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.
Blu-ray support a focus
Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to the timeline. Other fixes target XML round-trip imports, automatic library backups, and skimming growing files in the Browser.
First deal for Leap Motion integration, bundling also included
Leap Motion has made a deal with HP to embed its 3D motion-tracking controller into HP devices. The agreement will initially see HP providing the Leap Motion Controller with specific HP products as a bundle, and will explore fully integrating the motion-tracking technology into future, unannounced HP devices.
Motion, Compressor get maintenance updates
[Updated with info on updated QuickTime codecs] Apple has released Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8, an update to its video editing suite. The code adds several minor features, such as support for Sony's XAVC codec up to 4K resolution, and the ability to display ProRes Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec 709 color and contrast levels. Time-reverse clips can now render in the background, and editors can use key commands for adjusting Clip Appearance settings in the timeline, and view reel number metadata in a file's timecode track.
Updates mostly maintenance releases
Apple has posted new maintenance updates its line of professional video editing software. Above all is Final Cut Pro X 10.0.7, which among others fixes problems with creating single-layer DVDs, third-party transitions using black instead of source media, and third-party effects causing Final Cut to freeze during background rendering. It also restores the Offset slider for the Letterbox effect, and allows editing MXF files that are still ingesting.
iPad and glove combination used to control virtual objects
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created a Minority Report-style glove and iPad input system for three-dimensional virtual object manipulation called T(ether). The system lets the team use motion tracking on gloves to create and alter virtual items with the iPads used as a point-of-view window to see what the users are manipulating. A demonstration video shows the system having multiple users simultaneously affecting the compter-generated world, both with and without the glove.
Leap Motion unveils motion control for Macs and PCs
Leap Motion has taken the covers off its new motion-tracking device for computer interaction. As the video (embedded below) demonstrates, the device maker shows off how the device could potentially replace a mouse and keyboard in a number of computing and gaming contexts. The size of a small flash drive, the Leap is said to be able to allow users to control a computer in three dimensions, tracking natural hand and finger movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter.
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.
Add-ons simulate 'broken' movies
Luca Visual FX has launched four new plugins for Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects. The first of these, Grunge Effects, is split between overlays and transitions. Both sets consist of animated textures, and despite their specialization, the transitions can potentially double as overlays.
Parallels new Final Cut Pro upgrade
Complementing the release of Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3, Apple has also released Motion 5.0.2. Motion is used to produce titles, transitions, animations, and other effects for Final Cut. The v5.0.2 update is said to improve "overall stability and performance," including the speed of text editing.
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.
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.
Firmware fixes Thunderbolt Display stability
Apple has posted a trio of new software updates, the most important of which are Thunderbolt-related. The Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update fixes unspecified stability problems with Apple's latest product, and apart from the monitor requires a Mac running either OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7.1. A new Thunderbolt Software Update for Snow Leopard is required to use the Thunderbolt Display with the OS, and also fixes compatibility issues with other Thunderbolt devices. A matching Lion update was released late last week.
Add-ons bring grids, safe areas to projects
Developer Digital Heaven has released two new freeware plugins usable with Final Cut Pro X as well as Motion 5. DH_GridX generates a grid with up to 30 horizontal and vertical divisions, intended for aligning visual elements. Grids support different line colors and widths, custom area sizes, and independently-set divisions.
Jobs, Ive get credit for Apple keyboard design
Apple has won 10 new patents through the US Patent and Trademark Office, information shows. One notable example is the design of the current Apple keyboard with a numeric keypad. While the peripheral is relatively mundane outside of its thinness and aluminum chassis, two of the 16 people credited with the invention are Apple CEO Steve Jobs and VP of industrial design Jonathan Ive, signifying how important the shape of the product is.
'Rig' feature makes appearance
Pre-release screenshots depict Motion 5 and other aspects of Final Cut Pro X, according to an AppleInsider tip. The software is due to ship later this month for $299, but Apple has remained extremely quiet about the software; even Apple's official Final Cut page has no hint of the upcoming product. Some of the leaked screenshots show a new "rig" function in Motion, though what exactly this entails hasn't been made clear.
