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Best Nonlinear Editing System Report

COW Library : Broadcast Video : Walter Biscardi : Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
CreativeCOW presents Best Nonlinear Editing System Report -- Broadcast Video Review


Biscardi Creative Media
Buford Georgia USA
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


The 2010 NAB Convention had the Post Production world buzzing about the Three A's of the Industry: Apple, Adobe, and Avid. Well, really more Adobe and Avid since they were actually at the show and had something to demonstrate.


ADOBE

Adobe brought their CS5 Creative Suite to the show with some incredible announcements -- not the least of which to me is the ease of integration with other NLEs like Final Cut Pro and Avid. Adobe has decided to "play nice" with with their competitors to make it easier for Post Houses like mine to get projects into and out of After Effects, and other programs.


PREMIERE

Premiere has taken a huge step forward with their 64 bit-enabled Mercury Engine. Much more realtime functionality and you can see in their online demos 4k and 2k material scrubbing and playing back in the same timeline. You will have to install CS5 in a 64 bit system to run, and run an Adobe Certified graphics board in order to take full advantage of the Mercury Engine functionality. That aside, the functionality of Premiere is very much on par to what Final Cut Pro based facilities are used to and the real-time functionality of the CS5 package simply blows FCP out of the water.


AVID

Avid brought us Media Composer 5, excellent in itself, but what really got the show buzzing was their support of Quicktime -- more specifically, Apple's ProRes codec. So now there is the very real possibility of Avid working right alongside Final Cut Pro in the same facility or for sharing projects across facilities. Not only that, Avid's H.264 native editing support refutes everything we've been saying about that codec and Final Cut Pro for the past few years. Whenever someone said they could not get H.264 to edit well in FCP (such as from a DSLR), we would inform them that it was not a proper editing codec, it was a finishing / delivery codec -- transcode it to something else like ProRes. Avid (and Adobe for that matter) is now showing that assumption to be false. Take the H.264 and start editing right away in realtime!

Like Adobe, Avid has a much more seamless P2 / tapeless workflow that does not require transcoding, wrapping to be able to edit with this material. Simply bring it in and start working almost instantaneously. Now the one thing Avid has not done is open up the platform to third party hardware. At this point, you can use the Matrox MXO2 Mini for display only. This means that you can watch your project on a monitor and do a crash record to a VTR or DVD Recorder, but that's pretty much it. There is no support for the AJA Kona Boards or the BlackMagic boards at this time, and Avid was very vague on whether that would come in the future. "The MXO2 Mini is the first step," was their evasive reply during a meeting.

What I would ideally like to do in our situation is install the Avid Media Composer 5 software to work on our AJA Kona 3 based systems. This would allow me to hire any freelancer -- whether they want to work with FCP or Avid -- and we could work in one universal codec, ProRes, so any system could access the media. This is going to be a "wait and see" with Avid to see how willing they are to open up the software to third parties. Right now, to really use the Media Composer software fully, you still need the Mojo hardware and I'm not going to spring for that.


APPLE

So that leaves us with Apple. (sigh) Apple's lone appearance was at the Supermeet. Note I said Supermeet and not FCPUG Supermeet. That's because the FCPUG part of it was dropped -- and in this case, for good reason. Apple sent up Steve Bayes, Sr. Product Manager for Final Cut Studio, to give a presentation. Mind you, this followed the two jaw dropping presentations from Adobe and Avid.

Steve captured our attention for a moment with a mysterious "I've got a secret", but we quickly lost interest when he proceeded to tell us really nothing at all about Final Cut Pro. There was no secret, just more marketing buzzwords about how wonderful Studio is and how many production partners are using Studio or something along those lines. See? I can't even remember much about what he said because it was basically meaningless. Your two strongest competitors take the stage in what used to be the Final Cut Pro Users Group Supermeet, completely knock it out of the park, and all you can do is whiff? I would like to say we heard crickets in the room, but that would be a disservice to the Rio Hotel, so it was more or less silence that greeted this earth shattering "secret" from Apple.

