A Step Above iMovie

leidendude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2005
18
0
Hi gang, I've been using iMovie for some time now, and find that it just can't suit my ever-growing video needs any longer. However, as this is only something I enjoy doing for fun (not even a hobby) there's no way I would be able to get FCP. Is there a middle ground (closer to the iMovie side). Nothing pro, just a little more sophisticated than iMovie? Thanks
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
4,347
1
As has been mentioned, FinalCutExpress retails for $299 and would be a way to gradually wade in to the next level until you can afford the full FCPHD application. That's what I'd look at, anyway.
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,299
2
NJ USA
leidendude said:
Hi gang, I've been using iMovie for some time now, and find that it just can't suit my ever-growing video needs any longer. However, as this is only something I enjoy doing for fun (not even a hobby) there's no way I would be able to get FCP. Is there a middle ground (closer to the iMovie side). Nothing pro, just a little more sophisticated than iMovie? Thanks
I think your best bet is Final Cut Express. You get multiple video and audio tracks, FCP plugin support, basic color correction, and Soundtrack and LiveType are now included for free which is an awesome deal. Plus, the workflow and usage are the same for FCE and FCP so if you ever do move up to FCP you will be set.

You could also check out Avid Express.

It may help us if we know what are you trying to do that iMovie can't handle? There are also a lot of plugins for iMovie that add to its value.
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,299
2
NJ USA
aricher said:
Can you use the same 3rd party iMovie plug-ins in FCE?
I doubt it. iMovie is a different animal. But, you probably wouldn't need too..most of the cool iMovie plugins are to give you capabilities or effects that are already available in FCE.

Most FCP plugins should work in FCE.
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
I kinda wish iMovie was more powerful too, but when I tried Final Cut, I was soooo lost.

I couldn't figure it out for the life of me, and that frustration sent me right back to iMove - especially considering I can typically figure out new software extremely quickly.
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
4,347
1
aricher said:
Can you use the same 3rd party iMovie plug-ins in FCE?
No, but you can render certain effects with plug-ins using iMovie (ex. Slick-Gee Three-painting or multiple splits) and export to FCP. There are some nice effects and transitions with the Slick bundles.
 

dswoodley

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
538
0
Josh said:
I kinda wish iMovie was more powerful too, but when I tried Final Cut, I was soooo lost.

I couldn't figure it out for the life of me, and that frustration sent me right back to iMove - especially considering I can typically figure out new software extremely quickly.
The learning curve for FCE/FCP is very steep. I wouldn't even try to make feature-to-feature comparisons to iMovie. They are totally different in their interface and usability. Forget everything you know about iMovie when working with FCP/FCE. Someone mentioned Avid, which I fogot about. Worth taking a look at too.
 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
Final Cut Express. If you feel that you have outgrown iMovie then your next step is a real editor, like Final Cut Express. iMovie compositions can also be opened opened in Final Cut Express, allowing you to expand upon your already composed movies.
 

Demoman

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2005
194
0
Issaquah, WA
Josh said:
I kinda wish iMovie was more powerful too, but when I tried Final Cut, I was soooo lost.

I couldn't figure it out for the life of me, and that frustration sent me right back to iMove - especially considering I can typically figure out new software extremely quickly.
Josh - it is often not a matter of whether you are quick to figure out new software. Instead it is a matter of how fast you can learn the profession the software audience is intended to be a tool for.

I have never taken a class in video editing, or anything remotely connected to filmmaking. I started out with Studio 8 and was led to believe this was really easy stuff. But, as I wanted to do more advanced work, I could not escape the reality of what my limitations, and my technology's limitations were. This was actually the epiphany that led me to Apple.

I bought FCP and had the same immediate reaction as you, "This is hard and sucks". However, I found an incredible amount of good, free information to augment the tutorials and the manuals. I still have sooo muuuch to learn. But, I can now do all of the basic stuff and a little more. I am at the point where it is just plain fun to learn it. Now, I am getting decent with Motion and Soundtrack.

If this field, or media appeals to you, I suggest you do not retreat to iMovie. Move forward and have some fun!
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
4,347
1
Josh said:
I kinda wish iMovie was more powerful too, but when I tried Final Cut, I was soooo lost.
It's been mentioned already in here, but FCP does have a steep learning curve. But there are a boat load of tutorials, helps and sites available. And one learns by doing. So imo, if you stick with it, I think you'll be surprised within 6 months - year just how much more powerful an editing tool it is and will hardly need or want to return to iMovie.
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,725
0
I had an opposite experience from Josh.

