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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #1
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NLE Discussion

Hi all,

I realize there are many discussion threads regarding NLE and I also realize I'm posting in the wrong place...well, not entirely. My questions aren't for a specific format or platform (Mac or PC). I want to discuss NLE editing on both Mac and PC. I've only edited on a Mac (FCP) for a very short amount of time (about an hour and a half). I don't have much expderience, but all I can say is that that hour and a half was absolute bliss.

The reason for this thread? I am in the process of making a big decision. Stay with Premiere Pro and upgrade to the Production bundle or switch to Avid Xpress Pro or FCP.

I don't want to make an ordinary "What's better, blah blah blah, or blah blah blah?" thread. I want to discuss NLE, my style and my preferences with the rest of you and base my decision on the information I get from those who have the same needs as I.

Well, I've been editing video on NOTHING BUT Premiere (since verison 5.x). I've grown accustomed to it, and I have a love hate relationship with it.

Love it because I'm COMFERTABLE. I know it. It seems to work for the most part, but it does have its major drawbacks. For example:

Premiere Pro does not have TRUE 24p CAPTURE and EDIT. This is something that I need. I have an XL2 and I shoot exclusively on 24p. PP2.0 says it has corrected this problem. Sounds fine and dandy.

Premiere Pro isn't the standard and job's never ask for Premiere Pro editors. The oly editing positions I see open require either FCP, Avid and sometimes Vegas.

This of course isn't the programs fault. I love premiere, I'm comfertable, but at the same time I'm not sure if I'm cheating myself by nothing switching to a more commonly used or a standard industry editor such as FCP or Avid.

The features on Avid and FCP are jaw dropping. It's a tough sale.

The problem isn't in which Platform to use, Mac or PC. It's what editor to use and if I should make the switch to a Mac and use that editor in the Mac.

The bad thing is, If I want to switch back to PP, I can't. PP isn't for Mac's.

I'm going to buy the Adobe Production bundle regardless (AE, CS2, Encore, etc). I can get it for half the price (my friend is a college student and can the student discounts) and I can also buy the Avid Xpress Pro editor for $200 (yes, the top of the line Avid editor!).

I love premiere so much, I'm scared of making the switch.

Here's what I do:

I work as a cinematographer and video editor for a company called Kolibri Art Studio. I do a lot of filming (one man crew). I work on various documentary/advertisement style videos.

I also will begin to do weddings for extra money.

I'm also a filmmaker. I do short films. It's not a hobby. This is my career.

Avid and FCP seem to be very similar and both very powerfull.

It's hard for me to explain myself in writing, but what I'm trying to say is, is it worth losing Premiere Pro? I'm so comfertable with it I can learn any new updates in a matter of hours.

I hope this sparks some interest in people. Reading others points of views will definatly help (especially those with far more experience than myself).

-Roger
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #2
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If you're comfortable with Premiere Pro (which it sounds like you are) then I don't see a reason to switch. Out of curiosity, if anyone knows, does Premiere Pro 2 support 24P?

If you feel you want to switch, here are some things to consider:
1. You mention you work for a production company - what are they using - it would make sense to use something similar to them.

2. You say you have a love/hate relationship with premiere Pro - what are those things you hate? Just the lack of 24P?

3. In the end, you can probably save money by going with the Adobe stuff.


Personally, I use Final Cut Pro and I chose it for a couple of reasons and I also, like you, came from Premiere Pro. I chose it because all my friends were getting Macs and they're pretty much the standard now for professional work especially at the higher level. Also, you can't beat the stability of a Mac running FCP - I've never had any issues with mine. Lastly, I shoot many events using multiple cameras and FCP 5's multicam capabilities are awesome. I know the new version of Premiere ripped this feature off, so differences are narrowing, but I am really happy with FCP.
You mention you're afraid of not being able to go back to Premiere. I have not looked back and I'm sure you won't miss anything. However, you may want to go to your local Apple store and try out FCP and have someone show you all the things it does before you commit to buying a Mac and FCP.

I have never used Avid or Vegas, so hopefully someone else with more experience in those programs will chime in.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 08:15 PM   #3
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Actually, the company I work for isn't a production studio. It's an art gallery and the owner hired me to document the company. THey are't just an art gallery, they also do their own printing for artists. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Giclée and Serigraph printing, but that's what I'm here for. To document that, among other things.

The company doesn't have ANYTHING in regards to editing systems. The only reason they do now is because I use my own.

Let me restate a comment:

"I love premiere so much, I'm scared of making the switch."

I don't love it as much as that sounds. I'm just very comfy.

The lack of 24p isn't the only thing I dislike.

Premiere's rendering is horrendously slow, even on a decently fast computer.
The whole interface bothers me. The way you manipulate fades is crap. The audio controls SUCK. Keyframing isn't all that impressive. It's actually very cumbersome to me.

