What do Vimeo people use to make pretty movies?
September 19, 2011 9:41 PM   Subscribe

What are the common tools of the trade - software, mainly - for Vimeo-wave videographers?

So, on Flickr it's a little easier to figure out the common ingredients of things that you see, but I'm getting into video now that I have a decent camera for the job. iMovie drives me nuts (weird project / timeline / library system, virtually no artistic options like color grading and such).

Is Final Cut Pro X really that bad? It's got 3/5 stars on the Mac App Store and lots and lots of articles about how existing users are alienated, but a lot of that is pro stuff - being a DSLR-using, quick-video-making type user, maybe it's well designed for me?

And, though the open-source world of video seems nigh-nonexistent, I'd like to integrate some of the generative video projects I've been working on into whatever I'm doing - basically stuff I'd write in Plask or Processing or PureData or whatnot. Are any big video editors better or worse for that kind of task?

Thanks for all your help, I'm totally new to the video space and pretty excited about the possibilities.
posted by tmcw to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think Final Cut Pro X is aimed squarely at people like you. FCP 7 has a tape-based editing paradigm which isn't so intuitive to people without tape editing experience (like me). iMovie also has a certain unintuitiveness as you've experienced, as well. I think FCP X is an excellent happy medium.
posted by zsazsa at 9:55 PM on September 19, 2011

If you want to wrap in stuff from outside sources for your videos, you might need some compositing software to whip it into shape. FCPX seems fairly limited for non standard picture dimensions and frame rates that could come from your procedural art. After Effects and the whole Adobe CS suite has a free 30 day demo to test drive.
posted by jade east at 11:52 PM on September 19, 2011

It sounds like you've got some programming chops so you might be interested in exploring AVISynth, a frame server and scripting language that functions as a non linear editor. It's flexible and free. Plus, It'll save you from storing a bunch of huge AVIs and there are a ton of useful filters available online. Cutting video can be a little tricky but just joining clips together is a breeze. Lots of reading material available.

I learned about it here.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 4:47 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nding zsazsa; FCX is totally fine, in fact it looks fabulous, especially for beginners who aren't committed to earlier editing paradigms or locked into using high-end hardware and other pro work-flow issues that FXC hasn't quite caught up with yet. I'm still working with FC 6, but from what I've seen so far in demos and tutorials, there's no problem bringing a wide range of stills, video clips, graphics, etc. into FCX and compositing them effortlessly; drag and drop, resolutions fixed automatically. That's one of the main virtues the early demos showed off. It's totally capable when it comes to cropping and transforming stills and other layered media.

And be sure to pick up Motion 5, too, while you're at it; best video fx bargain ever.
posted by dpcoffin at 2:31 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is Final Cut Pro X really that bad?

I suggest reading these guys as well as all the rantings of the disgruntled as you evaluate the software.
posted by dpcoffin at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2011

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