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View Full Version : Final cut studio on Macbook Air?




ansabakhan
Feb 10, 2011, 10:24 AM
is any one using final cut studio for HD video editing on MPA ..what configration and what is the experience like?



turbineseaplane
Feb 10, 2011, 12:55 PM
is any one using final cut studio for HD video editing on MPA ..what configration and what is the experience like?

LOL.
Are you serious?

AppleScruff1
Feb 10, 2011, 01:05 PM
LOL.
Are you serious?

I'm sure that someone will be along soon claiming that they can encode 4K video just fine with 2gb of ram and a 1.4 processor. :D

turbineseaplane
Feb 10, 2011, 01:09 PM
I'm sure that someone will be along soon claiming that they can encode 4K video just fine with 2gb of ram and a 1.4 processor. :D

Yep. They'll tell us everything is "butter smooth" and that the MBA is a great MacPro replacement. ;-)

turbineseaplane
Feb 10, 2011, 01:10 PM
is any one using final cut studio for HD video editing on MPA ..what configration and what is the experience like?

In all seriousness to your question OP...
The simple answer is "no way" on doing actual FCP work on the MBA.

AppleScruff1
Feb 10, 2011, 01:11 PM
Yep. They'll tell us everything is "butter smooth" and that the MBA is a great MacPro replacement. ;-)

LOL. I have read many such claims here in recent months, it cracks me up. The Air is a great computer for what it is intended to be used for. A pro desktop replacement it is not.

turbineseaplane
Feb 10, 2011, 01:14 PM
LOL. I have read many such claims here in recent months, it cracks me up. The Air is a great computer for what it is intended to be used for. A pro desktop replacement it is not.

I think the MBA is a very nice piece of hardware...

But I'm amazed at how many people hadn't yet used a laptop with an SSD.

The "amazing" part of the new MBA is the SSD (or Apple equivalent...slightly different than just dropping an SSD in a MacBook, but basically the same), and that's about it.

akdj
Feb 10, 2011, 01:31 PM
Wow! Lots of cynicism here....to answer the OP.

Yes, indeed! It can edit in FCP just fine. Encoding...that's where the issue lies. When you're done with your editing, you'll want to move your movie over to a more muscular machine.

I shoot video for a living. I'm using the Panasonic HVX200a and HPX170, both shooting DVCPro HD, and the Canon 5d2/7d (which obviously shoot .mov and must be re-wrapped to ProRes to edit with). I did install FCP on my 11" MBA with 4gigs RAM and a 128gig SDD....just to see if I could possibly edit in the field if needed, offload video to a HDD, or just use it to play back rough drafts from clients in meetings. Works GREAT!

Despite the cynicism, turbineseaplane actually kinda hit the nail on the head. The SSD does wonders for basically any program not yet set up to take advantage of multiple cores.

Also, for all those laughing at the OP...keep in mind the release of FCP. It was before Nahalem, before the new i3/i5/i7 chips, etc. In fact, the last release of FCP was basically a ".5" update with a few new features added to FCP6. Again, not optimized for multiple cores, etc.

FWIW...I also use a PowerBook G4 with FCP6 (didn't update to 7 on this laptop) for field edits and P2 transfers as well....as it was the LAST of the Mac laptops to still have a full size PCMICA expansion slot which fits the P2 cards (Panasonic's proprietary video cards) like a sock;)....it also has FW800 for transfer to a portable HDD...which was about the extent that we used it for. However, it certain situations...even the G4 is capable of editing in FCP.

That said...when it comes time to wrap up your commercial, movie, slideshow, or whatever you shot....to a distribution codec, you'll either want to start the process of exporting to said codec before you go to bed (depending on duration/codec/resolution), as it can take all night on an Air. And that's where you'll see the performance hit...>NOT in everyday editing, transitions, effects, etc...the MBA is, in fact, a VERY capable editing computer;)

Jer

ansabakhan
Feb 10, 2011, 01:32 PM
not even on a ultimate MBA ? 2.13 Mhz , with 4 GB ram and SSD ! it might be slower . but i think it might be possible

ansabakhan
Feb 10, 2011, 01:35 PM
Wow! Lots of cynicism here....to answer the OP.

