Ron Brinkman: X vs. Pro.

Digital Composting by Ron Brickmann

I’ve had a couple of people ask for my thoughts on the new FCPX release given my history with Apple and in particular my experience with how they dealt with another product that was focused (in our case almost exclusively) on professionals – the compositing software ‘Shake’. So, even though I don’t think they’re totally analogous events, I figured I’d use it as an opportunity to make a couple of points about (my perception of) how Apple thinks.

For those that aren’t familiar with the history, Shake was very entrenched in the top end of the visual effects industry. The overwhelming majority of our customers were doing big-budget feature film work and were, naturally, all about high-end functionality.

So after Apple acquired us there was a lot of concern that Cupertino wouldn’t be willing to continue to cater to that market and, although it took a few years, that concern did indeed come to pass. The development team was gradually transitioned to working on other tools and Shake as a product was eventually end-of-life’d.

And back then the same questions were being asked as now – “Doesn’t Apple care about the professional market?”

In a word, no. Not really. Not enough to focus on it as a primary business. read more...

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