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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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FCP X or AVID

I am in the process of choosing an editing platform that we will be using for the next several years for a high school production program I am starting. Prior to the FCP X release, I had decided that it would probably be the best way to go. Now, I am not so sure. With so many people jumping ship and claiming that it is no longer a "pro" product, I am asking myself if AVID would be a better fit.

I want to design the program in a manner such that students can go into an electronic media program in college and know the software well. Unfortunately, we can only afford one.

What are your thoughts?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: FCP X or AVID

Depends if you are teaching editing, or how to use software.

FCPX is a doddle. A professional editor will have no problems with the "editing" part.

Avid is powerful but unless you're earning a living with it, there are easier to use alternatives.

The next TV programme you watch - what was it edited with? How do you know?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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Re: FCP X or AVID

It depends if you're teaching people to become professional editors. At high school level perhaps that's not the object of the exercise, there are also other alternative NLE systems available, so there are a number of options available than these two.

The professionals have demands that your students may not require, it really depends on the needs of your courses and if you require audio track laying that appears to be the weakness of FCP X.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: FCP X or AVID

We've been examining this issue in our community college program. FCP-X is currently a non-starter in our local professional community, so it cannot (yet?) be our primary training platform. FCP-7 is still the primary NLE regionally, and we continue with it after years of training.

AVID can only be (officially) taught by certified instructors. None of our faculty are certified. It is in use regionally, primarily in broadcast.

Premiere Pro is something many local editors are looking at and thinking about for when FCP-7 is no longer viable, so, we are too.

Our goals are perhaps a little different than the original poster's; we are charged with providing training for employment.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:45 PM   #5
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Re: FCP X or AVID

I'm a professional and I have used Sony Vegas for more than 5 years for all my work, including broadcast commercials, TV programs, web videos, etc. It has all the video editing tools you find in the other software, plus a great selection of visual effects and audio tools. I'd think for students the interface is very intuitive and it runs on inexpensive PCs instead of Macs. It does not require a costly video card. And there is a low-cost stripped down version that students can own themselves if they want to. Worth considering.

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Old October 21st, 2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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Re: FCP X or AVID

In very much the same position myself except our emphasis is in sound editing and the relationship with image rather than image editing (though that comes into it obviously). This seems to make FCPX a non-starter from what I've heard / seen. We currently use FCP7 and FCE. To be honest I think we'll do nothing just yet as FCP7 will be in use for a while yet but by academic year 13/14 something will have to give...

Damn Apple, so disillusioned; what a !@$-up.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: FCP X or AVID

I wouldn't be so quick to bet against FCP-X.

It takes a long while to understand what they've done with tearing down the traditional "flat file" video editing software and building the new code on a very agile relational database model, but a larger and larger number of the people I'm communicating with are starting to see the power under the skin of the new beast.

Particularly with regards to audio.

On another board, a pro audio guy just wrote yesterday what was a pretty gushing review of how he is starting to see in FCP-X what he feels he has long been missing in his transformation from a high level multi-track audio guy, into an audio for video guy. He's assembling sophisticated "multi-track" mixes using techniques like single-frame connected clips to lock the magnetic tracks in place, then building connected clip relationships that act like groups of audio sub-mixes that can then be collapsed and used as virtual sub-masters for applying overall compression or audio sweetening.

Stuff it was literally impossible to do with a bunch of non-connected tracks as in Legacy.

The truth of the matter is that while Apple tore down what FCP used to be. The FCP team is now completely engaged in building on the new foundation they took the risk to create. And the new core technologies are just barely starting to be explored.

This is NOT just another video editing program. It's something different. For example, one of the posters who works for Fox Sports indicated that they're doing a lot of their SuperBowl promo work in X, precisely because they can do lightening fast searches by simply typing in a players name (or number for that matter!) and assemble player-specific highlights in a snap. So if you're watching the games, you're SEEING a lot of video that's being served directly out of FCP-X.

If you need the traditional "big suite" tool set, then switching might make the most sense. But I suspect that there's going to be an increasing amount of NEW types of work that a lot of people are going to find can best be done in a newer design program like X.

We'll see.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #8
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Re: FCP X or AVID

I'm not sure if that audio workflow is really one that you'd want to use with high school students to teach them the concept of how soundtracks are built up. The traditional track layout is easy to visualise, which is important when being as a teaching aid, you don't really want to be teaching workarounds that a particular piece of software needs, when it's the principle that's important.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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Re: FCP X or AVID

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I wouldn't be so quick to bet against FCP-X.

It takes a long while to understand what they've done with tearing down the traditional "flat file" video editing software and building the new code...

We'll see.
I'm very interested to see how this plays out. And I don't want to dismiss FCP-X out of hand.

In education, we're not and shouldn't be leading this sort of evaluation. I see our role as responsive to industry trends.

Bill points out that there may be more industry acceptance of FCP-X coming. However, for today, I've heard again and again that the local market perceives FCP-X as some sort of iMovie-Prosumer. I'm not saying they're right or wrong, but our job is to train people for employment, and X doesn't figure into that at the moment. Maybe it will in the future.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 12:50 AM   #10
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Re: FCP X or AVID

I hear lots of talk about professionals jumping to avid... but every film school i've been to has been 100% FCP. So what happens when all those students that only know FCP start getting those editing jobs? They're going to choose FCP. And I'm willing to bet FCP will come out with a few upgrades to make FCPX a lot more like traditional FCP.


