You can view the official press release here and read a nice explanation of the acquisition here. As history repeats itself and Adobe snaps up a $20K+ color grading app just like Apple did when they acquired Silicon Color, distributors of Final Touch, I am here to officially pronounce Final Cut Studio dead. Maybe you were hanging on with Apple’s recent move to put copies of FCS 3 back on the shelves but I’ve got a 500 dollar door stop, err, copy of Shake that serves as a reminder of Apple’s retail strategy for EOL’ed professional applications. Final Cut Studio, oh how I loved you and the amazing opportunities you provided me during the first nearly ten years of my still exciting and passionate career. Oh how I will mourn your passing and will miss you and will remember all the great times we had together. So long and thanks for all the fish. Now, back to the world of the living.
With the acquisition of IRIDAS, Adobe has set the stage for symmetry with the Final Cut Studio software package of NLE, Motion Graphics / VFX, Color Grading, DVD Mastering, and Video Compression. Plus, you get the industry standard image processing software of Photoshop and Illustrator. They even throw in Soundbooth for shoots and grins. Now, I saw a demo of Premier at, of all places, my first visit to a LAFCPUG meeting. And despite a hilarious performance, Adobe Premier Product Manager Al Mooney showed off some awesome features that make switching to Premier frickin’ easy to get on board with. First of all, you can export your FCP sequence XML and open it in Premier. Boom. Secondly, Premier has a built in keyboard shortcut preset for FCP users. Double boom.
As an Apple Certified Trainer for Color, I’ve been evaluating IRIDAS Framecycler and Speedgrade NX for the last 6 months during my work on Conan the Barbarian. Framecycler has been built in to Nuke for realtime playback of composites and it does a very good job, maybe a better job than After Effects’ current RAM Preview functionality? Initially I was using Speedgrade and then upgraded to Speedgrade NX mid-show (not as scary as I thought it might be), the app was rock solid for 2K DPX file playback in stereo 3D. Yes, dual stream 2K DPX image sequence playback in real time. And I never posted this tidbit wayyy back in April, but IRIDAS was showing real time playback of stereo 3D 5K RED Epic files on a JMR box at NAB. On the show floor for all to see.
Performance aside, Speedgrade NX gives you primary corrections, secondary corrections, and STEROSCOPIC 3D CORRECTIONS!!!!!!! Yes, you could use Speedgrade NX right now as a front-of-pipeline stereo 3d adjustment tool with single-click efficiency. If this is something that could help your stereo 3d production, then contact me and I’ll be happy to provide you with a consultation. Additionally, you can keyframe parallax and playback audio and I’m sure more (I won’t recite the manual for you here) all in REAL TIME. Yes, you will need a heavy duty box to do this but maybe Adobe’s Mercury Engine will have something to add to the performance side.
Personally, with the total lack of stereoscopic 3d capabilities currently built in to Premeir (no, Cineform does NOT count), I am VERY EXCITED that Adobe has acquired a company with so many stereoscopic tools. Editors desperately need stereoscopic control built in to an NLE in order to fully understand stereoscopic editing. Stereoscopic 3d requires dwell time, something you will not experience in most reality shows. In fact, you will see the opposite of dwell time due to extremely talented editors and producers finding artistic and creative ways to tell a story using footage shot by associate producers and production assistants. IMHO, stereoscopic 3d editing will bring back the 4 second cut minimum and you will start seeing stories with more depth and attention span – pun intended. But, I digress…
There are more products IRIDAS offers that were, and hopefully still are, in the pipeline. Doing a little bit of googlage might provide you with links about such products as IRIDAS Lumetri which is specifically targeting HDR and Stereo 3D finishing. I pray this continues to get developed and look forward to hearing more about it from Adobe in the future. In fact, if you simply check out IRIDAS Magazine, you will see 3D mentioned in essentially every article. I’m sure the folks at Adobe perused these reads at some point in time, too.
To be clear, I do love FCP and it is my current NLE of choice just as Color is my current color grading application of choice. But I see no point in continuing to build my editorial skills around a product that has been EOL’ed for a clearly consumer targeted application as iMovie 10, err, FCP X. My evaluation of both Premier and Avid continues and it is my priority to know both NLE’s moving forward so as to remain tool agnostic and choose the right NLE for the project at hand. I will most likely be popping for a copy of both CS5.5 Production Premium and Media Composer 5.5 before the September 30 deadline.
In closing, I must say that a huge reason I am such a fan of IRIDAS is Steve Crouch. Steve is the Managing Director for IRIDAS USA and is exactly the person you want representing your product. On two occasions during production, I called Steve wayyyy past normal business hours and even when he was sick in bed he picked up his phone and walked me through troubleshooting steps until we found a workable solution. He has provided me free onsite training and gone out of his way to discuss pipelines and techniques on his own time and dime. I can’t recommend Steve highly enough and I am excited for him that the product he has supported for so long is getting so much positive attention.
proactively • stereoscopically psyched! • peter