13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2011 8:38 AM by Jim_Simon

    FCP to Premiere



              Although I have been using FCP professionally for over seven years now, I did originally use Premiere 4, 5 and 6 when I migrated from Beta SP tape to tape. The one thing that really bothered me about Premiere in those days was not necessarily that it crashed about 3 times a day but that when it crashed it corrupted my project file to the extent that I was forever having to make copies.


      Now I'm not saying FCP never crashes, it does very occasionally, but when it does it has never, ever corrupted a project file - I've simply lost however much work I've done since I last saved it.


      So my question is this, now that I'm being forced (in the next few years at least) to abandon FCP I'm looking at Premiere CS5.5 on the Mac as a replacement and my initial experience of it is very good. I haven't yet dared to cut a paying project on it however because I'm worried that it'll eventually crash and corrupt my project file as in the good old days.


      Obviously I can save copies every minute but I was wondering if Premiere CS5.5 has overcome this major flaw (at least in my experience) of corruption when crashing ?


      I accept it will occasionally crash but I want to lose only the work since I last saved or it autosaved rather than the whole project file.


      Any comments appreciated.

        • 1. Re: FCP to Premiere
          tclark513 Level 3

          Once you switch to Premiere the only thing you will regret is not doing sooner!

          In regards to corrupting project files, I have never had that and Premiere also makes multiple back up files.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: FCP to Premiere
            Dynamicworm Level 1

            Thanks for that. As a matter of interest, what formats do you use, what's your typical length of project and how long do you work on a project ?

            • 3. Re: FCP to Premiere
              Jim_Simon Level 9

              It's impossible to declare with certainty that one of your projects will never get corrupted.  Just as no one can say with certainty that the hard drive you store them on won't bite the dust.  Both do happen, though overall it may be rare.  The best you can do is to minimize the risk.


              Make regular backups to a separate hard drive.  I do mine at the end of every editing session.  Others do it once an hour.  You decide what backup schedule works best for your needs.

              • 4. Re: FCP to Premiere
                Dynamicworm Level 1

                Thanks Jim. All you have said is true and is what I do. However the point I was trying to make was that it was seemingly a feature of the old Premiere to corrupt project files - this wasn't just some random occurance that theoretically could happen with all software, this was an inherant bug.


                Unfortunately this instability is why, in my opinion, a lot of professionals used FCP rather than Premiere. Certainly in the last couple of years Premiere has been the superior product on paper.


                From what I've seen so far Premiere is now very stable and with the demise of FCP should grab a lot of new professional customers.

                • 5. Re: FCP to Premiere
                  wonderspark Level 1

                  I have a 2009 (Nehalem) Mac Pro 3.33GHz Quad, 16GB RAM, ATI5870, LG 10x Blu-ray burner, a $50 eSATA card and an Areca 1880ix-12 RAID card hooked to an 8-bay Sans Digital TR8X tower full of Western Digital RE4 2TB drives. (I just added the RAID tower recently.)


                  I've edited one feature film that was shot on P2 MXF media, 1080/24p footage, 104 minute runtime of final movie. That was mostly done on Adobe Production Premium CS3. Burned final product to single layer BD-R.


                  I've edited four paid corporate videos for Dell, Inc. using Prod. Premium CS5, shot on Canon 5D MkII, Canon 7D, Nikon D7000, GoProHD and Canon XH-A1 footage, all 1080p. Final products burned to BD-R, DVD, and exports for YouTube and other formats like mpg, mov, and mp4.


                  I'm just starting another paid feature film edit, shot on Canon 5D MkII.


                  So far, the only problems I've had were disk space, hence the new RAID. (Now I have 10TB of usable space on RAID3 and an internal RAID0 3TB scratch volume using 3x1TB Hitachi/Apple drives, along with several single backup drives.) I did have a problem trying to export the 104 minute movie to Blu-ray using H.264 the first time, but I eventually switched to MPEG-2 Blu-ray export and got the same quality at many times faster encode speed, and I figured out it was because I was trying to use too high a bitrate in H.264.


                  Other than that, I've had no problems. I've found that my 5870 card works better than the GTX 285 / CUDA card for me, because at least half of my work is in After Effects, and the CUDA is worse than the 5870 there. I don't use too many effects in Premiere these days, so the GTX285 just sits in a box.


