How limiting would iMovie 11 be for a professional

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by danpass, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    #1
    <---- not a professional editor.


    I'm just curious.

    There is of course the "its the indian, not the arrow" factor.

    I'm just speaking in general.

    iMovie seems very well featured. I've used Windows Movie Maker (the Live version was definitely NOT well featured, de-contented in fact imo) and Sony Vegas 10HD or whatever its called but it was very clunky.


    Besides the $300 price point FCXP seems poorly reviewed in the App Store "its just iMovie with some more features!!!" and the like.

    I've been looking at the Apple site FCXP videos and it seems pretty cool but if iMovie is good enough .............. and it seems to be.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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  3. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #3
    I was going to go with insanely limiting... and I'm not even a professional, I was just messing about with a few home movies and found it wanting for additional features. Since iMovie doesn't cost that much I'm not complaining though.

    I can only imagine Final Cut has way more features and a rather nasty learning curve, do they have FCP on Macs at the Apple store? You might want to check it out there.
     
  4. pigbat macrumors regular

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    #4
    I found FCP6/7 very easy to use and I am by no means a pro. I did buy a book to help understand how it works and went through the first few chapters of that. I would assume FCPX is much more intuitive than FCP7.
     
  5. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    #5
    I use iMovie for simple editing. For bigger projects I move to FCP X. I find FCP X quite full featured. I recently just finished a video for a nonprofit organization and was blown away how professional it looks.
     
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    1. How would you define "pro"?
    2. What are you planning on doing?
    3. FCP X is very well worth the money. I'm coming from FCP6 and barely look back anymore to that clunk. Well, yes, there is the one or the other thing missing I have been using before, but for speed and simplicity, FCP X is unbeatable.
     
  7. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #7
    As soon as someone (like your boss) says "can you do this?" and you say "no iMovie can't do that", you will have discovered its limitations. Then you'll know instantly if it's a professional app.

    (The same question could easily be applied to FCP X. For FCP 6 and 7, if the answer was "no, I can't do that" it was usually followed up with "I know a plugin that can" or "it will take a little bit longer to achieve")
     
  8. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Can you edit on a single timeline like in iMovie 6 and earlier that you can zoom in and out of, with audio tracks below it? I gave up on iMovie after the 08 version and haven't tried the latest. I found the video wrapping like text was annoying, and placing audio tracks and keeping them where I wanted them was really hard in 08 compared to the earlier versions. For me as amateur, I found every version up until 08 was extremely intuitive and made me feel like a powerful video editor. I don't know if the new versions are more powerful, but they certainly made me less powerful.
     
  9. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #9
    iMovie should never be used in the same sentence with Professional. That being said, it "might" make sense for a producer/director to use iMovie to do quick storyboards or extreme rough cuts to show their vision to an editor. This way they wouldn't have to learn a full feature NLE and could have access to tools that would help them convey their ideas. But, to use iMovie in a professional environment to cut footage? No way, it wasn't designed to do that.
     
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #10
    iMovie is by no means pro software, but you can push it pretty dang far if you want to save $$$ from buying FCP X. Here is an example of what you can do with iMovie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2-RnoJ7yN8
     
  11. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    #11
    interesting. good example of the 'its the indian, not the arrow' saying
     
  12. sambo552 macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I'd say pretty limiting, I've not used iMovie for a while, the last time I did I found it very limiting with some of the things I wanted to do.

    Even though FCPX didn't get the greatest reviews etc, I personally find it a great bit of software to use. I was sceptical at first, and it took some adjusting compared to FCP7, but after a few days of playing around with it and seeing what it's capable of, I was really happy with it, and the end result of some the projects I've done are great, really professional looking. The speed of FCPX is one of its best features, though the background rendering wasn't as special as I thought, as you have to actually be doing nothing to let it render, so really it's no different, it just does it without the annoying bar staring you in the face every time you press cmd-r.
     
