Hey folks, I'm trying to finally invest in both a new computer and editing software that will allow me, for the first time, to be able to edit, play, and work with my Canon DSLR video files. I've had my camera for years now and yet my progression with it has literally not went anywhere because I don't have a computer capable of doing anything with the raw files and I haven't bought really any programs able to do anything with the files. I'm at a stalemate. The most I've done is of coarse practicing editing with photographs and getting the most I can out of the experience.... and of coarse, simply learning things online about editing for the film look.
Now, I believe I'm what you'd call an editor who's entirely new to to the interface game, but truly needs software that allows for many professional or semi-professional means of editing video:
1. Color Correction - Probably the most important editing element in this business. That's why I truly want software that allows me to turn Cinestyle for example into something that "pops", also allowing me to play with the lowest and highest white and black values individually, and overall giving me intelligent ways to get the perfect white balance for the shot and all the shots that line up with it. With all that being said, I wouldn't mind also having features that can sometimes very intelligently think on their own, think of the time it could save if a program somehow could save the type of look I'm generally going for in the project and apply it to all the other shots that were shot with the same white balance, exposure, location....
2. Stitching - For me, professional stitching is where you have the option to cut a shot at the millisecond you need it cut. In my editing style, the shots line up with certain tempos or notes in the musical score, and there's others that have action where the shots simply must change right when an ax is chopping off someone's arm in a horror film. Of coarse, slacking off is always great when a certain scene's cut timing isn't all that important from second to second, so I'm not saying I'd cut my footage at 5 seconds, 7 milliseconds, and 2.75 billiseconds every time, but sometimes (most of the time), you just need that feature.
3. Soundwave - What would anyone do without having the soundwaves a general guidance to where a scene's shot may transition or whatever? Of coarse, you should always record at least a very rough sound on your camera with the native file, so you know where the sound is supposed to go anyway, but sometimes you have music files, voice files, or sound effects that you just have to add after the fact, and having the soundwaves visible in the editor helps a lot. Even a feature that may help you discover and mark the tempo or beat of the musical piece may help too.
4. Formats - Obviously, a big editing format you hear about is ProRes. I'd bet there's others. But as well, you have the formats that your footage also gets formatted into in the end, wether it's a format designed for DVD, designed for best Youtube use, designed for best TV use, designed for best theater use, whatever it is, I would hope that whichever software I use can format the files as needed for so many purposes. On top of that, it's a given that I'd want software that's capable with Canon files, Panasonic files, maybe even a RedOne file or two, who knows. And especially on top of that, you want a computer that can handle the files! However, predominantly, I'll be working with Canon.
5. Sound Editing - Now, there are other programs out there for getting your sound to be just right. However, if a video editing program can do this, why not? I recently saw on Final Cut Pro X's webpage about surround sound editing (such as what your film would sound like in theaters) and if it can do something like this, why not?
6. A professional, easy timeline - You just need one, what else can I say?
Now that's really what I need. The things I don't need are any sort of technology for CG rendering, green screen, any sort of "explosion" effects, you know, all that stuff. I just don't need it, those things won't be in any of the shoots I do. If I need any of it, I'm sure whatever software I choose will have stuff that would look good on a goofy commercial or comedy short film, but I won't be needing any of it for my professional shoots, it's just not my type of genre. And as far as professional CG goes and green screen goes, I won't dare touch it, the stuff is just way too savantly complex for me, and by the time any of my films need CG or that type of thing, I believe I'll have the budget I need to hire a graphic artist and editor. But that won't be for years to come.
So what type of software and hardware do you guys recommend? So far, I've just been researching Apple computers and Final Cut Pro X all day, and so far I like what I see, but I don't know if I like the price, and I don't know if there are better alternatives out there. I'm sure not a build-my-own-computer guy, at all, so I'm not sure if picking and choosing custom hardware would be an option for me unless a website or electronics place really helped me out on what to get (and then put it together for me!). It's where I'm thinking Apple might be my best route, but I just don't know. What I will say is that I don't think my current laptop (Windows Vista, HP Pavilion, completely filled memory and slow-as-heck processing) would do absolutely anything without a large amount of money also invested.
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07-05-2012 08:55 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
07-05-2012 09:53 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I'd recommend you sit down with a few people who have different packages and see what you like the best. There's really no right or wrong answer to your question. I personally have a Windows 7 64 bit box with an i7 Processor, an NVidia GtX-570 and 16G RAM. I use Adobe CS6 (have the cloud student subscription at $30/month). For that amount I have access to the entire Adobe Suite which includes SpeedGrade for color grading, After Effects for Motion Graphics, compositing, etc, Premiere Pro for editing, Audition for sound design, etc.
I can edit my AVCHD off my GH2 realtime with this system, color grade in realtime, and render quickly. I just editing a RED 4K Raw project and at 1/4 resolution I can work realtime.
But I'm a Windows guy. What are you? If you prefer one Operating System over another you're probably smart to stick with what you know.
You also get access (with the CS6 Cloud subscription) to Adobe Story Plus which adds a pile of production features to the regular version including scheduling, etc.
07-06-2012 02:11 AM
I've worked as a editor on a TV station. I worked on news programs and reality shows using avid News Cutter.
For me the editing program must be intuitive and NOT get in the way of creative editing. I don't want to have to click there and there to get to a function,
I want it at my finger tips, ie. the keyboard. The most important part of the editor for me atleast is the timeline. Not how many functions the program has, etc.
Avid is THE editor for me. I've tried most of the editors out there and none of them can come close to the fluidity of working with avid.
When working with avid, if you are experienced, it's going to look like you're playing a piano on your keyboard. You can be so
fast that people will have a really hard time following what you're doing.
Trust me on this one, if you will ever get used to work with avids timeline you wont want to work with anything else. It's not just
the timeline though, it's the whole experience of editing with avid. But timeline is the most important thing when talking about fluidity at least.
I talk to a lot of people about NLEs and which one is better... And everybody has their favourite. It really depends on your preferences and on
what kind of person are you. But Avid is an industry standard for a reason.
Anyway all NLEs have 30 day trials for you to download. Avid Media composer 6, Premiere pro cs6, FCP7, Sony Vegas, Lightworks (free)...
As for the milliseconds: you can't be more precise then 1/25 of a second or 1/30 if in NTSC or 1/24 if doing film.Sanjin vajger
Media productions KINOKS
EU / Slovenia
07-06-2012 04:29 AM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I was basically you about 4 years ago (except I've always had a computer). I didn't know anything about video editing. So I started out with Windows Movie Maker which is free but very limited, but it got me started and hooked me on making videos. I quickly outgrew WMM so I decided to give Sony Vegas a try and never looked back. So I admit I am very biased towards Vegas mostly because it's what I know best. If I had started with FCP, Premier or whatever I'm sure I would probably be biased towards those.
With that said I recommend Vegas movie studo HD platinum 11, it can be found from 70-100 bucks and will do everything you requested and more. I personally think Vegas is very intuitive and easy to use. Nothing about the interface feels tedious or arduous. And nothing can match it's bang for the buck value.
But FCPx, Premiere Pro or Avid (and others) would also suit you needs perfectly, but there all very expensive compared to Vegas and since you are just getting into it I would buy something that costs around 100 bucks.
Here it is at B%H for 100 bucks (but you can find it a little cheaper if you shop around).
Everything else is going to cost significantly more. And I defy people to watch my videos and tell what NLE I used without knowing before hand.Visit my channel to see my latest videos
07-06-2012 11:47 AM
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Premiere Elements will do most of what Premiere Pro does for $70 http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere-elements.html
07-06-2012 11:50 AM
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
30 day free trial http://www.adobe.com/products/premiereel/tryout.html
07-06-2012 12:25 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
Premiere Elements isn't even close to the feature set of Premiere Pro CS6. The OP said mid-level workflow, not entry-level. I'd technically only classify the difference between mid-level and high-level (whatever that means) editing as a workflow difference, not a change in product.
Tons of professionals use FCPX and Premiere Pro as their NLE. Vegas not so much. Almost no independent filmmakers use Avid.
07-06-2012 03:59 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
For me, mid-level is really just meaning that beyond wanting quite a lot of control over color correction, and options to help me line up the color correction to the point where it matches from shot to shot, I don't really need much else. Basically, the complexities with color correction involve a lot of details. One may want to change the color tone of the whites only. One may want to give a slightly dark blue tinge to the blacks only. Everyone's going to want to find the exact contrast that gives the scene a reality. No one's going to want to sacrifice detail. Many would want to control the contrast and color tone in individual ranges across the spectrum. There's so much when it comes to color correction and pulling detail back into the picture, and I don't want to skimp out when it comes to this. There's a million videos across Youtube that show what happens when people goof around with color correction, and I don't want a set of options that limit me to something that looks like I edited it in Windows Photo Editor. And one thing that FCPX doesn't seem to have, is the "image stack" option, where you can judge your screenshot’s skin tone by pulling up another reference shot and hovering it over half the image. Many editors hate FCPX cuz it doesn’t have that, like FCP7 seemed to.
Beyond that, having intelligent features for slow-mo, sound editing (splicing, EQ, directional), the timeline, formatting, the intro/outro text, and things like that are usually a must too, and will be a must for me. Generally you probably won't find intelligent features for those things, especially the color correction options, on entry-level softwares, but I could be totally wrong. I mean, you guys know what I generally need, if I were editing this sort of thing (---> http://vimeo.com/34519354 ) the really all I would need is some pretty complex color correction / exposure options to make it look that good, and beyond that, my editing style won't really move beyond that. At most, maybe I’d add a layer of noise to my footage like the video above make it look more filmic. The only other things I'd use in my edits is a good sound EQ/directional editor, a good timeline, intelligent slow-mo for footage from cameras like RED or others (or even able to make 720P 60P look good slowed down), and the ability to add some customized, really good opening and closing text. Bout it.
Overall, FCPX has literally almost everything I could want, but it's missing a few essentials like the image stack or the ability to tweak your footage after the "smart match" has done its work. Who knows, maybe FCP7 would be for me, seeing as how many folks liked it better. Just, the thing is, I won't be working with CG at all (unless you count the intro texts) and I think it'll be a hot day in heaven before I really work with green screen. If very intelligent features for those two things make the difference between mid and high level editing, I'm definatly a mid-level type of guy. I would imagine that softwares that cost $1,000 and above are really softwares that are actually most meant for those two things (seeing as most Hollywood, or even indie, films have some sort of CG or green screen somewhere down the line) and I just won’t have a need for it because A. It’s a whole new field to get into (if you want to do it right) and B. My style of writing and filming just doesn’t call for projects like that, ever. So if I can save money by purchasing software that has what I’m looking for but leaves out what I’m not, then it’ll be what I get!
07-06-2012 04:52 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Vancouver, Canada
It looks like you really need a dedicated color correction software. Well, good news for you - Davinci Resolve Lite is FREE! No limitations for small/medium productions. My personal workflow with Cinestyle is editing in Premiere => grading in Resolve => Denoise and finish in Premiere.
07-06-2012 10:14 PM
No such thing as "mid level" editing.
It like being "half pregnant"
Down load the trials and see what suits you ...but I suspect you are more entry level than high level.
You then have to consider your platform and hardware requirements. That will be part of your eventual decision. eg FCPX is cheap software but expensive hardware..but does it meet your requirements and capabilities..www.shooterfilm.co.nz
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