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Alternative Application for Media Production

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Thomas FrankAlternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 10:39:07 am

What do you guys think about this Alternative Application for Media Production Blog?

http://www.fcproxuniversity.com/FCPro_X_University/Extra_Credit/Entries/201...



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Tero AhlforsRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:19:34 pm

Well that read like someone is really pissed at Adobe for some reason.


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Craig SeemanRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:27:37 pm

My concern about Pixelmator and Sketch is what happens when I client hands you an Adobe CS6 Photoshop or Illustrator file and you need to do some changes on them.

I'm not a fan of Adobe's pricing and upgrade policy either but I understand their business motives. I haven't updated Photoshop since CS2. One might wonder why so many people don't upgrade. It may be that while they do come out with some interesting new features, most may not be critical for what I call the "casual professional" (people who use these tools for things that Pixelmator does for much less money for example).



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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:40:33 pm

I can't think of a faster way to be considered bush league by my clients than when they send me a Photoshop or Illustrator file and I tell them I can't open it.

And this guy thinks Motion is better than After Effects - it's a toy! Presets for the talentless!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Thomas FrankRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:45:26 pm

I wouldn't call Motion a toy we have made some serious cash with it!
Presets for the talentless... so does After Effects has his share of talentless.



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Chris HarlanRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 5:29:46 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "I can't think of a faster way to be considered bush league by my clients than when they send me a Photoshop or Illustrator file and I tell them I can't open it.

And this guy thinks Motion is better than After Effects - it's a toy! Presets for the talentless!
"


Frankly Joseph, I don't think you've spent enough time with Motion to so blithely disregard it. I've used it to great effect (pun intended) since its inception. Certainly, it has presets if you care to use them, but I've gotten a lot of millage out of the program without them. You didn't have to look any further than its strength as a masking tool which sat inside the FCP timeline to know its worth. The use of "behaviors" as an animating tool (not only x,y,z direction, but very granular behaviors like gravity, repulsion, attraction) and its unique (at the time of introduction, and for several years after) use of GPU accelerated preview made it a very interesting environment to experiment in. It's later implementation of 2.5D lighting and camera tools made what was already an extremely useful titling tool into something very fast and quite remarkable. I think that if you were actually aware of its facile but deep granularity, you would find it very difficult if not impossible to call it a toy.

"Better" than AE, certainly not. But, also, not a toy.


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Walter SoykaRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:11:55 pm

My feeling on Motion vs. AE is that Motion's ceiling is lower, but its floor is higher.

I grossly generalize that by saying that it's easier to get from 0% to 80% in Motion than it is in AE, but it's easier to get from 0% to 100% in AE.

As a power AE user, I get hung up on all the things I can't do with Motion: scripting, expressions, resolution independence, and most especially third-party support.

That said, Motion's mostly real time performance is fun while it lasts, replicators are neat, and rigging/publishing is very cool.

There's a lot to like in Motion, but it's also pretty easy to bang your head on the low ceiling as you step outside of titling.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris HarlanRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 10:53:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "There's a lot to like in Motion, but it's also pretty easy to bang your head on the low ceiling as you step outside of titling.
"


Absolutely. Back when round-tripping actually worked, the best thing about Motion--from my POV--was the way it worked with FCP. I tended to think of it as an extension of FCP, and used it that way. I've removed whole actors from scenes where they've intruded with the masking tool, created effects and transitions that wouldn't be possible with normal plugins, and have quickly created dynamite titles that no NLE titler has ever been capable of. But, I have always thought of it as a module of FCP, and not something that competes at any serious level with AE. It was much more comparable to Boris modules with Avid [I'd say "is" but since round-tripping is gone from X, I think it deserves a past tense.]

I should also add that, since I come from the television world (as opposed to film), I tend to see modules like Motion as some sort of incredible mutant descendant of Chyron, and not as an animation package.


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Walter SoykaRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 11, 2012 at 12:10:19 am

[Chris Harlan] "I should also add that, since I come from the television world (as opposed to film), I tend to see modules like Motion as some sort of incredible mutant descendant of Chyron, and not as an animation package."

Apple's current tagline for Motion is "Make every effect special" -- but I think "Incredible Mutant Descendant of Chyron" is way more descriptive.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:39:01 pm

[Craig Seeman] "One might wonder why so many people don't upgrade."

Craig,


... Adobe CS sales and upgrades are down?


Franz.


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Craig SeemanRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:45:17 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "... Adobe CS sales and upgrades are down?"

