Apple unveiled the latest version of its video production suite, Final Cut Studio 2, on Sunday during a special media event ahead of the NAB conference. The video editing application package includes Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Compressor 3, DVD Studio Pro 4.2, and the color grading and finishing application Color.
Final Cut Studio 2
New to Final Cut Pro 6 is the ability to mix and match most video formats and frame rates in a single timeline without transcoding. It also includes ProRes 422, a full raster, 10-bit 4:2:2 post production format that creates HD quality files at SD file sizes, SmoothCam which removes unwanted camera movement, and the ability to edit Motion templates.
The motion graphics application Motion 3 adds support for 3D environments, improves camera behaviors and adds drag-and-drop support, offers vector-based painting tools with brushes that support color, particles, video or pictures, adds a match moving tool that maps images and effects to the path of other objects, adds additional retiming behaviors, and adds the ability to create animations that respond to soundtrack volume and frequency.
Soundtrack Pro 2, Appleis audio editing application, offers an improved interface with a "heads up" spotting display for precisely aligning effects and dialog with images. It also includes the ability to combine parts from multiple takes into a seamless performance, supports creating 5.1 and stereo mixes in the same project, and offers a new Conform tool for synchronizing and tracking changes between picture and sound editorial.
Compressor 3 is Appleis professional encoding tool. The new version features a streamlined interface and simplified workflows, batch processing and job chaining capabilities that support creating output for multiple formats simultaneously, and the ability to add animated watermarks directly from Motion projects. It also adds drag-and-drop presets for broadcast television, Web, iPod, Apple TV, DVD and mobile phones.
Color is the newest addition to the Final Cut Studio 2 suite. The color grading and finishing application includes professional color correction tools, supports selectively isolating image areas with soft edge mattes and custom shaped vignettes that can be tracked, offers professional scopes for monitoring chrominance and luminance, and supports round trip workflows with Final Cut Pro 6 for grading, finishing and final rendering with 32-bit float 4:4:4 image processing.
Final Cut Studio 2 will be available in May, and will cost US$1,299. Upgrades from Final Cut Studio will be priced at $499, or $699 from Final Cut Pro.