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Thread: How much harder is Final Cut Pro than Express?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 11, 2007
    How much harder is Final Cut Pro than Express?
    I learn software fairly quickly. I'm a graphic designer, and in the rare case I do video for home use, I'm using iMovie. But, I'm wanting to do more than iMovie will allow.

    How much harder is it to learn Final Cut Pro rather than Express? I'm trying to decide between the two. But my main concern is learning curve time.

    Thanks, Danny

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    For basic editing, they are pretty close to the same - there are some things that offer more choices making certain aspects a little more difficult (ie: choosing a format for a given sequence) - but for straight cuts, fades, dissolves, FCP based motion or color correction - it's really not hugely different.

    If you do HD, FCP users use ProRES 4:2:2 often (well, I think the new version is 4:4:4), which does take a lot more storage space then AIC (which is what FCE and iMovie use).

    When I first switched to Mac, I bought FCE and really enjoyed it - I went to FCS so I could have DVD Studio Pro (I HATE iDVD) - to me it wasn't terribly hard to make the transition from using FCE to FCP for the editing aspect.

    FCS (which is how you'd get FCP) includes quite a few other apps that are quite handy for advanced work - not the least of which, DVD authoring - DVD Studio Pro is an incredible app. Compressor is a very nice compression app, and motion - well, if you want to do things that would be done with Adobe After Effects, then you need motion.
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  3. #3

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2004
    To be successful with non-linear video editing, it takes a certain level of knowledge and skill no matter what software you use.

    Using any version of Final Cut will take time to get used to if all you've used before is iMovie.

    What is it that you can't do with iMovie that you now need a more powerful editor?
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  4. #4

    Member Since
    Oct 11, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. iMovie allows me to have one video track and 2 audio tracks.

    For these new videos I'm making, I need to have 3 different video tracks and 1 audio track.

    The videos are of music performances. There a 3 camera angles filming non-stop from start to finish. I then have to align all 3 videos tracks and merge pieces of each into 1 track. This needs to be aligned with an audio track that I'm importing from Logic Pro.

    Since it's one performance and the 3 cameras need to capture it I need to be able to run the 3 tracks simultaneously (like I would with music tracks in Logic), so I can easily merge the parts.

    I could do it in iMovie, but it would be super complicated. Probably much more than just learning how to do it in FC.


  5. #5

    OPBJJ's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2009
    There's a pretty fantastic multiclip editing tool in FCP that sounds like it would be perfect for what you're doing.

    Not sure if its included in FCE, though.

  6. #6

    BenB's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 22, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    No multiclip editing in FCE. If you learn FCE, moving to FCP is the exact same program, with many more options and abilities. I agree, you want the Multiclip editing feature of Final Cut Pro. Get Final Cut Studio, and then get the "Apple Pro Training Series" book on FCP. You'll be good to go in no time.

    The only advantage of FCE is that it will import iMovie projects, FCP won't.

    As for Pro Res, used mostly for tapless workflows, or doing Long GOP (HDV) codecs on slower, older hardware. Make sure your hardware is up to spec to run Final Cut Studio! Very important!
    Apple Certified Master Trainer

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