Apple today announced Shake 4, a major upgrade to its compositing software used by independent artists and visual effects studios for film and television. Shake 4 features 3D multi-plane compositing, cutting-edge optical flow image processing and integration with Final Cut Pro 5. Apple says that artists can now composite live action and 3D CGI layers with added realism using Shake’s new OpenGL-accelerated 3D multi-plane compositing node. "Seamlessly integrated into the node view, 3D compositing works with the same flexible user interface as every other operation and is as fast and high quality as 2D operations. Shake 4 presents an entirely new dimension by offering the ability to position, rotate and animate unlimited layers and cameras in 3D space." Shake 4 for Mac OS X with unlimited render licenses will be available in June for $3,000. The cross-platform version is $5,000; upgrades are $1000.
Apple also updated DVD Studio Pro 4, the company's professional DVD authoring program, which it says is "the first" commercially available DVD authoring software that lets users burn their HD projects to high definition DVDs based on the latest HD DVD specification. DVD Studio Pro 4 will be demonstrated at NAB with a prototype consumer HD DVD player from Toshiba set to debut later this year. DVD Studio Pro 4 also features distributed encoding tools to harness the power of networked Macs, which can dramatically reduce encoding time for high definition projects. DVD Studio Pro 4 also includes support for mixed formats and advanced scripting for the most sophisticated commercial titles. It will be available in May for $500 with upgrades priced at $200.
Apple today also debuted Motion 2, the latest version of its realtime motion graphics software that allows editors to add motion graphics to projects in either DV, SD, HD or film formats. Apple says that Motion 2 is the world's first motion graphics software with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering for "true" film quality output. It also features Replicator, a unique new automated design tool to enable editors to easily animate any number of duplicated movies or graphics along user defined grids and patterns. Motion 2 also includes over 130 accelerated filters such as 3D rotation, vignette and caustics, and more than 50 new particle effects that automatically generate animations such as sparkles, bubbles and space clouds. Motion 2 will be available in May for $300 or as a $100 upgrade.
Apple today introduced Soundtrack Pro, a new professional audio editing application. Soundtrack Pro features a waveform editor with flexible Action Layers that allow users to instantly re-order, bypass or change any edit, effect or process. Find-and-Fix features quickly identify and repair common audio problems such as background noise, pops, clicks and hum. With full multitrack editing and mixing, over 50 professional effect plug-ins from Apple’s award-winning Logic Pro 7, and more than 1,000 professional quality sound effects, Soundtrack Pro provides the most intuitive, yet precise way to create stunning audio. Soundtrack Pro comes with over 5,000 Apple Loops.
Apple today unveiled Final Cut Studio, a new HD video production suite that features Final Cut Pro 5, a major upgrade its editing software for DV, SD, HD and film. Final Cut Studio also includes Soundtrack Pro, a new audio editing and sound design application that makes video projects sound as good as they look; Motion 2, "the first" real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4, "the first" commercially available DVD authoring software that burns high definition DVDs to the latest HD DVD specification. Final Cut Studio will be available in May for $1,300; upgrades from any previous version of Final Cut Pro can upgrade are $700, while Production Suite customers can upgrade for $500. It is available for pre-order at the Apple Store.
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Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives
Parallels Access 3.1 updated for iPad Pro
Virtualization software Parallels Access 3.1 has been updated with support for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including Apple Pencil support. The software allows remote access to your PC or Mac from anywhere to control desktop applications from iOS or Android tablets and phones, with native touch gestures, as well as from any computer with an HTML5 web browser. Featuring three resolution choices for your mobile device ("Best for your Device," "More Space," and "Same as Computer") and 3D Touch support for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the update also adds a new Tablet Mode in Windows 10, which makes it easier to interact without a mouse or keyboard. http://bit.ly/1OWZqjg
Hyundai brings CarPlay to more 2016 models
Along with its previously-announced support for adding CarPlay technology to the 2016 Sonata, 2017 Elantra, and 2017 Ioniq, a leaked memo to dealers has revealed that CarPlay-supporting software updates will be available today that bring the infortainment tech to the 2015 and 2016 non-hybrid Sonata models, the 2016 hybrid Sonata, the 2015 and 2016 Genesis Sedan, the 2016 Tucson, the 2017 Santa Fe, and the 2017 Ioniq. Owners can upgrade the system themselves by visiting the Hyundai website, and will need a Mac or PC with either an SD card slot or SD card reader to transfer the update to the vehicle. http://bit.ly/1YZqkqS
Google Paris HQ raided by investigators
Google's Paris headquarters has been raided by dozens of French police. The Tuesday raid was part of an ongoing investigation into possible tax-avoidance practices, stoked by widespread dissatisfaction with the way multinationals like Google are structuring their business operations. Although trading in many countries around the globe, Google reports its international sales only in tax-friendly Ireland, similar to a practice adopted by Apple. According to French law, if it completes any of its sales contracts in France and not Ireland alone, it could be in breach of its laws. Google, for its part, denies any wrongdoing, and said that it is fully compliant with French law. http://reut.rs/1Udk2T9
Apple TV extends universal search to NBC
Apple has extended its universal search function on the Apple TV to now include NBC shows in its results, provided the user has installed the NBC tvOS app. The search results can be generated either through Siri, or through the Search app, and includes support for searches by title, genre, and actor, among other queries. NBC joins CBS, more recently, among other channels including: Disney Channel; Disney Jr; Disney XD; FOXNOW; FXNOW; HBO GO; HBO NOW; Hulu; Nat Geo TV; Netflix; PBS; PBS Kids; SHOWTIME; SHOWTIME Anytime; Starz, and Watch ABC, all of which are supported by universal search. http://apple.co/25lGi5R