Learning Avid Media Composer 7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nateo200, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #1
    So working in the film industry it seams that you need to be ultra flexible...I enjoy FCP X allot and have become very proficient with it but I want to diversify my ability to edit on multiple systems. I know Premiere and After Effect decent but have never really worked on Avid and since Avid was the first real NLE and the industry standard (for now!) I figured I would download Media Composer 7 30 day trial and start getting to work on that. Any of you experienced editors/whatevers think this is good? I like Premiere but something about it doesn't feel right...my boss recently switched from FCP 7 to Avid and we had a brief discussion about NLE's. My main interest is cinematography but as you know when you first start off your expected to do everything...for now FCP X has been my go to since I'm very fast with it but I feel as though learning Avid would be a good choice...I sort of know the answers to the questions I'm asking here but I like to reaffirm them, have them clarified, etc. Apart from just going out and shooting something and then importing the footage and practicing does anyone have any suggestions? I've done transitions with software before but with NLE's its more awkward. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #2
    Find some online tutorials (like from Lynda.com), start at square one and forget you've learned any other editing software. It doesn't matter if watch tutorials for older versions of Avid as the basics are unchanged. AMA (Avid Media Access) is probably the one thing that gets improved/changed the most from version 5 to version 7.

    For people that don't edit all day, every day MC can have a very frustrating learning curve.
     
  3. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #3
    ...And the other way around. I was using FCP 7 everyday and now use PP CC everyday and I still found MC incredibly frustrating.

    I think it is because it is such a different workflow compared to PP and FCP.

    Whilst I have had to complete one job on MC so far, touch wood, everything has been fine with Premiere.

    Incidentally when I had to learn it YouTube and Lynda were my 'go tos'.
     
  4. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #4
    I finished two tutorials from CreativeCow's section and I found it very well explained and even though its slow I sort of like it....I'm not going into Avid MC7 with ANY NLE knowledge from any other system as I've done that with other software and really gotten lost, its kind of hard though since I'm lightning fast in FCP X and working on stuff in it at the moment so I have to turn different parts of my brain off so to speak. I'm liking Avid more than Premiere Pro so far, I always thought Avid would be harder than Premiere. I can see the learning curve though, I tend to end up editing SOMETHING everyday (on other NLE's obviously), AMA was confusing but then I watched turtiorials and understood better Version 6 and Version 7 appear to be the same as I'm watching tutorials on 6 and using 7. Would you say its better to know Avid and FCP vs only knowing Premiere and FCP? Just curious...I know Premiere is gaining but it seams like Avid will ALWAYS be around!
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    Yes, there is certainly 'Avid's way' to do things where as PP and FCP tend to give you multiple ways to skin a cat. Both have their ups and downs though. Avid's rigidity can force you into a workflow that's stable while FCP 7's flexibility will give you enough rope to hang yourself with.

    Though some things in Avid just need to go away (like how FX are handled).


    In general I think anyone that's working freelance should know Avid plus another NLE. For most markets I think that other NLE is most likely FCP 7. It's still up in the air whether FCPX or PPro will get the lion's share of FCP 7 users.

    Your local area might dictate differently though. Obviously if most of your area/field uses PPro, for example, then you should focus on PPro.
     
  6. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #6
    I can definitely tell Avid has rigid ways which is good and bad. I know FCP X is about as controversal as abortion in the editing world but I think its a pretty awesome concept (although it definitely needs to consider allot of legacy stuff like Avid seams to do). I find FCP X fast but for multi-editor work flows I feel like it would be a pain in the rear in its current state (although not unworkable)...biggest issue I've had is collaboration between multiple editors across multiple NLE's, I once worked on a small project where we had one editor with FCP 7, one with Premiere Pro, and myself with FCP X.....needless to say it was difficult! A couple of questions:

    -When editing with Avid on OS X is there any inherit disadvantages of DNxHD vs ProRes? It seams that Avid can do both and that DNxHD might just be better for when your working with windows systems for increased compatiblity or delivery to not so friendly ProRes systems. I've looked at DNxHD and the quality is essentially the same for the similar codecs but I just want to make sure I'm not missing out on something by editing in one codec or the other. So far my "test" project I chose DNxHD 115 and it is very similar to ProRes 422 or ProRes 422 LT in size and quality

    -Does Avid take advantage of dGPU's as well or better than FCP X? Specifically Nvidia GPU's aka CUDA?

