updated 04:20 pm EDT, Sun April 15, 2007
Final Cut Studio 6 debuts
Apple today unveiled Final Cut Studio 2, a major upgrade to the industry's leading video production suite that now includes Final Cut Pro 6, which introduces Apple's ProRes 422 format for uncompressed HD quality at SD file sizes and support for mixed video formats and frame rates in a single Timeline; Motion 3 featuring an intuitive 3D environment, paint and new behaviors; Soundtrack Pro 2 with dozens of innovative tools for multitrack editing, surround mixing and con- forming sound to picture; Compressor 3 delivering powerful batch encoding for multiple formats with a single click; and DVD Studio Pro 4.2 for SD and HD DVD authoring. Final Cut Studio 2 also introduces "Color," a professional color grading and finishing application for ensuring consistent color and creating signature looks.
"Final Cut Studio 2 was specifically designed to enable the rapidly growing community of over 800,000 Final Cut editors worldwide to animate, mix, grade and deliver their work as a natural extension of the editorial process," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "Final Cut Studio 2 is the most powerful production suite on the planet."
Final Cut Pro 6 now includes a new Open Format Timeline that lets editors mix and match virtually any video format and frame-rate in a single Timeline without transcoding. ProRes 422 is a new full raster, 10-bit 4:2:2 post production format produces stunning HD quality at SD file sizes. Apple said that companies including Panasonic, Sony and RED are embracing ProRes 422 as they continue to innovate on the next-generation of cameras.
Final Cut Pro 6 also includes optical flow based SmoothCam technology to remove unwanted or jarring camera movement with simple, easy-to-use tools. Version 6 also includes the ability to edit Motion templates with video drop zones and editable text fields directly in Final Cut Pro.
Apple's new Color
Apple's new Color application offers a logical task-based color grading and finishing workflow with advanced color correction tools such as gamma, lift and gain adjustments, as well as custom R, G, B and luma curves, and the secondaries provide the ability to isolate specific areas of an image with soft-edged mattes and custom-shaped vignettes, which can be tracked with ease. Professional scopes provide precise monitoring of chrominance and luminance values via waveforms, histograms and new 3D scopes.
Color includes over 20 signature looks which can be customized to create a unique mood for any given project, and offers a seamless roundtrip workflow where projects can be sent from Final Cut Pro 6 directly to Color for grading, finishing and final rendering with 32-bit float 4:4:4 image processing.
Motion offers 3D tools
Motion 3, the latest version of Apple's motion graphics software, takes all the familiar Motion tools and extends them to a 3D environment. New camera behaviors add depth and realism with drag-and-drop simplicity, while new vector-based paint tools allow editors to easily create brushes with color, particles, video or pictures. Motion also offers a new match moving tool that automatically maps any image or effect to the path of any other object.
The application also features new retiming behaviors which enable editors to slip and slide retiming effects on the Timeline without keyframes, while new audio behaviors allow users to easily create animations that respond to soundtrack volume and frequency. Motion 3 includes over 1500 new design elements including professional stock imagery, animated line drawings and vector artwork.
Soundtrack Pro 2 offers sound editing
The production suite also features Soundtrack Pro 2, a new version of the audio editing application with new multitrack editing and recording tools in a streamlined interface. Designed to simplify every aspect of the audio post-production process, Soundtrack Pro 2 introduces a "breakthrough" heads-up spotting display that lets editors precisely align effects and dialog with picture. It also features new advanced take management tools to quickly combine content and a powerful new Conform tool to synchronize and track changes between picture and sound.
New stereo and surround mixing tools enable users to create 5.1 and stereo mixes in the same project. Soundtrack 2 also features a royalty- free library of over 5,000 professionally produced foley and sound effects, including over 1,000 surround sound effects and evocative multi-channel music tracks.
Compressor 3 formats content
Compressor 3 delivers a new streamlined interface and simplified workflows for encoding and delivering content in multiple formats using powerful batch processing and job chaining functions. Compressor 3 extends support for industry-standard codecs such as MPEG-2 and H.264 to include new drag-and-drop presets for delivery to broadcast television, Web, iPod, Apple TV, DVD and mobile phones. Dynamic filters applied during pre-processing now support timecode overlays, audio/video fade in and out, and animated watermarks that can be applied directly from Motion projects.
Final Cut Studio 2 will be available in May for $1,300. Registered users of the current version of Final Cut Studio can upgrade for $500, while users from any previous version of Final Cut Pro can upgrade for $700.