Apple loves video software, Apple hates video software
It's Day Two of The Feature Thief, the mini-series of columns examining just what in the world was in Apple's mind when it abandons years of development in favor of a shiny new application nobody likes. To be fair, though, it's also examining how sometimes that move was necessary, and often how it works out rather well or even superbly in the end. Once the furor has died down, and especially once Apple has put back some features it's dropped, we can often say that the new applications are better. Whether it's worth the ride getting there is a different question –– and whether you should jump ship to rival companies' products is another.
In push to move forward, beloved bits and pieces sometimes fall to the wayside
Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple takes one of its key software applications, radically changes it, losing important features along the way. Existing users say Apple has dumbed down an app that was perfect, while new users say this is fantastic, they can finally understand the application. Flash forward a few months, and Apple has stealthily added back some or all of the features. We've seen this with iMovie and Final Cut Pro, we saw it with Pages, we are seeing it now with iPhoto turning into Photos. It is a well-worn path by Apple, and if we're not fans of the way they go about it, we are often fans of how these new applications turn out ... eventually.
New 3D title support, expanded camera formats, precision color grading, more
On Monday, Apple upgraded its professional video suite, Final Cut Pro, and two of its supporting programs, Motion and Compressor. Final Cut is now up to version 10.2, which features better 3D title support, more camera formats, the ability to view more scopes simultaneously, and improved masking. Motion, now at version 5.2, also includes more options for 3D titles, with more third-party options coming soon. Compressor 4.2 gets a general speed bump, and improves its ability to make a movie sale package for iTunes.
Film Strip Effect released for Final Cut Pro X, offers new projection styles
FXFactory has announced its release of Film Strip Effect for Final Cut Pro X, a plug-in that offers aesthetic options that go beyond a simple slide projector effect. Users have analog controls over each included effect, and can determine the shape, size, and position of each slide. Blurring, scratching, dust, jittering, light flash and more variables are featured, to offer a vintage look for one's production. A free trial of Film Strip Effect is available online, with the full plug-in available for $50.
Motion graphics theme FrostyGlass now available for Final Cut Pro X
Factory FX has released FrostyGlass, a set of eight fully-customizable plugins for Final Cut Pro X that aim to enhance a project by simulating glass distortions. Including a filter effect and a theme and title generator, FrostyGlass creates glass distortion on top of one's video project.
TrackX plugin for Final Cut Pro X offers motion tracking tools, customizable parameters
The latest Final Cut Pro X plugin from Imagineer Systems and CoreMelt, TrackX powered by mocha has been released. Offering Planar Tracking technology for camera motion tracking, users can track objects and people for seamless visual effect implementation and creating screen composites. Intended for creating realistic screen inserts, set extensions and sky replacements, TrackX lets editors using Final Cut Pro X track and replace objects within a video, such as an image on a cell phone, TV display or sign, and add graphics or text -- all while following objects in motion. Its customizable parameters provide editors with translation, scale, rotation and perspective motion controls, eliminating manual keyframing.
Software revamped for latest hardware
Apple has released updates for its Final Cut Pro X video editing software, along with Compressor and Motion, just in time for the Mac Pro launch. As expected, v10.1 brings several optimizations for the new hardware including dual-GPU playback and rendering, video monitoring at 4K resolution via Thunderbolt 2 or HDMI, and support for 4K content such as titles, transitions and generators.
Digital Anarchy's video editing software gets an update
Digital Anarchy released their latest updated photo re-touching software Beauty Box Video 3.0. The latest edition of the plug-in accommodates Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and X, with support for Assimilate Scratch, Sony Vegas, Nuke, and Avid currently available in beta upon request.
AppShopper Social launched
Following a removal from the App Store last September, AppShopper has returned with a new social-based app discovery tool. Dubbed AppShopper Social, the all new app contains the core Wish List functionality from the original software, but introduces new social discovery features. The app's main view consists of a Friend Stream that provides users with a stream of items that friends have added to their personal Wish List of My Apps lists. Other features such as Push Notifications for updates and price changes and app searching have also returned with AppShopper Social, while the What's New and Top 200 lists have been temporarily removed.
