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It Can Only Get Better

Looking ahead to 2002 By Stephen Schleicher
I hope the remainder of 2002 doesnt follow the same path as the beginning of the year. I started January 1st by discovering my Windows 2000 machine had crashed and crashed hard. This was really a surprise for me because this is the machine that has had near zero problems since its inception almost a year and a half ago. Not only did I have to rebuild the machine from scratch, the Maxtor Firewire drive that I had backed up all of my important data had become corrupt during the rebuild process and I lost around 35 Gig of data and video files. To make matters worse I caught the worst cold I have had in over four years (curse this cold Kansas weather). As the first full week of 2002 starts there are signs things are getting better. My Windows 2000 machine has been reborn, my cold is showing signs of surrender, and I received a copy of Final Cut Pro 3.0.

January kicks off MacWorld, and there have been plenty of hints that Steve Jobs will be announcing, if not showing the latest and greatest in Apple hardware. I am kind of keen on seeing how fast the new Macs are going to be. In recent tests conducted by other industry publications, the G4 has fallen behind PC systems when using programs we content professionals rely on everyday. A great start to 2002 would be an Apple system that rivals the fastest and greatest of the PC platform. For now I will have to be content with installing FCP 3.0 on one of the office Macs until I can use my holiday money to purchase one of the new uber-Macs in the next few months.

New Macs and FCP3.0 is a good start, but what else is around the corner? Here are some predictions and thoughts of what we can look forward to in 2002.

The first quarter (if not the first month) of the year will see the release of Adobe After Effects 5.5. Each time Adobe has released an update to AE, users have seen huge leaps in power and versatility. Early indications and tests of AE 5.5 seem to confirm this notion and there is no doubt that this will be one of the best selling (and upgraded) programs of the year. One of the key benefits of the Adobe software line is how easily these programs integrate with one another. While After Effects 5.5 may seem like the best thing Adobe could do this year, if you follow the theory that software gets updated every fifteen to eighteen months, it is about time for Illustrator, GoLive and Photoshop to see new releases too. I think we can safely assume that at least two more programs in the Adobe lineup will see updates and releases before the end of the year. (Side Note: This article went live prior to Monday's announcements from Adobe...scarry huh?)

This will be the make it or break it year for Media100 as they complete work on their secret Pegasus NLE system. This all-in-wonder box is suggested to do everything from editing and high-end color correction to streaming and authoring. If Media100 hopes to remain afloat, they should debut a full system, or possibly a working demo, at NAB 2002 in Las Vegas. Im not sure what reaction to expect from the user community, but lets hope that it pays off, as Media100 seems to have put all its eggs in one basket with this one.

In order to finance the completion of the Pegasus system, Media100 sold their biggest moneymaker to discreet last year. Cleaner 5 has seen an update release from discreet, but there are still some issues that need to be resolved with the software -- namely a stability concern on some Windows systems, and breaking the 2Gb limit. I am sure discreet has been busy working on these problems and adding new enhancements to meet MPEG-4 standards which will result in a shipping version of discreet cleaner 5.5 or 6 by the end of the year.

While we are talking about discreet, 3ds max 4 and 4.1 were great updates to the 3D software. One of the best features added to 3ds max was the inclusion of the hard body dynamic plug-in reactor. Over the years, discreet has done an excellent job of incorporating or creating plug-ins for this system that meet user demands. Again, if we follow the software release theory, another update is due very soon.

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Related Keywords:stephen schleicher, predictions for 2002, discreet, newtek, alias wavefront, cleaner, harry potter, lord of the rings, star wars, animation, 3d, editing, pegasus, media100


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