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Apple Ships Motion; Intros Production Suite

Apple

announced it has begun shipping Motion, a new application that delivers high-performance, real-time motion graphics design. Motion offers the creative freedom and power for artists to deliver stunning, professional quality results, quickly and intuitively, with real-time previews, procedural behavior animation and integration with both Final Cut Pro HD and DVD Studio Pro 3, all at a breakthrough price of $299.

Motion introduces Behaviors that use procedural animation techniques to create natural simulations, such as gravity and wind, or multi-faceted interaction between multiple objects, such as attraction and repulsion. Behaviors provide users with the ability to automatically generate simple or sophisticated fluid motion effects with minimal effort and make modifications spontaneously, all without the complexity or overhead of dealing with keyframes. Users familiar with keyframes can use Motion’s Keyframe Editor to plot precise parameter values at specific frames.

Motion also features an advanced particle engine that enables artists to quickly and easily apply realistic particle presets, such as smoke, sparkles and fire to any animation, with instant previewing of multiple filters and particle effects. Using Motion, virtually any graphic element on the screen can be turned into a particle and then modified to create unlimited, customized special effects.

With its user interface, Motion gives artists the freedom to spend less time managing windows and palettes and more time creating. Motion’s “Dashboards” give users contextual, semi-transparent floating palettes that provide the tools and slider parameters for objects being animated on screen. Behaviors are applied quickly and easily with a graphical control that appears on the Dashboard, making it easy and interactive to experiment with different animations. Motion also includes 25 “Gestures” that enable users to focus on the creative process, rather than searching for keyboard commands or menu items. With Motion’s Project Pane, users have an easy way to quickly view and manage all layers, filters, Behaviors, masks and objects within a project at once.

Motion also offers integration with Apple’s professional applications, including Final Cut Pro HD, the latest version of Apple’s Emmy award-winning editing software; DVD Studio Pro 3, a professional DVD authoring application; Shake 3.5, the latest version of Apple’s industry-compositing and visual effects software; Soundtrack, the innovative music composition tool; and Logic Pro 6, the standard in computer-based music production.

Motion is available now through the Apple Store (

www.apple.com

), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299 (US).

Apple also introduced Production Suite, a software suite for film and video that delivers real-time production tools in one comprehensive and integrated package. Production Suite combines Final Cut Pro HD, the latest version of Apple’s Emmy award-winning editing software; Motion, a revolutionary new application that redefines motion graphics; and DVD Studio Pro 3, the latest version of Apple’s professional DVD authoring application. Production Suite provides creative professionals with an integrated round trip production environment where media and project files move seamlessly throughout the creative process. Production Suite is available now for a suggested retail price of $1,299.

Fine-tuned to take advantage of the incredible performance and architecture of the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X version 10.3 “Panther,” Production Suite delivers real-time interactivity with over 150 real-time effects for DV, SD and HD in Final Cut Pro HD, a real-time animation design engine in Motion and real-time compositing and previewing in DVD Studio Pro 3. Production Suite also provides seamless integration with common user interface elements such as the timeline, keyboard commands and media browsers that make it easy to learn and move quickly from one application to another. Complete edited timelines with cuts, layers, motion paths and composite modes made in Final Cut Pro HD can also be directly opened in Motion, providing a streamlined workflow.

Final Cut Pro HD is the latest version of Apple’s Emmy award-winning editing software, which now adds the real-time performance of high quality native HD, to the existing real-time support for DV and SD. In an industry first, Final Cut Pro HD delivers the ability to capture, edit and output broadcast-quality HD video over a single FireWire cable without compromising the professional image quality. Final Cut Pro HD supports native DVCPRO HD editing with no recompression or image degradation and enables HD monitoring on an Apple Cinema HD Display with the new Digital Cinema Desktop feature.

Motion is a breakthrough new application that redefines professional motion graphics production with incredible real-time design and revolutionary animation techniques. Motion features a real-time design engine that delivers fast, intuitive animation of text, graphics and video, with instant previewing of filters and particle effects. Motion also pioneers an innovative new animation feature called Behaviors that applies the principles of procedural animation to easily create natural fluid motions and sophisticated multi-layered animations, without using complex keyframes. With an ingenious user interface for video, DVD and the web, Motion enables users to spend less time managing windows and palettes and more time interacting with their project.

DVD Studio Pro 3 is the latest version of Apple’s professional DVD authoring application that gives users a complete set of tools for modern DVD design and authoring. DVD Studio Pro 3 features revolutionary new Alpha Transitions to create stylish DVDs and an innovative new Graphical View for easy visualization of a project’s entire flow. DVD Studio Pro 3 also includes Compressor 1.2, the latest version of Apple’s revolutionary digital media encoding and compression tool that provides high-quality HD to MPEG-2 encoding. New DTS and Dolby audio support gives DVD Studio Pro 3 users the highest quality audio for creating captivating DVDs in 5.1 surround sound.

Production Suite includes professional audio scoring capabilities with the Soundtrack music composition application. Designed specifically for videographers and motion graphics professionals, Soundtrack provides more than 4,000 professionally-recorded audio loops and sound effects, with real-time pitch and tempo adjusted loop matching, allowing users to quickly and easily generate scores, beds and bumpers. Soundtrack also includes 30 powerful audio plug-ins that scale so users can easily migrate their projects to Apple’s Logic Pro 6, for continued work in other multi-track environments. Additional audio capabilities built into Final Cut Pro HD include a 99-track on-screen audio mixer, and audio router and multichannel output.

Production Suite also contains LiveType 1.2 for resolution independent animated titling, Compressor 1.2 for HD encoding, Cinema Tools for filmmakers working with 35mm or 16mm film and QuickTime Pro for powering the digital media workflow from capture to delivery. Built on the open architecture of QuickTime, Production Suite applications scale smoothly to fit into virtually any production workflow and output to professional tape formats or encode MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, and QuickTime files for DVD, web, or delivery on 3G devices.

Production Suite is available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US). Registered users of Final Cut Pro can upgrade for $699 (US).

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