Convince me to stay at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 8th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Detroit MI
Posts: 253
Convince me to stay

I just bought a macbook a week ago (don't get me started on the fact they updated them today) looking to maybe try out Final Cut Pro. To be honest I really didn't know anything about the program except that I know it's popular and I thought maybe it would be good to learn it for my resume.

I've come to discover over the years of using Vegas that most people I talk to have absolutely no clue what it is. I even talked to a guy from a Hollywood company a couple of years ago about my feature film and he asked me if I cut it on Final Cut Pro, I said no, I cut it on Vegas. "What's Vegas?" he asked and then didn't seem to care about an answer.

Well I got a hold of a copy of Final Cut Pro to try out and was surprised to find just how much it's like Premiere, which I hate with a passion. This deeply saddens me as I have heard people use terms like "intuitive" and "the best editor around" when talking about it. I don't get it. In fact when I was playing around with it I didn't understand how to do a darn thing with it. Absolutely no clue where to start or what to do. Every tool and task looks foreign and complicated. How do creative people seriously edit with software like this?
Vegas is fluid and drag and drop and wonderful to the touch, it's just too bad it doesn't have much of a name for itself and Sony seems hell bent on making it a proprietary editor for their products.

So I'm kind of at a cross roads. FCP looks hard and complicated and no fun, but it has a future and helps give me a future. But Vegas is where my heart is.

This is all on top of the fact that I just got a Mac and really like it overall. But I can't use Veas on it unless I dual boot to Windows. Which kinda defeats the point. Part of the reason I bought a mac is be more creative.

I don't know I'm just so confused. I don't want to stay in the windows world but I don't want to give up Vegas and yet I don't want to stay with Vegas as it doesn't seem to have much a future. What to do?
__________________
ScapeFilms.com | My Photography | IMDB Profile
Mike Tesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
It's hard to move from one NLE to another, especially when we've grown accustomed to "where things are" in our NLE of choice. (FWIW I cut on Avid, was trained on Premiere, and occasionaly use FCP) Your description of your frustration with FCP is probably word for word how I felt when I tried out VEGAS on a friends NLE. Nothing made sense and seemed totally 'un intuitive'. (I've got a question on another thread about subclipping in Vegas, that totally amazes me. Something that simple should be easy to do.)

Understand, that the more you CAN do, the more you WILL do. Especially in 'the business'. You don't HAVE to give up Vegas, if you want to learn FCP... or AVID or any other NLE. You have a Mac, so you can learn FCP and AVID. (Heck, you can even download AVID FREE DV and get to know your way around the interface a bit, it's not very powerful, but it is FREE.)

VEGAS is a very popular tool. Especially in the event industry. As DSE likes to point out, there are even a number of television stations using it. But AVID is still the industry standard in Broadcast and Film, and FCP has carved out a real niche in the indy market and boutique procos and Add agencies. IF you want to work in those industries, take the time to learn the NLE's. It won't hurt you, I promise.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... and a better editor.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #3
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tesh
Well I got a hold of a copy of Final Cut Pro to try out and was surprised to find just how much it's like Premiere, which I hate with a passion. This deeply saddens me as I have heard people use terms like "intuitive" and "the best editor around" when talking about it. I don't get it. In fact when I was playing around with it I didn't understand how to do a darn thing with it. Absolutely no clue where to start or what to do. Every tool and task looks foreign and complicated.
1) Since FCP was created by the same person who created Premiere it should feel like it. And, since Premiere Pro is a knock-off of FCP, the two are very much alike.

2) With FCP, you simply capture with Auto Scene divide and wind-up with a Bin (folder) of clips. It can't get much simpler than that in any NLE.

Then you have a choice. Want to work like Vegas, just drag the clips you want into the Timeline. However, it's much better to double-click a clip and it pops-up in the Source window. Now play it and set In and Out points. Just like the Trimmer. Now drag the Source screen to the Canvas screen. Look at the neat list of options. Just let go of the cursor on the option you want. You can even add a transition. The clip will go into the Timeline. It can't get much simpler than that in any NLE.

In the Timeline -- just drag the edges of clips to trim. Slide them around. Drop FX onto clips. Drop Transitions on cut-points. It can't get much simpler than that in any NLE.