FxFactory adds new subtitle plug-in
Noise Industries has added a new plug-in to FxFactorty that can be used to add permanent subtitles to Final Cut Pro, Motion, Premier Pro, and After Effects projects. The new plug-in, dubbed SUGARfx Subtitles, includes support for a variety of fonts, and is capable of handling hundreds of languages, as well as importing several subtitle formats. A free trial of the plug-in can be downloaded online, while a full license costs $49.
RED video codecs now supported
Apple has released a maintenance update for its Final Cut Pro software, bringing interface improvements and a list of other changes. Dual viewers with separate video scope displays are geared for easier shot comparison, while the Share interface and import window have been redesigned.
PluralEyes 3 beta for FCP
The latest addition to the FileMaker Training Series has been released and can be purchased online. The latest training focuses on intermediate and advanced content and features 13 different modules that cover data modeling, security, web publishing, and more. The self-paced training course is priced at $40 and includes an 800-page manual and a DVD with demo files, exercises, and videos. Alternatively, customers can purchased a fully digital version of the course for $20.
Noise Industries adds new plugin to FXFactory
KurbKarma, an app that allows users to share parking spot availability in the San Francisco area, has been updated in the App Store. Users are rewarded with KarmaKredits whenever a spot they publish is taken by another user. These points can then be used to "buy" access to nearby available parking spots. During a parking exchange users are connected directly to the publisher allowing for the exchange of a more precise location without having to reveal a phone number.
Apple tells videographer FCPX 2012 plans
Pro videographer Larry Jordan published a preview on Sunday of Final Cut Pro X updates that Apple had promised him would come later in 2012. The current editing app should soon get RED camera support, letting it handle Redcode-capable 4K and 5K cameras like the Scarlet-X without transcoding first. Multichannel audio editing will be added to the pro video tool as well, although how this would work wasn't explained.
Bug fixes included, improves stability
[Updated: Compressor also] Apple this evening pushed up minor updates to Final Cut Pro, Motion and Compressor<, components of its professional video-editing suite. The first two are considered small updates designed to improve stability and performance and do not introduce new features, though the Final Cut update does enhance performance of multicam syncing and editing, and adds Simplified Chinese support. Motion gets performance improvements as well, but the update is mostly bug fixes.
BeatBlaster iPad app
Noise Industries has announced the launch of Viewfinder HUD, a new plug-in package for Final Cut Pro, Motion and After Effects. Offered for $80, the software includes three filters, Binoculars, Target, and Viewfinder OSD, that allow users to simulate the appearance of different viewfinders. All of the filters include a host of customization options for personalizing each effect to a film's specific needs.
Third free update fulfills program's promise
Final Cut Pro X, a radical re-thinking of professional video editing that initially sparked more a revolt than the revolution Apple intended, has gone on to win PC Magazine's "Editor's Choice" award after a review of the program and the features restored and improved by its third free update. The latest version, released at the very end of January, restored multi-cam editing, broadcast monitoring and richer XML support to the suite, enabling Final Cut Pro 7 projects and third-party plug-ins. In doing so, it has begun to silence its critics.
PluralEyes marries separate sound to vision
Two different pro-video editing software companies have released new plug-in versions for Final Cut Pro X and other editors that bring new abilities to their respective platforms. Singular Software has updated its PluralEyes clip-syncing program for FCP X, while FxFactory plug-in developer Nattress has added Levels and Curves, a filter pack that lets users color-grade in the film log, to FCP X and earlier versions, along with Motion and Adobe After Effects.
Ballistic releases new iPad 2 case
CrumplePop has announced the launch of Platinotype, a platinum photographic process plug-in designed for Final Cut Pro X. The digital effect can be dropped onto any film clip in FCP X, and includes support for both SD and HD files encoded with all major codecs. Platinotype also includes a number of control parameters that allow users to adjust the depth, detail, exposure, and more. Until January 30th the plug-in can be purchased for $39 with the coupon code PLTY-0036-INTR-0120, after which the price will rise to $75.