When Final Cut Pro came out, the industry laughed at it. Here's a cheap little NLE knock-off that will never get traction. Apple proved that wrong by offering a very low-cost, yet powerful editing tool that can truly work in all manner of film and television post production. Apple worked its way to the top of the heap in terms of users worldwide, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.3 to 1.5 million registered users (and who knows how many more "non-registered" users). Nobody could match the suite of tools -- particularly with the addition of Color -- for just $999.

Well, now we are all kind of laughing again. Apple's notorious silence allowed Avid and Adobe to completely leapfrog all discussion about Final Cut Studio and left the post-production community wondering whether Apple can keep up. When your competitors can work with your very own codec (H.264) better than your own product -- that's a problem. When your competitors can work with tapeless workflow better than your own product -- that's a problem. When your competitors can work with more realtime functionality using your very own hardware -- that's a problem. Basically, Apple sent up Steve as a sacrificial lamb and really should not even have bothered.

The integration of the entire Adobe Suite has been much tighter than the Final Cut Studio suite for a few years now, but there really wasn't anything to get me to even consider dumping FCP for Premiere. In fact, despite the fact that many of us like to defend Final Cut Pro versus pretty much any NLE out there by saying that it's the artist that makes the difference, not the tool, I never really considered Premiere as a viable alternative for editing. It just never felt like a "professional editing tool". This is probably just a personal bias -- but I just don't hear of very many "pro users" that base their facilities around Premiere.


CS5 AS A PROMISING ALTERNATIVE

With CS5, the Adobe suite suddenly looks very promising as an alternative. Even more so since it runs with all of our existing infrastructure we have in place for Studio. The only change would be to replace our ATI graphics cards with the proper nVidia cards to support the Mercury engine. If Avid opens up their software to all third party hardware, especially the AJA Kona boards, well then, that certainly becomes a very viable alternative as well.

That's one of the beauties of what Apple has actually created -- a very strong third party hardware market that is software agnostic. By concentrating on just the software and computer hardware, Apple opened up the audio / video hardware to multiple independent companies like AJA and BlackMagic who designed their products to work with multiple NLEs out there. And as we all know, FCP / Premiere / Avid all work essentially the same way so if you know one, you can switch to another one pretty darn quickly.


THE SWITCH?

Will I make the switch? I'm not doing anything immediately, although I have upgraded all our systems to CS5 after its release. We ran CS4 on all of our systems as we're very heavy After Effects and Photoshop users -- so we have the Production Premium Suite. When the CS5 bundle gets here you better believe I'll be poking around in Premiere to see how it operates, and just how well it "plays with Final Cut Pro" and how it compares to working with Final Cut Pro. No, I'm going to wait to see what Apple has to show us, whenever that is. They not only have to hit a home run, but knock it completely out of the park.

I want to see a realtime alternative to Adobe's Mercury Engine. I want to see the ease of use of H.264 and other tapeless formats that don't require Log and Transfer with a re-wrapping. I want to see very tight integration between the apps in the suite like CS5. And I would really like to see Apple open up an "ease of use" path for working back and forth with Premiere and Avid systems.

So right now, my feeling, and what I heard very often on the show floor, at the Supermeet and my various meetings with people, is that it's time for Apple to put up or shut up. They set the bar high for a full featured non-linear editing system at a very low price. Adobe and Avid just blew right by them using the same hardware that is available to FCP facilities. Is Apple going to move the Studio suite forward and really improve the workflow for professional editors as the other A's have done, or are they simply going to maintain the status quo with a few updates to just continue to sell Mac hardware? At the moment, Apple's silence is deafening. I'm reminded of the NFL Playoffs commercial campaign a few years ago, "Show Me Something." ... Anything.

