Red Creative

Red Creative PRO

I am that point in my life where i'm at the crossroad. I need to upgrade my editing software. I have been using Vegas Movie Studio 8 which I found easy to use. I need more though, more speed more flexibility, and has to be intuitive and easy to use. However, is it PC or Apple. which shall I choose? This is life changing decision! So any advice would be very much appriciated.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Well,

On the PC, you have your choice of:

Vegas Pro
Avid
Edius
Premiere
and a few other minor players

On the Mac you have
FCP
Avid
Premiere

People seem to think that Macs are the only way to go for doing creative work as PC users are all uneducated dolts tied to an inferior platform. PC users realize they can do things for free that Mac users pay dearly for.

FCP users think their editor is easy and fast until they see a Vegas user do something in 2 steps and 5 minutes that they need an hour to do.

Vegas users think they have it made until they need to collaborate with someone on an Avid or ship sound to ProTools.

Avid users know they can create feature movies without ever leaving their suite of apps. But they pay 2-5 times as much as everyone else for the privilege.

Premiere users get After Effects. And they need it.

Edius folks cut faster than anyone else. But creativity tools are sorely lacking and the workflow is proprietary.

So, you pay your money, and you take your choice. None come without major compromises in cost, features, or compatibility.

Red Creative

Red Creative PRO

What a excellant reply and most informative, thank you.

However, i'm no closer to deciding except for you mentioning Vegas was faster than FCP. That observation does sway me in that direction. If i do go the apple route, that means all new software to purchase.
Thinking about it, I think i will stick with the PC and Vegas.
Thanks for your advice.

Regards

gary larner

gary larner

Hey great you have decided to go the Vegas route. I think it's fantasic! Although, having a problem with the preview window not showing my ammendments to the brightness and contrast, can you help?

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Vegas is not faster than FCP in all things. But it is significantly faster at certain things. If you have a large project to do with either one, you're going to spend some REAL time prepping and transcoding.

FCP has a suite of tools that Vegas can't touch. Vegas really should go back to bundling Cineform as that is really it's ProRes. And now you have to go pay for it.

If you have to ship projects (and not just clips) back and forth with FCP/Avid/Premiere users, Vegas will make you pull your hair out.

There's just no free lunch, and you can be creative on any platform and most NLEs if you are willing to work at it, and invest time, and a bit of money into it. Buy Boris RED for the Vegas suite and Cineform, and suddenly you're doing some really cool stuff.

Or just buy Avid Media Composer and be done with it.

Red Creative

Red Creative PRO

Hi Perrone, just when I thought i had sown it up you throw a huge spanner in there! A useful spanner i might add! I think what you are telling me (excuse my simple mind!) is that you need to spend more than the current price of Vegas and FCP to get something really useful, approx $2000.
I'm new to this and been quite happy with Movie studio but felt the need to upgrade to something more pro.
Is Avid easy to use compared to VP or FCP (again my simple need all the helps it can get!!)> And i see you use Vegas, why not Avid?
I appriciate your comments and advice, thanks

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

If you are moving from Movie Studio, then your next logical move is Vegas, Premiere, or FCP most likely. And probably in that order of easiest to hardest to learn.

Your comment of "something useful" is totally off base. Believe me, you can cut in ANY of these pro apps and get something major. Paranormal Activity has broken all records for return on investment, and it was cut on Vegas. At least 2 Oscar winners in the past few years was cut on FCP, and you see stuff cut on Premiere or using After Effects every month at the movies.

Avid is still the home of the Hollywood Heavyweights. Ironman, The Dark Knight, Transformers, etc. We people are spending $50M, they are usually playing with Avids. Notice the plural of Avid.

I cut on Vegas because we couldn't afford Avid, and I just didn't have the need for the work I do. I am looking to add it to the mix now because of some projects, but there is NO WAY I'd suggest a jump from Movie Studio to Avid Media Composer. You'll be lost. Final Cut is big enough jump...

It will take you months to get really comfortable with any of these, so don't do it if you're in a hurry to push out new work. When I jumped from Premiere to Vegas, I fell back on Premiere for months until I got conversant enough with Vegas to do an entire project in it.

When you start getting paid to cut, then consider Avid.

