Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D now ready to use
Blackmagic became one of the first with shipping video-oriented Thunderbolt hardware as it released the UltraStudio 3D. The device first shown in April uses the high-speed interface to support as much as dual-stream 3D video, 2K 2D video, and 1080p, 60FPS 2D over SDI. The choice of Thunderbolt lets even an 11-inch MacBook Air potentially process video it might not otherwise.
Final Cut Pro 2011 should have iPad, Thunderbolt
Bunim/Murray Productions' post-production lead Mark Raudonis gave some clues in a new revision of Final Cut Studio. Having been to a recent preview presentation at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, he hinted that at least the Final Cut Pro part of the suite embodied the Wayne Gretzky philosophy of skating to where the puck will be and has forward-thinking hardware features. It would be designed with Thunderbolt ports in mind and even had a degree of iPad support, Raudonis said in a clip shared by Filmmaker.
Apple boots FCPUG sponsors
Apple has dropped strong hints that a Final Cut Studio overhaul would show at the NAB expo next week through curious moves with sponsors. The Final Cut Pro User Group Supermeet has said that at least Avid and Canon, along with one of the Supermeet organizers and possibly Black Magic, have all made abrupt sponsorship and presentation exits from the gathering, which runs side-by-side with NAB. Avid explicitly blamed Apple as it "doesn't want anyone to have stage time" except for itself.
RED EPIC cam arrives in custom builds
RED this weekend confirmed that the first custom-made EPIC-M cameras were shipping to the earliest members of the program. Camera number 6, the first not headed to RED chief Jim Jannard, was shipped on Friday to OffHollywood studio co-founder Mark Pederson. The 5K resolution camera is already being tested in a live shoot at Niagara Falls and initial impressions of how it works compared to earlier RED cameras, including a RED ONE MX sporting its upgraded sensor.
MacBook Pro all-SSD rumor discredited
Electronista, like many others this week, received a rumor from a podcast (which we won't link to) that claimed to know the MacBook Pro will get a major redesign that would drop optical storage and move to an all-SSD lineup like the new MacBook Air with Intel's Light Peak for interconnects. It claimed that the system would ship in April with a new Final Cut Pro update. Unfortunately, this rumor simply isn't true.
RED One MX made available to everyone
RED this weekend finally began wider distribution of its first next-generation camera. After the earlier upgrade program, the Red One MX is now available to everyone. The camera still shoots at the same 4K resolution as the original but uses a modern Mysterium-X sensor with much better low-light performance and other image quality improvements.
Apple said to be eyeing a wider group of customers
Apple is allegedly refocusing its Final Cut Studio applications to appeal to a wider range of potential customers, including prosumers and advanced home users, a source has told AppleInsider. The shift is said to parallel Apple's changing customer base, which has continued to expand with consumers who fall somewhere in between casual users and professionals.
Canon XF305 and XF300 write 50Mbps to CF
Canon's turn at NAB launches was headlined today by two pro-grade camcorders. The XF300 and XF305 both use Canon's XF Codec to capture 50Mbps, 4:2:2 1080p video and store it directly on dual CompactFlash cards. The output gives it twice as much color resolution compared to regular HDV and should also be a widespread standard with Apple's Final Cut Studio, Adobe Premiere, Avid and other editing suites.
3D Blu-ray spec is 2D compatible, efficient
The Blu-ray Disc Association today published details of the final specification for 3D-enhanced Blu-ray video. Simply titled Blu-ray 3D, the format will send a stereoscopic 1080p image but, despite the extra data, will only use about 50 percent more data than a traditional, 2D-only image. The relatively efficient storage is helped by an efficient variant of the H.264 video code known as Multiview Video Coding (MVC) that is also backwards-compatible with 2D devices.
Maintenance release for video editing suite
Apple has released a Pro Applications Update for Final Cut Studio, along with a new Server Diagnostics utility. The Final Cut Studio download is primarily a maintenance update, with improvements to overall stability and compatibility. The revision includes Final Cut Pro 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Soundtrack Pro 3.0.1, Color 1.5.1 and Compressor 3.5.1.
Blu-ray not likely for new iMacs
Despite implications of Blu-ray Macs soon, the rumored iMac overhaul isn't slated to get the better disc format, tech writer John Gruber claimed on Sunday. Known for sources that have accurately predicted iPhone details, he said that Blu-ray was once considered likely but that the "new word" is that it has been dropped. Why this might be hasn't been addressed.
Matrox MXO2 LE
Matrox this evening launched a new portable breakout box aimed specifically at Mac users editing at a pro level with Final Cut Studio. The MXO2 LE takes SDI, component, RCA and 10-bit HDMI video input from cameras or other sources and puts them in formats immediately usable by Color, Final Cut Pro and other apps in the suite, such as Apple's in-house ProRes 4:2:2 HQ format. It can also work with non-Apple software like After Effects and uses an XLR power input, making it friendly to a MacBook Pro at a video shoot where XLR may be more common than AC outlets.
Ki Pro records real-time video on Macs
AJA Video Systems has introduced a portable video-recording system for filmmakers and video professionals, Ki Pro. The device connects to almost any digital camera through SDI, HDMI or analog inputs, and records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files that can be edited within Apple’s Final Cut Studio software. The device integrates both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connection capabilities, enabling users to control the device via a browser or their iPhone.
