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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old May 9th, 2003, 08:56 AM   #1
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Editing, huh?

I have absolutely no experience is editing video and realize that the time has come for me to start, but therein lies the problem. When I attempt to put together even rudimentary information on what it is that I need in the way of hardware and software, I immediately become bogged down in what appears to be conflicting or at least confusing terminology. Perhaps part of my difficulty begins with this computer. I don't completely understand what I require in ways of capacity, features, etc. Heck, I often feel I barely can manuver its' quirks. Then, add to that, all the complexities of NLE and I feel like Monica Lewinsky at a Billy Graham revival.
I begin to research the software, but then it appears to me that there are so many add-ons and upgrades that I never will find my way back to the basic needs. MPEG-ya gotta be kiddin'.
I guess what I am attempting to say is that trying to get the essentials together here (on this board) will be so ponderous and slow moving that my ability to reason will be gone long before I edit my first tape if I'm left to my own devices.
Of course, this prompts my request for help. I live near Ocean City, MD and would, if possible, meet with anyone nearby for a brief tutorial. Or, short of that, I would be willing to call in order to expedite this dilemma. I should caution anyone foolish enough to respond to this post that he probably will need to spoon- feed the Gerber's to me well before we move on to the filet mignon.

With everyone's best interests in mind,
Tom Markos
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:31 AM   #2
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Tom, I can't be your tutor and neither can I help you over the phone since these are very busy days for me (plus I hate the phone). However, I am happy to give you my advice via this forum. If you're interested, please answer the following questions for me: 1) What are you going to use your editing system for? , and 2) What is your budget?

I'm willing to help because not long ago I went through a similar kind of struggle, so I know how it feels like.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:47 AM   #3
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Well, it depends on what you are going to do, is it film, weddings, commercials etc. How much are you going to spend?

It's not that hard to get you up and running, but the rest you will have to figure out as you go. Simply because you don't have the knowledge yet, and trust me, a lot of people have a lot of different experiences and opinions.

So here is my basic opinion, Final cut Pro 4 (comes out in june) if you have a mac. The reason for this is that it's such a complete package that it's hard to mach it. It is also future proof from the sense that it can be upgraded with video cards SD/HD etc, but it even in it's basic shape it offers pretty much everyting to pull of a DV production from idea to finished product. On top of all this, many people and clients start to consider it to be a professional editing app.

You can also add DVD studio Pro 2 (comes in august) 1.5 is cool right now, since you'll get a free upgrade to 2.0 but the workflow is quite different so by the time you learn it, the new one will be launched.

If you have PC you can choose between Avid Xpress 3.5 (mac has it as well) or Vegas video 4. Avid is considered to be the industry standard, but personally I don't like the workflow in it, so I went FCP. I haven't used Vegas Video 4 but a lot of people like it and it has exceptional audio mixing capability's you can even use it for 5.1 surround mixing. But it's still considered a hobby application by clients.

One thing if you go PC, make sure that you either buy a turnkey system or follow the software's hardware guide lines to the dot to avoid problems. Actually VV4 doesn't seem to be nearly as sensetive about hardware requirements as Avid, but a regular cheap motherboard, RAM etc will cause you a lot of problems.

Just so know Avid Xpress 3.5 is DV only and I think that VV4 is as well, while FCP is everything from DV, SD, HD up to film.

I have a lot more, but hope that you get some ideas at least.

Regards

Akos
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the offer Stylianos.
To answer your quetions:
Budget- I would prefer to keep my current computer for another year or so until I become more familiar with editing. I am willing to upgrade the memory and add a firewire port. Otherwise, let's say I would be willing to spend $1500.00.
Editing use- primarily dance (ballet) performances, recitals, theatre(?), personal use music videos.
The mechanics and application of editing doesn't trouble me as much as just getting started and knowing what to buy so that everything works together complementarily and efffectively. I am willing to stumble through the actual process with a few pointers.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:06 AM   #5
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Akos, thank you for the quick response.