Also works with Motion and Adobe's After Effects
Yanobox, a development house that produces plugs-in for FxFactory, has debuted a new "next-generation" color grading and correction module called Moods that works with Final Cut Pro X, Motion (versions 3, 4 and 5) and Adobe's After Effects (CS3 through CS5.5). The plug-in, which can be purchased separately, features a "heads-up display" that overlays on the video, allowing for full-screen color work with HD or SD footage.
BBX rechristened BlackBerry 10 at DevCon
RIM quickly got around a ban on mentioning BBX during BlackBerry DevCon Asia by renaming its platform. The new smartphone and tablet platform will just be called BlackBerry 10. Its technique copies the one used by Apple for jumping multiple version numbers with QuickTime and Final Cut Pro.
Resolves issues with fonts, playback, more
Apple late Wednesday updated its flagship pro video-editing software Final Cut Pro X to version 10.0.2, fixing three issues related to fonts, playback and stability. The update fixes a troublesome issue where fonts in a title will revert back to the default font after restarting the program, and is in addition to the significant updates made in v10.0.1 in mid-September that added XML import and export, Lion full-screen view and more.
Package also works in Final Cut 6, 7
612 Authentic Media is launching a new set of lighting effects for Final Cut Pro, CrumplePop Noir Moderne. The set includes 19 effects, three transitions and a royalty-free title, focused on dark lighting, strobes, venetian patterns and vignettes. Users can drag and drop effects directly into the timeline of Final Cut Pro 6, 7 and the newly released Final Cut Pro X. The effects can be adjusted for opacity and luminance and can be layered with one another.
Adobe halves Premiere price for Final Cut users
Adobe leapt on Final Cut Pro X frustrations Friday with a new switcher promo. Anyone with a copy of Final Cut Pro or even Avid Media Composer can get a 50 percent discount on either Premiere Pro CS5.5 or CS5.5 Production Premium. The software house gave a knowing tweak to Apple that chastised it for dropping imports of the old version and traditional imports from tape.
Apple FCPX FAQ talks big features in updates
Apple has quietly posted an FAQ for Final Cut Pro X to tackle the complaints and concerns in the wake of a controversial release. The answers more formally address questions to the media and make multiple promises of updates. Multicam editing is coming to a future Final Cut Pro update, something which Apple says it couldn't roll into a minor patch but had to come soon.
Apple's Ubillos reassures video editors after FCPX
Apple's video editing software lead Randy Ubillos quietly addressed some of the fears of professional video editors following the rocky introduction of Final Cut Pro X. Shortly before the company's more technical help, Ubillos was adamant to a CreativeCow forum member that the feature set wasn't concrete. Alluding to an upgrade pattern similar to iMovie, he saw it as a foundation for a larger platform.
No more 'unrendered' messages in Final Cut
Various camcorders that produce AVCHD files in transport stream (.mts, .m2ts) or MOD/TOD format are the bane of many Final Cut Pro 6 and 7 users, in that the files must rendered or converted before use with the editing programs, costing time and efficiency. Aunsoft Studio has developed Final Mate for Mac to convert these files to Apple ProRes files so that they can be edited without the "unrendered" message.
New tool is exclusive for FCP X
On the same day that Apple made Final Cut Pro X available, plug-in maker Automatic Duck has announced a new, exclusively-for-FCP-X version of Pro Export FCP, version 5.0. The app, which exports audio from Final Cut Pro into AAF or OMF format for Pro Tools, also has version 4 available for Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier. Buyers now get both v4 and v5 included.
Software requires at least v10.6.7
Shortly after Apple formally introduced Final Cut Pro X, the company posted a note on its support site urging users to update their systems to Mac OS X 10.6.8 when running the new video editing software. The latest Snow Leopard release, v10.6.7, is listed as a minimum requirement, however the v10.6.8 build is currently still in beta development.
