Product Watch: Lights, Camera, FireWire ........Final Cut Pro!

Final Cut Pro 1.2

Final Cut Pro is Apple Computer's new software application that combines professional-quality video editing, compositing, and special effects in one single package. Using Final Cut Pro, a digital video camera and a Macintosh G3 or G4 computer video creators have a complete, professional, plug-and-play video editing system at a substantially reduced cost when compared to competing systems.

"Desktop Video is Apple's next big market push and Final Cut Pro will lead the charge at the high-end," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With our Firewire-savvy computers, we plan to bring easy to use desktop video creation to millions of new customers including television producers, ad agencies, graphics firms, web site designers, teachers, students and consumers."

You simply plug a digital camera into the FireWire port of a Power Macintosh G3/G4 computer and Final Cut Pro is ready to go. The camera's digital video and audio data is transferred to the computer's hard disk, where it can be edited and displayed on the computer, with digital clarity.

Final Cut Pro is based on Apple's QuickTime multimedia software and takes advantage of QuickTime's video effects, transitions and streaming. The product supports all QuickTime video and audio formats and qualified third-party QuickTime-compatible cards, such as Pinnacle Systems' TARGA series.

Version 1.2 of Final Cut Pro is optimized for the G4 Power Macs and takes advantage of the G4 "Velocity Engine." Apple says this makes the product up to 3 times faster when running on a G4 than the previous version.

Version 1.2 includes support for the European PAL format and is available in three new languages - French, German and Japanese. It also includes support for the input and rendering of Japanese characters, such as Japanese double-byte glyphs.

New features of Final Cut Pro 1.2 include

  • Support for Mac OS 9
  • Full frame-rate with improved quality on computer screens while simultaneously playing on NTSC/PAL monitors
  • The ability to import Macromedia Flash files
  • Three-key shuttling
  • Support of additional third party After Effects plug-ins
  • Improved batch capture including the ability to capture multiple clips and sequences at once
  • New audio reverb filters
  • Faster digital video encoding and decoding
  • Two times the rendering performance on a Power Mac G3

Final Cut Pro 1.2 come bundled with Puffin Design's Commotion DV, MAXON Computer's Cinema 4D GO and Terran Interactive's Media Cleaner EZ 4 for QuickTime. These provide the user with 3D paint, added effects, web compression and distribution capabilities.

A recent MacHome review gave Final Cut Pro 5 apples out of a possible 5 and said this about the product:

"When compared Videoshop from Strata and Premiere from Adobe, Final Cut Pro blows them both away in the look-and-feel category. This is no easy feat; Videoshop has one of the simplest video editing systems out there, and Premiere has won numerous awards."

Final Cut Pro 1.2 has a MSRP of $999 .......... Check for lowest price



Key features of Final Cut Pro include:

  • Sophisticated timesaving editing tools, such as three-point editing, match frame and multitrack trimming, with advanced compositing and effects;
  • Direct, proxy-free compositing, allowing producers to see exactly how their video will appear in the finished product;
  • Ability to position and manipulate video elements in the viewing screen instead of a dialog box;
  • Efficient and intuitive drag-and-drop interface;
  • Simultaneous playback of video to a computer screen and either a TV, VCR or camera;
  • Ability to view large video windows with smooth, stutter-free playback for precise editing and audio/video synchronization;
  • Plug and play video/audio input and output through support of FireWire
  • Ability to create and animate unlimited layers of video using text, graphics, Adobe Photoshop files (with layers maintained), and additional video elements;
  • Support for Bezier curves and graphs with keyframes to help users apply and control time-based effects;
  • Advanced searching and sorting of media assets, high-speed previews and fast rendering;
  • Capability of printing to tape without a "make movie" command, eliminating the time-consuming process of rendering each frame;
  • Built-in text generators allowing users to create titles with automatic kerning and leading;
  • Support for qualified third party After Effects plug-ins, enabling video creators to add more special effects to Final Cut Pro;
  • FXBuilder¤providing the ability to customize and build video effects such as filters, text generators or transitions with minimal effort.

Minimum System Requirements

  • 266-MHz Power Macintosh G3 or Power Mac G4 computer (300 MHz required for DV), or 300-MHz PowerBook G3 Series computer
  • Mac OS 8.6 or later
  • 128MB of RAM
  • 6GB hard disk (one or more separate Ultra2 LVD SCSI media drives recommended)
  • For PowerBook G3 Series computers: A Newer Technology FireWire 2 Go card
  • One of the following video capture systems (optional): ¤A DV digital video source connected to a computer with a FireWire (IEEE 1394; Sony i.LINK) port, either built in or provided by an Apple FireWire Kit
  • An analog video source and a Final Cut Pro qualified video capture card or device.
  • Dual-monitor support (optional)
  • QuickTime 4.03

Not Satisfied? Visit the Final Cut Pro FAQ

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