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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old November 16th, 2003, 11:08 PM   #1
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AVID Xpress Pro or Premiere Pro? Also, a few more questions

Hi, I've been really troubled lately with what to do when I get around to filming my first indie film. I'm going to be using a Canon GL1 in frame mode and I'll probably use the best shotgun mics from Sennheinser (spelling?) and possibly some wireless mics. Anyway, that's the hardware I'll be using and it should be pretty great once the script gets done and I start filming. But then it struck me, if I'm going to make this something to show in the theatres then will I be able to get it done in the best possible quality using Adobe Premiere 6.5? I then decided that I should upgrade to Pro, which had just recently come out, but then some other question popped up, would I be better served using Premiere or AVID? AVID has recently come out with their new MOJO device that, from my understanding, does everything in real time and aids heavily when adding graphics and/or special effects. But, couldn't I get the same out of Premiere using the Matrox RTX.100 Xtreme? So, now I've come to you, the memebers of the DVinfo Community, with one question. What should I get?

Either:

a) AVID Xpress Pro with the AVID MOJO, along with Adobe After Effects 6.0 Pro and Magic Bullet Suite 1.5

b) The Matrox RTX.100 Xtreme Premiere Pro bundle (AE standard, Audition, Encore, and Premiere Pro), After Effects 6 Pro upgrade, and Magic Bullet Suite 1.5

c) AVID Xpress Pro with the AVID MOJO and the Adobe Digital Video Collection Pro, with Magic Bullet Suite 1.5.

Getting to learn new software isn't a problem for me if necessary, I just want whatever will serve me best. I also have a few more questions. If I use Magic Bullet, do I need to use frame mode? Does Premiere Pro and AVID support 5.1 and above surround sound encoding? What would I be expecting to pay/do to get my movie onto film for theatrical showings? Also, does the HD version of Magic Bullet also support the SD resolutions? Or is it only HD format?

Whew, lotsa questions. But I'm mostly concerned with what to get as Christmas is coming up ya know =).
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Old November 17th, 2003, 06:37 AM   #2
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Avid XpressPro does not support 5.1 sound, if that's important.

YOu might want to work the problem form the opposite end. Talk to the companies that transfer video to film. They sometimes have different reccomendation regarding what they want. THEN work back from there to the best sollution for you.

Remember, transferring to film is going to cost a lot of money. Think about shooting in film and transferring to tape for the edit. You can always conform the neg later.
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Old November 17th, 2003, 05:29 PM   #3
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Ok, but you see, I am unable to get a film setup anywhere in my area, and a MiniDV solution is all I can afford ATM. Any other suggestions/answers to a few of my other questions?
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Old November 17th, 2003, 05:49 PM   #4
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The Magic Bullet documentation says that you should shot interlaced with NTSC if you want to do a film transfer.

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/magicbulletfaq.html
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What are the general guidelines I should use when shooting with video to prepare for Magic Bullet processing?

The main thing is to shoot it like film-no matter which camera you use-paying particular attention to motion and lighting.

Top five things to keep in mind:


Shoot interlace, don't shoot progressive (unless it is a Panasonic DVX100-24p)
Use enough light to keep the shutter at 1/60th for NTSC or 1/50 for PAL (you can use the priority mode for this)
Shoot on a tripod or other locked down device. The steadier and smoother the camera work, the more professional it will look.
Don't use fast pans because this is not very film-like and it can cause stuttering motion at 24 fps.
If you have a camera that supports Cine gamma (DVX100) or adjustable knee (Sony DSR-500 or other professional) this can give you greater detail in shadows and/or highlights which will mean a better looking output once you color correct.
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Old November 17th, 2003, 06:12 PM   #5
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All right, now that one of the Magic Bullet questions is down, what NLE should I get? If I am going to show this in a movie theatre, shouldn't I get 5.1 encoding or would the film transfer people do that for me? Isn't there some plug-in or add-on software I can get for AVID or Adobe if there is no 5.1 support included?
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Old November 17th, 2003, 07:20 PM   #6
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Hey, Jack,

Out of curiousity, what's the meaning of the first part of your signature? Have you overclocked your chip?
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Old November 17th, 2003, 08:20 PM   #7
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Considering it's "h20 cooled" it probably is. 4mhz is... insane. Not as insane as 4.4mhz with phase change (refrigeration) cooling. But that's better than any computer you can buy. go-l.com sells overclocked computers that are 3.5mhz and 3.8mhz (go-l.com).
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Old November 17th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #8
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Also, Jack,

I've always wondered, for those that have liquid cooling for their chips--how does your cooling system prevent condensation?
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Old November 18th, 2003, 10:12 PM   #9
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Well, you see, when you go with watercooling, there isn't a problem with condensation issues. Only phase change cooling gets condensation. Although, if using some insanely huge multi-radiator setup or using peltiers, condensation can be a serious issue. But yeah, my comp can go up to 4ghz@38-40C easy ;). My watercooling setup consists of 2 radiators and an assortment of fans, but don't get me wrong, you can't expect the same results. I just have a good chip. But recently, I've decided to clock my processor down to 3.3ghz as stability is important to me (although I never experienced problems at 4ghz anyway, I just wanted to be sure). But if you want to learn more about watercooling, go to Futuremark.com and look in their message boards. Otherwise, could you guys maybe try to stay on subject instead of changing this thread's purpose? I still have questions that need answering. BTW, here's another!

