Photo: via Photography Bay
Apple just previewed the next version of its professional movie-editing software, Final Cut Pro.The update, dubbed Final Cut Pro X, features countless performance improvements, an iMovie-like interface, and long-awaited 64-bit architecture to take advantage of more powerful Macs.
Final Cut Pro X does not come bundled with other applications like Motion, Soundtrack Pro, and Compressor as it once did under the umbrella of the $999.99 Final Cut Pro Studio.
Instead, Apple decided to offer each application separately through the Mac App Store. Apple will be offering Final Cut Pro X for $299.99 in June of this year, exclusively on the Mac App Store.
What we’ve seen so far is just a “sneak peek,” according to what an Apple rep told Loop Insight’s Jim Dalrymple. We’re looking forward to seeing updates and changes to the other pieces of the Final Cut Pro Studio puzzle.
We’ll walk you through the best of the new features that will make this big update worth the cash.
Apple's Final Cut Pro Studio has traditionally been out of reach for most consumers at $999.99, while Final Cut Pro Express wasn't as powerful and was offered at $199.99.
This new price point looks to bridge the gap between iMovie ($14.99 in the Mac App Store), Final Cut Pro Express, and Final Cut Pro Studio.
This June, you'll be able to buy Final Cut Pro X independently from the other pieces of Final Cut Pro Studio that make it so expensive: Motion, Soundtrack Pro, colour, Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro.
Don't let this price drop scare you, Final Cut Pro power users. Offering Final Cut Pro X independently is merely a move to get more consumers to buy it who aren't necessarily interested in the rest of the Studio.
Final Cut Pro X's new interface stylistically aligns itself with iMovie by taking the entire experience to a darker yet more colourful place.
The redesign makes Final Cut Pro 7 look like a 90s relic. There's a heavy emphasis on clip-view and synchronicity when dragging, dropping, and precision editing.
One major change to the interface is that Apple has done its best to condense the multiple track view that can get so clogged up (see picture).
Like iMovie, Final Cut Pro X will constantly render clips in the background so you can continue working while all the nitty gritty is going on behind the scenes.
Pressing Apple+R (to render clips) has been a constant frustration for Final Cut Pro users, so it's nice to see Apple doing away with it entirely.
We're interested to see how this feature ties in with OS X Lion's (summer release) commitment to never make you save anything again. Lion automatically saves files as you're working on them, just like in iOS.
With 'Auditioning,' you can add effects, extra b-roll takes, and more to your timeline in a non-destructive way, right on top of your current footage.
You can click to turn them on and off instantly if you decide not to use them. This feature lets you view shots or effects side by side, without having to go in and edit each shot into the timeline again.
Think of it like layers in Photoshop. You can click the 'eye' button to make a layer visible or invisible to see if you like it.
Final Cut Pro X will be able to take advantage of up to 32GB of RAM (and even more, once Macs can accept more) and 8 cores, enabling you to have more clips open and render sequences much more quickly.
This feature should have been around for a year or so already, but we're glad it's finally here.
With this new feature, Final Cut Pro X will know whether each shot is a close up or medium shot, and it will also know who is acting in the shot.
Like the face-recognition in iPhoto (pictured) that groups photos together by person, Final Cut Pro X will create groups of clips based on content as well as chronology.
One of our favourite new features in Final Cut Pro X is the ability to non-destructively add keywords to specific parts of clips, not just clips themselves.
They call it 'Range-Based Keywording,' because you're not selecting clips, you're selecting a time code range within a clip to add a keyword to.
Once you add a keyword to a section of a clip, the keyword will show up in your Events Library. Another feature Apple added, like face and shot recognition, to help you quickly find the clip you're looking for.
Importing tons of footage can take an eternity, and Final Cut Pro X lets you get started soon after you begin the import to your computer.
This feature will save time and make importing footage seamless.
Some of the other new features Apple previewed for Final Cut Pro X include:
- Inline precision editing to cut up clips easily (pictured)
- Auto colour-correction and colour-matching between clips
- Audio and video for primary clips stays locked. Audio waveforms autosync when aligning audio clips.
- 'Compound clips' combine clips temporarily
- Auto image-stabilisation when you import footage
- Drag your mouse over a clip to scrub/skim the clip, just like in iMovie. Pitch correction helps audio scrubbing sound clearer.
- Use any kind of footage you'd like in combination with other footage. No more transcoding required.
In past versions of Final Cut Pro, audio and video would get displaced or trimmed whenever you'd drop in another audio or video file.
Now, clips will move out of the way into another track when you drag in more footage. A much appreciated new feature.
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