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Wednesday, 05 June 2013 21:30

Advancements in Editing Software

Written by  Dyana Carmella and Gordon Meyer
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EditingSoftware VP12 ENG Box RF SMToday’s editing software programs support more formats, workflows and creative control than ever before. It’s now far easier for the average editor to turn film and digital content into a work of art as new software enhancements transform lofty visions into reality. P3 Update checks out the hottest editing trends offered by the top companies behind the artistry.

Sony Creative Software is recognized as one of the leading providers of innovative professional and consumer software solutions. The company recently introduced its newest software upgrades, including Vegas Pro 12, Vegas Pro 12 Edit, Sound Forge Pro Mac and SpectraLayers Pro. Vegas Pro 12 gives editors just about everything they need for outstanding results. The collection provides an efficient, intuitive 64-bit native environment for professional audio and video production, as well as DVD and Blu-ray Disc authoring. The programs offer innovative stereoscopic 3D tools, broad format support, robust OpenFX plug-in architecture, audio support, and a full complement of editorial features. Vegas Pro 12 Edit features the same video and audio toolset as Vegas Pro 12, but Sony removed the disc-authoring components to make it more cost effective. By combining a familiar track-based timeline with hundreds of strategic innovations, users of Vegas Pro 12 Edit will appreciate its high-end performance and modern approach to content creation.  

Sony also offers Sound Forge Pro Mac, its professional audio recording, editing and mastering software. Built on a clean slate for OS X, Sound Forge Pro Mac software provides editors with a contemporary application environment that’s ideal for recording, editing, processing and rendering broadcast-quality audio master files. And Sony’s SpectraLayers Pro recently attracted a lot of attention at the 2013 NAB Show, as the audio editing platform features unmatched sound-shaping capabilities combined with a unique workflow. 

When Apple first introduced Final Cut Pro X in 2011, the company encountered a major-league backlash from professional users who thought the software’s power had been watered down in an effort to make it more user-friendly. Fortunately, one thing Apple is known for is its ability to listen to its customers. Bit by bit, the company has been updating its FCP X software by adding more pro-level functionality and features. The plan is to showcase the updated product at the 2013 NAB Show as a way of winning back customers.

EditingSoftware Final-Cut-Pro-X SMApple experienced the downside of this popularity with the release of the initial version of Final Cut Pro X in 2011. While dropping the price from $999 to $299 made some people happy, users were furious that Apple had removed several relied-upon features from FCP 7, like the ability to edit together shots from multiple cameras. In addition, FCP X was not backwards compatible with FCP 7, so editors who began projects on an older version of the software discovered that they couldn’t cut those projects on FCP X. “Personally, I’m still suspicious of Apple,” said Harry Miller, the American Cinema Editors’ technology committee head who also spoke with the L.A. Times. “I don’t think they have my interests at heart. I don't want to invest money in any of their hardware or software when they might drop features in new versions.” 

With customers like Miller in mind, Apple’s current marketing strategy involves publicizing the personal experiences of editors on their website in the hopes of changing perceptions. The plans to polish FCP’s tarnished image in the professional community include letting users know well in advance as to which product features will be added and when they can be expected. Apple also offers a free 30-day trial on the software so potential users can live with the product before making a final purchase. While this is a common practice with many software companies, FCP is the only product for which Apple offers a trial version. 

Meanwhile Apple has announced an FCP update with some significant new features, including support for Sony’s new XAVC codec, which gives F5 and F55 camera users the ability to work more easily with 4K footage. FCP Version 10.0.8 also supports an option to display the ARRI ALEXA’s ProRes Log C files with a Rec. 709 gamma profile, a feature that’s intended to help editors seamlessly work with ALEXA workflows. Other new features include the ability to use key commands to adjust Clip Appearance settings in the timeline; the ability to view reel-number metadata located in the timecode track of video files; having time-reversed clips render in the background; and having drop zones that no longer reset to the first frame of video after application restart. The upgrade also corrects a problem using the Play Around function on certain clips viewed through external video devices; and fixes a performance issue encountered when selecting multiple ranges on a single clip. The new FCP update can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/final-cut-pro/id424389933?mt=12.

Autodesk announced new features for its Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2014. The adaptable workflow includes 3D animation, visual effects and creative tools, such as Autodesk Maya 2014, Autodesk 3ds Max 2014, Autodesk MotionBuilder 2014, Autodesk Mudbox 2014, Autodesk Softimage 2014 and Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2014. According to the Autodesk team, these have all been upgraded to offer new workflow enhancements to help artists collaborate, manage complexity, and move data through their pipeline more efficiently. “Modern production teams must manage multiple complex [and] visually demanding projects at any given time, and Autodesk works closely with world-renowned entertainment studios to develop the most powerful solutions,” says Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk’s senior VP of media and entertainment. “The Entertainment Creation Suites provide a unified and flexible workflow, offering teams of all sizes the ability to better manage across a globally distributed creative workforce. Each product in the toolset saves valuable production time while giving artists more creative freedom to work with the best tool for the job at hand.” 

Geared for both professional editors and editors on the rise, these new innovative editing programs and upgrades make it easy to bring a story together. They offer more tools that allow for enhanced creativity while getting visually stunning results.   

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