Video card maker
RTMac real-time video editing and effects solution for PowerMac G4 was first released
last April; last week, Matrox representatives at Macworld Expo San Francisco were onhand to talk about how RTMac now works with the latest version of Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and also demonstrated RTMac’s recently added support for Adobe Premiere.
Apple’s latest release of Final Cut Pro brought the video editing suite to version 3, and the list of improvements includes the ability of Final Cut Pro to now render select transitions (such as cross-fades) between scenes in real-time; this dramatically cuts down the amount of time video editors have to sit and wait to preview their effects. While praising Apple for aggressively improving Final Cut Pro with each release, Matrox Senior Product Specialist for RT Mac Stephen Albanese pointed out that the RTMac package still provides advantages that are not available through Final Cut Pro’s software-only rendering.
Whereas Final Cut Pro quite understandably only lets you preview effects and transitions in its canvas window, RTMac allows the previewing of full-screen real-time effects at 720 by 480 video resolution, running at 30 frames and 60 fields per second. “If you don’t want to live with the resolution of the canvas window for your real-time previewing, then you’ll want RTMac,” said Albanese. RTMac also offers more types of effects to be viewed real-time, and allows for more to be used simultaneously — transitions such as cross-dissolves, irises, and wipes are available instantly, as is everything in Final Cut Pro’s motion window, with the exception of motion blurs.
RTMac’s hardware breakout box also gives editors a second monitor output, as well as the ability to capture analog video, and RTMac’s NTSC video output can be used to correct the video’s colorspace for true WYSIWYG video editing. Thanks to RTMac’s QuickTime support, this last feature can also be used to verify and correct colorspace when editors are in Adobe After Effects (version 5 or later) or Discreet’s Combustion (version 126.96.36.199 or later).
Last December Matrox added full support for Adobe’s Premiere as well, bringing real-time video editing to a package (and interface) that is familiar to many. Once installed, all effects that can take advantage of RTMac’s real-time rendering are clearly denoted by “RT” in Premier’s effects list. “If you want real-time previewing in Adobe Premiere, we’re the only game in town,” said Albanese, commenting that by offering really aggressive pricing on the Adobe Premiere bundle Matrox is pushing hard to bring real-time video editing to a wider audience. RTMac and Premiere are bundled at a US$1,199 price-point, versus $999 for the standalone version of RTMac. The same RTMac hardware can be used with both software packages, should the user own both Premiere and Final Cut Pro.
Albanese added that although RTMac drivers for Mac OS X had not been completed just yet, development had been started.