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Author Topic: Good Beginners Software for Editing  (Read 1811 times)

JoeKitchen

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Good Beginners Software for Editing
« on: May 01, 2017, 09:57:34 PM »

I have been fooling around with motion, but only with DSLRs and Apple iMovie.  What is a good program to look into getting to up the game? 

I would prefer it to be able to grade RAW footage. 
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 12:19:08 AM »

A version of avid media composer is apparently available in June for free. Avid was at the beginning of nonlinear editing.
Their software has always been a very intuitive to use. It was also long the industry standard for editing movies.

https://www.avid.com/press-room/2017/04/free-media-composer-first

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D Fuller

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 07:43:36 AM »

If color is most important to you, you should look at Davinci Resolve. It has a reasonable editing module, and one of the best color engines in the world. And the upcoming version (v14, skipping 13) improves the edit module significantly, and adds serious audio capability. It can be had for free, or with a few extra features for $300. (Disclaimer: I have not yet tried the public beta of Resolve 14, but I use 12.5 for color regularly for color work.)

If editorial is more important, there are more choices: Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac only), Avid Media Composer, Lightworks, Sony Vega (PC only).

Each has its own "philosophy" of editing, and for someone who is only editing their own stuff, finding the one that clicks with you will make a lot of difference. (If you will be working with other editors, you should consult with them. Switching projects between software is a minefield.) I believe all of them have a free trial period, so it's easy to try them out. Once you decide which one you want to settle on, it is definitely worth doing some of the on-line training courses to get up to speed.

Final Cut and Premiere include pretty good color correction capabilities; both can work from raw files, but neither is on a par with Resolve for color.

Hope this helps.
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bcooter

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 02:31:10 PM »

I have been fooling around with motion, but only with DSLRs and Apple iMovie.  What is a good program to look into getting to up the game? 

I would prefer it to be able to grade RAW footage.


Joe, sorry for such a long post.

first you have to decide where your going with this.    You might not know just because you might like it, have talent doing it and all clients, even in standard movie and TV have different workflows.

Just like still photography they’re are many styles and genre’s and just like still photography you can do a lot in post, with the only difference being costs.    Doing 2 frames with a lot of correction in stills is simple compared to doing a 10 minute 40 cut motion piece.

1.  Are you going to 4k, 2k, both.

2.  Are you going to a high bit rate digital cinema camera like RED, Arri, Variflex, F55/65, etc.

3.  Are you going to do dialog (on set sound).

4.  As D Fuller asks are you going to work collaboratively with other editors, or DIY.

5.  Will you be required to work on location?

6.  Will you have one or two DIT men/women on set.    This is vital as not only can a good DIT guy keep you on track, he/she will spot any issue with camera, exposure etc and check the integrity of the data.

7.  Most important.  Will you get paid for this?

For editorial suites:

People will disagree because there are options in editorial stations.

FCPX out of the box if you know nothing about editing is the easiest.  It’s somewhat frustrating for experienced editors and if you hand off to other editors many won’t spend much time on it.
The thing with Apple is you never know if they’ll drop the software at a whim.

AVID was the gold standard, for long form and high end commercials still is, though AVID is a big learning curve and is mainly keyboard based. 

Filmworks is usually used for long form work, where the editor hands off the edit to an effects house and color grader to do finish.

Since the demise of fcp7 which had about 75% of the pro market, most editors moved to premier.   Premier can be good, frustrating, stable or a crash test, depending on computer platform.

Once again D Fuller is correct on resolve’s color engine.  It’s beautiful on all footage I’ve tried except for the small sony’s, but that’s just me because other than the Sony F5 and up I can’t get consistent colour from the smaller sony’s without a huge amount of work.  Be aware that up to the latest beta of resolve it uses huge volumes of vram 4 gigs minimum.  Resolve is good for color correction and conforming, but it’s not the most robust editor, though you can edit with it.