Once I can see what Apple has to show us, then we'll make the decision on where we go from there. We're about to grow from 4 to 9 edit suites in the next few months so what we see revealed from Apple will make the decision on where our company goes from here. I'm hoping they hit it out of the park so we don't have to change anything, but it's easy enough to make the switch if that's better for our company.

Of course, the one thing Apple still has going for it is Color. Adobe and Avid still don't have anything to match that. Oh that's right, DaVinci took care of that for them, but that's another blog entry!

 


 

Walter Biscardi, Creative COW Magazine

Walter Biscardi
Buford, Georgia USA


Walter has been a Professional Video Editor, Producer, and Director since 1990. His credits include multiple Emmys®, Peabodys, Tellys, and Aurora Awards. Walter is the Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media, a full service video and film production company in Atlanta, GA. The show you know him best for is "Good Eats" on the Food Network. He is currently in development of two original television series and is the Co-Producer of the feature documentary "Foul Water, Fiery Serpent", narrated by Sigourney Weaver.



EMMY® is the trademark property of ATAS/NATAS.







Comments

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Tim Dowse
Interesting to read this article today, a few days after the release of the new Final Cut :)

I read your scathing FC"P" X review the other day, and having read the two I conclude that it's Premiere Pro for you all the way now, Walter? Certainly we can all see that not only did they fail to knock it out of the park, but the failed to turn up to the game at all.

Interested to know what you think the limitations of Premiere Pro are compared to FCP 7, and what features you'd like to see added? I also wonder, how long do you think it'll take for the industry "standard" to move to PPro?

Or will Avid fill in the gap?
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by dbjones
As an ex BBC Film editor and ABC News (US) video editor, I have been very happy editing corporate video with Premiere.

I like the way I can use the timeline like a film strip and the interaction with After Effects as well as Photoshop. File management is still clunky (EG auto search on current drive for missing media would be nice). As a "pure" editor I feel Premiere can let you do what you want if you get to know it. So I look for more of the same and am pleased to think as I move from CS4 to CS5 that I will have more good editors to talk to about getting the most out of Adobe.
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by walter biscardi
Bob Zelin: I smile when I see people "panic" about the rumor that Apple might sell the Pro Apps Division. I dream of the day that Adobe buys FCP, and turns it into a professional product that is integrated into the Production Premium Suite the way that Premier is. Apple's concern is iMovie (and iMovie on the iPhone 4). FCP means nothing to them.

I would definitely not mind seeing FCP sold off, but I'm not sure I want Adobe to buy it. They would most likely just integrate what they like from FCP and keep Premiere Pro since it's so integrated with everything else. Not sure what happens to Color and Motion then too.

There's another company I've heard mention of in the past that I think would be an excellent move for FCP to grow into a more powerful tool than it is now. Of course the price will have to change from it's current $999 for the Suite and that will create an interesting dynamic. How many people will then purchase based solely on the price of the NLE and how many will purchase for the performance vs. cost return?

It's like me buying AJA Kona products for pretty much everything here. I can save money (a LOT of money in some cases) buying other I/O equipment, but there is nothing that gives me the performance and support after the sale like AJA does, so saving money up front cuts down on the performance of our facility.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by walter biscardi
BTW, Walter gets to have it both ways - he most definitely buys what he needs, when he needs it, even if only for one job. This qualifies him all the more to take Apple to task for not taking this all as seriously as HE does. As always, great work, Walter.

Thanks Tim!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by walter biscardi
@Richard Dee. Broadcast Safe is a good filter, I've used it on many projects both before and after Color came out. You have to know its limitation and you MUST apply the Level Filter after the Broadcast Safe.

Broadcast safe by itself is not the catch all. You need to color grade your shot first and THEN apply broadcast safe to catch anything left that's out of bounds.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by walter biscardi
@Chuck those are very simple galvanized steel pipes from Home Depot with a plywood base. Made them myself for about $10 each.

Sorry I'm so late to the party, I had no idea this was even my article. It had a different title when I originally wrote it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Richard van den Boogaard
Excellent post! I reposted it in several LinkedIn groups...

