Businesses increasingly generate their own graphics and videos. This was formerly a daunting task, but organizations now have all the technology in an iPhone or iPad and a decent Mac needed to generate arresting videos with stunning soundtracks. And Apple pro apps place additional editing and effects power in producers' hands.
Just how potent are Apple products? On February 25, 2015, new ground was broken when an entire episode of a popular sitcom was filmed exclusively using Apple products. Apple even filmed its 2015 Oscars ad using an iPad Air 2. A popular Sundance Film Festival selection was filmed using an iPhone 5s.
Much magic occurs in post, as aficionados say. Post, of course, refers to post production, where fine-tune touches provide soft edges, brilliant transitions, crisp sound, blended harmonies,and other enchanting edits. Apple offers several professional programs for such tasks, including Aperture (slated to be replaced by Photos), Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4 and MainStage 3.
Apple plans to replace its $79.99 Aperture photo editing application with Photos for OS X in spring 2015. Aperture, optimized for Retina displays, integrates with a Mac's iPhoto library and provides more advanced editing and effects controls than are found within the base iPhoto program. The new Photos app will introduce a streamlined interface and be better engineered to organize growing photo and video libraries, while storing the entire collection — including video content — in the cloud.
Final Cut Pro X
The $299.99 Final Cut Pro application sets the standard for high-performance 64-bit video editing. The video production utility is so advanced and offers such a wide range of customizable effects, multichannel audio access, and color grading, among other features, that it's powered the production of such major motion pictures as Napoleon Dynamite and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The software also boasts its own Emmy, which was awarded for contributions to television production.
Logic Pro X
AT $199.99, Logic Pro X delivers a vast array of 64-bit powered audio editing, production, and mixing capabilities. Yet like the other Apple power apps, Logic Pro X doesn't require years of experience and training to begin wielding. Although the program offers more than 1,800 instrument and effect patches and supports vocal tuning, it includes an intuitive interface and is compatible with XML, SoundCloud, and common Audio Units plug-ins.
Motion 5 is Apple's $49.99 add-on for Final Cut Pro. The program enables additional customizations for Final Cut Pro projects, including 3D support for titles, transitions, and effects. The tool's 64-bit architecture and dual GPU optimization deliver impressive video editing performance while maintaining the ease of use, such as a single-window editorial interface, that producers associate with Final Cut Pro.
Another $49.99 power application, Compressor 4 provides Final Cut Pro users with additional video exporting tools and capabilities. The tool gives producers more encoding options, such as those for industry standards like MPEG-2, H.264, and ProRes, while also adding chapter marking and closed captioning features.
Producers looking to host a conference or event will find Apple's $29.99 MainStage 3 delivers a single-screen interface for mixing and managing live broadcasts and performances. With support for a variety of third-party hardware connected via USB or MIDI, the application is designed for live production environments. Faders can be assigned to specific onscreen controls, and multiple tracks can be managed simultaneously from the same full-screen view. The program also includes hundreds of sample instruments and a variety of production effects to provide a full suite of on-stage tools to make even underfunded firms sound well heeled.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.