Upgrade to FCPX, or downgrade to iMovie from FCE??? Also - archiving question?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Jennicaz, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Jennicaz macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2012
    I asked this at the Apple forum and no one responded so I'm hoping you will all be a bit more helpful.

    My first question is about what video editing software to use. My old and well used MacBook recently died and so Dh and I are juggling around computers currently. He will be using his work laptop, and I will be using his MacBook (once the movies on it are edited and exported). But eventually, our plan is to buy a Mac Mini (since we have a keyboard, mouse and monitor already this will save us lots of money). Anyway, we need to decide what to do about our video editing software. We currently have Final Cut Express HD, but I just found out they are not making new versions of it and instead have released FCPX. DH suggested we just downgrade to iMovie since we no longer do anything that major. We mostly just do home movies now. I did think that was a great idea, but then read in various places that the new version of iMovie exports movies that have digital artifacts in the darker areas. Has this issue been resolved, or is this still a problem? I will not accept any downgrading of my video quality by any digital editing program I use. We were originally told that this would not happen. That since it is digital it comes out the same quality it goes in with no quality changes. If that is no longer true with iMovie than it seems we are forced to use FCPX, is that right?

    I'm also completely confused about how people are archiving final video projects. I guess we've been out of the loop for awhile because when we started using iMovie and then FCE we imported the footage, edited the footage, then exported the footage back to the camera to save our final edited project to tape. We burned DVD's to give to people, but noticed they started to degrade after only a year or two, so never depended on them as a way to store movies. I just created a short movie in iMovie '08 and when I went to export to the camera there was no such button. I searched and searched, but it just wasn't there. I finally researched online and it seems that button doesn't exist anymore. So I figured there must be a similar thing to "save movie self contained" like there is on FCE so that I can save the entire edited project in one file. I figured I would just save this file on the hard drive, or open it in FCE where I could export it to the camera. But I couldn't find any way to do this either. Is there any way to save a final project as one file that contains the full amount of info with no loss of data?

    When I asked at the Apple store why iMovie no longer had an export to camera button the sales guy said, "why would you want something like that?" and "I've never heard of anyone doing that". Really? No one does that anymore? I asked him where to store movies and he said my hard drive because tapes don't last. I told him I had VHS tapes that are over 20 years, but none of my harddrives have lasted longer than 5 years. Then I asked him what file format people were saving their final projects in. He just scratched his head and said they would be really big files and they are scattered all around in different folders. Um, okay, so how do people archive their final iMovie projects then? And is FCPX similar to iMovie in this regard? Or can you still export to camera with it? Or can you save a self contained movie? I'm just totally confused as to how people are archiving these days and why Apple would take away my ability to export to tape (which seems to the only reliable option for backup at the moment).
  2. MrPlayer66 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Workflow has changed.

    If you can afford it get FCPX. You gotta keep in mind several things, Apple's editing apps have really dumb down the tape workflow you speak of, I remember when I started film school probably 5 years ago we filmed our projects in miniDV and edited in imovieHD then the final product would be exported back into tape the same way you described. Nowadays most of the cameras use digital files such and formats such as AVCHD. Once you important that into your harddrives as far as I know you can't really put the movie back into the camera the same way you would before. A friend of mine has a high end Sony HD camera that still uses tapes, I use iMovie 11 to bring the footage in because I like the way it can recognize where you started and stopped filming. After that I import the footage into FCPX and edit with it. I do not use iMove to edit because it just seems very limited for my needs, it could work for you but personally I'd rather use FCPX because of all the extra features and ease of use it offers.

    When you export a movie in FCPX regardless of where the files came from you can make the movie self contained, which then you can store in hard drives, DVDs, or whatever makes your heart content, your files will NOT be all over the place. Apps such as Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro do have more features when it comes to working with tape media, but they're also more expensive unless you can buy them with a student discount. Also if you're coming FCE Premiere Pro might an easier switch for you because how similar the apps feel.