Motion now offering $900 CL900 tablet
Motion Computing has just announced that the CL900 tablet is now available to order. The enterprise-grade device runs on Windows 7 Professional or Home Premium 32-bit and uses the dual-core 1.5GHz Atom Z670. Otherwise, there is Wi-Fi, 1GB of RAM, and a 30GB solid state drive that can be upgraded to 62GB.
Includes Final Cut Pro 7.0.3
Apple has deployed a series of software updates, including QuickTime 7.6.8, only available for Windows 7, Vista and XP SP2. The patch concentrates exclusively on security problems, which could be used to attack a PC by way of the app's ActiveX control, or else a path-searching flaw in QuickTime Picture Viewer. For Mac owners Apple has posted Pro Applications Update 2010-02, which includes Final Cut Pro 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Color 1.5.3, Compressor 3.5.3 and Qmaster 3.5.3.
Eight new effects add transitions, color control
Noise Industries has launched FxFactory Pro 2.5, an update of the effects plugin collection. The software contains over 160 filters, generators and transitions. It can render effects up to 10-bit YUV quality, and supports hardware acceleration for previews and rendering. Editors can use stock or custom presets, or create their own project-specific plugins for Final Cut and After Effects, which can then be saved and shared. The collection as a whole is compatible with Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and After Effects.
iWebTemplate collection gains five
Aquafadas has released a new version of PulpFx Abstract, a collection of generators for animated slideshows in Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and After Effects. The v1.1 update features two all-new generators, Small Moves and Sphere, along with added options for editing titles and managing the order of images. Also included is the ability to choose between several transitions with the Light Slice and Static Pulse generators. A trial version of the software can be downloaded from Aquafadas' website; a full license costs $49.
Increases bit-depth, deinterlaces frames
Noise Industries and PHYX have launched a new video repair plugin, PHYX Cleaner. The software can be used to rebuild pixelated chroma channels, restore gradients, and increase effective color depth; it can also be used to convert interlaced fields into progressive comb-free frames, smooth skin blemishes, and remove high- and low-frequency visual noise. Rough 3D 8-bit images can be converted to higher bit depths.
Aperture 3.0.2 fixes numerous glitches
Apple has released a collection of four new patches, covering multiple products. Central is Aperture 3.0.2, which addresses general stability in the workflow app, as well as 13 individual problem areas. Some of the latter including upgrading libraries from Aperture 1.x or 2.x, creating print presets, using the Curves, Straighten and Retouching tools, and IPTC metadata. The upgrade is a 69.83MB download.
Plugin supports Final Cut, After Effects
Noise Industries and SUGARfx have launched Video Wall 2.0, an updated plugin for After Effects, Final Cut and Motion. The code generates wall-style effects for video productions, superimposing clips and still images on top of animations. The v2.0 release supports multiple video clips, and incorporates auto-animation functions, in some cases eliminating the need to keyframe movements.
Affects key Apple software
Apple has released an update for ProKit, the framework undergirding several of its professional-level apps. These include Aperture, the Final Cut suite and the Pro and Express versions of Logic. The v5.1 patch fixes an issue with scrolling behavior, and a more crucial problem with memory leaks, which should help improve performance.
60 templates in total
FCP World has announced new Blu-ray templates for the latest version of Final Cut Studio. The company's plug-in delivers 60 background templates, on top of the original five that come with FCS. All of them can be used for both Blu-ray and AVCHD discs; each is fully animated and looping, with room for customization in the form of personalized logos and titles.
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.
LiveToon catroon effects plug-in
Noise Industries has announced a new LiveToon plug-in, from its development partner DVShade, designed to increase the visual effects capabilities for Final Cut, Motion and After Effects. The latest plug-in is geared for creating and editing professional-looking cartoon, graphic novel, or sketch effects that can be added to footage. It includes over 10 integrated presets and provides a series of parameters such as posterization, saturation and cartoon edge lines.
New update fixes bugs and adds stability
Digital Heaven has launched an update to its Final Cut Pro graphics automation software, releasing AutoMotion 1.6. The software works in conjunction with Final Cut's Motion automating both the production and management of multiple graphics: it merges Motion templates with user text data and handles revisions with live previews support for changing multiple graphics from one action.
Plug-in supports various editing suites
Reg Giant has released a new video effects plug-in, Magic Bullet Mojo. The software recreates the look used in many Hollywood blockbusters, warming the color temperature of skin, while simultaneously cooling it for shadows and backgrounds. A central slider adjusts both elements in unison.
