You bitched, we listened. That should be the slogan for today's Final Cut Pro-X update.
Apple hopes the update will turn back an avalanche of criticism on what turned out to be a complete redesign of the beloved editing tool. So far, Final Cut Pro-X has been a colossal disappointment, too weak for professional users and too powerful and confusing for the casual content creator. It's like they hired the head of engineering for Toyota's Prius division to design Ford F-350s. He showed up on day one and said, "These don't look ANYTHING like a Prius should look!" And then started trying to make super-duty trucks into compact hybrids. That pissed off a lot of people, but today we're getting a glimmer of hope - It looks like the Prius is getting off road tires and a roll cage.
MULTICAM JUST GOT MORE... MULTI
The multicam support functionality is truly amazing. The update allows FCPX to sync up to 64 video inputs using audio waveforms, time and date or timecode - pretty sweet. The days of manually matching clips are over and that puts a smile on my face.
CHROMA KEY GETS A BOOST
The update also features a host of new tweaks to Final Cut Pro-X's chroma-key functionality which includes (finally) some advanced controls including color sampling, edge adjustment and light wrap
This is the big one. What separates the casual content creators and amateurs from the pros is that professional editors have to conform to broadcast standards. This is because what THEY are working on actually winds up on TV or in theaters. For that reason, it's critical to have vector scopes, waveform monitors and broadcast calibrated production monitors to ensure proper color correction, chroma values, etc. This is huge for the pro guys and will go a long way towards getting FCPX into the edit bays of more production companies around the world and earning some much needed street cred.
I've worked as a professional editor for nearly a decade and in that time I've come to appreciate the clean (if dated) interface of Final Cut Pro. For all the editors working in high-volume, fast turnaround environments, the new interface simply takes too long to learn. Apple is asking them to break their workflow, put dozens of projects on hold and swap to an entirely new piece of software with a completely new learning curve. How, exactly, does Apple expect anyone servicing a roster of clients to do that? Answer - they don't. All the pro editors I know are sticking with the old suite or switching to Adobe Premiere (a similar and familiar suite) to maintain their existing workflow and continue to serve their clients. Final Cut Pro-X will eventually gain momentum but it will be with a fresh generation of editors who grow up around the new workflow. I think Apple is counting on this and will allow Adobe to start handling the more traditional "high-end/high-maintenance" editors with their suite while Apple moves into new and more creative market space. This is evidenced partially by the fact that Adobe Lightroom 4 (beta) has video editing capabilities. That's not to say Final Cut Pro-X won't get more powerful, it will - but Apple is always looking five years ahead and I'm certain that the redesign will begin to attract a loyal following in the coming years.
Check out their press release below:
Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X
CUPERTINO, California-January 31, 2012-Apple® today released Final Cut Pro® X v10.0.3, a significant update to its revolutionary professional video editing application, which introduces multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos; advanced chroma keying for handling complex adjustments right in the app; and enhanced XML for a richer interchange with third party apps and plug-ins that support the fast growing Final Cut Pro X ecosystem. Available today as a free update from the Mac® App Store™, Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 also includes a beta of broadcast monitoring that supports Thunderbolt devices as well as PCIe cards.
Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 includes a collection of groundbreaking new tools for editing multicam projects. Final Cut Pro X automatically syncs clips from your shoot using audio waveforms, time and date, or timecode to create a Multicam Clip with up to 64 angles of video, which can include mixed formats, frame sizes and frame rates. The powerful Angle Editor allows you to dive into your Multicam Clip to make precise adjustments, and the Angle Viewer lets you play back multiple angles at the same time and seamlessly cut between them.
Final Cut Pro X builds upon its robust, one-step chroma key with the addition of advanced controls including color sampling, edge adjustment and light wrap. You can tackle complex keying challenges right in Final Cut Pro X, without having to export to a motion graphics application, and view your results instantly with realtime playback.
In the seven months since launch, the third party ecosystem around Final Cut Pro X has expanded dramatically. XML-compatible software like DaVinci Resolve and CatDV provide tight integration for tasks such as color correction and media management. The new 7toX app from Intelligent Assistance uses XML to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X. In addition, some of the industry's largest visual effects developers, including GenArts and Red Giant, have developed motion graphics plug-ins that take advantage of the speed and real-time preview capabilities of Final Cut Pro X.
Broadcast monitoring in Final Cut Pro X is currently in beta and allows you to connect to waveform displays, vectorscopes, and calibrated, high-quality monitors to ensure that your project meets broadcast specifications. Final Cut Pro X supports monitoring of video and audio through Thunderbolt I/O devices, as well as through third party PCIe cards.
Pricing & Availability
Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 is available from the Mac App Store for $299.99 (US) to new users, or as a free update for existing Final Cut Pro X customers. A 30-day free trial of Final Cut Pro X is available at www.apple.com/finalcutpro/trial. Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Pro X can be found at www.apple.com/finalcutpro.
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