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Apple Debuts Final Cut Pro 3.0 for OS X

New version gets real-time DV features without add-on card By Dave Nagel
Earlier today we reported that Apple would be introducing Final Cut Pro 3.0 for Mac OS X, the latest version of its non-linear video editing application. The company made it formal this afternoon.

Final Cut Pro 3 is the first professional-level video editing system for Mac OS X. Apple was widely criticized for failing to deliver OS X versions of its own products when OS X shipped in its final form. But Apple wasn't alone. Until this week, Adobe had not announced any specific plans for migrating its video editing and compositing software onto OS X, a fact that has essentially halted video professionals from being able to take advantage of the new operating system. This week, however, Adobe announced its plan to deliver After Effects for OS X early next year.

The new version of Final Cut Pro, aside from gaining compatibility with Mac OS X, adds several new enhancements. Among these are real-time DV effects without an add-on card with any G4 running at clock speeds of at least 500 MHz for a desktop machine or 667 MHz for a PowerBook. Real-time effects include transitions, color correction and titles.

The new version also includes a feature called "OfflineRT." This feature allows editors to capture footage at about a gigabyte for each 40 minutes of video, which can then be edited in real time and then recaptured "with timecode accuracy to your broadcast format," according to Apple.

Other features, according to Apple's published specs, include:

  • New Voice-Over tool for audio capture directly to the timeline from a built-in or external microphone;
  • New Auto-Save Vault, which saves and time-stamps projects at user-specified intervals;
  • Productive editing tools, in a mode-free interface, that provide three-point editing, JKL keyboard navigation, match frame, extend and split edit functions, multiple and nested timeline project support, and timecode overlays;
  • Integrated compositing, including Adobe AfterEffects plug-in support;
  • QuickView, a new preview mode that allows editors to quickly preview complex effects;
  • Advanced media management and export tools that make it easy to consolidate, reconnect and move media, preserve trim handles and convert to various offline or web formats;
  • New 3D titling and effects from Boris and CGM, for creating stunning 2D and 3D animated titles and advanced transitions;
  • PeakDV audio editing tool from Bias, providing VST plug-in support and time compression/expansion for precisely fitting audio to video.

Final Cut Pro 3.0 will be available this month for $999. Registered users can upgrade for $299. Both OS 9 and OS X versions are included. For more information, visit

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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