Seems like Apple plans on “dominating Hollywood with its technology,” according to
a Forbes.com article.
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Apple bought a company
called Nothing Real, which makes the digital special-effects software used in the past four Oscar winners in the “Visual Effects” category: Gladiator, The Matrix, What Dreams May Come and Titanic. The Nothing Real program Shake was also used in this year’s “Best Picture” Oscar nominees Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings and Moulin Rouge, as well as the 2001 “Visual Effects” nominees Pearl Harbor and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Nothing Real is a developer of high-performance software for professional visual effects and post-production based in Venice Beach, CA. Its Shake is a general-purpose image manipulation toolset that provides users with a low-cost, high performance compositing solution without the need for specialized hardware. It features a graphic user interface that emphasizes intuitive “process-tree” control features for the most complex image manipulation tasks.
The US$9,900 application is designed to enable creative professionals in film, HDTV, broadcast, post-production and multimedia with an interactive tool to quickly manipulate high-resolution images in conjunction with the creation of composites, effects and animations.
“The acquisition was jaw-dropping,” Wanda Meloni, principal analyst at the digital media M2 Research firm in San Diego, told Forbes. “It really sent a message to the industry that Apple is serious about breaking into the professional digital filmmaking market.”
Nothing Real’s clients are the very high end of the film and post-production industries, so this acquisition should get Apple technology into those top-tier production facilities, according to the article. The Nothing Real acquisition may be used to fuel sales of high-end Mac systems. The Power Mac line has gross margins of around 30 percent, compared with the iMacs aimed at consumers, which have margins of just 20 percent, according to Forbes.
“In terms of the numbers of units that Apple could sell, professional film is a small niche market,” Meloni said in the article. “But it’s a prestigious market, and the trickle-down effect to spur sales in other markets like the corporate, medical and government arenas, where Apple’s professional products are also used, could be big.”
Apple is already seeing a great deal of success in the realm of videography with Final Cut Pro.
“It’s staggering how many people we see switching to Final Cut Pro,” David Tecson, president of the TV and film post-production house EdgeWorx, told Forbes. “It’s being adopted by a lot more professionals in a shorter period of time than Adobe’s Premier was.”
Now that Apple has both a digital editor and Nothing Real’s high-end special-effects applications, it has the makings of a serious digital filmmaking software suit, according to the article. The company won’t say whether it intends to roll up the Nothing Real products into Final Cut Pro or to release them separately for the Mac.