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Final Cut Studio 3 to bundle major Motion, Soundtrack upgrades

post #1 of 74
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The third major release of Apple's Final Cut Studio professional video and audio production suite will offer a mixed bag when it comes to advances in individual component applications, half of which will be touted as new releases while the other half see more muted upgrades.

While details are still admittedly limited, people with rudimentary knowledge of Apple's plans for the software say the suite will introduce major new versions of Final Cut Pro (v7.0), Motion (v4.0), and Soundtrack Pro (v3.0). The remainder of the application upgrades will reportedly consist of point release, and include Color (v1.5), Compressor (v3.5), and DVD Studio Pro (v4.2.2).

A complete breakdown of Final Cut Studio 3.0 component apps with general descriptions is therefore:

Final Cut Pro 7.0: for real-time editing for DV, SD, HD and film.
Motion 4.0: for real-time motion graphics and animation design.
Soundtrack Pro 3.0: for advanced audio post production and sound design.
Color 1.5: for real-time professional color grading.
Compressor 3.5: for high-performance encoding with output in various formats.
DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2: for professional authoring, encoding and burning of DVDs.

Of interest is that DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2 will represent the first upgrade to the DVD authoring application in roughly two years but won't introduce any new features. It appears as if the software will follow the path of iDVD, a similar offering geared towards the consumer market that was hung out to dry alongside the release of iLife '09 as Apple pushes online distribution.

Final Cut Studio 3.0 is currently undergoing beta testing under the code-name Sideways in the form of a 2.8 gigabyte disk image. Some of its component applications, including Color 1.5 and Motion 4.0, have been accessible to some of Apple's professional video editing partners for months so that they could evaluate the software when run atop betas of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

The finalized suite, along with an update to Final Cut Server code-name Dingo, are believed to be on track for a release sometime later this summer or early this fall, following the release of Snow Leopard.
post #2 of 74
You know, it would be really great to put this in context in terms of 64 bit support and integration with Snow Leopard. All this is, is a list of components and version numbers. Big deal. Tells me nothing (except what the version numbers are going to be.)
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post #3 of 74
Hope FCE gets an update too!
post #4 of 74
"Of interest is that DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2 will represent the first upgrade to the DVD authoring application in roughly two years but won't introduce any new features. It appears as if the software will follow the path of iDVD, a similar offering geared towards the consumer market that was hung out to dry alongside the release of iLife '09 as Apple pushes online distribution."

Despite the push to online distribution, I do feel that on the professional level, it is still important to author to DVD and more important Blu-Ray. As a small professional project studio, I need to work on DVDs for Artists to use in installations and museums, and for long term archival of historical media.

I am hopeful there will be an affordable pro authoring program for Blu-Ray on the Mac.

See the recent release by Neil Young to realize how important this is.
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Catasonic Studios
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post #5 of 74
People are buying Blu Rays now, and folks need to author them, so why wind down that part of the package?
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2: for professional authoring, encoding and burning of DVDs.

It's cute that someone considers DVDSP a pro app.
post #7 of 74
Motion has got to get GPGPU capability. It's the perfect app for it. Well, Shake is the perfect app for it really but they like to push Motion instead.

Programmable effects on a GPU will be so fast, even on the 9400M. 16 x 1.1GHz rendering power.
post #8 of 74
So 64 bit apps or not?

And is the "major upgrade" to STP going to be a fix of the horrible bugs that make the app borderline unusable in its current version? Or a few new features and stability that is just as bad? That's what happened when 2.0 shipped, they souped a few things up but it was WAY more buggy than the latest 1.x version so many users had to revert to the old version until they fixed some of the bugs.

Also, what will be availablity of STP 3 for Logic users since Logic Studio includes the app? Will Logic get an update about the same time, will the update be available some other way, or will Logic users be stuck with the old version for months until Logic is updated (which based on the history of the app, may not necessarily be a bad thing)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

It's cute that someone considers DVDSP a pro app.

You mean Apple?
post #9 of 74
It would be nice for Final Cut to finally get a UI update - it's looking pretty tired when compared to Aperture and Motion. It seems the Pro apps are heading that way, but perhaps familiarity will win out over aesthetics for another version.

Also, perhaps I'm wrong, but I thought Apple announced some time ago that they were discontinuing Shake and that they would be introducing an app that replaced it, newly built from the ground up. Anyone know what's going on there? Or is the repalcement supposed to be a combination of Motion and Color?
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

You know, it would be really great to put this in context in terms of 64 bit support and integration with Snow Leopard. All this is, is a list of components and version numbers. Big deal. Tells me nothing (except what the version numbers are going to be.)

