Final Cut Pro Review - Digital / Desktop Nonlinear Video Editing Software Reviews

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Apple Final Cut Pro 4

Digital / desktop video editing software: Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro 4 delivers creative, professional and extensible tools for video and film editors working in virtually any format, and at any resolution. And it does that without the drawbacks of proprietary systems that can cost tens of thousands of dollars more.

Final Cut Pro 4 has sophisticated editing, compositing, effects and audio tools that allow professional editors to meet demanding post production deadlines while maintaining their creativity.

It is a powerful solution for creating high-quality programming in a broad range of formats, frame rates and resolutions.

Scalable Capture

Final Cut Pro 4s open, standards-based architecture and flexibility allow it to fit into virtually any production pipeline.

Final Cut Pro 4 is open to various types of media input from just about any source SD, HD, offline, DV and film. And since Final Cut Pro 4 includes Cinema Tools, it now supports several film formats, keycode, key numbers, ink numbers, plus a variety of output lists, including change lists, and features advanced pulldown tools that handle 2:3, 2:3:3:2, and 2:4:4:2 telecine operations.

Broadcast Quality Codec

Final Cut Pro 4 ships with a wide range of codecs, including 8- and 10-bit uncompressed YUV (4:2:2) SD and HD codecs, native support for Panasonic DVCPRO50, 50Mb/s 4:2:2 video over FireWire, and a newly optimized, high-quality MPEG-2 codec for encoding and distribution.

Powerful new formats in Final Cut Pro 4 let you capture, play back and output different formats of digital video in a variety of compressed or uncompressed formats.

Real-Time Effects

Final Cut Pro 4s RT Extreme engine produces a virtually unlimited number of video streams and spectacular effects.

Final Cut Pro 4 harnesses the awesome supercomputing power of the PowerPC G4 with Velocity Engine, turning your Mac into a video editing powerhouse that pumps out render-free playback of effects in real time. And new real-time modes allow you to choose full-resolution output for finishing, or real-time preview for maximum simultaneous streams.

Final Cut Pro 4s enhanced multi-stream real-time effects now include output to a NTSC broadcast monitor for more accurate, real-time previews. The RT Extreme engine leverages the power of Mac OS X and the PowerPC G4 processor to produce a virtually unlimited number of video streams and spectacular effects.

Final Cut Pro 4 gives you innovative features like real-time effects playback, a high-capacity offline format for seamless offline-to-online workflow, and powerful finishing capabilities such as advanced color correctors.

Editing And Trimming Tools

Final Cut Pro 4s visual controls like buttons and shortcut menu commands give you total control of the editing process.

Final Cut Pro 4 gives you a unique editing environment that includes the tools professional editors require to cut video with speed and precision.

Color Correction Tools

Final Cut Pro 4 features real-time color correction for SD finishing. Advanced primary and secondary color correction tools have been enhanced to include color-matching, finer control over selection areas, and a new Frame Viewer for comparing multiple frames.

Differences between cameras, angles and lighting situations can cause visible color differences from scene to scene. Fortunately, they no longer require thousands of dollars to fix. With Final Cut Pro 4, you can balance all the shots in a scene to match, correct errors in color balance and make sure that key elements in your movie look the way they should.

Freedom to Move

Final Cut Pro 3 features OfflineRT - a built-in format that is the first native offline format available for DV. OfflineRT is perfect for editing on the run, providing over 40 minutes of video per gigabyte of hard disk space. This means you can carry around massive amounts of timecode-accurate video that you can reconnect to the original source material whenever youre ready, without having to resort to special external storage solutions. Just capture and transcode DV footage to OfflineRT via a simple FireWire connection.

Audio Editing

A new on-screen audio mixer, along with an audio router and multi-channel output, raise the bar for nonlinear editor-based audio editing.

Final Cut Pro 4 includes an entirely new audio subsystem built on Mac OS Xs high-performance, ultra low latency Core Audio engine. From a new on-screen mixing console to 24-channel audio output and routing capabilities, Final Cut Pro 4 delivers power that has previously been available only in dedicated digital audio-only workstations.

Final Cut Pro 4s new on-screen mixer supports a staggering 99 tracks. Each track contains a fader, level meter, mute, solo and pan controls. A separate master section in the mixer allows for adjustment of the overall level of the mix. Each output channel in the master section includes peak hold level indicators to provide enhanced precision when viewing your overall mix levels. You can define up to four separate views, allowing you to make quick work of large multi-track mixing jobs.

When exporting audio for use in other editing environments, Final Cut Pro 4 supports 24-bit OMF. In addition, 24-bit AIFF and WAVE files can be imported into Final Cut Pro 4 without loss. All sample rate conversions happen in real-time using an advanced, extremely high-quality conversion algorithm.

Text, Effect and object

LiveType introduces a new way to handle effects, with powerful timing features that allow you to control every aspect of your animation, giving you greater character control than any other titling application out there.

From an animation standpoint, LiveTypes keyframes are easier to work with than in other applications, since each keyframe contains all the parameters for an element. And applying effects to individual elements is easier than ever before. You can turn effects on and off for individual characters, and sequence or randomize the timing of the effects you apply. The combinations and creative possibilities are virtually limitless.

Since LiveType imports all QuickTime-supported file formats, you can bring in your own graphics for animation. Custom artwork, logos, even photographs will get a new life when you attach LiveType effects to them.

Cinema Tools

A database that tracks the relationship between your original film and sound with its digitized counterpart in Final Cut Pro 4, Cinema Tools provides the vital link between your original film negative and your digital video edits and it now comes with the powerful new features you demanded.

Professional Output

With Final Cut Pro 4, you can output your movie for the web or DVD, or to broadcast formats such as DV, SD or HD.

Built on a resolution-independent architecture that lets it scale from SD to HD, Final Cut Pro 4 supports 23.976, true 24fps, 25, 29.97 and 30fps output, and even supports output to an NTSC external video monitor for greater previewing control.

Final Cut Pro 4s new broadcast quality codecs support studio-quality broadcast finishing and distribution. The application now includes 8- and 10-bit uncompressed (4:2:2) SD and HD codecs, a DVCPRO50 (4:2:2) codec, and a newly optimized, high-quality MPEG2 codec.

System Requirements

  • Macintosh OSX 10.2.5 or later
  • G4 Processor 500MHz
  • 384MB RAM
  • 14GB of disk space

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