If you are comfortable with Python and building packages on GitHub, version 3.0 of Appleloops is available.
It is for those who administer large networks of Macs that have Apple’s audio editing applications installed. Don’t understand the following requirements? Appleloops isn’t for you:
Apple’s new ‘notarisation’ security requirement for macOS Catalina might mean that installers you have for pre-2019 software will not run if you double-click them in the Finder. Also many installers available online that are not updated will not run in macOS Catalina.
Those of us who have created installers of all kinds – including for Final Cut plugins – should prepare for extra work before macOS Catalina is released in Autumn.
For installer applications to run as normal, they will need to be ‘notarised’ by Apple.
This process includes using Xcode or a Terminal command to submit your application to Apple. Once an automated process approves your application (which takes less than 30 minutes at the moment), it is notarised. That means when a user double-clicks it (or a browser attempts to start it), the Mac will go to the internet to see if it has been notarised. If notarised, it will run. If not, it won’t. If there is no internet connection – if someone runs an installer on a Mac with no or restricted online access – the application will not run.
So that notarised applications can run on offline Macs, there is an additional process known as ‘stapling’ which attaches the notarisation ticket to the application itself. If the installer application has been ‘stapled,’ it will run as normal on non-internet connected Macs.
I used Plugin Manager (from Digital Rebellion’s Pro Maintenance Tools) to make the many installers for my free Final Cut plugins. Part of the process was signing the installers with my Apple developer ID. These installers from years ago will not work smoothly with macOS Catalina.
I watched a long presentation on notarisation by Tom Bridge who has written on his blog:
I found a package that is properly signed that delivers Motion and Final Cut Pro templates that also triggered the quarantine warning. They were signed for distribution, but not notarized. They still flagged the quarantine check because they were distributing files.
Developers might see this as an opportunity to review old installers. I hope Digital Rebellion can help me with my NLE plugin installers. I might also need to make a whole load of new installers that I can notarise using other tools.
It is time for macOS developers to do the research to make sure their applications will easily run in macOS Catalina and newer.
Watch Tom’s presentation (aimed at Mac administrators who are happy building applications using Xcode) from 33:22 to find out more about the notarisation process:
If you do nothing, users running your pre-2019 installers will see this (from Tom’s blog):
There are many useful Mac software installers on the internet that remain safe to use, but whose developers have moved on – who are very unlikely to go through the notarisation process.
Apple have said that users will always be able to run any software they like on their Macs. Their security policies in recent years have been about making running unchecked applications less straightforward – to protect naive users from malicious software.
In the Finder, use the File:Open command (or control-click its icon to see a context menu that includes the Open command) to get a dialog box that asks if you are sure you want to open it – which includes an ‘Open’ button which you can click. Here is what that dialog box looked like in 2013:
Click ‘Open’ and the un-notarised application will always run on your Mac. For each new Mac you move the installer to, you will have to go through the same process.Read more
Apple’s oldest professional application – their real-time motion graphics tool – was first made available to buy 15 years ago: on August 11, 2004.
Motion was first publicly previewed in April 2004. Here is Apple’s video of that 15 minute demo:
The amazing thing about many features shown here is that even 15 years on, it would be hard for today’s other animation applications to match what Motion users could do in 2004. Although the final animations can now be exported into tools like Blackmagic Fusion and Adobe After Effects, they still can’t match the real-time responsiveness of Motion (1)’s user interface.
Since 2004 animations in Motion can modified in complex ways in real time while the animation is playing. No stopping to change settings, waiting for a render, then playing back a lower-resolution preview. Motion users play with ideas while users of other applications make plans of what they will try next.
Although it is possible to make animations complex enough that slow down Motion’s UI responsiveness, Apple’s focus has made sure it remains a real-time animation application.
They have done this by saying ‘no’ to new features that make the UI less responsive. Features that would allow motion graphics designers who also use After Effects or node-based compositing systems to apply methods they know from these other applications.
When Motion was introduced in 2004, After Effects was already the ‘Avid Media Composer’ of motion graphics and video effects. There were already established industry workflows using After Effects – few users saw a reason to switch. They saw that it was a lot faster, but it also seemed strange compared with what they were used to. It didn’t offer enough to make up for its steep learning curve.
Although Apple regularly improved Motion during the rest of the 2000s, it didn’t capture the imagination of a significant proportion of motion graphics designers. It was eventually included in the Final Cut Studio bundle, made up of Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro and DVD Studio Pro and more. Even when hundreds of thousands of users got Motion for ‘free,’ few could justify the time needed to ‘get’ it.
