Thursday, April 14, 2011

Final Cut Pro X - More notes

Still another collection of reports on Final Cut Pro X (or 10) [See earlier reports: Final Cut Pro 10 - Sneak Peak Wrap Up ..Part II]

Larry Jordan, take II
Larry has already written a column with his thoughts [Larry'sBlog: The sound of 1,700 Jaws Dropping] but he also spoke about it in the last 10 minutes of the NAB Show Buzz episode for Wednesday April 13th.

He described the atmosphere this way; "the enthusiasm for the product was as much relief that it wasn't as screwed up as everybody thought it would be," and noted that it was a "sneak peak" and adds that this was a sneak peak and that Apple was still soliciting opinions. I think he may be a bit optimistic; given my experience with software engineering, and that the release date is June, I don' t think they'll be making huge changes between now and then!

Larry is carefully positive, though notes that "the devil is in the details." He also said that Final Cut X is built upon Quartz composer, and that's why it looks like iMovie. But he stresses that it's not iMovie Pro, adding that an Apple rep told him that if it had been "we would not be showing this at NAB, we would not be showing it at SuperMeet."

Finally, he seems to think that the other apps from Final Cut Studio are being unbundled , and that the price of $299 applies only to Final Cut Pro. This doesn't agree with what was said at the event:
In the past we’ve had a number of different flavors. We’ve had upgrade pricing, we’ve had Final Cut Express, we’ve had Final Cut Studio. So we decided that we really want to do away with all of that. We want to greatly simplify the pricing structure and make it very very easy for you to decide if you want to get a copy of Final Cut Pro. So we’ve decided to make it available for the amazing price of $299.
-Peter Steinauer, Apple senior video applications engineer
Final Cut Studio right now is $999 ($779 at Amazon) and the upgrade price is $299. The above statement makes no sense if they plan to charge extra for the other apps. Unless it's $4.99 for each, but even then, there will be complaining: the "new" Final Cut Studio would actually cost existing owners more to upgrade than previous upgrades cost!

However, I'm not convinced that the other modules are being rewritten in major ways. I would not be surprised if they remained in existence, but had only been tweaked to work with what the new Final Cut passes them; kind of like what has happened to DVD Studio Pro (which will not be updated!)

The Name
It's Final Cut X, right? That's what they had on the slides; I seem to have been using "10" mistakenly. That's what happens when you aren't at the event!

Walter Biscardi, who was somewhat negative about the whole SuperMeet event from the start, writes his opinions of what was shown, but starts out with a note about a meeting with Avid, and how they finally are really "listening" to their users.

Then he gets into the heart of the event:
What Apple actually chose to show was quite nice.
The two highlights for me were Audition and the Magnetic audio.
He goes on to note concerns about the many things that weren't shown:
The reaction among the pro editors and others I chatted with after the show was tepid at best. I think an encounter by one of the folks was somewhat telling.
Editor: Nice presentation but what about those features that weren’t shown?
In the end, he seems to assume that all the answers to the unanswered questions are "no" and that while the installed base will grow, power users will move to Avid and Adobe:
The biggest beneficiaries of the one hour presentation will most likely turn out to be Avid and Adobe. Sure Apple will sell millions of copies of X, but those other two A’s my very well come out ahead.
Biscardi Creative Blog: The "Future" of editing

Gary Adcock writes up a report for MacWorld and also notes the confusion about the other apps and even wonders what will happen to Final Cut Express...ummm:
So we decided that we really want to do away with all of that.
-Peter Steinauer, Apple senior video applications engineer
And even though he lists many features that weren't covered, he remains optomistic:
That being said, I'm happy to say those articles about Apple “dumbing down” Final Cut were a far cry from the mark—the features touted in Tuesday's presentation make that clear. Additionally, if Apple were so ready to write off its professional base, I doubt the company would have premiered the Final Cut Pro X first look at the SuperMeet, of all places, nor touted Academy Award-winning films such as The Social Network and True Grit as prime examples of what this software can do.
MacWorld: Final Cut Pro X stays in the picture for pros

Daniel Bérubé from BOSFCPUG, and one of the organizers of the SuperMeet, has a photo library on Facebook: Tenth Annual Las Vegas FCPUG SuperMeet

Steve Cohen, an Avid user, offers his perspective:
The editing model is even more drag-and-drop than current FCP, and to make it work, clips move out of the way to accommodate a drag, something Apple calls a “magnetic” timeline. Drag and drop encourages track proliferation — you just keep stacking stuff up.
He thinks it will be great for the masses, and will work well for unstructured material. Others might not be so happy:
For structured material, it makes less sense. Whether automatically moving clips around in a timeline and automatic track creation will work for scripted features and television remains to be seen.
SpliceNow: What Was Said and What Wasn’t

Philip Hodgetts offers his perspective, and also points out a technical detail:
The fact that it is 64 bit, uses “Snow Leopard” technologies such as Grand Central Dispatch, and supports 4K means that it’s not based on QuickTime. While they could have rolled their own, I believe it’s based on AV Foundation – certainly no-one has tried to discourage me from that thought – although it is unconfirmed. It remains the most logical explanation for the performance improvements we’ve seen.
Bye bye QuickTime?

While he is aware that much wasn't shown, Philip is really excited about the new release, and goes into some of the features in quite some depth.
The color features – beyond auto white balance correction on ingest (optional and non-destructive) – show the ability to apply preset looks [...] This is really indicative of the Apple philosophy at play. Make something that does at least 80% of what could be done, and make it really accessible to non-specialists.
If you want to get excited about Final Cut Pro X - and aren't already - then this is the article to read!
PhilipHodgetts: What are my thoughts on Final Cut Pro X?

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