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

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Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Richard Dee
This is a great article Walter.

I can't remember where I read this, but someone was saying that Apple intends to take FCP more in the direction of the video enthusiast, and not develop as much for the pro market.

I understand that FCP is a miniscule part of Apple's business, but as long as it is still profitable (selling software and hardware) I completely don't understand why Apple would let the entire studio languish the way it has. Did Steve Jobs set out to build a 2nd or 3rd rate computing experience? Where is the passion? Where is the conviction? If I delivered that kind lackluster approach to my client base, I wouldn't have clients.

Quite a few years ago I bought Final Touch/JL Cooper hardware because I thought it was the future of the industry. No one knows how Final Touch would have progressed had Apple not bought it, but clearly Apple has lost it's passion for creating professional content creation tools.

And as someone here posted, I too wish they would sell FCS to Adobe.

And If anyone thinks I am just being harsh or reactionary, just try using FCP's broadcast safe filter. They haven't even invested the time to make the most basic of functions actually work.

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by B.J. Ahlen
[Richard Dee] "Apple intends to take FCP more in the direction of the video enthusiast, and not develop as much for the pro market. "

That, I believe from public intelligence, is a misunderstanding of what they are doing.

The FCS3 code has modules written in Cocoa mixed in with the old Carbon code. They wouldn't have done this if they weren't on a path of rewriting the whole package, because otherwise it would have been easier to modify the old Carbon code rather than investing in redesign. Cocoa is also what allows for 64-bit code.

I think the "video enthusiast direction" is just about Apple wanting to make FCS up-to-date for the next many years. Pros don't care if everything works like it's always worked (just see the Lightworks threads recently :O), but I think Apple wants to move ahead and provide professional capabilities with less of a learning curve.

Whatever Apple isn't able to provide from Day 1 of the new 64-bit code base will be provided by the same eager vendors who have been building up an unsurpassed ecosystem for past and current FCS versions.
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Illya Laney
[Richard Dee] I can't remember where I read this, but someone was saying that Apple intends to take FCP more in the direction of the video enthusiast, and not develop as much for the pro market.

You read that on Apple Insider or someone on Twitter posted it weeks ago. I might have taken it seriously if there was some sort of solid evidence besides "someone at Apple said this..," but as it stands the journalistic integrity of the article is on the same level as Star Magazine.


Motion Design, Color, Editing
SWGC Incorporated
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Tim Wilson
Ilya, Richard wasn't able to remember the source, but it was legit. It wasn't "somebody at Apple." It was Steve Jobs in his suddenly-talkative email mode. "Talkative" is relative of course - in this case, 3 sentences. On Tuesday during NAB, this writer sent at email to Steve:

Steve,

Getting worried about Apple’s interest in Final Cut. Last updates were not stellar. I heard a bunch of engineers were dropped too – give us a sign you still care about Pro Video, not just the iPad.

Thanks,

Alex


Steve's reply:

We certainly do. Folks who left were in support, not engineering. Next release will be awesome.


The whole story is here.

So, take that for what it's worth, but it fits exactly the style and timing of Steve's other recent emails - there was a flurry right around this time, with similar messages, including a "Not to worry" reply following a post-WWDC lament that there was no Mac Pro or MacBook Pro news there.

Now, I've heard people talking about a Q4 release for FCS, but I haven't actually seen anything about that. Anyone else? Because the last updates were NAB 2005, NAB 2007, and July 2009. Seeing a pattern?

Not that THAT means anything either. I'm just saying that Apple has never felt a need to chase anyone in the market about anything - they were late to MP3 players, late to smartphones, late to tablets, and, uhm, 10 years late to professional editing software. I'm no fanboy (as is amply documented here at the COW), but you can see these exact same frustrations vented two years ago, too.

