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Apple targets video pros with major updates to Final Cut Pro X, Motion & Compressor

Apple on Monday issued a series of significant updates for its trio of apps geared toward video professionals, adding features like new 3D titles, support for more camera formats, and more to Final Cut Pro X, Compressor, and Motion.

Final Cut Pro 10.2 includes new 3D titles that are easy to use, and it also adds improved masking for color grading and effects. Apple has also included native support for more camera formats, and GPU-accelerated RED RAW processing.

Also available is Motion 5.2, which expands the capabilities of 3D titles. With the new Motion, users can create custom materials and environments, and instantly publish them to Final Cut Pro X.

In addition, Compressor 4.2 is also available, and makes it easy to package a movie for sale on the iTunes Store.

"From Hollywood blockbuster directors to first time movie makers, Final Cut Pro X is changing the way we edit movies today," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor make it even easier to edit, title and package everything from short videos to feature-length films."

All three updates are available for free for existing owners of the software. New purchases of Final Cut Pro 10.2 cost $299.99 on the Mac App Store, while both Motion 5.2 and Compressor 4.2 are available for $49.99 each.

According to Apple, Final Cut Pro 10.2 will allow video editors to create 3D titles with drag-and-drop ease and ships with simple templates to get started quickly, as well as cinematic templates with built-in backgrounds and animations. Users can choose from a set of text styles to customize the look of their titles with hundreds of combinations of materials, lighting and edges, and instantly convert 2D titles to 3D and see changes in real time.

Final Cut Pro 10.2 has also been updated to let editors view up to four video scopes simultaneously, for more precision when color grading, and includes improved Shape masks on any effect that can be saved as presets for quick access later.

In addition, Final Cut Pro 10.2 natively supports even more video formats, including Panasonic AVC-Ultra and Sony XAVC-S, and makes working with RED RAW files faster than ever with GPU-accelerated transcoding, playback and rendering— including support for dual GPUs on Mac Pro.

As for Motion 5.2, Apple has included even more options for 3D titles. According to the company, the app now lets users create dynamic titles with multiple lights and cameras, as well as multilayered scenes with 3D titles that cast ultra-realistic shadows and reflections on other objects.

Dozens of third-party partners offer even more options for 3D titles, and hundreds of new 3D templates are said to be coming soon from developers including Ripple Training, motionVFX and FxFactory— all of which work seamlessly in the new versions of Motion and Final Cut Pro. Motion also includes 12 new generator effects, improved keyframing and enhanced controls for mask and shape creation.

Finally, Apple said Compressor 4.2 makes it easier than ever to prepare a movie for sale on the iTunes Store. Users can choose the movie, trailer, closed captions, and more, and Compressor creates an iTunes Store Package, which users can submit to an iTunes Delivery Partner for sale on the store.

Compressor also delivers key performance improvements for encoding tasks, including fast GPU rendering when using Send to Compressor and hardware-accelerated multi-pass H.264 encoding on compatible systems.

In announcing the update on Monday, Apple once again spotlighted the film "Focus," whose directors used Final Cut Pro to produce the feature film starring Will Smith. "Focus" was previously highlighted by the company in February.

"We loved using Final Cut Pro X to edit Focus," said Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, co-directors of the 2015 feature film, Focus. "We created the final theatrical titles for the movie right in Final Cut Pro, and the new 3D titling and effects features will let us take in-app graphics even further. We're using the new Final Cut Pro on our next feature film."