final cut express

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MrFusion, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. MrFusion macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Hello everyone,

    Is Final Cut Express capable of making a 4-way split screen?
    Is it limited to video, or can it also handle pictures, presentations (powerpoint and keynote), etc?
    Is it easy to use?

    Is adobe premiere the windows alternative that can handle such things?

    Thanks for the comment.
  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I added the numbers to your questions to make this easy to respond to:

    1) Yes, final cut express can do as many "split screens" as you can find video sources for. You could even do 8x8 if you wanted to... not that you would be able to see much of anyhing at that level. The location of multiple video tracks physically on the canvas, is arbitrary.. you can have any number of screens at any size you want.

    2) It is not limited to video per se.. you can import pictures, but I'm inferring from your question that you don't quite understand how FCE works just yet. You can't import presentations per se, unless you export those as a quicktime video or still pictures first.

    3) In a word, No. The latest Final Cut Express has an almost identical feature set to Final Cut Pro from a couple of years ago. It has a very steep learning curve. It is also extraordinarily powerful. I would recommend starting out with iMovie, and then if you find yourself bored with it, trying out final cut express.
  3. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    May 1, 2003
    As huntercr has answered your direct questions, I just wanted to add to the difficulty in learning one.

    I have used iMovie for quite a few years. Most recently, iMovie 08, which prompted me to tryout FCE. (Coming from some quite heavy use in 06\HD as well).

    Anyway, I actually found FCE to be very intuitive. For some reason, the way things are done just seem more logical to me, and make a lot more sense. I was really concerned with the learning curve after doing a lot of reading on it, but now I am VERY happy that I made the purchase.

    I guess it depends on what you are used to, and maybe I'm in the minority, but I think FCE would actually be easier for someone to learn right off the bat than iMovie. But then again, I think Aperture is more user friendly than iPhoto, LOL.
  4. Matiek macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    I felt good with FCP after a week and no previous editing experience. it depends on how much time you want to put in it. If you buy a start up book for it and go through a few tutorials you'll have it.

    What exactly are you trying to do?
  5. alex1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    Adobe Premier is back on the Mac platform again. I havn't looked at it, but it's what I learned on 10 years ago on a PC (ughk). But supposedly Premier is much better now. I-movie is great to learn quickly and make decent videos. If you want more control defintly check out Premier or FCE or FCP. Huge discounts on all of them if you are a college student as well. Maybe check out the local Junior College. See if they have a night class or short classes on video or digital story telling. Enroll, use thier software, then decide if you want to buy. Get a cheap education and learn the software. Good all around.
  6. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Premier was not very user friendly when I last used it.

    I like iMovie 06, it does what I need in a friendly package with easy buttons for changing the speed, extracting a scene as a still shot etc. However, in case Apple does not add some of the features I use back to the new versions of it, I'd like to learn more about FCE:

    1) Does it have an easy to use "Ken Burns effect" capability for photos?

    2) Can I edit audio levels without exporting to another program such as Garageband? I like playing with the level of background music and fade in and out the audio of my footage, but I like being able to fiddle with it right there with a few clicks of my mouse.

  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    1) Yes, you can accomplish this easily with the "motion" tab for a video track, and set key frames for your start and end points

    2) Yes, you can edit audio levels directly on the timeline, as well as double clicking on it and opening it up directly in its own window where you can do sub sample modifications. There are a dozen or so audio filters and transitions as well. Final Cut Express also comes with Soundtrack Pro ( well, the previous version 3.5 does.. I don't think 4 does anymore ), which is/was a fantastic product for being bundled free. If you aren't happy with the inline editing capabilities, you can export yo Sountrack pro.

    You ought to go to Apple's site and watch the demo videos. It may answer alot of your questions.

    Some people may have thought I was being pessimistic about FCE, but don't get me wrong...I love it. I'm just a hobbiest, but I spend alot of time using FCE. I just want to make sure you have the right mindset going into it. Sometimes in the beginning it will take hours to coax FCE into doing what you want, when you only expect it to take minutes. This is because of how flexible and powerful FCE is, and you don't know the "right" way to do it. FCE enables you to do just about anything you can think of, but some of it is largely a manual process.

    Put another way: if you do alot of slideshows, animations and titling with FCE, you will definitely see the value in Final Cut Pro's "Motion" software.

  8. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Thanks for all the replies everyone.
    I posted a similar question in the buyers forum, before realising it's more a question about video editing than hardware equipment.
    My boss bought a huge TV-screen on which he wants to advertise our work in a 4-way split screen. One screen will be pictures of the employees. On the others will be video's, presentations, posters, images etc.

    I guess presentations can always be exported to a set of images.
    The only thing we need is a piece of software that can take these different sources (individual videos and still pictures) and put them in its part of the screen and adjust the timing a bit. There will be no sound added since the TV is sitting in the hallway.

    I am familiar with iMovie, but it's rather limited in my opinion.

    Is there some way to try the software before buying and without resorting to illegal downloads?

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