The complaints are entirely legit, of course. But if you need a feature TODAY, you're INSANE to wait for Apple. Buy the other thing for what you need today, then buy the upgrade to FCS whenever it shows up. If you're a pro, you can pay for it in one job. If you're a student, the prices are shockingly low - $295 for a full-featured version of Avid Media Composer. Need it now? Buy it now. Apple will come around...or they won't. No telling. In the meantime, you'll have the client's money, which you can spend on the new FCS in the fullness of time.

BTW, Walter gets to have it both ways - he most definitely buys what he needs, when he needs it, even if only for one job. This qualifies him all the more to take Apple to task for not taking this all as seriously as HE does. As always, great work, Walter.

And back to the immediate response -
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Illya Laney
I was referring to the Apple Insider "pro-sumer" article, not the article with Steve Jobs' email replies.


This one...

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=109644

Motion Design, Color, Editing
SWGC Incorporated
Re: Article: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Chuck Pullen
OT question for Walter. I'm looking for a set of stands for my Rokit monitors, what type are you using in the suites pictured on your site and what's your opinion of them?

Thanks,

Chuck
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Joseph Owens
Have to agree as much as it kills me...
My finger has been hovering over that "download" button on CS5 for awhile now, if only for Encore BluRay.

Unfortunately for Apple, it isn't going to be just a matter of "out of the park", since that is a tie with the competition - its going to have to be off-the-hook in the next county, which, expectations being what they are, won't be possible.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Michael Sacci
I totally missed that apple guy at the supermeet, all I remember was the 3D plugging in FCP.

But I would be fine with Apple just matching CS5 with speed and processing power. I still like FCP and DVDSP over PP and Encore, AE makes my head hurt. The real same is, as Walter points out, all these companies are using Apple hardware better than Apple's software, but better.

I fairly certain that the next version of FCS will address all the lack of performance issues and take full of SL. But we will have to wait probably a long long year before we see it. In the mean time I'm just waiting for iCut.
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Stephen Eckelberry
Well, I am proof of the pudding, as I switched over from FCP to PrPro, which I haven't touched since 1997. Been with FCP since FCP1.
CS5 is a beautiful workflow, but PrPro still lacks functionality and stability. If FCP made it possible to edit H264 & R3D files natively, I would go back tomorrow. But then again, if Adobe comes through with some Feature Requests I put in, it could be a different story.

Stephen Eckelberry
Currently using PP to edit "Sucker" a feature film shot using R3D footage
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Bob Zelin
I smile when I see people "panic" about the rumor that Apple might sell the Pro Apps Division. I dream of the day that Adobe buys FCP, and turns it into a professional product that is integrated into the Production Premium Suite the way that Premier is. Apple's concern is iMovie (and iMovie on the iPhone 4). FCP means nothing to them.

I have said it before and I will say it again - if it was not for AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, MOTU, and all the wonderful plug in companies that develop products for FCP, NONE OF US would be using FCP.

bob Zelin


+1
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Stephen Eckelberry
Don't get me wrong, I really like PrPro, but IMO you are still missing functionality in PrPro that you have in FCP & Avid, like reading audio timecode so that you can sync dailies quickly. Like being able to subclip separate video & audio together, vital for R3D files, since most Red shoots are double system. Stability issues: I have 45 hours of footage, and find it hard to load 1 big project & have to break it into several smaller ones. Also, when a project crashes, you have to start a new one, Adobe doesn't want you to use the same one. In this respect, Avid is the best, it's unbelievably stable. Avid editors make one project per feature film. That's it, all under one roof. Also Avid makes it possible for 5 editors to work on the same project on different computers. FCP has a similar system, not as good. To be fair, there are features about PrPro that I love that the others don't have.
But my point is this: as PrPro moves on up to the east side, it's going to have to buy some new clothes.


Stephen Eckelberry
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Dennis Radeke
For double system sound, the PluralEyes plugin is a public beta and I just saw a demo of it yesterday for Premiere Pro CS5.

