Avid? or Final Cut Pro?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by FF_productions, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #1
    Hey guys, I've been using FCP for about a couple of years and I'm in bit of a dilemma.

    I'm going to Columbia College in Chicago hopefully next year and to my astonishment, all the editing is done with Avids!

    So I looked and surfed around Avid's website and discovered this:

    http://www.avid.com/products/xpressproAcademic/index.asp

    Avid Xpress Pro Academic. Should I move on to Avid now and get an early start? There are going to be some growing pains because I'm working Avid Free DV right now and it's already pretty different from FCP.

    How difficult is the switch from Final Cut Pro to Avid for anybody that has done it?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #2
    Learning a new program isn't difficult as long as you *learn* the new program. By that I mean don't treat Avid like FCP (or FCP like Avid) as that will just drive you insane because the programs use different means to achieve the same goals. Approach Avid w/a "clean slate" like you've never used an NLE before and you'll pick it up pretty quickly.

    Years ago I learned on Avid, built my own PC and used Premiere on my personal projects, and later stumbled across FCP. I haven't used Premiere in ages, but I do hop between FCP and Avid depending on what job I'm on.


    Lethal
     
  3. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #3
    I've heard that Avid (in some situations) takes too many steps to do something that Final Cut can do in just one or 2.

    What are some big advantages to Avid?
     
  4. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #4
    Avid isn't that hard. It's more like old-school three point editing. In point, out point, insert/overwrite. Just think "modes". If you want to do effects, you have to be in effects mode. If you want to trim, you have to be in trim mode, etc. It's certainly not as intuitive as Final Cut Pro, but it sure has hell has the edge in stability and media management. Most of the "industry" uses Avid, so learn it and love it. I'd take Final Cut Pro any day. But I can use Avid just as well if I have to.

    I run an Avid Media Composer and it has a LOT of cool capabilities, like animatte and paint brush...features I'd kill for in FCP. It's Marquee title feature is really nice too if you want to do 3D titles. I've duplicated Universal's opening title sequence with the globe and "Universal" spinning around it with Marquee. Play with it, in the end...all NLEs are the same. It's just editing. Only the buttons are different.
     
  5. FF_productions thread starter macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #5
    So it really wouldn't hurt to go out and try to learn Avid. It's another NLE under my belt that I can use encase Final Cut doesn't do it's job for me.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #6
    Exactly. The more NLE's you have under your belt, the more marketable you are. I've worked for post houses that use everything from Final Cut to Avid to Premiere to Vegas to something called the Sony XPRI system. They're all ultimately the same. It's just a matter of HOW you use them.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #7
    Like I said before, both systems have their pro's and con's. I can think of things that are easier in Avid and I can think of things that are easier in Final Cut. Anyone who says one system is hands down better than the other is being a fanboy.

    Off the top of my head some big advantages to Avid are:
    1. It's still the top dog in the industry
    2. Better media management
    3. Better multi-user environment
    4. Better multi-project environment
    5. Mixed resolutions in the same timeline w/o having to render

    There's really no reason not to learn it. As MC said, the more apps you know the more tools you have in your toolbox. It's fine to have a preference, but don't let brand loyalty be an albatross around your neck.


    Lethal
     
  8. bimmzy macrumors regular

    bimmzy

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    #8
    Learn it! But to be honest if you're going to be taught it in a structured way at college its your call as to whether you feel it's worth the expense of buying a copy.

    Avid is NOT like FCP. It's built of a very different philosophy.
    Essentially Avid is a cutting station with effects editing built on top. FCP has effects editing built in from the ground up. Its also worth noting that versions of xpress may seem "Media Composer like" that doesn't mean it's like Media Composer (and its different flavours)…… As for FCP it's still early days, but its getting there.

    Like a lot of Avid's softwhere, DV Xpess (and pro) despite it being a great idea, is the most flaky badly bit of rancidly written softwhere that a professional may have the misfortune to encounter in his or her working life.
    Despite that I'm hooked on it Avid and I LOVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART.
    This is why I am so impressed with FCP, for regardless of my adoration for Media Composer, I still feel the need to steel away for a few days to do FCP editing when I can…... I know I'm such a rat!

    All the advise given above is good advise. So go and enjoy Avid, and all the best with your course!
     
  9. zebostoneleigh macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2007
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    "to my astonishment?"

    First - don't be astonished.

    Avid offers great programs used in many (dare I say "most"?) professional settings. FCP does seem to have some advantages and a solid & growing fan base, but Avid has been in this business for decades. Ironically, I'm finally learning FCP right now, and I'm amazed at some of it's fucntionality - but also downright dumbfounded that anyone would work this way (I've been on Avids since 1995). The interfaces are very different and the suggestion to start with a fresh eye is a wise one.