The color correction system blows. Hands down, I dislike it 100%. 95% of the time I export my clip as a filmstrip and do it Photoshop.

Actually...saying the things I dislike makes me realize how much I don't like it. There's very little that I do like about the program.

Editing as a whole just feels and to me IS very cumbersome.

But the MAIN thing I loath about PP is the lack of 24p.

Looking at the new features on PP2.0, it seems that it's ripped EVERYTHING from FCP and Avid.

Premiere has always done that, but they never actually nailed it or improved upon it. The support for Premiere lacks.

I guess I came off as loving premiere so much is because I've been using it for over 5 years. I know how to deal with all the BS it gives me. I know what works and what doesn't.

In reality, it's learning a new program that scares me. Now knowing how to overcome obstacles I wasn't expecting.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #4
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I agree that many new things in Premiere are taken from FCP - it was the first thing I noticed when I started using FCP a few years ago.
I also hate to say it, but if you don't like the interface in Premiere Pro, you may not like FCP's because they're very similar.
Like I mentioned before, I think it would be a good idea to try FCP at a store before buying it along with a computer. There are also rumors of a new version coming out at NAB, so maybe waiting for that would be good.
On the other hand, I've found that going from one editing program to another, even between Mac and PC, is very easy - they all do things in a very similar way, so in the end, it's the editor that counts a lot more than the software does.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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I think I'm in the same boat as you... I have been using Premiere on and off for a few years now, and I'm contemplating switching over to FCP. I like FCP, and have always liked it, plus I enjoy a mac better than a PC. I jsut don't want to learn it all over again!

I've played around with FCP and I love the feature set and the interface is very easy to work with (similar to Premiere in many aspects). Right now, I can either take my existing PC, P4 2.8 GHz (Non-HT), 2GB RAM and many IDE Hard disks and buy Premiere Pro studio for $1699 and get Photoshop CS2, or I can buy a new Mac G5, use my existing LCDs,... there's about $2000, then I'll need to upgrade the hard drive capacity and redundancy of the G5 in it's cramped case, then buy FCP for about $1300? I think? It's definately going to be an investment if I switch, but I've always steered towards Mac and the Apple platform when making decisions. When I bought my laptop recently, I just fell in love with the 12" Powerbook, and I never regret a single dime I spent on that wonderful piece of hardware.

I'm really just starting out working with videos professionally. I'm starting a business on the side, mainly doing weddings and school/church events to help supplement my income from my normal full time job. I don't really need the money, but I have a lot of fun working with videos on Premiere. I'm sure I will love FCP, but like you, I can't quite convince myself (yet) to switch. 24p is not an issue for me right now, because I'm shooting with a Sony VX2100 and a Canon XL1s

Anyone used the color correction tools in FCP? I'm interested to see how they par with Vegas (from what I've heard on these formums, Vegas has unbeatable color correction for the PC NLE). I played around with Premiere Pro 2.0's color correction, and it's OK, but Vegas is better... at least that's what I picked up from the limited time I got to use the demo.

I'd love to use Lustre, but that's a little above my price range for color correction :) Maybe FCP compares to Lustre (HA! I wish...)
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Khalil
On the other hand, I've found that going from one editing program to another, even between Mac and PC, is very easy - they all do things in a very similar way, so in the end, it's the editor that counts a lot more than the software does.
I definitely agree with this statement and think that this should be considered a profound statement in your decision making Roger. I too was a long time Premiere user. I started on 6.0 and worked my way up through Premiere Pro 1.5. Then I bought a DVX100A and my world completely changed due to 24P. I love the format too, and since I am a PC user I decided to switch to Vegas. I'm not going to try to throw Vegas into your choices, but my point is that learning a new editing system generally isn't that hard. Are there moments of frustration because you don't know exactly how to find the controls you want? Sure. But editing is more about understanding the concepts and general features, not about a particular NLE program. I'd recommend switching if nothing more than to diversify yourself. Like you said, professionals call for FCP or Avid experience, not generally PPro. Unfortunately I have very little experience with either of those programs, so I can't contribute to the conversation in regards to those programs. Best of luck in your decision making and please let us know how it turns out.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #7
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I haven't actually done heavy amounts of colour correction with FCP, but it's a pretty easy to use system where you get to adjust the colour for highlights, shadows and blacks, each with its own colour wheel as well as a few other things. I'm sure there are screenshots online, or I could post some if you guys want.

Speaking of Lustre, does anyone know anything about learning how to use it? I can't find any information whatsoever about it, not even a price (which I assume means it's so high I don't want to know what it is :P). Does anyone have any advice about pursuing this program? Or is it more of a hardware and software system that work together - seems more likely because at Autodesk's site, they don't mention any system requirements, which leads me to believe it's a whole system instead of just a program.

