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Editing noob help!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Video Synthesis  
Author Editing noob help!
So I've gathered all my footage together for my short film. Struggling with the editing side. Essentially what I would like to do is have a way to cut and layer the original pass of the footage with the subsequent passes being manipulated by the lzx and oscilloscope. In an ideal world I could line up all the passes of the footage so they are synced up. Then cut and paste between all the layers or use a vj software to fade and cut between them. I'm on a Mac using iMovie 09 and final cut 7. But final cut plays my footage in a stutters mess while iMovie plays them with ease. This is my first real project and I'm running into walls left and right. Any tips, hints, workflow ideas to help someone coming from an audio background use to Ableton and logic?
Gah! I wish you would have asked about this before I left town. I could have given you a lesson or two d'oh! I primarily work as a video editor, and have been teaching editing classes for 5 years...

Anyways, learning editing software like FCP7 is not an easy thing. There are a lot of variables at play. Your stuttering problems are easily avoided. My guess is that you're working with footage in an h264 codec (most consumer hd cameras and dslrs use this codec). You need to transcode (convert to another codec) the footage before editing. MPEG Streamclip is a great, free program for doing this. You can batch transcode a whole folder of clips. ProRes 422 is the best codec for fcp editing. And I would definitely suggest fcp over iMovie for several reasons, but the biggest motivator in your case is the better facilitation of i/o streams.

The type of workflow you describe is basically how I make most of my videos (overlaying multiple processed takes with the original footage). It's a little complex. I can help you via email or phone if you need more detail. The trick is to use a countdown leader when exporting the video for processing. FCP has a "print to tape" feature, which allows you to frame-accurately play a video stream from whatever analog out device you have. By default, it outputs a countdown before your sequence. So, when you eventually recapture the processed footage, you can accurately sync it back to the original.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty complicated topic. Maybe this is something I should make a youtube tutorial for, if enough others are interested... otherwise, I'll pm you my # and email.
Thanks super J! If only I got into this video madness sooner. Being a medium hopper means I am constantly tackling new paradigms of thought and process. Which is endless joy, but quite frustrating when you have such grand visions. I have stream clip downloaded and I'll process my iMovie footage folder tonight. I wish there was an all in one program to compose and edit both video and sound as I'm working sans sound and hoping to drop a semifinished edit into Ableton to compose to, then back into final cut for final tweaking and syncing. It would be so much easier to edit and compose at the same time. I realize this is going to be complex, it always is. w00t I'm going to read up on print to tape, and other final cut riddles. Enjoy America's most epic gash! I'll email you after I bone up. Thanks again!
Matos wrote:
I wish there was an all in one program to compose and edit both video and sound as I'm working sans sound and hoping to drop a semifinished edit into Ableton to compose to, then back into final cut for final tweaking and syncing. It would be so much easier to edit and compose at the same time.

Sony Vegas was built on this principle... but unfortunately it is PC only, and kind of falls a little short in both departments.
What we usually do is edit to temp tracks. Find (or make!) a piece of music at the same tempo and feeling the final will have. It's sooooo much easier to cut to music, especially if the final track is going to be primarily music.
Good idea! That will give me a good framework to edit to. My poor computer seems like it will be transcoding for a very looooong time. Hopefully by the time I'm back from work tomorrow and can rebuilt my rough edit from iMovie, drop in a scratch audio bed, and scratch and crawl my way through final cut.
Read up on the multi-cam editing features in FCP. You can edit in real time, cutting on the fly between your multiple video passes, just like working with a live production switcher.

Also, check out PluralEyes from Singular Software. If you record an audio reference track along with each of the video passes, PluralEyes can automatically sync them all up on multiple tracks in FCP.
I'm not fully envisioning your workflow but the basic idea seems good, you just need the facets to all work.

I agree that if a program is stuttering on playback then chances are its a compression issue. Though there is a limit to how much video data the machine can access in real time. So it's a call, more compression if possible and hopefully no noticeable picture degrade. Or only have so much data active at that point in your timeline. You can load all sorts of stuff in there but your drives can only access so much. Though probably out of your budget and possibly not even needed for what you want to achieve, remember high end editing systems use RAID drives or recently SSD.

I don't really use iMovie enough to remember the features you have and don't have but clearly the idea is to limit options thereby making it simpler.

You can definitely edit sound in just about any video editor. You can't do some things say like Live does, like time stretching loops, MIDI, dropping in effects on the fly, but then again those aren't editing features.

I guess one thing that can throw someone starting with Final Cut (I've not used the new FCP X version). When you drop a clip in the audio automatically goes to an audio track that stays in sync when you cut picture. That's what you want if you are cutting dialog but gets in the way when editing picture and sound on their own. There are all sorts of ways to get around it once you figure them out, but as a beginner user I was always annoyed when the locked in sound track moving around bumping into carefully edited other soundtracks. A fast tip is you can lock say the sound track and then it won't move (but don't forget to unlock it when you do need sync) while the unlocked picture can be dragged somewhere else. And though FCP only opens showing a couple tracks you can add huge numbers of video and audio tracks... the only catch there is your monitor has to be huge or some may be offscreen.

About huge numbers of tracks. A major concept with better video editing software is you can manage a complicated project as several smaller sections. You can drop several timelines with loose tracks added into a new timeline rather than assemble every little piece in a super complicated single timeline.

As for VJ software, those apps are streamlined for live perfomance. If your thing is realtime performance mixing that you want to hopefully capture then definitely look there. Video editing software isn't meant for realtime performance other than it's a sort of pride and desire to please demanding customers to do previously slow rendered effects in realtime when say high performance GPUs are in the system. But aside from the effects fireworks the idea is you assemble stuff a cut at a time then write it to a file or device.

I've not really studied these particular tools but I understand there are some "multi-camera" features in FCP. The idea is some shoots (live concerts) have several cameras separately recording at the same time and you want to edit them all together after the fact (not a live multicamera broadcast like say sports). That sounds kind of like what you are doing. So maybe google "multi-camera FCP" and you might pick up some good tips.
ndkent brings up a good point... are you capturing standard def video DV video (720x480), or is this HDV, 720P, 1080P, etc? Even after transcoding to ProRes, you can't expect a single hard drive to sustain playback of multiple simultaneous HD video clips. I work in a video production facility, and our edit suites are tied into a 32TB XSAN RAID system over dual fiber channels. You have to be realistic about what kind of performance you can expect from a standard PC setup.
Wowsers! Thanks everyone for the help. I was thrown off by the simpler iMovie playing the footage fine, but the pro version stuttering. this was originally hd1080 footage from a canon t2i dslr, that was converted to a more manageable size by iMovie upon import. I transcoded some of the footage with streamclip into the appledv format. I'll see how those play back when I get home. I realize I'm running on a older core duo MacBook pro so I'm not expecting miracles. I'm trying to keep it simple, and short, around 6 minutes. I can deal with only two video tracks for this edit, so hopefully this aging lump of aluminum and silicon can keep up.
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