First Snow Leopard update makes minor fixes
The unfinished Mac OS X 10.6.1 update -- now in distribution to a small number of developers -- so far only makes a minor number of fixes, accounts say. These include improvements to compatibility, stability and security, such as better support for Sierra Wireless 3G modems, and the proper display of printer compatibility drivers in the Add Printer dialog. A more critical fix prevents freezing in Motion 4.
Stereo3D Toolbox plug-in
Dashwood has produced a new video effects plug-in, Stereo3D Toolbox, based on Noise Industries' FxFactory platform. The software converts footage from After Effects, Motion or Final Cut into stereoscopic 3D. Possible output formats include side-by-side, over/under, checkerboard, interlace and anaglyph; controls adjust for the requirements of each one, tweaking details such X-, Y- and Z-axis convergence, or zoom levels for each eye.
Continuum Motion Tracker
Boris FX has released Continuum Motion Tracker, which includes four specialized filters for gathering and utilizing motion data from video. The Corner Pin filter allows users to map media to a specific area on a moving object. Match Move locks the movement of one image clip to another, and includes functions such as tumble, spin, and rotate, as well as lighting and light wrap compositing.
Boris FX updates for FCS3
Boris FX has announced that its entire product line is being updated to support the Apple's new Final Cut Studio 3. The collection consists of various effects and filters, for both Final Cut Pro and Motion. The Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) 6.0.4 FxPlug, a compilation of video filters including Cartoon Look, Pencil Sketch and Charcoal Sketch, is a free upgrade for BCC 6.x owners. People with older versions of BCC FxPlug can upgrade to the most recent version for $300.
Noise Industries and Idustrial Revolution have launched a new particle generation plug-in, ParticleMetrix, for visual effects applications. The plug-in works with Apple's Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express and Motion, along with Adobe's After Effects CS3 and CS4. ParticleMetrix is based on FxFactory and converts objects and text into particle effects, such as snow, fire, ice, bubbles, sparkles and more. The plug-in provides a library of pre-designed effects, with controls for rotation, size, gravity and other custom settings.
Boris BCC 6 ships
Boris FX has released the first completed version of Boris Continuum Complete 6, an FxPlug add-on for Motion, Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. The software introduces over 200 filters to Apple's software, with live previews of dozens of preset transitions, glows, and color and film-style effects. The initial release of the plug-in features over a dozen new FxPlug shaders, presented in a redesigned effects browser window.
Boris Complete 6 FxPlug
Boris FX has released a public beta of Boris Continuum Complete 6 FxPlug, a plug-in for Motion, Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. The code introduces over 200 filters to the Apple software, divided into categories such as color, glows, transitions and simulated film effects. Filters can be previewed in real-time, separately or in combination.
Magic Bullet Quick Looks
Red Giant has released Magic Bullet Quick Looks, a new set of color-correction plug-ins for video editors. The software represents a scaled-down version of Magic Bullet Looks, which provides a full range of tools for tweaking visual styles. Quick Looks eliminates most custom options in favor of over 100 presets, based on the cinematography of famous films and TV shows.
Apple updates FCP 6.05
Apple on Thursday released new updates to professional video and audio suites, including Final Cut Pro 6.05, Compressor 3.0.5, Color 1.0.3 and Shake 4.1.1. Apple says the Pro Applications Update 2008-04, a revision to Final Cut Studio 2.0. addresses general performance issues and improves overall stability. Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 addresses specific issues such as improved rendering of still images and footage in high-resolution formats and adding the ability to capture the additional metadata for footage recorded with the Panasonic AG-HMC150 professional AVCHD camcorder and the extended metadata that is available with P2 cards; the update also improves reliability when importing files from the Panasonic HDC-SD9 camcorder.
Red Giant Warp released
Red Giant Software has released Red Giant Warp, a new sets of effects generation plug-ins for video editing suites. Contained in Warp are three different tools, beginning with Corner Pin, which takes material from outside clips and pins it with a different perspective inside a working video. The plug-in additionally sports extra offset controls and integration with Mocha for After Effects.
