Green screen problem: "You spend more time lighting a screen that won't exist than lighting the people that do!" - Dariusz Wolski
Avid Media Composer 6 Officially Announced
Rebuilt from the ground up
Avid has officially announced Media Composer 6. At first glance is this going to be what saves Avid and rebuilds their once mighty empire?
Well, to start of with they rebuilt the core code from the ground up. They claim it's 'faster and better than ever'. On the Avid website the first bullets you read are:
- Manage and edit stereoscopic 3D projects with comprehensive editorial tools
- Take hands-on control of color correction and grading with Artist Color
- Work more efficiently—but not differently—with the sleek new interface
- Encode (Mac only) and decode ProRes footage natively
- Instantly access and edit RED EPIC, AVCHD, and other formats through AMA
Ok what's here that's super exciting? For me, the color correct, which has always been quite good in Avid, seems to be new with Artist Color. Having not used it it's hard to say what it does or how well it works, but as I stated above, their color correct was good before so this should mean even better. Plus 1.
3D... Well, glad to see they're taking 3D seriously, which they would need to, but for my workflow at this time it's meaningless. Maybe in the future.
Work more efficiently... I surely hope so, however, I always found the Avid interface to be fairly efficient, but not so intuitive, especially for first timers. I am not crazy about they way Avid Media Composer has used the tools with the last few versions. It seems that the color and shape of the mouse pointer changes to another tool, seemingly on its own. Of course I know that the tool is changing based on position but it was not as efficient as previous so I never did like that. If you look at Adobe Premiere, there are a few times when it changes but they seem to make sense. The Avid changes, while I knew what they meant were more frustrating, at least to me. So we will see if this did anything valuable or not.
ProRes: Why can't Apple release ProRes for PC users. Since they've all but killed Final Cut I still don't understand why Apple would leave out millions of users. I *can* access certain ProRes encoded video but not much. Huge pain in my side whenever having to deal with this format. Don't get me wrong, I think ProRes is a good looking codec and well done.
Instant Access through AMA to RED, AVCHD, and others... Premiere Pro has been able to do this for quite some time so I don't what has taken so long... It is the way of the future, being able to access digital files natively. If only Avid could access nVidia's Cuda Cores.
So at first glance of the website highlight bullets I am not convinced that this upgrade is WOW, but no doubt the NLE will be better than it was. What excites me more is the ability to use 3rd party hardware cards like AJA, Black Magic Design, etc. Avid has always been a lot like Apple in that they like to restrict you to their proprietary hardware, which usually meant spending a ton of dough. Although, I must say the Avid hardware I owned always worked, never hiccuped or had issues. Can'y say the same for Black Magic or AJA.
I also like the idea of being able to work with 5.1 and 7.1 surround mixes. I don't do a lot of that but have done some so this will make things easier... I think... of course they might make you buy Pro Tools to truly make it work in your favor. I own and use Cubase so I wonder if any of their plugins will work?
They also are introducing their Avid Marketplace where you can buy stock footage, plugins, music, sound effects. It's a good idea and they'll probably make some good coin with this. For me, I like the ideas of the plugins more than anything as I have an extensive SFX and music library but you never know when you might need something you don't have and this will (should) give you instant access to that.
There's a lot more than meets the eye and I think this will be a good upgrade/crossgrade or first purchase for any editor. I don't know if I'll go back to Avid full time, but I hope to upgrade. I did upgrade to 5.5 about 10 days to early to qualify for a free upgrade. That sucks and I will see if they'll bend their rules a bit because had I known I would have waited until doing so. So we'll see if they truly like listening to their users or not.
If you want read up on everything Avid has put together a PDF detailing the new features and it can be found on their website here.