Red Creative

Red Creative PRO

Perrone, Thanks for your very useful advice and input. I could learn alot from you. I am retired now and looking to make movies for my own enjoyment and earn some cash where i can. I find the whole process fasinating, but I really enjoy editing, more than the camera work. I am self taught and always willing to learn more. I want to be able to show more professional looking movies, hence the move upwards.
I think i will stick with Vegas as it seems the logical step to take from where i am at the moment. Once again thanks for your time and advice. I hope we can keep in touch from time to time.
All the best

Andy

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Sure, any time. Enjoy Vegas. It certainly has it's quirks, but it's a fine program, and probably the best out there for the money.

The Wedding Theater

The Wedding Theater Plus

LOL you ask for help and all this jokester does is spin you in circles. Man FCP is still and always has been the best program to get comfortable with. With the array of plugins and programs like Motion and Compressor in the package, Final Cut Studio is the best place to invest your money. It never hurt to have After Effects as well, because it's a great program, but if you want to "invest" in yourself, the best option is Final Cut. The big boys may use Avid sometimes, but all they do is complain about it. I know first hand from working with editors on a few films. Final Cut is the program most film makers use, end of story, and with the recent price drop, its even more affordable.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Uh first, I am anything BUT a jokester. Second, the jump to FCP (or Avid) is huge. Third, Yes, Final Cut Pro is very popular with editors and with good reason. It's a fine program. Fourth, I'm not so sure that FCP is the program most filmmakers use, but if you have numbers to back that up, I'd love to see them.

All that aside, even with the price cut on FCP, he would not only have to buy the program, but buy a Mac to even start the journey to FCP. So he's going to be spending $3k (hardware and software) just to get going. Toss in the issue of learning a new operating system, a new NLE, learning Compressor, Color, Shake, etc., and it can be overwhelming for someone coming from a non-pro background. My friend has been at it for months with his new MBP and FCS that he bought this summer after jumping from his PC .

FCP is an option, and a good one. But it's not the ONLY one.

The Wedding Theater

The Wedding Theater Plus

^^^ Best post so far! Across all of the film making business, indie and professional alike, everyone I know uses Final Cut as a basis for editing along with other programs. I was just saying as far as investing in yourself, with the possibilities of making your own films and possibly doing them for others as a profession, FCP is the best most widely accepted program.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

I was going to make a long response here.. but it's probably just best left at this.

The Wedding Theater

The Wedding Theater Plus

I wasn't really trying to be an ass, I just feel like when he says he needs some help making a decision its best not to say everything is good and everything is bad. That really just makes the decision harder if you ask me. To each his own though I guess.

Pillow Fight League

Pillow Fight League Plus

I've cut on Media 100, Avid and Premiere in my past, but now? Vegas all the way on a blazing fast PC. Fun!

Joe Staley Media

Joe Staley Media

I've never used Vegas. I'm a mac user and love my FInal Cut pro and After Effects. ifanyone has any other suggestions of apps i can use please let me know via message

Red Creative

Red Creative PRO

hey guys i never meant for this to get so heated. Wow it is such a touchy subject! I agree with Perrone, there are a number of ways to do this and if you start out on Apple and FCP all very good. But if you have invested time and hard earned money in a PC based system (rightly or wrongly!). You need to look at the best options. Again as perrone says, nothing is perfect so go for the option thats suits the circumstance the best. And for me at this time its got be Vegas.
It would cost me some £5000 ($8000) to set up a new system with Apple and about £350 ($560) for Vegas.
Its not being a cheapstake, but using ones head!
Anyway thank you for all the for input.

The Wedding Theater

The Wedding Theater Plus

That makes perfect sense to me. I am glad you found an option that suits your needs for the price you want to afford! Love is everywhere!

Liza Witz

Liza Witz

Go buy a $999 Macbook and you've will have switched to Apple, and you can edit in iMovie for free. Plus you've got garage band to compose your score, and iDVD to build DVD menus and burn DVDs. Its a complete production system, and it comes free with the Mac and is more featurful than Vegas.

Perrone pretended like all this free software doesn't exist and convinced you that in order to use the Apple platform you'd have to go out and spend $8,000!

