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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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Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF