Latest post Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:59 PM by BLKDOG. 10 replies.
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  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 1:43 PM

    • Snowball
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    Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    As a keen Avid user and strong supporter of the platform I have some developing concerns and here is a little story by way of illustration.  I would be very interested to hear feedback from other users and particularly Moderators.

    The story centers around those prolific generators of plug-ins at Red Giant Software.  I am a big fan of Red Giant, particulary the Magic Bullet products and it should be noted that I am running an HPxw8200 system with Xpress Pro 5.7 and an Nvidia Quadro 1400 graphics card.

    I recently upgraded from Magic Bullet Editors to the newly released Magic Bullet Looks from Red Giant.  I have previously used Editors to great effect in both HD and SD projects so I was over the moon when Looks was released - particularly as it features a new spot exposure effect which would be invaluable in correcting some underexposed interviews in a doc I was cutting.

    Red Giants website happily edorses Avid and support for the Looks product appeared general to most edit apps including Final Cut, Premiere and After Effects.  Since I had no previous issues using Editors on my system, since the Red Giant website had 'Avid Compatible' splashes all over the product page, and since the product was being offered as an UPGRADE to my existing Editors software I did not anticipate any problems.

    Imagine my surprise, then, when having downloaded and installed the upgrade Looks refused to work in HD projects - upon each initialisation of the plug-in an 'Open GL Effects Error' appeared.

    I contacted Red Giant who informed me that my graphics card is only boarderline compatible with the software and I should check there list of approved graphics cards.  Hmm... now I eventually found this list tucked away in some far flung corner of the site and I compared it to the list of Avid approved graphics cards on the Avid website and guess what - not one single match!  Absolutely none of the Red Giant approved cards were the same as the those approved for use with Avid systems.

    Now as I understand it my graphics card (the Nvidia Quadro FX1400) is a common card installed in to many Xpress Pro turnkey system, built by Avid Endorsed re-sellers.  How therefore, given the above, can Red Giant claim to support the Avid Platform?

    I put this to them when asking for a refund on the basis that their product information was mi-leading.  To their credit they handled the situation well, offering either a refund or some free software.  I chose the latter option - only one of them works.

    Now then, every just about every piece of software on their site supports Final Cut Pro, and given Macs are generally built to stricter specs than PC workstations I would wager Final Cut users will have less comapatability issues.

    I have noticed several companies providing post-prod imaging software are releasing updates and software for Final Cut before Avid - if they intend to support Avid at all.

    My big question I'd like to put to the forum is this - is Avid falling behind when it comes to support from third party software developers?

    For filmmakers like myself this is an important question and the answer will dictate which edit platform I run in the future.  My company is entirely digital.  I have never shot on film and probably never will so we are heavily reliant on the digital post production process to achieve the results we want.

    This issue with Red Giant is the first time I have seriously thought that a change of platform may be in order when we next upgrade our systems.  Not having access to some of these products can cause companies like mine to fall behind in the field an it is therefore imperative that we are running the most up to date, well supported and versatile edit and post-production applications.

    I would be very interested to hear what others have to say on this topic.  Do others feel that Avid is losing ground and under supported?

    Best wishes,

    Chris.

    iMac 3.4GH i7 27" OSX 10.8.2 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB MC7.0 and me old.. XP Pro SP2 MC v3.5 QT v7.4.5.67 HP xw8200; 2gb RAM; Intel... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 1:54 PM In reply to

    • BLKDOG
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Lansing, MI
    • Posts 17,731
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      Moderator: MCA Mac
      Moderator: MCA PC

    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Ok, so you posted this twice. Maybe one of the PC mods can delete your post over there and we'll deal with this here.

    From my reply in your first post:

    Not for us. We use Red Giant Plugs a lot. They work perfectly on our Mac systems. Boris and Gen Arts are always on top of the ball when it comes to updating for Avid and Noise industries keeps up very well also.

    So sorry to hear that you are hving difficulty but, one hitch with one software developer should not signal gloom and doom for the entire Avid line for you (I hope).

    Keep in mind that just because one of Red Giant's cards is not on Avid's supported list, doesn't mean it won't work. If you post the link to RG's supported card list, I could run it up to tech support and see what they would recommend if you would like.

    Project Manager, Avid Professional Services - Americas [view my complete system specs]

    In agreement, Unity. In Disagreement, Discussion. In all things, Charity.


  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 3:05 PM In reply to

    • Snowball
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    • Joined on Wed, Sep 20 2006
    • York, UK
    • Posts 103
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

     Hi, yes, I did cross post - sorry.

    For me the issue is with key software developers and platform compatability.

