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Final Cut Express 4

For our MAC users, questions about the various Video Editing software products.

Final Cut Express 4

Postby ryan_khoo » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 am

As I cannot afford to buy Final Cut Studio, I bought the Final Cut Express 4 instead.

Despite all the good reviews of Final Cut, I am finding that Final Cut is quite primitive as compared to Sony Vegas.

Simple things like transition, when I select it, I cannot see how the transition looks like unless I render the transition. This makes the Final Cut looks like a stone age era video editing software.

Anyone with the same opinion ?

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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Chuck Engels » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:20 am

Final Cut was created by the original developers of Adobe Premiere Pro, there are still many similarities ;)
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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby ryan_khoo » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:58 am

Chuck Engels wrote:Final Cut was created by the original developers of Adobe Premiere Pro, there are still many similarities ;)


Hmmm.... I didn't know that. If that is the case, then Adobe Premiere Pro should be better than Final Cut ?

Is they have so many similarities, can't Apple sue Adobe for infringing copyright ?

Anyway, I am still puzzled as to why does Final Cut (is Premiere Pro also like that ?) has to render first before we can see how the transition looks like ? Doesn't this make Final Cut looks so primitive when Sony Vegas or even Windows Movie Maker, we can see the sample transition instantly ?

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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Chuck Engels » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:26 am

You only have to render if the system cant' handle it, I don't have to render on my new machine but on my 3ghz machine I had to render often.

Adobe was the first with the application, if anyone was going to sue it would be Adobe suing Apple.
I don't know how it all happened but you can check out the HISTORY section of this wiki article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Cut_Pro
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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:58 am

Chuck is right. And this is as true for Final Cut as it is for After Effects.

How much you have to render depends on how powerful your machine is. A very powerful Mac will be able to display many more effects and transitions without rendering than a slower machine will.

The frustrating thing, for those of us who grew up on Premiere Elements and Sony Vegas, is that Macs don't show you a low-res version of the effect or transition when it needs rendering. It just shows you a screen that says "Needs rendering". In other words, until you render, you don't see ANYTHING!

And I agree, Ryan. That can be a bit frustrating.
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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:00 am

Steve Grisetti wrote:The frustrating thing, for those of us who grew up on Premiere Elements and Sony Vegas, is that Macs don't show you a low-res version of the effect or transition when it needs rendering. It just shows you a screen that says "Needs rendering". In other words, until you render, you don't see ANYTHING!


Now that I did not know, and yes, that would be very frustrating. Makes me glad I use Premiere Elements :)
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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby ryan_khoo » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:56 pm

Hi guys,

This post is intended for people contemplating whether to learn & use FCE.

But before that, I apologize for disappearing from here for about 2-3 months.

In that period, I was active in the FInal Cut Express (FCE) forum as I wanted to learn FCE. Since I have bought FCE, I thought in order not to waste money I need to learn it.

At first it was tough as I kept comparing FCE withSony Vegas. It was frustating initially as I took a while to understand the concept of FCE's way of doing things with the viewer & canvas. I also took a while to understand the concept of In point & Out point.

Yes, I bought almost given up & the few hundred bucks I paid for FCE also almost went to drain. You see, I was able to learn Sony Vegas from scratch from the forum here with Paul LS providing a lot help. I thought I can learn FCE the same way too. But I just cannot. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying guys in FCE forum are not helpful, in fact they really are. It is just that I am too much of a newbie to be able to understand what they are trying to teach me.

Until I bought a book from Apple Pro Training Series, titled "Final Cut Express 4 - Movie Making for Everyone" by Diana Weynard. I spent time reading the whole book from cover to cover & did all the tutorials. After that I realized suddenly I can communicate & understand what the guys in FCE forum are talking about.

Now, finally, I am able to produce a movie using FCE, albeit an amateur one. I suppose the hard work was worthwhile as I now find it quite useful as I can control a lot of things. But I must say the learning is curve is very steep, at least for me.

But I believe if someone with a poor command & grasp of English like me can read the book & use FCE, I am sure the rest will surely be able to do so.

Perhaps, I should list down here the Pros & Cons of FCE based on my Personal Experience:

PROS of FCE 4

1. I find the keyframing is simpler & easier to use than Sony Vegas (SV)
2. I find that the Titling in FCE is much more powerful than SV especially when FCE comes bundled with Boris 3D & LiveType. The integration of LiveTyoe & Boris 3D with FCE is seamless.
3. It is easier to edit portion of videos to be used in FCE.

CONS of FCE 4

1. Steep learning curve.
2. Cannot see a sample of how the transition looks like before using it. The transition are listed in words. So how to visualize how the transition looks like just based on words alone. Even simple software like Movie Maker, you can preview the transition before selecting it. In FCE, you need to select the transition into the timeline & play it before you see how it looks like. I still don't understand why FCE is so primitive in this area ?
3. The exported files in .mov are large
4. FCE does not have berzier mask like SV Pro where you can mask out funny shapes by clicking many times to form the shape. But in FCE you have to use the 8 point matte. I find this difficult to use. Certainly SV's method of clicking to form the shape is easier without restricing to just 8 points.

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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:11 pm

Thanks for the update Ryan, looks like even Premiere Elements has some advantages over FCE 4 :)
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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby ryan_khoo » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:27 pm

Chuck Engels wrote:Thanks for the update Ryan, looks like even Premiere Elements has some advantages over FCE 4 :)

Yes Chuck, you are right especially when Elements can preview the transition. :lol:

Actually, I find Premier Elements does not behave according to what I read from the book especially the part about Titles. I really find Titles quite irritating in Elements. I have concluded that the Elements that I got as a birthday gift was a faulty one.

But I meant to ask you. Is Adobe Premier Pro somewhat similar to FCE ? If yes, it may be worthwhile for me to try another software.

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Re: Final Cut Express 4

Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:44 pm

The creators of Final Cut came from the Adobe Premiere team, you can really tell when you look at the two programs.

Not sure why you are having trouble with the titles, it is not uncommon however.
There have been regular posts where some people, for some reason, have lots of trouble with the Titler in Premiere Elements.
Could be a font issue, could be who knows what, I think most of the issues have gone unresolved.

I have been using Heroglyphs by ProDad for about a year now, I love that program and it can be opened from within Premiere, Elements or Pro.
I have not had any problems with the Titler in any of the versions to date, what exactly is going on with yours?
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