  13. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #13
    iMovie 11 has an option to create a more standard looking timeline. I haven't upgraded yet so can't tell you more than that.
     
  14. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #14
    It looks good but I think the creator has made something that he wants to make, and was aware of (and working within) iMovie's limitations.

    A professional provides goods or services for someone else for money. The someone else doesn't care about what software you use, they just have an idea they want expressed and a budget to do it.

    iMovie may be able to cut it (geddit?) but I wouldn't be relying on knowledge of it carrying me too far in the pro world.
     
  15. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    #15
    glad you brought that up again.

    I just found a great youtube yesterday that goes thru the mods pretty well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQaYGgq-eiY

    the good stuff starts at ~1:26




    .
     
  16. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I've used most of the major editing apps (Final Cut, Premier, Vegas and iMovie) and THX1139 is pretty much on the money, but it being "pro" or not really depends on what you're doing. If you're doing something light like a documentary or event shot on video (not on film or pro HD format) and captured the audio WITH the video (no sync needed) then you could cut just fine with iMovie IF you know all the tricks and stick to basic titles (themes may give you away ;) ). I know most pros hate it (as did I) when they first sit with it because it's not laid out like a traditional NLE so for me the learning curve was steep since nothing is where it would normally be. Give it a bit of time and a few tutorials though and doing basic cut work is pretty slick.

    Oh and don't pay attention to those FCPX reviews if you're just starting out. The guys who are ticked off are the Hollywood types that have a work flow designed to work with professional telecine suites and tape rooms (I've worked in both environments). So if you're just starting out and you've only ever known FCPX then you'll be wondering "What the heck are those guys talking about? This is awesome!" $299.99 well spent if you ask me (not to mention Motion 5 is only $50!!)

    Hope that helps! Have fun and share your projects!
     
  17. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #17
    I started with iMovie 1 and went all the way to 6. I couldn't handle the "new" iMovie at all so I dragged myself into FCP.

    After about a year or so, all the young 'uns who knew nothing but the new iMovie were turning out some interesting things and couldn't understand what all the fuss about the "new" iMovie was and why it was supposed to be so hard to use.

    When FCP X came out, I knew this was how it would play out, too. By dropping the old and moving to the new - in their own inimitable and seemingly mercurial style - Apple may lose a battle (high end territory) but I think they'll end up winning the war.
     
  18. sigamy macrumors 65816

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    #18
    As others have said, it depends on what you need to do--what are your requirements?

    If you just need to intercut footage with simple titles, lower 3rds, simple video effects like B&W or Sepia, then iMovie will work fine.

    You can extract audio from clips so that you can pull audio from one clip and play that over another clip's video. iMovie '11 has cut away's, which would be the opposite (show the secondary video with primary's audio) and PIP. You can create a PNG file with alpha channel (transparency) and use PIP to display that like a station logo or company logo. You can also use pre-keyed footage of explosions and gun flashes right in iMovie.

    There are tutorials on youtube that show how to customize the fonts available to give your titles less of an iMovie look.

    Where you will hit problems is in customization. iMovie is lacking in custom effects, custom titles and multiple video tracks beyond the cut away.

    It handles most consumer formats very well but it will not handle 24p or newer 60p AVCHD footage.

    Being that FCP X imports iMovie '11 projects, my advice would be to start in iMovie. See when (and if) you hit a wall. See how far you can go before spending the $299 on FCP X.

    Matt's Macintosh has some good videos on Youtube and also the iMovie FAQ at http://unofficialimoviefaq.com.
     
  19. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I thought one of the sales arguments for iMovie 11 was that it could handle 24p now. You can't extract 24p from a 60i wrapper though.
     
  20. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    #20
    thanks for the link :)

    I had imported some 720p 24fps footage from a Nikon P7000 just fine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfKkRhCfJZ0


    I even imported iphone 4 and SD video from a Sony DCR-PC1 camera into it one time into the same project lol. Started working with it, no issues.
     
