Saturday, December 11, 2010

Forget switching, use it all.

There's been anxious debate on post production websites, blogs and twitter feeds about when and what Apple will deliver in the next version of Final Cut Studio. Adding to the anxiety are new updates by both Avid and Adobe that leapfrog over Final Cut Pro in certain features like native Red and DSLR support.

The speculation on when Apple will deliver FSC has ranged from 2011 to 2013, with reaction ranging from Apple not caring about the pro market to if it's time to switch to Adobe or Avid.

Why switch, when you could use all three as part of the workflow.A minimum combo of Final Cut Studio and Adobe Prodution Suite Premium would handle many editing, sound design, motion graphics, compositing, and compression needs. In the past Adobe couldn't shake the old legacy Premiere memories a lot of users had, but that should change with the new version. The rest of the suite are must haves like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and After Effects.

There isn't too much overlap in the two product suites, and Adobe wisely added features to make it easier work between FCP and Premiere Pro though XML.

Avid's also changed a few things since trailing FCP on affordability and features. Their clout with feature film editors is still strong, but sometimes price wins out. Media Composer has dropped in price significantly for the software only version and been adding new features like native Red and DSLR support.

We're doing more varied tasks for clients and ourselves than ever before, and so far there isn't a single software package that can do everything. Unless you're a starving filmmaker, there's little reason to stick to one software package, because despite the marketing, it won't do everything you need or want.

The constant stream of hardware updates means you can always buy an older Mac or PC at a good discount. It's feasible to set up individual editing, compositing, 3d stations, and have everything networked together. Being a one man shop, doesn't mean using just one computer, let alone one software package.

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