Question about editing software

Hutch

Member
I'm looking to learn editing from the ground up in the "hands-on" fashion. However, due to the big bucks associated with some of the higher end products, I was thinking about purchasing a lower end product and editing a few shorts with it (simple ones that I intend to shoot) to start out. Nothing real fancy, just your basic capture, simple edits and filtering of the picture, application of sound, maybe an overlay or an added simple effect, credits, etc...

Here's my question: If I buy something like Ulead Video Studio 7 for around $100 bucks and the required hardware cards (seems cheap for learning purposes vs. the large price tag on the major products) am I losing anything other than efficiency and nice fine tuning features and more advanced transitions for example? Any suggestions on a better, and still expensive, product? Any "big" reasons to go straight to the big ticket items instead of this route?

All help and suggestions appreciated!

Hutch
 
almost anything's better than nothing!

There are some decent NLE's out there for less than $200. I started out with Pinnacle Studio at $99 plus another $70 for a Firewire card. It was okay for simple editing and getting started - I'm not recommending it I'm just saying I was better off getting started than waiting around to try and save $500-$1000 or more for something better.

Filmmaking, like anything else, has a learning curve. If someone had given me a $100,000 HD camera and a $75,000 editing studio, my first film wouldn't have been that much better - but probably would have taken me a lot longer to make! because my cheap tools were a lot simpler to learn on.

The point is, yes, professional tools are great and necessary once you reach a certain level, but don't wait until you can afford them - which may be never! You have to learn with what you can get your hands on. If you can afford better, by all means get it. But don't be a filmdreamer instead of a filmmaker if the pro tools are out of reach...

To decide which inexpensive NLE is best for you, look for reviews on the Internet and in places like Videomaker magazine. Videomaker isn't targeted at filmmakers, but you can get some reasonably good info on low budget equipment and tools there. DVinfo.net has forums on NLE, with separate forums for MAC-based and PC-based. You might get some really good input from their users.
 

Hutch

Member
Thanks for the good advice...

Hey Wholm,

Thanks for the good advice. I downloaded a trial version of a $99 package. It was a very interesting product and so simple to use that I was astonished. However, I quickly hit the wall of it's limitations as I'm sure you might imagine. Over the weekend, I met with a friend who has one of the high end packages. Wow! No doubt about it - I've got to go in that direction to do what I want to do. Again, thanks for the helpful and easy to understand advice.

Regards,

Hutch
 

film8ker

Member
Adobe for me

I like Adobe Premiere and it’s really not that expensive and will work on Mac and PC. Also, the integration between other Adobe products like After Effects, Illustrator, Go Live, Photoshop, etc. is fantastic. With the “Digital Video Suite” (Premiere, AE, Illustrator, and Photoshop) and the associated plug-ins you can do almost anything you want to do and the whole package retails around $1000 for all 4 programs. Finally, the Adobe site has a link to the “Expert Center” where other users have uploaded all sorts of goodies to make your life easier and more interesting. :wink:
 
Re: Adobe for me

film8ker said:
I like Adobe Premiere and it’s really not that expensive and will work on Mac and PC. Also, the integration between other Adobe products like After Effects, Illustrator, Go Live, Photoshop, etc. is fantastic. With the “Digital Video Suite” (Premiere, AE, Illustrator, and Photoshop) and the associated plug-ins you can do almost anything you want to do and the whole package retails around $1000 for all 4 programs. Finally, the Adobe site has a link to the “Expert Center” where other users have uploaded all sorts of goodies to make your life easier and more interesting. :wink:
I agree. While Premiere may be the little squirt brother of AVID, I find it is easier for first timers to learn on. The cocept is better designed for novices. While eventually most pros switch to AVID, I've talked to many that started out with Premiere.

And After Effects is absolutely awesome according to friends of mine that have it.

Poke
 

Hutch

Member
Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your responses. I quickly hit the wall with the cheap software, and went on ahead and bit the bullet, as they say, and bought Adobe Premiere 6.5 and After effects 5.5

In fact, they had a special which bundled several other free products including adobe illustrator (in case I ever get crazy enough to try and create an animated short... :?

I have been incredibly impressed with the ease of use of the products. I directed a short over the Memorial Day weekend, and finished editing it in the last few days. In fact I finished making the copies for cast and crew last night. Anyway, the editing process was a real pleasure. We tried some pretty difficult transitions between several of the scenes (difficult for me anyway) and it was smooth sailing all the way with Premiere.

In fact, you guys will get a good laugh out of this one. I had a scene where a guy is yelling (in a dream) and we used physical movement and zoom to run the camera into his mouth until we have nothing but black on screen. Then in the bedroom we zoomed out from the darkness of his mouth. By the way, he's yelling the whole time. Now what makes it so funny is that I'm a musician and, since his yell involved a descending pitch, I was able to match up the pitches at the exact point of the transition from one location to the other, and the edit really comes off seamlessly.

The whole short is a dream that he "thinks" he is finally waking up from, only to realize after waking up 4 or 5 times, that he is never waking up, and we have him yelling each time. Pretty crazy. It's about a pastor and his first baptismal service. You can catch a publicity shot of it on the pocketwatch website listed below. And, If I ever get someone to help me determine how to get the file size small enough, I'll put a trailer on the web.

Well, again, thanks for all the input.

