NAB: Apple debuts Final Cut Studio 2 - Macenstein

NAB: Apple debuts Final Cut Studio 2

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Apple today showcased generation 2 of its popular Final Cut Studio package, and it looks to be one of their most important updates to date. All aspects have been upgraded, including Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Compressor and Motion 3. In addition, a brand new application, called Color, is now included in the Final Cut Studio package. Available in May, FCS2 will cost $1299, but only $499 to FCS 1 users. Also, upgrading from ANY previous version of Final Cut, even Version 1, s only $699.

Here’s what’s new:

Color: This app is new for Final Cut Studio 2, and takes Apple’s previous color correcting abilities and improves upon them by allowing you access to real-time color grading tools. Now you can add “signature color looks” to your Final Cut projects (think the greenish tint of the Matrix movies). Many presets are included, as well as masking tools to isolate particular areas for adjustment.

Final Cut Pro 6: the big news here seems to be the new QuickTime codec “ProRes 422”. This codec promises HD quality video with Standard Definition file sizes. All indications are the results live up to the hype, and HD quality editing is now possible in the field on a portable such as a MacBook Pro.

Perhaps the second biggest news affecting Final Cut Pro is the new “Open Format Timeline”, which allows for video of different sizes and frame rates to be used in the same timeline.

Apple has also added increased Motion integration, and added a new feature called SmoothCam which serves as an after-the-fact image stabilizer for your unintentionally shaky footage.

Motion 3: Motion 3 seems like it has perhaps gotten the most attention this round, as it boast a whole new 3D camera system, 3D particle, lights, motion tracking, and the addition of retiming behaviors, including Audio behaviors, similar to Trapcode’s Sound Keys plug-in in After Effects (VERY similar, in fact).

Compressor 3: Compressor, being basically just an export utility, has pretty much only gained a few more devices to export to, but they are fairly important, and the package now feels more complete. Included now is the ability to export to the Apple TV (naturally), MPEG-2 broadcast streams, most cell phones, and even Windows Media. Additionally, Compressor can now use as many processor cores as you want to throw at it, so owners of the 8-core Mac Pros will not be compressing in near real-time.

Soundtrack Pro 2: Soundtrack Pro has made making the leap to surround sound mixing easier by allowing you to have both stereo and 5.1 sound in one project. Apple has also introduced an automatic conform process. This means if you make changes to your sequence in Final Cut Pro, the new Conform feature in Soundtrack Pro will automatically update your audio project to match the video edit.

DVD Studio Pro 4: DVDSP4 feels the most left out, as it is hard to tell what exactly the new features are. Support for HD DVDs has been expanded, and there are the requisite “more templates” added, but aside from that, Apple doesn’t seem to be touting much new on the DVD studio front this round.

In addition to all the upgrades in Final Cut Studio 2, Apple has also finally created a stand-alone media asset manager for Final cut called Final Cut Server. Final Cut Server will run on both Mac and PC, and allows you to track media assets across multiple machines using advanced search and cataloging features. Final Cut Server will be available this summer for $99 for a 10 user license, $1999 for unlimited seats.

One Response to “NAB: Apple debuts Final Cut Studio 2”
  1. Chad Newman says:

    Actualy, the 10 user license will cost you $999. I went to the Apple event at NAB and I can’t wait to get my hands on Motion 3. Being a small video production company in the Florida Keys, a lot of the new 3d behaviors will really help increase our productivity. Say goodby to key frames!!!

    Already have the upgrade on order.

    – Chad Newman

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