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Apple announces Final Cut Studio 2.0

Apple announces major upgrades to Final Cut Studio.

What's new in Final Cut Studio 2? At first glance, you may not notice a difference in the core Final Cut Pro 6.0 software. The upgrades are all under the hood in terms of how Final Cut Pro integrates with the associated Final Cut Studio applications.

It obvious, with Final Cut Studio 2.0 that Apple is focusing it's effort on high-end production facilities to gain market share away from Avid Technology. So if you are in the high-end production business, there are some huge announcements in this next release of Final Cut Studio. However, if you fall into the pro-sumer category of the business the upgrades to the software are more subtle.

So first off, whatever happened to those rumors about Final Cut Pro extreme? To answer your question, Apple has partnered with AJA to provide a product called IoHD. This product should satisfy those who are looking to compare something to Avid's Media Composer Adrenaline box.

Open Format Timeline: Final Cut 6 now has the ability to mix and match source material from a wide range of formats. What's most impressive is you can even match different frame frames. As an example, you could mix PAL, NSTC, and HD media all in the same sequence without having to render.

Apple PosRes 422 Codec: Apple has released a new codec that is virtually indistinguishable vs 10 bit uncompressed HD. They were showing 20th generation footage with a split screen vs 10 bit uncompressed media. It was impossible to notice any degradation.

Surround Sound Mix: With Soundtrack Pro you can now mix in full 5.1 surround sound in real-time.

New Application (Color): This looks like a programmed module straight from Apple's Shake program. Color is an extremely high-end color corrector.

For the rest of us, the most impressive upgrade to Final Cut Studio 2.0 is Motion 3.0. The newest release of Motion 3.0 comes with several key upgrades. My favorite upgrades these include:

Real-time 3D perspective: Not only can you animate objects in true 3D space, the particle generators can now be promoted to 3D! This provides for amazing 3D particles in full 3D space.

Motion Tracking: Motion now includes a 4 point motion tracker.

Vector Based Paint: There is now support for full vector based paint. Any object can become a paint source.

Audio Behaviors: You can now assign audio behaviors to individual filters or particles.

Improved Slow Motion which also includes modules for image-stabilization and something called 'smooth cam'. I watched in awe, as they provided examples of slowing down media to 2.5% speed without any jerkiness in the video. Yes, that's two and a half percent of original speed!

Improved Integration of Motion: Motion templates will now dynamically update within a Final Cut Pro timeline. They also will play in real-time without having to render within an FCP sequence.

It is hard to believe you can have so much power with one software package. I will warn you, the learning curve to using all these programs efficiently is becoming quite high. GeniusDV be offers training courses to help get you up to speed in learning these new products.

This is much more included with Final Cut Studio 2.0. You can read about all the additional details on Apple's website.

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Final Cut Server was the previous entry in this blog.

Using Photoshop with Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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