Program creates professional presentation videos
Singular Software, best known for its PluralEyes video-synchronizing software, has leveraged that technology into a new product now available for Final Cut Pro called Presto. The program takes separately-shot videos of a slideshow presenter, along with the screen showing their slides and a copy of the original slideshow and marries them all together so that the presenter's image remains at the bottom-left of the screen, beside crisp, clear images of the slides, all in sync.
Mac Pro may get remake for rackmounting
Apple may be on the verge of a long-expected revamp of the Mac Pro that could potentially assuage fears following the end of the Xserve. A rumor Thursday had the system narrower, going from over eight inches to five, while also becoming shorter at 19 inches. The layout as described by 9to5 might help it fit into a 3U rackmount, three times bigger than the Xserve's 1U but also capable of working as a regular desktop.
Version 3 has auto-calibration, parallax inspector
3D developer Dashwood Cinema has announced an update to its stereoscopic 3D mastering software, Stereo3D Toolbox 3.0. The set of nine plug-ins can align stereoscopic videos, reduce ghosting and adjust parallax, among other options. The plug-ins are built on Noise Industries' FxFactory platform and work with Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion and Apple Final Cut Express. Version 3.0 introduces streamlined code that speeds up operation, including faster previews and real-time playback on supported hardware.
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.
Final Cut Pro 2011 should have iPad, Thunderbolt
Bunim/Murray Productions' post-production lead Mark Raudonis gave some clues in a new revision of Final Cut Studio. Having been to a recent preview presentation at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, he hinted that at least the Final Cut Pro part of the suite embodied the Wayne Gretzky philosophy of skating to where the puck will be and has forward-thinking hardware features. It would be designed with Thunderbolt ports in mind and even had a degree of iPad support, Raudonis said in a clip shared by Filmmaker.
Apple boots FCPUG sponsors
Apple has dropped strong hints that a Final Cut Studio overhaul would show at the NAB expo next week through curious moves with sponsors. The Final Cut Pro User Group Supermeet has said that at least Avid and Canon, along with one of the Supermeet organizers and possibly Black Magic, have all made abrupt sponsorship and presentation exits from the gathering, which runs side-by-side with NAB. Avid explicitly blamed Apple as it "doesn't want anyone to have stage time" except for itself.
Popular topics from the forums
In the MacNN forums this week the discussion continues on what people like best about the new iPad in the thread titled "iPad 2!!!!!" Today one Mac Elite posted a question about Final Cut Pro data transfers being slow, click here to join in on the conversation.
App prints lists of info from Final Cut projects
Video application and plug-in maker Digital Heaven has revealed a free, time-limited public beta of Final Print v2, their XML-based tool that allows browsing and printing of Final Cut project information, such as a list of clips, markers and bin contents. The new version features a completely re-designed interface, support for Final Cut Pro 7, improved performance and other features.
Updated for CS5, FCP, Aperture, Lightroom
Red Giant Software has brought out a new suite of seven professional plug-ins for Adobe's CS5 applications and Final Cut Pro called Effects Suite 10, and has also updated their Magic Bullet Photolooks to v1.5, now adding support for Apple's Aperture and Adobe's Lightroom as well as Photoshop CS5.
Pro Import FCP and Media Copy also updated
Importing Final Cut Pro projects into Avid Media Composer was made simpler when v5 of AMC was announced with its featured "Avid Media Access" ability, but now plug-in maker Automatic Duck has updated its Pro Export FCP plug-in to v4.05 to make the import and re-linking of media files considerably easier. In addition, the company posted bug-fix updates to two other plug-ins, Pro Import FCP (now at v2.09) and Media Copy (now at v3.01).
