Apple’s Plans for Photos App Will End Aperture Development

Apple unveiled a new Photos app during its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month in San Francisco. Now it seems that the app will serve as a new platform for the upcoming OS X Yosemite. As a result, Apple will no longer develop its Aperture pro photography application, and iPhoto will be replaced by the new Photos app. The transition is designed to provide a more seamless experience, since users will be able to edit and search their Photo Library in the cloud on any Apple devices. Continue reading Apple’s Plans for Photos App Will End Aperture Development

Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

In addition to the new iPads unveiled yesterday, Apple made several announcements regarding its hardware and software products. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops will go on sale immediately, while the $2,999 Mac Pro desktop will ship before the end of the year. Apple’s iWork and iLife suites of office and creative software are now free with every hardware purchase. Another surprise is the company’s decision to offer its Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, as a free download. Continue reading Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

Will Apple Win Back Pro Editors with Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 Update?

  • In response to negative reviews and public outcry regarding FCP X, Apple made Final Cut 7 available again for editors frustrated by the upgrade’s reported limitations. ETCentric posted a story last week explaining that the company was reintroducing the previous version via Apple telesales for a limited and unspecified time.
  • Now Apple has released a new update (Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1) that contains a number of promised features.
  • Additions to the new update include: XML import and export of project and event information, intelligent stem export from project timelines using Roles, timecode start customization, GPU acceleration for export, a camera import SDK designed to ensure Pro X-compatible hardware and a fullscreen mode in OS X Lion.
  • “Townhill admits, however, that several promised features have yet to be implemented, above all multicam editing and broadcast video monitoring,” reports MacNN in response to statements made by Richard Townhill, Apple’s director of pro video product marketing. “He elaborates that Apple is ‘fully committed’ to adding the options in a 2012 update.”
  • Apple is also trying to win back alienated customers with a 30-day free trial and a PDF booklet that introduces Pro X to Pro 7 editors.

Apple Responds to Pros by Making Final Cut 7 Available (For Now)

  • In response to the public outcry from video enthusiasts and professional editors regarding the reported feature limitations of FCP X, Apple announced it has reintroduced Final Cut 7.
  • However, it will only be available through Apple telesales and at the original $1,000 price (the newer version costs $300, plus $50 each to add Compressor and Motion). According to the New York Times, the deal is for a limited and unspecified time.
  • The article suggests one drawback: “…it is impossible to import work from Final Cut 7 to Final Cut X. That means partially finished Final Cut 7 projects must be completed in 7. That also means many pro editors will have to keep both products on their computers for some time to come.”
  • The move is reportedly meant to appease producers who are in the process of assembling a film. “For the rest of us, especially the video dabblers, it makes more sense to get used to Final Cut Pro X, which more than serves most amateur needs,” suggests the article.

Professional Editor Offers a Different Slant on the Future of FCP X

  • “CSI: Miami” editor and creator of 2-pop FCP informational site, Lawrence Jordan A.C.E., provides an alternative analysis of Apple’s much maligned Final Cut Pro X release.
  • In his recent Editors Guild Magazine article, Jordan discusses the history of FCP emerging as an affordable alternative to Avid, the unveiling of FCP X at the SuperMeet in Las Vegas, the subsequent negative backlash and comparisons to iMovie, Apple’s response to the debacle, and a refreshingly optimistic view of FCP’s future.
  • “Marketing debacles aside, once you dig in and start to really understand the breadth and depth of the things it can do, it’s hard to argue that Final Cut Pro X is not groundbreaking,” he writes. “It’s a slick, sophisticated and innovative rethinking of the editing paradigm that, considering Apple’s weight and power in the marketplace, will very likely be embraced by an entire new generation of media creators — people who will be crafting stories into the future, for platforms and devices that don’t even exist yet.”
  • Jordan concludes on a promising note: “Although I can’t recommend it to my fellow editors for editing features or television in its current incarnation (after all, it is only version 1.0), I look forward to what Final Cut Pro X will have to offer as it matures and as Apple begins to deliver on promises of a professional-level product that meets the needs and expectations of both its new and experienced users. I guess we will just all have to wait and see.”