Toshiba BDA Application
Toshiba started the week by revealing that it hopes to join the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). The company explained the move as a reaction to "recent growth" in the amount of hardware supporting Blu-ray along with high-enough demand from the public itself. If accepted, the Japanese firm plans to make both Blu-ray movie players, drives for computers and notebooks themselves using the large-capacity format.
AJA Ki Pro recorder
Professional video interface and conversion hardware maker AJA Video Systems on Monday at NAB show introduced the Ki Pro portable tapeless video device that records files to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera. The device has a large variety of analog and digital connections, allowing content from nearly any video and audio source to be recorded in the format. These recordings can then be edited without transcoding in Final Cut Studio 2. Media in 4:2:2 HD or SD format is recorded to a removable storage module via a FireWire 800 or 34mm ExpressCard Flash interface.
New Final Cut in April?
Apple is indeed on the verge of releasing a new version of Final Cut Studio, new sources are said to corroborate. Although some sources have suggested than an updated Final Cut Studio suite could be announced on March 24th, people "familiar with the company's plans" are said to indicate that Apple is timing a release around the National Association of Broadcasters expo, scheduled for late April. Apple and some other major companies are not attending NAB, but the event is known for bringing major video-related product unveilings.
Final Cut on Mar. 24th?
Apple continues to have special plans for March 24th, a German website claims. Although rumors had pointed to an update of Mac desktops on that date, Apple surprised analysts and the public by releasing the systems on March 3rd instead. Some form of announcement is believed to remain scheduled for the 24th however, specifically relating to the company's professional video software.
Apple updates FCP 6.05
Apple on Thursday released new updates to professional video and audio suites, including Final Cut Pro 6.05, Compressor 3.0.5, Color 1.0.3 and Shake 4.1.1. Apple says the Pro Applications Update 2008-04, a revision to Final Cut Studio 2.0. addresses general performance issues and improves overall stability. Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 addresses specific issues such as improved rendering of still images and footage in high-resolution formats and adding the ability to capture the additional metadata for footage recorded with the Panasonic AG-HMC150 professional AVCHD camcorder and the extended metadata that is available with P2 cards; the update also improves reliability when importing files from the Panasonic HDC-SD9 camcorder.
Boris Lens Flare Unit
Boris FX has released the Continuum Lens Flare Unit, a new plug-in for Adobe CS3 and CS4, as well as Apple's Final Cut Studio 2. The program simulates the streaks and spots of light that end up on film due to reflections inside of a camera lens. Flares can be added either to a source image, or else a completely synthetic creation. Special filters are provided, meanwhile, which allow users to create a variety of effects.
UFSD allows Ext2/3 drives
Paragon Software's Universal File System Driver (UFSD) has been chosen for use in the QuVIS Wraptor Digital Cinema Package for Apple's Final Cut Studio. The Mastering plug-in for Final Cut will allow users to create a digital cinema content distribution Ext2/3-formated hard drive. UFSD technology was developed by Paragon to provide cross-platform access to volumes of major file systems (ext2/3, HFS+, NTFS, FAT32) under multiple platforms like the Mac, along with Windows and Linux. The UFSD format, embedded into the Wraptor plug-in, allows Mac users to deliver an industry standard hard drive for distribution.
Motype FxPack text effects
Noise Industries, in collaboration with Yanobox, has announced a new visual effects plug-in, Motype FxPack. Users working with After Effects CS3, Final Cut Express, or Final Cut Studio can implement Motype to create text or title animations. A Motion Mixer function allows the motion of the characters to be defined by geometric transformations or other properties, and random characters and symbols can be added as needed.
ClipWrap m2t converter
Divergent Media has announced ClipWrap for the Mac, an m2t batch converter for creating QuickTime HDV files. With most Hi-Def cameras recording in m2t transport streams, and few video applications capable of handling m2t, ClipWrap attempts to bridge the gap, converting the streams to QuickTime movies. The software is a rewrapping tool, moving video and audio streams to a QuickTime container. In theory this avoids generational loss through re-encoding, and saves hours of encode time.
1m FCP licenses sold
Apple on Thursday said that it has no plans discontinue its popular Final Cut software for video editing and post-production, after rumors began circulating at NAB that the company had plans to sell the software. Moving to quash rumors, the company told TVB Europe that the Apple had sold its millionth Final Cut Pro license and that its new Final Cut Server software is the company's latest addition to the product family: "I can categorically state, on the record, that is not the case," said Richard Townhill, Apple's director of marketing for professional video applications. The report also cites research by SCRI noting that Apple took 49 percent of the US professional editing market in 2007, while Avid took just 22 percent.
Psystar offers proof
Amidst a sea of controversy, newly announced Mac clone maker Psystar has released a video on YouTube illustrating that it does indeed have the capacity to run the Mac OS X on its Open Computer. While this does not clear Psystar of the questions surrounding the legality of the process, it proves that the company has the capacity to deliver on its promise. A note at the end of the video claims that the presentation was edited and finalized on Final Cut Studio, running on a Leopard-enabled Open Computer
Final Cut Server Ships
Apple on Tuesday finally began shipping Final Cut Server, its media asset management tool for video production houses. The software announced last year automatically gathers media assets across a network to let editors work from a common pool of resources, including on Storage Area Networks (SANs). While intended for and working closely with Final Cut Studio, Mac and Windows clients let users search for content they can edit without having to depend on Apple's creative software. It can scale from just two users to the largest broadcasters, the company says.