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Old Feb 18, 2012, 09:26 PM   #1
marty1990
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Open Source alternatives to After Effects?

This is a long shot, but I'm curious about free alternatives to After Effects/Premiere/Motion/Final Cut.

Basically, for my student union, we're having an events week, and since I do Advertising as my degree, I offered to do the logo, posters and flyers. I made them to a decent standard, in my opinion, and everybody else seemed happy with them.

However, one of the guy's has a made a promo video for the week. I have no idea why, but his intention is to make it viral through Facebook.

The thing is, the video is horrible. The background music is O Fortuna, and the video itself has been made in Windows Movie Maker. It's a black background with some crappy 3D text advertising some of the events we're holding, and then it finishes with a logo I made. Except he used a low res version that I made to be used on Facebook for people's profile pictures. I get this impression it's going to push people away rather than draw them in. So I have two options. Tell him to remove it and just stick to the posters and flyers, or I try and come up with a more suitable video. Somehow.

Any ideas?
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 09:37 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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You can use a fully functioning trial for 30 days for Premiere Pro (editing application), FCP X (editing application) and After Effects (compositing application), if that is what you can live with.

Jashaka is also an alternative: http://www.jahshaka.com/
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 03:34 AM   #3
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Until you have figured out how AE works, the trial period is over already. Motion is only 50 bucks, and what you try to do is pretty simple to achieve in Motion - even on a beginner level.

I know you are a student, but if you let a hat go around and everyone is throwing in a couple of pennies, you'll get there.

Your school doesn't have any Macs with FCS or Motion installed?
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 03:46 AM   #4
floh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty1990 View Post
This is a long shot, but I'm curious about free alternatives to After Effects/Premiere/Motion/Final Cut.
First of all: You can cut a pretty decent video with iMovie. There is no shame in that. Pro editing software does not make your video look more pro. Good editing does, and above all good lighting and sound capture. Just saying.

That being said, you are looking for two programs: A non-linear editor (Final Cut/Adobe Premiere) and an effects/compositing software (Motion/After Effects).
For the first part, there is a quite impressive Open Source software called "cinelerra". However, while it works fine on Linux systems, I wouldn't try using it on MacOS X. And: iMovie will still do a job that is just as good without the incredibly steep learning curve.
For the second part, there is Blender 3D, which by now is more than usable and produces pretty good results. However, if you have never used an animation and compositing software, the time to learn it will be frustratingly long. And probably better spent on improving the look of the original material and the musical background (or whatever you have in mind).

So, my advice would be: Don't bother with professional software unless you are planning on using it a lot. Cut in iMovie. If you really need fancy titles and/or visual effects, invest 50 bucks in Apple Motion. It will save you many hours.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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What do you need that iMovie can't do? I wouldn't invest that much time into a video.

Personally I would try to find a way to tell the guy his video is not in the interest of your promotion.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 11:13 AM   #6
motorazr
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Originally Posted by floh View Post
First of all: You can cut a pretty decent video with iMovie. There is no shame in that. Pro editing software does not make your video look more pro. Good editing does, and above all good lighting and sound capture. Just saying.
Yes, that's true. You can cut a great video in any program if you know how to put beautiful shots together... but I will say, pro software makes a difference in export. I think there's another option somewhere, but the last time I ran 1080p video into iMovie and exported it without changes, I lost about half the bitrate, making for a file size I was questioning how it could be so small until I saw it full screen and watched in terror as my blacks were all... well ... compressed looking ..
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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Yes, that's true. You can cut a great video in any program if you know how to put beautiful shots together... but I will say, pro software makes a difference in export. I think there's another option somewhere, but the last time I ran 1080p video into iMovie and exported it without changes, I lost about half the bitrate, making for a file size I was questioning how it could be so small until I saw it full screen and watched in terror as my blacks were all... well ... compressed looking ..
But that can probably be followed back to the export settings. You could always export the finished sequence using the Apple Intermediate Codec and then use another transcoding tool to get the file format (+codec) you want, HandBrake or MPEG Streamclip for example.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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But that can probably be followed back to the export settings. You could always export the finished sequence using the Apple Intermediate Codec
Wait ... you can export from iMovie in AIC? How have I not noticed this ... ? I always end up with this over simplified graphic asking about which of 4 resolutions I want and then it just sorta exports...
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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Wait ... you can export from iMovie in AIC? How have I not noticed this ... ? I always end up with this over simplified graphic asking about which of 4 resolutions I want and then it just sorta exports...
This is how it's done in iMovie '11, sorry for the crude quality:
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 02:06 PM   #10
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This is how it's done in iMovie '11, sorry for the crude quality
Huh. I guess I somehow never saw that sitting amongst all the web-friendly options... but sure enough it's there. I guess that means I can use the stabilization tool again for individual clips if needed
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