Archive for the ‘ OS X Lion ’ Category

How to Get Great Audio in iMovie ’11

I have a new article at Macworld about using iMovie ’11 to get better audio in your video and film projects. There are plenty of great sound tools in iMovie ’11, and good audio is very important. If you decide you want to step up to better audio mixing, then take a look at Final Cut Pro X. Check out my article on getting great audio in iMovie ’11 at Macworld!

New Apple Hardware Includes New Line Of Thin MacBook Pros With Retina Displays

Today at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple did some major updates to its line of hardware, updating the MacBook Air (and dropping the price), the standard MacBook Pro line, and introducing a brand new, thinner MacBook Pro line with Retina display, which Apple is calling their new ‘flagship line.’ Editing in Final Cut Pro X at 1080p on this 15.4-inch laptop will look great, as will photos in Aperture (both apps will be updated to the Retina display of 2880 x 1800, nearly 5.2 million pixels). The laptop will be pricey, starting at $2199, so this is a workstation-style laptop, aimed at the video editors, Photoshop and Aperture users and graphics/animation designers. All on sale as of today! By the way, looking at Apple’s MBP page, it’s appearing that the 17-inch MBP is history…

This new, thinner MBP also features up to a quad-core i7 2.7 GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, next-gen graphics (Kepler graphics, GeForce GT 650M with 1GB VRAM), HDMI out, two (!!) Thunderbolt adapters, USB 3 and 2, great speakers, and more. It’s .71-inches thin! Solid State Drives, too (SSD), up to 768GB, battery life up to seven days, 30 days in standby mode. Check out more photos and video at doddleNEWS.

Apple is teasing that a ‘major’ update to Aperture is coming, and we’re coming up on the first anniversary of FCP X’s release. Larry Jordan got some inside scoops from Apple on the next FCP X update, including a built-in audio mixer, dual-viewer, RED support and more. I’m guessing this FCP X update with higher resolution for the retina display will include the new features and improvements Apple talked to Larry about.

Yes, there was a Mac Pro update, but it was VERY minor, blink-or-you’ll-miss-it. Basically, according to The Verge, they bumped up the option of two six-core processors from 2.93 GHz to 3.06 GHz. No Thunderbolt, etc. And some other, minor processor updates, too, bringing the tech to the latest Intel processors.

Apple also introduced some adapters, including a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt, and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet. iOS, hardware-wise (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Apple has sold 365 million units up to March 2012. Think about that for a minute, just astounding!

They previewed more of Mountain Lion which will debut on the Mac App Store July 2012 for $19.99 (!!), and the upcoming iOS 6 (Siri is improved AND can launch apps and will run on iPads, YES!), both of which look great. iOS 6 will debut this fall 2012, likely when the rumored iPhone 5 will be released. I’m pumped about these new, thinner MacBook Pros running Mountain Lion, I bet editing in FCP X will be a dream! Also, there are 125 million iCloud users, which is stunning. Notifications (like Growl, which I love), dictation coming to Macs, new version of Safari (I quickly adopted the beta back in 2003, that’s how much I wasn’t interested in Internet Explorer), tighter integration with Twitter, Facebook and other services, and more. Plus, their new and amazing maps/Flyover app, with 3D city models and turn-by-turn navigation.

Final Cut Pro X Workshop Tonight April 26, 2012 In Boca Raton, Florida

I know this is a little last minute, but my film society is presenting a Final Cut Pro X introductory workshop in Boca Raton, Florida, tonight, April 26, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM at America’s Production Company. FCP X certified instructor Jeff Fortune is the presenter, and Palm Beach County Filmmakers has teamed up with us. Get all the information plus directions at Palm Beach Film Society’s site.

My Review Of The Matrox Thunderbolt Adapter

Matrox has some pretty cool all-in-one devices with their MXO2 line, which can handle video capture, conversion, broadcast monitoring and much more. I’ve had an MXO2 Mini for a couple of years, and used it regularly to capture BetaSP footage in Final Cut Pro 7, with a 17-inch MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard/34 slot. That Mac went away, and since I didn’t have a Mac Pro (with PCI-Express), I couldn’t use the MXO2 anymore. Until Thunderbolt changed everything, the new Apple and Intel technology that allows for blazing fast 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) transfer speeds. With the Matrox Thunderbolt adapter, I can now use my Mac Mini with the MXO2 Mini and capture analog footage, and a whole lot more.

