Apple Computer

Apple Computer introduced Final Cut Pro 4, a major upgrade of its editing software for film, HD, SD and DV video. With more than 300 new features, Final Cut Pro 4 introduces RT Extreme for real-time compositing and effects, new interface customization tools, new 8- and 10-bit uncompressed formats and-for the first time in an editing system costing less than $100,000-full 32-bit floating point per channel video processing. Final Cut Pro 4 also includes three completely new integrated applications - LiveType for advanced titling, Soundtrack for music creation, and Compressor for batch transcoding.

RT Extreme is a software-based, real-time effects architecture that scales smoothly with processor speed to support an increased number of simultaneous real-time video streams and hundreds of real-time effects. It allows software effects to be viewed in real- time on an external broadcast monitor when connected via FireWire or an external breakout box. RT Extreme is codec independent and allows editors to preview their work in real-time at maximum resolution for finishing quality preview or at maximum performance for increased simultaneous streams and effects.

Apple also introduced Shake 3, the next generation of its compositing and visual effects software. Shake 3 includes new Mac OS X only features such as the Shake Qmaster network render management software and unlimited network rendering licenses which allow visual effects artists to distribute rendering tasks across a cluster of Apple's Xserve 1U rack servers or desktop Power Mac G4 computers for maximum performance and efficiency. Shake 3 also includes new visual effects features available to Mac OS X, Linux and IRIX customers including motion-tracking and real-time broadcast preview.

Shake is advanced compositing software designed for large format productions by major motion picture studios and leading visual effects houses. Apple said it features the fastest resolution independent software rendering engine on the market, a production proven visual effects toolset and a compositing architecture that supports multiple bit depths within a single project. Shake has been used in the production of over a hundred motion pictures including all three films in the Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Final Cut Pro 4 will be available in June. Registered Final Cut Pro users can upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4. DVD Studio Pro 2 is expected to be available in August. Shake 3 is targeted for June. It will be available for Mac OS X with unlimited render licenses and for Linux and IRIX with annual maintenance.

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