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Editing software

OK so...
Forgive my ignorance, I write and direct, and design sets (and attempt acting), but my editor is having some pretty severe personal problems and I need to edit three short films. Nothing too strenuous: cutting, little colour correction, overlaying sound, importing titles and credits, etc. Basic stuff.
Thing is I have a grand total of zilch experience here, so I need something simple. Good free software? Editing 1080/24fps but I would assume everything about now should handle that and RAW and .mov, but it needs to give me a good finish (forgive me if I appear naive, but I am not an editor). The finished product will be burnt to BlueRay and put into DCP format at some point in the near future. My editor uses Adobe software, which I understand is fairly straight-forward? Nothing too pricey at this stage, please, as I'm getting married in three weeks and moving the week after, so budget situation is as grey as my hair is becoming...

Anyway, thanks in advance.

Joel
 
The full adobe suite is $50/mo subscription.

If you're after 'free' look at Lightworks.

With no experience though, you're probably better off finding someone else to do the work for you so you don't end up pulling your hair out during an already somewhat stressful time.
 
The full adobe suite is $50/mo subscription.

If you're after 'free' look at Lightworks.

With no experience though, you're probably better off finding someone else to do the work for you so you don't end up pulling your hair out during an already somewhat stressful time.

I have kids, I'm barely replacing hair at the rate it falls out :lol:
But seriously, thanks for the reply. Any packages you could recommend to begin learning the craft? I'd like to get anoher skill under my belt, and editing is really something that cannot be overlooked.
 
The first question really needs to be asked. What is the quality of your end result and what is the quality of your source material.

For editing software. The 3 packages to pay attention to are Avid (Rather hard to learn), Final Cut Pro (Don't ask me what version, I've never used it) and Premier Pro. While PP hasn't had a lot of respect in the past, it's picking up ground.

Between Avid and PP, PP has a gentler learning curve.

This is all just the technical side. As we all know, editing is more than pushing buttons. Anyone can learn to push buttons and really doesn't make or break an editor. For that case, any software above is more than fine.

Their strength is in their ability to tell a story with what material comes across their desk. I'd suggest doing some editing training, some directing training, some DOP training (particularly if you're going to do any grading) and perhaps even some writing training for this, then watch films and repeat the process.... continually. The reason for this is sometimes the footage you get won't make sense. Those skills are going to help you FIX issues that commonly come up faster. Very little of this will make sense until you get to the point where you can do it.

cutting, little colour correction, overlaying sound, importing titles and credits, etc. Basic stuff.

It sounds simple when you put it like that, but some of those tasks take months, if not years to become good, though it does depend on the level of production value you're looking to achieve and the quality of the source material.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Your editor will not burn it to DVD for you.
You're going to need more software to do that.
 
The first question really needs to be asked. What is the quality of your end result and what is the quality of your source material.

For editing software. The 3 packages to pay attention to are Avid (Rather hard to learn), Final Cut Pro (Don't ask me what version, I've never used it) and Premier Pro. While PP hasn't had a lot of respect in the past, it's picking up ground.

Between Avid and PP, PP has a gentler learning curve.

This is all just the technical side. As we all know, editing is more than pushing buttons. Anyone can learn to push buttons and really doesn't make or break an editor. For that case, any software above is more than fine.

Their strength is in their ability to tell a story with what material comes across their desk. I'd suggest doing some editing training, some directing training, some DOP training (particularly if you're going to do any grading) and perhaps even some writing training for this, then watch films and repeat the process.... continually. The reason for this is sometimes the footage you get won't make sense. Those skills are going to help you FIX issues that commonly come up faster. Very little of this will make sense until you get to the point where you can do it.



It sounds simple when you put it like that, but some of those tasks take months, if not years to become good, though it does depend on the level of production value you're looking to achieve and the quality of the source material.

Thanks for the reply. When I mentioned "basic stuff", I really meant I don't need to add in CGI effects and such.

Your editor will not burn it to DVD for you.
You're going to need more software to do that.

Noted. We have software for burning DVD and BlueRay, I only included that info as I want something that will cope with the quality we wish to maintain for the burning.
 
Any packages you could recommend to begin learning the craft?

Which craft? You've mentioned Picture Editing, Colour Correcting and titles/credits which are all separate/different crafts and post sound is at least another 3 separate crafts.

The packages Sweetie mentioned will all provide some level of basic functionality for all the crafts you've mentioned but are aimed specifically at Picture Editing. Colour Graders and Audio Post craftspeople will always use software specific to their craft rather than one of the NLE packages used by Pic Editors.

... it needs to give me a good finish (forgive me if I appear naive, but I am not an editor).