Plus, all of Matrox’s new MXO2 devices feature software that’s optimized for the technology, plus takes advantage of Final Cut Pro X‘s broadcast monitoring (see this press release). Be sure to check out my review at Digital Media Net.

Apple Announces OS X Mountain Lion 10.8

Apple introduced their next-generation operating system, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, which will be released summer 2012. Of course! What comes after Lion but Mountain Lion? This looks to be an update similar to 2009′s Snow Leopard, giving the extra boost and new feature to Leopard, which shipped in late 2007. Yes, it’s OS X, not Mac OS X, though I noticed Apple had rebranded it when Lion debuted last summer. Looks like they’re taking some of the best features from iPad and iOS 5 and bringing them over, which I like a lot. If you don’t have a laptop with that great Multi-Touch TrackPad, you need to buy the Magic TrackPad, which I use exclusively with my Mac mini, and it lets you do all sorts of cool Multi-Touch gestures, like with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, thanks to OS X Lion. You can download the developer preview now. Also, I’m curious how Final Cut Pro X will run on Mountain Lion, and if new features were added under OS X 10.8′s hood that FCP X can tap into? It’s already pretty fast with Lion. Plus, with Mountain Lion, you’ll be able to share your Mac’s screen with your HDTV via the Apple TV, which you can do with iOS. Imagine editing in FCP X on a 50-inch HDTV!

A brief rundown of the new features found in OS X Mountain Lion: Notes is pretty cool, similar in some aspects to the excellent Notebook from Circus Ponies, which I use almost daily; it’s linked via iCloud to all your iOS devices, too, which is great. The Notification Center alerts you to new emails, appointments, third-party app alerts, etc., like Growl notifications, which I’ve used for 2-3 years now. Share Sheets is part of tech right out of what we use in iPhone and iPad, and it’s easy to share sites you’re on via Twitter, Email, Message, add to your Reading List or just bookmark it. Game Center is coming to OS X! It’s pretty cool, and all about social networed gaming. Messages (download the beta now) is essentially iMessage, iOS 5′s free messaging service, and what’s cool is you can send video, etc., plus pick up on conversations when you go from Mac to your iPhone. Notifications comes to the Mac, though I still love using BusyCal and iCal to set up my appointments, reminders and alerts. AirPlay Mirroring lets you share what’s on your desktop, making it easy to do a Keynote presentation, visit websites, etc., via your Apple TV. Twitter is more tightly integrated withing OS X; I’d like to see Facebook integration, if it’s possible.

Check out the new features video to see everything in action:

Move Over RED, JVC’s Affordable 4K Camera

That’s right, JVC announced the small, handheld professional 4K camera, GY-HMQ10, at CES in January 2012, and it’s going to cost $5,000. It has a 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor with 8.3 million active pixels shooting in 3840 x 2160, at 60p, 50p and 24p. The HMQ10 uses the Falconbrid picture processing technology to handle 4K acquisition and image processing without needing sn external device for storage. with that workflow, you would need to process the 4K clips in your NLE or other software. It also ships with a fixed, high resolution lens made for 4K resolution, at F2.8, plus the ability to record up to two hours on four 32GB SDHC cards (you need all four SDHC cards to shoot in 4K), full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution (only 1 card needed), a high resolution touchscreen LCD (920,000 pixels) and a quality viewfinder (260,000 pixels). And a whole heckuva lot more. You should check out JVC’s page on the GY-HMQ10, and read the press release here. It should be available in the spring, either March or April 2012.

The 4K sensor powering the JVC GY-HMQ10.

