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SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro

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Mark Palmos
SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:47:08 pm

Hello guys,

For the last week I have been using Adobe CS 5.5 and now a week later, I can quite honestly say I wish I had switched the day CS 5.5 came out. It has been an absolute joy to work with so much real time power, especially for the work I do where there are almost always effects to be applied.

There are many issues, gotchas and gripes I have with Premiere Pro, but on the other hand there are loads of things that delight me about PP. I have focussed more here on the things I found challenging in moving over... so it may be useful to those of you considering the move.

First, here is a youtube video I made talking about a couple of things I love most about PP:





Some major plusses of PP:

1/ mercury engine!!! fantastic on my i7 990 / 24gb / SSD HD / GTX580, friggin awesome responsiveness, real time effects etc... bliss!!!!!

2/ AE on timeline

3/ input almost any file format (I have come from mac to PC so that would also give me a big codec compatibility boost) and direct import from my EX-1 camera (no mov-wrapping needed).

4/ very good Keyframe Editor - very functional, works well and can be made full screen for fine tuning.

5/ history with descriptions

6/ way more plug-ins available, and many work with AE and PP

7/ dynamic filtering for effects panel

8/ ` key to maximise any panel you are mousing over, love that!

9/ VERY similar to FCP, a LOT more similar than Avid, and from my testing, a lot more flexible, open and more "new media" savvy.


MOST FRUSTRATING THINGS:

1/ Targetting/selecting of tracks is by far my biggest problem with PP... it is very frustrating and seems way over complicated and convoluted. IMO in 99% of circumstances there should never, ever be a need for editor to click on TWO target areas to be able to simply choose to which track media will be added... One tab is surely enough for almost all circumstances!? FCP was inconsistent with the two tabs meaning different things, for example inserting media and deleting media required that you select tracks differently... this does not make sense IMO as you are most usually working on a certain track, and need to be able to perform as few extra commands as possible. My suggestion is to have ONE tab that works for selecting that you will be editing to or deleting from that track. The assumption being there is ONE video track in the source footage. If the source footage has more than one video track, THEN and ONLY then should it be necessary to add a second mode for targetting. If one selects multiple tracks so one can mark, copy, paste etc, then it should be assumed that by default, the FIRST video track that is selected is V1. All tracks paste to the same track unless track selections are changed. If you copy and paste 4 video tracks but want to paste to different tracks, you copy the tracks, then deselect all tracks, and then reselect them starting from which track you want the lowest copied clip to paste to, then second selection is where the second lowest selected clip gets pasted etc... This is far simpler as it means there is never a need for the second tier of track selection as long as the source footage only has one Video track. In the case where there are two or more video tracks in the source, such as when you have a sub timeline in the source viewer, you would then need to add the second tier to assign a source track to a timeline track. At the moment there does not seem to be a way to add V2, V3, V4 to timeline tracks, even if there is another timeline in the source viewer which has multiple video tracks.

I would assign the keyboard numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 to toggle selection for video tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, making it VERY fast to decide which track is the target, and to re-assign the order if you want to paste tracks in a different order or to different tracks altogether.

2/ It is very strange that marking IO on the timeline and choosing CUT from the menu does not cut... in an editing programme it is extremely counter-intuitive... something that will baffle a lot of people. Also very odd, is that the term "lift" is not in the edit menu... Surely the command cut should apply to both selected clips AND area between IO on the timeline when there are no selected clips? The most basic command one could want to use in an editing programme is both hidden and confusing.

Cut and Paste should work, as most people would expect, to cut whats between the IN and OUT points IF there is no selected clip. Paste should happen at the IN point IF there is one and at the cursor if not. ALT-V could be used to paste backwards from the OUT point if there is one or cursor position if not.

Copy and Paste does not seem to work at all! I'm not sure how to copy all stuff between I and O points without the tedious work-around of splitting all clips on all tracks at both the in and out points, then marquis selecting the stuff between... very bad compared to just mark IO then Ctrl-C.

