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Apple's Color 1.5

By Kevin McAuliffe

As everyone knows, the inclusion of FinalTouch (renamed Color by Apple) into Final Cut Studio 2 was shocking.  A few months before Apple announced it, I looked at purchasing FinalTouch as a separate, stand alone application for a post facility I was working for. My only issue was that even though it was an awesome program, the fact that it didn't directly interact with Final Cut Pro was a problem, and the nail in the coffin as to why I didn't purchase it.  Well, Apple must have read my mind, and not only included it in FCS2 for no extra charge, but they also made the trip from Final Cut Pro to Color and back again relatively seamless. Now, with Final Cut Studio's new update, Color has seen a minor update (version 1.5).  Let's see what Apple is doing to push Color further forward.

Much like all the other applications in FCS, you can install Color with the suite, or separately, depending on your workflow.

Something important to keep in mind about Color is that even though your system might meet the minimum system requirements to run FCS, your system will need specific hardware components for Color to run in an "optimal" mode.  Those components include:

  • Display with 1680-by-1050 resolution or higher; dual displays are highly recommended
  • For rendering of 4K files and DPX: a graphics card with at least 512MB VRAM
  • For 32-bit rendering: a graphics card with at least 256MB VRAM
  • Three-button mouse for full functionality

What's new with Color 1.5

Seamless integration with Final Cut Pro
Color had some problems with it, and the biggest one was the problematic workflow between FCP and Color. When you sent your timeline over, certain FCP functions like freeze frames didn't translate well, or not at all. Well, that has been fixed in version 1.5. Apple now boasts that the workflow from FCP to Color and back is flawless, and Color now supports FCP features such as still graphics, speed effects and multicam clips to name a few.

4K Support
Color 1.5 now supports native 4K files from the RED ONE and other 4K acquisition devices. The best part is that you can now work in Pro Res 4444 for High Def delivery on an HDCam SRW-5500, or you can output directly to DPX or Cineon files for film outputs.

More HD Support
With Color now supporting XDCam HD 422 at 50 Mbps and Panasonic's AVC-Intra we, the users, have more flexibility than ever before.  Is your device not supported natively?  Don't worry, simply master to Pro Res 4444 to get the best possible end result.

Optimized Rendering
Finally, there is now no need to render everything in the Color timeline, just what you have changed, or the grades you have flagged as the "final" version. 

Best of the rest
There are a whole bunch of minor tweaks that are going to help speed up your overall workflow. Shift-Z can now be used to zoom back to show your entire timeline. You can now also copy and past Color FX nodes in the Color FX room to quickly create brand new effects.


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