  21. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I think a lot of people have a very unrealistic concept of what editing actually is. iMovie is a fully capable program if you know to deal with it's limited feature set.

    An editing application isn't supposed to have a ton of bells and whistles. Take a look at a Hollywood movie sometime and really look at what it took to put it together in terms of editing. Basically you have straight shots pieced together with 95% of the time straight cuts. Every now and then you have a cross dissolve or fade to black. Even documentaries rarely move beyond that. The ironic thing about iMovie is if you actually approached a professional project with it the way a professional project is edited then yes you could totally use it. It is when you start to add the cheesy stuff that you only find in low grade productions that iMovie starts to suffer. Even then it does have some of that stuff built in.

    About the only really lacking thing in iMovie is the film source limits although I think some of that is being addressed. The latest iMovie even supports native 24p AVCHD footage. Right now the way iMovie is you could totally shoot a feature film on a DSLR at 24p, import into iMovie and cut together your entire movie.

    If you want to dive into more advanced animation you can always buy Motion for $50.00 and render segments to use in iMovie. I work for a professional production company and our animators do all of this and render video clips that the editor cuts together with the raw footage. No reason the same couldn't be done with Motion and iMovie.

    If you really must have multiple tracks then by all means by FCPX but again very few true professional productions actually need that sort of thing. To a pro anything above a single track is considered animation or motion graphics and is better off treated that way.

    If you want better encoding tools then but Compressor for another $50.00. There you fill in two of the major gaps in iMovie with $100.00 of software.
     
  22. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #22
    I agree that the key in good editing is putting together the right shots at the right time for the right time. No big features needed creatively, but I could imagine that with fcp x you could control dissolves much better.

    In the technical division, this might be different, especially in the sound department. Somebody mentioned sync and here's where fcp x would be great.

    I have the impression that where post production really counts is after the film leaves the editing application (I mean the technical work, the look. The editor is so important, he makes or breaks the movie).

    I mean the real high end work done in post production like getting the color consistent, getting the light consistent - the look of the movie.

    There's a great clip on Adobe's website/ After Effects about David Fincher and his editor talking about how they styled "The Social Network". How they cleaned up the images, removed a camera, for example, and then even split frames to get the timing right for the dialogue.

    ...wondering what the output quality of iMovie is, compared to fcp x.

    And if you really want to edit film if it pays to save the money on fcp x.
     
  23. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I think you grossly oversimplify the editing process.

    iMovie is very good for what it does. But ti would be too much of a burden to do any large scale project on it. It's like trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together when you could just buy matches or a lighter. Or trying to row a boat across the Atlantic ocean when you could just buy a plane ticket.
     
  24. smetvid macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I think you over exaggerate how hard editing really is. Look I'm not saying iMovie is perfect but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of editing a piece together it has 95% of the stuff you need. I am a professional editor who works for a company who has edited projects for huge fortune 500 companies. I also invented the companies live video streaming technology. On top of that I teach video production at a college. I can tell you from a realistic perspective that a lot can be down with iMovie if you use it correctly. You of course need to know it's limitations and do not expect to be able to do multi track editing. Why do you think FCPX has moved to the iMovie method of editing.

    In my video production class we use iMovie because the school doesn't have enough budget for anything else right now. The main focus of this college has always been graphic design and fashion. After really sitting down with iMovie and trying to figure out how to get it to allow my students to create professional results I was really surprised with what it could actually do. Most pro editors have never touched iMovie with a 10 foot pole so they have no clue what it can actually do. The only reason why I know is because I was forced into a situation where my students had to use it for professional results.

    With that said personally I would choose a higher end program because I do like to tweak things but without a doubt iMovie could be used for some very great looking projects.
     
  25. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #25
    WRONG. Many of this professional video editor's videos are done with iMovie:
    http://www.youtube.com/mattsmacintosh

    And it's the right price (free with Mac). If you want to do things iMovie doesn't offer, buy FCP7 or FCP X.
     

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