The terms Lift and Extract are very odd, I'm not sure why they are called that. Ripple delete is a term used in PP, and "Ripple Cut" would be understood by all editors whereas "Extract" is odd and does not sound like a ripple cut. Same goes for Lift. Surely it should simply be called Cut?

3/ save/autosave is very slow by comparison to fcp, and sometimes autosave can pop up while you are doing something, meaning you have to wait for it to go away before continuing.

4/ if multiple tracks are selected and you select one clip on V4 and copy paste it, the resulting clip should always be pasted on the track it came from, not v1, the lowest track that is selected, ie it should default to paste on the same track surely?


MOST MISSED ABOUT FCP7 (and a few points about fcpX):

1/ Motion-FCP templates
I miss motion and its ability to use drop zones, I have grown use to them, and they have become an integral part of building a look for a client for me... I am working on ways to emulate this functionality using the AE-PP dynamic linking.

2/ alt-click drag a clip to copy a clip!

3/ open more than one project at a time

4/ Program monitor should show clip wireframe over clip when the clip is selected in the timeline so you can know which clip you have selected before making adjustments.

5/ fcpX now has background rendering (not that ive needed ANY rendering so far ;)

6/ snap on the razor blade. It should snap to cursor and to markers if snap is on.

7/ Keyboard delimiter to scale a clip in the viewer not proportionally (distort).

8/ There is a single key to IO mark a clip but it should select gaps too, not just clips!
IO selecting a section of the timeline should alter the colour of the section in the timeline that would be affected by a deletion, lift or extraction.

9/ I like the T key in FCP to select clips on a track/s, with multiple clicks to toggle track select options

10/ keyboard command to razor all selected tracks at CTI position?

11/ In-Out selection should highlight the timeline area being marked in some (very attractive) way

12/ Keyboard command window does not prohibit the rest of the app being used. Sometimes you need to try things out and do not want to keep coming back to the customisation window to make further changes. It would be nice too if it remembered where you were in the list of commands when you return so you do not have to dig about.

For most of these negative aspects of PP, there are other ways of doing things, and in some cases, like track targeting, both FCP and PP get it wrong IMO... but there is a huge amount to like about Premiere, particularly that Adobe is very committed to making it "the Photoshop of editing", something that is music to my ears after the insult apple dished out on their pro editor user base.

I hope that helps some of you, and hope to see you over at the Premiere forum.

Cheers,
Mark.


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Alex Hawkins
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 21, 2011 at 3:18:19 pm

Gday Mark, thanks for making the effort to post this. Very helpful.

I know you probably know this but there are quite a few hidden keystroke abilities in PPro that are not included in any menu. Basically you have to go through the keyboard shortcuts and assign a keystroke to them. For instance there is an assignable keystroke for your number 10 above.

Another nice feature is replace clip on timeline simply by holding alt and dragging the clip from either the bin or source monitor straight on to the timeline over the clip you want to replace, and when doing this the new clip retains all the previous clips effects and various parameters such as speed and audio levels and such. Very handy.

Don't forget that even though you can't have more than one project open at a time you can import other projects into your current one, with the option to import the whole project or just selected timelines.

Most of the other things you mentioned are quite valid and the whole Lift/Extract thing is a bit messy and almost superfluous really. Did FCP7 have back paste?

Anyway glad to hear the switch has been worth it for you so far. Things will only get better from here on in.

Cheers,

Alex Hawkins
Canberra, Australia


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Mark Palmos
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:54:04 pm

Hi there Alex, thanks for the response, seems my post was too long to attract a lot of interest ;)

Yep, I did find CTRL-K for razor all targeted tracks, and also like the alt drag to replace, like after effects does.

I plan on speaking to adobe about the inability to copy and paste areas marked IO. IMO there should not be things called lift and extract, they should be called cut and ripple cut so one could use the universal terms copy and paste too... seems very weird to have a bunch of other commands that are hidden from view but that perform the most basic of editing tasks.

Its very good to know that the Adobe team working on PP have been and are taking this product so seriously... really encouraging.

Cheers mate,
Mark.


