At the same time, Apple has released new versions of its Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Shake applications that have been optimized specifically for the Power Mac G5 and Panther operating system. Current users can upgrade free to Final Cut Pro 4.1, DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2, and Shake 3.0.1. Final Cut Pro now offers the ability to play back a maximum of seven uncompressed, standard-definition video streams with real-time effects, whereas Shake is optimized to render up to 45 percent faster on a G5 computer system.
"The dual-processor Power Mac G5 will dramatically speed up all aspects of video creation and management, which in the end saves both time and money," explains Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Inc. "The increased productivity that more power offers makes this computer an important tool for video professionals. It has raised the bar in computer-aided video creation and management and is now the gold standard for personal computers that will be used in the world of digital video editing." Apple Computer; www.apple.com
Genemation has announced the availability of GenHead, its first face-synthesis middleware tool. GenHead is targeted at game developers, as well as professionals in feature-film, postproduction, and Web-authoring markets.
Thanks to its GenePool technology and Face Generation Engine, GenHead speeds and eases the process of creating synthetic, photorealistic 2D and 3D faces and heads. In fact, users can create 3D heads from a photograph for use in a game, for example.
The latest edition, Version 1.1, includes a new Caucasian model from which a wide array of characters can be produced. The upgraded software also boasts improved meshes, enhanced support for Alias Systems' Maya blend shapes, and improvements to the shape of the top and back of the 3D heads. GenHead 1.1 offers the ability to add multiple expressions to multiple identities, and to save them in a batch. Genemation; www.genemation.com
Boxx Technologies, maker of digital content creation systems, has premiered the HDBoxx [pro].
An HD nonlinear editing system, the HDBoxx [pro] ships complete with an impressive software bundle, including Adobe Systems' Premiere Pro, Encore DVD, Audition, and a compatible After Effects plug-in for exporting files to Premiere Pro. As well as featuring uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 HD, the HDBoxx [pro] sports up to 2tb of RAID 3 storage and 14 hot-swap drive bays in a 5U rack-mountable or desk-side chassis.
Additional features of the HD editing workstation include video genlock sync input, an HD down converter for SD-SDI output, three-point color correction, keyframeable visual effects parameters, and support for 1080i, 1080 PsF, and 1080p. Pricing for the HDBoxx [pro] starts at $18,995 and varies according to configuration. Boxx Technologies; www.boxxtech.com
Matrox Video Products Group has debuted RT.X10 Suite, a software bundle combining the company's professional, real-time editing and DVD-authoring platform with Adobe Systems' Premiere Pro, Encore DVD, and Audition.
Carrying a $699 price tag, RT.X10 Suite offers users a variety of options for capturing, editing, and delivering video. The software sports several tools designed to speed work flow, including SinglePass DV scan and capture, the Matrox TurboDV export engine, and hardware-accelerated batch encoding of DVD, SVCD, VCD, and Web formats. Field-blended fast and slow motion, free Web video hosting, and customizable Matrox Flex 3D effects, such as cubes, page curls, spheres, and picture-in-picture, round out Matrox's latest offering. Matrox Video Products Group; www.matrox.com
Nvidia has revealed that its GeForce FX 5200 Ultra GPU, also powering Apple Computer's 17-inch iMac, brings cinematic computing to the new 20-inch iMac. The Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 is capable of delivering more than one billion textured pixels per second to ensure smooth game play. The unit also boasts advanced graphics programmability, enabling high-quality special effects. Together with the new Nvidia GPU, the iMac's 1.25ghz PowerPC G4 processor and 64mb of DDR video memory lend to efficient digital video editing and immersive, photorealistic gaming.
Also new from Nvidia, the Quadro FX 1100 mid-range professional graphics card is incorporated in the IBM IntelliStation M Pro and Z Pro, as well as three new workstations from Hewlett-Packard. Nvidia; www.nvidia.com