What would be better for Adobe Premiere Pro (should I go that route)? A Canopus DVStorm 2 Pro or a Matrox RTX.100 Xtreme?
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Old November 19th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #10
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You're looking at two seriously different budgets here, Avid alone will cost you more than the Storm2/RTX set up with Prem Pro. If you then add the Mojo your adding another $1700.

If your final target is film then I would be looking at Avid as it's the industry standard for film cutting and Avid Express EDLs can be imported into high-end Avid systems without any problems. Premiere Pro, as good as it may be, is more of a standalone tool for small productions/prosumer use. There are people out there doing great things with Premiere, just as with Vegas, but if you are targeting film transfer then Avid or sometimes FCP are what transfer/post houses will recommend.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #11
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From a useability standpoint, it doesn't matter which NLE you use. Both are dependant on the quality of the raw footage. I have never used AVID, but I use Premiere 6.5 every day. From personal experience, I can tell you that Premiere is not the most stable of the NLE's out there, but it is still a good product. I've looked at AVID, but decided it was too expensive for my tastes. What matters most is your comfort level with the tools you use.

If you are indeed going to transfer you feature to film, DO NOT USE Magic Bullet (or Cinelook or any of the other "film look" software out there. The utilities change the Gamma , color saturation, etc of the video, and add grain. The transfer process will do all of these things for you. If you use "film look" software on your video and then transfer to film, the movie will look really weird.

If you are going to project your video onto a movie screen, then these "film look" filters will do a good job for you. Beware of looooonnnnngggg render times though...

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Old November 19th, 2003, 02:46 PM   #12
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I would recommend against Premiere for a feature length movie. We *just* got done delivering our final footage to the DVD production house (who in turn got it to FedEx with 5 minutes to spare to be able to overnight it to the replication facility so we can have it in time for our premiere), and we hit upon so many snags along the way, with 90% of them dealing with Premiere's inability to handle really large projects.

First, we had problems with Premiere outputting video that was filled with noise (bad frames, bad audio, etc) that popped up randomly. Then we flat out lost two complete scenes and numerous sound effects and musical scores... dropped right out of the project file, nowhere to be seen. After we worked around that we found out we had too much data for the DVD (this isn't Premiere's fault though), so we had to recompress. And when I was exporting again, Premiere decided to stop giving video at around the 1:30:00 mark -- still had the audio, but the video was black. Checking the timeline, the clips were there but they didn't want to show anything. Restarting Premiere got the video back in the timeline, but it failed to render properly again... at a different timecode, too. We eventually just recompressed everything else a whole crapload more and worked around it. No one can give me any reason as to why any of these problems happened. Except the guy at the DVD production house. His explanation is that (and I'm paraphrasing) "Premiere sucks".

I'm beginning to agree.

When projects get too big, you can barely move anything around because it's so slow. You can't use very large wav files (so don't think you can send your soundtrack out for editing or noise reduction and drop it back in) because it will crash randomly.

I used to really like Premiere. It has worked very well for us in the past... and probably will again in the future... but I wouldn't trust it to anything over, say, 30-40 minutes anymore. I'm in the market for a new NLE now.

That said, I've never used anything by Avid, but I've heard the learning curve is needlessly steep and most things don't make sense.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 03:02 PM   #13
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"needlessly steep, most things don't make sense"

Riiiight. That would be why it's the industry standard. That would be why Premier and FCP recent updates are designed to make their GUI more like Avids. (Most of the new features were already on higher end Avids)

At any rate, you might want to visit the DVFilm.com website for recommendations for preparing your project for transfer to film. They have some excellent reccomendations of ho to cut it (Remember, it has to be cut to fit on film reels, so watch where you put your edits) what filters to use or don't use, things like that. A real usefull site.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 05:11 PM   #14
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Riiiight. That would be why it's the industry standard. That would be why Premier and FCP recent updates are designed to make their GUI more like Avids. (Most of the new features were already on higher end Avids)
Firstly, features and GUI are separate. Whether or not FCP and Premiere have Avid's features doesn't mean they have to implement them in the same way. It could be much easier to do the same thing in FCP than in Avid, or vice versa.

Secondly, like I said, this is just what I hear. Also, being the industry standard has absolutely zero to do with it having a steep learning curve or not. Actually, things that are really powerful and have a metric crapton of features pretty much always tend toward having a steep learning curve simply because there's so many things you can do with it.

And considering that Avid *is* a high-level professional application, I would be surprised if I could pick it up and edit a full length movie with effects and all right away.

It's like trying to compare a $300 palm-sized video camera with a professional 35mm film setup. You're going to have to do things differently.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #15
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"Premiere sucks".
Jon, what version of Premiere are you using? For versions 6.x I would definitely agree that Premiere sucks.

Premiere Pro 7 might be a lot better since it's completely rewritten. (haven't used it)
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