    Whether you should buy it and start learning before school (or wait) is totally your call, but if you're at all seriocus about post production - you NEED to know Avid. Period. And really - you should probably know them both (thus my project to learn FCP).

    Some people love one and hate they other; some really don't care; and Apple and Avid would have you believe their's is the only true solution. Not true. However, be glad your school will teach you Avid. You'll be glad you know both! I occasionally have people call (alumni's of my school or friends of friends) looking for inroads into post-jobs. They know FCP (and not Avid). No one I know will hire them (because they don't want to be the one to teach them Avid).

    Hope that helps.


    -----------
    Dual 2.3 GHz Mac G5
    4.5 GB RAM
    Mac OS X Tiger
    Avid, FCP, After Effects, EyeTV, etc...
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    A video editing n00b question:

    Can you edit the same project with FCP and Avid?
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11
    Avid won't read FCP project files nor recognize media digitized by FCP and vice-versa.



    Lethal
     
  12. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

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    #12
    Avid and FCP are two different beasts. I've been told that once you know Avid, Final Cut Pro is an easy transition. I was lucky in my situation in that I learned avid first and then tried FCP and found it very easy. I can't guarrantee that going the other way will be anywhere near as easy, but the general consensus in my experience is that Avid is more difficult to use. There's probably going to be a bit of a learning curve for you.
     
  13. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #13
    As a current student at CCC, I can tell you that you only use Avid Express in Production II. They use Final Cut Pro and Avid in the higher level programs. Either way, they're bothh too similar to panic.
     
  14. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #14
    They won't read project files, but EDLs shouldn't be a problem as long as you've adequately logged your tapes...or am I just insane?
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    Thanks!

    Is there an easy way via some app to convert projects into either system?

    On a side note, I have been using iMovie and enjoy it. I am looking to move up a bit. I have dabbled with FCE. Right now I am trying to figure should I go to Avid or FCP since I don't want to spend the funds for both. From reading this board, it looks like Avid gets the nod.

    If I go with Avid, are the files compatible from the Mac version to the PC version?
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #16
    EDL's will work... to a point. Cuts only w/just V1, A1 and A2, and an EDL works fine. Get much beyond that though and, well, have fun. :D


    Lethal
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #17
    Easy? Yes (I guess, I've never used it before). Free? No. $800 for the plug-ins that so Avid and FCP can talk to each other.

    If you are just dabbling I'd go w/FCE. IMO, there's no reason to go Avid unless you are getting into the entertainment industry.

    AFAIK the flavors of Avid that are on both platforms *should* talk to each other just fine as long they are compatible versions (ex 5.0.2 won't open a file from 5.1.6).


    Lethal
     
  18. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #18
    Yeah, that's what I thought. I think I've only ever translated projects between the 2 once...couldn't remember. Thanks Lethal.
     
  19. cdarlington1 macrumors regular

    cdarlington1

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    #19
    Avid or Final Cut Pro

    I have been using Avid now for 10 years and recently did an HD project with FCP. While FCP is a great program I personally find Avid a much better editing program. It's all down to personal preference. If the school uses Avid then I would get a jump on it if you can.
     
  20. theWholeTruth macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    #20
    Automatic Duck

    In response to the AVID to FCP and vice versa discussion, Automatic Duck, AFAIK, is the only 'reliable' way to go from one platform to another. However, as Lethal said, it can be an expensive process. I think the plug-ins cost around $500 each. I have never used it myself, but know of a couple of editors who were impressed by its ease of use. I don't know how complex their timelines were.

    Using an EDL is not the best method. One post house I went to gave me a resounding NO when I asked them about transferring the doc I was editing from AVID MC to FCP for finishing. They said the difference in cost was not worth the hassle.
     
  21. bonehead macrumors regular

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    #21
    As others have said, learn Avid, it's a another tool you have at your disposal. I've used Avid since version 2 (1990) and as a basic editor it is a little more streamlined than FCP. However, FCP is only getting better and seems to be what the editors of the future will be using. LethalWolfe's list of Avid's advantages is right on the money but Apple is supposedly working on the media management and multi-user issues. Remember, it's only a tool and that editing is a creative endeavor more than a technical one.
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #22
    Appreciate all the advice. Thanks!
     
  23. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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  24. Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    That smooth thing is more complicated than it seems. DV inherently has as little color resolution as FCP displays, but avid blurs it so that you don't see the rough edges. This means Avid footage looks better (especially when you output to DVD) but Final Cut Pro holds up better under recompression (since it's compressing to its native color resolution, not a blurred one.) If you smooth FCP footage, it will look just as good as the footage in Avid.

    If FCP smoothed colors on route to DVD (or even if Compressor did) that would be the best of both worlds. But it's not a flaw; it's a choice--with its inherent tradeoffs.
     
  25. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #25
    @^
    I know. I know how Avid works. I use a horizontal chroma blur filter in FCP to get results like Avid DV.
    But that's another filter to render…
     

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