    Working as we do entirely within the digital realm I need to be sure that our systems are compatable as far as possible with new releases without having to replace graphics cards everytime something new is released.

    From RGs perspective I don't see how it can be remotely fair to claim their products support Avid when an Avid system only 12 months old all of a sudden can't support the products they offer.  Especially when the product on offer is an upgrade from existing software which does work.  Very frustrating from a consumer point of view.  You say above that you are using Mac systems whereas I am running PCs so, as I highlighted in my original post, perhaps the issue is more to do with hardware reliability (the old PC vs Mac debate) than it does support for a specific software platform. 

    This link takes you to the Red Giant compatability chart.  Now this has really irritated me.  You will notice on the Magic Bullet Looks table for compatable graphics cards that there is an asterix saying the Nvidia Quadro 1400 and another Nvidia card is not supported.  This was NOT present when I originally purchased the software and has only been included since my issue with Red Giant was resolved last week.  Had that information been present initially I wouldn't have had a leg to stand on when requesting a refund.

    http://www.rgsupportzone.com/system_compatibility

    This is the crux of my point.  When spending 5,000GBP on a new Avid system you don't expect major components to become obsolete within 6 months even when it comes to thirdparty software support.  Not when the majority of Xpress Pro machines available within the UK at time of purchase came with the Quadro FX1400 as standard and Avid is promoting itself as the premier edit solution.  If a major thirdparty developer like RG suddenly drops support for a common component used in machines built to Avid specifications this can have a major impact on small production businesses such as mine and influence our choice of edit app and platform in the future.

    So not so much doom and gloom as beliwiderment and frustration.

    iMac 3.4GH i7 27" OSX 10.8.2 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB MC7.0 and me old.. XP Pro SP2 MC v3.5 QT v7.4.5.67 HP xw8200; 2gb RAM; Intel... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 3:26 PM In reply to

    • BLKDOG
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Lansing, MI
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      Moderator: MCA Mac
      Moderator: MCA PC

    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    I hear you. In my 25 years in this business, this is a conundrum with which we have struggled since the advent of computerized editing. Lots of manufacturers making lots of products and each has their own agenda/concerns.

    One thing I will say, and this is a personal opinion only, I used to have PC systems for personal use on shows that we cut but I phased them out for just this reason. Keeping up with different components, drivers, etc. was just more than I wanted to do. It seems everybody had a different requirement for our PC assets. So, I know where you are coming from. Unfortunately, this is the boat we're in now. Software and hardware changes so quickly today that a 12 month old system is ancient in terms of asset depreciation. Every time I update anything I have to check ALL of my components for compatibility. The Mac systems are more forgiving of these compatibility issues overall. It just either will work or it won't.

    I have to talk to John Kerr over at RG later today anyway. If I can find out anything that will help you , I'll come back and pass it along.


    Project Manager, Avid Professional Services - Americas [view my complete system specs]

    In agreement, Unity. In Disagreement, Discussion. In all things, Charity.


  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 3:43 PM In reply to

    • Snowball
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    • York, UK
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

     Yep, that's about what I figured but thanks for being candid.

    Maybe it's different here in the UK but you just don't get people running Avid on Macs.  Most resellers supply only PC based Avid systems - I can't remember seeing a Mac version. If they have a Mac it's final Cut all the way, and I notice too that many of the post production jobs we get over here require experience of Final Cut rather than Avid when only a few years ago the reverse was true.

    Just to shift this discussion off centre a bit how do you rate working with Avid on a Mac?  What are the pros and cons?

    If your tech guys could recommend a more suitable card for me based upon RG and Avid requirements that too would be fantastic.

    Many thanks.

    iMac 3.4GH i7 27" OSX 10.8.2 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB MC7.0 and me old.. XP Pro SP2 MC v3.5 QT v7.4.5.67 HP xw8200; 2gb RAM; Intel... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 3:54 PM In reply to

    • BLKDOG
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Lansing, MI
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Well, my business was based in L.A. for the longest time and, if you cut for studios, you're cutting on Macs.

    How do I rate it? There really isn't much difference. Each platform has their strengths and drawbacks. It is just as stable as the PC for sure but there are limitations that you don't have. For instance, we cant use the Digi002 or Command 8 mixers as control surfaces. Macs can't utilize the Studio Toolkit (Although Apple's offerings in this area are much better than Avids for us). Also, the ability to use OSX and all of its advantages over XP has always been a draw for us. Leopard has only widened that gap.

    The main money maker for us is the ability to run either FCP or Avid on one box (We can even run the PC version if a client requests it).

