new guy buying an editing station

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    • #37318
      Avatarmmorris
      Participant

      Hello everyone.

      I am just finishing up my first semester of film school where I am majoring in editing and special effects. I am registering for my fall classes adn I will now be taking my first final cut and animation classes where I’ll be using adobe. This is all online and so I will be buying all of this software, but I have a few questions first…

      I have an older G4 that will not cut it for many ofmy classes, so I need to buy a new computer. Any suggestions? I currently run a mac and am comfortable with them, but am fine on PC as well. I would like to get something that is easily upgraded as I will be adding plenty of software and even hardware as I go through school and then out on my ownand I’d like it to last a while. Would it be a bad idea to get a laptop? Also, how many different computers am I able to install programs on? For example, I just bought Final Cut Studio 6, but am afraid of installing it on my G4 for fear that I will not be able to install it on whatever new computer I end up getting.

    • #165317
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>would like to get something that is easily upgraded as I will be adding plenty of software and even hardware as I go through school and then out on my ownand I’d like it to last a while. Would it be a bad idea to get a laptop?<<

      Part of the issue with this is what software do you want to run? Final Cut Pro is MAC only so if you want/need to run it you have to buy one. Additionally, there are some programs that are PC only (like most pro 3d applications), so you may also need a PC. My suggestion is to buy a new intel mac since it will be able to run both the MAC operating system as well as the Windows OS (either natively using boot camp or via other software like parallels and the like).

      Getting a laptop would seriously limit your upgrade options since they usually cant be upgraded aside from a larger hdd or more ram. Additionally, they usually have only a fraction of the power fo the available desktops on the market I wouldn’t normally suggest one for serious work. Rendering is the point of a project that the limitations of a laptop become very obvious.

      >>Also, how many different computers am I able to install programs on? For example, I just bought Final Cut Studio 6, but am afraid of installing it on my G4 for fear that I will not be able to install it on whatever new computer I end up getting.<<

      You can install software on as many machines as you want in general, but usually are not supposed to run it on more than one machine at any given time. Some software requires that you activate it before it can be used and some companies allow you to activate it on only one computer while others allow more. This actually depends on the licensing agreement that governs the specific piece of software you buy.

    • #165318
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      upgrading is not all it’s cracked up to be.

      Buy the macbook or macbook pro, and up the ram, add external firewire raid.

      by the time you find yourself need to upgrade, just buy another macbook….you’ll get everything upgraded at once, no headaches, and considering the software that comes with every new mac, you’ll probably save money off the cost of buying everything all peicemeal anyways.

    • #165319
      AvatarCoreece
      Participant

      I would recommend tailoring a system to the specifications required by final cut studio.

      http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs/

      Note that final cut studio can be installed on a G4 or G5, but there are some features of DVD Studio Pro that require a G5.

      Futhermore, 3D programs like Maya would also require a G5, but programs like cinema4D and the open source program blender will work on a G4.

    • #165320
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>Note that final cut studio can be installed on a G4 or G5, but there are some features of DVD Studio Pro that require a G5.

      Futhermore, 3D programs like Maya would also require a G5, but programs like cinema4D and the open source program blender will work on a G4. <<

      Can you even buy a G5 now? I thought Apple had gone over entirely to the Intel chips.

      On a side note, professional 3D programs like Maya (The only one of the top three you can get on a MAC) also work better on a multi-processor system. Thats why it took so long to get pro 3d on the Mac platform.

      >>upgrading is not all it’s cracked up to be.

      Buy the macbook or macbook pro, and up the ram, add external firewire raid.<<

      The problem with that logic: what happens next year when you want to use a better video or sound card? Desktops, in addition to being far more powerful are also in general far more extensible than laptops. The one advantage that a PC has over a MAC (aside from the greater number of programs available) is since they are made with off the shelf parts they are pretty modular and much easier to update in pieces. So instead of buying a new computer every two or three years (which is the Apple logic) you can buy and update piece by piece as required. Of course that operates under the assumption that you get pieces that work together. Though, if you are going to use FCP then you would have to get a MAC.

