Apple updates Final Cut Pro X with multicam editing, broadcast monitoring, Photoshop support and more (Motion and Compressor, too)

Update: Apple has published a white paper entitled “Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors” to detail the differences between the two apps and smooth the transition for professional users.

Apple updated its Final Cut Pro X video editing software this morning with some much-needed improvements. It is a significant update, because Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.3 now appeases to pro editors with two new features, including multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos,  and broadcast monitoring. The software also advances XML 1.1 support for better plug-in compatibility, and it supports media re-linking while boasting enhanced chroma keying with edge quality, light wrap and color sampling. Users can also finally import layered Adobe Photoshop files.

Multicam editing is done in a typical Apple fashion, and besides taking advantage of the time code to sync camera angles, Final Cut Pro X can also sync scenes using audio waveforms to provide great accuracy. Users also no longer have to export to a motion graphics application to view results with real-time playback, and the broadcast monitoring feature lets an editor connect to waveform displays, vector scopes, and calibrated, high-quality monitors to ensure the projects meets broadcast specifications. Broadcast monitoring requires a Mac Pro with a PCIe card or a Thunderbolt device. In the case of the latter, customers will be able to monitor their project live while on a shoot.

Interestingly— broadcast monitoring is releasing as a beta feature, which is unusual for Apple. Then again, the iPhone 4S digital secretary Siri is also in beta, so perhaps these features mark a change in Apple toward getting new products out of the gate as soon as possible and smoothing out the rough edges over time.

The Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 update is free for anyone that owns Final Cut Pro X, a $299 download from the Mac App Store. By the way, if you are stuck with a current Final Cut Pro 7 project, there is now a new app called “7toX by Assisted Editing” that is a $99 value and lets you easily convert old files to Final Cut Pro X projects.

Other updates include Compressor 4.0.2 that lets you customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features and Motion 5.0.2 which allows users to customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions and effects, with 2D/3D animations using real-time feedback.

Read more

Louis CK uses Final Cut Pro to make successful self-promoted video


(adult topics/language: NSFW)

There is a lot of buzz on the net right now on Louis CK’s self-promoted video which he launched this week for $5, DRM free.  We love the idea and loved the 1.1GB video.  One interesting note, via Reddit interview: Louis CK does his own editing on Final Cut Pro:

You’ve been listed as a video editor on most of your projects. What program do you use to edit and why have you decided to take on this role?link

I love editing. I have used Avid in the past but I exclusively use Final Cut Pro now, though I am concerned about the future… You always have to put three dots after the future… editing is part of the process. It’s how you form everything. In some ways not editing yourself would be like a sculptor dropping some clay off at a guys house and saying “Make a naked lady chasing a bull. and do it nice.”

The experiment seems to be a success

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video.

Get the video here (highly recommended). Read more

New iMacs and MacBook Pros out-blur Mac Pros in Final Cut Pro X benchmarks


Hardware specialists over at Bare Feats ran a series of interesting Final Cut Pro X benchmarks pitting the latest Sandy Bridge-equipped iMac and MacBook Pro against the last year’s Mac Pro. The iMac system rocked a 3.4GHz quad-core Core i7 processor with 16GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. The MacBook Pro was a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 system with 8G of DDR3 1333MHz RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics with 1G of GDDR5 video memory. The 2010 Mac Pro desktop had a 3.33GHz six-core Westmere processor with 24GB of ECC DDR3 1333MHz RAM and AMD Radeon HD 5870 graphics with 1G of GDDR5 video memory.

Summing up, in two out of four benchmarks involving blur sharpen and blur directional effects the iMac came in first and the MacBook Pro outperformed or matched the Mac Pro. It is in the remaining two GPU-intensive tests – exporting a Final Cut Pro X project in H.264 (transcoding) and encoding a  Blu-Ray stream in Compressor 4 – that the Mac Pro shined. Although the benchmarks are far from conclusive, they give away the false impression of Apple favoring the newer Sandy Bridge architecture.

Read more

Apple issuing refunds for Final Cut Pro X

TheNextWeb reports that Apple has begun returning the $299 purchase price of Final Cut Pro X to customers who are unsatisfied with the product’s features and capabilities.  Cupertino has begun issuing refunds to those who have filed an official request using Apple’s Mac App Store Customer Service form.

Some customers have received sympathetic email responses from Apple support staff, including:

“Moving forward, I understand that you are not satisfied with the app “Final Cut Pro”. I can certainly appreciate you would like a refund, and I would be more than happy to help you out with this today. In five to seven business days, a credit of £179.99 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.

Please note that this is a one time exception because the iTunes Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final.”

This is an interesting gray area because Mac Apps purchased through the Mac App Store aren’t usually up for return so long after they are purchased (unless you re in Taiwan).  Whereas boxed software, especially Pro level stuff, usually has a longer guarantee even if there are restocking fees. Read more

Import of previous Final Cut Pro XML coming soon to Final Cut Pro X

.

There has been a big stink (several actually) about Final Cut Pro X’s lack of ‘Pro’ features.  One such glaring omission has been the lack of Final Cut Pro 7 XML imports.  MacMagazine.br did some digging and found that the code for doing Final Cut Pro 7 imports is actually inside Final Cut Pro X and for some reason hadn’t been enabled for shipping.

 

As per usual, Apple will likely enable that functionality (and many others that are missing) in updates to Final Cut Pro X.  If you are daring, MacMagazine offers a workaround that might be able to import now (they haven’t yet tested).

Read more

Steve Jobs upgrades BluRay from ‘Bag of hurt’ to ‘Mafia’ and other rumors

Hardmac reports today some of Steve Jobs’ latest thoughts on BluRay.

He admitted that retrospectively he feels ashamed that Apple’s name is associated to Blu-ray, as he thinks that BD supporting associations look today more like Mafia than anything else.

Jobs famously called BluRay a ‘Bag of Hurt’ during a Q&A after a MacBook Event in 2008.

Concerning authoring on Blu-ray, it seems impossible to provide software supporting such format for consumer market. In addition to DRM, here it is the cost of licenses that slow down the entire process; one would have to start paying 3,000 USD to AACS, then 80,000 USD to Sony, 40,000 USD to Sonic, etc.

Hardmac also reports that the next version of Final Cut Pro will come in March or April 2011, which is what we’ve seen in Jobs emails.

Finally, they say that not everyone is happy with the Xserve axing but they don’t know what comes next.  We’ve heard some things. Read more