                  I've been using Premiere since 4.2, through all the Pro variants, only skipping CS4. I was PC only up until CS3, and I'm now Mac only on CS5. I had some crashing issues with my PC using CS and CS2, but I attribute that to the fact I was on a single core Pentium 4 with only 2GB (or was it 4?) of RAM back in 2007 or whatever. (It was also a maxed-out Dell, heh.) Anyway, the only crashes on the Mac system were encode failures during that H-264 Blu-ray ordeal. Never an OS crash, and never a crash that caused me to lose any work. That says a lot to me. This system is my only source of income, and if it didn't work, I'd be in big trouble.


                  I know plenty of people with the same success rate of Adobe Premiere/AE on PCs as well, and they're editing 1080p and RED footage for a living as well. I have complete confidence in Adobe's video suite today, and I only say this from personal experience. I also bought FCP X to try that out, but so far, I just don't like it at all. A friend of mine is using it exclusively, and last I heard she is doing ok with it, so I'll try to dig deeper when I get some free time.


                  That's my input.

                  • 6. Re: FCP to Premiere
                    jordanedit Level 1

                    I have done five projects and not had a project file corrupt.


                    I am new to am new to Premiere from FCP. I started with a new corporation that does not support Apple. I have Avid and Adobe suite. I did the tutorials and got a handle on Avid but it is old school structure, very uninventive. Premiere is a lot like FCP 7. Check out Kevin Monahan site at Adobe for Premiere concepts. The trim window, T key, although in FCP, is paramount for Premiere. I miss a few quick keys like the E extend key, in Premiere you can't select an edit on the sequence like in FCP, Kevin has a two step process workaround but it is tricky.  I also miss the shift F key that would show where a selected clip in the sequence is located in the project bin. The dynamic link is like sending a clip to Motion only it creates a After Effects composision. When you are done with AE you may import the AE Composition and edit it into a sequence. If you have to revise the composition just make the changes and save it in AE, it will update on your Premiere sequence. 


                    Good Luck, let me know any sites that help with your trasition.

                    • 7. Re: FCP to Premiere
                      Colin Brougham Level 6
                      I miss a few quick keys like the E extend key


                      It's there, in Keyboard Shortcuts:




                      Just pay attention to your track targeting when using an extend edit.


                      I also miss the shift F key that would show where a selected clip in the sequence is located in the project bin.


                      That exists, too (though not set by default):




                      If you have to revise the composition just make the changes and save it in AE, it will update on your Premiere sequence. 


                      Just as a point of interest, you don't have to save your AE project to get the instance in Premiere Pro to update--at least, not after the first time you save your AE project. That's what establishes the Dynamic Link, which is a "live" connection between the applications. Of course, you always want to save your project...

                      • 8. Re: FCP to Premiere
                        davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                        I've used PrPro exclusively since CS3 (used it and FCP both back in PrPro 6 days), and I use it on the PC. I had significant crashing issues with CS3 on my PC, and about half the time it would corrupt my project file. I eventually narrowed the culprit down to an improperly configured system and an improperly installed Cineform pack. When I finally dumped my company's IT department and requisitioned my own system and did my own installs (beginning with CS4), the crashes dropped to near zero, and I've never yet had a project file get corrupted. The closest I came was some corrupted media when I made the transition from CS4 to CS5, but that was fixable by re-writing the wrapper around my media. CS5 has been incredbily stable for me, and all I've really ever had has been a few crashes/errors with doing Dynamic Link from PrPro to Encore. I've figured some out, but not all, so I don't always use DL for my disc projects... sometimes I'll just burn a file out of AME.


                        But most directly related to your question, since CS4 and having a properly configured system and dumping Cineform (not blaming Cineform, though), I've never once had a system or program crash that has resulted in a corrupted project. And since switching to CS5, I've never had a program crash period. I've also only had two or three system crashes in the almost two years I've had this system, which is pretty outstanding if you ask me! Far more stable than my co-worker's Mac Pro has been over the same time-period. FWIW, my system was purchased from the BOXX company in Texas, who specialize in making high end systems for editors, graphic artists, compositors, and CAD folks...

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: FCP to Premiere
                          Dynamicworm Level 1

                          A big thank you to all who replied, that is exactly what I wanted to hear.