Anyways, back to FCP - like I said, I never had problems learning it before eventually switching to it. If you need 24P and other features FCP has, switching won't be difficult and will allow great editors to unleash more creativity if there's nothing holding you back. As I said before, it won't MAKE you a great editor, but from the experience you both mention, I can see it being a great expeience since it's good to know more than one program.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Khalil
Speaking of Lustre, does anyone know anything about learning how to use it? I can't find any information whatsoever about it, not even a price (which I assume means it's so high I don't want to know what it is :P). Does anyone have any advice about pursuing this program? Or is it more of a hardware and software system that work together - seems more likely because at Autodesk's site, they don't mention any system requirements, which leads me to believe it's a whole system instead of just a program.
From my understanding, Lustre runs on a normal PC, but has some expensive hardware that must be purchased (pieces costing like $35,000-$65,000) then the software that all controls it on top of that. My guess would be $200,000 but I never really looked into it.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:03 PM   #9
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FCP's color correction is mediocre. The interface really drives me nuts, and there are no curves (you can try Nattress Film Effects though).

2- Lustre is somewhere around a few hundred thousand dollars to buy. So that may be why you have difficulty getting information on how to use it.

Final Touch is probably in your price range though ($1k for SD version, several thousand for the HD version plus possibly another several grand for a control surface). Final Touch isn't that mature though in my opinion... there are lots of things about it that aren't as good as it could be.

3- Personally I prefer Vegas. It's more powerful than Final Cut (and presumably Avid). The audio tools are top notch. Color correction is very good, about as good as Final Touch and better than Premiere, Final Cut.

You may be able to get a good workflow going where you finish everything in Vegas. However, if you learned Premiere first you kind of have to unlearn everything- Vegas operates pretty differently. The sticky for the shortcut keys at the top of the vegas forum here might help, if you want to poke through the demo.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #10
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I have a hard time with Vegas... a very hard time because I've edited in Premiere for as long as I've edited! I've used FCP in very small amounts, and it was old... like version 4.

I just can't get used to Vegas' timeline view. I agree its better, but I'm so accustomed to Premiere/FCP I just can't handle it! Of course, I got the demo around Christmas time, and didn't have enough time to really play around with it to learn the interface.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #11
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A few hundred thousand eh, better start saving up - in all seriousness though, how do people that know how to use Lustre working for top studios learn how to use it? I'm assuming there have to be courses somewhere, even if someone will never be able to afford it on their own budget, it would be nice to know. The university I attend is one of the only few in Ontario, Canada that have a Film production program, and I haven't heard about Lustre around here.
Sorry to take this off topic, I'm just really curious about this elite software I've heard so many people speak of. What's all the extra hardware for?
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #12
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It has something to do with the real-time production I think.. instead of having to render everything you can do it in real time (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

I'd love to learn Lustre, but there's no way I'll be able to afford neither the hardware, mush less training anytime soon.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #13
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Same Issue- Can't get the feel for Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Weeks
I have a hard time with Vegas... a very hard time because I've edited in Premiere for as long as I've edited! I've used FCP in very small amounts, and it was old... like version 4.

I just can't get used to Vegas' timeline view. I agree its better, but I'm so accustomed to Premiere/FCP I just can't handle it! Of course, I got the demo around Christmas time, and didn't have enough time to really play around with it to learn the interface.
I have the limited version of Vegas that comes in the Movie Studio +DVD Platinum edition. I am having the same problem getting a feel for it, and find myself back at the Premiere Pro 2.0 editor doing my projects.

Incidentally, I saw this question in thread earlier, PP 2.0 has presets for 1280x 720 24p, and DV 24p. I ve not used or had any experience with either of them.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #14
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Even though Premiere is very similar to FCP I can clearly remember being very comfertable with the interface back in college. I only used it for about an hour and a half to two hours. I think it's a good idea for me to try FCP before I make any kind of decision. This is a big decision and I want to make the right one.

I also agree that it's not the software, but the editor that counts more. I don't believe having the latest and greatest tools makes you by far better than anyone else or improves your abilities over night, but it helps! What I'm looking for is really comfert and compatability.

Lets keep this discussion going. Very interesting.

Mike, I know exactly how you feel when you talk about buying a camcorder that is has 24p and not being able to edit it natively. The exact same thing happened to me recently when I bought my XL2.

Moments of frustration are inevitable and in all honestly, very fulfilling when you overcome the obstacles.

The more I research and think about this issue and reading the responses, I'm started to get less intimidated on switching editing systems, be it Avid or FCP, I don't think I'll be disapointed.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #15
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I also find the titler in Vegas to be very frustrating. I love the titler in PPro 1.5
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