After some time and impatient waiting on behalf of many Mac-based video editing professionals, the newest version of Final Cut Studio was realsead out in the wild last week. The studio packages up six great applications (Final Cut Pro 7, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 4 and Compressor 3.5) that should allow you to do an endless variety of video editing including both sights and sounds.Now before you start jumping for joy Mac-users, know this, you have to have an Intel-based Mac to use the application suite AND you have to cough up a hefty $999 (though it is $300 less than it used to be). However, if you're currently using the previous version of Final Cut Studio you can purchase an upgrade for $299. I wonder where I can get a cheap, used copy of that?
Each of the five applications has its own specific use and specialty, so if you're not familiar with the package we thought we'd give you the quick run down on it.
Need to fix the color across an entire sequence? easily done thanks to the newest version of the color-correcting app. Added support includes Tangent Devices Wave and Euphonix MC Color control surfaces, 4K files, and the ability to copy color grades and 90 new preset color grades.
The encoder even got the once over and has a new Job Action task automation interface as well as the ability to trigger Automator workflows and batch templates for those that do a lot of encoding and uploading. Essentially you can now have the application run the entire gamut from opening and encoding to uploading to your video sharing CMS or site. It now also supports Blu-Ray and DVD burning as well.
DVD Studio Pro 4
Author your entire DVD straight from Apple-created transitions and templates. This app makes it easy for everyone to assemble tracks, create menus and build the whole DVD from the ground up all the way to burning.
Final Cut Pro 7
The major changes here are the inclusion of three new ProRes codecs for quicker editing and higher quality. The application also sports an Share window (think iMovie) so that you can quickly encode and export for specific purposes. Also new in this version is Blu-Ray capabilities, both encoding and burning, iChat Theater so you can collaborate more closely with your clients and colleagues, AVC-Intra format native support and better Speed Change capabilities. Speaking of new windows FCP 7 also has new timecoding, improved markers, CC support (closed captioning) and for you power touchpad users, Multi-touch gesture support.
Need to combine 2D and 3D graphics (compsiting for you tech-heads)? Well Motion has got that covered along with 3D shadows, reflections, adjustable color, opacity and depth of field. It incorporates a Focus camera so you can point to specific objects in the 3D space. The update also has better titles and text tools allowing for finer control over the characters and better scrolling for credits. It now also includes a filter (BadFilm) to give your video that old time look and feell, ProRes 4444 support and again, Multi-Touch gesture support along with support for the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator.
Soundtrack Pro 3
Check...check...check. Make sure your sound is as good as your video quality thanks to the upgrades in SP3 which include voice level dialogue volume matching, a better audio file editor that allows you to drag-and-drop channels on the fly. It supp0rts third-party add-ons for things like audio stretching, compression as well as having three algorithms of its own. SP3 can also do multitrack editing and has overall better performance than previous versions. It's also got iXML support, Euphonix integration and advanced noise reduction
If you're doing a lot of mass encoding and uploading this might be worth a look provided that you're using an Intel-based Mac for all your video work. Apple also put out final Cut Server 1.5 as well