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Robert Brown
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 21, 2011 at 7:31:15 pm

[Mark Palmos] " IMO there should not be things called lift and extract, they should be called cut and ripple cut so one could use the universal terms copy and paste too"

I think those are Avid terms and that's where they came from. But the FCP way is extremely fast for getting rid of stuff.



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Brian Thomas
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 23, 2011 at 9:13:37 pm

Hi Mark,

I'm hardly a professional editor (retired IT person) in that the most complicated thing I do is use typically four AVCHD camcorders for shows, concerts etc, synchronize them all, spend some weeks editing (inevitably colour correcting along the way), burn maybe 30+DVDs and sell them back to the cast/choristers/whatever at unbeatable prices.

I used Premiere Elements until a few years ago, got fed up with all the crashes, switched from PCs to an iMac with FCE, liked that, bought FCP in January but carried on hacking and whacking my long clips in the timeline because I was used to it. I never quite found the time to master 'Multicam' so that not being present in FCPX for me is not an issue. Anyway, from all I've read and listened to I think I should at least investigate alternatives.

Please excuse the long winded intro but I think I may be back with the occasional question from time to time. For now: one thing I really liked about FCE/FCP is Paste Attributes? Is that there, sort of, in PP?

Many thanks for your post and video - very helpful and comforting to learn of your thoughts and experiences.

Brian.

FCP 7.0.3 iMac 24 3.06 4GB OSX 10.6.7. MBP 17", 2.3 GHz 8GB. Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Mark Palmos
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 24, 2011 at 4:43:27 pm

[Brian Thomas] "one thing I really liked about FCE/FCP is Paste Attributes? Is that there, sort of, in PP?"

Hi Brian
It's a pleasure...

Yes, you click on the clip you want to copy attributes from, go to the effects control panel, select the things you want to copy (you may not want to copy all the effects/filters etc... so select those you do want, CTRL-C to copy, then select the destination clips (as many as you want) and CTRL-V.

The other VERY nice thing is being able to drag a clip to another clip, pressing ALT, and it replaces only the media in that clip, ie the attributes/filters etc stay the same.

Cheers,
Mark.


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Brian Thomas
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 24, 2011 at 5:51:38 pm

This sounds great. Earlier I watched Walter Biscardi's video's and all in all I think I'll take advantage of the 50% discount over at Adobe while it's there. Cheers, Brian.

FCP 7.0.3 iMac 24 3.06 4GB OSX 10.6.7. MBP 17", 2.3 GHz 8GB. Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Brian Thomas
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:22:19 pm

I just noticed the 50% offer lasts until the end of September - panic is over.

FCP 7.0.3 iMac 24 3.06 4GB OSX 10.6.7. MBP 17", 2.3 GHz 8GB. Near Geneva, Switzerland


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John Ruddy
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on Jul 28, 2011 at 8:26:14 am

Great post fella. Good to hear someone else is thinking exactly the same way I am.

"10/ keyboard command to razor all selected tracks at CTI position?"

cmd+shit+K is the default - one of the first things I looked up. You do know there's a FCP keyboard layout included in 5.5? Edit - Keyboard Customization - Drop Down At the Top. I'm personally learning the PP defaults so that if I do any training (working through some very good lynda stuff at the moment) there's no confusion.

Having a small niggle with CTI position after ripple editing at the moment but it's minor and I'm an old dog struggling to learn new tricks.


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Campbell Wilson
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on May 8, 2013 at 4:06:39 am

Hi Mark, how do you make the PP keyframe editor full frame?


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Mark Palmos
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on May 8, 2013 at 8:03:51 am

hi there,
im not at my system now, but to expand ANY window full screen, hover the mouse over that window and the ' @ key (one to the right of the ;: key) toggles full screen.

cheers
mark


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John Ruddy
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on May 8, 2013 at 8:11:48 am

It's the tilde (~) key that you're after. As Mark said, hover your mouse over any panel and then press ~ to make it full screen.


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Mark Palmos
Re: SWITCHed... and VERY happy! Report on FCP > Premiere Pro
on May 8, 2013 at 8:18:21 am

hello guys
in the UK it's the ' @ key, not the `
ie its the key between Lift and Extract!


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