I would love to buy a turnkey system but until I "wet my feet" I would like to try working somewhat with what I have. What you say about the problems with RAM etc. concern me too. Will I essentially be developing bad habits by starting with a simpler system then upgrading later?
Already, you have brought up one of the questions I have troubling me. If I buy the Avid program then I still do not have DVD capability, correct?
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:12 AM   #6
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I assume that you have a PC then, let me tell you that depending on what kind of hardware you have, is probably one of the biggest factor when we talk about workflow, since that's where most of of the stuff goes wrong if it does. Any 3CCD camera should do it, but on your budget it seems more like a 1 ccd chip is all you can afford. You need a shotgun mike, usually Audio Technica have some cheaper models for like $200 I think. And then I would suggest VV4 in this case seem to fit the bill and the fact that it's less hardware sensitive.

And that is pretty much what you need to get started, oh, a decent tripod is good to have.

And last, unless you go for higher budget stuff, you will always run into some form of road block no matter what you do.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #7
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Oh, just saw your reply, actually I think they are going to bundle it but I don't remeber what the price is going to be or how advanced that software is. Of course you can upgrade later just don't expect the workflow to be there, you could get lucky though.

EDIT:
Oh, if you go for Avid, check out the hardware requirements, if you read their boards, people seem to complain most of the time and have the wierdest problems, even with approved hardware. Of course I haven't been there for almost a year now.

I also saw that you have GL2, you are almost set man, just go out and shoot. But if hardware is an issue then go VV4, i personally believe that it will save you lots of trouble in post. All I've been reqading is praise of VV4 on many boards, so I assume that it's some form of indication.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:24 AM   #8
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Hi Akos,
Sorry to confuse you, but I already have a GL-2, filters, extra battery packs, and a tripod on its' way. What I was talking about is 1500 to 2000 for editing related products.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:39 AM   #9
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Yeah, I saw it when I clicked on your name. I edited the message before, so I still think that VV4 would be the easiest way to go, unless your hardware is already compatible with Avid. You can always take the plunge later and buy more advanced stuff.

I have to go to bed now, going to get up early tomorrow and go to Disneyland, yeah baby, lots of fun. Lol, the kid is still alive in me.

Talk to you later.

Akos
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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:59 AM   #10
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Tom, your budget allows you to build a very good editing system since you already have a computer and a camcorder. However, given the fact that you "have absolutely no experience in editing video," I would suggest you save some (serious) money by getting an entry-level editing software to "wet [your] feet", and in a year or so, when you are ready to upgrade your computer, you'll have some more money to spend on a more sofisticated editing program. Because if, for example, you get Avid Xpress DV --about $1,500-- you will be absolutely overwelmed by it, I think. Therefore, I say you get Pinnacle Studio DV version 8 which comes with a 1394/Firewire capture card. From what I have read and heard --not used it myself-- Pinnacle is supposed to be a very capable, entry-level editing software, and one that will prepare you for the next step --it costs about $130. The other thing that you need is a firewire external hard drive to a) back up your media and b) make your projects portable. 7200 rpm Western Digital Drive seems to be a good one and costs about $300.

Now, if money isn't an issue, then get Avid Xpress DV and an Avid external drive, and they will cost you about $2,000.

I use different hardware and software because i've got a Mac.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 01:00 PM   #11
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Stelianos, if I do buy the Pinnacle Studio DV 8, what will I be able to do as far as editing is concerned? What will be lacking?
I find it interesting that you mentioned the StudioDV 8 because I thought it might be a good place to start and certainly doesn't involve a serious investment.
Tom
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Old May 9th, 2003, 01:48 PM   #12
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Tom,

Here is a site where you can find a relatively brief review on Pinnacle DV8. It gives you a pretty good idea of what you can do (and not do) with it.
http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/40/2/1939.html

Even thought this next link is about Pinnacle DV7, it gives you more information and additional links.
http://www.simplydv.co.uk/studio7connect.html

Check them out and if you have questions, let me know.
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