View Full Version : Final Cut Pro 4. It's got HDRI

06-12-2003, 10:29 PM
Tomorrow, Apple Computer will release their new editing software, Final Cut Pro 4.


One thing that has escaped attention is the fact that Final Cut Pro 4 comes with a 32 bit-per-channel renderer.

That means HDRI !!!!!

This is very significant for Lightwave users. You can take your animations out of Lightwave in full HDR dynamic range quality, and then edit them and composit them in FCP4.

24fps (24p) for cinema.

High definition television.

HDRI compositing.

It costs around US$999, and does lots more than a US$100,000 Avid system.

Aren't you glad you are a Mac user? :)

06-12-2003, 10:36 PM
Hi Beam,

Now you are getting my interest up.
I assume the HDRI would only apply to LW or other 3D apps that can output HDRI files. Or would this apply to film as well?
But once film is digitized isn't it cut down to 16 bit at best or even 8 bit in some cases. So how would HDRI benefit if your source material is already cut down? Also all video is only 8 bit so HDRI wouldn't benefit that at all.


06-12-2003, 10:46 PM
If your images are 8 bit, then it won't help much to edit in 32bpc. The original images will always be 8bpc.

Then again, if you add an effect, such as a lens flare or something, then it'll be done at 32bpc, eliminating banding artifacts.

Also, you're a Lightwave user. Lightwave's renderer is 32bpc. If you choose the right image format you can take it all into FCP at the full 32bpc.

I don't know of any other editing solution that can take in Lightwave's images at 32bpc!!!

Originally posted by js33
Also all video is only 8 bit so HDRI wouldn't benefit that at all.
No. Only amateur video is 8bpc.
The main professional video tape format is Digital Betacam. This is a 10bpc format.
Some video cards are 16bpc. Lots of professional video is edited in 16bpc RGB, then transferred to 10bpc YUV.

Even if you don't edit video, this thing composits to a greater level than other editing software.

You could even load up FCP4 with your HDRI stills from Lightwave, then spit out a HDRI still.

06-13-2003, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Tomorrow, Apple Computer will release their new editing software, Final Cut Pro 4. Aren't you glad you are a Mac user? :)

Allways was, allways will be! Can't wait to put my hands on it...

06-13-2003, 10:26 AM
Beamtracer is right, there are higher 10bit video formats out there. In fact Dalsa is engineering a camera that is four times the resolution of high def and samples at 14bit. So FC4, which I got yesterday, is really a great upgrade for the high end user. Gotta Love APPLE!

06-13-2003, 04:45 PM
I'm interested in some of the new Panasonic cameras about to emerge.

Home mini-DV cameras transfer their data (via Firewire) at a rate of 25MB per second.

As I said before, the professional tape standard is Sony's Digi Beta, which transfers data at a rate of 50MB per second. Rather than Firewire, Digi Beta machines generally use video cables that conform to a standard called SDI (Serial Digital Interface). Any equipment with SDI is always extremely expensive.

Panasonic's alternative professional tape format is DVC-Pro 50, which as its name implies, transfers data at 50MB per second, like Digi Beta. This is twice the data of consumer mini-DV, and gives it better quality.

For the last couple of years, Panasonic has been working closely with Apple on an alternative to the expensive SDI cable interface. What their going to do is make DVC-Pro 50 cameras that can connect to your computer via Firewire 800, eliminating the need for expensive SDI capture cards.

Now I no that a lot of people won't find this very exciting at all. However it makes the cost of doing high quality video a lot cheaper.

Before Firewire, anyone doing home video had to buy expensive capture cards to edit it on their home computers. This new development with Firewire 800 basically makes broadcast quality video cheap and easy in a similar way.

06-13-2003, 05:31 PM
It really exites me! I shoot on an XL-1 and banding and quantization in disolves really bug me! NOt to metion Croma Keying, that is a nightmare with DV footage via firewire. A DV50 medium would be great. I've done some work w/ Digital-S or what is now D9, it transfer is 50 and you can really see the quality difference. Firewire 800 seems very promising, as does the work that pannasonic is doing with their SD & HD gear. I would give my right arm to be working on a higher medium without the expense of SDI equipment.

06-14-2003, 02:41 AM
Most home movie makers love mini-DV. It's actually a great format for this purpose. However, if it is used for profesional applications it doesn't cut it. The image degrades when you color grade, and worse still, you can't pull a good chroma-key from mini-DV.

The DVC-Pro 50 format solves this. Same video cassette, but the tape travels at a higher speed for better quality. Chroma-keys from DVC-Pro 50 look great.

Another great feature of FCP4 is 24p. That means 24 frames per second / progressive scan (no interlaced fields). This is the format to use if you want to output for cinema.

Wouldn't it be great to edit together a short film of your Lighwave animations. Cut it in 32bpc 24p High Definition, then have it transferrred to film. Fantasies! (menithings envy) :)

06-14-2003, 03:29 AM
That's great news, now all I need is some cash :)

06-14-2003, 07:13 AM
Yeah it's always the cash.
But if you want to do 24P video the only affordable camera that does this format right now is the Panasonic DVX-100. It is good quality for mini-DV but it is still mini-DV so not so good for chromakeys.