I am sure you would expect more information when Apple makes their formal announcement and not from a rumor mill.
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by catasonic_studios@mac.com View Post

"Of interest is that DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2 will represent the first upgrade to the DVD authoring application in roughly two years but won't introduce any new features. It appears as if the software will follow the path of iDVD, a similar offering geared towards the consumer market that was hung out to dry alongside the release of iLife '09 as Apple pushes online distribution."

Despite the push to online distribution, I do feel that on the professional level, it is still important to author to DVD and more important Blu-Ray. As a small professional project studio, I need to work on DVDs for Artists to use in installations and museums, and for long term archival of historical media.

I am hopeful there will be an affordable pro authoring program for Blu-Ray on the Mac.

See the recent release by Neil Young to realize how important this is.

Adobe Encore encodes to Blu-Ray I believe... and I've seen Blu-Ray drives coming out for the Mac... But haven't had any experience in using the two together.
post #12 of 74
I hope Apple is cooking up something good for Motion, especially when they included the word animation in that description. I emailed Apple an idea through their feedback forums about possible getting some IK and 3D graphics import features. The 3D features could definitely use some improvement if Apple is really pushing this app. Some web formatting features would be nice as well, since After Effects is already kicking it's derrier in that department. I also hope - like many - that they get Blu-Ray support for DVD Studio Pro. (Better yet, they could just make Compressor and DVD Studio Pro as just one application like Adobe's Encore.)

My beef about Final Cut Studio is that it is a great program if you just want to make video for film and television, but for other projects with video Adobe makes way better products. My main reason for this is that I like to do 3D animation. After Effects can take in everything including 3D objects into a true 3D viewport for animation and compositing, and there are so many plugs that can extend these abilities. Motion on the other hand needs Shake if there is any 3D involved. If Apple would truly address all that Motion is lacking compared to After Effects, then I'd buy the entire studio hands down.
post #13 of 74
A 'Creative Studio' including Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio is the update i'm waiting for!
(with one universal UI, shortcut keys etc..)
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Motion has got to get GPGPU capability. It's the perfect app for it. Well, Shake is the perfect app for it really but they like to push Motion instead.

Programmable effects on a GPU will be so fast, even on the 9400M. 16 x 1.1GHz rendering power.

And yet. It will still require a boat load of Ram for some reason
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post

I hope Apple is cooking up something good for Motion, especially when they included the word animation in that description. I emailed Apple an idea through their feedback forums about possible getting some IK and 3D graphics import features. The 3D features could definitely use some improvement if Apple is really pushing this app. Some web formatting features would be nice as well, since After Effects is already kicking it's derrier in that department. I also hope - like many - that they get Blu-Ray support for DVD Studio Pro. (Better yet, they could just make Compressor and DVD Studio Pro as just one application like Adobe's Encore.)

My beef about Final Cut Studio is that it is a great program if you just want to make video for film and television, but for other projects with video Adobe makes way better products. My main reason for this is that I like to do 3D animation. After Effects can take in everything including 3D objects into a true 3D viewport for animation and compositing, and there are so many plugs that can extend these abilities. Motion on the other hand needs Shake if there is any 3D involved. If Apple would truly address all that Motion is lacking compared to After Effects, then I'd buy the entire studio hands down.

Amen! i agree!
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Playmade_be View Post

A 'Creative Studio' including Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio is the update i'm waiting for!
(with one universal UI, shortcut keys etc..)

It's baffling that apple ships STP along with logic yet the two have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to interface, keyboard shortcuts, or even most of the feature set.
post #17 of 74
Yes, Adobe Premiere can encode for Blu-Ray and then Roxio Toast 9 with the HD Plugin can burn it perfectly!

We just did a bunch for undergrads making HD video work. A Mac Pro with a Pioneer Blu-ray burner, SATA snaked to the spare SATA connector on the internal motherboard, works flawlessly!

But the dirtiest little secret that not many people know is that you can make BD-5 and BD-9 discs with a plain ol' DVD-R burner!

You just need the specified Blu-Ray volume (folder) structure on the disc and a standard DVD-R (single layer -5, dual layer -9) will hold anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes at full HD quality!

Toast makes this easy as pie to encode and burn. DVDSP needs this, at a BARE MINIMUM.

