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Final Cut Pro to gain IMX, P2 support

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
In an unorthodox move, Apple has reveald some of the new features planned for forthcoming versions of its professional video editing software.

Speaking at the popular European film and broadcast event, IBC, Apple Computer disclosed some of the new features planned for the next version of Final Cut Pro.

According to Digit, the future version of Apple's non-linear editing (NLE) software will gain support for MPEG-2 IMX, and Panasonic's P2 format. The addition of the extra formats is a result of new found partnerships between Apple and third parties, the publication says.

MPEG-2 IMX is a breed of the MPEG codec used in camcorders such as Sony's MSW900 and PDW530, which produce higher quality footage than conventional MPEG-2. Only high-end systems such Sony's XPRI and Pinnacle's Liquid Blue currently support the format.

Meanwhile, P2 is a camcorder media format designed to be more robust than tape media. The technology is based around 2GB and 4GB PCMCIA media cards that act as hard drives in Panasonic's AJ-SPX800 camera. The cards can also be inserted into a laptop's PCMCIA slot, though the driver support is currently limited to Windows 2000/XP PCs.

In April Apple announced Final Cut Pro HD, an upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4.0 that delivers real-time performance of high-quality native DVCPRO HD in addition to real-time support for DV and SD. The release also added the ability to capture, edit and output broadcast-quality high definition (HD) video over a single FireWire cable, without requiring any additional hardware.
post #2 of 14
Does Final Cut Pro and a PowerMac completely dominate other software and hardware solutions for it intended purpose when comparing features per dollar? What features is FC missing that other, even more expensive, solutions offer?
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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
Does Final Cut Pro and a PowerMac completely dominate other software and hardware solutions for it intended purpose when comparing features per dollar? What features is FC missing that other, even more expensive, solutions offer?

No domination yet. FCP though is a very nice mix of features. There still needs to be more options though to round out the features.

We need.

1. Background Rendering
2. Multicam
3. Better plugin support(beefier FXscript and AU support.
4. Better MPEG2 support(see above story..good news)
5. Better audio support(should be fixed with revamped QT)
6. More flexible media manager.
7. Better handling of scratch disk and preferences.
8. Better integration of Livetype and Soundtrack.
9. Subpixel rendering
10. Surround Sound features and more Import/Export options.
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
No domination yet. FCP though is a very nice mix of features. There still needs to be more options though to round out the features.

We need.

1. Background Rendering
2. Multicam
3. Better plugin support(beefier FXscript and AU support.
4. Better MPEG2 support(see above story..good news)
5. Better audio support(should be fixed with revamped QT)
6. More flexible media manager.
7. Better handling of scratch disk and preferences.
8. Better integration of Livetype and Soundtrack.
9. Subpixel rendering
10. Surround Sound features and more Import/Export options.

I'm not sure for the majority of people the above are acutally needed. I'm not saying some people might not need them, but other don't.

6-9, yes totally needed.

Most NLE's don't have very decent audio support. I would like better integration with a program like Logic. Much the way Avid deals well with Pro-Tools.

Surround can be done in logic. I would like a separate window in Logic just for mixing with integration with mixer panels like a pro-tools HD system. There's no reason Logic couldn't become the Pro=tools of Apple. Maybe they could purchase Deck from Bias and make it usable. I own Deck and it's just a royal pain to use.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
Does Final Cut Pro and a PowerMac completely dominate other software and hardware solutions for it intended purpose when comparing features per dollar?

Yes, absolutely. When compared per dollar, FCP dominates. There is no other solution that comes close to the price/performance/features of Final Cut HD
post #6 of 14
I had to use #10 once and it was a pain using a 3rd party program to edit audio and get it back and forth to FCP. DVDSP too.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Ebby
I had to use #10 once and it was a pain using a 3rd party program to edit audio and get it back and forth to FCP. DVDSP too.

Three points out of that list relate to Quicktime. Once the next version of QT gets rid of it's 2-track Sound Manager limitations, FCP will be able to handle multichannel sound natively.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison

1. Background Rendering
5. Better audio support(should be fixed with revamped QT)
8. Better integration of Livetype and Soundtrack.
10. Surround Sound features

I don't believe Avid offers any of the above features, so while they might be nice to have, FCP's lack of them isn't relevant to the question of whether it offers a better value than Avid. In particular I'd say that FCP's audio editing is superior to any version of Avid. I have *never* seen a picture editing room with surround-sound monitoring. I have never even heard of anyone cutting picture with surround sound. If Avid has tools for surround sound mixing it has escaped my attention for all these years.

