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Author Topic: new editing studio, Mac or PC ?  (Read 3176 times)
fredjeang2
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« on: March 18, 2013, 12:36:02 PM »
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Time to upgrade soon my entire editing studio and I have hard time to decide if I keep going the PC route or if I'd better switch back to Mac.(no prob for me as I know the OS)

It's not an easy decision. For one side, some industry software makers tend to be very inclined with those High-end HP peecees workstations. On the other side, a lot of this business is runnin on Macs. You only find peecees on big teevees, niche high-end FX houses but the general rule is that Mac is still rulling the cine-entertainment business and very very little have switched to PCs recently. (and IMO it's always better to be on the same OS than the majority)

Ironicaly, everyone's asking if Mac is really willing to fullfill the future needs  (as it happened with FCPx for ex) and there is this general sensation in the air that Mac's goal is now pointing towards the masses products more than to a bunch of specialists. For example, there is a general complain among the Smoke comunity about the fact that Audodesk only released a Mac version and that there are so many peecees solutions that would bring this app to another league in terms of speed-power. But the fact is that Mac is the king of this industry.

Honestly, I really can't make my mind so far: there are andvantages and disadvantages in each OS route. Personally, I think that the only advantage today of Mac is that it's the standart, but that PCs are better options now on every other aspects (costs, power etc...).  The point where I'm the most concern about switching-back to Mac is the roadmap and that's why I hesitate. I wouldn't like to see a FCPx remake  in  future Mac OS and everybody switching to peecees in panic after I just invested in a brand new Mac studio...

I'd like to have your thoughts on all that.  
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 12:38:34 PM by fredjeang2 » Logged
Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 03:24:55 PM »
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Sareesh Sudhakaran has a good breakdown of the costs involved on his BLOG

The question of Mac or PC is very hard to answer right now. There is no easy answer IMO

I have recently started to delve pretty deeply into FCP X and am surprised at how good it is and how well thought out - the engineers have made some brilliant and bold decisions - not 100% of the time but better than 80+%. I now see a great future for FCP X - not from those of us who used FCP 7 fo so many years but from all the newbies coming into the business. I believe Apple has written off the OLD pro market as too small and too slow to change (Hollywood was always thus). But any one of the tens of thousands of student film-makers coming into editing is going to pick a $50 app over a $50 per month app. And they will be the future editors and post house owners in only a few years.

That being said, I believe that Apple has given themselves an equally long view with hardware. We will not see a MacPro replacement machine suitable for multiple 2/4K streams until the features are so compelling that anyone who has survived with an iMac or laptop for these recent years will plump down their $5K++ for a static machine to go in their new office without hesitation.

But we all exist with 'history' that weighs around our necks - it is very hard to really change dramatically. Thus if I was not so intrigued by FCP X, I would build a powerful PC and use the Adobe Production suite, thereby saving money on the machine and shortening what is turning out to be for me, a long learning curve with FCP X.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 03:31:00 PM by Chris Sanderson » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 04:22:32 PM »
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I don't doubt on the potential of a FCPx on the long run. But the problem is that we are in between 2 worlds, 2 budgets and 2 generations;  where the jobs are it's the old way wich is basically a cascade of roundtripping; and roundtripping is very much metadatas-asset management based workflow orientated on specialities. Right now we are in the wild west.
We know that this kind of workflow is going to change inevitably, time+tech always simplify and reduce costs, as well as the fragmentated pipeline. Soon, cutting in Avid, color in Resolve, compo in Nuke, conform and finish in Scratch, tricking metadatas in text editors will be obsolete. But this "soon" could be in 2 years or in 15years.

The only brand I can think of that seems to have a cutting edge view on the future is Adobe in the sense that the big shift that is happening is that we are asked to be more and more multitask. As software and HW engineering evolve, they allow for a single person or a very very reduced team to cover the all pipeline, even in the demanding high-end. What were let's say 10 seats in a prod house will be tomorrow one or 2. Will FCPx cover the all pipeline aspect (?), it will be a winner IMO, but if it's "only" a wisedly implemented NLE, kids with carreer view in motion will more likely to follow Adobe because the days of editing-only are numbered, unless...

I remember for example a Michael Reichmann's Key made with FCPx. It was really impressive for such a cheap software. Nothing or very little to envie to a spectramatte. And it seemed straightforward, and straightforward is good but can also be a trap if it lacks controls. The question is: how does it works with conflictive plates? how does it works when things get tough? when man has to take control of the machine? Do I have to naughtyroundtripping again to a Nuke or an AE to save the furnitures from the fire? and then how stable the roundtrip is? (as an example, the keyer in Avid is enough powerfull so it was used all the time within the edit of the Marvels) Is FCPx suitable for handeling securely a huge amount of datas? that's another question, and probably one of the most important in fact if the target is professional etc etc...