Regards,

Hutch
 
Editing Software

Hutch said:
If I ever get someone to help me determine how to get the file size small enough, I'll put a trailer on the web.
I believe the manual that came with Premiere should have procedures for turning your .avi file into a .mpeg or .mov file.

Well, now that Hutch's problem has been solved. I have an editing software related question all of you.

I am looking to buy both a computer and editing software to go on it. Now I will primarily be using this computer for editing (maybe some small internet usage, but I'll leave that mostly to my old PC). There is a chance I could get a DELL or GATEWAY computer for a discount price, through my father's workplace. But I've been told that it might be better for me to get an editing suite from one of those companies that specialize in PCs designed for sole purposes (i.e. designed solely for editing - big Hard Drive, good Video Card, etc.).

My question is mainly, which should I pick? I know that the Editing Suite might be cheaper, but what if my ancient computer craps out and I need to start logging on to the internet on my new computer? If it is the Editing Suite, I don't think it'll be able to hold how much work I do on my computer.

And if I get the DELL or GATEWAY, will the minor programs that are factory installed screw with the amount of memory I have and cause my computer to crash every time I start to edit something?

Any suggestions or anecdotes will be greatly appreciated.

Poke
 

Hutch

Member
Poke,

I bought the HP Pavilion with a 2.53 gig-hz pentium 4, 512 meg, 80 gig disk, onboard dvd writer and cd writer and HP flat screen. The operating system is Win XP home verison.

I loaded both my full Adobe Editing Suite (Premiere, after effects, illustrator, etc) and the music suite (Cubase) that I have tied to my recording studio, and I have not had a moments problem.

It comes with a fire wire port on board, several usb ports, a nice set of speakers, and all of the other usuals.

Everything installed as it was supposed to and is working as the documentation indicates.

Now, as to your response about my video file size :cry: , well that is another matter. I had no problem converting the file to .mov (and in fact to several other formats.) The problem is, there are an incredible number of tuning parameters to adjust the file size. Frame size, audio hz, color adjustments, line speed, and the list goes on and on, not to mention the large number of settings for each of the aforementioned. I'm winding up with a 20 meg file for a 1 minute trailer, when other trailers I'm seeing are around 4+ meg. Have had some good feedback from other associates, but nothing has reduced the file size yet without destroying the quality of the video. (By the way, I don't mean making it worse, I mean bringing it down to where you can't even tell what's on the screen.) In fact, I dumped it to a .mov file and left the audio off just to isolate things, and it was still over 20+ meg. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! (as you can see in my attached picture :D )

Regards,

Hutch
 
Thanks

Thanks sharing your experience. I basically have one friend that keeps telling me that if I buy a PC and try to use it for editing, it'll keep crashing.

I know that there is some way to minimize the file size. Give me a couple of days and I might be able to find out some info for you. I just ran a quick check on Google and I found that you might need to get a program to do it. These are some websites that have such programs:

Ligos

Darvision

Xing Technology Corp

You might also check out MPEG.ORG.

Another route you might take is to submit your trailer to IFILM. I've seen it done before. It costs money, but you don't have to tamper with the encoding, they do that for you.

Poke
 

spite

Member
What about Macs?

I've found that a good Mac (G4) with Final Cut Pro gives much better performance than a PC with Premiere. My friend's PC crashes all the time. However, we've had our Mac crash on us a few times too, so there's probably no cure all, unless you go for a high-end AVID system. But I give Final Cut Pro the thumbs up over Premiere...

- Mike.
 

Hutch

Member
We edited "The Side Roads" on Final Cut Pro and we edited "Baptism Sunday" on Adobe Premiere 6.5 and, from my perspective, the features are pretty much the same. The primary difference is the user interface. Being a Windows user, I went with Adobe and an HP Pavillion (2.53 ghz) and have been delighted with the performance and dependability of the system. I also just finished re-loading and re-cutting "The Side Roads" on Adobe with great success and without incident. I suspect there are many variables that predetermine why a system crashes. But pound for pound, I suspect the 2 software packages are probably more equal than we realize.

Regards,

Hutch
 
The Same

I've been told, by many Mac lovin' buddies, that they're interchangeable. I would opt for a Mac, just for the "less crashes" thing, but I also need to think about my budget.

Poke
 
It's been a month, but maybe it's not too late. My P.C. with Vegas Video 4 never crashes. And Vegas Video + DVD gives me the ability to go from camera to a really nice looking DVD, all on my home computer. In a discussion on NLE software Vegas4 has to be mentioned.
 
E

eager2learn

Guest
My Canopus DVStorm card and Adobe Premiere 6 work well on a Dell 330 Precision Workstation with 1GB RAM & two SCSI drives. Canopus had run extensive tests with their card posted on their website which was a BIG factor when I switched to the DVStorm 2.5 years ago. At that time, 1.5Ghz was top Dell speed. Now, you can get a 3Ghz (ohhhh...now I wish I would have waited).

Umh, I forgot to mention...I ended up at the Canopus website after a recommendation from the guys at B&H Photo Video (great supplier). I originally tried to stick a Pinnacle DV500 card in the machine, but had problems. A Pinnacle Tech Support drip tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with their card or software, and that I had made a "Big Mistake" buying the Dell. That was his/their "Big Mistake"... goodbye DV500 (returned), hello DVStorm which has proven to be an AWESOME card. And the Canopus XPLODE PRO FX have been great for some non-film stuff.

Adobe Premiere does 'crash' more often than I'd like on my WIN2K, but I understand this is pretty common on various machines :x
 

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