Switching from Premiere - how different is Avid Media Composer?
Coming from Premiere CC 2015, how different is Avid in terms of interface, doing basic editing, a little with titles, and some motion being applied to still photos?
Nothing much more than that...
If it is just basic editing, I don't think you will take advantage of everything Media Composer has to offer which is metadata, large media management, multiple editors, send to Pro Tools for audio, etc.
I would suggest downloading the trial version and seeing for yourself. 8.6 introduced the Source Browser which will be closer to what PPro gives you for accessing the footage the in first place. Depending on camera sources, you will need to download AMA plug-in beforehand before you can access the footage. Once all that is in place, editing and trimming is where Media Composer has a lot of fans.
Performance may be an issue, again depending on camera sources. PPro uses the GPU for a lot of processing - you may find yourself transcoding to Avid DNx codec to have a smooth experience. There's no hard and fast rule as to when you will need to do that.
Media Composer is a great tool, but considering your needs, I would also look at Resolve as an editor. It may have just enough for what you are looking to do.
Thanks for your reply. I am interested in Resolve for other projects, though I may need to start using Avid Media Composer for my job (out of my control) and am wondering how realistic it will be to get up and going with it in a short period of time, based on my basic needs. If I need to transition to the program I will have very little time to learn it and am wondering how difficult of a time I will have doing so. When I switched from FCP 6 to Premiere CS6 it was a fairly simply transition. The interface was very similar, things were fairly intuitively found by right clicking on clips, going to menu lists, etc.
Is the switch from Premiere to Avid Media Composer anything like that?
[stan welks] "how different is Avid in terms of interface, doing basic editing,"
The basics are there...load clips into the SOURCE...watch, I is IN, O is OUT. Mark in the timeline too, overwrite or insert. All there. IMPORTING...different...although with 8.6 and the source Browser, it's very close to the way PPro does it. BUT...Avid does need you to transcode footage to an editable codec. Native editing isn't high on the list of things it can do.
MEDIA MANAGEMENT...different. Linking it does like premiere, but transcoding, then you have media in a folder in a very specific folder structure that you can't modify, or Avid won't see it. And when you transcode, you can pretty much only work with that media in Avid...it's not a QT file you can open up.
[stan welks] " a little with titles"
Titles...easy. Although the title tool is VERY basic and can't do much. Marquee...complex as hell, but you can do more advanced things. The basic title tool is there, but really lacking. Blue Titler...hit and miss. It's been a miss for me, so I do stuff in AE or Motion.
[stan welks] "and some motion being applied to still photos?"
This is where things get VERY different. When you bring photos in, they are converted to Avid media, and become the size of the project. So even if your still is 4000x3000 pixels, if you import into 1080, it's now 1080. BUT, you then apply the Avid Pan & ZOOM and LINK to the original photo, and do your moves in there. It takes a bit to get used to, but doable. OR...you AMA link to the photos and use FRAME FLEX to move. Also tricky to get right. Or you use a third party app that also links to the original photos, like Moving Picture (VERY old, but works great). Avid and Photos have an ugly history, and there's no smooth way to do this, unlike Premiere Pro. This one thing is a big back step between them.
How you deal with plugins and effects is different too. And the plugins for Avid are NOT cheap. Talking $1600-$3600 for packager. Just to warn you.
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“you have media in a folder in a very specific folder structure that you can't modify, or Avid won't see it.”
With Premiere, I copy media to a folder on my external drive, and import it into Premiere. After it is imported, I do not move it, otherwise it will break the link, and Premiere may not find it. Is this what you mean OR is there some dedicated folder for working with media in Avid that everything has to go into?
“So even if your still is 4000x3000 pixels, if you import into 1080, it's now 1080.”
How does this affect the quality of a zoom or pan if you are working in a 1080 sequence and you are zooming in on a 1080 photo? Does it pixelate? OR does the photo still somehow retain the 4000x3000 quality?
[stan welks] "is there some dedicated folder for working with media in Avid that everything has to go into?"
When you AMA link...or just LINK, or whatever Avid calls it now...source browser. You have your media on your archive drive, and Avid can see that and link to it. Just like in premiere. BUT...editing with just linked footage is not something Avid does well. It really wants it to be Avid media, like DnxHD or DNxHR. So you have to transcode it. So you can link to it on your archive drive, but then TRANSCODE that to your media drive. When you do, it goes into a very specific folder structure, Avid MediaFiles>MXF>1 (and when the 1 folder gets close to 5000 files, it makes a 2 folder). Numbered folders. You cannot rename or re-arrange that or Avid breaks the link. Well, YOU CAN name the numbered folder to any number you want, and if you add a name after the number, Avid will still see it, but it won't update the library if you do that (add more media, it won't update...but this is a VERY advanced tip).
So basically you can't separate media by project...Avid always renders or transcodes to the '1" folder. I mean, you can, by making new numbers, but any time you render or bring in more media, it goes to 1. Again, advanced media management tip that might confuse a beginner.
[stan welks] "How does this affect the quality of a zoom or pan if you are working in a 1080 sequence and you are zooming in on a 1080 photo?"
You can zoom a LITTLE. I mean, like maybe 10-15%. But any more and it'll really break up. Like zooming in on Video. You won't have the freedom to really zoom in, unless you AMA link/bring it in at 4K and use Frame Flex...or use the Pan & Zoom plugin (that then links to the raw photo) or Moving Picture (that also links to raw photo).
[stan welks] "Does it pixelate? "
[stan welks] "OR does the photo still somehow retain the 4000x3000 quality?"
It doesn't. That's how it works in Premeire Pro. Avid makes it 1080 (or whatever your project settings are). The only way to retain quality is to use PAN & ZOOM or MOVING PICTURE.
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