Apple acquires Silicon Color

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple Computer has acquired Silicon Color, a San Diego, Calif.-based company responsible for developing FinalTouch color correction software.



Following the sale, which was first reported by MacNN, Apple will be responsible for honoring all maintenance agreements held by current Silicon Color customers until they expire.



Under the terms of the deal, the Mac maker also acquired the rights to all Silicon Color technology as well as its intellectual property.



"We are pleased to announce that all Silicon Color technology and intellectual property, including FinalTouch color correction software, was recently sold to Apple," reads a message on the Silicon Color website. "Maintenance agreements held by current Silicon Color customers will be honored by Apple until they expire."



Financial details about the acquisition were not made public.



Silicon Color had a strong reputation for catering to video professionals through its FinalTouch 2K, FinalTouch HD, and FinalTouch SD packages.



The FinalTouch 2K package, priced at $25,000, was designed for the demanding needs of professional film colorists, offering direct support for 10-bit, log-encoded Cineon and DPX files without requiring time consuming conversion or proxy-generation steps.



A scaled down version of the software, called FinalTouch HD, retailed for $5000 and interfaced with Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software via XML. The package included direct support for QuickTime media while offering many of the same features as its larger sibling.



The most recent product to come out of Silicon Color was a $1000 software package called FinalTouch SD. Designed for production facilities that have yet moved to high-definition, it offered color correction for users working with DV-CAM, Digi-Beta, or any other SD format.



Apple next year is expected to roll the assets it acquired from Silicon Color into the next-generation of its Final Cut Studio digital video editing suite.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
  • Reply 2 of 31
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    It wasn't just a copy-paste, and AppleInsider did credit MacNN as the original source.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    blimey, quite an expensive package
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbaynham


    blimey, quite an expensive package



    Exactly what i was thinking. But Apple will probably lower the price as they usually do..
  • Reply 5 of 31
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Whoa this really shows how serious Apple is about video post production.



    Color correction is a highly specialized talent that is generally performed by skilled and trained professionals with expensive hardware and software.



    Acquiring Silicon color puts them right into the digital intermediate market pitting Apple against huge color companies such as Autodesk and Davinci.



    Hopefully Apple will have open API's so Final Touch can import color correction instructions from preview software such as Gamma and Density 3CP or Kodak Look Manager System.



    Color correction instructions made in Final Touch should be exported to high end systems such as Davinci 2K plus and Discreet Lustre.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbaynham


    blimey, quite an expensive package



    For crying out loud... In the article they mention a plan to include the tools in the new FCP Suite. It sounds like we will get FCP, Soundtrack Pro, DVD SP, Motion and these color tools for less money than the original cost of the silicon software alone.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    blimey, quite an expensive package



    Considerably cheaper than the $200,000 systems.



    Quote:

    But Apple will probably lower the price as they usually do..



    Apple is a much larger company than Silicon Color. Apple will sell millions more copies and can afford to sell it at a lower cost.



    Quote:

    In the article they mention a plan to include the tools in the new FCP Suite



    I believe this part is conjecture. I don't think Apple will include FinalTouch in FCP Studio.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,796member
    I've never owned their software, but I've used it. It's very good, but complex.



    Apple will, in some fashion, integrate this.



    whether they will remain as separate products remains to be seen. But Apple doesn't always buy products to sell separately. The concept from the beginning has been to add value to the products they already sell. This gives them a wider audience, and thus, greater sales.



    Don't forget that FCP has been criticized for it's relatively simple color correction abilities which have been handily beaten by competing products, such as Avid's "Express". I can agree with that. This will not only end that embarrassment, but turn the tables completely.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    mugwumpmugwump Posts: 233member
    It was so expensive because of fewer customers. The hardware color rollerball device was some serious bucks as well.



    That Silicon Color guy is a gifted programmer -- I caught one of this demonstrations and he said that he programs to the lowest levels of the graphic chip for greatest performance.



    There are some incredible capabilities that FCP could use from Final Touch. You can select the background and bring down the brightness, and then have the adjustments track with the image as it pans across. Good stuff, and I hope Apple can improve the user interface.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    whether they will remain as separate products remains to be seen. But Apple doesn't always buy products to sell separately. The concept from the beginning has been to add value to the products they already sell. This gives them a wider audience, and thus, greater sales.



