Apple Unveils Final Cut Pro 3

Apple today unveiled Final Cut Pro 3, the company's video editing solution. Final Cut Pro 3 also debuts OfflineRT, an offline format that holds up to five times as much footage as the DV format, and new professional color correction tools previously available only in solutions costing tens of thousands of dollars more.

Utilizing the Velocity Engine, Final Cut Pro 3 delivers G4 real-time effects -- this is the first dual-stream, real-time architecture with no add-in hardware requirements. Even editors using Final Cut Pro 3 on a PowerBook G4 have access to true real-time effects playback. The number and complexity of G4 real-time effects scale as processing power increases, according to Apple.

"With G4 real-time effects, the high-capacity OfflineRT format and professional color correction tools, Final Cut Pro 3 raises the bar for the industry once again," said David Moody, Apple's senior director of Applications Marketing. "Whether you're working from a dedicated edit bay or a seat on a cross-country flight, the combination of Apple's G4 hardware, operating system and Final Cut Pro 3 software is the most potent video editing solution available. And, on top of all this, Final Cut Pro is now available on the world's most advanced personal computer operating system, Mac OS X."

Using OfflineRT Final Cut Pro provides 40 minutes of video per gigabyte of hard drive space. Editors can capture and transcode DV footage to OfflineRT on the fly, with a FireWire connection. This means that editors can work with large amounts of high-quality, timecode-accurate video that can be reconnected to the original source material, without having to resort to special external storage solutions. OfflineRT is the first native offline format available for DV, and it can also be used by editors working with standard definition or high definition formats.

Final Cut Pro 3 also features a new set of professional color correction tools, including primary and secondary color correctors, range checking, zebra-stripe overlays, and waveform and vectorscope monitors, as well as a set of controls to maintain broadcast-safe video levels.

Additional features of Final Cut Pro 3 include:

  • New Voice-Over tool for audio capture directly to the timeline from a built-in or external microphone;
  • New Auto-Save Vault, which saves and time-stamps projects at user-specified intervals;
  • Productive editing tools, in a mode-free interface, that provide three-point editing, JKL keyboard navigation, match frame, extend and split edit functions, multiple and nested timeline project support, and timecode overlays;
  • Integrated compositing, including Adobe AfterEffects plug-in support;
  • QuickView, a new preview mode that allows editors to quickly preview complex effects;
  • Advanced media management and export tools that make it easy to consolidate, reconnect and move media, preserve trim handles and convert to various offline or web formats;
  • New 3D titling and effects from Boris and CGM, for creating stunning 2D and 3D animated titles and advanced transitions; and
  • PeakDV audio editing tool from Bias, providing VST plug-in support and time compression/expansion for precisely fitting audio to video.
  • If you own DVD Studio Pro you can invoke that applications MPEG2 engine to encode edited video sequences from within Final Cut Pro. You can also author navigation menus, preview disk operation in real time, and burn DVDs using the SuperDrive.

    Apple has announced a new training program in conjunction with Final Cut Pro being released. The program includes training center, instructor, technician and courseware certification. A network of approximately 25 certified training center locations will serve users, offering a range of courses from beginning to advanced levels.

    Final Cut Pro 3 will be available later this month through The Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for US$999. Registered Final Cut Pro users can upgrade to Final Cut Pro 3 for $299. Final Cut Pro 3 requires Mac OS X v10.1.1 or Mac OS 9.2.2, a Macintosh computer with a 300MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or G4 processor with built-in FireWire, 256MB of RAM (384MB recommended for G4 real-time effects), and 40MB of available disk space for installation. (G4 500MHz or higher required for G4 real-time effects; PowerBook G4 667MHz required for mobile real-time DV effects.) Versions for both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 are included in the Final Cut Pro 3 box.

    Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on MacCentral.

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