Avid products get Tiger support, optimizations

Tewksbury, Mass.-based Avid Technology Inc. on Thursday announced support for Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger” with new releases of its Media Composer Adrenaline and Xpress Pro digital video editing solutions. The new releases feature extensive support for Tiger’s Core Image technology to provide new video effects.

The new Tiger capabilities provide features and performance unavailable from other nonlinear editing solutions on the Mac platform, according to Tim Wilson, senior product marketing manager at Avid.

Long history of Mac support

Wilson noted that Avid has a long history on the Macintosh, and the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. For the first decade of its sixteen years, he said, Avid was a Mac-only company. Avid’s first Media Composer system ran on System 6, and was released two years before Adobe’s first version of Photoshop hit the scene. “The Mac remains an important part of who we are and what we do,” Wilson told MacCentral.

“We want to remind people that Avid is ‘a’ choice rather than ‘the other choice,’” said Wilson, who admits that Apple itself has made inroads to professional video editing with its own professional video products. Avid, however, remains a mainstay of pro video editing — the standard used by the majority of the film industry, for example.

Tiger optimizations abound

Avid collaborated with Noise Industries to create the new “Factory Tools” bundled with the software, which provide more than 80 real-time effects. Core Image units can be combined into Quartz Compositions to generate stylized visual effects, filters and transitions that Avid users can then apply to clips, titles and sequences they’re working on in Media Composer Adrenaline or Xpress Pro.

Avid has rolled numerous other Tiger-first enhancements into the new releases as well. For example, users can now use multiple resolutions of video in the same timeline in real time, each in its native resolution, without rendering. An auto color correction features has been added that lets users double-click to correct an entire sequence; the software analyzes each clip individually and custom-corrects right away. Also new to this release is region stabilization with auto zoom.

Script-based editing lets avid users create a rough cut by matching scene editing with the actual text of the script.

“You can open scripts created by screenwriting software like Final Draft,” explained Wilson. “You can then audition all the takes for an individual line. When you get the reading you like best, you double click and add that to the timeline.”

“One of the most distinctive elements that separates Avid’s solutions from other products is our thoroughly battle-tested media management capabilities,” said Wilson. “Media management is a critical part of what we do. That’s the environment we live in,” he explained.

Multiple users working on Avid Unity networking systems can now use the same sequences, bins and files in real time, as well.

Avid is including its Marquee software with Xpress Pro now. Marquee, previously included with Media Composer Adrenaline systems, integrated 3D and 2D title animation.

A new Media Composer Adrenaline 1.8 system costs US$24,995, Users who aren’t already on an Avid Assurance plan can update for $995. Avid Xpress Pro 4.8 costs $1,695 — the update is being offered for free to users of Xpress Pro 4.x.

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