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Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.

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Rory Newman
Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Nov 30, 2017 at 11:30:25 pm

Hi,

We've been editing in FCP7 for almost a decade, and are half way through a project we've been working on for a few years. But as we're getting a new mac, I wondered if someone could give me some advice on any of the following you know the answer to:

1. Can I play FCP project files in PP?

2. Will my Prores 422 files work?

3. Is it true that you can edit AVCHD in PP?

4. And that you will just uncompress it at the end when you export it?

5. Would I be able to mix this mid project? i.e. use my Prores 422 stuff now and just add AVCHD clips into the same timeline. And then just get it all sorted out on export.

6. Though as I'll be starting a new edit from scratch, I could just bring in all my AVCHD stuff into the library, and go from there.

7. If you do have to convert from AVCHD to a usable format for editing, what format would you recommend?

8. And how large are these files, if AVCHD is 8GB/hr and PR422 is about 50GB/hr?

9. How much ram would you suggest? (As I say, we've been using 32-bit FCP7.) I'll have a graphics card with 8gb Vram, and my footage is all just simple 1080p AVCHD. No 3d. Almost no fx - just subtitles and the odd fade.

I mean, if I get 32gb (or even 64gb) will this all be used? Would it just keep the whole film in the ram (assuming it wasn't that long)? And would this be a noticeable benefit?

(My internal drive is SSD, but have been using normal HDDs for the external drives with the video files on. But I will have a 1TB ssd as an external with any luck. That would be able to hold all my AVCHD files, but perhaps not all my stuff that's been converted into PR422.)

If you can help with any of these questions, I'd be so, so grateful.

Many thanks.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 12:07:09 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Dec 1, 2017 at 12:10:42 am

Someone else can answer your questions.

I'm going to tell you that you never, EVER make big changes in the middle of a project. Not ever!
You're even contemplating a move to a whole new piece of hardware and whole new application!
That's craziness in computerland!!

There's an earlier thread below on updating a Mac OS & PP version. You should read it. Then consider all the bad things that could happen just from changing an application version.

Keep the old Mac. Finish the big project on it. THEN make the change. Otherwise, you imperil your long-standing project.

Don't do it! Don't even think about doing it! You've been warned!

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rory Newman
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 6:05:26 am

Cheers, mate.

I do appreciate the warning. But the old iMac's dead and the insurance have coughed up, so I was gonna get the top of the range iMac (not iMac pro) with a 1tb SSD inside as that's fine for me.

They're sending back the SSD inside the dead one (it was the screen that died) so I'll put that in a caddy and if it works, then cool.

We used to edit on Premier before we ad to switch to FCP for my wife's course almost a decade ago, and we just do simple documentaries. In all honesty, other than the machine's specs and the bins and sub-bins in the library, we could still easily make the sort of stuff we do on the first system I had back in the late '90s, Speed Razor.

But as we've made the short explanatory pitch film and a short trailer, we'll just be continuing with a blank canvas. My wife's in India getting more footage as we speak.

And with the footage (converted into Pro Res) backed up on two external HDDs and having FCP7 on two macs means that if we don't like PP, we can just stop paying the subscription and go back to FCP7.

If I do go for it, I'll obviously put all the stuff again on it's own PP external drive.

But that's why I liked the idea of editing in AVCHD (or rewrapped) cos then I could have over 100hrs on the SSD external.

I read something earlier about rewrapping the AVCHD in a .mov. It says that it doesn't change the file size, which would be perfect.

1. Do you know anything about this rewrapping?
2. Does it need more ram, cpu, gpu than native AVCHD?
3. How much ram would you suggest? {I'll have an i7 4.2ghz that boosts to 4.5ghz, a GPU with 8gig of vram, an internal SSD and hopefully an external, too.}
4. But am I right in thinking that when I finished a project (either native or rewrapped) can then export it in PR422, and the finished film would look the same as if I'd edited the the thing in PR422 in FCP?

Oh, and why does AVCHD need more ram than PR422?

Thank you so much for taking the time to try and help me. It really is appreciated.


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Shane Ross
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 12:38:55 am

[Rory Newman] "1. Can I play FCP project files in PP?"

Project files...no. No NLE can open another's project file. But getting from FCP 7 to PPro is pretty easy. Just export an XML of the entire project, and import that XML into Premiere. Bins and sequences should come over fine. And of course, the media will import fine...no problem there.

[Rory Newman] "2. Will my Prores 422 files work?"

Absolutely.

[Rory Newman] "3. Is it true that you can edit AVCHD in PP?"

Yes, but to do it natively, without converting, you'll need a lot of RAM and a really good graphics card that enables the Mercury engine to help with the heavy lifting. It's a highly complex format to decode on the fly.

[Rory Newman] "4. And that you will just uncompress it at the end when you export it?"

Uncompress what? AVCHD? It's compressed when it's recorded, you can't uncompress that. Compression baked in. You can export it and CONVERT it to ProRes or whatever you are delivering, but you can't uncompress it.

