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3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...

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Bryan Roberts
3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 22, 2014 at 11:16:53 pm

Hi all,

After sitting on the fence with my beloved FCP7 for a while hoping a clear NLE winner would arise for my home edit bay projects... or the second coming of christ (ie. Apple releases FCP8 like most of us wanted), I decided to re-dip my toe in the MC6.5 AND 7 world only to realize that Avid is still SO far behind the curve in terms of formats, frame sizes, plugins and processor utilization not to mention its bugs, crashes and general UI sluggishness (biggest positive is Avid is still a mainstay in bigger shops in LA). FCPX is too much of a foundation shift / I haven't heard of a single big post house adopting it and an amazing assistant I know has been preaching the raw processing power of Premiere to me for years. Anyways, I'm thinking seriously about Premiere for several big upcoming projects. Stepping into the modern PP world, I had some general questions on Premiere and how well my current edit bay setup may be able to utilize it.

Project wise: I have 2 medium sized features that should get limited theatrical releases at least and then a 3.5 hour long concert for sale and display in big box retail stores to help sell 4k TV's. All three will be shot in 4k but the cameras have yet to be decided. The plan is to offline in 1080 unless working in a raw format in Premiere is feasible to save on transcode times. So...

1. How well will my current setup work with PP?: I have a 2009 Mac Pro 2.93 Octo on Mavericks with 16 GB ram and an ATI 4870. It doesn't seem like there's a huge performance increase in Pro Apps when going to the 2013 Mac Pro (what I've always been told is that the software has been the bottleneck for years since nothing is that well optimized to take advantage of extra cores etc. but that Premiere Pro is written to utilize much more of what you have than other NLE's, withholding the latest FCPX update) so I'm thinking of just upgrading my video card to a single NVIDIA variety (maybe GTX 780) to utilize the CUDA processing which I've heard does Premiere wonders. Can I still wring solid performance out of my aging tower with a new video card or would a 2013 Mac Pro really help out? Would it be worth upgrading my ram for PP or is 16 GB plenty for what it needs?

2. What video card would you recommend for excellent performance in PP on a Mac Pro? I want to switch from running 3 1080p monitors (two 24 inchers and one 50 inch client plasma) to two 4K monitors or at least one 4k for my desktop and one at 1080 for the client monitor. I want the video card to work well with PP or Avid MC.

3. What file formats will PP work with happily without transcoding while running that footage off a single SATA drive or Graid enclosure? The biggest burn I'm starting to feel in ancient FCP7 land is that pretty much everything like GoPro footage, 5D footage etc. MUST be transcoded to ProRes. I was ignorant to think that it was just too processor intensive of formats to edit natively but my assistant editor friend assured me that Premiere handles them just as easily as ProRes transcodes of those formats. If I'm going to be dealing with 1080, 2k and 4k footage on just about every project I work on in the future (yes I know I won't be working with mixed frame sizes on the 3 projects I mention specifically but I'm thinking for everything else I might be cutting), what can I cut with natively on my given hardware (including the upgraded video card) and what will sputter or need lightning fast storage to get enough data throughput?

4. How is PP with long form projects? As a Final Cut and Avid user over the years, I used to hear all the time years ago that PP couldn't handle longer form projects well, like features or in my upcoming case, a 3.5 hour long concert video. People said it would crash a lot and generally become unusable. Has this gripe been addressed in the past few years or was it perhaps just a rumor without truth?

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to finding a new home after begrudgingly starting a move out of my beloved FCP7.

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Greg Jones
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 23, 2014 at 2:10:22 pm

I'm running Premiere Pro CC on a 2008 8 core MacPro. I upgraded the video card to a Mac Edition Nvidia gTX680 and it works great. I can do 7 or 8 layers of effects in real time. The switch from FCP7 to Premiere Pro was pretty seamless. They even have a FCP7 keyboard shortcut set. The performance is light years ahead of FCP7.

I've edited 1 60 minute doc and countless shorter videos. Can't say I have anything negative to say. Adobe has pretty much fixed any issues I've had through updates.

Greg Jones
D7,Inc


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Iain Faulkner
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 23, 2014 at 2:34:08 pm

Hi Bryan,

I'm not working in 4k yet, but I made the move about two years ago, having realised that FCP7 was dead and that FCPX was an unworkable mix of genius and bonkers.

I find that after about 12 months of cursing new software, one rounds the curve and it becomes the solution of comfort!

The one thing I didn't do was to reconfigure Premiere to match FCP's keystrokes, as that seemed like clinging onto the past - you either learn the new product or you don't.

