Wednesday, 13 April, 2011

Final Cut Pro X aka FCP 8

A few minutes ago, at the FCPUG Supermeet, Apple representatives unveiled the new Final Cut Pro, called Final Cut Pro X or FCP X. Details are still coming in as the event is still under way. But the highlights so far...

New interface, quite different
No rendering
All formats native
Enhancements for editing ease
Ease of use for sound
Peaks in timeline
Keyframing done differently
Will detect image volume - CU, MCU, MS, LS etc
Auto colour correction

Many more, will report as I study them

Will be available June 2011
At the App Store for US$ 299

Tuesday, 12 April, 2011

NAB 2011 - Day 1

NAB 2011 has officially begun. Form the post production, editing, and finishing point of view some of the leading events were...

Baselight showed their Baselight plug-in for FCP. Editors can now grade their shots within FCP itself. In place of effects controls you see the black/grey Baselight interface with its distinctive controls. What you grade can be rendered and output. So you can say, "I'm grading on Baselight". You can also export your grade as an XML to import into a real Baselight on Linux and finish it there.
Baselight plug-in for FCP will be available in a few months for under $ 1000.

Baselight also showed a new and improved grading panel - the Blackboard 2.

Resolve unveiled an update - Resolve 8. This has a multi-layer timeline, just like any editing system. Resolve now imports XMLs and builds timelines without having to import material into it's 'media pool'. It supports OpenCL, so systems like the new MacBook Pro or iMac that don't have Nvidia CUDA graphics, you can still use Resolve. Resolve 8 is free for existing users, and will cost $995 for new users, available June.

And a free version of Resolve called Resolve lite that has the Resolve interface with some limitations on nodes and GPU power. I think this will be the on set tool for most digital workflows in India. 
Free is also a smart move as most Indians feel shy to buy software. Even large post houses with offices in Hollywood often do their software shopping at the 'Torrent Mall'.

Avid showed a new version of Media Composer ver 5.5 which allows capture and output via third party hardware, currently only the Aja IO Express.
Avid also offered a FCP cross-grade. Meaning if you have an existing FCP version, you can hand that in and take a MediaComposer software for only $ 995. About Rs 45,000 for an entire Avid... software, of course.

Sony showed a 4k camera... finally. The F65 CineAlta. And they showed a short film shot on this camera at 4k.
And many more new products. Memory based recorders, OLED monitors, and of course, 3D cameras.

Blackmagic showed a Decklink 4k which can play and record 4k over 4 SDI inputs.
I have a feeling we will see more of this with the new FCP whenever its shown (like tomorrow;-). Because otherwise, there's no real use of 4k, as FCP doesn't support it yet.
Blackmagic also unveiled a range of cards and products. Including one interface that works on Thunderbolt. I'm sure there are more in the pipeline.
And there are a couple of HD uncompressed recorders for high quality 4:2:2 HD recordings over HD-SDI or HDMI. With embedded audio. These look interesting even for studio use.

Aja released a 4k mode for the Kona 4 using 4 SDI outs to play back full 4k.

Aja also announced Thunderbolt support for an upcoming product called 'Phaser'

Assimilate announced a Scratch for Mac for $ 18,000 and an on set Digital lab for conversions, preview and other processing on set. $ 5000.

Telestream made announcements on new products. Notable among them being ProRes encoding on their PC products. And enhanced RS-422 support for their Pipeline products. So you can implement a 'Virtual VTR' with a Pipeline and any Mac, even an iMac.

Matrox announced Thunderbolt support for their MXO devices. These are currently connected to systems over ExpressCard or PCIe. What's surprising is that the announcement refers to what appears to be backward compatibility with existing MXO devices using "Matrox Thunderbolt adapters for all MXO2 devices can be purchased as an add-on at $299 US (£199, €249)".

Lots more to come.

Monday, 11 April, 2011

NAB 2011 - preview

NAB starts off in las Vegas in a few hours, at about 9.30 pm India time. The exhibition runs Apr 11-14. And like in previous years, new systems, software updates, 3D, more 3D and possibly some revolutionary stuff is expected.

For those who couldn't make it, a visit to the main NAB web site gives you details and movies that show the show.

In the run up, over the past week or so, some of the highlights and trends to follow...

new FCP announcement expected at 7 pm on Tuesday at the FCPUG Supermeet at Bally's.
Baselight plug-in for FCP that lets you grade Baselight style but inside FCP and send your grades via XML to a real baselight.
Colorfront onset dailies system
Canon and Technicolor will show a color management system for Canon HDSLRs
Adobe CS 5.5 with exciting developments HDSLR workflows
Thunderbolt support will be in many places for sure - Matrox for one
Some new systems (maybe) or announcements from Aja and Blackmagic

Other companies to watch out for
Editshare, Atto, Marquis, SGO Mistika, Quantel, Autodesk, Dolby...

and lots more. I'll relay stuff as I see it, hopefully on a daily basis.