Apple's Motion Goes Head-to-Head With Adobe After Effects

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Apple announced Tuesday that its real-time motion-graphics design product Motion is now available to purchase. In addition, the company also introduced what it calls its "Production Suite," an integrated software collection that contains Motion, Final Cut Pro HD, and DVD Studio Pro 3. According to Apple spokespersons on hand at Siggraph, the announcements have caught the attention of Adobe After Effects users.

Apple is selling the entire Production Suite for US$1,299 for new users, while owners of previous versions of Final Cut Pro can purchase it for $699. Motion is available as a standalone product for $299.

"Motion will do for motion picture graphics what Final Cut Pro did for non-linear editing -- bring the ability to create pro-quality results to the broader market," Rob Schoeben, Apple vice president of applications marketing said the day of the launch. Schoeben went on to say that the Production Suite as a whole will usher in a new era of film and video production workflows that will work seamlessly for the user.

Making Good on NAB

First announced at NAB in May, Motion enables users to build simulations of such actions as gravity, wind, and waves. The application also offers a selection of filters and particle presets, including the ability to preview and add sparkles, fire, and smoke.

In addition, Motion also makes use of "dashboards," floating palettes similar to what Apple previewed for its upcoming version of OS X "Tiger," that allow the user to make incremental adjustments to various aspects of an animation. In order to take full advantage of real-time rendering Apple urges users to implement Motion on one of its Power Mac G5s with the full amount of RAM.

Motion also makes use of so-called "gestures," in which editors in possession of a Wacom tablet can apply different zigzag motions to perform a variety of functions.

Too Soon To Tell

While representatives at Apple were cagey about its competition, Dion Scoppetuolo, Apple product manager for motion, told The Mac Observer at Appleis mammoth product booth that editors using Adobe After Effects (AE) have shown a lot of interest in the new product.

"Itis only been an hour" since Apple announced its release for the Siggraph crowd, Mr. Scoppetuolo said at the time. "Itis too soon to tell peopleis responses."

At the same time, Mr. Scoppetuolo said that since the opening of this morningis exhibition, people who have gotten a first-hand glimpse at the new application have responded with choruses of "Wow," and "I canit believe it could be that easy."

Mr. Scoppetuolo added that people also seemed surprised at the productis depth of features and that its overall functionality is more impressive than they had anticipated.

Mr. Scoppetuolo went on to note that the version of Motion now in release is pretty much the same product first demonstrated at NAB.