At DV Expo today, Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, unveiled new versions of Apple’s key digital video applications,
Final Cut Pro 3
and DVD Studio Pro, updated for OS X.
Final Cut Pro 3 not only works for OS 9 and OS X and “comes in a really cool black box,” Schiller said, but also includes a host of new features.
Formost is real-time effects done completely in software on any FireWire-enabled G4 Mac — previously part of FCP’s architecture but useable only with additional third-party hardware such as the $999 Matrox RTMac. This saves a lot of time usually needed to view transitions (only some transitions are real-time-enabled) and titles (FCP also includes the Boris Caligraphy generator for titling).
Another new feature (which also benefits from real-time software acceleration) is color correction, which allows users to fix color problems and apply the corrected settings to several clips. FCP Product Manager Tom McDonald showed off the new 3-up mode that includes the color corrector, clips and scopes and the shortcut keys to look at forward shots and copy settings.
The other key function in FCP 3 is the addition of a new QuickTime codec called OfflineRT. With it, users can transcode DV, SD or HD footage (in real-time) in the Photo JPEG format for timecode-accurate, low-resolution offline work. While you can normally store five minutes of video per gigabyte in DV format, Photo JPEG allows for 40 minutes of video in the same space. This makes is possible to edit clips offline — with a PowerBook G4 on an airplane, for example — with a fraction of the hard disk space needed for DV.
FCP 3 is multiprocessor-aware and runs on both OS 9 and OS X. Pricing remains $999 or $299 for an upgrade and the product will ship sometime in December.
Apple’s other news was a technology preview of DVD Studio Pro for OS X. Apple’s Mike Evangelist showed off some new features of DVD SP, such as one that turns markers in Final Cut Pro into chapters in your DVD Studio Pro project and improved real-time project previews. The OS X version should ship in the first quarter of 2002.
He also demonstrated the customizability of iDVD 2, released at the end of October.
When most of the audience indicated that they were FCP users, Schiller commented, “this is like a Final Cut Pro user’s group.” He introduced Jean-Pierre Isbouts, the producer and editor of “Walt: The Man Behind the Myth” a documentary of Walt Disney. Isbouts, using FCP and a G4 for 5 months, told how he was able to edit in final broadcast quality, creating many different versions for different countries — even print directly to 35mm film for theatrical release.
Also on hand was David Trescot, director of digital video for Adobe Systems. Trescot showed off some of the features of
Adobe After Effects 5.5, announced on Monday, including importing of Maya camera data, advanced lighting, OMF import from FCP (courtesy of the company Automatic Duck), and more. After Effects 5.5, which runs in OS 9 and OS X, will ship in January.