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Pinnacle CineWave and Commotion in conjunction with FCP

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Eric HarndenPinnacle CineWave and Commotion in conjunction with FCP
by on Apr 13, 2008 at 4:12:12 am

Also posted on another forum, but I figured I give this one a shot too:

Hi all,

I'm new here and in fact am a noob to FCP too. Searching far and wide, I finally was able to purchase a Mac and FCP. Mainly because of the price and the TON of stuff that came with it, I ended up buying a G4 Dual 1 with Final Cut Pro 5.0.4, DVD Studio Pro 3, Pinnacle CineWave with all the bells and whistles such as Commotion Pro, Knoll Light Factory, Pro Analog option, Pro Digital option, etc. (Yes, there's an external raid system, too, so that all of the above options will work.)

Now mind you, I don't really know how to use any of this yet. But I've been bitten with the editing bug in a bad way and there's no turning back.

I'm the type of person who likes to fully research different options first and then dive in headfirst and completely. This is how I was with deciding to go with FCP.

I eventually want to get a Mac Pro and Final Cut Studio 2, but that's out of my financial realm at the moment. Like I said, price was a major factor in getting the system I did get above.

The system, while a bit obsolete, as it turns out was designed from the ground up by a very, very pro systems designer/editor. It can accept just about every type of input and output and has all the hardware to do so. It also has produced lots of very high quality projects and I purchased it from a working hollywood studio who created recent projects (as recent as six months ago) on it and when I came to pick it up, we literally unhooked it from the boss's desk.

Now, having set up my scenario above, I would like to know: are there any other Creative Cow forum members who use CineWave or Commotion?

I talked to the Creative Cow CineWave guru (Walter) and he got rid of his CineWave setup a few years back.

Sincerely,
Eric Harnden
Quitessential Studios
---------------------------------
G4 Dual 1/1.5G/ FCP 5.0.4


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Nate StephensRe: Pinnacle CineWave and Commotion in conjunction with FCP
by on Apr 13, 2008 at 11:04:23 pm

Dude,

You are a true warrior.. The Cinewave machine was abandoned by Pinnacle over 2 years ago. Cinewave was beating up Avid Symphony so bad that Avid purchased Pinnacle. There is NO support... But my Cinewave/Dual gig G4 / Medea RTRX is still paying the bills. It just a little slow.. But it is till a great import and export device for capture video off tape, mastering to tape , and monitoring the edit.

If you are doing Standard def work you will be OK, slow but ok... Any HD work and you will need days to render. I have Tiger working and the last issue of Cinewave. No RT effects and I never did get Commotion to work or Knoll Light Factory... Cinewave came with a lot of extras, that had many problems and was not worth the hassle to fiquare out..

Don't try to install Leopard or the latest Quicktime upgrades.. Keep everything at least a year back.. DVD Studio Pro doesn't like the Cine YUV codec, so export everything as 8 or 10 bit non compressed if you are going to DVD..

You can learn on it... It should make for a great "b" machine for another year... but save your pennies... get the Mac Pro... Even my new MacBook Pro is faster..


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Eric HarndenRe: Pinnacle CineWave and Commotion in conjunction with FCP
by on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:35:48 am

Thanks Man! Appreciate the advice. It all still kind of doesn't make sense to me, but I did get some manuals with it, so hopefully that helps.

Right now, I'm concentrating on learning FCP first.



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Ches MartinRe: Pinnacle CineWave and Commotion in conjunction with FCP
by on Apr 27, 2009 at 5:20:54 pm

Hi Eric,

We exchanged a toot or two on Twitter and I just found your post here. Indeed, focusing on learning FCP now is the thing to do, because the Cinewave integrates pretty seamlessly and you don't need to worry *too* much about the hardware itself, and because the FCP knowledge and skills are what you're going to carry forward to any new hardware that comes along. In short, it always comes down to the craft, not the tools :-)

I'm assuming your system is already integrated -- i.e. the Cinewave hardware is installed and the licensing info is entered in the control panel in System Preferences. If it has been in use as-is, it's probably well-tuned already, but the manual has a useful checklist of things to do in the Mac OS to reduce nuisances that will interfere with FCP performance in general. Beyond that, you can mostly just get to editing. Effects and transitions that show up in bold in FCP should be realtime, and a lot more of them should be bold thanks to the Cinewave than what you'd normally see. The Cinewave installs some of its own as well as accelerating some of the built-ins.

All the acceleration is based on using the Cinewave codec -- basically, using one of the Cinewave Easy Setups for your projects. At this point though, you'll probably hear a lot of advice against using the codec. Since it's a dead product, the codec isn't future-proof, has not been updated in awhile and it might not work in recent versions of QuickTime. Your software should include a copy of the codec to install on other machines so you can view footage you've stored in the Cinewave format, but if it doesn't work in new QT versions, you're basically stuck viewing your media only on your Cinewave system. So that's your big dilemma -- work in the Cinewave codec so that you get acceleration while you're working, but then spend time later converting your work to a safer format for archiving, or, use the Cinewave only as an I/O and monitoring device and keep your footage in a format native to FCP. To do this, you'd customize the settings instead of using an Easy Setup, so you're capturing through the hardware but not using a Cinewave format. That's not a terrible way to go on a dual G5, but on a G4 you really may feel the hurt with no acceleration.

So, you should play around with it and think about what approach will work best for you, your project needs and your horsepower. Good luck!

Regards,
Ches


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