    My doubt was motivated by the fact that its likely Apple will sell only one version of FinalTouch that scales from SD to 2K. A 2K color corrector would be a huge application to squeeze into FC Studio.



    If it were bundled Apple would also force current owners of FinalTouch to buy the entire FC Studio suite.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell


    My doubt was motivated by the fact that its likely Apple will sell only one version of FinalTouch that scales from SD to 2K. A 2K color corrector would be a huge application to squeeze into FC Studio.



    If it were bundled Apple would also force current owners of FinalTouch to buy the entire FC Studio suite.



    Yeah. It's difficult to tell though. They could sell a feature cut down version like FCE. Or they could include that version in the package. Or later, they could integrate it into FCP.



    All the while selling the high end version separately.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    I've said this elsewhere, but Final Cut NEEDS this level of color correction out there, either as an Apple app or a 3rd party app. Final Cut has a terrible color corrector, without Final Touch, your options for HD color correction on the Mac are non-existent. Those of us who produce HD content for television need the depth of features that Final Touch has, and if Apple dumbs it down, or only transfers a few features, Apple will be hurting Final Cut Pro with high end professionals. We don't really have another alternative except to buy a competitor's machine. I really don't want to do that. Please leave the feature set intact!!! Please!!!
  • Reply 13 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixelcruncher


    I've said this elsewhere, but Final Cut NEEDS this level of color correction out there, either as an Apple app or a 3rd party app. Final Cut has a terrible color corrector, without Final Touch, your options for HD color correction on the Mac are non-existent. Those of us who produce HD content for television need the depth of features that Final Touch has, and if Apple dumbs it down, or only transfers a few features, Apple will be hurting Final Cut Pro with high end professionals. We don't really have another alternative except to buy a competitor's machine. I really don't want to do that. Please leave the feature set intact!!! Please!!!



    I agree. I've been saying this as well.



    But I think the full feature set is too imposing for most users who need much simpler correction than this offers.



    A large percentage of FCP users are wedding shooters. All of these controls would overwhelm them.



    Perhaps as an ancillary program that is called up when you need the extra features, but that won't have to be bought if you don't need them.



    But, of course, FCP does need some of them as standard.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    There's also the possibility of a higher end version in the Shake replacement application, due 2008.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    Wow... I was thinking of buying FinalTouch. I guess I'll wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve now
  • Reply 16 of 31
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    Yeah. It's difficult to tell though. They could sell a feature cut down version like FCE. Or they could include that version in the package. Or later, they could integrate it into FCP.



    All the while selling the high end version separately.



    Yeah that sounds logical.



    Use the technology to improve the basic FCP color corrector.



    Sell a full featured version separately.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell


    Yeah that sounds logical.



    Use the technology to improve the basic FCP color corrector.



    Sell a full featured version separately.



    That's my vote. Color Express as an upgrade to FCP's resident color correction, and Color Pro for the market currently served by Silicon Color.



    I don't think we have to worry about Apple "dumbing down" the app. They really don't do that. They might offer a lesser, easier to use version, but no way they just toss the most capable part of what they just acquired.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    Well I've got my 25k ready
  • Reply 19 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell


    Whoa this really shows how serious Apple is about video post production.



    Color correction is a highly specialized talent that is generally performed by skilled and trained professionals with expensive hardware and software.



    Acquiring Silicon color puts them right into the digital intermediate market pitting Apple against huge color companies such as Autodesk and Davinci.



    Hopefully Apple will have open API's so Final Touch can import color correction instructions from preview software such as Gamma and Density 3CP or Kodak Look Manager System.



    Color correction instructions made in Final Touch should be exported to high end systems such as Davinci 2K plus and Discreet Lustre.







    it sounds like you've had some experience in the video post production field. what are the chances of a photoshop color specialist landing a position correcting color for video?
  • Reply 20 of 31
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell


    Yeah that sounds logical.



    Use the technology to improve the basic FCP color corrector.



    Sell a full featured version separately.



    That really does sound like the best idea.



    Or maybe use this to improve the basic fcp cc

    sell a full featured version

    and bust out that final cut extreme that was rumoured with an even crazier fcp+final touch full mixed together.
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