Need NLE System Advice.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cashcows, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. cashcows macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #1
    I want to do both video podcast, and DVD production, most of it will be done on Chroma Key green screen.

    I have been a long time PC person. I have one Powerbook Pro thet I use just for writing. I use my PC's for everything else is specially Interenet marketing tools (the truth is there is just not enought mac software in that area).

    Now I have to choose if I want to go with a custom PC loaded of for video editing with either Vegas + DVD, AVID Liquid or FCP Studio. (which will do Chroma Key the best?) UPDATED BY REQUEST: I will be using DV or MiniDV format I don't see any other affordable option. or maybe even just a Isight webcam sometimes. I plan on using my Sony handcam and also getting a Canon GL 2, so any Chroma Key tips or things I should know I appreciate.

    I know I can go the PC route for much less. But I seem to be drawn to the MAC and FCP. My most important issues is I want the shortest learning curve and best training and support. I could care less if I save $2K-$3K if it delay my projects 60-90 day to learn the damn thing.

    I want to be up and running in 2-3 weeks. (yes I know learning to edit and get good will take time, but I want to be able to get my video cast and produce my dvd's in the least amount of time)

    So what mac system do you recomend if I go mac and specs?

    Also It seem to me that apple gouges you on memory and harddrives, so if I add my own memory what brand do you suggest and what kind of harddrives does apple use in it's Macs. Why pay $400 for 500gb when I can buy them all day long for less than $200?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #2
    "So what mac system do you recomend if I go mac and specs?"

    Simple. The very best that you can afford. If you can handle the price tag on the big mac daddy, go for it. If not, many of us edit on imacs, MBP's, and even MB's.

    "I know I can go the PC route for much less. But I seem to be drawn to the MAC and FCP. My most important issues is I want the shortest learning curve and best training and support. I could care less if I save $2K-$3K if it delay my projects 60-90 day to learn the damn thing.
    I want to be up and running in 2-3 weeks. (yes I know learning to edit and get good will take time, but I want to be able to get my video cast and produce my dvd's in the least amount of time)"

    The Final Cut Studio package, while by no means "easy" to learn well quickly, is a family of apps designed to work together as seamlessly as possible, which is obviously an advantage. You will have every tool you need to get your work done. There are many PC apps that are very good, but none are a complete seamless package like FCS.

    "Also It seem to me that apple gouges you on memory and harddrives, so if I add my own memory what brand do you suggest and what kind of harddrives does apple use in it's Macs. Why pay $400 for 500gb when I can buy them all day long for less than $200?"

    Speaking very generally, if you are going to be doing video, doing it reliably, and doing it well, you don't want to skimp and save on anything. You'll want the top of the line products, not the internet no name deals. Yes, they're cheaper, but they are not going to stand up to the demands you'll put on them. Personal example...I started out with a cheap 300 GB external FW drive. It died after 3 months. I now run an Array of 1TB, set up in redundant 500GB mirrors. It runs like a champ, I never give a second thought to losing anything, and while shockingly expensive, it's the best money I ever spent. You have to get out of the "I can do it cheaper" mindset if you're serious about this.

    Last thought...you didn't say much about camera/acquisition. I have not done green screen work in many years, so I'll defer to others to get more into this, but DV is not the greatest for compositing. Although for a podcast it probably doesn't matter much. The key to a greensceen is lighting, so learn that well, spend, and ask for professional help as necessary to get that right. It will help you in the long run.
     
  3. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #3
    Well, he didn't say whether he was using DV. But that's true, DV is not very good for greenscreen work. The main issue is that DV has low color resolution. The color information has been heavily compressed to fit the data on such a small tape. That makes it difficult to make sharp edges between mattes. It's not impossible by any means, but it's harder than with a format that samples at better than 4:1:1.
     
  4. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    I have professional experience with FCP and Avid, and FCP is much easier to learn! The chroma keying has also been better than Avid's, in my experience. Neither one is as good as After Effects or other compositing software. If you do a lot of that, you might want to consider Shake (which had a recent huge price drop). But FCP can do okay keying.