If your going to premier on a mac or the latest dell boxes you’ll easily be into 6 to 9 grand for a proper machine if your going to get heavy into this and edit and conform in uhd and 4k.

In fact all but the top machines can bog down, even working in proxy or some form of proxy, because the machine is still conforming to high bit rate codecs in the background, unless you tick the right boxes.

Also apple and Microsoft seem to be at war with each other, as apple doesn’t support PC’s and PC’S do not support windows media player, which nobody edits in but some corporate clients need wmv for review and I’m sure this will get more intense.

Now just be aware.   I don’t care who you are, what you do, but since you seem like a person that is all pro, you’ll want to learn as much as possible.  I know a lot of dp’s and operators around the world and you’d be amazed at the number of dp’s that wouldn’t know resolve if it landed on them.  They add a LUT from a DIT guy/girl, then shoot, hand off the footage and go home.  On a project a year ago I hired a new 2nd operator.  We did a day of setup and testing and I know my cameras well, and I told him when in doubt stop it down.

Instead he went online read some post that said open up, so I ended up with hours of footage overexposed.   It was a fit to rebuild skies and fake detail back into the whites. 

So my bottom line is whatever you choose, always test it, even when you know it, look at it on a good screen, preferably a broadcast screen and then you know.

Best of luck.

BC
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 09:27:23 PM »

Thanks all for that advice, and BC, to be honest, I have no idea what it is I want to do.  My other half is getting into motion as well; she directed her first major motion project with a major Drug company and was way out of her league.  Fortunately she had a great crew, the client liked the final cuts and did not seem to notice.  They were waiting on her at the beginning of the day to actually say, "quiet on the set, sound, rolling, action!," but she was able to play it off as it being too early and not enough coffee yet. 

So we are thinking about fooling around with motion on our own. 

We are both pros and want to shoot at that level, or really a commercial level, not so much documentary style. 

My goal right now to learn an editing system that would allow me to get the hang of dealing with grading and cutting, and learning sound to a degree.  Also, putting together a reel for my site.  On a paid project I would certainly higher an editor and sound guy and hand that over to them.  Plus, my other half's close cousin works for one of the most reputable editing firms in NYC and is one of the lead editor, so we do have that resource to lean on too.  (I would not be surprise if he worked on something you shot, lots of TV commercials though; Super Bowl is busy season for him). 

Anyway, I always prefer working in RAW due to the great color depth.  4K would be nice too, allowing me to crop if need be. 

If I were to put something together, I would most likely rent a Blackmagic URSA.  As you may know, I work in NYC but live in Philly.  Philly does not have great resources for rentals and Blackmagic is really the limit.  But anyway, I am in no means ready to fool around with a RED or an Alexa. 

Insofar as where I would shoot, locations are my speciality; not too much into being stuck in a studio.  I really love lighting a space and already have all the fresnel lights and floods anyway. 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 09:39:12 PM by JoeKitchen »
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
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Morgan_Moore

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 02:59:47 PM »

I have not ever had anyone tell me what Resolve cannot do.

I do not see a reason to go any other way.
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kenkenman

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2017, 02:24:15 PM »

I'd go Resolve. I've used Premiere for 15 years and while I still like and appreciate it (and how much it has grown) Resolve is fantastic with color and I don't feel like anything else compares. So much that it's worth using it as an editor (even though I feel it's not quite up to par as Premiere) to keep workflow simple.

I've been using the beta version 14 of Resolve and it's much faster now than it was at 12.5. Premiere shined at playing back hi res footage quickly while Resolve really required the use of proxies. But not so much anymore. I can watch graded UHD files from an Ursa Mini Pro in Resolve on a 2015 MBP pretty smoothly. 4k not so much, but it's better than it was. And working with proxies isn't a big deal anyway if you have to (which if you shoot 4k/4.6k RAW on an ursa mini, you'll most likely have to without knowing the machine you're running).

