Final Cut is Apple's NAB Highlight

LAS VEGAS -- AH, Las Vegas. A city where everything is fake.

The Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris, the Piazza San Marcos in front of the Venetian, the volcano in front of the Mirage, the pirate ship (arg, matey!) in front of Treasure Island, the, um, body parts along Las Vegas Boulevard (aka The Strip). The idea that you can walk out of a casino a winner, and the notion that anyone needs all the steak and lobster they can stomach for $7.99... at breakfast time.

It is in the midst of all this chicanery that 100,000 people flock to the City of Sin to show off, see, or write about what is new and happening in the broadcast world.

Apple's press conference at NAB, thrown together after they apparently decided to postpone introduction of a multiprocessor Mac, centered around their high-end digital video editing program, Final Cut Pro. And Final Cut Pro seemed to be a popular topic for companies with Mac products to announce, too.

ICE showed off its Ultra edition of Final Cut Pro "On ICE," PCI video and audio hardware and effects software accelerated to work up to 50 times faster than Final Cut's software alone. It should ship in June for about $11,000, and the same hardware can be used with ICE'd versions of other software, such as Adobe After Effects.

Boris FX showed two new plug-ins, Boris FX 5.0 (both Standard and Professional editions) and Boris Graffiti 1.0. Both work with non-linear editing systems such After Effects and Final Cut Pro. Boris FX is a new version of their effects creation plug-in for 3D text, color correction, animation motion blurs, advanced compositing and more. The new Boris Graffiti offers 2D and 3D vector-based title animations for creating rolls, crawls and fades as well as animated kerning and tracking, and text separation for control of individual letters.

In other news, some former Macworld Best of Show winners were on hand as well. MicroNet today started shipping their SANcube, the first FireWire Storage Area Network (SAN). The SANcube offers up to 220GB of online storage with transfer speeds of 30MB/sec over FireWire. Synthetik Software also announced an update to their graphics synthesizer. Studio Artist 1.5 offers improved image and movie morphing, a new core processing module, the Texture Synthesizer for creating resolution independent visual effects, and editable time animation through keyframes.

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