Avid Recommits to Mac: Updates to Adrenaline Composer, Avid Xpress Pro for Tiger

Avid Technology announced Thursday the release of two new Mac versions of Avid Xpress Pro (version 4.8) and Media Composer Adrenaline (version 1.8). Both versions mark a return in focus to the Mac platform from Avid, and include many Tiger-specific features that leverage the tools that Apple has built into Mac OS X 10.4.

Tiger support

The following new features are being described by Avid as "First-on-Tiger Features for Professional Editors:"

  • Multiple resolutions in a single sequence – Avidis Open Timeline allows multiple resolutions to exist on the same timeline in real time, each in its native resolution, without rendering.
  • Auto color correction – One double-click corrects an entire sequence, with each clip individually analyzed and custom corrections provided virtually instantly.
  • Region stabilization with auto zoom – Instead of requiring additional processing to scale stabilized footage, Avid stabilizes and fills the frame in a single pass for faster, higher-quality results.
  • Script-based editing – Avidis script-based editing provides a fast, easy path to a rough cut by matching scene editing with the actual text script. Editors simply open a script created with industry-standard screenwriting software, drag takes from the bin directly to the script page, review each take of a given scene with one click, and, with one more click add the selected take to the Avid timeline.
  • Proven media management – With these releases, Avidis time-tested, enterprise-class media management capabilities are now available to Tiger-based editors.
  • Real-time collaboration at the file level – Avid Unity MediaNetworks, including the Avid Unity LANshare system, allow multiple editors on Mac OS X Tiger to use the same sequences, bins, and files in real time, for unprecedented real-time collaboration.
  • Avid Marquee – Previously included with Media Composer Adrenaline systems, Marquee is now included with Avid Xpress Pro systems and offers the first integrated 3D and advanced 2D title animation for professional editors on Tiger, without having to resort to external applications.

Avidis tapping into Tiger includes harnessing Core Image units for filters and effects. The two updates include some 80 real-time effects that are built on Core Image unit Quartz Compositions. Perhaps more importantly, any Quartz Composition can be dropped into Avidis software to make a new effect or filter on the spot.

This was demonstrated to The Mac Observer by Avid staff by taking a CNN screensaver that delivers CNN headlines within a 3D globe, and turning it into an Avid Xpress effect with a few mouse clicks. For more examples of the many Quartz Compositions already created, visit QuartzComp.com.

Some effects being rendered in real-time with Quartz Compositions
(Click the thumbnail for a much larger image)

Committing to the Mac

While the new versions have many Tiger-first features as listed above, company representatives told TMO that full compatibility with the Windows version of the software is planned for the next major upgrade. Avid pushed the Windows versions of its products over the Mac platform starting in 1999 after almost two decades of being a Mac-only company.

The current management team, many of whom came from Mac-dominated DigiDesign, is committed to the Mac platform, according to Tim Wilson, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Avid.

As for the executives at Avid who embraced Windows at the expense of the Mac, Mr. Wilson told TMO, "That guy is gone; his boss is gone; everybody that worked for him is gone."

Today, according to the company, Avid intends to fully support both platforms, and to pay attention to its Mac customers.

Pricing and availability

The Media Composer Adrenaline system 1.8 is available immediately at US$24,995. Current Media Composer Adrenaline 1.6 users can receive an upgrade for US$995. Participants in the Avid Assurance plan receive the update at no additional charge.

The Avid Xpress Pro 4.8 system is available immediately at US$1,695. For current Avid Xpress Pro 4.x users, version 4.8 will be available as a free download.