So I say go with FCP, 7 preferably.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 02:36 AM   #11
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Re: FCP X or AVID

The professional NLE of choice depends where you live and which sector of the industry you're working in. I know people having positions available involving broadcast editing and they can't get people with AVID because the colleges and universities teach on FCP.

These are high school students, so it's not film school and by the time the ones that want to take it further at film school the NLE's available may have changed yet again. There a number of NLE options currently available and the choice may come down to the budget that's available and the needs of the course.

Professional editors often need to know how to work with more than one NLE, plus learn new pieces of VFX software all the time. It's a moving target, so the main thing is to learn the basics of editing itself, rather than a piece of software that will change. Even the latest versions of Word are different to the old versions.

There's little point on going for FCP 7 now if Apple aren't going to be supporting it in the longer term, always assuming you can actaully buy it.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 02:46 AM   #12
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Re: FCP X or AVID

Why not use Premiere? It's not industry standard but as someone who learned on FCP 6, I found it very easy to switch back and forth between the two, as the basic tools are very similar.

Does it even really matter that much though? Especially at a high school level where you're focus is going to not be so much on the technical aspects but on the basics of editing. I'd almost prefer a track-based editor I think, simply because it'd be easier to teach from (though I haven't spent much time in FCPX yet).

Plus I'd imagine the art department already has licenses for photoshop/illustrator, shouldn't be that hard to tack on a few more licenses for the production premium pack or whatever it's called.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #13
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Re: FCP X or AVID

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Payne View Post
So I say go with FCP, 7 preferably.
Trouble is we tried recently to buy FCS3 which is available but guess what? Educational packages have been discontinued so in the UK it's 850 instead of about 250. Why? It makes no sense - if your going to sell it then do so, properly. And map that cost out across a suite of 50 machines. It's a non-starter and sorry to say it but Apple sucks.

FCX? Maybe and it is interesting what Bill says about audio; at the moment it's a waiting game.
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Old October 29th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #14
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Re: FCP X or AVID

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Payne View Post
And I'm willing to bet FCP will come out with a few upgrades to make FCPX a lot more like traditional FCP.


So I say go with FCP, 7 preferably.
Alex,

I respectfully totally disagree with this. (specifically the part about Apple making FCP-X more like Legacy)

Yes, some of the capabilities they've postponed or de-emphasized will return. But many more will not. Precisely because some of the processes "baked into" Legacy will become less and less relevant to the future of video editing. A clear case is Quicktime output. In legacy it was THE necessary stage for nearly all output and export. You needed that step to display your movie, to burn a DVD and to upload a video to the web. And now it's gone. Quicktime, for all it's importance in the past, is now preempted by better technology (AV Foundation and CoreVideo to be specific)

The whole POINT of FCP-X is that I think Apple wanted to change it because they saw something happening that caused them to see the NEED to change what digital motion content creation has been in the past. So the question is it that they saw?

It was just yesterday that YouTube/Google announced that they're setting aside 100 million bucks to seed their new "Channels" initiative where content creators from Madonna to Shaq to the Food Network will create new destination places for content on the web. That's indicative, I think to a migration of "eyeballs" from TV sets to the Web.

How will people find that content? Search. And what is the fundamental underpinnings of X? A big, agile DATABASE.

I believe there's a clue there as to the fundamental thinking behind FCP-X.

I also think Adobe and AVID are smart companies and will incorporate more and more of these capabilities into their programs over time - but right now, Apple is the only company who has OVERTLY torn down the entire existing product in order to build a new one designed around manipulating digital data in these new "database centric" new ways.

If they are correct, this could well be a killer tool for the new connected model of content production and distribution. For the content creator, instead of thinking in terms of creating "files" that are isolated bundles of static bits, we instead see things in X that look and act more like "streams" of content that live in the NLE and can be adapted and altered as needed in a real-time video serving model. I think FCP-X's "Project Library" is a glimpse at this. Unlike Legacy where finished programs are just essentially dumb ICONS that you have to open to examine or use, in X, the Project Library is a dynamic look at the content that can be not just watched, but scanned, searched, and sorted as well.

If all you need to do is concentrate on teaching your students the skills of creating stand alone "video files" - then any NLE from iMovie to AVID will do just fine.

And if they will be looking for jobs is legacy broadcast or movie making, then they should certainly learn the legacy tools for doing that. But for every movie or TV show being produced today, there are scads more video being made to populate a new internet driven search-centric world on the web.

If you want to teach them how video streams might be seen as just another form of digital content that has to fit into a larger universe of content acquisition, organization, and yes, consumption. Then there's only one brand new initiative that is focused on that broader scope right now. AND it has all the same content creation capabilities of the other NLEs to boot!

Yep FCP-X works differently. And it's just barely being understood how that difference might be nothing more than a reflection of where video is going as an industry in the future.

Just another perspective.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 03:01 AM   #15
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Re: FCP X or AVID

I suspect Apple are interested in a larger market than the professional one, their most successful products are consumer ones like iphone, ipad and ipod. So, it makes sense that they should produce a NLE with professional capabilities (with limitations) which works with touch screens.

If this is the way higher end professionals want to work is another matter. Regarding a database, the Lightworks has an extremely flexible one, with many search functions, so that's nothing really new.

If FCP X meets the course needs by all means include it in the list.

Actually, unless the course includes a lot of visual effects work, the Lightworks could make sense for educational work. It costs $30 a year for educational membership that allows use of professional codecs, the costs are so low that the students could get the software themselves to work at home (without the use of certain codecs it's free). They're beta testing for mac over the coming months. So, if your budget is tight, it may be worth considering.
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