And if you really want to play with color, Resolve will be nice to know so that when you shoot a paid project, you'll know what you can get when it goes out to a colorist. And as an owner of a BMD Ursa Mini Pro, give shooting to ProRes a try if you do rent one. You can still grade the files a ton but you won't need a massive amount of space to store the files.

And keep in mind Resolve 14 is still in beta. It has some issues that will hopefully be fixed soon before its full release.

bcooter

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 05:10:10 PM »

I think resolve is a good option, but there are always bugs for a while.

It all depends if your going in your own closed loop or going outside or both.

Personally, I never thought I'd say this, but I've thought about moving to fcp X.   It's great for someone like Joe that doesn't have a history in traditional editing suites, because X is a snap if your starting fresh.

Since Apple finally updated their new powerbook pro to 16 gb of ram, 2 tb of ssd drive and 4 gigs of vram, for short form motion, you can work almost anywhere.  FCP X is strange to me as I have so much time on the original FCP studio, but it's fast, kind of easy unless you do a lot of keyframing.   I just don't know where Apple is going.  Will they keep X or leave it?   Nobody seems to know and though there are not that many pro editors working in X, you can produce an xml and it will pick up most of the edit, if you need to hand it off.

But for grading Resolve does have a beautiful color engine.

IMO

BC
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 09:17:52 AM »

Thanks BC.  I am still thinking resolve would be best, my only hold up is my computer.  It just does not have the juice needed. 

I was looking at the new MacBooks; mine is almost 3 years old and could be do for an upgrade.  You think the new release would be worth it? 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

bcooter

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 04:12:37 PM »

Thanks BC.  I am still thinking resolve would be best, my only hold up is my computer.  It just does not have the juice needed. 

I was looking at the new MacBooks; mine is almost 3 years old and could be do for an upgrade.  You think the new release would be worth it?


Yes I do, but it's on the limit.  You can configure it to $3700 if you buy refurbished.   I looked at one last night and man are they skinny.   Obviously I couldn't load software at the apple store (I thought about it) but didn't have any files on me anyway.

You'll probably have to run resolve in a proxy mode when working, then switch over to full for conforming but you have to do that with most machines and nearly all software suites.     Doing 4k in post, especially raw is not for the faint of heart.

If you have a 2010 or 2012 5,1 silver mac these guys in London can bring it up to speed for about $3,500 and you'll need a usb 3 card to run fast external drives.

https://create.pro/

P.S. I understand shooting 4k to stop alaising and moire but all 4k is not created equal.  In my view RED, BM and obviously Arri looks like film stock so it doesn't have that hard crisp video look like some cameras, though post work changes everything.   

In fact most of the movies you've seen for years have been shot on 2.7k open gate Arri's, so I'm not that over excited about 4k viewing, though what I think doesn't matter, it's what the client thinks.

RED called me yesterday and offered me an amazing upgrade deal on an 8k helium sensor camera, but I just shutter at the thought of debayering 8k but I guess it's coming.


IMO

BC
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Pete_G

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 05:00:38 PM »

Joe,

Rather late to the game but .....

The thing about editing is that it's the craft of it that's important, not the software. Most of the newer packages are predicated on poor editing principles. If you just want to muck about FCPX I suppose is a good bet as is Premiere Pro, I suppose.

If you really want to get to grips with it, go for Avid. You'll be forced to do things in are LESS intuitive way, but by learning Avid, you'll learn lots of important things about cutting.

In terms of editing, Resolve is terrible. If you only have a couple of dozen shots then maybe it's OK, other than that, forget it. Round tripping from Avid to Resolve works quite well. Cut in Avid, take it into Resolve for CC, and delivery.
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Morgan_Moore

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2017, 01:08:59 PM »

Why is resolve terrible - Im not an experienced editor but no one has told me what is bad?

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Morgan_Moore

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2017, 01:09:23 PM »

did avid just give away a lite version?
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Dinarius

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Re: Good Beginners Software for Editing
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 10:39:08 AM »

Although this is a 2016 article, it's still worth a look.

D.
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