                          • 10. Re: FCP to Premiere
                            Neptunesalad1 Level 1

                            I also switched to Premiere Pro CS5.5 when FCPX was released. The learning curve wasn't as steep as I was afraid it would be, but it was there. Since switching over, I've cut three projects: a promo for a web series, an indie short film, and a proof-of-concept for a pretty high-profile production company. The promo was all 5D mk II footage, the short was a mix of RED and 5d, and the proof-of-concept was possibly the biggest pile of codec-salad one could possibly imagine - 5D, still images, ripped DVDs (PAL and NTSC), stuff pulled from youtube via keepvid.com. It handled all of that crazy media like a champ, with no transcoding, and even allowed me to dynamic-link it right into AE for lots of work. In FCP, it wouldn't occur to me to use AE as much as I do in Premiere.


                            And I have had several crashes. Probably more than FCP7 on average, and often when importing files for some reason. It might be because my mac is from 2006.


                            After wrapping my head around Premiere Pro (and quite a few questions answered on this very forum, thanks!), a few switchover complaints still exist for me (please, anyone correct me on these gripes):


                            1) The video and audio track selection is byzantine, and seems to require a certain amount of mousing even after mapping the keyboard to turn various audio and video tracks on and off. If I have a track highlighted while doing an overwrite edit on another track, it will delete the media on the highlighted track. So in addition to choosing which track is going to get the media, I have to also select the correct tracks and DE-select any other tracks - even ones which are not targeted. This is probably my single biggest complaint because it makes me stop editing and click on things. I'm getting in the habit of just using a keystroke to turn off all video and audio tracks when I'm not doing an overwrite edit, but that has its own headaches. Namely, if I want to use the arrows to jump to the next edit point, it only does that if the track is selected. More clicking, more mousing, or more unnecessary keystrokes to accomplish something simple.


                            Incidentally, Premiere doesn't map any of these things ahead of time which is fine (I can always map my own shortcuts), except that if I go to 20 different editors, they will probably have done this 20 different ways.


                            2) Audio tracks are either mono, stereo, or 5.1. This means that if I'm building a sound effect out of various tracks, I can't choose how to stack them unless I want to re-engineer the entire track structure constantly. It also does funky things to the audio track selector.


                            3) Stupid little gripe - when clicking on a file in the proect window in list view, the icon is small and clicking on the text field highlights it so it can be renamed - something most people probably don't do very often. I don't know about everyone else, but I'd prefer it if renaming was harder than clicking on the clip.


                            4) No selective rendering - you can subvert this by changing the working space around just the clip you want to render, but I've found that if most of my effects are real-time and one clip is giving me a problem, I can't just attend to that one clip without rendering everything - so I end up doing that. And it seems that more things need to be rendered in Premiere - meaning they have a yellow or red bar over them - than in FCP7.


                            5) Importing layered Photoshop files is a tedious headache. Each one requires the user to toggle a pull-down window and click "OK." There is no way to batch-process this, and I work with a LOT of layered PS files.


                            6) Snapping is also a little funky, specifically when using the blade tool. The blade will snap, but it doesn't show you when it does so it's easy to not cut on the frame you want.


                            7) Color correction is funky. Download Colorista Free for a more FCP-ey (but better) color experience.


                            The good news:


                            1) Dynamic linking with AE is the best reason to move to Premiere. Things I ordinarily would have thought weren't worthy of the clunky round-trip from FCP to AE now are so easy it's forcing me to use AE constantly. And that's a great thing. I know FCP tried to do this with Motion, but Motion ain't AE. All without the gamma headache that QT creates when going from AE back to FCP.


                            And the way PP hands AE the files in dynamic linking - it brings over keyframes, and even some plugins (Colorista, for instance). Genius.


                            2) Adobe Media Encoder blows Compressor away. It's much easier to find the right preset or codec, send it where you want it to go, and even batch everything.


                            3) The title tool is far superior to anything FCP ever thought of, including FCPX. Right down to having buttons to center the text horizontally and vertically.


                            4) Like I said, zero transcoding. When I first switched, I spent a day or two trying to figure out Premiere's "ProRes," only to find that it doesn't exist at all. No codec is totally the new ProRes.


                            5) Preference to use all of FCP's shortcuts. They don't all work the same, but that got me over the hump. I'm just concerned that between that and the target track mapping I'm going to become one of those weird-keyboard-mapped people I've always been confused by.


                            Best of luck!