I've used Final Cut Pro since 1999 when the program didn't even have audio level meters(!) and none of the fancy stuff like dynamic playback and core audio. So I am very experienced in Final Cut and as an editor, it's very efficient and easy to use.

When I got a PowerBook and it came with iLife, I tried cutting something simple in iMovie, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure that program out. It seemed harder to use. To this day, I still don't know how to use iMovie.
 

dswoodley

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
538
0
spicyapple said:
I had an opposite experience from Josh.

I've used Final Cut Pro since 1999 when the program didn't even have audio level meters(!) and none of the fancy stuff like dynamic playback and core audio. So I am very experienced in Final Cut and as an editor, it's very efficient and easy to use.

When I got a PowerBook and it came with iLife, I tried cutting something simple in iMovie, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure that program out. It seemed harder to use. To this day, I still don't know how to use iMovie.
I had the same problem going from a stick shift to an automatic - they're so complicated!;)
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
spicyapple said:
I had an opposite experience from Josh.

I've used Final Cut Pro since 1999 when the program didn't even have audio level meters(!) and none of the fancy stuff like dynamic playback and core audio. So I am very experienced in Final Cut and as an editor, it's very efficient and easy to use.

When I got a PowerBook and it came with iLife, I tried cutting something simple in iMovie, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure that program out. It seemed harder to use. To this day, I still don't know how to use iMovie.
I've got to agree w/spicyapple. Final Cut has a very flexible UI and, IMO, a pretty shallow learning curve for the basics. A weekend w/the tutorial & manuals and you should be well on your way to understanding the browser, viewer, canvas, and timeline. Obviously the more advanced things like slip/slide editing and adding effects will take longer to get the hang of, but to be able to do basic editing like you can do in iMovie won't take too long at all.


Lethal
 

AviationFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
510
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
Demoman said:
If this field, or media appeals to you, I suggest you do not retreat to iMovie. Move forward and have some fun!
I second that!

leidendude, if you do this because it's fun (and that's what it sounds like from your original post), you'll probably have a great time experimenting with Final Cut. Be prepared to invest some time before you can even just do all the things in FCE that today you can already do with iMovie, but it'll be worth it!

- Martin
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,299
2
NJ USA
Can you all list some of the limitations that you've come across in iMovie that cause you to move to FCE or FCP?

I've been doing home movies of my kids for a while now. I typically just splice my footage, add some effects, titles, add some music and sound effects, etc.

I just made my first real short film last fall. I wanted to learn FCE but just couldn't get into it. I edited the entire 30 minute movie with iMovie then sent to FCE in order to fix the audio in Soundtrack and Soundtrack Pro.

So, what are some of the limitations or issues that you all are finding in iMovie? I'm asking honestly so that as I get more into video I can be ready for these.
 

rjphoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2005
822
0
sigamy said:
Can you all list some of the limitations that you've come across in iMovie that cause you to move to FCE or FCP?

I've been doing home movies of my kids for a while now. I typically just splice my footage, add some effects, titles, add some music and sound effects, etc.

I just made my first real short film last fall. I wanted to learn FCE but just couldn't get into it. I edited the entire 30 minute movie with iMovie then sent to FCE in order to fix the audio in Soundtrack and Soundtrack Pro.

So, what are some of the limitations or issues that you all are finding in iMovie? I'm asking honestly so that as I get more into video I can be ready for these.
One of the main thing I do is multiple images zooming across the screen at the same time in different directions.

In iMovie when you add a transition the rendering starts right away. In FCP you can add all of your transitions/fades/image movements... and render them all at the same time while you get a cup of coffee.

iMovie is for the novis, FCE is for the advanced consumer / beginner student, FCP is for the high end consumer / Professional.

Granted, I have used iMovie for small productions that didn't require a lot of bang.
 

leidendude

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2005
18
0
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses, you've been a genuine help. FCE sounds like a real option. I'm think I'll pick that up (along with a FCE for dummies book) pretty soon. Hopefully I'll soon have left iMovie in the dust. Thanks again.

leidendude
 

Kingsly

macrumors 68040
leidendude said:
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses, you've been a genuine help. FCE sounds like a real option. I'm think I'll pick that up (along with a FCE for dummies book) pretty soon. Hopefully I'll soon have left iMovie in the dust. Thanks again.

leidendude
I learned FCE with that book. Basically, at first you will be completely lost. Just jump right into editing with FCE and save the book for when you're stumped.

...

...at least thats what worked for me. :eek:

Also, if you really get FCE you will have a semi-marketable skill, as there is no UI difference with FCP! Without pursuing it at all I am still making money doing contract editing work.