updated 09:30 am EDT, Thu July 23, 2009
Final Cut Studio upgrade
Apple has released a long-anticipated upgrade to Final Cut Studio, its video editing and production suite. At the center is Final Cut Pro 7, which expands ProRes codecs to support a wider number of workflows, and implements real-time collaboration through iChat Theater. Quicker export options allow for conversion to DVD, Blu-ray and other formats; some other interface changes include redesigned speed tools, simpler alpha transitions, and better markers.
Motion 4 incorporates 3D shadows and reflections, as well as new depth-of-field controls. It likewise includes one-click object framing in 3D, and a new Adjust Glyph tool, which controls characters in text objects. Soundtrack Pro 3 has been given new tools to normalize dialogue volume, zoom in on waveforms, and perform more precise time stretching. Color 1.5 now supports sending sequences directly to Final Cut Pro, and a series of high-end standards including 4K and ProRes 4444. Compressor 3.5, lastly, incorporates features such as automated actions and droplets, the latter of which can be used to encode files without opening Final Cut.
The suite as a whole requires Mac OS X 10.5.6, as well as 1GB of RAM, a dedicated graphics processor and 4GB of hard drive space. The full version costs $999, but upgrades from earlier suites cost only $299. Matching the new Studio is Final Cut Server 1.5, which also offers improved speed and an updated edit proxy workflow. Full and upgrade prices for Server are identical to those for Studio.