    The biggest factor is how the footage was lit (the more even the green screen, the better) and what format it was shot with. MiniDV always gives some trouble because it doesn't sample color for every pixel. It's called 4:1:1, meaning basically that for every 4 pixels of luminance or brightness, only 1 color pixel is sampled. It looks fine by itself, but when keying you can end up with some blocky edges.

    edit: aloofman must have typed his response while I was typing mine (I'm a slow typist :))
     
  5. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #5
    What he said. :D

    The last time I had to greenscreen with DV footage, I had to use AfterEffects, and even then the edges ended up being kind of soft.
     
  6. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #6
    May have to go PC after all :eek:(

    I talked to my friend that Builds PC's and expected him to say "I can build a PC that will shread a Mac for half of the price." But he told me to buy a Mac Pro...lol

    The problem is that I was looking into this Chroma Key Issue. And found a two pieces of software that will do exactly what I want to do but they are only running on the PC.

    Both are from SeriousMagic.com Ultra 2, looks awesome for Green Screening. The actually do something called Vector Keying.

    And their Visual Communictor is exactly what I am looking for, for my Video Pod Casts. So it look like I might go with that, Ultra 2 for more advanced stuff and either Vegas + DVD or Avid with DVD.

    The upside it it will cost me a lot less, the down side is it's still a PC, and I really am starting to like Macs. The only reason Apple had not taken over completely is that there is still a lot of software that only runs on a PC.

    I mean sure I could do the Chroma Keying on the PC and the Do editing on the mac, but thats a hassle and double the expense.
     
  7. theWholeTruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #7
    You contradict yourself. In your first post you say that you could care less is you save 2-3K. Then in your most recent post you say you don't want to 'double the expense'. So what is it? Is money and issue or not?

    If not, then get a Mac since it sounds like you really want one. Get AVID or FCP. Chroma Keying in those apps will be fine for what you're doing. It just takes a little bit of skill to get it right. There's a couple of tricks I use that involves layering the keys that works great for people with stringy hair...rarely do I need Ultimatte or After Effects or even Autodesk.

    As others have said, lighting is the most important aspect of green screen. Make sure you get the correct green. Don't just go to a paint store and buy green paint. There are plenty of websites that give tips on how to light.

    AVID and FCP are intuitive programs, but if you get the 'pro' versions, the learning curve will be steeper. It depends on the individual. Maybe you can find a student that will help you out in the beginning...
     
  8. 12angrymacs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    I was exposed for Apple system first time about 2 years ago, after that, i can't sleep tight before i go to apple.store.com just to check the price of a G5 Mac.But yet the dream can be fullfilled 6 months ago, now i think i have one of the most comprehensive G5 with 512MB 7800GTX with 2TB of HD, after saving a lot, and i'm proud of it!! :D
    I was a PC worshipper before, and wasted a lot of money for invest in something that runs on god-forsaken Windows.
    Now I can depends on my G5 anytime, with a FCP Studio, Logic Pro, Shake, After Effect and Reason, this is my ultimate wet dream i'm living in.
    Anyway, greenscreen issue for DV is absolutely true. I used a DV for compositing my girlfriend's dance video and i was dissapointed by the result, but yet, after i had my DVX100, it seems that it worked much better than a handycam. The keying in FCP is quite satisfying, though After Effect can do more straightforward for compositing.
    A Mac is not a expensive gadget....IT'S AN INVESTMENT!!!
     
  9. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #9
     
  10. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #10
    "you don't even need to worry about the lighting"

    Dude that is the most untrue statement in the history of the forum. Be careful. Don't fall for sales hype. I don't know this product, but if somebody is telling you you don't have to worry about lighting for a greenscreen I would be extremely suspitious.

    You absolutely, positively, no question, HAVE to have great lighting in order to pull a decent greenscreen key.

    If your plan is to combine DV, which is a bad choice for choma key anyway, with poorly lit source footage...then I would re-think you plan. I don't care what software you have. The process will irritate you to no end, take three times as long as you planned, and the result is going to suck.

    Be careful.
     
  11. 12angrymacs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
  12. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #12
    I completely agree. Do not believe the hype about these two products. I've seen both of them and they're strictly quick and dirty. For your purposes, they'll work fine, but they're adjustment tools are a bit more automatic than AfterEffects and similar apps. That means that lighting might be even MORE important.

    If anyone tells you that lighting isn't important in video, they're either a moron or a salesman or both.
     

Share This Page