Apple officially announced Final Cut Studio 2 at this years NAB conference in Las Vegas, NV. At the heart of Final Cut Studio is Final Cut Pro 6, the latest version of Apple's highly successful video editing application. The suite also includes updated versions of DVD Studio Pro 4, Soundtrack Pro 2, Compressor 3, Motion 3 and a new application, Color.
With the introduction of Final Cut Pro 6, Apple allows you to mix video formats in a single timeline. You can combine media made with any codec into a single sequence and play it back in real time, including the new ProRes 422 codec, which offers HD quality video at SD file sizes. FCP 6 also introduces a new SmoothCam feature, which automatically stabilizes shaky camerawork while preserving camera moves. FCP 6 also boasts several audio improvements, as well as a simplified setup interface and improved integration with the rest of the suit.
Apple's behavior-based motion graphics application Motion extends its toolset into a 3D space, featuring drag and drop camera behaviors which can be applied to specific layers of a composition or to the composition itself. Motion also adds vector based paint strokes, which allow you to create interesting comet-like effects which can be adjusted and scaled without losing any of their textural or animated properties. Motion also includes a new group of dynamic retiming behaviors that allow you to speed up or slow down footage or animated effects an interpolates match frames to unsure smooth playback of slowed down footage. Several new text behaviors and animation behaviors are also included.
The included encoding utility Compressor boasts a streamlined workflow interface that is user customizable. It also features expanded format support for HD DVD and Blu-ray discs as well various handheld video devices such as mobile phones, iPods, Flash based video devices and MPEG2 media servers.
Lastly, Apple's newest addition to Final Cut Studio is Color, a professional color grading utility. In addition to powerful color correction tools, Color enables editors to create dramatic color effects. Color has more than 35 built-in color effects and 20 looks to choose from, or you can create your own or bring in third-party color look plug-ins.
Apple's Final Cut Studio 2 is shipping now (Upgrade ships in 2-3 weeks) and retails for $1299.