Latest post Fri, Sep 17 2010 12:11 PM by Richard Bentley. 3 replies.
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  • Thu, Sep 16 2010 7:04 PM

    • Nala7
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    • Joined on Thu, Sep 16 2010
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    Avid vs. FCP; what again?

    I thought I had exhausted this topic long ago, but I woke this morning thinking about the differences & became overwhelmed by a new list. Yesterday I had discovered that a person I've known in an online community (video game, lol) is an editor too. She has FCP, I have Avid; not exactly a good distinction on which to build a friendship. Like a liberal befriending a Tea-partier. But she said she wanted to try Avid!!! Anyhow the differences seemed to boil down to 2 categories; 1. basic architecture and 2. user interface.

    Basic architecture. What makes Avid Unity work and FCP unity not really work like it should, seems to be a basic difference in architecture. Avid Unity works because Avid seems to have an abtraction layer between the media and the user, similar to an accountant's relationship to the money in the bank. In FCP the connection is somehow more direct and fixed; not flexible. You can have several accountants, auditors, biz developers, CEO's all looking at the money in the bank and generating reports. Those reports don't affect the money itself or change its make up. That's how Avid Unity works. But this is also how day-to-day things work for an editor like me, who work alone. I can pull fragments of different sequences from different projects (simple drag-&-drop) and cut them into a new project sequence, all with not only not affecting the media in any way, but also not affecting the original sequences. That's because there is this abstraction between user generated files (like sequences), the media and what you do with it; as if the sequence is only a 'paper reference' to media in the same way a bookeeper's ledger is only a reference to the money.

    I don't know what FCP is doing in connection with the media, but I used it for 3 years and had a hell of a time mixing sequences which is something an editor should be able to do easily. Avid treats sequences exactly the same as it treats clips; a sequence to Avid is just another clip. So you can cut, splice & butcher it anyway you want and not affect the original or any copies of it. It's a completely brainless procedure for the editor, as it should be.

    This also helps in rendering. A render simply creates new media, so Avid can't really lose track of it. Yesterday I was working on a project that was a recap of my client's activities over the last year. So I pulled elements from past projects and pooled them into a new project. For one of the old projects, the P2 media is still there, but I'm to lazy to put it back "Online" coz the renders are still there and I don't really need to. For that past project I had 4 video layers with, several effects-- animated mattes, glow effects, color correction, film effects, titles-- I forget what else. But because I used "Inteli-render" or what ever it's called, only the top video layer represented the render itself.

    At one point after cutting in a part of that old project into the new one, I must have spliced in something from a different old project without locking the top most video track(video track 4) with the other tracks. So all the elements on track4 had stayed put, while the remaining 3 tracks had gotten moved down the timeline. Later in the day I noticed  the "Media Offline" screens and animated mattes from the lower tracks when trying to play. To fix this, all I had to do was 'pick up' the elements from the top track and set them down where they belonged and voila. I didn't have to put the P2 media back online or re-render. Try to do that with FCP... no wait, don't even try it, you would be wasting your time.

    My story is getting long-- I may add toit later.

    MC 6.5. HP Zbook. Intel i7-4700MQ CPU @ 2.40GHz. 24 GB RAM. Nvidia Quadro K610M. 64bit. Windows 7. [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Sep 16 2010 8:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid vs. FCP; what again?

    She has FCP, I have Avid; not exactly a good distinction on which to build a friendship. Like a liberal befriending a Tea-partier.


    Dare I ask if we Avid users are the liberals or the Tea-partiers?   On second thought, I don't think I want to know...   

    MC 2018.4 with Symphony, Matrox MX02 Mini Max, Win 7 Pro, HP Z800 2x6-Core 3.2Ghz Xeon, 48GB ram, Quadro K4200, SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD as system drive... [view my complete system specs]

    I have a fantastic editing assistant.  He stays by my side when I edit...doesn't talk too much...and thinks I'm a genius!    Check him out here:

  • Thu, Sep 16 2010 8:39 PM In reply to

    • Jayanta
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Jul 6 2007
    • India
    • Posts 1,504
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    Re: Avid vs. FCP; what again?

    Terry Snyder:
    Dare I ask if we Avid users are the liberals or the Tea-partiers?   On second thought, I don't think I want to know...   

    HOw about half of Both?Stick out tongue Thank God! I am a liberal Conservative Conservative.Big Smile

    All Sorts of System as I am a freelance Editor [view my complete system specs]

    "Out of mud the lovely Lotus Blooms, Out of Strife something higher vies "

  • Fri, Sep 17 2010 12:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid vs. FCP; what again?

    This may be of interest to you friend Yes:

    Kind regards,


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    The latest Avid Training from Multi-Award winning Producer Class on Demand! Steve Hullfish was named an Avid Master Editor in 1996. Since then, he has written or co-written four books on editing and color correction, including The Art and Technique of Color Correction and Avid Xpress Pro Editing Workshop. His editing credits span more than 20 years, including editing the Oprah Winfrey Show for which he won a Daytime Emmy. Other broadcast credits include Emmy nominations for Investigative Reports and Cold Cases with Bill Kurtis on A&E. He runs his own production company - Verascope Pictures - and his clients include Universal Studios, NBC Television, Turner Broadcasting, HIT Entertainment, Jim Henson Entertainment and VeggieTales. 

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