Adobe Announces Acquisition of IRIDAS Film and Video Technology

  • Adobe announced at IBC in Amsterdam that it has acquired certain assets of IRIDAS, “a leader in high-performance tools for digital color grading and enhancement of professional film and video content, including stereoscopic technology.”
  • The deal is part of Adobe’s efforts to invest in its own video software solutions, Premiere Pro and After Effects, at a time when videography is democratizing (especially with the arrival of video SLRs) and some consumers are frustrated by changes to Final Cut Pro.
  • “The IRIDAS Speedgrade software offers the ability to refine video in a number of ways, notably what’s called color grading, which can shift a video’s color tones to give a particular look,” reports CNET.
  • According to Adobe’s press release: “With the addition of IRIDAS technology, Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, the world’s leading video tools for professionals, are expected to gain a comprehensive set of tools so video editors can manipulate color and light for any type of content, including professional film and television. The addition of premier color grading tools exemplifies Adobe’s commitment and leadership in the digital film and video space.”
  • Adobe also explained that the deal will help the company move forward in regards to the growing trend in 3D video.

Review: Apple Final Cut Pro X by Oliver Peters

  • Oliver Peters, writing for digital filmmaker resource site, provides a detailed analysis of Apple’s recently released Final Cut Pro X editing platform. He describes the new version as “a tool intended to be easier to use by people who aren’t necessarily full-time editors — meaning event videographers, video journalists, producer/directors who occasionally edit and corporate presentation professionals.”
  • Peters adds, “The sweet spot today for Final Cut Pro X is a production that is file-based and can be started and finished entirely within FCP X without the need for interchange with other applications.”
  • The review is divided into the following areas: Speed, User Interface, Events Database, Projects and Storylines, Effects and Color, and How To Get In and Out of FCP X.
  • For those interested in a thorough evaluation with helpful suggestions for utilities and workarounds, Peters’ review is ideal.
  • The bottom line: “If you can deal with the current ‘version 1.0’ limitations and are dying to see whether Apple’s re-imagining of nonlinear editing is a better way for you to tell the story, then Final Cut Pro X might be right for you. But if you are a professional user with established, advanced workflows, it will likely be a frustrating experience in that scenario. FCP X is ready for prime time now, although Prime Time might not be ready for it!”

New Final Cut Pro Expected for Spring 2011

More than a year has passed since Final Cut Pro’s last release, but the word is out that Apple has plans for a Spring announcement. Apple recently invited a small group of professional video editors to the Cupertino campus for a test run.

According to TechCrunch, early reports from those who demonstrated the new version suggest that the changes are “dramatic and ambitious” and may address concerns that Apple has turned its focus regarding video editing from the professional to the consumer space.

The new version of Final Cut Pro is said to be a “major overhaul” reports 9to5Mac, including a new user interface, 64-bit compatibility, and architectural enhancements.

TechCrunch reports Apple has plans to release the new version of FCP in Spring 2011, in a launch possibly coinciding with April’s NAB conference.


Walter Murch Addresses Why 3D Does Not Work

Film editor and sound designer Walter Murch wrote a letter to Roger Ebert in which he discusses the pitfalls of editing and viewing 3D movies.

Ebert notes that Murch is uniquely qualified to comment on 3D, considering he has received Academy Award nominations for films edited on four different systems, including: upright Moviola, KEM flatbed, Avid, and Final Cut Pro. He also edited the 3D “Captain Eo” in the 1980s and wrote “In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing” in 1995.

In his letter, Murch addresses a number of compelling points such as the inherent darkness of the 3D image, the strobe effect of horizontal movement in 3D, and what he sees as problematic issues involving how our eyes and brain interpret convergence, focus, and immersion. Murch sums up his take on 3D as, “dark, small, stroby, headache inducing, alienating. And expensive. The question is: how long will it take people to realize and get fed up?”