Hell, Final Cut Studio-- the latest version, which includes the editor, compressor, color correction software, cinema tools, Soundtrack Pro, Motion for motion graphics, and others I'm forgetting is itself only $1,000.

I'm sure people have cut movies on Vegas. That's great. But there's a reason FCP has %49 market share while Avid has %22. (and Vegas?)

If that $8,000 figure included a lot of hard drives (about the only way ( can figure you came up with it) you should know that those hard drives that you have for the PC can be used with a Mac, you don't have to buy new drives, and this probably goes with whatever hardware it is you think it will take $8,000 to replace.

│philwood│

│philwood│ Plus

I use vegas only because adobe premier crashes on my (brand new) PC...i like vegas though.

Daniel Lord

Daniel Lord

If you are going to upgrade your hardware anyway (don't know you are but you might have to even to run a newer PC program like Vegas 9) why not consider a Mac? Just to add to the confusion and to what Lisa said: if you bought one of these (apple.com/imac/performance.html) starting at $1,199 you could dual boot OS X and Windows (XP,Vista, 7) and run Vegas but have access to FCP or FC Express if you felt like upgrading later. Too many people get their ego and buyer's remorse wrapped up in their tools and spout cognitive dissonance all over forums. It's a tool not a religion or an ego extension--buy what works for you best at a price you can afford. No one cares how you made great video--the results are what matter. Think about it. Talk to real live folks who do this for a living. Visit your local Premiere, Vegas, Final Cut, and After effects user groups--find out who is using what. That said here is my personal prejudice: in the creative business, those who go Mac rarely go back and there is a reason. Nothing holds a candle to the Final Cut Studio suite combined with After Effects for all-around work. Nothing.

Tatiana Viviano

Tatiana Viviano

I went brand new into editing and using a mac for the first time 4 months ago. I bought a mac and FCP. I went to one to one sessions and personal projects about once a week and they taught me everything. (it's a hundread something dollars for the year, but the people that do FCP there are worth there weight in gold! When ever I had a question they were quick and patient)
I was told by a film maker friend if you are going to do it, do it. imovie is completely different and I outgrew it being completely, new to editing, in two months.
All in all getting one to one instruction from apple professionals for two years when you get a new comp is worth it!!

Zac C

Zac C

Now this was really a great thread! I have worked on Premiere, Vegas, very little Avid, and now trying my hand at FCP. So far so good but really don't mind any of the others though Avid really does have a sharp learning curve with it.

Liza Witz

Liza Witz

Daniel brings up a good point. These days computer hard drives are big enough that you can easily make your mac dual boot. Keep the video footage on a drive format both can read (eg: FAT) and then switch between windows and OS X as you wish. Switch use Vegas for some things, or Adobe AE or whatever you already have on windows if you want-- you do not have to buy all your software over again. (Though you can probably get everything you need for $1k with FCP)

The build quality of Macs is really quite a significant difference. The result of this is that, since macs cost a bit less than a comparably equipped PC (and yes, Apple doesn't compete in the low end of the market) --- you end up saving a lot of money.

Macs will easily last you 5-6 years without replacement or repair, though you can upgrade the hard drive if you like or memory as it gets cheaper. This is unusual for PCs.

The reason for this is twofold-- first the hardware is of higher quality. These things are not the same under the hood-- capacitors, etc, can wear out over time or minor manufacturing defects (cold joints) can manifest themselves over time. This is why cheap PCs often manifest weird intermittent problems about 18 months after purchase. The QC on these things focuses on issues that causes them to be returned immediately and doesn't care if 18 months later the PC owner thinks "I must have a virus" or whatever, and buys a new computer.

The other big difference is in operating systems. Microsoft is taking longer and longer to release new versions of windows because windows is a big mess. (and I speak this as someone who has seen and worked on the windows source code in the past). Apple, on the other hand, makes each release of the OS faster. Thus macs actually get faster over time. Snow Leopard has very few new features, but the internals have been reworked (again) to make it even faster. Microsoft is going the other way because they primarily make more money by making people upgrade their computers (and buy new windows licenses when they do.)

Apple makes more money by offering a better value. Most buyers confuse price with value, and assume a PC and a Mac are the same thing.

