updated 10:25 pm EDT, Tue April 12, 2011
Apple confirms Final Cut Pro X
Apple used the FCPUG Supermeet at NAB to unveil Final Cut Pro X, a completely remade version of its pro video editing suite. The new version is designed for 64-bit and native Cocoa language from the start with support for OpenCL to accelerate video processing tasks. The new code is much more efficient and will render in the background, letting users edit even as they're importing a project.
Increased performance comes partly from improved core management and lets it take up to a 4K video stream natively, clean up audio automatically, and detect shots on import. Users shouldn't be locked into editing in fixed resolutions or even necessarily transcoding to harmonize formats.
The new app has non-destructive, automatic color balance using ColorSync and can merge different resolutions and codecs relatively easily. A fully floating point-based, linear light point system gives it precision sampling. Its interface takes some cues from iMovie with thumbnails of video in the timeline, image stabilization and even face detection, but with the precision timeline and controls of a pro app.
A handful of special specific features have come into play. Smart Collections are new and bring a playlist-like way of automatically pooling together certain clip types. Magnetic timelines prevent two items from conflicting with each other; they can automatically move into new layers. An inline precision editor, again partly influenced by iMovie, helps show the exact break between transitions and clips. Experimentation is also encouraged through auditioning, a feature that lets users make A or B decision options without having to create new sequences.
Footage can be organized through keywords and is given a visual aid through the filmstrip, which like in iMovie lets them wave over to quickly find video visually in all the footage associated with a project. A new Second Stories tool let videographers edit B-roll more simply.
Keyframes themselves have been improved and will now auto-keyframe for audio as well as motion effects.
Apple is making the app available in June and will let users download it directly through the Mac App Store. Pricing has also been simplified and greatly reduced: the stand-alone app will be available for $299.