3) Part of your problem may be terminology. The problem with starting editing by learning Vegas is you learn a set of terminology that is not compatible with ANY editing system in the world. As different as Avid and FCP are -- anyone can who knows one, can read the manual of the other and totally understand it. (Liquid, coming from Germany has a few differences, but they are obvious -- for example, Racks instead of Bins.)

That doesn't mean Vegas is wrong and the others are correct. Frankly, none of them match reality:

Clips reside in folders, not Bins.

Reel name? We haven't had "reels" for decades!

TC inside an NLR? Silly. Clips are files on disks or on P2 cards or optical discs. It's like wanting to know the "hex" address of a byte on a hard disk. The capture/batch-capture/re-capture software can translate "linear time" back to TC.

Events is much better than clips. But, will be understood by nobody not a Vegas editor.

Envelopes, while very accurate, will be understood by nobody not a Vegas editor.

Plus, the word "non-destructive" through-out Vegas docs may make you worry. You can do anything you want in ANY NLE and nothing gets destroyed. The original media stays intact.

Vegas concepts come from DAWs. For a video editor, these concepts have nearly no meaning. As a cognitive psychologist, this creates a nasty situation called "Negative Transfer" in both directions. The more you know one NLE, the HARDER it is to learn the other. You found that out going from Vegas. I found that out going to Vegas.

There is a 2 DVD Tutorial as part of FCP. Try it out. According to the Avid list, the major editing (except Hollywood) locations are moving to FCP. Some report that every major post house in their city has switched from Avid to FCP. If you are serious about getting work where "others have bought the system," you must know FCP -- and ALL the apps in Apple Studio plus After Effects.

I'm not saying that because I like FCP. I've used all the NLEs from VideoShop onward and Liquid is by far my favorite. But, everyone I know uses Macs and FCP. There's no way I can push my choice on them. I could never get a job if I only knew Liquid. 99% of the time the choice of NLE is not uder your control when you go into the world looking for work.

I run Vegas fine on my MacBook. I'm about to put it on my new MBP+ tonight. And, I'll put Liquid and EDIUS on it. So, you can keep using Vegas -- and still learn FCP.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Though I don't know from personal experience, I've heard that Vegas runs better on a Mac.
__________________
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #5
Kino-Eye
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
[...] TC inside an NLR? Silly. Clips are files on disks or on P2 cards or optical discs. It's like wanting to know the "hex" address of a byte on a hard disk. The capture/batch-capture/re-capture software can translate "linear time" back to TC. [...]
Of course, traditional time code is in fact silly if you're working with clip based media that will always be that. But for those of us who still use tape, it's not. Thus I beg to differ on this one point in an otherwise brillant post. Timecode is not at all silly in an NLE.

I edit many projects that are shot on video tape. Even though I capture the video and store the media files on a reliable RAID, the tapes provide an archive copy of the media and protection against loss of the media files on the hard drive. All I have to worry about backing up is the project file and any non-timecode media. In the event of a catastrophic RAID failure, all I have to do is recapture the media. Without timecode this would be bloody hell. With timecode it's as simple as "batch capture." Timecode is still a valuable feature in this regard.

Why add a layer of translation? If timecode x and y determine the start and end of my clip, that's a mighty fine number to use. If there are timecode breaks, linear time on a tape will not map back to a unique portion of the tape, but if you are using record run time code that always ascends, you're guaranteed to uniquely and accurately refer to clips on a tape. Time code is part of a workflow that provides a robust manner to uniquely refer to frames on a tape. Consumer cameras reset back to zero all the time creating hell on a tape with time code breaks, but if you're recording time code on the tape that is record run that never resets to zero, then you will always have a unique set of numbers on each tape without repeat, making batch re-capture of a complex project easier.

Yes, the trend is a move towards more hard drive recording, P2, XDCAM HD, but videotape, ye olde reliable medium is handy, as it provides both capture medium and archive medium all in one. I'm no big fan of tape, personally, I love P2 workflow, I hate dealing with real-time tape capture, but industry practice changes at a snails pace and for quite some time we'll have tape and a need for timecode.
__________________
David Tames { blog: http://Kino-Eye.com twitter: @cinemakinoeye }
David Tamés is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #6
Kino-Eye
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 455
It's hard changing gears from one NLE to another. We love most (sometimes) what we learn first, but we are adaptable creatures. I used to be a big Avid fan, learned on it, cut projects on it. Then a client asked me to do a project in FCP. After several years of drinking the Apple Kool-Aide and saving money, I stoped worrying. Vegas is a really cool application, if it works for you, then so be it. But if you need to interoperate with facilities and other editors, then it looks like you have Avid or FCP in your future as they share the status of lingua franca among editors.
__________________
David Tames { blog: http://Kino-Eye.com twitter: @cinemakinoeye }
David Tamés is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
With FCP, you simply capture with Auto Scene divide and wind-up with a Bin (folder) of clips. It can't get much simpler than that in any NLE.
Only if you want to clog up your hard drive. Otherwise, you open the Log and Capture window to scrub through your tape marking in/out points and then batch capturing only the material you will actually use.

I just don't want people to read that statement and get the idea that FCP only ingests footage in the manner you described.

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
1- Timecode is not outdated. Many high-end shops use EDLs (decades old) on a daily basis... because it is the most widely supported project interchange format. The newfangled stuff (AAF, XML) just doesn't work well when many programs do not support that. EDLs and deck control (i.e. RS-422) and SDI is the most common language "spoken" by different systems.

2- It doesn't hurt to know Final Cut Pro.

The Apple Pro Training series book on it is like medicine- it tastes bad, but it's good for you. If you already know how to edit, you should be able to go through it and figure out the 4-6 different ways of doing everything in FCP with all the shortcuts. By the end of it, you should be able to push those buttons pretty quickly.

3- Final Cut Pro is popular because

A- It worked (more or less). When it came out, it wasn't as buggy and frustrating as Premiere was. Premiere also happens to be better now that it is a lot like FCP.

B- Good marketing. Part of this is because Apple showcases a lot of high-end users using Final Cut Pro. Some people even think that Final Cut is the most popular NLE for high-end work. This isn't exactly true as Avid is very widely used, but nonetheless FCP does work as a high-end tool and perhaps a big part of its success is FCP's perception as a (mainstream and dominant) high-end tool.

FCP is high-end in the sense that it works well for offline editing on high-end shows (i.e. where people are doing online/offline workflows with EDLs and such). For online editing, FCP is not quite as good as an Avid (Symphony or Nitris) or some of the other systems out there (Discreet, Mistika, etc.).

4- Depending on the job, Vegas does have some useful advantages over FCP. i.e. if you need to do a little bit of everything, Vegas is very good as it has compositing and audio tools built-in. FCP for example is a little lacking in the audio department.

Last edited by Glenn Chan; November 9th, 2006 at 12:58 AM.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 06:33 AM   #9
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Only if you want to clog up your hard drive. Otherwise, you open the Log and Capture window to scrub through your tape marking in/out points and then batch capturing only the material you will actually use.

I just don't want people to read that statement and get the idea that FCP only ingests footage in the manner you described.

-gb-
You are, of course, correct. I was just letting him know how fast he could get a bin of clips.

I said "The capture/batch-capture/re-capture software can translate "linear time" back to TC." In other words, there's no need for the editor to worry about TC when editing clips. Whenever, access needs to made to tape -- software can easily convert Time to TC. If the user wants to know TC, it is instantly available.

Bad TC or TC breakes can be handled just like "bad blocks" on a disk. You always deal with file Names which are mapped automatically to Logical drives which are mapped to Physical drives. The software does all the housekeeping for you. Think of when the software tells you "insert X to drive Y."

The ultimate goal is Google inside your NLE where anything you want in the world can be found and accessed and imported. Google are working on Visual search and Audio search. For example, all voices on your imported media will be converted to text that becomes part of the media's database.

In short, we are moving to Metadata -- not TC.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 06:45 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Timecode is also relevant WHEN CUTTING FILM as are Keycodes, and edge numbers. How much longer this will be relevant... that's another thread. But right now, we still go to the "Movies" and watch film.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 796
Mike,

The bottom line is, whatever tools you are most comfortable with is what you'll be most creative with. However, the more tools you become comfortable with, the more you open up options for creativity. I'm a Mac guy through and through. I used to use PCs but never for video. I've never cut on anything but Final Cut. I have heard good things about Vegas though and now that we have a MacPro, have considered installing windows and Vegas to try it out. I can't really see ever using it regularly though because the fantastic thing about the Mac for me is not Final Cut, rather it's OS X. It's saved us countless hours of headaches and down time.