I’m very excited about this affordable 4K camera, and it’s fitting that JVC is introducing the world’s first sub-$20,000 (or so) 4K cinema camera. While 2003′s JVC HD10 wasn’t the greatest camera (I bought one that summer — here’s a film I directed shot on it, featured in a few film festivals), it launched HDV which contributed many of the HD compression techniques we know and use, such as those for Sony, JVC, Panasonic and Canon HD camcorders, along with HDSLRs like the Nikon D5100 or the legendary Canon 5D Mark II. I have a feeling the quality will be excellent, and I’m looking forward to cutting the 4K footage with Final Cut Pro X, which can handle 4K editing without a problem. It captures via MP4/H.264, and JVC includes a software program for Mac to make it easier to import and convert the footage via a single USB cable. Cool!

JVC compares 4K to 1080p

It’s interesting how the 4K video is captured onto the required four 32GB SDHC cards, which JVC explains (and more) on the GY-HMQ10′s technical page. Essentially, it shoots 144 Mbps (Megabits per second), variable bit rate, and the 4K image is actually split into 4 separate pieces, if you will. Each one goes to a different card, as illustrated below:

How the JVC GY-HMQ10 records 4K video to four 32GB SDHC cards.

JVC’s Archive and Merge Utility software that ships with the HMQ10 4K camera (Mac and Windows) will combine the four video images into one for cutting, though JVC promises near real-time 4K playback from the camera via four HDMI ports and cables. With Mac, it will turn it into a single 4K ProRes video clip, of all your 4K camera footage.

JVC's software will merge the four images together into one 4K image.

It’s making me think also about shooting with the JVC in 24p and converting it in FCP X to 48p, or shooting 50p and converting to 48p. The legendary Douglas Trumbull, James Cameron (for Avatar 2 and 3 at 60p), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit is shooting in 48p) and others see higher frame rates as the next evolution in filmmaking. The higher the frame rate, the more ‘realistic’ the image becomes. Of course, digital projectors will need a special upgrade, but a lot of theaters have gone digital, something I’ve been hoping for since the mid-90s and early 2000s.

So basically, we’re getting a 4K camera for $5000, around the price RED said the original Scarlet was going to run, at 3K resolution, back at NAB 2008. This is in no way any sort of disrespect to RED — the Scarlet has become much better than they originally planned, and the current price is right for those changes. By the way, 4K editing with the RED isn’t hard with their Red Rocket with Thunderbolt and a Sonnet Chassis, a MacBook Air, Windows via Bootcamp (or OX Lion) and Premiere Pro CS5.5, as demonstrated by Dave Helmy via Gizmodo. JVC just makes it easier.

Images courtesy JVC.

Canon Releases Plug-In For MXF Import And Editing In Final Cut Pro X

This news came down yesterday (V-Day), but I’m more than happy to see it! Canon finally released a plug-in for editors to cut and incorporate MXF files in Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. If you’re shooting on or editing footage from Canon’s latest cameras, including the great C300, the XF100, XF105, etc., you’re set! Download the Canon XF editing plug-in here (choose “Drivers and Software”).

Be sure to check out FCP.co for further details, plus information to get it to work on Snow Leopard. Hat tip: My pal and FCP X trainer/guru Ben Balser.

VLC 2.0: Full-Screen Support, Blu-Ray And More

VLC 2.0 New UI, photo thanks to developer Felix Kühne.

Just read on 9 to 5Mac that VLC 2.0 from VideoLAN was announced, and includes some cool new features, including support for Blu-ray (not burning, apparently), fullscreen in OS X Lion and more. Check out the details and see some videos of the new UI on 9to5Mac.com. It’ll be available for Mac, Windows and Linux at their site, in the very near future.

Look who's making a cameo in the new VLC 2.0! Photo from developer Felix Kühne.

I use VLC a little bit, mostly to see raw XDCAM EX files without having to open up the Sony XDCAM clip browser or Final Cut Pro X.

Philip Bloom Asked Seven Pro Editors To Discuss Final Cut Pro X Observations

The great filmmaker and writer Philip Bloom recently had seven pro editors talk about their Final Cut Pro X observations and experiences, and I wanted to share them with you here. This is especially timely with the 10.0.3 update, which brings even more important features and functionality to FCP X. Sit back and enjoy!

