Novice making 1st purchases: NLE + SPFX apps/plugins advice?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Novice making 1st purchases: NLE + SPFX apps/plugins advice?

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    • #39513

      Hello all – young student feature project requires the usual editing features, but requires good special effects added to footage. Thanks for setting the bar so high, Hollywood! 😉

      All post to be done on PC platform, just to set matters straight for the faithful. And no shills affiliated with specific vendors, please.

      I could go down the Adobe Premier + endless plugins route – even with academic discounts, cost is comparatively high, ~2x that of competitors’ or piecemeal solutions. Not quite sure I see the value of a highly-integrated suite with addons, as opposed to separate apps. It sure is what Adobe is pushing, tho.

      Specific issues:

      Editing: Sony Vegas 7 + DVD seems a very nice all-in-one solution and gets many "breath of fresh air" reviews – any special strong points to consider? I’m not into brick-wall learning curves. I’ve looked at Canopus’ Edius and Newtek’s Speededit, but neither seems very stable. Never mind them.

      Keying/matting: how do the chroma/motion key tools of the different editors stack up? I imagine both Premier and Vegas include basic keying tools. Is there anything to say about Advantedge Ultimatte, the Primatte/Keycorrect pair, Serious Magic (now Adobe) Ultra 2, or the keyer included in the FXhome *Lab series?

      Visual Effects: I have to make a lot of magic spells happen, including particles, auras, flares & flashes, maybe flames & smoke. The FXhome EffectsLab look very good, if their demo videos are to be believed. How does Boris RED compare? EffectsLab and RED are certainly similar on one respect: a bit pricey, even with discounts when you can get ’em.

      Misc: multipass layered compositing (creature crowd scenes), cleanup like motion/shake compensation, deinterlace of 60i footage, transcoding to 30p or 24p, filmlike gamma etc. effects. Any specific apps that do these better one than the other?

      Thanks for plowing through this long-winder.

    • #170735

      Ahh, you’re describing the creeping Adobeization I’ve sensed since I started researching NLEs. You know: "Premier Pro" is great… but you’ll need After Effects to be really satisfied. Then to master DVDs best you’ll have to get Encore. Seems that Adobe’s after customer lock-in, no surprise.

      I can get the Adobe Production Studio Premium academic for US$600 street, but it includes some apps I have little interest in, Illustrator CS2 & Photoshop CS2. Total learning curves for what I want to do: 3.

      OTOH I can buy the academics of Serious Magic/Adobe ULTRA and Vegas 7 + DVD Production Suite for US$450 total. Learning curves: 2.

      But the $$ outlay is kind of secondary — it’s more that I can’t take much time out to learn a suite of too-powerful apps. Hoping for something between MS Movie Maker and Avid…

      I’m growing averse to considering Boris RED/FZ because I can’t find any meaningful video examples or workflow tutorials – what is that, "We’re so good, our stuff sells itself."?

    • #170736

      I’ve been using Vegas on an ambitious amateur movie project. I’m doing a lot of Chroma-Keying, and the results are reasonably good. Compusolver mentioned Ultra2. I recently read a review (in a different magazine :-// ), in which the reviewer said the keying done by Ultra2 keying software was better than that done by his Vegas NLE. I can believe it. I have to spend time tweaking the keying when I’m using Vegas, and sometimes I still end up with a faint edge around the foreground subject. Not so bad I can’t use it, but not acceptable for a serious professional production.

      I’m pleased with the Vegas7 compositing options. I’ve been scaling and positioning individual layers to get just the right perspective effects. I’ve gone up to 7 layers at a time (2 layers from a camcorder, 5 from computer animation), and the final image looks good. 😀

      My recommendation would be to go with Vegas7+DVD (academic discount, if you can). If, after you’ve become familiar with it, you decide you need better keying, add Ultra2. BTW: I think that Ultra2 (by Serious Magic) was recently bought by Adobe. BTW #2: Newtek is best know for Lightwave 3D animation software and the Video Toaster video switcher; both very good products. This SpeedEdit is something new. I haven’t seen any reviews of it yet.

      Just my 3 cents worth, 🙂
      Ken Hull

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