Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE

Posted by craig seeman 
Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 24, 2012 09:42AM
Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
FCPX, Smoke, etc.

Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 25, 2012 06:43PM
Just watched the video. I disagree that the disadvantage of moving from FCP to Avid means that you have to unlearn many things in FCP. I actually find a lot of similarities between between the two softwares. There are some areas that Avid does a lot more elegantly (trim tools, scrubbing, source/record timeline editing, AMA), and some areas that FCP is better at (FCP's segment 'world', effects and compositing).

Overall, I find cutting narrative more enjoyable on an Avid than in FCP, however, there are some operations that seem slower in Avid than in FCP (such as selecting a bunch of clips and shifting them down one track). And I prefer doing edits with more effects work from within FCP.

What I don't like about Avid, is it's history as a software and a company. It is good, in that you have a mature editing platform, while it is bad, because it started out in an era where software was proprietary, and it is this era that we can see Avid trying to break away. They have only recently made MC more open on the hardware end. However, there are still a lot more workflow tools and plugins available for FCP (including FCP X) and Premiere Pro than there is in Avid. And this is not because Avid is a new entrant into the NLE market.

I both agree and disagree with Evan about 3rd party support for the editing platform. 3rd party support for a feature can both be a curse and a blessing. On the whole, you tend to get better prices and faster bug fixes and patches because the market is more competitive if a software was more open to developers, but at the same time, quality and compatibility, and consistency can become an issue. When you add a drop shadow effect that came from a 3rd party developer, you cannot toss a project file around as easily because not everyone will be using that same drop shadow, and then sometimes you get hardware level conflicts (eg. plugins that may require Nvidia acceleration), or software level conflicts.

For long term compatibility, I would like core editing tools, key workflow related tools and certain effects to come with the package, with fancy add-ons coming from 3rd party manufacturers. You don't want to have to re-ingest something from tape for a client a few years on, and realize that XYZ company has gone bust in the last recession.

Then there is that thing about Smoke. I'm not sure how much inroads Smoke has made in terms of being an NLE, but to me, they are traditionally an online/finishing machine. Finishing is what it does best. The system was initially designed for finishing- edit desk, workdesk, etc... As far as learning how batch (ChangeFX) works, it really doesn't seem hard if you have done some work in Apple Color or Shake or Nuke. Nodal effects and compositing IMO is a lot easier to understand than layer based compositing. I was trying to explain setting up a scene linear pipeline to a Flame compositor, and it was really easy to demonstrate how scene linear works in Flame because the effects line up in nodes, and btw, I don't know a thing about Flame, just that I can see how the effects join up because it is nodal. But the concept of having effects in a node tree would probably be quite alien to most editors, because most editors like a one touch slap-on effect for quick and easy proof of concept, rather than spend hours creating node trees to create a specific kind of glow. This is just one of the differences between how an offline/storytelling editor works and how an effects guy or a compositor works.

I embrace the idea of having a story telling machine that does more than story telling, but although I haven't worked extensively on a Smoke, I somehow don't think I'll be seeing a Smoke do offline edits for a multicam reality show any time within the next year.

With regard to RAW (and also H.264 to some degree), I don't agree that an 8x render is necessarily a bad thing. Let's say you're cutting a 60 second spot and you have 1 hour of rushes, so you spend 4 to 6 hours transcoding rushes at half resolution, as opposed to spending 20 minutes rendering it out from your sequence. Flexibility can be a good option.

Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 26, 2012 10:04AM
Gotta see this for what it is...this is just one guy's take on the "state of the NLE". Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Agree with you G...Avid history is hard to swallow...proprietary multi gazillion $$ systems (early on)...lousy Customer Service (hours of waiting on support phone calls), etc. Things are changed though with them. I just installed a full blown Symphony 6.0.1 on my MBP last night and it is FAST. I still don't like that Avid structure...liked the free-flowing drag & drop of FCP...but damn it runs on my MBP and runs well. I have not touched it in 9 years and I was cutting in 5 minutes. All for a $999 upgrade from Xpress Pro??? If you all (who are eligible) do not take advantage of this...you are insane.

Now...looking at Smoke. Never touched it. Always heard cool things about it. Avid DS was never an option. It's a great time for us right now.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 26, 2012 10:26AM
>I still don't like that Avid structure.

You gotta admit that skimming through with a Wacom tablet in source record mode beats the FCP X skimmer. smiling smiley

I usually put the timecode bar in the middle of the timeline between the video and audio tracks so I can get into skimming mode (source record mode) by hitting the timecode bar. Large surface area, large screen real estate for skimming.

Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 26, 2012 12:35PM
...one of the main Avid Advocate peeps found out I upgraded to Symphony 6 and asked me today to come back to their forum...the same forum I was a Mod on and was asked to leave 8 years ago because I was talking too much about a new rival technology called Final Cut Pro. Life has a funny way of coming around full circle, don't it?

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 26, 2012 01:12PM
grafixjoe Wrote:
> .. Life has a funny way of
> coming around full circle, don't it?

I always said I would 'never run Avid' in my shops. And now we're installing 5 Symphonies here. Yeah, never say never......

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
Re: Evan Schechtman of @RadicalMedia on the State of the NLE
April 27, 2012 10:32AM

Yeah, never say never......

...amen brother smileys with beer

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

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