                            • 11. Re: FCP to Premiere
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              2) Audio tracks are either mono, stereo, or 5.1. This means that if I'm building a sound effect out of various tracks, I can't choose how to stack them unless I want to re-engineer the entire track structure constantly. It also does funky things to the audio track selector.


                              This has been a bone of contention for some time. Not so much in the handling of the channel-count, but a way to easily click+drag Audio Tracks, like in many DAW programs, so that one does not need a crystal ball, when setting up the Sequence, or need to Add/Delete Tracks, to get things sorted out.


                              I, and others, have filed Feature Requests for the ability to move Audio Tracks about, as is needed.


                              Good luck, and glad that PrPro is mostly doing it for you.



                              • 12. Re: FCP to Premiere
                                Keith Moreau Level 1

                                I switched about a year ago from FCP to Premiere Pro. Occasionally use FCP now, if I have to go to older projects, but if I can I export the FCP via XML to Premiere Pro. I have some workflows that need this.


                                The primary reason for me to switch was to not have to transcode H.264 captured media to Prores. I realized I was going to be spending all my time transcoding, and a lot of resources buying drives to store the transcoded media, which I would have to store indefinitely. An AVCHD file blows up 4-7 times when you transcode to Prores. I was also doing a lot of Multiclip sequences, and FCP requires all the tracks to be in the same format. So even if I had a track or 2 in a codec Final Cut could handle, such as HDV or XDCAM EX, I'd still have to transcode them all to Prores. Being able to use the footage natively also has other intrinsic advantages, such as more accurate color. It just makes sense. I have a Nvidia Quadro 4000 to help speed up CUDA enabled effects, and I like it a lot too to not have to render things to be able to view them. Premiere is much superior in this way.


                                I do think that Premiere can get pretty slow in encoding, since it is using the original media, which takes some processing power to decode, then apply effects to. In FCP, since you'd have to render everything all the time, outputting to a Quicktime reference file was very fast. And that file could be used as a "Master" to encode a number of different types of formats. But you can kind of get this out of Premiere Pro by outputting one very high quality format, such as Prores 422 once (which could take a while) , then using that to create a variety of files. It's faster that way. I'm just saying don't wait until the last minute to produce output, especially with a long project with a lot of non-CUDA effects, and you're scaling the output, it can take a really long time relative to FCP.


                                In addition, I grew tired of FCP's finicky nature. It seemed to give 'out of memory' errors, lose track of clips, crash often, and other issues which wasted a lot of time. I had to undergo too many rituals to keep it happy, it seemed too delicate.


                                I find the interface of Premiere Pro amazingly similar to FCP, especially with the FCP keyboard shortcut template (which I've augmented a bit). The transition was not very hard at all, and a lot of things are easier, such as Multi-camera. It's a lot more intuitive in Premiere Pro.


                                I don't think PPro's color correction interface is very good, but I'm hoping to learn how to use it as well as FCP, it certainly seems harder to achieve similar results, but this could be my lack of experience and study on it.


                                I do think that Premiere Pro on the Mac, though 64 bit and more efficient than FCP by a long shot, is not as optimized as it could be, compared to the Windows PC platform. I find when the project get's large and complex, Premiere Pro can get very sluggish. There are some other threads here that describe that. Depending on your Mac and the display you use, you could encounter that. Most Mac users have these problems as far as I can tell and there isn't a good solution right now for the problem (though if you read the threads in some cases there is a simple workaround), though it seems that Adobe is working on it.


                                Overall though, everytime I have to go back to a FCP 7 project, I almost want to throw my Mac out the window. Though I liked the smoothness of FCP when it was working well, because PPro seems slightly 'clunkier' somehow, FCP would also bite me all the time with it's fragility. I was hoping FCPX would be a true upgrade to FCP, but it wasn't, it was a completely new and hobbled product that eliminated workflows for a lot of editors, including me. Though disappointed in how Apple handled the FCPX launch, I wasn't overly surprised and in a way I was glad that I had switched a while back to PPro for other reasons. PPro is basically what FCP 8 should have been. I hope Adobe takes all these new FCP switchers seriously and continues to advance their optimization of Premiere Pro on the Mac.

                                • 13. Re: FCP to Premiere
                                  Jim_Simon Level 9
                                  I almost want to throw my Mac out the window.


                                  I'd like to support you in your endeavour.