    -Premiere had an intermediate codec right? I thought I heard something about Adobe discontinuing support for it or something..either way with Premiere Pro is their an ideal intermediate codec? I always used ProRes but everyone touted the mercury playback engine handling H.264 easy...How does it compare to FCP X and H.264 playback? Haven't used Premiere in a while.

    Thanks...
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #7
    Using any native Avid codecs (like DNxHD) will give you the best performance though I think in 6.5 or 7 Avid could treat ProRes files like native files they just needed to get rewrapped from .MOV into .MXF.

    I don't think MC leverages the GPU as much as other programs (like FCPX or PPro) but I do think there is supposed to be a performance boost if you use a Quadro card. Don't quote me on that though.

    Adobe tried to push CinemaDNG as a standard, open format but it failed and they killed the effort last year. I can't say how well Adobe handles H.264 compared to FCPX, but the more compressed a codec the more taxing it will be on the CPU/GPU to playback. Less compressed codecs like DNxHD, ProRes or even CineForm will get your better performance at the expense of needing bigger, faster drives.
     
  8. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #8
    Comments in bold. Thanks! If anyone else has anything else to add I'm all ears!
     
  9. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Avid only certifies systems using Quadro cards, but from what I've seen you don't really get much of a boost over other cards.

    Yes.
     
  10. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #10
    Oh another question specifically about DNxHD...I understand the codec fine and I actually find it is more flexible than ProRes with its many options BUT it gives me the option to compress with 709 or RGB color space....I understand color space well but at the same time I don't...is the 709 refering to rec709? To achieve an image like ProRes should I be using RGB? Will either modify my image in any way like a gamma shift that happens with some ProRes encoders (which I have thankfully not encountered)? I like that I can select both 8-bit and 10-bit options at most all bit rate options, I generally work in 10-bit as 8-bit shows its limits very fast especially if you originate from 8-bit but its nice to have options.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11

    ProRes Proxy, LT, 'regular' and HQ are 709. ProRes 4:4:4:4 is the only version that could either be 709 or RGB.

    709 is the norm for video footage/applications. I think the big difference that trips people between 709 and RGB is where absolute white and absolute black fall.

    I'm going to use 8-bit as an example because I know those values off the top of my head. 8-bit gives you 256 values between blackest black and whitest white (0-255).

    In 709 black is 16 and white is 235. This gives you 'wiggle room' with regards to manipulating shadow and highlight detail.

    In RGB black is 0 and white is 255.

    Problems arise when things get mismatched. For example, if you send a file in 709 to a program expecting RGB then the blacks will look washed out and the whites will look grey. If you send a file in RGB to a program expecting 709 then the blacks will get crushed and the whites will get clipped.

    I believe the Apple Gamma shift problem is an unrelated bug.
     
  12. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #12
    Ah alright thanks! I knew of the 16-235 vs 0-255 in 8-bit workflows I just had no idea the relation to 709 vs RGB. From what I can gather most 8-bit stuff aside from higher end stuff is going to be 709? I guess I got confused because I know the difference between 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 (or 4:4:4:4 with an Alpha like ProRes 4444) but then I see RGB and I automatically think of chroma color space that isn't subsampled...still sort of confused I guess, trying to grasp the whole thing. But yeah the gamma shift bug I havent had any issues with I just sort of remember reading about it.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    In general most any HD video footage is going to be 709. RGB is the exception, not the norm, in traditional video workflows.
     
  14. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #14
    Of late? Last we checked for MC/Symphony 6.5 the AMD flavors were supported and have not met any resistance from Avid support.
    We still pay the yearly support due to legacy Nitris DX :p
     
  15. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #15
    Hmmm, maybe my info is off then. I seem to remember that being the case at one point. Though I do notice under system requirements they only list Quadro cards or Intel graphics for Windows machines. Macs are a different story.
     

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