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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.


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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #1
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Editing software compared.

Fist things first...
I'm a real newbie, I have nothing.
No camera, no software just nothing.
But, I am planning to buy a camera (I think the xl2) and everything else I need like a trypod and software etc.

My question is, what software to buy?
I'm thinking about buying Sony Vegas + DVD bundle or Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 or Matrox RT.X100 or maybe Avid Express Pro.

What I (think) I need is good color correction, good 5.1 sound positioning and able to burn to dvd.

I think the matrox and liquid edition are nice at realtime 3d effects etc. but does anyone need them? I can't imagine using these effects if someone tries to make professional films.
Avid should be the best software (academy awards), but it looks like Vegas would be the best option.

I still don't know what I'm gonna film, but I think it will be documentaries (wildlife), maybe weddings/ music video's/ real movies :D

Can anyone give advice?
I can't find any good reviews about the things I think I need in the software.

Thanks!
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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #2
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Avid.. but its expensive and requires authorised HW for any kind of support (here in Aus anyway)
Liquid is ok.. but wierd in its setup, does the job, background rendering is ok, but you can do this in Vegas manually (ie open anotehr instance of vegas, open teh same project and render out regions of your work, while you continue to edit on the other instance of Vegas5. i do this quite often... I also find the filters are far more powerful in Vegas compared to anything else..

Edius Pro 3 is a good system too.. very simple to get into.. reminds me of a cross between Vegas and PremPro... offers a different kind of filter range.(region filter, colour changes (also in PremPro) soft focus... very VERY fast for sw.. much faster than Vegas easily.. but nowhere near as precise a workflow as Vegas..

Premo Pro.. rtx100.. meh.. i was gona do this for the realtime then i got over it.. i dont need to preview al my work in "realtime" when i cant even run a looped video and tweak as i go along (like i can in Edius and Vegas) I dont consider that realtime.. realtime to me is literally running a clip in realtime and making adjsutments as i go along.. THATS realtime.. and on top of that.. the RTX/PremPro STILL need to create pre render clips to give u that "realtime" output basically wasting more HDD space (ive got 2TB but if ur starting out u wont need that much) as well as the fact that youre rendering.. so realtime... well its a questionable marketing ploy and your opinion of realtime.....

Another thing is that despite its power.. as Prem Pro IS a really REALLY powerfule editor.. i hate the way PremPro has a zillion friggin windows.. i jsut dont like it.. it really does break my creative flow.. obviously people will disagree with me.. but i really dont like its "flow" What i can do Vegas and Avid in half a day would normally take me 3 days using Prem Pro and all its submenus and navigating through windows etc etc
Yes its good.. but only if u can handle the copious amounts of farting around to get a task done..
I use prem pro regualarly.. but for personal stuff.. i jsut use Vegas.. for broadcast, i use avid..
Most of my clients use PremPro.. so i have no choice with that one..
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Old February 13th, 2005, 06:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Peter!

But why is avid such a good program?
Form what I can see at their website, it's not much different from Vegas, but a lot more expensive.
Vegas has no hardware option for rendering etc. like avid...is it worth the extra money?
I have not seen anything from Edius Pro 3, I will look into that.

I've looked at Edius Pro 3....I can't find anything about sound.
It looks like there is no 5.1 sound support.

How do all programs work with an external TV for preview?
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Old February 13th, 2005, 06:44 AM   #4
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Hi Johan
If you want to try Avid for yourself look for a download called Avid Free DV. It costs nothing and will give you an idea of what Avid looks like and how it operates. It's a pre curser for Avid Express. All you need is a P4 computer. It gives you 2 video tracks, 2 audio tracks and I think 15 different effects.
Good luck
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Old February 13th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #5
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I'm an avid user, and love it. However, you mentioned 5.1 sound, which is not currently supported within the Avid interface. So if that's a deal breaker, you should look at Vegas or PremPro(?).
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Old February 13th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #6
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for 5.1, i would go with Vegas.. hell i DID go with vegas.. i used to use Hardware Dolby Encoders after jobs were passed through a ProTools LE system..
I ditched Pro Tools as it really didnt offer me anything that Vegas and Soundforge didnt.. mind u this was over 3 years ago when the is used to be the Sonic Foundry SoftEncoder (ie standalone Dolby encoder)...
You can get Dolby and DTS out of Pro Tools (avids audio sister) but its through th elinked use of nuendo and virtual channels and then u can jsut pop those files into Nuendo to process...
Bit of a hassle..

But for a streamlined and well budgeted surround editor, Vegas is far FAR more superior than PremPro and Liquid 6, which both offer 5.1 mixing... but not as refined as Vegas..
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Old February 13th, 2005, 09:17 AM   #7
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forgot to mention, Edius DOES NOT do surround..
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Old February 13th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thanks all....

Phil / Richard:
I'm going to download the free version and see if I like it...but no 5.1 :(
I want to be able to use one program now, and use it for a while.
If I allready know the sound will be a problem....why try it?

Peter:
If I buy Vegas+DVD Production Suite, it comes with Sony Pictures Digital AC-3 Encoding software.
Is this 'real' Dolby Digital?
What would a DTS encoder cost?

As for the workflow, can I use two computer monitors and a TV for preview?