Really the direct competition with FCP, such as it is, is Avid Xpress. Next up the line is Avid Adrenaline. Both of these cut-down versions of Avid are buggy, have extremely poor performance under OSX, and at least in the case of Xpress are missing significant features. Given that Xpress Pro costs significantly more than Final Cut Pro (not to mention the $1500 or so to buy a Mojo if you go that route) and is inferior to FCP by any reasonable estimate, I'd say Final Cut Pro is indeed the undisputed champion video editing suite when price is taken into consideration.
post #9 of 14
Does anyone think Apple will eventually challenge Avid even on the high end. It seems Apple has been pricing their software very competitively. Do they really have a long way to go before they compete with Avid's best offerings?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Rmh1572
Does anyone think Apple will eventually challenge Avid even on the high end. It seems Apple has been pricing their software very competitively. Do they really have a long way to go before they compete with Avid's best offerings?

At the high end, the price of the software is almost completely irrelevant to the decision about which platform to use. There are 4 barriers to Final Cut Pro unseating Avid at the high end:

1) Dedicated hardware (especially including the existing investment in Avid hardware already in place).

2) Existing human expertise in Avid (not just editors, but tech support, etc... all of whom have a vested interest in promoting Avid in the workplace over other solutions).

3) Avid's networked media management (Unity) allowing multiple Avid stations to share the same media drives.

4) Fear of the unknown.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Rmh1572
Does anyone think Apple will eventually challenge Avid even on the high end. It seems Apple has been pricing their software very competitively. Do they really have a long way to go before they compete with Avid's best offerings?

not too long ago there was some big UK company that switched form Avid to FCP. I see Avid as the only other app in the same league as FCP.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
I'm not sure for the majority of people the above are acutally needed. I'm not saying some people might not need them, but other don't.

You're joking right. Half my list was top ten requests by the LA Final Cut Pro users group. Hell I could have pulled another 10 out easy. Final Cut Pro isn't for novices. Pro's make their bread with this program. Every feature listed above amd more is needed. I'm sorry we have to disagree here. People have asked for Multicam, Background Rendering and better Audio since FCP 2

Quote:
There's no reason Logic couldn't become the Pro=tools of Apple.

1 major problem though. Compared to Protools Logic Pro sucks arse for audio editing. It's no contest here. You buy logic if you need better midi support than what PT offers but no one with a clue edits Post Audio with Logic.

Radiospace

FCP audio isn't bad but the limitation of stereo input isn't too hot. Vegas Video offers better audio handling than FCP. This has to change. I don't think you have to go full bore into surround sound..that's a feature best left for a specialized app like Protools. But Apple needs to support at least the basics as they ship a.pack with every FCP version for compressing Dolby Digital 5.1.

Quite honestly Final Cut Pro is now a pretty damn good app but Apple needs to push on to make it a great app. Avid will still rule the roost on the ultra high end because Apple doesn't want that ...they prefer to pick the low hanging fruit.

I'm betting money that at least %60 of my 10 features will end up in FCP 5 because users have been begging Apple for them for years.
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post #13 of 14
I'd thought I'd add some further pro/studio improvements that FCP needs in the next rev:

  • Multi Cam, as mentioned before
  • One touch color correction
  • Red/Green/Blue channel color correction -- as in shake, it makes identical color matches between shots.
  • OMF audio exports that work perfectly with Pro Tools
  • Film change lists that track perfectly with the project
  • Rather than background rendering, which I assume many would simply turn off, continue the real time effect optimization. The G5 and real time effects is amazing but could be optimized further.
  • Better Motion graphic handling. Currently there is a resolution issue when laying in Motion tracks.
  • Better real time manipulation of any audio adjustments, especially in the timeline
  • An important one: an Apple USB hardware mixing board that will adjust audio levels in FCP on the fly.
  • Xgrid rendering integrated in FCP
  • Xsan bombproof implementation for a FCP unity setup
  • New aqua interface a la DVD Studio Pro 3 and Motion, to make all those tiny 3 pixel buttons and render bars easier to see/click on modern high res monitors.
  • Better Firewire support -- zero dropped frames and other deck oddities that shouldn't occur with these supercomputer desktops.
  • Oh yeah, fix the Cut and Paste. FCP 4.0.2 really borked the most basic Macintosh feature. It should be as simple as: Copy an item, click somewhere on the timeline, and paste. Currently it's a kludge of a 5 step process that is more like wrestling with Macromedia than using an Apple product.
  • An audio dialogue filter: it would enhance and separate spoken dialogue from any background sounds. This filter would do the work of the very expensive hardware boxes that clean up dialogue
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by mugwump
I'd thought I'd add some further pro/studio improvements that FCP needs in the next rev:


[*]An audio dialogue filter: it would enhance and separate spoken dialogue from any background sounds. This filter would do the work of the very expensive hardware boxes that clean up dialogue

There is no magic filter such as this. I use Soundsoap from Bias and it works very well. Soundsoap pro works even better for more detailed work. $100 and you're in business


When I said logic should be apples pro-tools, I meant that they should make logic as good as pro-tools for audio editing. Maybe in as a separate work mode, different than MIDI sequencing. Kind of like in 3-d there is layout and modeller.

IP use FCP daily for my bread and butter as well, and so far haven't needed most of those feature.

Doesn't FCP have background rendering alreay? What is that renders in the background and gives you a pop-up that says something like rendering complete?
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