Tech Thursday – Video

Part 2 of the Mac vs. PC series.

We use video in all of our Sunday morning gatherings as well as many of our other events. This is a visual age for sure.

In preparing those videos each week we draw from a variety of sources, which is subject for future posts. Once the elements are acquired it is time for the editing. For this, we are all Mac. There are video editing software suites available for Windows, of course, we just don’t use any of them. I have in the past, but always ended up back with the Mac.

Instead of going on about why we don’t use Windows for video editing, this post will just look at what we do use.

All of our main graphics are created in Adobe Photoshop and animated in Motion. We have a team of people who work on this at different levels and times depending on the project. The simple graphics that overlay much of our video elements are created and animated within Motion.

The actual editing takes place in Final Cut Pro or iMovie depending on which individual does the editing. We even have some videos created in the older version of iMovie HD. Which version is used depends on the individual and the Mac they are using to edit.

The advantage of iMovie is that it comes ready to use out of the box with every Mac purchased. It also has a very simple user interface and some nice built in features and effects. To use iMovie with Motion does require a couple of extra steps, however, it can provide great looking and professional results beyond what iMovie can do alone.

The disadvantage of iMovie comes down to the limitations it has a consumer level software that is essentially free when you buy a Mac. It is limited in its feature set and relies on set templates for graphics as well as transitions. iMovie is also limited in what it can do with the audio tracks. It can only do so much with layering of video and audio as well.

There are many advantages to Final Cut. It is a fully professional editing software with a long list of high end features. It works seamlessly with Motion as well as the rest of the Studio suite of software. This gives full control over every aspect of the editing process. The results can be downright stunning. Many modern TV shows and full length movies are now edited fully in Final Cut.

The disadvantage of Final Cut comes down to two things: 1.) high cost for the software ($999) and 2.) high learning curve. The user interface is not nearly as intuitive as iMovie due to the vast abilities of the software.

Once we have the video completed, we convert it to a wmv format using Quicktime 7 Pro. (The Mac purists just groaned, I know.) However, this is where the dual platform part of our situation comes in. At present, we use a Windows PC running EasyWorship software for our projection. After much experimentation and some failed videos, we have found that wmv is the most stable and most reliable format to use with EasyWorship. Thankfully, wmv files are also relatively small and make transfer through Dropbox a breeze as well. We will highlight the actual presentation aspects in another post.

(I know the two laptops portrayed in the photo are quite old running older operating systems, but I find it funny.)

Questions? Comments?