Saturday, July 25, 2009

FCS 2009 first impressions

Well, after the obligatory 6 hours of installing the software, Nancy and I had a little bit of time to check things out. We took the feature that she is re-editing (Surviving in LA) and loaded it up. It asked to convert the project from version 6 to the current version 7 and then proceeded to load the project just fine.

We LOVE the new TC overlay window. VERY nice. Would have been nice to also be able to specify a TC to jump to using this but alas is it display only. Still a very nice improvement. Nance loves the new marker system as she is a marker junkie.

For grins, I rendered out some animation from Lightwave to the new ProRes 444 codec (since I do not have access to a camera that produces an uncompressed colorspace) and looked at it in FCP and it is truly stunning. And very fast as well. This is a really nice addition.

We also tried out the iChat theater system that will truly prove to be a boon. SO nice to be able to show the client a WIP and get approvals that way. I played with Motion briefly and the new features look to be a nice addition to the app. I tend to prefer doing quick and dirty motion graphic work in Motion as opposed to AE which I reserve for more complex projects.

Nance will dig into the changes for Color next week I suspect and after she does I will post her thoughts here. The update to STP includes a thing called Voice Level Match. This will allow you to match dialog amplitude across multiple clips simply by clicking once on the clip that you want the other clips to match to and then click on the errant clips to level ONLY the dialog to that first clip.

I admit I was sceptical. So I did a test where I setup a bunch of background cacophany in my studio here - Mostly music and other sound effects. I then recorded some dialog in the room at two different distances from the mic. Then I tested the Voice Level Match. It was VERY simple to use and it worked amazingly! Very cool.

As has been noted elsewhere, DVDSP has NOT been updated. They did add the ability to burn right from Compressor including Blu-Ray, but DVDSP still remains stuck at version 4. A friend of mine speculates that Apple wants physical media to go the way of the Dodo and as such will not invest development time into DVDSP.

So, all in all, $300 (x2 for each machine) is money well spent on this. I HIGHLY reccomend the update as well as the new package if you are not a current user. While there were a LOT of things I was hoping for that Apple did NOT do in this release, it is still a solid update and well worth the money.

There are some nice training resources for free online now for this. lynda.com has about 3 hours of training and Ripple has training that covers only the new features. So the combination of the two make a nice free training suite.

Additionally, Apple has put ALL of the ProApps docuementation online HERE.

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