What's FCE Editing on a Macbook Pro Like?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mkitchen, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. mkitchen macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm currently on a rev a unibody macbook (core 2 duo 2.0ghz w/ 2gb RAM) and i've recently been upping my video editing usage. I'm editing hd (1920x1080) in final cut express and it is going to drive me insane if i don't get a new computer (cue the tax return fairy). Most of my videos are around 10 minutes and just to drop a background into my keyed video takes an hour to render before I can continue to edit/playback.

    That being said, I was originally thinking iMac, but I know I will greatly miss the portability of my macbook. Does anyone have experience editing HD green screen work on an i5 Macbook Pro? Is it simply acceptable or actually good. I'm thinking that unless it is good, an i7 iMac that I could get for within a couple hundred of the price would kick my editing speed up to a high enough gear that i would be willing to sacrifice the portability - any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I import from AVCHD and FCE transcodes to AIC when I log and import.
  4. duotone macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2011
    mkitchen > I used to have this issue when I used FCE.

    1: your current MBP is fine, though I would highly suggest maxing the ram to 8

    2: create your sequence at the same size as the raw footage. IE: If you shoot at 1080p create your sequence at 1080p (same frames per second also...). If you create your sequence at a different size than the raw footage, you will have to render constantly. - I switched to CS5 and use premier, which I love, but I love it mainly because I shoot with Canon 7D's....

    3: i have a maxed out early 2010 (pre-i5/i7) MBPro and I have ZERO issues. I have the 3.06 GHZ with dedicated video card and 8 GB ram, so.... but I'm cutting some serious video with it. If you're footage isn't all that complex and 3D stuff, you'll be fine. Just make sure you create your sequences properly.

  5. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks for the thoughts. The sequence is the same size as the raw, both 1080p.
  6. FaberUK macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    duotone, would you care sharing more info on the videos you create? I'm looking to move to a mbp i7 for freelance editing work. Coming from an adobe pc background but also trained in fcp, i want to know if cs5 will run well on a mbp...guess just want to know your experience of cutting with cs5 on mbp as I haven't seen a lot of mbp users who use their mbp for heavy editing. what kind of hard drive set-up, any problems, etc?

    appreciate any response.
  7. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    I have a 2009 mac Pro and a brand new i7 MBP. I maxed it out with the 8gb of ram and the 512gb SSD. The MBP is just as fast if not faster than my Mac Pro. I am working with HD footage in FCP, AE and have no complaints at all.
  8. Rendergroup macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2009
    Perú (South America)
    Sorry to ask this stuff (maybe is kind offtopic)

    How do you import to the time line a sequence of images for example, .tga or .tif or .jpg I would like to edit for example a 3D render and the images are a seq or for example a time lapse shoot from a photo camera.

    I know that there's an option in Premiere (import as a Sequence of images) but how to do this in FCE?

  9. simsaladimbamba, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011


    Nov 28, 2010

    Also make sure to take a look at the Final Cut Express Manual, as it explains what you want to do from page 214 onwards.
  10. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
  11. mkitchen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Uh... back on topic. Anyone that edits on both a macbook pro and iMac comment on speed differences. Obviously there will be differences, but i want to know real world, video editing is much of a difference. I don't just cut and move, I chroma ley (although just a white background), and much of my video has video inside of video. Anymore thoughts out there?
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Yeah, I can add a few thoughts. I have a rev B MacBook Pro (that's a 2,2, from late 2006). I also edit on an iMac at work. I believe it's a 2.6ghz or 2.8ghz version, with a large screen, that's all I know about it.

    The extra real estate isn't useful when I'd rather be editing on the couch. The added comfort of home is more important for me than the extra pixels.

    Also, as far as HD rendering times go, we use a panasonic something-or-other camera, and shoot in 1080i. The iMac is a pain to edit on. We're talking ~15 minutes to render a 2 minute clip. My MacBook Pro isn't much slower. And by slower, I mean of course it's slower but when you basically have to walk away for every render, the difference between 15 minutes and 20 minutes is moot.

    What I have found is that it's better to edit the footage before you key it, and then once it looks good, apply the key, add a backdrop, render it, walk away, and come back to double check it before exporting it.

    I don't know what the difference between an i5 or i7 MBP and iMac is like, but from using a c2d MBP and iMac, I can tell you that I prefer the portability, and the speed difference when you're talking about such large amounts, doesn't really bother me enough to want to give up the portability.
  13. duotone macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2011
    Sorry for the delay... threw my back out and been lay'n around....

    My set up:
    • MBPro (early '10 - pre i7), 8GB ram and 7200 rpm HDrive
    • 15" MBPro open and up on an incline setting on top of a cooler.
    • 24" 1080p monitor for editing and the 15" MBPro screen for viewing final.
    • I do everything worth saving on external HDrives. All 7200 rpm and at FW800.
    • I do more than cut'n run. The MBPro works just fine using layers, after effects, sound booth, color correction, etc.... you name it.

    I have thought of getting an iMac i7 but I travel too much and I do editing on the road, so lugging around an iMac ain't going to happen.

    I shoot with Canon 7D's and import the raw 1080p footage using bridge, file the keeper footage and drag the footage into Premier when needed.

    After I'm done I export to H.264 / 1080p to play "digitally" via WD media player. I load this to thumbdrives. Then I take that digital file and use Adobe Media Encoder to create an iPad version (apple 480p) and a vimeo version (youtube SD wide screen).

    I can't share most of what I do, but you can see a simple video here:

    I also have an indieslider to give a bit of flavor to an otherwise flavorless video experience.....



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