Throwing up live action menu's and authoring interactive Java games is a whole 'nuther animal... Apple, just get us the ENCODING and BURNING, and do it right.

I'd be okay if the advanced interactive authoring waiting until DVDSP 5.
post #18 of 74
I had a thought a few weeks ago about the whole iDVD issue. Maybe Apple is planning on making CD/DVD burning an OS service similar to the printing service? That would explain the lack up upgrades to the software. Any software that would need to use the service (iMovie, etc.) could provide their own templates and themes thus preserving the work flow.
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

I had a thought a few weeks ago about the whole iDVD issue. Maybe Apple is planning on making CD/DVD burning an OS service similar to the printing service? That would explain the lack up upgrades to the software. Any software that would need to use the service (iMovie, etc.) could provide their own templates and themes thus preserving the work flow.

Nah, they're just trying to move on to digital files. Unfortunately, though, before the public is ready.
post #20 of 74
I personally would prefer to focus on digital distribution. I'm kind of over physical media in general. Make Compressor more versatile, faster and clean up the entire suite's UI. Those are my 2 biggest wants for the update. Those that want to support out-dated tech are certainly welcome to do so. Apple tends to avoid doing this when they can though.
post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

=
Final Cut Pro 7.0: for real-time editing for DV, SD, HD and film.
Motion 4.0: for real-time motion graphics and animation design.
Soundtrack Pro 3.0: for advanced audio post production and sound design.
Color 1.5: for real-time professional color grading.
Compressor 3.5: for high-performance encoding with output in various formats.
DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2: for professional authoring, encoding and burning of DVDs.

Wow, that is an awful looking upgrade package. Final Cut Pro 7 better be amazing.

Motion is useless, the most talented animators know AE inside and out, AE has massive plug-in support and 3D programs make a point of offering excellent integration. Most of Motion's effects should be rolled into FC and just get rid of it. FC doesn't even understand how to back-up or consolidate the media from an embedded Motion timeline, so your media managed projects simply show offline media for all Motion effected clips.

Soundtrack is also useless. FC has enough audio abilities to get by, if that isn't good enough, it goes to sound mixing. There are several great apps for audio mixing (Logic, Pro Tools), no one uses STP in their audio suite. Roll some of the capabilities into FC and ditch STP as well.

Every one of our Final Cut systems uses DVDSP to create client copies and approvals. I don't have any clients that don't go back to their offices, sit around a monitor, and play back a DVD for the group to see. Networks, ad agencies, and corporate clients all do this. Its how their viewers will see it, its how they want to see it. Even the wedding videographers are going to want an easy way to create Blu-ray discs. Shame Apple has decided to ditch this.

Color is a fantastic color corrector, and the interface is outstanding. However, the integration with FC is terrible. It should function like a plug-in, not a separate app. Too many problems arise going back and forth, and a client can want changes months down the line. Two years after it was hurriedly grafted into the Studio and we're getting a .5 release. That's terrible.

I'm guessing that they're calling this "Sideways" because it really doesn't offer anything new. Apple needs to look at their user base. Image control is important (color correction, motion stabilization, rotoscoping tools), every film and television show out there takes advantage of these tools. Cheesy Motion effects are fine, but they should be rolled into FC, there's no good reason for this to be a separate app. Same with STP. As far as DVDSP goes, Apple should know that TV viewership is at an all-time high - 151 hours/month vs 3 hours/month for internet viewing and 4 hours/month for mobile device viewing. People like watching their TVs, DVDs and Blu-ray aren't going anywhere soon.
post #22 of 74
Dohhh I just bought Final Cut Studio 2 about 3 weeks ago. Does apple normally have upgrades on large suites like this?
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Soundtrack is also useless. FC has enough audio abilities to get by, if that isn't good enough, it goes to sound mixing. There are several great apps for audio mixing (Logic, Pro Tools), no one uses STP in their audio suite. Roll some of the capabilities into FC and ditch STP as well.

While I agree that pros use STP barely if at all, Logic doesn't have the features that STP covers. Heck, even PT doesn't do file based editing, just multitrack. Unless they roll all the features of STP into logic, which I doubt, there's still a need for an app like STP. Now whether STP will ever get solid enough to be that app is another story, but if it just goes away without Logic getting a huge makeover, it would leave a big void.
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Playmade_be View Post

A 'Creative Studio' including Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio is the update i'm waiting for!
(with one universal UI, shortcut keys etc..)