[Rory Newman] "5. Would I be able to mix this mid project? i.e. use my Prores 422 stuff now and just add AVCHD clips into the same timeline. And then just get it all sorted out on export."

Yes...but as Dave said, not sure about jumping NLE's mid project. That's not really wise. And, as I said, you need a good computer with fast processor, lots of RAM and a good GPU for that AVCHD stuff. Even then, you might need to lower the playback quality to get smooth playback.

[Rory Newman] "6. Though as I'll be starting a new edit from scratch, I could just bring in all my AVCHD stuff into the library, and go from there."

You could. And the more you add the more the system will slow down. More on the timeline, more for the machine to deal with. Not converting to an edit codec is fine on short form projects, but long form, best to convert before you edit. Marketing folks like to brag, but they don't really know the real world when it comes to this stuff.

[Rory Newman] "7. If you do have to convert from AVCHD to a usable format for editing, what format would you recommend?"

ProRes.

[Rory Newman] "8. And how large are these files, if AVCHD is 8GB/hr and PR422 is about 50GB/hr?"

1 hour of ProRes 422 at 23.98 is 60GB per hour. So if you are low on space, you can utilize the offline proxy workflow that premiere does, it's pretty slick. Make proxies, edit...click one button and you are relinked to the masters, output.

[Rory Newman] "9. How much ram would you suggest? "

32 to 64GB.

[Rory Newman] "I'll have a graphics card with 8gb Vram, and my footage is all just simple 1080p AVCHD. "

Good, you'll need it.

[Rory Newman] "I mean, if I get 32gb (or even 64gb) will this all be used? "

A good chunk, but not all with 64. The good thing about havin 64 is that you can then open other apps at the same time.

[Rory Newman] "Would it just keep the whole film in the ram"

No...that's not how it works. Footage isn't stored in RAM. RAM is allocated for APPLICATION needs. If the app needs more RAM, it uses it. Quit the app, it releases it. The larger the project, the more RAM it might start using....but it doens't work like you are thinking.

[Rory Newman] "1TB ssd as an external with any luck. That would be able to hold all my AVCHD files, but perhaps not all my stuff that's been converted into PR422.)"

1TB is really not a lot. That's pretty small. If you convert to ProRes, get a RAID. You can get 12-16TB raids for under $1000. Heck, you can get a 4TB single drive for $300.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rory Newman
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 6:29:43 am

Thanks for helping, mate. Really appreciated.

3. I don't know what this mercury engine is, I'm afraid. I'll be getting the top of the range iMac (not iMac pro) which says it has an 8gig graphics card. Radeon 580 or something. I know nothing about graphics cards - we just do simple documentaries in 1080p, and that has worked fine in the 2011 iMac with just a 1 or 2 gig card. And on our MBPs, the first one was 2008.

3a. Will that iMac card be good enough?
3b. Do you know anything about rewrapping? I read that I can rewrap the AVCHD into a .mov file without changing the file size.
3c. When I export into PR422, would it look the same as if I'd edited the film on FCP7 using footage log and transferred into PR422?
3d. Does rewrapping make a difference to what specs I need?
3e. So for Ram, I'd definitely need more than 16gig. (The machine comes with 8gig - I'll add the extra myself.} So I should take out those 2x4gigs it comes with and put in 2x16gigs for now and then see if I need another 32gig? Or will I definitely need 64gig, so I have to bite the bullet and couh up £650 for 64gig now?

5. If I do get that iMac and put in 32 or 64gig of ram*, would that mean I was good to go, or would it still need to reduce playback quality? I only use 1080p and there's no effects other than subtitles or quick fades.

{*Mad to think my first editing system just had 2x18gig of SCSI drives striped into raid. Cost a fortune, two grand for those drives.}

8. What are proxies?

9. What does the ram get used for? FCP7 was insane that you could only use 2.5gig for the project as the other 1.5gig (out of the 4gig 32-bit limit) got used for something else by the software.

10. Cheers for the raid advice. I was only gonna try to use the external 1tigga SSD cos they are sending my internal one from the old machine back to me. If I was using AVCHD or rewrapped with same file size that would be fine.
We just use 2tigga external HDDs usually. Fine for 1080p in FCP (in PR422 normal.) Made a 45 minute film shown at the Royal Geographical Society on one of those without problems. And we need it all on a portable drive so she can show her producer how it's going andplay and edit it out in India.
But if it ever goes beyond that, I'd have to think of getting a raid bay.

I saw a 2tig SSD for about £420 the other day. I could think about that, it would just be nice if I could get a few quid for the 1tig one. Bit like it would be nice if I could sell the 8gig of ram in the Mac before buying new ram.

But thank you so much for taking the time to help. I'm unbelieveably grateful.


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andy patterson
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 2:23:49 am

If you are moving to Premiere Pro have you thought about getting a Windows PC?


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Rory Newman
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 6:39:52 am

The cost of Mac vs PC is a joke.

