Apple’s Final Cut Pro 4.5

Apple revolutionized the non-linear editing world when it introduced its first version of Final Cut Pro back in the 1999 edition of NAB. Available for only $999, FCP opened new doors to indie editors and filmmakers who didn’t have access to high-end non-linear editing tools.

The latest edition of Apple Final Cut Pro (4.5) brings even more functionality and speed to the package. I used a dual 2GHZ’G5 with 2GB SDRAM to test FCP 4. The first change I noticed in FCP4.5 was its support for multiple realtime video streams. I also enjoyed using LiveType for easy creation of 32-bit, fully animated titles (LiveFonts).

If you get into creating and editing your own soundtracks, then you will find yourself hooked on the sound creation module of the FCP4.5, Soundtrack, which offers high-quality, royalty-free music for project sync work. The new feature I liked best was the Time Remap. I used it within the Timeline to change the length and pace of my video clips and create some great looking and high-quality slow-mo effects.

The Good News: A version of Cinema Tools’a high-end Apple program for film and HD that keeps the relationship between the digitized video and the original negative’has been bundled with FCP4.5.

The Wish List: The package left me wishing for better realtime editing capability. This is an area that FCP4.5 has room for improvement.

The Bottom Line: An Apple Macintosh G5, a lot of storage space and a copy of FCP4.5 will let you step right into the world of professional non-linear editing.

Web Address: www.apple.com

Animation Magazine’s Seal of Excellence Winner

The Final Score: *****