Think of editing software, audio software, grading software, etc., as like cabinet makers' tools. The quality of the "finish" is defined by the skill, experience and artistry of how the cabinet maker uses/employs the tools rather than by the tools themselves.

The finished product will be burnt to BlueRay and put into DCP format at some point in the near future.

In addition to artistry/creativity, there is a technical aspect to the crafts you have mentioned, in some cases a significant technical aspect. In other words, there's the basic aesthetic quality/production value to consider, which is obviously going to suffer if you've never done it or used the software before and then there's the technical side of what will physically work. As Sfoster mentioned, you will need specific software to create a BluRay and again for DCP. BluRay can be quite finicky and unreliable, in the sense that non-commercially authored and manufactured BluRays will often play fine on some players/setups but have serious issues on others. For DCP there are two technical specifications (DCI and SMPTE), neither of which support mono or stereo sound. That doesn't mean a stereo DCP definitely won't work in a particular cinema, it just means you're not going to know if it will work until you get to the cinema and if it does work, how it will work. Knowledgeable/Experienced craftspeople with the right tools are going to reduce the chances of some technical catastrophe occurring. Conversely, DIY'ing without the knowledge/experience or the right tools, you've got to expect that a serious technical issue is likely and allow yourself the opportunity to test as extensively as possible, as well as allow yourself the time to fix whatever issues arise.

G
 
Which craft? You've mentioned Picture Editing, Colour Correcting and titles/credits which are all separate/different crafts and post sound is at least another 3 separate crafts.

The packages Sweetie mentioned will all provide some level of basic functionality for all the crafts you've mentioned but are aimed specifically at Picture Editing. Colour Graders and Audio Post craftspeople will always use software specific to their craft rather than one of the NLE packages used by Pic Editors.



Think of editing software, audio software, grading software, etc., as like cabinet makers' tools. The quality of the "finish" is defined by the skill, experience and artistry of how the cabinet maker uses/employs the tools rather than by the tools themselves.



In addition to artistry/creativity, there is a technical aspect to the crafts you have mentioned, in some cases a significant technical aspect. In other words, there's the basic aesthetic quality/production value to consider, which is obviously going to suffer if you've never done it or used the software before and then there's the technical side of what will physically work. As Sfoster mentioned, you will need specific software to create a BluRay and again for DCP. BluRay can be quite finicky and unreliable, in the sense that non-commercially authored and manufactured BluRays will often play fine on some players/setups but have serious issues on others. For DCP there are two technical specifications (DCI and SMPTE), neither of which support mono or stereo sound. That doesn't mean a stereo DCP definitely won't work in a particular cinema, it just means you're not going to know if it will work until you get to the cinema and if it does work, how it will work. Knowledgeable/Experienced craftspeople with the right tools are going to reduce the chances of some technical catastrophe occurring. Conversely, DIY'ing without the knowledge/experience or the right tools, you've got to expect that a serious technical issue is likely and allow yourself the opportunity to test as extensively as possible, as well as allow yourself the time to fix whatever issues arise.

G

Great reply, thanks.
 
Done some reading up on the packages recommended/mentioned. Decided that simply because others I know (who have worked on my films) use Adobe or Da Vinci, I will stick with that for the time being. Quick question though: Abode Premiere Elements... is it worth while for a beginner to get learning on and then getting PrP or should I go straight for Pro?
 
I've never used Elements so no idea. What is left out of elements from PP? Is the learning curve gentler? Will it achieve the result you need?
 
You've got me there, hence why I've thrown it out to the audience. This is pretty much all I can gather from Adobe's webpage:

What’s the difference between Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro?
Premiere Elements offers options for every level of user, so it’s easy for video enthusiasts to get started making great-looking movies. Premiere Pro provides the ultimate toolset for professional video production.

What features from previous versions are not available in Photoshop Elements 13?
A handful of features from previous versions are not available in Photoshop Elements 13 due to new product support for 64-bit systems. They include:
Photo Mail
Photomerge Style Match
Magic Extractor tool
Texture Fill
Frame from video
Interactive layout mode in Photomerge Panorama
Photoshop Showcase
 
Doesn't seem like a useful list, does it?

A comparison list with versions of software doesn't help compare it with another suite. What you should do is look at the list of features and see if there are features you're going to need that aren't on the list. If there is footage types that you'll need to edit that it cannot support and so on.

I've never used PE. Never learned anything about it.
 
Doesn't seem like a useful list, does it?

A comparison list with versions of software doesn't help compare it with another suite. What you should do is look at the list of features and see if there are features you're going to need that aren't on the list. If there is footage types that you'll need to edit that it cannot support and so on.

I've never used PE. Never learned anything about it.

Thanks. I shall look around when I've got my presentation finished. Thanks for your help, Sweetie.
 
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