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Sunday, April 17, 2005, 01:45 pm PT (04:45 pm ET)

Apple debuts Final Cut Studio video production suite

Apple today unveiled Final Cut Studio, a new HD video production suite that features Final Cut Pro 5, a major upgrade to the company's Emmy award-winning editing software for DV, SD, HD and film.

Final Cut Studio also includes tools that complement Final Cut Pro 5 such as Soundtrack Pro, a new audio editing and sound design application fir video projects; Motion 2, the world’s first real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4, the first commercially available DVD authoring software that burns high definition DVDs to the latest HD DVD specification.  

"The arrival of Final Cut Studio ushers in a new era of high definition video production that relies on effortless integration of video, audio and effects to elevate production values," said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing. "Final Cut Studio allows producers to edit in a broad range of HD formats, add stunning motion graphics, sculpt the perfect soundtrack and burn their projects to high def DVDs.”

Final Cut Pro 5

At the heart of Final Cut Studio is Final Cut Pro 5. Native HDV (long GOP MPEG-2) support in Final Cut Pro 5 enables users to edit camera native HDV without generation loss. Powerful new multicam tools let editors cut from up to 128 sources, with simultaneous real-time playback of up to 16 angles at a time, making Final Cut Pro 5 ideal for episodic television, sporting events and concerts. A new IMX codec in Final Cut Pro 5 allows for native editing of broadcast content from Sony’s XDCAM. 

Direct support for Panasonic’s P2 solid state media gives editors a high-speed solution for tapeless transfer of DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD video. New Dynamic RT, an intelligent system that automatically adjusts image quality and frame-rate during playback, allows editors to see more real-time effects at the highest possible quality.

Additionally, the RT Extreme engine in Final Cut Pro 5 has been enhanced to allow uncompressed HD effects to be viewed in real-time.  New audio capabilities in Final Cut Pro 5 enable users to capture up to 24 simultaneous audio channels at high-quality 24-bit 96kHz and use audio control surfaces.

Soundtrack Pro

Soundtrack Pro, a new audio editing and sound design application included in Final Cut Studio, features a waveform editor with flexible Action Layers that allow users to instantly re-order, bypass or change any edit, effect or process. Intelligent Find-and-Fix features quickly identify and repair common audio problems. An integrated multitrack mixer allows editors to apply common effects to multiple tracks and group common tracks using busses. With over 50 professional plug-ins including Space Designer, Match EQ and Linear Phase EQ, Soundtrack Pro provides a powerful set of tools to sculpt the perfect sound for any production. Soundtrack Pro comes with over 5,000 Apple Loops that add depth to the action and emotion of pictures with musical elements and sound effects ranging from earthshaking explosions and whooshes, to subtle ambient effects.  AppleScript®= capabilities built into Soundtrack Pro simplify and accelerate the video production process by automating common and repetitive audio tasks. 

Motion 2

Motion 2, the latest version of Apple’s real-time motion graphics software, enables Final Cut Pro editors to add incredible motion graphics to their projects, whether they are working in DV, SD, HD or film. Motion 2 is the world’s first motion graphics software with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering for true film quality output. Replicator, a unique new automated design tool lets editors easily animate any number of duplicated movies or graphics along user defined grids and patterns.  Motion 2 also includes over 130 accelerated filters such as 3D rotation, vignette and caustics, and more than 50 new particle effects that automatically generate spectacular animations like sparkles, bubbles and space clouds. In addition, third party developers can write their own effects with FxPlug, a professional plug-in format that takes full advantage of Motion 2’s real-time GPU accelerated performance and 32-bit float rendering. New MIDI support allows Motion 2 to be “played” like a musical instrument with animation changes triggered by playing a keyboard or using faders or knobs on a MIDI controller.

DVD Studio Pro

DVD Studio Pro 4, Final Cut Studio’s professional DVD authoring program, is the first commercially available DVD authoring software that lets users burn their HD projects to high definition DVDs based on the latest HD DVD specification. DVD Studio Pro 4 will be demonstrated at NAB with a prototype consumer HD DVD player from Toshiba set to debut later this year. Distributed encoding tools included in DVD Studio Pro 4 tap the power of networked Macintosh® computers to dramatically reduce encoding time for high definition projects. DVD Studio Pro 4 also includes support for mixed formats and advanced scripting for the most sophisticated commercial titles.

Pricing & Availability

Final Cut Studio will be available in May through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US). Registered users from any previous version of Final Cut Pro can upgrade for $699 (US).  Production Suite customers can upgrade for $499 (US).  Final Cut Pro 5, Soundtrack Pro, Motion 2 and DVD Studio Pro 4 will also be sold separately.  Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Studio can be found at Apple's Web site.