Interesting idea for working with audio and visual there. I notice there are some people mentioned in the Creative Pro section of Apple's website that are experimenting with audio and visual components. I did send Steve Jobs a letter about an idea for something like that, although I never thought of the musical apps as a possibility. I was thinking basically the Final Cut Suite plus a Photoshop-like version of Aperture, professional versions of Pages and iWeb, and a 2D/3D illustration engine that would operate in a similar fashion to Motion's 2D/3D switching.

Anyway, cool idea!
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

It's baffling that apple ships STP along with logic yet the two have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to interface, keyboard shortcuts, or even most of the feature set.

Two different development teams and codebase. STP comes from the Cupertino guys and Logic is developed by "ze Germans". Hopefully Apple has been integrating the two apps. I'd love to see everything just fold into Logic ...if not this version then one in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloredtoad View Post

Dohhh I just bought Final Cut Studio 2 about 3 weeks ago. Does apple normally have upgrades on large suites like this?


Yes you'll be able to upgrade.
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post #26 of 74
Still no Blu-ray? I think I'm going to cry. I'm about ready to jump ship to Adobe, and I've tried Encore... and I hated it.
post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

Still no Blu-ray? I think I'm going to cry. I'm about ready to jump ship to Adobe, and I've tried Encore... and I hated it.

isn't that totally asstastic?

This is one of the reasons why I kind of winced when Apple started selling music and then movies. There's never any impartiality when you start pimping a product.

Blu-ray support is realy mandatory...people are staking their businesses on Apple's product and it's unacceptable that Apple would impede the ability of these companies to deliver the right product to their clients.

Besides Apple's more interested in being the media industries concubine and they probably lost a lot of power by succombing to variable pricing.
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post #28 of 74
I hate their approach to these DVD authoring applications. Creating DVDs is still extremely important and still the most popular method of distribution. If Adobe would sell Encore separately then I wouldn't care but FCS needs a good DVD application.
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post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

isn't that totally asstastic?

This is one of the reasons why I kind of winced when Apple started selling music and then movies. There's never any impartiality when you start pimping a product.

Blu-ray support is realy mandatory...people are staking their businesses on Apple's product and it's unacceptable that Apple would impede the ability of these companies to deliver the right product to their clients.

Besides Apple's more interested in being the media industries concubine and they probably lost a lot of power by succombing to variable pricing.

Sony lost the Walkman market to the iPod because Sony's studio division sold records.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if Apple lost market share because they sold downloads?
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post #30 of 74
I just got the last upgrade lol... I wonder if there is a window for a second upgrade at a special price? And yes I asked the Apple Business sales guy if a new one was imminent and he said noooo.
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post #31 of 74
I guess Apple feel like they don't have much competition in pro desktop editing software. Too bad, because this update looks to be @$$. We constantly heard about how Snow Leopard is going to be great for developers because of all the core services and native 64-bit and stable api goodness and blah, blah, blah. So now one of the most important pro app suits is coming out, and how is it taking advantage of all those supposedly fabulous SL features?
post #32 of 74
They always do that they should say "we might have a new product coming in 1-2 months"
post #33 of 74
So we're taking "people with rudimentary knowledge" as gold? WTF?

If you want to get all apoplectic over "no Blu-Ray" without anything concrete or specific from Apple then go for it, I guess.
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post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineWine View Post

I guess Apple feel like they don't have much competition in pro desktop editing software. Too bad, because this update looks to be @$$. We constantly heard about how Snow Leopard is going to be great for developers because of all the core services and native 64-bit and stable api goodness and blah, blah, blah. So now one of the most important pro app suits is coming out, and how is it taking advantage of all those supposedly fabulous SL features?

How, exactly, is a brand new, from the ground up, re-write of the FCP code an @ss update?
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post #35 of 74
DVD authoring is so yesterday.
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post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineWine View Post

I guess Apple feel like they don't have much competition in pro desktop editing software. Too bad, because this update looks to be @$$. We constantly heard about how Snow Leopard is going to be great for developers because of all the core services and native 64-bit and stable api goodness and blah, blah, blah. So now one of the most important pro app suits is coming out, and how is it taking advantage of all those supposedly fabulous SL features?

Actually color me purple dumbstruck if Apple doesn't have a MAJOR update for FCP7. It's not enough to say "Realtime" features because every editor can do some realtime functions but in fact if it does realtime AVCHD every person with with a HD camera from a Vixia to a Panny HMC-150 will be dancing in the streets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgate View Post

So we're taking "people with rudimentary knowledge" as gold? WTF?