    I hope I made sense and if you have questions feel free to ask and I will try to help the best I can.
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    I think that the only way to get around that is to copy a Project to another drive. All attached drives will show up in the Project/Event Libraries in iMovie. Just drag and drop a Project on to the drive icon, and you will then get a message asking if you want to copy the associated Events. You'll need to say "Yes" otherwise the Project won't load from that drive if you delete from the original drive.
  4. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    A quality HD should last longer than 5 years IF it is used for storage only and not as a system drive. Be sure to spin it up every 4 months or so. I use Samsung drives and have had 0 problems. I sure there are other good drives out there. It is an internal I placed into a USB enclosure. I think there are still data tape drives out there with great shelf life but I don't much about them.
  5. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    What "film school" is this!?
  6. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Every time a new editing software or video format hits our shelf. Everything is dead.
    I have cine film 40 years old, VHS tapes, and other format. Tape is dead. They did not say that when the product came out.
    If you have the equipment and use you material correct and STORE your moving image material you should get years of fun.
    No matter what Apple editing software comes out at some stage Apple will stop the support. A classic example is Final Cut Pro 7.
    When buying a editing software ask yourself, What can i afford, what do i want it for?.
    Asking other people is fine but in the end of the day do your research and stop listing to the Apple Store sales people. They are out to sale.........
    Many may not agree with my statement. There is too much talk about past systems are dead. I still listen to L.P.s
  7. MrPlayer66 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    it was Los Angeles City College.
  8. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    Well that explains it. Hopefully they didn't charge you too much to use video editing software that is free with every Mac. Because the way iMovie works is nowhere close to the way any professional app works.
  9. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Its not necessarily Apples fault. Manufactures stopped making tape based video cameras years ago. Its all flash based storage. Does not make sense to support it more then 5 years.
  10. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    That may be true but if its FILM SCHOOL then hoping an NLE app isnt the main course.
    Since film is about story telling or conveying a message (however you perceive this) I dont believe having the right NLE is that important.
    Its like studying to be a good writer.
    Do you think youd be ahead of the game if you have a laptop and the others a pencil?
  11. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    If it makes you work better then yes. iMovie is like trying to write with a crayon, whereas FCP is like scribing with an expensive pen. Moreso with Avid and Premiere these days. I agree that learning the "craft" of editing comes first, but iMovie simply is not a tool that belongs in an environment that claims to be a "film school". If they are going to teach editing, use the tools the industry uses to SOME extent.
  12. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I agree with learning a higher end piece of software, just putting it out there that the software don't make you talented.
    Its your drive and determination to learn and use the craft well.
    Its obvious that as you progress you will move on to better and useful tools.
  13. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    Trust me, I've come across dozens of "button pushing" editors who know the software, but have no concept of the craft, and it shows in their cuts. I've even seen an "Avid editor" use a star-wipe in a non-campy/non-sarcastic absolutely seriously intentioned way. It nearly brought me to tears.
  14. MrPlayer66 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Well when I went to school there years ago in order to be able to take the cinema classes they offer you must first take 4 basic classes where you're taught the basics of film making and story telling. Their second class was and still is called Cinema 2 and this is the first class at this school where you begin to shoot your projects that will be seen in front of other people. In my class we had people who wanted to be directors, producers, writers, DPs, and of course editors, when you shoot your project you can of course edit in whatever you like if you knew FCP then by all means you were welcome to use that, but for the rest of us who didn't know how to edit, or didn't care about learning an editing software we were taught how to use iMovie so we could get our projects edited and turned on time. After you passed the class and you wanted to continue editing then you could take the actual editing class where FCP was used. After I used iMovie I fell in love with editing and I knew that it was a very basic tool, but it did enough for what I needed to do at the time and got me more interested in the art of editing, nowadays I can edit on MC, Premiere Pro, FCP, and FCPX and I continue to learn the craft of editing. I don't feel bad I paid for my classes, I got what I wanted out of it and now I work on the field I love.
  15. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Good to hear :)
    As long as your having fun and still love your craft, there should be no regrets how you got there ;)
  16. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Well, there seems to be a debate about film and software. Some of the professionals so called editors who use software are good handling the software.
    I did a test. I gave the pro and amateur both a 5 minute video to edit.
    Pro edited on FCP X
    Amateur on iMovie
    After showing them i could not tell the difference nor could the students.
    I always say, bad script, bad video.
    Good script, good editor
    When working with film the editor needs to know the vision the director has.
    The actor/ director Cornell Wilde did not work from scripts and the editor had to be on location with him. His well know film was "Beach Red" and "The Naked Run". All made without a shooting script. Today a film studio would not entertain that form of editing.
    All of todays editing software is basically faster in the right hands.
  17. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    wow...seems like this thread went from ...how do I back up my projects...to....what crappy school taught you iMovie...to god knows where.

    In an attempt to steer it back on the road, this is what I do:

    First of all, I have no interest whatsoever in learning FCPX, because I have been using FCP for nearly a decade.
    When I am eventually FORCED to make a switch (due to an outdated operating system) I will most definitely be moving to Premier.
    FCP and Premier are similar, and it opens up my ability to exchange projects with Windows users.

    Archiving projects:
    Using Knox, I create a disc image appropriate to the size of the project.
    I move (by hand) files that I may need later, and allow FCP's Media Manager to move my project from the computer to the newly created Knox disc.

    Once the project is self contained, I back it up to an external harddrive, and eventually, that project will get backed up to Blu Ray disc.
    This allows me to "re-visit" old projects in their entirety.
  18. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Interesting point of view how iMovie is crap and you a'int going to learn FCPX.
    Just think if you eliminate all the things you will not be doing and diving into Premier software. Look at the years you could save and money.
  19. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012


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