SE explores gaming phones
Sony Ericsson is allegedly making a move to up its devotion to the gaming industry by allowing the cameras in its phones to function as a motion-controlling sensor. Pocket-lint reports that the communications device company has signed a deal with California-based GestureTek to incorporate the software into its phones in September. Sony at present already uses the software for its EyeToy camera device on the PlayStation 2, and will allegedly function on Sony Ericsson's older phones as well.
3Dconnexion has announced that its SpaceExplorer 3D mouse is now supported by Mac OS X 10.4.6 and later, allowing Mac users to use the tool to navigate through popular 3D application workspaces. By pulling, pushing, tilting, and spinning the SpaceExplorer's 3D mouse cap, designers can move through 3D scenes and worlds without stopping to select commands. A subtle increase or decrease in cap pressure accelerates or slows motion, enabling precise micro-adjustments. The device also sports function keys to program highly-used functions and keyboard modifiers, as well as an ergonomically designed palm rest for a comfortable command console.
Typhoon tablet lawsuits
New lawsuits have been filed by Typhoon Touch Technologies against the makers of tablet PCs, accounts say. The company first gained attention in December of last year, when it accused prominent computer builders Dell and Motion Computing of violating patents used not only in tablets, but also in smartphones and UMPCs. The new suits are targeted exclusively at makers of tablet PCs though, and name Electrovaya, Xplore Technologies and Sand Dune Ventures (a.k.a. TabletKiosk) as the defendants.
Primatte Keyer 4 ships
Red Giant Software has launched Primatte Keyer 4, the latest edition of a program that extracts keys from backgrounds for the sake of movie production. It is compatible with DV and HDV video, and can fix issues such as uneven lighting, compression artifacts and problematic shadows. Though earlier versions only supported Avid and After Effects, version 4 now supports Apple's Motion and Final Cut Pro, and can operate directly from the timeline using 32-bit processing.
dvGarage product updates
dvGarage recently unveiled updates to Conduit Suite and dvMatte Pro, its respective Conduit nodal composition tool and chromakeying software. Conduit suite brings with it Conduit Live, a new standalone nodal capture tool which offers users real-tie video compositing and analysis of any live digital footage. The Studio bundle also includes Conduit for Motion, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and After Effects. Conduit Suite is selling for $199, available from dvGarage's website.
SmoothKit 2 adds new blurs
RE:Vision Effects recently unveiled SmoothKit 2, a set of plug-ins designed to smooth images with user-directed controls, and feature-sensitive methods. The kit consists of nine filters which allow the user to blur images without blurring edges, sharpen with less ringing, reduce image defects, reduce jaggies, and more. A newly added Z-Blur filter provides depth of field effects using depth maps from 3D system. SmoothKit 2 sells for $120, and is available through RE:Vision Effect's website.
Magic Bullet Frames, 24p
Red Giant Software today unveiled Magic Bullet Frames, its latest plugin for Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Premiere Pro. The plugin is designed to allow users to shoot video on low-cost film, and then scale the footage to 24p, giving it a professional finish. Magic Bullet Frames uses motion-adaptive and field-blended modes to process frames, and can apply custom letterboxes to footage to give it a cinematic feel. Red Giant Software is currently selling Magic Bullet Frames for $200.
Toronto OS X meeting
In brief: We've posted a review of the text editor Jedit X, a Motion templates repository site has been updated, the Toronto OS X integrators meeting has been announced, Great White Software has acquired RBLibrary, and a Final Cut Pro UK Seminar Tour will soon take place ... We've posted a review of Jedit X, a multi featured word processor and text editor designed to create, modify, and open text and RTF (Rich Text Format) documents. The tool can also be used to script and create source code. Jedit X has been around for 11 years and is the most popular text editor in Japan, so you will see a number of Japanese features in the menus. It can save documents as RTF, HTML, Text, Word, and Word XML Documents and shines in its ability to work with other Mac programs.
Typhoon sues Dell, Motion
Typhoon Touch Technologies is suing both Dell and Motion Computing for infringing on a number of the company's patents. Typhoon seeks both damages and an injunction barring either Dell or Motion from manufacturing or selling technology based on US patent numbers 5,379,057 and 5,675,362. The lawsuit will prevent the companies from distributing tablet PCs, slate PCs, PDAs, ultra mobile PCs, smartphones, or any other product that uses either of the offending technologies.