I love Premiere. There's virtually nothing you can't throw at it, and CC seems much more stable than previous versions. (What I don't like is the 'send to after effects' functionality - at first it seems amazingly useful and efficient, but I had a serious AE corruption that then, of course, corrupted the return to the Premiere timeline - wouldn't have mattered if I'd duplicated the timeline first, of course, but I was working fast and...well, I didn't. Also, not all effects from Premiere transfer over.)

You can always do the 1 month trial just to see how it fits.

I know I haven't addressed any of your specific issues - all I can say is that it works well for us - you really have to have CC anyway to get AE and Photoshop, so it's financially a no-brainer.

Good luck with your decision!


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frank tourv
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 23, 2014 at 10:48:41 pm

Tv station here, we have ran multiple shows with pp sp far - the first thing is that i hope you mean premiere cc and not cs6 - they are quite different, cc is immensly better.

Second - your graphics card is key here to run non-iframe codecs. If you have old nvidia cardS, your doomed. Get yourself a 2gb+ vram graphics card from nvidia/amd and you should be set.

In terms of long timeline, avid is still king but not by much. Premiere cc can handle long timelines, but dont start adding linked ae cc comps in theres and multi layers of graphics. With a strong supported graphics card, your gonna be just fine. Make sure you export your omf out of audition though(premiere - direct link to audition - audition makes the omf to protools) - omf and aaf exports out of premiere is not so good.

Im not so sure about the 4k - even the new macpro struggles, but i hear adobe is working on optimizing premiere for 4k footage and dual gpu support


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Gary Tobyn
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 29, 2014 at 7:15:26 pm

The one thing I would advise you to be aware of is that merged clips (from dual source video,and audio) do not work properly.

You can certainly merge them together fine but Adobe Premeiere seems incapable of marinating the links back to the original media properly.

Match frame will act erratically
Three point edits of just the audio do not work (I have had to edit in the video along with the audio onto a spare track and then delete the video I never wanted).
Ad most important of all EDL and XML exports are broken. The XML is gets I ported by the next person in the post production chain as just a single clip to a random piece of footage.
The only way around this I found was to use match frame (when it works) copy the time code then find the original non sync video clip and edit this into the timeline instead of the merged clip

A huge waste of time and in my eyes makes premiere practically useless for editing any film where you have dual source footage (which in my experience is every drama I have worked on).

If this is just me please let me know what I am doing wrong

Gary


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Bryan Roberts
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 29, 2014 at 8:22:39 pm

Thanks all! I've been trying it out on a project (television show) I'm cutting from home this week and it's been just awesome so far.

Gary - I'm not quite following what you mean by merged clips? That sounds like maybe it's a hiccup on your end, otherwise I'd assume it'd be a pretty well known flaw if XML was broken! ... or perhaps not :/

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Gary Tobyn
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 29, 2014 at 8:33:01 pm

Merged clips is what pp calls it when you sync audio from a source other than your camera to your rushes.

The software clips a new virtual clip that is an amalgam of the two pieces of media.
In FCP7 or avid the new clip,that you create is still referencing the original files so that edl's and XML files send the correct info for the grade/online etc.

Premiere seems to be incapable of this. I'm not alone in this problem having looked around on the forums and its not something you would find out about until you hand off to your grader/onliner and find the problem.

I don't know what the work flow is for the projects you have but I wanted to warn you before you started on any big projects (like I did) and not be aware of it.

If you are using merged clips and have time try a test.
Export an XML of your timeline and see if you can import it into Resolve or fcp7.
You don't have to reconnect the media. If it is what I and others have experienced you will see just one clip in the imported timeline instead of you cut.

The footage I was working with we're Sony mxf's maybe it's a codec thing but all of your cuts should still exist in the imported timeline even if the footage cannot be interpreted.

If it doesn't do it to you I would love to hear about it.


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Gerard Tay
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 30, 2014 at 5:27:00 pm
Last Edited By Gerard Tay on Mar 30, 2014 at 5:36:14 pm

I would suggest working with multicam sequences if you are working with dual system sound audio. Multicam sequences can hold one or more streams of video and audio in place, and multicam has a further advantage of allowing you to utilize features such as batch syncing of video to audio clips with audio analysis. It's like having PluralEyes built in. But beyond that, it allows you to "flatten" your multicam edits, which will revert your edits to that of a normal clip object to facilitate an XML workflow.

For the audio, you can export an OMF like you used to and that will work with ProTools.

When match framing from a multicam sequence, the first match frame will match frame to the multicam sequence in the source monitor. When you hit match frame a second time, it will match frame back to the original clip.


