Tips on Switching Editing Software
The process of switching from one NLE to another is not often an easy one. All that muscle memory needs to be re-learned, the tool set is different and in some cases even the conceptual paradigm on which the software operates!
But if you’ve learned one video editing application and you’re feeling an itch to make the switch to another NLE, then this post should help you make that jump.
If after reading this post you want even more tutorials and resources on a specific piece of software, then these links will take you to every post on the blog featuring that particular app:
If you’re new to editing and wondering which application to try first, well that’s a different conversation, for a different time. But I’ll give you my two cents:
- If you want to work in features and broadcast TV – learn Avid Media Composer first.
- Editing your own videos and price is your main consideration? – Learn DaVinci Resolve, it’s free!
- Don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee? – Learn FCPX or Resolve.
- Coming from Final Cut Pro 7 (still!) and looking for an easy leap – Learn Adobe Premiere Pro
If you want a more thorough comparison on pretty much every available option on the market in 2017, then check out this post from Editor Scott Simmons over on PVC.com, replete with Pros, Cons and pricing info.
Beyond the most obvious of choices when it comes to Adobe, Avid and Apple there are NLEs that fit any budget, run on any platform and can meet most any need.
This buyer’s guide came from a list I was putting together for a client who asked about alternatives beyond Adobe, Avid and Apple (and this whole thing will be a class at NAB Post|Production World as well).
I was surprised by how many choices we have these days and how capable many of them are.
UPDATE – Skimming Compared in ‘The Big Four’
If you want a decent comparison of the different skimming functionality available in the big four NLE’s (FCPX, Premiere Pro, Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve), then editor Charlie Austin from Fcpxpert.net, will take you through them blow-by-blow.
Skimming in FCP X is one of the things that I really miss when I’m in other NLE’s, particularly for previewing effects and looking at individual clips in composited piles of video. – Charlie Austin
Tips on Switching to Premiere Pro from Avid Media Composer
Switching from Avid Media Composer to Premiere Pro is (seemingly) becoming more common, even in entrenched industry sectors like Hollywood Studios and large scale production houses.
In this presentation from legendary editor Walter Murch you can hear his rationale for switching to Premiere Pro and what he’s learned along the way.
Adobe has it’s own official, hour long, free video training course on making the switch to Premiere covering the following topics:
- Become familiar with Premiere Pro
- Store data properly
- Organise footage the smart way
- Understand basic audio routing
- Work with nested sequences
- Export your media
As a Premiere Pro editor myself I’ve often rounded up the best tutorials I’ve seen on editing in Premiere Pro and you can check some of the most recent examples of those posts here:
One of the most popular posts on the blog in 2016 was this post detailing how Hail, Caesar! and Deadpool were cut in Premiere Pro. That post is packed with free downloads, VFX breakdowns, keyboard macros, interviews and loads of insider insights.
It also included this presentation (above) featuring some of the editing team at Sundance, as well as an in-depth interview with editor Vashi Nedomansky on how he prepped the Deadpool editing team to make the switch from Avid Media Composer to Premiere.
I sat down with each of them individually for two or three days to get them up and running and the first thing I did was to customise their Premiere Pro set up so it matched, as close as possible, their Avid system. Because as an editor – a lot of it’s about comfort, speed, keyboard shortcuts and knowing where everything is.
So I literally mapped out how their Avid keyboards were in Premiere, or showed them where that was in Premiere, and it’s funny – even though they were all Avid people, they had their keyboards set up a different way. None of them had the default Avid keyboard, they all had their own custom stuff. I also set up their two monitor layouts, got everything where they wanted.
They were really impressed that they could resize stuff, move stuff, tab stuff.
You’ll also find a ton of interesting details, workflow discussions and more in my making of David Fincher’s Gone Girl post, which was cut on Adobe Premiere Pro too. Particularly worth reading and watching is everything with First Assistant Editor Tyler Nelson.
Tips on Switching from Premiere Pro To FCPX
This combination of NLE switching is probably going to become more common in the next few years. In this 50 minute presentation from LACPUG, editor and trainer Larry Jordan, delivers an entertaining and informative talk on the differences between FCPX and Premiere Pro, especially when it comes to Media Management.
If you’re coming from Premiere, this will give you a good foundation to understand what’s going on, what everything is called and how it works.
If you want to read about the experiences of a post house (there are actually plenty of them around) that made the switch from Avid or Premiere to FCPX then check out this two-part series from Viva La Zoom.
Six months down the line now from our switch from Premiere to Final Cut Pro and while FCPX is not without some faults we are still using it today for all our video editing projects, and after using it everyday we feel we are now in a good position to compare the two NLEs for their pros and cons.
If you’re using Premiere Pro now and you haven’t experienced any of the bugs we’ve listed above, and everything works great for you then, cost ignored, there is probably no need to change.
But, when the cost is factored in we found that paying over £500 a year to rent the software and to then experience bugs on various different computers and hardware setups that never seemed to get fixed despite major updates, then we felt pushed to try something new.