Version 1.2 also offers new audio options
Singluar Software's PluralEyes, a software companion to Final Cut Pro that allows for synchronizing multiple sources of audio to FCP video sequences without timecodes or clappers, has been updated to v1.2 which the company describes as "a major update," and brings new merged clips management and support for locked tracks, along with support for audio from DSLR video-shooting cameras.
Up to five video-altering plug-ins
Noise Industries has announced LensPack, a new collection of five video editing plug-ins developed by SUGARfx. The new tools are designed to extend the visual effects capabilities of powerful photo and video editing programs such as Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, and Final Cut Express. Features range from a Distorium plug-in that distorts footage for a more 3D effect, to improving and increasing lens distortion when shooting in wide-angle mode via the Optico plug-in.
Company will add 64-bit support to 3 other plugins
Three new visual effects plug-ins have been announced by Digieffects, with a formal launch scheduled for the National Association of Broadcasters' NAB Show next week. FreeForm 3D Mesh Warp, FreeForm 3D Displacer, and Damage 2.0 will all support 64-bit operation in various applications. FreeForm 3D Mesh Warp adds a 3rd dimension to After Effects' built-in mesh warp. Users can choose to divide the image into rows and columns before manipulating control tangents or creating cylinders, curves, ribbons, folding cards, and any other 3D shapes. It will retail for $100.
Supports converting audio settings
Digital Heaven has launched a new version of its media import utility for Final Cut Pro, Loader 2.0. The software is used to streamline the process of importing music and sound effects, as well as graphics or movies into the Final Cut Pro media editing application. With the latest release, support has been added for converting various audio settings such as sample rate, bit depth, and mono/stereo configuration. Additional compatibility is also included for converting any audio file regardless of its original file type.
Background clip analysis improves workflow
CoreMelt has launched an update to its stabilization plug-in for Final Cut Pro, Lock and Load X. The software fixes shaky video camera footage, analyzing and then smoothing video as much as possible. It can also smooth zoom and rotational motion, and be set to ignore foreground motion.
Autosaves files, manages disk space
Digital Rebellion has launched FCP Versioner, used to backup Final Cut Pro projects in XML format. Changelogs are produced to show modifications from one revision to the next. The software also has several options for managing disk space, including ones for purging older backups.
Smoothing amount, skin detail, radius adjustable
Digital Anarchy has introduced a retouching tool, Beauty Box 1.0, for After Effects and Final Cut Pro. The utility focuses on blemish removal and smoothing skin, with a filter that is claimed to reduce the need for masking. Facial recognition technology is allows the app to recognize skin areas. After setting the filter to auto-detect, users can simply adjust the level of smother and then render the filter.
New plug-in transfers FCP media to AE
Boris has released a new Adobe After Effects plug-in, Boris XML Transfer. The utility transfers Apple's Final Cut Pro program sequences to After Effects, preserving all aspects of Final Cut projects such as effects, audio, media clips, transitions, geometric transformations, and multi-clip edits. Trimmed clips retain full editing capabilities in Adobe After Effects, presented as stepped-up or stepped-down layers.
Maintenance release for video editing suite
Apple has released a Pro Applications Update for Final Cut Studio, along with a new Server Diagnostics utility. The Final Cut Studio download is primarily a maintenance update, with improvements to overall stability and compatibility. The revision includes Final Cut Pro 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Soundtrack Pro 3.0.1, Color 1.5.1 and Compressor 3.5.1.
New tools for creating motion and still graphics
Noise Industries has introduced several new plug-ins that have been added to the FxFactory suite for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and Adobe After Effects. nVeil is a tool developed by Storek Studio for creating motion and still graphics. Users can build animations by filtering source imagery through vector graphics art based on the SVG format.
M-Audio 10.6 drivers in the works, New FCP effect
In brief: M-Audio has announced that it is in the process of bringing Snow Leopard support to the M-Audio product line, the Pro Tools line, and extended product families. No official Snow Leopard drivers are available yet, but several public betas are being offered. In other news, CrumplePop has released a new Final Cut Pro effect. SplitScreen is a tool for creating split-screen shots directly from the timeline.