While I haven't seen number, I think one reason Adobe offers a subscription model is to alleviate the high one time cost of upgrading (and to give them steady cash flow).

There's lots of stories of people skipping upgrades and Adobe began limiting more tightly how many versions one can jump in an upgrade. I can't see any other reason for doing that except to counter the tendency for people to skip versions.

With subscription at least one can go month to month as one needs but some might find that awkward and it does cost more than doing a long term subscription.

I do think lots of people were skipping versions though.



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Franz BieberkopfRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:54:40 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I do think lots of people were skipping versions though."

Craig,

Speaking of vagaries ... what do you make of the recent jumps in FCPX "top grossing" status in the app store? (down to 3rd last week behind pages, up to 1st this week)


Franz.


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Craig SeemanRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:13:54 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Speaking of vagaries ... what do you make of the recent jumps in FCPX "top grossing" status in the app store? (down to 3rd last week behind pages, up to 1st this week)"

It's been a steady number two as far as I can tell in USA store but I have seen it drop to number three behind Pages. I haven't seen it hit number one as that's always Lion in USA. Keep in mind if you're looking at "gross" it's dollars so a $300 app only needs 1/10 the sales to challenge a $30 app.

There's been at least one industry report which does indicate FCPX is selling very well. That obviously doesn't mean it's a lead NLE in most shops but for some it's a $300 plugin for its good features and for others it's a small outlay so they can reassess as features are added. For many others it's a good small shop solution in a tight economy.

Of course, Adobe's answer is that the subscription model doesn't require much outlay either although there might be some "gotchas" in that model (which isn't a bad thing for Adobe).



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Pat HarrisRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:32:53 pm

Interesting Article...

Haven't used Pixelmator, hype, or sketch before.

I do like FCPX, Motion and Aperture though.

IMO Motion does not compete with AE, motion is great for doing small graphics here or there, but not great for any VFX work.

AE has so much plugin support (between video copilot and red giant etc) and so many tutorials online I actually found it easier to learn.

Also, this list of budget items is great if your a college student trying to make a kickass short film, but if your working with clients you want to have all the top tools available.

Just my $0.02

Pat Harris
http://www.CinematicDSLR.com


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:20:28 pm

I'm with you Pat - while there is no shame in using budget/free tools to accomplish a project (especially a one-person shop project), there is a certain level of expectations from the client-side when you dip your toes into the "real" production world. I'm not even going to try and define "real" - everyone's reality here varies.

What I'm saying is that my clients expect me to have the "pro" stable of tools available. Now that could be Adobe, Apple, or AVID tools, but the general expectation is that you've got Photoshop and Illustrator to do logo and still prep work, then AE and PPro, FCP and Motion, or AVID tools to do the editing. There's always going to be someone who will create Toy Story on a cellphone, but that's the exception, rather than the rule. It is good to shake up the market, however, and make the big boys realize there is always some small dog breathing at their back, who, in one fell swoop, could suddenly become the big dog.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Dennis RadekeRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:45:08 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "... Adobe CS sales and upgrades are down?"

No.

Also, a quick note on the Creative Cloud subscription model. I think of it as a good choice or alternative for some users. Adobe believes in open workflows and to take that idea further - open choices on how to purchase the software.

If you want a traditional license of software, great! Upgrade as before. As Craig noted, we have changed how far back we look for a qualified upgrade but a) we let people know this was changing well before the CS6 launch and b) subsequently offered specials to get people from CS3 to move up before time ran out. You might say Adobe is getting greedy, but if you look around the industry, most major software companies weren't going back three versions to allow for an upgrade.

If you want to have more flexibility in your software license and get updates and additional programs, and cloud stuff, etc. the Creative Cloud subscription model might work for you. You pay less and when CS-next comes out, you automatically have access to it. You get Master Collection which is nice for those of you that need InDesign or Dreamweaver once in a while. you get the cloud storage. However, if you stop your subscription, you only have what you started with, which may be nothing...

Both sides have merit and in the end, it's a choice. It's a choice that's up to YOU, not Adobe!

Here's an FAQ for ya. http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html

Hope this helps,
Dennis - Adobe guy


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Walter SoykaRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 3:45:06 pm

I just read this and a few other blog entries, and I disagree with Mr. Balser on many, many points. I'd dispute several of his technical assertions, but that aside, I think his analyses are tremendously subjective.