But we also use a MBP for editing. That's what she takes with her to India, so we need both machines the same. And given I've also got a MBA, it would be silly to change all 3.

And all the people she knows use Macs. She needs to be able to just take a HDD round there.

But I do know what you mean. The insurance has paid me almost £3,700 and I could get a mental PC for that money But I haven't used a PC since Win7 about 5 years ago. I've forgotten everything, and would have to replace all the software I've got on my macs from backup.

I'm also doing an MA and would hate to have to get to grips with a new OS and lose things like dictation and my mouse and keyboard shortcuts.

But you are right. If I had a PC, I could get a 4 bay raid array and put in 2x2tig SSDs for now, with another SSD in the machine, have the same processor, 2 x 4k screens, etc, all for the money I'll be spending on the mac. It is gutting.

Thanks for the help, mate. It's really appreciated.


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andy patterson
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 7:33:27 am

[Rory Newman] "But we also use a MBP for editing. That's what she takes with her to India, so we need both machines the same. And given I've also got a MBA, it would be silly to change all 3."

Who said anything about changing all three?



[Rory Newman] "
And all the people she knows use Macs. She needs to be able to just take a HDD round there."


They have software to allow Mac and PC to read and write to the other OS's hard drives.



[Rory Newman] "But I do know what you mean. The insurance has paid me almost £3,700 and I could get a mental PC for that money But I haven't used a PC since Win7 about 5 years ago. I've forgotten everything, and would have to replace all the software I've got on my macs from backup."

You could just try one Windows PC with just Premiere Pro. If the experience is good you could migrate over time.



[Rory Newman] "I'm also doing an MA and would hate to have to get to grips with a new OS and lose things like dictation and my mouse and keyboard shortcuts."

You can map the keyboard how you want it and there might be things about Windows 10 you like. Like touch screen support.



[Rory Newman] "But you are right. If I had a PC, I could get a 4 bay raid array and put in 2x2tig SSDs for now, with another SSD in the machine, have the same processor, 2 x 4k screens, etc, all for the money I'll be spending on the mac. It is gutting."

That is kind of my point and you might find you like Windows. Below are some videos that might be worth watching. I will be doing more OS X and Windows 10 videos soon. I have a Mac Mini and I like it. I just wish Apple would offer more options.













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Robert Withers
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 3:29:43 am

Hey Rory,
I work on smaller experimental projects but ran into a couple of snags importing projects from FCP7.
For example, it was not as simple for me as:
"Just export an XML of the entire project, and import that XML into Premiere. Bins and sequences should come over fine. And of course, the media will import fine...no problem there."
I tried importing a partly edited sequence of about 40 minutes into Premiere CC "2013" , and it just failed, with bars over the clips and repeated clips.
The workaround I discovered was to make two XML versions of 20 minutes each and import them separately. All the bins and media came over fine.

The biggest and most troublesome surprise that the FCP true stereo tracks came in as dual mono and it's impossible to convert them to the Pr stereo track format once they've already been cut. So sound editing got really clumsy for this project.

Of course if you are starting a project from scratch you won't have that issue. And maybe the more recent Pr CC versions are more accommodating of XML imports.

There are pros here who would know better than I.

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Rory Newman
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 6:51:10 am

Cheers, mate. Gutted you had those problems.

What format were the clips you imported in? I take it it was the clips you brought in that wouldn't play properly?

I mean, when you've brought the stuff over and you've got a clip in the library, when you play it from there, not from the timelines, did it still have the bars on?

Oh, and what is Prem CC? Is it different to the one in CS6? Can you get it on a monthly subscription? I don't fancy paying out if these problems can happen. I'd deffo want to try it first.

I just wish they'd made a 64-bit FCP. (Not this FCPX nonsense.) It's media types that kept Apple alive during the '90s, but since they made loads of cash out of music and phones they don't care about us any more.

My wife spent 5 years at the LCC ending with an MA in documentary film, and loads of her friends from the BA at least had a skill as an FCP editor when looking for work. We're much older than these mates who went straight from school so we're not in the same career position. But they spend 3-4 years learning how to edit FCP7, and then just after they leave, it gets dumped and the whole industry moves to PP.

Some of them really got screwed, esp when you think how much those outside Europe paid in fees and living in London.

Thanks for all the help, mate. Really appreciated.


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greg janza
Re: Switching from FCP7 to Premier Pro.
on Dec 1, 2017 at 4:16:19 pm

[Rory Newman] "My wife spent 5 years at the LCC ending with an MA in documentary film, and loads of her friends from the BA at least had a skill as an FCP editor when looking for work. We're much older than these mates who went straight from school so we're not in the same career position. But they spend 3-4 years learning how to edit FCP7, and then just after they leave, it gets dumped and the whole industry moves to PP."

Anyone who has learned the craft of editing on FCP7 should quite easily be able to learn any other NLE since they are all basically the same. The most important skill as a video professional is to be flexible. Being mad that FCP7 is long gone is wasted energy.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


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