Yes, indeed! It can edit in FCP just fine. Encoding...that's where the issue lies. When you're done with your editing, you'll want to move your movie over to a more muscular machine.

I shoot video for a living. I'm using the Panasonic HVX200a and HPX170, both shooting DVCPro HD, and the Canon 5d2/7d (which obviously shoot .mov and must be re-wrapped to ProRes to edit with). I did install FCP on my 11" MBA with 4gigs RAM and a 128gig SDD....just to see if I could possibly edit in the field if needed, offload video to a HDD, or just use it to play back rough drafts from clients in meetings. Works GREAT!

Despite the cynicism, turbineseaplane actually kinda hit the nail on the head. The SSD does wonders for basically any program not yet set up to take advantage of multiple cores.

Also, for all those laughing at the OP...keep in mind the release of FCP. It was before Nahalem, before the new i3/i5/i7 chips, etc. In fact, the last release of FCP was basically a ".5" update with a few new features added to FCP6. Again, not optimized for multiple cores, etc.

FWIW...I also use a PowerBook G4 with FCP6 (didn't update to 7 on this laptop) for field edits and P2 transfers as well....as it was the LAST of the Mac laptops to still have a full size PCMICA expansion slot which fits the P2 cards (Panasonic's proprietary video cards) like a sock;)....it also has FW800 for transfer to a portable HDD...which was about the extent that we used it for. However, it certain situations...even the G4 is capable of editing in FCP.

That said...when it comes time to wrap up your commercial, movie, slideshow, or whatever you shot....to a distribution codec, you'll either want to start the process of exporting to said codec before you go to bed (depending on duration/codec/resolution), as it can take all night on an Air. And that's where you'll see the performance hit...>NOT in everyday editing, transitions, effects, etc...the MBA is, in fact, a VERY capable editing computer;)

Jer

great input ! ... but if your video is already converted with ProRes already, encoding , rendering and exporting shouldn't take that much of a processing correct?

AppleScruff1
Feb 10, 2011, 05:33 PM
I think that using an 11" screen to do any serious editing would really be pushing it. Or you could use an external monitor.

iNotion
Feb 10, 2011, 07:52 PM
if MBA can pull off Final Cut smoothly, i think MBA will be Apple's Best Selling Computer of All Time! :D

fs454
Feb 10, 2011, 10:51 PM
I shot a 48 hour film fest movie and edited it all on my 11" Ultimate MBA a few weeks ago.

Shot 1080p on a Canon 5D Mark II, Converted to 720p ProRes LT on my Mac Pro for the sake of not being quite sure if it could do it, and edited on the MBA. Worked great.


I've tried 1080p stuff here and there but nothing substantial yet. It's definitely capable for putting cuts together.


You definitely want to edit in ProRes or another equally easy to process codec, that's the key. FCP handles prores like butter.

axu539
Feb 10, 2011, 10:57 PM
Only the actual encoding should be CPU bottlenecked. Just editing (cutting, etc) should be just fine on the machine. Like someone else said, just edit on the Air, and move it to a more powerful machine when you have access to do your heavy encodes.

unbreakablecomb
Feb 10, 2011, 11:07 PM
I just cut together a promo shot on a Sony NX5 1080p on my Macbook Air in about an hour. In all honesty its about as adept at editing as my late 2009 iMac, even render times were similar! Sure, encoding could be faster but the actual editing process was great. As a super mobile editing machine, I have no complaints!

I'd also just like to echo the sentiment that Final Cut Studio is pretty long in the tooth. It wasn't that long ago that Macbook Pro's had similar specs as the current Macbook Air, and no one balked at using what is essentially the same version of FCP on those machines!

I should also note that editing on the 13" Air is preferable, as it has the same screen resolution as the 15" Macbook Pro!

akdj
Feb 11, 2011, 11:04 AM
great input ! ... but if your video is already converted with ProRes already, encoding , rendering and exporting shouldn't take that much of a processing correct?