The Wedding Theater

The Wedding Theater Plus

Where were you guys the other day... LOL jk. Thank you to those who have made some of my points all over again. I hope this gentleman found a way to edit his footage! I personally feel he wanted to hear that he needed to go to a Mac and FCP or he wouldn't have posted it to begin with seeing as he was already using Vegas.

Alex|Nomujo-a

Alex|Nomujo-a

I'm in the process now of editing 3 short films with FCP after graduating from Vegas back in the youtube days.

To be honest, it really depends on what your looking for. Vegas feels to me like the best comercial software for beginner/intimediate users in SD or HD. Its very easy to use, quite fast and doesnt have a whole lot of complicated functions. FCP is very much the complete package (if you get studio2) and has a ton of features that I'm very happy to use (motion I love). I believe Benjiman Brutton was made using FCP if you want to see how far that software has come. But, even if you read up on the sofware and watch a bunch of tutorials, it feels compartivily very slow at the start.

Isidra

Isidra

I agree with the chap who said get the Mac and use iMovie. Sure it is thought to be low-end because it is free, and has a whole interaction with iPhoto and iTunes, etc., which allows you to crank out some really good stuff. If you are doing something that big, hire a pro editor and let him or her put their hair out while you assume the role of producer. By the way I have Vegas on the PC side of my iMac (bought November 09) but for some reason the HD footage I now shoot is herky jerky on it. Smooth and fluid on iMovie 09. (I stress 09--it is phenomenal!) If it weren't for HD--I WOULD LOVE VEGAS only (I have 08)! On it we created our documentary which was nominated best doc in two film festivals we entered!

To complicate things, I yesterday started lessons on FCP. That is how I found this post because I cannot believe you have to render every frigging clip you add to the timeline! That must be one reason why Vegas is faster!
GREAT POST!

gsnidow

gsnidow

Andy, one other thing to think about if you do any Visual Basic programming in MS Office. You can run windows on a Mac, and run macros, but you can not use the Visual Basic editor as far as I know, so be sure to keep your PC around.

Drew

Drew

As someone who has used both Vegas Pro 8 and FCP extensively, I can honestly say that its up to your own personal needs.

In my experience, Final Cut Pro is better at doing the same type of work consistently. That is to say, if you work with one type of footage, like for a television show, FCP will allow you to crank out episodes reliably and will keep things organized for you. The media management is much better than what you find in Vegas. Also, I believe FCP has better multicam support (although I've never used Vegas's). Final Cut also contains plenty of templates that look pretty slick and professional without much customization; this allows you to generate quality work pretty quick.

Vegas Pro, on the other hand, is far and away superior if you want to experiment. I can throw HDV footage, DV footage, photoshop files, game footage, and still photos all onto the same timeline. Vegas will not only allow this, but will preview everything without having to render first (having to render everything in FCP always annoys me after using vegas). There is also a handy 'render to RAM' feature which works well for quick previews and will show you how the finished video will look. And of course, Vegas lets you create parent/child track for compositing like After Effects. It even has the different modes such as screen, overlay, hard light, soft light, etc.

Vegas also has very powerful audio editing built right in; in fact I believe it started as an audio editor. The audio editing capabilities in FCP are very lackluster in comparison.

Overall, I feel that Vegas is a better editor for quick, intense pieces of compositing where you're using multiple tracks of audio and video. It is much more flexible in what it allows you to do, and is a more well rounded program than FCP with its audio, compositing, and, yes, even titling strengths (there is an improved titler included now).

Final Cut Pro, on the other hand, is a better editor for commercial video where compatibility and organization are important. It is more refined and solid, yet also more rigid. It is one part of a more traditional style of film-making, where the "editing" is separated from the audio work, compositing and titling (all these elements are different programs in the Final Cut Studio package.) That said, I would rather cut a feature length movie on FCP than on Vegas, because of the superior organizational tools.

Short version:

FCP is great for professional work, easier to produce professional looking video.

Vegas is great for experimenting, mixing formats. It is sort of an all-in-one program for concocting whatever you want. Plus it is extremely simple and fast, a great tool.

As you can probably tell, I prefer working in Vegas...simply because its more fun. But I won't deny that Final Cut is also a great editor and there's a reason its so popular.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Drew, that's a very nice summary, and quite fair to both programs.

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