    The Main reason for us to switch to the Mac had nothing to do with the Avid software, at all. For us it was just a matter of configuration issues and frustration with the maintenance on our PCs (kind of like what you are experiencing now). People who are into PCs can skate around problems that we had pretty handily but that just wasn't us.

    I sent a note off to John. I'm going to see if we can't get RG and Avid together to get some sort of a recommendation here.

    Project Manager, Avid Professional Services - Americas [view my complete system specs]

    In agreement, Unity. In Disagreement, Discussion. In all things, Charity.


  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:13 PM In reply to

    • Snowball
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Great stuff, thanks.

    Maybe something major software devlopers like Avid could offer customers is some sort of deal whereby if they change platform eg pc-mac they can have the equivalent level of software for that system if they provide proof of purchse of the other version.

    This would encourage people like me who may be considering switching platform to stick with the same brand of software and continue to buy upgrades.

    If I ever switch from PC to Macs the endeavor would be so costly that I would migrate to Final Cut Pro which would come as part of a bundle rather than buy the Mac with Final Cut and then shell out however many pounds to purchase the Mac version of Xpress or Media Composer.

    With companies like RG this thankfully isn't an issue because when you buy the software you get it for all versions so it can be run cross-platform.

    iMac 3.4GH i7 27" OSX 10.8.2 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB MC7.0 and me old.. XP Pro SP2 MC v3.5 QT v7.4.5.67 HP xw8200; 2gb RAM; Intel... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:27 PM In reply to

    • DShulkin
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Snowball,

    Keep in mind that you Avid software will (should) run on the Mac.  I think you mentioned XPro, so you should be able to install your current software on the Mac platform (I haven't worked on Xpro in about a year or so, so this needs to be confirmed - may need to upgrade for intel chipsets).  Your dongle will work on it as well.  We did this on some of our old G5 systems where we would move from a PC laptop to the G5 and take the dongle with it.  Worked fine.  Currently, we are moving almost all of our suites to the Mac side, just for the reason that we are a mixed house (FCP and Avid) and we can run WinXP on our newer Mac Intel chipsets.  A lot of bang for the buck and less issues with drivers, etc.


    Nitris DX/MC 6.x-MacPro 8c, 12GB RAM, 6TB of internal RAID 0 storage. Adrenaline MC 5.x - MacPro 8c, 6GB RAM, 6TB of internal RAID 0 storage. EditShare... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Snowball:
    Maybe something major software devlopers like Avid could offer customers is some sort of deal whereby if they change platform eg pc-mac they can have the equivalent level of software for that system if they provide proof of purchse of the other version.
     

    Hi,

    Avid used to include both Mac and PC discs in the box.  Do they not do that anymore?

    good luck,
    Carl

    Media Composer 2020.9 w/Symphony/SS/PF options, HP Z-Book G6 17", i7-9850H 2.60GHz, 32gb RAM, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000, Windows 10 Pro [view my complete system specs]

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who only consider the price are this man's lawful prey."  - John Ruskin (1819-1900)

     

    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:35 PM In reply to

    • Snowball
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    • Joined on Wed, Sep 20 2006
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    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    Ah, now THAT'S interesting. I didn't think I could run my Xpress pro software on a mac.  As it happens I have a G5 in my living room.  I use it as a TV.  I have no idea what's under the hood and it's on loan from an aquaintence to produce some visual FX for a feature.  I had no idea the dongle would work either so I might just give that a go.  I'll also fire up the RG software and see what happens.

    Presumably you would advocate running Xpress through the existing MacOSX rather than XP on Bootcamp?

    Mac-wise what would be the recommended system specs to run Xpress Pro as well as my current system?

    iMac 3.4GH i7 27" OSX 10.8.2 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 Radeon HD 6970M 2048MB MC7.0 and me old.. XP Pro SP2 MC v3.5 QT v7.4.5.67 HP xw8200; 2gb RAM; Intel... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Mar 27 2008 4:59 PM In reply to

    • BLKDOG
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Lansing, MI
    • Posts 17,731
    • Points 226,405
    • Avid Employee
      Moderator: MCA Mac
      Moderator: MCA PC

    Re: Avid Compatability Concerns - Avid Losing Ground?

    You will need OS 10.4.11 (If you have 'Pro 5.8), a GFX card that supports Open GL and has 128 megs of VRAM, and at least 2 gigs of Ram.


    Also, for any sort of stability or speed, you need to be sure that you are using a G5 dual processor (at the very least). While the G5s were solid performers, true parity with the PC version didn't come along until the Intel-based MacPros.

    Project Manager, Avid Professional Services - Americas [view my complete system specs]

    In agreement, Unity. In Disagreement, Discussion. In all things, Charity.


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