Well, no, not really. See, ProRes is kind of an intermediate codec...and made specifically for editing in FCP...so as not to drain resources (memory, CPU, disc fetching, et al). It's NOT a distribution, nor a capture format...although SOME companies are now capturing in Pro Res in proprietary capture devices and/or tethering direct to your computer for capture. In most cases though, you'll capture in something like .Mov, DVC-Pro, AVC HD/XDcam, etc. Then, you will convert to Pro-Res in computer for editing. This is where you can tax your system somewhat...>However, the codecs I used (DVC-Pro HD and .Mov from Canon) are actually relatively simple for the host computer to re-wrap to ProRes. Some are different....Canon actually stepped up to the plate and released an FCP plugin that cut ProRes turnaround in FCP down my an astonishing 90% last spring....before that plug in, there were times that clips from my Canons could take quite a while to convert....even on my dual quad core Mac Pro with 16gigs of RAM.

After you've converted to ProRes, the computer will edit without issue. However, once done...you will have to convert it to a distribution codec, whatever you choose....DVD, BluRay, local TV (480/720/1080) can be quite specific with what they want, etc. So this, again, is where you can tie up your computer's resources...

Keep in mind though, DVC-Pro (Panasonic's proprietary format) that I shoot can be edited natively, and relatively easily in FCP and does NOT need to be converted to Pro Res. On the flip side, my Canon files do....as do most consumer AVC devices. If you try to edit native AVC files, you can bring ANY computer in Apple's lineup....including the latest Mac Pros to their knees. It's one of the things Adobe has been successful with on the latest release of CS5 Premier and After Effects....Cuda enabled nVidia cards can crunch alot of the info, there by eliminating a ton of the load from the CPUs and/or sharing it across both CPU and GPU....bringing the ability to natively edit AVC without conversion.

It is one element I think those of us familiar with FCP are looking forward to in the new FCP release, whenever it comes....both 64bit and multi core support, as well as native AVC editing (it seems like it's the de facto format these days, regardless if you're shooting a FLIP or the new Panny AF100...). And, keep in mind...there are many flavors of AVC out there....the video codecs are always a moving target and there are many dozens of them. If you're using FCP, just choose export and then click on the "Format" option....there are many, many choices in that dialog box!!! Kinda tough for these companies making the editing software to keep up with every company's flavor or the month for motion capture.

J

patsfan83
Mar 9, 2011, 10:45 PM
Well, no, not really. See, ProRes is kind of an intermediate codec...and made specifically for editing in FCP...so as not to drain resources (memory, CPU, disc fetching, et al). It's NOT a distribution, nor a capture format...although SOME companies are now capturing in Pro Res in proprietary capture devices and/or tethering direct to your computer for capture. In most cases though, you'll capture in something like .Mov, DVC-Pro, AVC HD/XDcam, etc. Then, you will convert to Pro-Res in computer for editing. This is where you can tax your system somewhat...>However, the codecs I used (DVC-Pro HD and .Mov from Canon) are actually relatively simple for the host computer to re-wrap to ProRes. Some are different....Canon actually stepped up to the plate and released an FCP plugin that cut ProRes turnaround in FCP down my an astonishing 90% last spring....before that plug in, there were times that clips from my Canons could take quite a while to convert....even on my dual quad core Mac Pro with 16gigs of RAM.

After you've converted to ProRes, the computer will edit without issue. However, once done...you will have to convert it to a distribution codec, whatever you choose....DVD, BluRay, local TV (480/720/1080) can be quite specific with what they want, etc. So this, again, is where you can tie up your computer's resources...

Keep in mind though, DVC-Pro (Panasonic's proprietary format) that I shoot can be edited natively, and relatively easily in FCP and does NOT need to be converted to Pro Res. On the flip side, my Canon files do....as do most consumer AVC devices. If you try to edit native AVC files, you can bring ANY computer in Apple's lineup....including the latest Mac Pros to their knees. It's one of the things Adobe has been successful with on the latest release of CS5 Premier and After Effects....Cuda enabled nVidia cards can crunch alot of the info, there by eliminating a ton of the load from the CPUs and/or sharing it across both CPU and GPU....bringing the ability to natively edit AVC without conversion.

It is one element I think those of us familiar with FCP are looking forward to in the new FCP release, whenever it comes....both 64bit and multi core support, as well as native AVC editing (it seems like it's the de facto format these days, regardless if you're shooting a FLIP or the new Panny AF100...). And, keep in mind...there are many flavors of AVC out there....the video codecs are always a moving target and there are many dozens of them. If you're using FCP, just choose export and then click on the "Format" option....there are many, many choices in that dialog box!!! Kinda tough for these companies making the editing software to keep up with every company's flavor or the month for motion capture.