So IMO, it will depend very much on how they make evolve the software in the next years. The brain seems brilliant, but not yet able to cover-convinced the industry needs from bottom to top with enough reliability, and maybe also because there is a big amount of resistence to change habits. With Adobe, it's already there to some extend, it smells quite strong that the suite is going to be a serious option for covering all the pipeline, included a strong compositing app. But I do recognize that Adobe has been developped with the "old way" in mind, the strengh resides in the simplified roundtrip (but not lack of) and the interface being of the same house. IMO, the PP editor sucks in front of an Avid or FCP, but if you take the all suite together then that's another story and way cheaper than a DS, it's easy to forgive the editor's design. If FCPx revolutioned the "editing way" but lacks in stability, in asset management etc etc...it will be difficult to be accepted by the coming or next gen houses. Time will tell. But I understand you perfectly why you are intrigued by it.  

The big questions as you pointed are the MacPros roadmap. Everybody is asking this question. Before asking it in the forum, I talked to some Mac users here and same as you, they could not really answer because they were asking themselves similar questions. Some years ago, I would have asked this question into the Mac users crowd and they would have answered inmediatly: switch back to Mac with confidence. Now I don't see this confidence anymore among the editors Mac users and that's why it makes me wonder.

As you pointed, not an easy decision because there are no easy answers.

Ps: as you talked about FCPx, it reminds me the GH2 saga. The GH2 was way more powerfull than the 5D2 for motion, but despite that it has never really been embrassed by the industry and not just because of the crop factor (the AF100 is well respected) but because of a series of bad implementations and some house issues and in the end the 5D2, although being less refined for video was more suitable in the field.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 06:15:30 PM by fredjeang2 » Logged
Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 05:47:10 PM »
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The only thing that I can knowledgeably add is that FCP X has 'grown up' very fast with its last two or three dot releases. Even today, there does not seem to be the need for much round-tripping to other apps (the exception is possibly Sound)

We are now at 10.0.7 - if the pace of improvement continues, I will be fascinated to see 10.1
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Christopher Sanderson
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 06:08:50 PM »
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Even today, there does not seem to be the need for much round-tripping to other apps (the exception is possibly Sound)

Hehe...I caught you en flagrant délit !

Didn't you said that you were on some learning curve with Resolve somewhere else ? Tongue

Back in serious: in what sense it appears to be a game changer according to you?


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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 09:01:24 PM »
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... in what sense it appears to be a game changer according to you?

One word: Speed
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 09:49:19 AM »
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One word: Speed

which takes my editing/post workflow from glacial to merely slow  Grin
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 05:36:21 AM »
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which takes my editing/post workflow from glacial to merely slow  Grin

Chris,

Just a few suggestions, though you probably know all of these.

In my attempt to speed up fcp 7, I put my sequence settings in rgb for our early cuts then when finished go to YUV precision 10 bit for final.

Also if your having the gamma issue of prorezz to fcp and back out to prorezz with the tone and color changing, go into the sequence settings hit the advanced tap and set the gamma setting from automatic to none.

This will keep the files looking the same from input to output and seems to speed the system up.

(For anyone transcoding to prorezz also go into the quicktime settings and set gamma to none instead of automatic.  You can do the same in Cine-x, or in wondershare which we use for transcoding mp4 camera files).

I know I'll eventually have to change out of 7 but won't do so until it just becomes none workable.

I really, really don't like fcp X and if I have to go to another learning curve will probably go to AVID.  I bought premier but most of the houses I lay work off to don't work in X or premier so I have to either stay with FCP 7 or move to AVID.

Fred,

I'd move to Apple.  Not because i have Apple or because I know it but because most of the market you will be delivering to use Mac products.

Personally I know that PC computers, Android and Microsoft pads and phones are as good if not better than Apple.  The problem is Apple is seamless between all of these devices.

That seamless system makes working very easy and takes much less time on set up.

I was so pissed over fcp x that I almost moved to a pc and was ready to wash my hands of Apple, but I'm still using and making money with FCP 7, know the software in and out and even though it's old, with small QT upgrades transcoding for pads, phones, screen and web is very easy.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 05:42:28 AM by bcooter » Logged
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