Apple’s Richard Townhill Talks Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3: Multicam, Broadcast Monitoring, and More

Final Cut Pro X Adds Multicam Editing

I just got off the phone with Apple’s Richard Townhill, senior director of applications marketing, who took the time to update me on the latest major update to Final Cut Pro X, ver. 10.0.3. Apple is delivering multicam support, broadcast monitoring via third-party cards and boxes (in beta), advanced chroma keying features, XML 1.1, the ability to import layered Photoshop graphics (PSD), and media relinking.

Apple has been listening to us and have introduced their second big FCP X update since the app “shipped” via the Mac App Store in late June 2011. We had the first update in September 2011 (which brought XML, media stems and more), a minor bug fix in November and now another major update for January 2012. I mention this first, because Apple usually released major updates to past versions of FCP every year or so. I believe FCP 7 only got two major updates and a minor one after it shipped in August 2009. So we’ve had just as many in seven months, and everything comes through quickly via the Mac App Store!

The big feature is Multicam, and as usual, Apple doesn’t just add in the feature to FCP X, but they make it better and easier to use. You can mix up to 64 different camera angles and sources, using mixed formats, codecs, frame rates and frame sizes, and also you can mix stills with the video. Syncing has always been tricky with multicamera editing, but FCP X makes it simple with their auto sync feature, which will sync up video and audio based on timecode (all cameras have to have matching timecode) or a time-and-date stamp (again, all cameras must match). You can also sync based on metadata, along with customizing that information. FCP X also goes a step further if you’re using the GoPro, HDSLRs or cameras that don’t match timecode or time-and-date. They use the audio from the cameras and match up the waveform and then sync the footage up that way. That’s pretty incredible! So if you’re shooting a three-camera production of an interview, FCP X will sync according to the audio waveforms of the person talking, or if you’re shooting a live event, like sports, it will find the similar audio waveforms and sync them up!

FCP X Adds In Broadcast Monitoring With Third-Party PCI-e Hardware and Thunderbolt.

In beta right now is Broadcast Monitoring, which uses third-party PCI-e devices and cards, and Thunderbolt, which is still one of my favorite new features on pretty much all new Apple computers. AJA has already updated their drivers, and Matrox and BlackMagic are working on some cool Thunderbolt devices. You can also do on-set, in-the-field monitoring, as well! (By the way, I heard from my sources that Apple was working on 10-bit broadcast monitoring, last July.)

Apple also introduced more robust Chroma Keying controls, so it’s not only easy to do a quick key, you can also tweek it and perfect it, especially if your green- or bluescreen wasn’t lit well. No need to export to Motion or After Effects, plus you can view it in real-time, thanks to FCP X’s 64-bit architecture. Richard also mentioned that Jimmy Fallon and SNL use FCP X’s one-step chroma key feature, which is pretty cool.

Media Relink makes it easy to relink your footage, audio, etc., when you’re exporting or importing items from third-party software, such as color corrected footage, cleaned up audio, etc. It will also find footage that was transcoded, as well, which is great, since many of us prefer to use Apple ProRes and other codecs that are easy to cut with.

Richard told me that they have a tremendous number of third-party developers onboard with FCP X, who are putting out some great stuff for FCP X, including Red Giant Software, Nattress, GenArts’ Sapphire Edge, FxFactory, and many others.

Richard talked a bit about my friend Philip Hodgetts (and his partner Greg’s) 7toX app, which will allow you to bring Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X! That’s right, no more using two different FCP NLEs on old and new projects, just use the 7toX app and you’re ready to go. Make sure you read the information on the above link, because things obviously change when going from bins, etc., to FCP X. It’s only $9.99 and is already available on the Mac App Store.

7toX takes advantage of the new XML 1.1 feature, plus the update allows you to export to color correct in DaVinci Resolve and other third-party color correction apps. You can also “import and export audio keyframes and intrinsic effects parameters such as opacity and scale,” according to Apple.

While you could import and work with layered Photoshop graphics in Motion 5, you couldn’t in FCP X. The new 10.0.3 update allows you to do just that, which is a fantastic feature that many of us loved in FCP 7 and earlier.

Full rundown and details of the 10.0.3 update can be found here, plus the 30-day free trial of FCP X includes all the new updates, including those for Motion 5 and Compressor 4.