Editor's Blog: Rik Meets with Apple Honchos in Las Vegas to Get the Inside Scoop on Final Cut Studio 2

Editor's Blog: Rik Meets with Apple Honchos in Las Vegas to Get the Inside Scoop on Final Cut Studio 2

8. Color: Terminology. I needed a little help from Townhill with some terminology used in the newest member of the Final Cut Suite, Color. As you probably know from digging around on the Apple website and elsewhere, Color includes a slick 3D representation of the color information in the clip you're examining. The two-dimensional plane of the ring bounding this scope is the RGB chroma - color information - of the clip. The third dimension of the scope is what's called luma; simply put, luma is the measure of a color's intensity in the range from dark to light. These terms I already knew, but one from a slide at yesterday's announcement puzzled me. The slide said that using Color you could "Adjust lift, gamma, and gain." What the %$#@! is "lift?" Townhill thought he knew, but decided it'd be best to check with someone he knew knew. A phone call later: Lift refers to raising the luma of all the colors in a set - of a frame or clip, for example. (Townhill, by the way, had been right.) Simple, eh? Eh…?

 

9. Color: Looks. A few quick notes about "looks," those user-definable, saveable collections of color corrections that can be easily used to define and repeat the ... well ... the look of a piece of video. Color comes with over 20 built-in looks, but you can either modify those and save them as modified as additional new looks, or you can create looks from scratch. According to Townsend, looks are specific only to Color, so don't expect to swap them with colleagues who are using other color-grading applications. Not that swapping them would be all that time-consuming; according to Townsend, since a look file contains only pointers to filters, color modifications, and the like, it's only "a few K" in size.

 

10. Final Cut Server: Xsan integration. I asked Townhill if the new Final Cut Server had any specific Xsan integration built into it, and his answer was no - but that doesn't mean it won't play nice with Xsan, it just means that neither need any special integration to make them work well together.

 

11. Final Cut Server: What's where when? When I asked for whom Final Cut Server was intended, Townhill said that the range of shop sizes was quite large - and, importantly, a boutique video shop that doesn't rely on network-based storage can benefit from Final Cut Server even if the only way they pass video from one editor to another is by checking out and unplugging a FireWire drive, then handing it to the other guy, who plugs it in, checks it in, and starts working away on his Mac (or PC - Final Cut Server's clients can be cross-platform). Final Cut Server exists to keep track of everything - and when something is completed or returned to availability, Final Cut Server notices, and send emails to the team members who need to know.

 

12. Final Cut Server: Variable Proxies. Oh, and you know those "proxies" that Final Cut Server uses? Those low-res versions of video files that you can pass around your network quickly but will still keep all your editing info intact? Well, their quality is variable - it's your choice. You want H.264? You got it. ProRes 422? Sure. Other formats as well. And Townhill told me why Final Cut Server makes encoding into different format easy: It's got Compressor 3 built right in.

 

As I was getting ready to leave my conversation with Townhill, Eric Jue, Senior Product Manager of the Mac Pro, came by to say hello. We had just a brief conversation, but I did come up with a couple of tidbits. For one, the Xeon 5365 that's at the heart of the 3GHz, 8-core Mac Pro is what Intel calls an "off-the-record" processor. That is, it's not officially announced, but it's available to any Intel partner. Apple doesn't have an exclusive on that chip, they're just the only manufacturer using it. So far.

 

Also, Jue told me that "a lot of work" went into redesigning the "thermal solution" for the 8-core Mac to keep it "just as quiet" as the previous quad-core. He seemed quite satisfied that his team had succeeded; perhaps when Final Cut Studio ships next month, Apple will change their mind about not lending out 8-core systems for testing so we can find out how quiet it is for ourselves.

 

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Andy Coon

By any chance do you know if FCP 6 has support for AVCHD codec that is recorded to the Sony HDR-SR1 Hard Drive? This is a question many of my readers have asked me and I can't figure it out. I don't blame Apple if they don't have support it seems like another blunder by Sony. Pushing a product onto the marketplace without getting feedback from other suppliers.

Thanks

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curiously enticed

ok so the word is that this 422 thing will compress HD video to SD file sizes. has it occured to anyone else that this would be exceptionally benefitial to getting hd movies from the itunes store?particualrily for the nice high def apple tv's? (now if there was only someway to get them to sell to CANADIAN customers

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Frank

Did you mean to say that Final Cut Server has Compressor Pro 3 built in? It seems silly that they wouldn't include the latest version since you had mentioned earlier how much faster it was.

Frank

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rmyslewski

Yup.

Typo.

Fixed.

Thanks.

-Rik

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