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Thursday, May 18, 2006, 07:50 am PT (10:50 am ET)

Apple releases Final Cut Express HD 3.5

Apple on Thursday released Final Cut Express HD 3.5, a significant upgrade to its software solution for video enthusiasts, schools and small businesses that runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.

New in Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is Dynamic RT for real-time playback of multi-stream effects, Soundtrack 1.5 with a complete suite of professional level audio production tools and LiveType 2.1 with more exciting animated text and titles.

The software offers a complete set of advanced editing tools for DV and HDV video formats with support for multiple video layers, real-time special effects and transitions, and powerful color correction and matting filters for professional-looking results.

"Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is the total movie making package with many of the same tools the pros use at a price designed to appeal to aspiring pros," said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "Whether it’s multiple streams of video, professional audio tools or animated text and titles, Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is ideal for anyone who is passionate about the movies they make and delivers incredible performance on Apple’s new Intel-based Macs."

Final Cut Express HD's new Dynamic RT enables users to view even multi-layered HDV video in real-time, which dramatically speeds up the editing process by eliminating the need to render and re-render clips, Apple said. In addition, the company said all effects, transitions and motion parameters can now be keyframed, providing complete creative control over special effects that can be saved as favorites for use in other projects.

Meanwhile, the new version Soundtrack includes over 4,000 professional-quality, royalty-free instrument loops and sound effects that can be mixed and matched to create a custom score precisely timed to each project. It also offers improved multitrack audio editing and recording tools with tracks, busses, outputs and real-time effects processing just like a professional recording studio.

Also included in Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is a new version of LiveType that lets users add high-impact excitement to movies with dynamic animated text and hundreds of royalty-free backgrounds and animated textures — all customizable to match the look and feel of projects. Some new features include a host of exciting new animated graphics, including 70 new animated objects, 15 new textures and 60 new customizable preset effects for animated text and titles. With new vector-based LiveFont technology, animated text styles like Tremor, Script, Ribbon, Cool and Blueprint can be scaled to any resolution including HD with blazing rendering performance, especially on the new generation of Intel-based Macs, Apple said.

Pricing & Availability

Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299 (US). Owners of previous versions of Final Cut Express can upgrade to Final Cut Express HD 3.5 for just $99 (US).