Coming to Avid Media Composer: 64-bit, 4K and higher projects, a new interface

Posted By Brady Betzel on July 14, 2011 12:29 pm | Permalink
BURBANK - Just before an Avid-hosted event last night on the Warner Bros. lot, editors who gathered there were discussing the shortfalls of FCP X as well as the direction of Adobe and Avid. The buzz was palpable.

Inside the Steven J. Ross theater, Avid brought the troops together to emphasize its commitment to the professional market, hammering home that their focus is us: the editors. It was good to hear at a time when some industry people and businesses are feeling abandoned after the release of FCP X.

In the lobby, vendor tables were on display: AJA, Matrox, MOTU, Blackmagic, Blue Fish 444, and many other Avid technologies were being shown. Interestingly, no hints at any new Avid created hardware though.

With great hors d'oeuvre's and drinks, the excitement and buzz was thick in the atmosphere. I overheard many people asking what they are going to do in terms of software, I even cringed at overhearing someone mention Final Cut Pro X, what some are referring to as "iMovie Pro," as a "professional" solution - hopefully it was a joke. Avid cleverly sprinkled DVDs around the party for people to take: "Avid for Final Cut Pro Users." As we entered the theater, I noticed that it was full. Our industry is actively pursuing a leader during this weird time. A quick intro was followed by a panel between two editors discussing their careers and jumping between different nonlinear editing systems. They included Alan E. Bell (500 Days of Summer, Water for Elephants, The Amazing Spider-Man) and independent editor Jonathan Alberts. To the meat and potatoes of the night: We were first given a legal disclaimer saying that none of what was going to be shared is 100% going to be in a future release - but in today's market they better be.

Avid introduced DNx 4:4:4 resolution, interoperability with more third-party products such as Blackmagic, Blue Fish 444 and MOTU...they even showed an AJA Kona card, which would be a very welcome addition to the family, and 7.1 sound was discussed at one point. The audience was very excited about native 2K, 4K and higher projects within Media Composer, as well as the announcement that Media Composer will be 64-bit.

Finally, one feature I didn't think was going to happen was a new interface. It appeared that they have a tabbed timeline window now, similar to Premiere Pro, After Effects and Final Cut. Avid reiterated that they are not sacrificing features, and the interface will be able to look like previous versions if you do not like the change. [Editor's note: the shown image is that of a prototype.] Avid re-emphasized its commitment to the professionals in the industry. Media Composer and Pro Tools will continue to grow together and become more cohesive. Shifting from the old ways of Avid being a "closed" system to the newer ways of being an "open" system is starting to surface much more prominently and will continue to grow with its AMA architecture and expanded third-party support. As long as Avid does not go the way of eliminating prominent features in their toolset, the future of Media Composer and Pro Tools seems to be headed in the right direction.

For more on Avid's Media Composer preview, check out Post editor Randi Altman's ARTICLE.

Brady Betzel is assistant editor on Lopez Tonight and a regular contributor to Post Magazine.