in Mac Software edited January 2014
Like many of you, I am impatiently waiting for Final Cut Studio 3 to come out. I also share some of the same concerns of FCS falling behind its competitors like Adobe Premiere and After Effects in several regards. I even signed a petition to not use FCS3 unless it supported Blu-Ray, which is not a "bag of hurt" but a catalyst of possibilities for the foreseeable future. However, I am posting this thread to both post some original features I think would be worth adding (or might not have been mentioned) as well as seeing what original ideas others have.

Final Cut Studio needs the following improvements:

1) Final Cut Pro

a) I would like Final Cut Pro to be able to either play video in the viewport using irregular screen shapes, play multiple pieces of footage at the same time in the viewport, or both. Furthermore, the irregular shapes could preview footage in 3D space and with different blending modes and opacities. This would enable Final Cut to be used for more elaborate or gigantic screen setups and for far more adventurous video experimentation.

b) FCP is already famous for its non-linear editing capabilities, but this is still done on a mostly static multitrack timeline. What if the tracks in the timeline were more definable by the user. I'm not just talking naming the tracks. I'm talking a more After Effects-like system - only more freestyle. Literally any parameter for video, audio, motion graphics, compositing, tracking, effects, and grading from any app in the Studio could be put on the timeline. This would really make it much more of the hub of Final Cut Studio that Apple claims it to be.

2) Motion/Shake (Given that both will be the same program)

a) Motion needs to be able to import 3D models directly. Planar 3D is not enough for the most demanding comps. What would also be nice for the user is the ability to create 3D geometry or text for graphical, animation, or compositing purposes.

b) Nodes are way better than a layer system hands down. There should be a node system with which the user can affect or drive any parameter he or she wants. To make sure enough screen real estate is left, one could pull up a heads up display to activate which parameters one each node are affected. Like in Shake, one could also batch nodes together to ensure less CPU overhead.

c) Sometimes animations can be extremely complex to configure, especially when you want to achieve a specific look that needs to be dead on or it will not work. For that, I would implement some sort of IK and Physics/Dyanmics system similar to advanced 3D modeling and animation programs. This would also utilize the same methodology as the previously mentioned node system in that parameters could be driven by whatever the user wants.

d) Speaking of 3D, why not add different ways to render the graphics or composites? Normally, these features are available for 3D modeling programs like Maya ( and Modo (, but they could do wonders for footage and compositing work as well.

Other Features

a) Final Cut Studio also needs a Live Production application for both filming and broadcast purposes. This would enable users to record straight onto a Mac system, essentially turning it into a fully fledged video recording booth. It would also integrate with all the other Final Cut Applications to deliver live transitions, camera switches, grades, and effects. This could literally decimate the cost of extra equipment and even replace it altogether.

These are the ideas I have come up with so far. I'm hoping to start a conversation, wondering what original ideas you guys might have. Feel free to chime in.


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