    • #165321
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      “The problem with that logic: what happens next year when you want to use a better video or sound card? Desktops, in addition to being far more powerful are also in general far more extensible than laptops. The one advantage that a PC has over a MAC (aside from the greater number of programs available) is since they are made with off the shelf parts they are pretty modular and much easier to update in pieces. So instead of buying a new computer every two or three years (which is the Apple logic) you can buy and update piece by piece as required. Of course that operates under the assumption that you get pieces that work together. Though, if you are going to use FCP then you would have to get a MAC.”

      that’s why pc’s crash so often.

      nothing like upgrading your videocard, to find out you need a new operatinsystem to use it, then finding out you have driver conflicts with the soundcard you bought, only to find out that the latest version of editing software is needed to work with the graphics card, but won’t install on your system unless you upgrade your processor……

      I factor the cost of new equipment into my pricing.

      everything goes on three years…

      one year: new slrs/photographic equipment (up to budgetted amount)

      second year: new video equipment (up to budget alotment)

      third year: new computer/software (up to budget alotment)

      spend your surplus income or get taxed to death on it!

    • #165322
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      up here in Canada the only thing that wants your blood more than the mosquitos is the tax man!

    • #165323
      Avatarmmorris
      Participant

      I see. Jerron, you seem to know quite a bit more than I do about computers, but are using the logic I was trying to get at. However, for school, I have to use FCP and therefore must get a Mac I guess. Can I get a mac desktop and just continue to add what I need assoftware demands?You guys are working professionals obviously, are FCP, adobe,and AVID still the industry standards?Do I need to be learning some other software? How didyou learn all of this?

    • #165324
      Avatarmmorris
      Participant

      What do you think about those turnkey editing systems that you see advertised everywhere? Is this way out of my realm for now? Should I get something really elementary for now until I get out of school that can support the required programs only?

    • #165325
      Avatarralck
      Participant

      that’s why pc’s crash so often.

      nothing like upgrading your videocard, to find out you need a new operatinsystem to use it, then finding out you have driver conflicts with the soundcard you bought, only to find out that the latest version of editing software is needed to work with the graphics card, but won’t install on your system unless you upgrade your processor……

      Don, I don’t want to start a Mac vs PC flame war, but I don’t find this true. I primarily use a PC (though I do own a Mac) and find it hardly ever crashes (honestly I don’t know the last time it actually crashed except for when my 4+ year old video card died… probably because of the added stress of OC’ing it… and running my computer 24/7 most of the time). Now that’s not to say PC’s are perfect; they have their problems just like every electronics device and since I know my way around computers, it probably helps me minimize them. But the fact is, device conflicts like this are virtually a thing of the past (yes, it happens every now and then, but usually it’s a case of the user not doing something correctly). As far as a new operating system from buying a new videocard? I’ve never heard of this. Graphic card manufacturers almost always provide drivers for older operating systems, at least the last one or two versions of the OS. Driver conflicts with video cards and sound cards? I’ve never heard of this one either and this is essentially impossible based on the driver structure of XP and Vista. There were ISA conflicts back in the days of 486’s, but we don’t have to worry about that anymore. All programs, both Mac and PC have minimum requirements. If you bought an editor that needs a better CPU, you should have checked this first- it’s very easy to do and there are even websites that check your computer and let you know. I know a lot of new hardware/softare doesn’t run with Windows 95 or Windows 98 but those are very old operating systems (and Windows 2000 is not viable as it was never intended for home/personal use). You can’t expect software from 2008 to run on an operating system from 1995 just as you can’t expect OSX to run on a G3. None of the scenarios you’ve listed are likely to happen on XP or Vista. I’m sorry if I come off as ranting and harsh, but I just want to give the OP and anyone else using this thread as a reference the most correct information. As far as the OP’s questions, I would probably recomend a Mac Pro, which is a Mac desktop and can be very powerful since you need to run Final Cut. I think they sell an 8 core machine (2 processors, 4 cores each) which should last you at least a few years. These are Intel-based machine so you can use Boot Camp or VMWare Fusion to run Windows on it along side OSX. I personally think this is a better option for you than a laptop because you get extra “horsepower” instead of portability (which you didn’t seem to mention that you needed). But it’s not the only option for you. The other option is to buy or build an Intel-based machine (we are talking Intel CPU and Intel Motherboard at the very least). There are companies that sell these PC-based “Mac Clones” which are similar enough to install OSX on. This isn’t illegal based on Mac’s licensing agreements (one company did sell machines with OSX preinstalled- something that is illegal, but they removed that option from their website and Apple dropped the lawsuit). I only recomend this if you consider yourself an advanced computer user, but it is another option for you. As far as turnkey editors, I don’t have much experience with them, so I don’t know if this would be a good option for you. Hopefully someone who knows about them might be able to give you some good input.