Final Cut Pro X was that something new, and despite having some minor flaws also we trust the software to to what it says it will do and we feel that it helps us to edit more efficiently. So for now, if all stays equal, we’re happy with our switch and can see no reason to look elsewhere for video editing software.
The biggest evolution of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (Ten) came with version 10.3. I’ve rounded up a huge number of tutorials, tips, resources and training courses in this post on What’s New in FCPX 10.3?
If you’re serious about making the most of FCPX then this is good place to start.
The Digital Media Dude has put together an expanding series of videos on FCPX Vs Premiere Pro tutorials, which compare and contrast the functionality and performance of both apps. Each episode is co-presented by a guest presenter.
One of the biggest differences between FCPX and any other NLE is how the timeline works. I took a look at all the things you can do with the FCPX timeline in this previous post ‘Understanding the FCPX Magnetic Timeline.’
UPDATE – June 2017
In this two part series on FCP.co, editor Chris Roberts shares a detailed guide for Premiere Pro editors moving to FCPX for the first time.
Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time helping “switchers” get to grips with changes and updates to video editing software – whether it’s been Avid or FCP 7 editors moving to Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X.
In many cases the people switching often have specific questions about workflows – i.e. they have a specific way of working that they’d like to replicate on the new system.
Chris covers a lot of topics, but here is a quick summary of each part:
Part 1 – Project differences, FCPX Libraries, Events, Saving and Restoring, Reconnecting Media, Keyboard shortcuts, Browser Sorting, Skimming/Scrubbing, Sequences and Projects, and of course the Magnetic Timeline.
Part 2 – Tools, Clip Connections, Secondary Storylines, Source Timecode, Trimming, Audio, Split Edits, Audio Channels, Audio Mixing, Stringouts, Sharing Cuts, Titles, Multi-track Exports, Interoperability.
If you’re looking to get started in FCPX but you’re struggling with a specific aspect of the software, this post’s searchable nature, might hold the answer!
Tutorials on Switching from Premiere Pro to Avid Media Composer
In this recent 5 part series from Avid, specifically aimed at helping Adobe Premiere Pro editors make the switch, you can take a 75 minute introduction to editing in Media Composer.
If you’re a Premiere Pro editor looking to move up in the world of feature films or broadcast TV and the post-house you’re moving to is all Avid, then this series will definitely give you a leg up.
Or if you’re an assistant whose just blagged their first gig, this will also help you out!
In our first lesson, we’re talking specifically about the project window, and how setting up your project in Media Composer is the most important part of the your editing process, because you’re not setting up how to edit, but you are setting up what the end product is going to conform to.
If you’ve not yet seen an Avid Media Composer tutorial from Kevin P. McAuliffe, then I don’t know what tutorials you’ve been watching, because the man is a cornerstone of the Avid tutorial community!
As an example of this you can actually watch four other ‘Get Started Fast’ tutorial series, from Kevin, covering Media Composer itself, Switching from FCP7, High Res Workflows and NewBlue Titler, in the video playlist above.
Many moons ago I made my own attempt at switching to Avid Media Composer, and blogged about the trials and tribulations of that journey, with some funny gifs thrown in for good measure.
In preparing to invest the time and determination it takes to learn (anything!) a new piece of software – made all the more challenging when you’re coming from 10 years of using FCP to be fast, comfortable and customised to the teeth to be that fast and comfortable – I tried to keep reminding myself to:
EXPECT THAT IT WILL ALL BE UNFAMILIAR.
EXPECT THAT IT WILL BE DIFFERENT.
EXPECT THAT LEARNING TAKES TIME.
How to Switch to Editing in DaVinci Resolve
Although DaVinci Resolve has been around for years as an the industry standard colour grading application, it’s reputation as an NLE is only growing by the day.
As it’s available in a fully-fledged piece of software that is also free, there’s no reason not to download it.
That said, the paradigm of editing in Resolve is very close to a lot of the other NLEs out there, so much of it will be familiar.
One of the huge benefits to starting and staying in Resolve for your edit, is that you’re ready for a seamless (in-app) transition to colour grading and mastering.
In this previous post on Editing in DaVinci Resolve, I’ve rounded up all of the very resources, interviews, books and apps I could find on the topic, so if you’re coming from any other NLE to Resolve, this is the best place to start.
One of the best resources to start with would be this 10-part video tutorial series that gives you a soup-to-nuts tour of editing in Resolve.
That post also features an in-depth case study from One River Media, a production and post house in California, on their switch to editing and grading in DaVinci Resolve.
Today, we’re producing an undisclosed nature-based series that is 100% shot in RAW (using Blackmagic cameras), is HFR (high frame rate), is HDR (high dynamic range) and will be delivered in UHD with EVERYTHING being done in DaVinci Resolve Studio from beginning to end (except for the music score). This will dramatically maximize speed, quality, and accuracy.