Amongst the many Post Production colleagues I spoke with during the show, collaboration and the ability to easily switch between NLE tools was the hottest topic of discussion. Most of us are done talking about “which NLE is best” because quite honestly, they’re all good. Those who still want to argue “such and such is the best” or simply turn up their noses at other NLEs, I wish you well. I ran into a few of those at the show as well, but they are definitely in the growing minority amongst professional editors.
The manufacturers are finally accepting of the fact that as editors, we are going to use A) whatever tool best suits our current job or B) whatever tool the job provides. So with Avid now openly allowing their hardware to use other NLEs and so many third party storage and hardware solutions now supporting Avid, it’s now possible to have a single rig that supports 2, 3 and even 4 or more NLEs on a single system. THAT’s the best of all worlds. Not only can you support whatever the job requires, you can keep yourself up to date on the changes of the various NLEs. It was neat watching Monica Daniels almost seamlessly switch back and forth between Avid and Premiere Pro during a demonstration at the Rampant Design booth. That’s the editor of today, able to simply use the tool they are given and get to work.
Blackmagic Design continues to move ahead with Resolve 12 as a full editing and finishing tool with the best Multi-Cam tool I’ve seen from any NLE. Absolutely remarkable for a product that pretty much left for dead as recently as 4 years ago before Grant Petty stepped in and not only saved the product but has used it as the lynchpin for a new type of NLE. Again, FREE to download and use.
Adobe announced a “in-house” version of Adobe Anywhere that greatly reduces the costs of project sharing within a shop and A-Frame announced a clever idea where we can essentially “rent” seats of the full Enterprise Adobe Anywhere on an as need basis for long distance collaborative workflows.
Frame io introduced an interesting collaborative workflow concept whereby footage is stored in the cloud, but editors only pull down what they need to edit locally. This yields a major costs savings since you’re not paying for “super servers” to allow for editing directly from the cloud.
Every editing tool on the market has its strengths, every editing tool on the market has its weaknesses. NONE of the NLEs on the market has a show stopping weakness that I can see, nor that I heard anyone talking about on the show floor and events. The only tools that are limited right now are Apple’s Final Cut Pro X due to it’s requirement to run on a Mac and Sony Vegas which requires a Windows machine. All of the other tools I mentioned are cross platform which gives the end user a lot of flexibility in configuring a portable or desktop workstation.
While the Final Cut Pro 7 XML file format is supported by most of these NLEs to transfer projects, it would be nice if the manufacturers could all come up with a more robust universal file translator to make that hand off even better with more features supported on the handoff.
All of you at the very least should have Avid | First (when it’s released) and Resolve 12 (when it’s released) in your toolboxes. They’re free and they’re good. Beyond that, it’s whatever tool you like or need for your current job. There has never been a better time for Editors and Collaboration.