The next cheapest 24p camera is also a Panasonic that does DVC-Pro 50 but it costs about $25-30k.


06-14-2003, 04:45 PM
Yeah, the cash. But... this kind of thing is cheaper than ever before. Non-linear editing packages used to cost US$100,000+. Some still do.

Unlike those other packages, FCP4 costs around US$999 and does HDRI. In fact, does anyone know of any other editing software at any price that does HDRI? I don't know of any.

I wonder whether FCP4's HDRI ability has anything to do with Apple's acquisition of Shake.

06-15-2003, 05:18 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Home mini-DV cameras transfer their data (via Firewire) at a rate of 25MB per second.
As I said before, the professional tape standard is Sony's Digi Beta, which transfers data at a rate of 50MB per second.
Panasonic's alternative professional tape format is DVC-Pro 50, which as its name implies, transfers data at 50MB per second, like Digi Beta.

Hi Beam,
not trying to step on your toes here, but you got the data rates wrong.
DV is 25Mb (Mega bits!), DVCPro is 50Mb(Mega bits!), SDI uncompressed is around 240Mb(Mega bits).
DV ends up at around 3.6 MB/s (including audio) , DVCPro should be almost twice as much (the audio is around 200 KB/s) and uncompressed 22MB/s. Still a huge difference here.
DVCPro has the big advantage of having proper 422 sampling though, which gives you much better colour, compared to DV's 411 or 420 (depending on whether it is PAL or NTSC).

06-16-2003, 08:54 AM
Let me just say that Mini-DV CAN be used on a profesional level. You just have to be very careful, it's like running a marathon in hiking boots, it can be done but it's not recomended.
My company is doing projects in the range of $15-$50K all on Cannon XL-1s and FCP. The great thing is the gear is all paid for. Ultimately, I would love to be shooting on the F900, bot it cost more than my house:)

06-16-2003, 09:15 AM
Hi jonerwin,
well it does depend on your needs.
If you do heavy post, especially glue/green screening, the extra chroma in 422 does come in quite handy. And, agreed, you definately have to be more careful with DV, it tends to be less forgiving.
On the higher end of the market, people tend to shoot a lot on HD now, and then downsample to SD (usually Digibeta). Even that makes a hell of a difference on the final picture.

06-16-2003, 06:18 PM
That's true, Lightwolf.

mini-DV is 25 megabits per second, or 3.5 megabytes per second.

DVC-Pro 50 is 50 megabits per second or 7 megabytes per second.

I must watch those big B's and little b's!

Apple quotes these data rates on its website:

Also on the same Apple web page is this...
Advanced render engine
The Final Cut Pro 4 render engine is among the most advanced in the industry, with support for 10-bit and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support which lets Final Cut Pro 4 generate better-than-broadcast quality output by processing images in floating point space at 32 bits per channel. Composites and effects rendered in Final Cut Pro 4 are now suitable for SD and HD mastering as well as film output.

The question is... why did Apple give FCP4 a 32bpc floating point (HDR) renderer? I'm sure this news made their competitors' jaws drop. No wonder Adobe Premiere can't generate any sales on the Mac.

I can only speculate that FCP's HDR render is intended to tie-in with Shake, which already supports HDR compositing.
This complete HDR workflow is very intriguing. I predict this will result in more feature films being edited on FCP rather than Avid film editing systems.
The kudos with getting lots of film credits will fuel sales in the low-end.

I think all Mac Lightwavers should take a close look at Apple's HDR offerings, especially if you want to edit your animations.

06-16-2003, 07:07 PM
can FCP4 import sequences of layered .psd's?

06-17-2003, 02:41 AM
I think Newtek should setup a deal with LW8 + FCP4 to give us mac people some sort of special offers. Not just PC side?

06-17-2003, 08:26 AM
What up Lightwolf,
You're right, keying is a nightmare in the 25Mb world. Ultimately what guys like me need is a cheap alternative to SDI hardware and raid arrays.
I've often wondered if DV video would key cleaner if it were captured uncompressed, or if it would just be the same. I've heard firewire takes a bit of quality, turning one pixel into four or something like that. Anyone tried or am I full of crap?

06-17-2003, 09:54 AM
you smell :D
Honestly though, it doesn't make a difference once the material has been recorded to DV tape.
The only way it could make a difference was if you directly get the S-Video signal off the camera while it runs, that might be a bit better. In an ideal world, it would just pass through the signal it gets from the CCD.
Firewire itself doesn't take anything from the quality, it is just another digital connection like ethernet or SDI, passing around bits.
If these bits are compressed, then it is up to the hosts to do so.
Mike :p <- you can never have too many of those !

06-17-2003, 03:25 PM
HA! Then the guy at Custom Supply trying to sell me a more expensive system was full of crap as I suspected:p
Now DV Cam, DVC Pro, and all Mini-DV camera's are the same compression, right. 5:1 & 4:1:1. Excluding DVC Pro50, am I right.
WORD TO THE WISE. If you have projects in Final Cut 3, save a copy before updating to Final Cut 4, we've had some serious issues while updating projects.