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Sunday News - TMO Reports: Apple Unveils Motion Graphic Package; Updates DV Apps

by , 6:00 PM EDT, April 16th, 2004

Apple Computer used the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas on Sunday as the backdrop to unveil the latest versions of its digital video editing, DVD creation and special effects software. The company also rolled out a new, US$299 motion graphic effects package that will be available this summer.

Motion is a full-motion graphics software tool for interactive animation of text, graphics and video. It's main features include interactive animation of text, graphics and video and instant previewing of multiple filters and particle effects.

Motion uses procedural animation to create the natural simulations Apple calls "Behaviors." Users can define the interaction between objects, such as gravity and wind. Motion also sports a keyframe editor to plot precise parameter values at specific frames.

Minimum system requirements for Motion are a G4/867MHz CPU or faster, 512MB RAM, Mac OS X v10.3.3 or later and QuickTime 6.5 or later.

Apple also announced Final Cut Pro HD, a new version of its video editing software that adds support for the DVCPRO HD format, Panasonic's 's native video compression format, in addition to real-time support for DV and SD.

Panasonic's AJ-HD1200A VTR can be used with any FireWire-capable Mac running Final Cut Pro HD to transfer 24 or 60 frames per second, progressive scan video using a Panasonic AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera or 1080i-ready video recorder using DVCPRO HD video tape records.

Final Cut Pro HD is available as a free upgrade to registered Final Cut Pro 4 users and is available immediately for $999.

Apple also announced three additional products:

  • DYD STUDIO PRO 3

    DVD Studio Pro 3 is the latest version of its DVD-creation application to create professional-quality DVDs. New features include Alpha Transitions, a new Graphical View, DTS 5.1 audio support and the inclusion of Compressor 1.2, Apple's digital media encoding and compression tool.

    DVD Studio Pro 3 will be available in May for $499. Registered owners of version 1 and 2 can upgrade for US$199.

  • SHAKE 3.5

    Shake 3.5 is a new version of Apple's compositing and special effects tool for cinema and video. The new version features new shape-based morphing and warping tools, improvements to the Rendezvous enabled Shake Qmaster network render manager that can now handle distributed rendering tasks for both Shake and Alias' Maya and support for 16-bit RGB and 10-bit YUV QuickTime formats.

    Apple says that Shake 3.5 is available immediately through Apple Authorized Pro Film Resellers. As of this writing the Apple Store is still offering Shake version 3.0. The full version is priced at $2,999 for Mac OS X, and $4,999 for Irix and Linux (plus an annual maintenance fee of $1,499). Registered owners of version 3.0 can upgrade for$799.

  • XSAN

    The company also rolled out Xsan, a high-performance storage area network (SAN) file system that lets artists work in Final Cut Pro or its special effects software Shake or other Apple digital editing products with other artists on the same project. A test version of Xsan is now available to qualified customers, and general release is for fall 2004. It will cost $999 for each computer on which it is installed.

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