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Gary Tobyn
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 31, 2014 at 7:57:05 am

Hi Gerard

Thinks for the tip, I will give it a go and see if it gets around the problem.
I don't want to hijack the thread with this one problem with premiere but it is an important flaw in the software.
Do you mean work mulitcam even though your project is a single camera drama and this just forces premiere to work with dual source footage in a way that is actually useful.

Adobe made caught a lot of noise when they introduced merged clips in 5.5 and being able to work with dual source and it is a vital tool for editors. But you must be able to hand your cut off to others in a film's post production workflow.

If this works as a workaround all well and good and thanks for the pointer but it is a huge problem in need of a fix from adobe. Other than this problem at the end of my edit I thoroughly enjoyed cutting the film in premiere. I just won't be editing dual source projects in adobe any time soon.


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Charles Moore
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:02:13 pm

Hi Gary,

I just finished shooting a feature length drama - single camera (RED) with second system audio (DEVA).

I am on the fence about PP based on your posts concerning Merged Clips and their issues/limitations… especially as it relates to the entire chain of workflow (color grading, etc.) - which will exist outside of my edit as other post folks eventually get involved. The lack of XML export (or crazy workarounds to potentially get there) is enough to make me worry. Especially on a 1.5 - 2 hour long form project.

Did you ever truly discover if the reply you received from Gerard for using a multi cam sequence was a true 'work around' to the Merged Clips issues? I could not distinguish from his post if this was really an apples to apples comparison/solution. Have you had any luck since his post in your workflows with Merged Clips utilizing a multi cam sequence? Any updated insights will be greatly appreciated.

Also - if avoiding Merged Clips in PP is still your opinion - what would you recommend as the best option for syncing media (assuming PP has to be the cutter of choice)? Perhaps just putting both video and audio on the the timeline and syncing with markers - and then linking the clips together? Perhaps this is old school and time-consuming, but a viable approach for the long haul of post workflow?

For clarification - I am brand new to PP - and it's been several years since I worked in FC7 (which I did cut a few doc features on). So - I don't have a lot to go on in terms of recent experience - and I would not classify myself as a pro editor. My goal was to do a basic assembly cut of the film in PP and then work in a more vetted pro-editor after I have a 'circle take' cut of sorts put together… but I'd much rather hand off something that has value in terms of the work I put in - vs. them having to start the project from scratch because of something like the Merged Clip issues coming back to haunt me. Ultimately - Avid may be the better road anyway - but that's not an option for me personally at this point in time.

Hope you may be able to shed some additional light on this - it would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Charles


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Gerard Tay
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 30, 2014 at 5:55:36 pm

Hi Bryan,

I do use FCP7, sometimes Avid, but I enjoy cutting in Premiere. So far Premiere has been largely stable for me on larger projects, although it also seems to like more RAM especially when dealing with native formats. One of the funny things about switching to Premiere is that you can actually start working with slower drives since many native formats are heavily compressed and require less drive throughput than when using a ProRes intermediate. But of course, as always, the faster the machine the better, the faster the drives the better (helps with the rendering/exporting).

Getting a good fast/more modern GPU would help greatly as will the newer OS's, since graphics drivers (especially the ATI ones) are released with OS updates.


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Bryan Roberts
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 30, 2014 at 6:38:07 pm

Thanks for the input - I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a GTX 780 and it's a beast of a graphics card. Tons of CUDA cores, it just annihilates in Premiere. As of the 10.9.2 release of Mavericks, the GTX780 has been added so you can just buy the "PC" card since they don't offer a mac version and you just don't have the white boot screen. Otherwise it works perfectly and shows up in the system profiler perfectly. At $500, it's quite a steal and just blows the Quadro 4000 out of the water for video editing.

So far I'm loving Premiere on this little test I've been going on so far (just a 30 minute show, but lots of high action, flashy car stuff, it's a fun high energy edit).

How much ram are you running Gerard?

EDITOR
Features : Television : Commercial
http://www.BryanRobertsEditor.com


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Gerard Tay
Re: 3 big projects coming up, considering a switch to PP from FCP7. Any insights to a few general questions I have would be very much appreciated...
on Mar 31, 2014 at 4:56:28 am

Hi Bryan,

At home I use my laptop for light edits. That has 8 GBs of RAM. Barely sufficient for long form, so I have AtMonitor running to monitor RAM usage and I purge RAM when it gets filled up. At work it depends on the facility, but I have edited R3D and various types of projects on beefed up machines (24GBs of RAM with good GPU) and those rock. Very impressed with the level of performance when working with some of these formats.


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