Maybe it's to be expected from a web site named "FCPX University," but there's no attempt at balance in this article. I am 100% supportive of giving FCPX its due, applauding Apple's innovations, and recognizing how Apple has shaped the industry -- but from a creative professional's perspective, this is not a zero-sum game, and I think that minimizing the contributions of other developers like Adobe, Autodesk, and Avid is foolish, short-sighted, and risky. He seems particularly negative toward Adobe, and I'm not really sure why. They make great tools, they are industry standards, and their pricing is well within reach for working professionals.

Another element missing here is a sense of perspective: an explanation of the sort of work that can best be done with these tools, and where their limits lie.

To make the dreaded tool analogy, Mr. Balser has suggested that a handsaw is the best tool because it's small, cheap, and cuts through wood. I took down a few branches and trees on my property this weekend, but if I had only a handsaw instead of a pole saw and a chainsaw, I'd still be out in the woods.

I am sure it's possible to do good work with the alternative tool set Mr. Balser is espousing in his blog. However, I think it's key to remember that this is an alternative tool set, not a replacement tool set. Some of the apps in here simply can't compete with their more fully-featured alternatives for more complex or collaborative work.

My opinion on getting work done is fundamentally unchanged: figure out what the goal for the job at hand is, then select the best tool for getting it done.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 10, 2012 at 4:57:41 pm

Well put Walter - you don't need a chainsaw to cut down a sapling, but you sure don't want to use a hatchet to cut down a 40 foot tall oak tree. The right tool for the job, and don't mock someone else's tools, especially if you don't understand them.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Scott SheriffRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 1:41:13 am

[Joseph W. Bourke] "you don't need a chainsaw to cut down a sapling, but you sure don't want to use a hatchet to cut down a 40 foot tall oak tree."

Lets run with that for a moment.
You actually can cut down saplings no problem with a chainsaw. I do it all the time.
However, if all you have are a few saplings to cut down, and nothing else, then dragging out the chainsaw is more work than just cutting them by hand.
It is much more difficult to take down bigger trees with a hatchet, then it is to cut saplings with a chainsaw.
This is much like FCS vs FCP X. FCS is the chainsaw, and X is the hatchet.

[Joseph W. Bourke] "And this guy thinks Motion is better than After Effects - it's a toy! Presets for the talentless!"

Motion is, what it is. There are some things that Motion is good for, and other things not so much. While it does have a bunch of presets, it is not a toy. If you know how to use it, you can do a lot without ever even using a preset. So I wouldn't hold that against anyone. I could make the same comparison of Shake vs AE.

[Walter Soyka] "However, I think it's key to remember that this is an alternative tool set, not a replacement tool set."
We have a winner!
As usual, leave it to Walter to be smart and succinct.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 3:38:51 pm

Hi Scott -

I think we're pretty much in agreement. I cut down saplings with my hatchet (or bowsaw) pretty regularly, but I try to spare the planet the fumes and oil drippings of my chainsaw. But I do use both, depending on the project at hand.

I may have given Motion short shrift, and I have used it a bit at a client's office, since I was creating Photoshop templates for an on-air broadcast look that had to go to Motion/FCP7. I just didn't like the superficial friendly feel of the interface. Don't ask me to explain that - it was just a gut reaction.

I agree with both you and Walter. The alternative tools can
get the job done, but for a day-to-day workflow, I like the mainstream tools. That said, I just purchased Element 3D, and I have owned, and been using 3D Studio Max for years.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Shawn MillerRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 8:20:44 pm

[Scott Sheriff] " I could make the same comparison of Shake vs AE."

Can you clarify, Scott? I don't see the comparison.

Thanks,

Shawn



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Thomas FrankRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 8:35:40 pm

You can't??



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Shawn MillerRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 9:02:37 pm

[Thomas Frank] "You can't??"

See the comparison of Motion to AE vs AE to Shake? Truthfully, no. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Shake designed to be a dedicated paint and 2D compositing tool? AE on the other hand, is much more of a general purpose compositing, paint and animation package. I realize that Shake is a more precise tool for compositing and painting... but you have to ignore everything else AE has or can do (like the Puppet Tool and 3D tracking) to make the argument that it's less sophisticated than Shake... am I missing something?

Shawn



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Shawn MillerRe: Alternative Application for Media Production
by on Jul 12, 2012 at 9:29:08 pm

I should also add that, in comparing AE to Motion one could say that Motion (while good and capable) isn't used in high end postproduction. The same can't be said of AE when comparing it to Shake.

Shawn



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