    • #165326
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>However, for school, I have to use FCP and therefore must get a Mac I guess. Can I get a mac desktop and just continue to add what I need assoftware demands?<<

      Since Mac moved to using the intel chip they have the ability to run both MAC and windows applications. So I definitely think that a MAC is the way to go. I use bootcamp and run Mac for some applications and the PC side for others.

      >>You guys are working professionals obviously, are FCP, adobe,and AVID still the industry standards?Do I need to be learning some other software? How didyou learn all of this?<<

      I would say that AVID is industry standard for professional television and film editing. FCP is very popular amongst the indy filmmaking crowds and Adobe Premiere Pro has a penetration in the corporate/government and indy producer markets. I once talked to one of the guys on the Adobe development team for Premiere Pro and he claimed that AVID, FCP and PP each had about 30 of the industry in terms of market penetration. There are other applications out there for video editing like Sony Vegas and Pinnacle studio, and I don’t mean to offend anyone but they aren’t even on the radar as far as the professional market (that I am familiar with) is concerned. I think that the question of which ones you learn (and I suggest everyone know two) has alot to do with whether you plan to work for someone else (in which case you learn industry standard apps) or for yourself (in which case you learn whatever you want). If your goal is to eventually edit Hollywood features then learn AVID and FCP, if you are going to work for smaller production companies then FCP and PP might be good for you. If you plan on starting your own company then you should look into each one and find the feature set that is right for your needs.

      >>What do you think about those turnkey editing systems that you see advertised everywhere? Is this way out of my realm for now? Should I get something really elementary for now until I get out of school that can support the required programs only?<<

      Turnkey systems can be very powerful, but I believe that the price point for most of them is way out of the park for the independent producer. Additionally, you are essentially locking yourself into one system that may or may not be industry standard in a couple of years. From what I am seen many editing systems are moving away from the turnkey concept and towards a more software base with additional hardware (either external or internal) acceleration. The one area where I see turnkey staying a norm is in the effects industry where real-time display of effects is essential.

    • #165327
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      Ralc… true, I was being sarcastic but there are alot of problems that can arise from pc upgrades. Apple makes the hardware and software, and they do both exceptionally well (of course they have thier problems from time to time).

      you don’t need to upgrade when you start with the best. Three years or so later, there’ll be new operating systems, new video cards, new file standards, new cameras, new software….

      I’m not saying my way is the best way, but it is one way worth considering. It works.

      why would David bother collecting stones and picking up heavy swords, if he had a .50 cal rifle with 10x scope lying around?

      different means to the same ends right?

      9 times outa ten the simplest solution is the best solution.

      buy a mac. add ram. make money.

      Doesn’t get any simpler than that, in my books.

    • #165328
      Avatarmmorris
      Participant

      Thank you very much. It lools likke I have more research to do and I’ll probably have more questions, but this has been a huge help. Do any of you attend any of the videomaker seminars? I don’t know if you guys are advanced beyond that, or if that would still help.

    • #165329
      Avatarralck
      Participant

      Don, you gotthat right!The best hardwarewill give you agood experience-both on a Macor a PC.

      And Ithink when itcomesdown toit, 99% ofall PC problems areuser-created (for example, tryingto run a brandnew,top oftheline,eats kilowatts ofpower asecondvideocard on a100Wpower supply thatcamewith theircomputer10years ago :-P).

      Mmorris, I’ve never attended any of the seminars so I don’t know what they are like. I have a motto (especially about film) that There’s always something to learn, so there’s a good chance you’ll learn something from the seminars. I’m just a college kid who’s done a lot less video work than most of the other forum members, though, so I might find my motto changes over time. πŸ˜›

      P.S. Whathappenedtotheformattingof mylastpost!?Ihadsetit upinsome niceparagraphsforeasierreading… andit kindof justgot allmangled and squashedtogether. :-/

    • #165330
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      So I didn’t read the whole thread…too long and I hate reading. So if I repeat anything, sorry.

