Date: Monday, April 7th, 2003, 07:55
Apple’s Emmy-winning video-editing powerhouse received a significant upgrade last night at the NAB show. Software rivalry appears to be pushing both the heavyweight champion Avid and the increasingly-popular challenger Final Cut forward. Upgrades for existing owners to Final Cut Pro 4 are available for $399.
Numerous feature enhancements grace the upgrade. Expanded editing features include better keyframe-based time remapping (which now no longer requires rendering), and the addition of asymmetric and dynamic trims across multiple tracks, plus master clips and merged clips. Audio editing tools add an on-screen mixer with audio routing capability, multichannel output (for checking out your surround mix), “Scoring Markers” that ensure that keeps audio in place while video is edited to prevent you from having to completely re-edit audio with each video change, real-time rubber-banding, 30 built-in filters and support for OS X’s standard plug-in format Audio Units. I’d like to see even tighter integration with Logic, but this is a significant step forward.
There are two new creative tools: LiveType title generation which includes LiveFonts, the world’s first animated font standard, available only on the Mac, which lets you generate sophisticated titles and effects without all that tricky keyframe business, and Soundtrack which creates custom music from royalty-free loops and effects. (Sounds like a light version of Acid or Live, built into FCP.) There’s also enhanced realtime capabilities with RT Extreme, further optimized for multiprocessor G4 systems and capable of supporting more streams and effects without rendering, real-time editing on the road with your PowerBook via the enhanced Offline RT, and customizable keyboards and workspace layouts. Cinema Tools, with new features for filmmakers using 35mm or 16mm, is now bundled free. And there’s a new open architecture that’s developer extensible thanks to use of a new XML interchange format and FireWire-based I/O format that supports future uncompressed broadcast video FireWire devices. FCP 4 becomes available in June.