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3-D video editing coming to Final Cut Pro

  • Published on January 24, 2014
3-D video editing coming to Final Cut Pro

Apple's Final Cut Pro is one of the most comprehensive and versatile editing suites available. Boasting a range of features including on- and offline editing, audio mixing and special effects, Final Cut Pro is the tool of choice for countless editing professionals around the world. Taking Final Cut Pro training through the American Graphics Institute is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with how to use this powerful software package, and according to numerous recent reports, additional functionality for the program could be on the way.

Hidden clues
Apple Insider reported that, according to a recent patent application, the company could be planning to incorporate stereoscopic editing tools into future versions of Final Cut Pro. Stereoscopy is the process of using two near-exact images to recreate a 3-D effect - if you've ever used those simple 3-D glasses at home or the movies, this is a basic application of the principles of the technique. In Apple's patent, which was approved by the U.S. Patent Office, several features are outlined that could indicate the company's plans to incorporate stereoscopic editing tools into the editing software, taking it yet another step closer to competing with much more expensive solutions such as the Avid range of editing programs and Sony's Flame and Combustion suites, which are aimed at high-end production studios.

The basic premise of the technology involves a smart camera identification system that can edit two clips, shot from two different stereoscopic cameras, simultaneously. The software's ability to edit and manipulate both sequences either independently or as a whole means that editors using Final Cut Pro could soon add another layer of depth to their work. Using a synchronized SMPTE time code, editors will be able to make adjustments to one of the two clips, and the results will be applied to the other sequence automatically. 

Third-party plugins
Of course, stereoscopic editing is only one possible use for 3-D within Final Cut Pro. Several third-party plugins are already available that allow editors to work with 3-D graphics natively inside the application, as opposed to using a dedicated post-production application such as Adobe After Effects.

Although Final Cut Pro is widely used by professional film and TV studios, there are many other uses for the suite's editing tools, including those in the world of corporate graphics. This is precisely the audience that plugins such as ProGraph Volume 5, released by Pixel Film Studios, is aiming for.

The plugin enables editors to move virtual cameras along the Z axis, not merely the X and Y axes in two-dimensional space. ProGraph Volume 5 also includes a range of dynamic presets, 3-D models, color correction tools and a host of other features that will breathe new life into even the most mundane of annual reports.

"ProGraph Volume 5 is a great Final Cut Pro X plugin for creating unique 3-D presentations," said Christina Austin, CEO of Pixel Film Studios. "Your clients and co-workers probably haven't seen anything like it before."

This and other plugins merely scratch the surface of what can be accomplished within Final Cut Pro. Whether Apple will put its stereoscopic plans into motion or not, there is little doubt that the popular software package will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in an editing application. If you're ready to master the fundamentals of nonlinear editing, there's never been a better time to take Final Cut Pro training through the American Graphics Institute. Our expert instructors will teach you the basics of this powerful software program, and enable you to cut together your own masterpiece, whether you're making your own webseries or editing a corporate promo.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.