One little thing...can vegas import photoshop files?
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Old February 13th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #9
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If you really want 5.1 surround sound then Vegas is probably the way to go, but that may involve some compromises in other areas. I've tried Pinnacle Liquid Edition and was not impressed: they make a big deal about their "background rendering," but I found that to be more of a nuisance than a benefit. Plus it's got a quirky interface and possibly the most useless help files of any computer program I've ever seen, although that may have been improved in the latest version.

I currently use Edius because it works well both with and without hardware acceleration, and can do true "real time" editing in the sense that most changes don't require any rendering to view full-quality results. But it is true that Edius currently lacks support for 5.1 audio and a few other advanced features, so it's a real mixed bag of pluses and minuses.

Adobe Premiere Pro appears to be the most widely used and supported editing application for the PC platform, so you can be sure of having a full range of accessory plug-ins and lots of training material. I haven't used it much but may give it a whirl soon, as their partnership with Cineform offers what is arguably the best solution for editing HDV source material.

Avid just seems overpriced to me, end of story. About the only reason to go that route would be if you want to apply for a professional editing job, where there's a good chance they'll expect you to know something about Avid.

In the end the best way to decide is to download everyone's demo programs and spend a while with each trying to do some basic editing. You'll figure out pretty quickly which programs suit your personal style and editing needs, and that's something none of us can tell you for sure.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #10
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If I understand you right Kevin.

Don't use liquid edition:
- Background rendering wont be used, weird interface.

Don't use edius:
- No 5.1 what so ever.

Don't use avid:
- Too expensive.
- I dont want to apply for a professional editing job.

So it will be Premiere Pro or Vegas.
- I cant imagine me useing plugins...maybe color correction...are there other useable plugins?
- Training material...don't know if I need it, will know when I get working with the software.
- Both are able to do 5.1 (vegas better).
- No HDV for me if I buy the XL2 (Sony has CineForm Connect HD for vegas too)

I think it is going to be Sony Vegas + DVD bundle....now I only need a camera :D
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Old February 13th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #11
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Yeah, I think Premiere Pro and Vegas would be my two top picks for your situation based on features, even though I haven't really used either of them. You might give Liquid Edition a try just to see if it suits you better than it did me; some people seem to really like it. Edius is good if you want to get basic to intermediate projects done quickly, but until they get the audio support you want I guess that's off your list.

Premiere Pro is pretty much *the* application that people develop plugins for on the PC platform, and then if they have time they work on modifying those plugins for other editing solutions. After Effects is Adobe's ultimate tool which reportedly integrates nicely with Premiere, in case you need something like that.

Connect HD for Vegas won't give you the real-time HDV editing capabilities which Aspect HD delivers in Premiere Pro, but then that doesn't really matter if you're not shooting HDV.

I wouldn't personally buy an XL2 today after seeing what the Sony FX1 can do, but that's a whole separate topic. You might want to see if you can get your hands on an FX1 for a day before you make that decision...
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Old February 13th, 2005, 02:04 PM   #12
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If you could make 6 seperate audio tracks, you can make your own 5.1 with any program. Export each track as a mono WAV and bring each into Soft Encode or BeSweet and encode to 5.1 WAV or AC3.

Personally I live by Premiere for editing so I'm too biased to respond about editing. I wouldn't want to talk you out of something you're already interested in.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #13
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My impression is that he wants a program that NATIVELY supports 5.1 sound. Which limits his choices somewhat. When I was shopping for an NLE, I was looking for one that had native support for cutting and matchback to film. Avid was the logical choice. I was also looking to master the 'industry standard interface' (a term used by the marketers of Vegas) and that was Avid as well.

This is why it helps in these discussions, for people to make up their laundry lists of needs by priority.Cost,interface,features, support, etc. Because all of the programs are designed to edit video, they come from different paradigms, and have enherrent strengths and weaknesses.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #14
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About the 5.1 thing.
From what I can see is that Vegas can use a mono wav and let it 'fly' from, lets say, front left to back right.
I cant think of an other video editing program that can do this as good as vegas.
I want to be able to shoot an flying bird that flies into/over the camera. What other way is there to sync it with 5.1 audio?
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Old February 13th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #15
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For me, I can do much better color correction in Vegas than Premiere Pro.

Tools/filters available:
Vegas I've found has a strong set of color correction tools. Gripes about Vegas would be:
Secondary color corrector doesn't have smoothing option. You can hack Vegas to smooth the secondary color corrector out, but it takes a lot of button pushing. Maybe I should make a script for it.
Layering tracks with alpha/opacity and masks takes a lot of rendering. (Not as much as Magic Bullet though...)
No motion tracking.
No HSL curves.

Premiere Pro does not have a secondary color corrector. You'd have to get color finesse for that (about $600USD). I've never used it though.

Workflow:
Vegas is very neat as effects can be put on video output, tracks, individual clips, or on the original media. This can save a lot of time as you do not have to apply the same filter/effect and settings to everything.

Vegas also has a clipboard for still store, and effects bypass.

Vegas is also very quick at duplicating/superimposing video onto itself.

The masking tool in Vegas rocks (not a lot of button pushing).

Premiere Pro as far as I know doesn't have time saving tricks like this. However, you can get Automatic Duck for it so you can color correct in Combustion or After Effects (if you have lots of money, that might be useful).

Speed:
Premiere Pro might be the same speed or slower? I haven't used it much so I can't say.

You can see some of the color correction I've done in Vegas at http://www.glennchan.info/Proofs/proofs1.htm
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