I think now that you have an Intel Mac, you should learn Final Cut and install windows/Vegas to have when you are in a pinch and need to revert to something familiar.

Despite its market share compared to Avid, Final Cut IS a pro app that is industry standard and understood in the business. I also know a few diehard Avid folks that once they tried Final Cut, switched to it and were quite glad they did.
__________________
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
Director of Photography • Editor • Digital Film Production • 540.915.2752 • daveperry.net
Dave Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #12
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Perry
I think now that you have an Intel Mac, you should learn Final Cut and install windows/Vegas to have when you are in a pinch and need to revert to something familiar.
I just loaded Liquid, Premiere, Vegas, EDIUS 4, and Free DV onto my MacBook Pro. Now that you've made the investment, you have the opportunity to try most all NLE's because of their free trials.

Dave's advice is very good. When you need max efficiency, use Vegas. When you have a project without a deadline, try a different editor.

Think of you new MacBook as a great Toolbox.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Two quick points:
Timecode is near-essential in synching of multicamera or dual-system sound shoots (and by the way, Vegas' clip slip tools for fine sync are the best I've seen!).

If you want to work out in the world as an editor for hire, or find a position at an editing facility, you'd better be good and fast with FCP, and, depending on your market, Avid as well.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Continuing OT on TC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
...The ultimate goal is Google inside your NLE where anything you want in the world can be found and accessed and imported. Google are working on Visual search and Audio search. For example, all voices on your imported media will be converted to text that becomes part of the media's database.

In short, we are moving to Metadata -- not TC.
Steve, these are interesting ideas. And yes, I agree that keyword metadata is becoming increasingly important. (TC is metadata too.)

However, in the world of professional (what does that mean?) production metadata does not offer the promise of making timecode obselete in several functions.

1) Once you rise above a certain size of crew or scale of productions, or style of production, there will always be someone logging takes using timecode (and reel numbers too). Why? Because it saves time and money, and if you are in an environment where time costs money workflow is king.

2) As I mentioned in a post above, use of timecode tools is essential to productive workflow when you have multiple devices rolling in production that must be synced in post.

What strikes me about both these situations is that they involve creative collaboration by a number of contributors. TC gives us tools to make creative decisions at the most appropriate time in the process. Eg., "Take 2 was the best, but be sure to look at take 4, and also the last sentence in take 1, because we can cover with a cutaway."

I've sent out TC window DVDs to clients who want to make their own decisions about keeper takes.

Keyword metadata may promise to find every occurance of the spoken word "microprocessor" or "Mullen" in hours of footage, but it won't tell us which takes are best. We'll still have to make that decision at some point, and for efficient workflow, the earlier in the process it can occur the better.

And how will we tell the next contributor or reviewer where to find that best take? Probably filename and timecode.

So, I suggest that "moving to metadata" does not involve moving away from timecode.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #15
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum
So, I suggest that "moving to metadata" does not involve moving away from timecode.
No one would take TC away!

But, the power of computers is the move from physical addressing to symbolic addressing. In the early `60s an address was toggled into the front panel to read/write an address. I did a lot of machine language programming. But, with an Assembler, an address became a symbolic name. This name was always used when programming. But, when debugging, one used the Symbol Table to get the physical address.

In a similar way, using linear time inside an NLE does NOT prevent access to TC when you want it. Logging is increasingly done by a PDA which inputs TC, yet the operator can work in Linear time.

Not using TC would simply be an option.

----------

Today, with nearly infinite disk storage there is little reason not to capture a whole tape -- an hour is only 13GB which is a fraction of an iPod. Shots you don't want, you delete. I suspect major post houses with their Terabytes of storage don't delete anything. You can buy Terabytes at Fry's for very little money.

With the media arriving on hard disk/optical disc/flash -- there really isn't any limit to storage because the media is self-stored. A Reel Number is silly. A barcode read from the media makes far more sense. An OCR scan of the label makes even more sense.

I was simply showing that with media being bits in files -- and with DI, the same is true of film -- it's odd our NLE's are still talking about, for example, "video style" verses "film style" editing modes. The majority of editors learning to edit -- have never edited either videotape or film.

How many video folks would understand references to "B batteries" or "pentodes" or "cathode" or "grid" or "PnP"?
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:14 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network