      Anyway, I’d go with a Mac Pro if you are serious about editing. I have 4 GB of RAM which seems to be plenty for SD editing. I wouldn’t buy Apple RAM though, it’s so expensive. I purchased Apple Certified RAM from Other World Computer, and I’m sure there are other distributors as well. And be sure to have enough hard drive space. I have over a TB, and that will last me a while.

      As far as how many computers you can load a program onto, legally you can only load a program onto one computer, but who does that? Just be sure not to register the software and you will be fine. If you are really paranoid about it, just make sure you’re computer isn’t connected to the internet when you use the software.

      I don’t think the new Final Cut Studio 2 will work as efficiently with a G4 though. Not that a G4 is bad, it’s just that it was made to work with intel Macs. I could be wrong though, so check the software’s requirements. Same thing goes for many newer programs, like Adobe CS3 stuff. I believe they are more efficient on intel macs.

    • #165331
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>I’m just a college kid who’s done a lot less video work than most of the other forum members, though, so I might find my motto changes over time<<

      Actually, I think that is a really great attitude for anyone young or old to have. I have used some program for over a decade and I still learn new things about them and the crafts associated with using them constantly.

    • #165332
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>Same thing goes for many newer programs, like Adobe CS3 stuff. I believe they are more efficient on intel macs.<<

      Actually, fro MAC the Adobe CS3 video apps will only work on an Intel Mac. They won’t install on any precessor previous to it. I don’t believe that is true for Final Cut.

      >>As far as how many computers you can load a program onto, legally you can only load a program onto one computer, but who does that? Just be sure not to register the software and you will be fine. If you are really paranoid about it, just make sure you’re computer isn’t connected to the internet when you use the software.<<

      How about? Professionals who abide by the conditions of the licensing agreements that they agree to. Effectively, when you buy a program you are licensing it from the software manufacturer. When you install it you agree to abide by the licensing agreement for that software. Saying, because you won’t get caught the agreement doesn’t matter doesn’t seem very ethical, does it?

      And actually the number of computers you can load a piece of software onto is usually in the licensing agreement itself and they vary. However in general you can only run it on one computer at a time.

    • #165333
      Avatarmmorris
      Participant

      How about? Professionals who abide by the conditions of the licensing agreements that they agree to. Effectively, when you buy a program you are licensing it from the software manufacturer. When you install it you agree to abide by the licensing agreement for that software. Saying, because you won’t get caught the agreement doesn’t matter doesn’t seem very ethical, does it?

      And actually the number of computers you can load a piece of software onto is usually in the licensing agreement itself and they vary. However in general you can only run it on one computer at a time.

      I’m not trying to get away with anything here, I just want to make sure that when I buy a new computer, I didn’t just waste $2,500 on software that I cannot load onto it. Sounds like I will be able to do that and still be able to sleep at night with my ethics intact if I just don’t register it until I get the new computer which will be the “permanent” one. Since computers become obsolete so quickly I imagine thatprofessionals like yourselves upgrade machines fairly frequently and when you do, you take your expensive software with you, correct?

    • #165334
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>Sounds like I will be able to do that and still be able to sleep at night with my ethics intact if I just don’t register it until I get the new computer which will be the “permanent” one. Since computers become obsolete so quickly I imagine thatprofessionals like yourselves upgrade machines fairly frequently and when you do, you take your expensive software with you, correct?<<

      You have the right to uninstall the software from an old computer and install it on a new one. This contingency is written into every EULA that I have ever read. Technically you don’t have to uninstall it, but some software have to be deactivated. Of course keep in mind that by the time you need a new computer the software is probably well out of date. Most major companies that I am familiar with have either a 12 or 18 month production cycle in place. Some EULA (Like Adobes) specifically state that you can install and activate the software a number of times on different machines, but that you have to deactivate it on an old machine before installing it on a new one after the first two. To protect their IP many software manufacturers have started requiring software activation, so while you can install the software it will often either not run or run in trail mode until the authorization process is complete. Registering a product doesn’t really do much, and has nothing to do with installing multiple copies of the software.

    • #165335
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      “Do any of you attend any of the videomaker seminars?”

      My experience with the seminars is as a lecturer and not as an attendee but I have enjoyed the last two Summits myself. I find them a wonderful place to meet new people and learn and share ideas.

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