The offline format, called OfflineRT, is based on a new Quick Time Photo-JPEG codec that captures digital video at 320 by 240 and runs at 660Kbps to yield approximately 40 minutes of footage per 1gb of hard-drive space. Editors also can use OfflineRT when working with standard- and high-definition formats.
Meanwhile, the software's new color correction tools-including the Histogram and Parade video scopes and the Tool Bench window with Video Scopes tab-enable users to evaluate and manipulate the brightness and color levels of their clips in preparation for output to tape. Final Cut Pro 3 also includes controls for maintaining broadcast-safe video levels.
David Gare, president of New York City-based Intuitive I.N.K., a film and video design firm that also develops original content properties, has been using Final Cut Pro since it first shipped in April 1999, and has had the Version 3 beta integrated into his workflow for several months. "With OfflineRT, you can fit so much more footage into your computer, without needing an external drive," he says. "I run it on a Titanium PowerBook, and I can edit a production on an airplane if I have to. It really is an editing system on the go."
About the software's color correction tools, Gare says, "Everything we do takes place in a graphics environment, so powerful color correction tools are vital to us. We used to rely on daVinci machines for color correction. But the tools in Final Cut Pro 3 rival those in the da Vinci systems."
Other new features in Final Cut Pro 3 include a voice-over tool for capturing audio to the timeline from a built-in or external microphone; an Auto-save Vault for saving and timestamping projects at user-specified intervals; support for Adobe Systems' After Effects; and 3D titling and effects from Boris and CGM. The software costs $999. (Apple; www.apple.com)
-Audrey Doyle, contributing editor