J

Pro Res is a full raster uncompressed broadcast quality format that is levels above DVCProHD or Canon 5D h.264.mov's. There is no visual difference between ProRes HQ and Uncompressed 8 bit.

I don't know a post house that is FCP based that doesn't master in ProRes.

sankarz
Mar 20, 2011, 07:05 PM
Wow! Lots of cynicism here....to answer the OP.

Yes, indeed! It can edit in FCP just fine. Encoding...that's where the issue lies. When you're done with your editing, you'll want to move your movie over to a more muscular machine.

I shoot video for a living. I'm using the Panasonic HVX200a and HPX170, both shooting DVCPro HD, and the Canon 5d2/7d (which obviously shoot .mov and must be re-wrapped to ProRes to edit with). I did install FCP on my 11" MBA with 4gigs RAM and a 128gig SDD....just to see if I could possibly edit in the field if needed, offload video to a HDD, or just use it to play back rough drafts from clients in meetings. Works GREAT!

Despite the cynicism, turbineseaplane actually kinda hit the nail on the head. The SSD does wonders for basically any program not yet set up to take advantage of multiple cores.

Also, for all those laughing at the OP...keep in mind the release of FCP. It was before Nahalem, before the new i3/i5/i7 chips, etc. In fact, the last release of FCP was basically a ".5" update with a few new features added to FCP6. Again, not optimized for multiple cores, etc.

FWIW...I also use a PowerBook G4 with FCP6 (didn't update to 7 on this laptop) for field edits and P2 transfers as well....as it was the LAST of the Mac laptops to still have a full size PCMICA expansion slot which fits the P2 cards (Panasonic's proprietary video cards) like a sock;)....it also has FW800 for transfer to a portable HDD...which was about the extent that we used it for. However, it certain situations...even the G4 is capable of editing in FCP.

That said...when it comes time to wrap up your commercial, movie, slideshow, or whatever you shot....to a distribution codec, you'll either want to start the process of exporting to said codec before you go to bed (depending on duration/codec/resolution), as it can take all night on an Air. And that's where you'll see the performance hit...>NOT in everyday editing, transitions, effects, etc...the MBA is, in fact, a VERY capable editing computer;)

Jer
Thanks for the info. very helpful. Did you try any other apps in FCS especially 'color' and 'motion' on MBA with SSD drive. If anybody have experience with color, it would be nice if you say few words. I can't decide between 15" i5 2.4hz MBP or 13" 1.86Ghz MBA

Boston007
Mar 20, 2011, 09:37 PM
LOL.
Are you serious?

and let me add...
What are you smoking?
LOL

EddieT
Nov 1, 2011, 02:26 PM
Picking up this old thread, there seemed to be little support for using final cut pro on an mba, but what about now? What about the 4 GB 13 inch mba used with a thunderbolt display?

ansabakhan
Nov 2, 2011, 12:48 PM
i guess you will be fine now ... i mean i know people did use it earlier too .. but with i7 processor i am sure its better ...

filmbuff
Nov 2, 2011, 01:38 PM
People, people, stop coming down so hard on the OP. I started editing video on a system with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, and a low end graphics card. If that system could do it, a 2011 MBA can easily do it. It will not be very smooth because of the HD3000 graphics and rendering will take a while but it is definitely possible. If the OP wants to edit video all the time a MBP would be a better option but if it's just an occasional need to edit video while on vacation then the MBA should do it.

heyloo
Nov 2, 2011, 11:32 PM
People, people, stop coming down so hard on the OP. I started editing video on a system with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, and a low end graphics card. If that system could do it, a 2011 MBA can easily do it. It will not be very smooth because of the HD3000 graphics and rendering will take a while but it is definitely possible. If the OP wants to edit video all the time a MBP would be a better option but if it's just an occasional need to edit video while on vacation then the MBA should do it.

Totally agree. I did everything that I needed to do on my 2006 BlackBook until I just swapped out to an MBA. While I haven't done any video work on the MBA, I'm pretty sure it'd be much more doable than it was with my BlackBook (or my 2006 Mac Mini for that matter lol).

For simple casual editing, I'm sure MBA would be 'just fine'...I guess a lot of it would come down to patience ;)