As for importing 45 hours of footage into a Premiere Pro project, that could be a problem for sure, but I would say there are a couple of things to employ to mitigate it. One would be to use the Media Browser in Premiere Pro to only load up the actual clips you use. If you're used to importing, loading into the Source view and then using your media, this is the old way of thinking. Browse and load from the Media Browser and only when you've taken the clip to the timeline or project bin, does the clip become part of the project. This will keep the project trim along with the 'remove unused' command.

Avid's database approach to the project is an advantage over Premiere Pro and FCP in this area.

one last point on stability - with the 64-bit native application and the ability to address tons of memory (16GB and above), the question of stability, even on long projects has largely gone away. I believe as more users give CS5 a hard workout on big projects, they will discover this themselves.

Dennis

+1
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Mahmud Lund
just responding to the comment on loading 45 hours of footage. I had this problem also with CS4 and 40 hours of HDV, and solved it following the tip from the forum to keep closing sequences when not in active use. I now have all footage in the project, but typically only 8-10 sequences in the timeline window, each sequence is seldom over an hour even before trimming. Simply click the x in the sequence tab when you're not actively using that sequence, it will no longer be active in the timeline window but is still available in your project window whenever you want to work on it again. That has enabled me to work relatively smoothly ever since.

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Scott Sheriff
Bob
"I have said it before and I will say it again - if it was not for AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, MOTU, and all the wonderful plug in companies that develop products for FCP, NONE OF US would be using FCP."


Well, I say speak for yourself. I haven't felt the impact of Apple ignoring FCP to work on consumer bling. And I'm not addicted to plugins, so that isn't why I like FCP. I like it because it works, it's reliable, and I don't need everything I do to look like a Michael Bay film.
But, whatever floats your boat. If your not diggin' FCP feel free to move on, but that doesn't mean everyone is doing the same.




Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by B.J. Ahlen
[Bob Zelin] "if it was not for AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, MOTU, and all the wonderful plug in companies that develop products for FCP, NONE OF US would be using FCP. "

Well, that is indeed FCP's main strength. An unmatched ecosystem, which is a good enough reason to use it, besides it costing $1,500 less than MC.

Avid on the other hand is the best for what I call "elbow-editing" (editing on-the-fly without being slowed down by anything). I never thought anyone else came close, and now with MC5's MXO2-monitoring I'll use it more.

Adobe PP's strength on the um, third hand is, ah, umm, well, uh, eh, aaaah, well it is better than it was five years ago...

Does PP's linking to AE work in actual long form use now, as opposed to just in short demos?

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Shane Ross
[Bob Zelin] "if it was not for AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, MOTU, and all the wonderful plug in companies that develop products for FCP, NONE OF US would be using FCP."

What would we be using? Adobe doesn't make hardware either...so if it weren't for Matrox, and now AJA and Black Magic, who would use it?

What makes NLE software PRO is the ability to capture and output professional formats...to and from tape, and digital files. Without the hardware, FCP and Adobe would SERIOUSLY be behind Avid. But because third party people make the hardware, those apps are pro. Minus them, they are all "prosumer." We'd be stuck outputting to DV, HDV or DVCPRO HD via firewire.

But it is true...if it weren't for the hardware, I'd be all over Avid. But because so many companies believe in FCP, and make the hardware, FCP is a great solution and still my favorite one. I don't give a RATS PATOOTIE about "native" format support. That's for people who don't know any better about professional formats. H.264 should NEVER be touched natively.

Shoot, I'd better read that article before I continue to comment/rant.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Tony Manolikakis
The majority of the NAB announcements show that everyone is changing in response to what Apple has done in this market. They are adapting their products and workflows to play "nice" with FCP. If Apple is "behind" at the moment it's not significant and there is no reason that we should feel "behind". Any perceived gap seems relatively simple to bridge. To me, if Apple falters the next move would be Smoke.

