NAB highlights: Apple, Adobe, and pro plug-ins

The world’s largest video industry trade show, NAB, takes place this month, driving Apple to ship an important Final Cut X update, Adobe to introduce new iterations of its video products, and a host of interesting new plug-ins from other developers. A few highlights from this year’s event:

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 17.50.08 Apple’s Final Cut push

Apple  has published a series of customer testimonials detailing how professional users are using and enjoying Final Cut.

“Whenever we finished a version, we needed to export the whole movie with different watermarks to different VFX vendors, the music composer, the sound editor, our marketing team, and the distributors. That meant 8 to 10 different copies of the film. It used to take so much time in Final Cut Pro 7, and we had several sleepless nights in the editing room waiting for the output. With Final Cut Pro X, it takes a quarter of the time,” explained director, Tsui Hark, speaking to Apple.

Apple’s begun this marketing push in an attempt to claw back some of the negative perception that met the release of Final Cut X in 2011, stressing the numerous improvements its made to the suite since its original release.

Most recently, Apple updated the software with  a series of new features, highlights of which include:

  •  Support for 4K Sony XAVC files
  • Multichannel audio editing
  • Unified import
  • Streamlined sharing
  • Dual viewers
  • Copy and paste attributes
  • XML 1.2 with Metadata import and export
  • Much improved multicam support.

Apple isn’t expected to introduce a new version of Final Cut, but there is some hope the firm may introduce a redesigned model of its professional desktop Mac, the Mac Pro, in or around the event.

A note from Apple CEO, Tim Cook, last year, reassured pro users the company was: “Working on something really great for later next year.”

Just last month a French Apple reseller told customers: “Apple informs us that the new Mac Pro will be released in Spring 2013.

We know there’s some hope among our customers Apple will update the Mac Pro, which has seen no significant improvement since 2010.


Adobe’s future product showcase

Adobe did well out of Final Cut X, grabbing a few pro customers across from Apple on strength of the initial discomfort with the new software.

This year at NAB it is offering an advance glimpse at new features inside forthcoming versions of its own video tools (Audition, Prelude, Story, Media Encoder, Premiere and After Effects).

Adobe is also offering pro users cut-price subscriptions to its Creative Cloud service, which provides members with early access to new versions of its software before these reach shops.

Adobe is also introducing Adobe Anywhere for video – a collaborative workflow platform that empowers teams using its video tools, to work together on projects using centralized pools of media and assets.

According to Adobe, the next iteration of Premiere Pro will let editors work in their own way, as it will be more customizable and will offer an expanded number of shortcuts for keyboard-driven editors. Premiere Pro also supports additional color workflows thanks to the addition of the Lumetri Deep Color Engine.

Plug-in highlights

For immediate access to new product launches across the duration of NAB this year, tune into the show’s official press release service right here (that’s what most of the media will be watching). Meanwhile here’s a few announcements that caught our eye just before the show.


New MAXON pipeline improves streamlined 3D workflow between Cinema 4D and After Effects. The new Live 3D Pipeline eliminates intermediate rendering between applications, enabling artists to import native CINEMA 4D scenes directly as assets into After Effects but also to utilize CINEMA 4D’s multi-pass workflow as layers and to benefit from much improved rendering times.

Brooklyn Effects

A trio of Final Cut Pro X plug-ins from Brooklyn Effects:

Nostrand Theater: A worn film effects package including 30 unique presets, digital depictions of the early screen to a destroyed look for music videos.

NYC Lights: This provides flashes and light leaks designed to add a little liveliness to all footage. The plug-in includes presets, configurable settings and a series of transitions.

Empire Grades Color and Tone: These light/colour presets can be dragged into Final Cut in order to instantly transform the footage.


Pixel Film Studios

NAB sees introduction of numerous Final Cut plug-ins from Pixel Film Studios, including ProStatic, which lets editors recreate the static effects of an old TV or VCR, or even a nighttime surveillance camera. There’s over 50 effects inside this plug-in.

The company also introduced its impressive ProFire fire effects and ProHud plugin in the run-up to NAB. The latter lets editors create Heads-Up Display (HUD) interface elements within projects.

We’ll be watching the news from NAB this year with a great deal of interest. What are you expecting from the show? Which video packages to you make use of today? Let us know in comments below.


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