that Premiere claims it is an editing program suitable for HDV.
You're not alone; I've seen other posts about people splitting their features into 20-minute projects to work around crashes in Premiere.

But FCP has plenty of problem reports working with native HDV, too. And I know that Vegas 8 is worse based on personal experience: it can't handle even fifty 24F/30F files on a timeline without crashing (acknowledged by Sony but no fix after six months).

All three have been used to cut full length and complex features, so it's possible, but you have to follow certain unique quirks to get the best results out of each one.

Vegas: use Sony cameras or an intermediate.
FCP: use ProRes as an intermediate or split into multiple projects.
Premiere: use Cineform as an intermediate or split into multiple projects.

Most features have been finished on Avid, and they don't even *bother* to support many of the HDV formats (e.g. 24F/30F). But even for their supported formats it's recommended to transcode to their intermediate codec.

I think you see the trend.

EDIT: One more thing. All these Windows NLE are 32-bit. That means they only have a maximum of 3 GB of memory to work with, even on 64-bit operating systems with 16 GB memory. At some point, *any* project will grow to the complexity that the memory limit is the problem, and the NLE cannot be improved enough to compensate for it. I don't know if that's true for your project, or if your crashes were the more garden-variety type. It's funny, because NLE is one of the very few applications that *really* benefit from 64-bit, yet none of the vendors have bothered to invest the time in rebuilding their software. A host of other application vendors have done it, but their applications don't really need it as bad as we do. I can only guess that these NLE vendors are using a bevy of old or third-party libraries with hand-optimized assembler. Time for them to take out the 32-bit trash and give us the memory we need.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Yes, it's not so much that they don't support HDV - rather that HDV is an ACQUISITION format, NOT an editing format.

It's not really designed to be cut in an intensive, commercial setting. Of course, clever people at the camera companies have made it able to be cut so they can compare it to DV, and the makers of NLEs have had to pick up that burden and let people cut it natively - but it's actually a REALLY BAD idea to do so - especially in long form narrative projects, ESPECIALLY if you are doing anything more than just simple cuts (and seeing as it looks like you are trying to do finishing rather than just offlining it sounds like this is what you are doing?).

In this case - it is literally your workflow (and perhaps Premiere's lack of native conversion software/intermediary codec?) that's causing the issue more than one particular editing program.

You'd be asking for trouble in Final Cut, Premiere or Avid with such a workflow
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bart Walczak View Post
FCP does not come without its own share of problems.

Forget about audio editing in FCP. You can't even set the global levels for an audio track there.
Use the Channel Mixer for Global volume changes. It's under Tools, I believe.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #10
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Use the Channel Mixer for Global volume changes. It's under Tools, I believe.
No Channel Mixer in FCP. There's only simple Audio Mixer, and it allows you to:
- adjust master volume
- adjust a given clip volume and pan on a track.

What I'm saying that you cannot easily set an output level for the whole single track of audio. You can do it via levels, but it works only for the selected clips.

If you are used to being able to lower general level of music track in Premiere, this lack of functionality takes time to get used to.
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