If you want to get all apoplectic over "no Blu-Ray" without anything concrete or specific from Apple then go for it, I guess.

Yeah it sounds like their knowledge is pretty vague. Though I am a bit worried about Apple's reticence to support Blu-ray. Even as a HD DVD fan I've realize the cold hard truth and iTunes download doesn't help the wedding videographer that needs to deliver HD moments to their clients. I'm going cry foul on this "no Blu-ray" stuff.
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post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Wow, that is an awful looking upgrade package. Final Cut Pro 7 better be amazing.

Motion is useless, the most talented animators know AE inside and out, AE has massive plug-in support and 3D programs make a point of offering excellent integration. Most of Motion's effects should be rolled into FC and just get rid of it. FC doesn't even understand how to back-up or consolidate the media from an embedded Motion timeline, so your media managed projects simply show offline media for all Motion effected clips.

Agreed. No one at our facility EVER uses Motion. All After Effects all the time. Dump Motion and put Shake on the R&D fast track to bring it back to life. We have Nuke now and even though it is really good, the operators miss Shake. Either that or just frickin' buy Adobe and get it over with. Apple you've got plenty of billions in cash lying around - use it for something good.

Quote:
Soundtrack is also useless. FC has enough audio abilities to get by, if that isn't good enough, it goes to sound mixing. There are several great apps for audio mixing (Logic, Pro Tools), no one uses STP in their audio suite. Roll some of the capabilities into FC and ditch STP as well.

Agreed, tru dat. Again no one here (we ahve 6 FCS system all with Kona and Xserve RAIDs) uses Soundtrack. We have an audio studio as a partner to handle final and creative mixes.

Quote:
Every one of our Final Cut systems uses DVDSP to create client copies and approvals. I don't have any clients that don't go back to their offices, sit around a monitor, and play back a DVD for the group to see. Networks, ad agencies, and corporate clients all do this. Its how their viewers will see it, its how they want to see it. Even the wedding videographers are going to want an easy way to create Blu-ray discs. Shame Apple has decided to ditch this.

Agreed. We don't use DVDSP on the edit systems much - usually the DVDs are made in the machine room. Nonetheless we need it to author and burn BD.

Quote:
Color is a fantastic color corrector, and the interface is outstanding. However, the integration with FC is terrible. It should function like a plug-in, not a separate app. Too many problems arise going back and forth, and a client can want changes months down the line. Two years after it was hurriedly grafted into the Studio and we're getting a .5 release. That's terrible.

Agreed. I've got a highly skilled colorist who came from a telecine with Davinci color correction and he loves Apple Color. It needs to be fully real time with HD, but until then it is pretty great.

Quote:
As far as DVDSP goes, Apple should know that TV viewership is at an all-time high - 151 hours/month vs 3 hours/month for internet viewing and 4 hours/month for mobile device viewing. People like watching their TVs, DVDs and Blu-ray aren't going anywhere soon.

Agreed. I mean WTF Apple - get over your BluRay phobia and tell Steve to stop lying to us about phony "licensing" issues.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking View Post

I hate their approach to these DVD authoring applications. Creating DVDs is still extremely important and still the most popular method of distribution. If Adobe would sell Encore separately then I wouldn't care but FCS needs a good DVD application.

Encore cannot author Blu-Ray discs for replication. So it's not a true alternative.
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post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Yeah it sounds like their knowledge is pretty vague. Though I am a bit worried about Apple's reticence to support Blu-ray. Even as a HD DVD fan I've realize the cold hard truth and iTunes download doesn't help the wedding videographer that needs to deliver HD moments to their clients. I'm going cry foul on this "no Blu-ray" stuff.

I know people in that business who have had to either convert or buy a secondary windows Machine because of having no BluRay support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Sony lost the Walkman market to the iPod because Sony's studio division sold records.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if Apple lost market share because they sold downloads?

It happens when you're either ahead or behind the market. I think Apple believed that digital movies would have taken over by now. They don't seem to quite get that Digital Movies have their own bags of hurt equal to, if not worse than Blu-Ray, and that most of the non-tech savvy world really wants something physical they use on their TV.
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgate View Post

How, exactly, is a brand new, from the ground up, re-write of the FCP code an @ss update?

And you know that how exactly?
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