As for Resolve vs Color, personally, I'm not convinced that Resolve will be as much of a game changer as some think, the truth of the matter is that Resolve failed as a high end colorist tool and simply making it cheaper won't make it better. Though I am sure most FCP based facilities will add a Resolve license if for no other reason than to have one. Also, the argument goes both ways, if Resolve helps Adobe by providing a higher end grading system, then it helps FCP just as much

Tony Manolikakis
Rev13 Films
Re:Mercury Engine?
by John Pale
I've been reading reports that the Mercury Engine does not really work well with capture cards (Blackmagic, AJA)?

Here's a thread (there have been others)

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/124/874037

Does anyone have any first hand experience?
Re: Re:Mercury Engine?
by Illya Laney
Just read that thread. I think my favorite part is,

"I can have 8 720p video tracks stacked on top of each other,"

The only time I've ever seen 8 video tracks on top of each other is when I used to be an FCP/Avid tech tutoring film students. So is the Mercury Engine just going to encourage sloppy timelines now?

I want to hear Uli's take on the BMD/AJA issues.

Motion Design, Color, Editing
SWGC Incorporated
Re: Re:Mercury Engine?
by Uli Plank
Sorry, I'm under NDA here.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
"That's for people who don't know any better about professional formats. H.264 should NEVER be touched natively. "

Never is one of those words which can be problematic.
While a homogenous ecosystem is long term great, particularly in SAN and archival workflows, there are industries where immediacy is key. Not having to convert to a homogenous codec is a real benefit to a large segment of the market.

I can potentially see where broadcasters, which seem to be relying on cameras which seem to be destined for H264, needing to edit right away, but ay the same token needing to maintain a footage library.

So cut your first packages native, and drop the source media on a gateway to the SAN for common denominator access for recuts and archive.

Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Rob Grauert
"That's for people who don't know any better about professional formats. H.264 should NEVER be touched natively."

In my opinion, it shouldn't even be RECORDED! hahah. Not for a professional production anyway...

Rob Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
command-r.tumblr.com
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by rene hazekamp
The poor way markers are implemented in PPro makes the program pretty much unusable when you're editing long form documentaries and most types of drama.
For music video's (but who still makes thm nowadays) it's a pretty good alternative


René Hazekamp

portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
Hey Renee...

Let's talk about that.

I'd like to know how you use them and what PPro lacks.

I's been doing mostly short form motion graphics heavy stuff for a a bit now....so my head is out of that game.

What do you want them to do?

Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by rene hazekamp
Bit weird to start a discussion about PPro, Finalcut, Media Comp and markers on a Color forum, but okay.

I believe you still get only numbered markers (and just plain markers) in Premiere,. Named markers like you have in Avid MC 1-5 and FCP would be an improvement. The way markers are in FCP (and Avid) is pretty good, I also like the extra comment space, the duration Markers and the color markers, but the last two kinds are not really necessary.
An improvement would be if you could easily export those markers to a database ( with large documentary projects I use Bento, works fine) but even better would be if you could sync scripting) your project with a Database,
Because the find functions in both Media Comp and Final Cut aren't very good or fast or both.
(but avid I'ven't used for a while)
there was company that made software to script those relations between editors and dbases, but I believe they went bankrupt.

hope this answers that part of he question

René Hazekamp

portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
Rene...

This is a cross forum post....

I'm actually reading/responding from the PPro forum. :^)

I agree about what you said with the markers....and just finding material in general.

Add some functionality to CATDV and it might be close an ideal.

it seems like a very hard problem to tackle...

If the information is in Project, searching can happen only at the Project level.

If the information is OS level...now your talking about files and not "clips" or relevant context instances as they are used in the projects themselves...i.e. the same file can be marked up differnt ways per project.

It's like you'd need a OS (or in a workgroup server side) app that can parse project files for relevant clip metadata and keep that in an external DB.

hmmmm....


Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
Hey Rene...

check this out:

http://www (dot) gridironsoftware (dot) com/products/flow (dot) html

some potential here....

Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by rene hazekamp
Hey Alex

Flow is certainly interesting software, but it exceeds my needs and it doesn't do what I want when editing, or maybe it does, but then that isn't clear.
Let me give you a corny example,;
You have to edited a program about the Beatles, they have interviewed 5 people for 1 hour. If you are lucky (or insistent) you get transcripts of all the interviews, (really handy when things get complicated)

In an editor (FCP, MediaC or what ever) you can set markers in the clips.Usually an interview is a very long clip.
So, Person 1 is reel 1 and he talks about the beginning, the end , ringo star , paul, john and ringo again.,
for Person 2-5 it's more or less the same.
If you could export this info(these markers) to a dbase you can very quickly find in which reel at what timecode people talk about Ringo or Paul or John and you could even set up some sort of relation with the transcript files. (I mean a relational dbase = but that might be overkill)

This really pays of when you have over 30 hours of material.

and it's doable
Because the sad thing is, is that what I describe you can do in Sony Vegas, it's true. You can script Vegas in a way that it automatically exports to FIlemaker. (A friend of my did this)
And in Vegas you can even type marker names without stopping the playback of your clip,
pretty amazing.
However the flip side is, that you can't edit in Vegas unless you are autistic and never have interact with the outside world. (besides Vegas is unstable, ugly, and it lacks a whole bunch of other things)

I hope this made clear why you really need markers in an editor and what more would be nice in this respect.

René Hazekamp



Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
No...I totally got you before on the needs. And I am an editor as well, so this is not foreign to me.

I wasn't suggesting that this was a solution.
But it starts to deal with file usage in projects.


Here's another cool OS level approach:

http://www (dot) getphonetic (dot) com/

Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Stephen Eckelberry
For me, if Adobe could fix the dual system subclip issue, I would be happy. And yes, inteligent markers. There are little things that bug me about Pr, like why doesn't the CTI move back with you when you make a ripple edit or an extraction? Or why, if I forget to turn off video track 1 when I am doing an overwrite edit to add music to audio track 3, does Pr erase my video on track 1? I can't see what purpose that serves, it seems like some relic from the linear world.

But all in all, considering that I am editing a long form, with hi-rez 3830 x 2160 footage (and some h264 5d b-cam stuff thrown in) without the need to render constantly or make downconverts and some sort of online process later to recreate my edit, I can't complain too much.

Stephen Eckelberry
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
"Or why, if I forget to turn off video track 1 when I am doing an overwrite edit to add music to audio track 3, does Pr erase my video on track 1? I can't see what purpose that serves, it seems like some relic from the linear world."

Funny you should point that out...

It was actually added in CS4.
Enabling multiple tracks selectively allows you to control what ripples, overwrites or extracts in a multitrack edit.
We didn't use to have this function and I remember it being a long standing feature request and point of contention to those that came from other boxes.

Maybe there ought to be a global pref set that deals with track patch and CTI behaviors so people can just set it up to behave the way they want.

Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Stephen Eckelberry
"It was actually added in CS4.
Enabling multiple tracks selectively allows you to control what ripples, overwrites or extracts in a multitrack edit."

That's pretty funny. Yes of course, in a ripple or extraction I want to be able to control what tracks I do it on, but when adding a track I don't see the point. In any event, I created shortkeys to turn off video & audio tracks, then turn on the ones I want.
BTW, Getting more and more OT, but I can't find a shortkey for changing the source audio or video track. I have to use my mouse everytime. Target track no problem, I set shortkeys for those.

Stephen Eckelberry
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by Alex Udell
"That's pretty funny. Yes of course, in a ripple or extraction I want to be able to control what tracks I do it on, but when adding a track I don't see the point. "

Oh I misunderstood...that does seem wrong.


Alex
Re: Best Nonlinear Editing System Report
by walter biscardi
[Joseph Owens] "if only for Encore BluRay."

UGH! For Play Only it's fine. If you want to create a menu, forget about it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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