Despite versions 1, 2, 3 and 4 never really breaking out, Apple stuck with Motion. They have kept developing it because Motion became a vital element in the 2011 reboot of Final Cut Pro: version 10.
Motion benefits Final Cut in three ways.
The reason why Final Cut Pro is the fastest video editing application is that since version 10.0, there has been a whole copy of Apple Motion 5 built into it. Motion’s real-time animation system is now Final Cut’s real-time rendering system. Rendering changing scale, colour, position and rotation of a video clip is now slower than a clip that only has one parameter changing.
Final Cut also benefits from Motion because it is through Motion that nearly all of Final Cut’s built-in real time effects, titles, transitions and graphics are implemented. Many feature updates to Final Cut insect 2011 are accompanied by a new version of Motion.
The other side of Motion being at the core of Apple’s Final Cut development is that Motion is mainly improved to support Final Cut. Since 2011 there have been few improvements designed to benefit those who use Motion to make motion graphics.
With Motion there is the classic chicken and egg situation: designers don’t pick up the tool because it hasn’t improved and Apple can’t justify making it better for those designers because few of them are picking it up.
I hope Apple will soon act as if they see Motion as more than a Final Cut developer tool.
Apple Motion has a future as long as Apple’s Final Cut Pro has a future. I’m sure Final Cut will be around for many years. Apple’s video Applications team want it to break though the 20th century timeline barrier as typified by Avid Media Composer and continually being popularised by Adobe Premiere. That means years more improvements for regular people upgrading from iMovie and to attract established post-production people currently sticking with old systems.
Motion evolution – and hopefully revolution – will be at the heart of Apple video applications for years to come. I’m looking forward to it!Read more
Yesterday Apple updated iMovie for iOS and macOS. There’s one new feature in the iOS version which could set Apple’s video tools on the path to collaboration.
I don’t know how much of iMovie for iOS is ClassKit compatible, but ClassKit has interesting features for developers to integrate into iOS apps:
ClassKit and Schoolwork are built with student privacy in mind. Schoolwork only receives and displays student progress data for activities a teacher explicitly assigns, and only when students use the Managed Apple ID that was created for them by their school on their device
Could the ‘Define and Display Assignable Content’ feature could help a feedback note show exactly the timecode it is referring to.
I wonder if Apple’s eventual workgroup collaboration features will involve using Managed AppleID for participants, and tools for a team member to administer membership of groups. Last week’s WWDC mentioned managed AppleID for business in a forthcoming update to Apple Business Manager. I’ll keep a look out for more information from Apple.Read more
As previewed at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2019, the 2019 Mac Pro has quite the technical specification. What is it’s ultimate configuration? Just how powerful can you make it? There are two ultimate configurations: the Professional configuration and the Hobbyist configuration. As months and years go by, I’ll keep this post up to date.
The hardware is all about overhead. A power supply that can handle the needs of multiple hungry PCI cards – those for sale today and those expected to go on the market in coming years. A cooling system that can handle more heat than hardware can produce today.
28-core 2.5Ghz Intel Xeon W CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz.
Could be a version of the Xeon W-3275 modified to access more than 1TB of RAM. The W-3275 is available for $4,449.
Each of the 12 memory slots can take a 128GB DIMM, fully loaded that adds up to 1.5TB.
Apple sells memory kits for the Mac Pro of up to 64GB – made up of four 16GB DIMMs. Apple’s 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory configuration for the iMac Pro costs $2,000. Other World Computing sell a wide range of RAM kits, their 256GB kit (64GB x 4) for the 2017 iMac Pro costs $2,279.
Two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX modules + Afterburner ProRes and ProRes RAW accelerator card.
4TB made up of two 2TB SSD storage modules. 4TB from Apple for the iMac Pro currently costs $2,400.
In exchange for one AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX module, an additional 32TB of storage in a Promise Pegasus R4i MPX module.
Plus 16TB made up if a Pegasus J2i (which comes with an 8TB drive with space for an additional 8TB drive), which is fitted on a sled that can be placed next to the CPU heat sink.
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports on top of enclosure.
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports and two USB-A ports in the Apple I/O x4 PCI Express card.
Two 10Gb Ethernet ports. No 25Gb Ethernet or 40Gb Ethernet PCI cards yet announced for the 2019 Mac Pro.
1.4 kilowatts – the maximum possible for use on US domestic power networks.
AppleCare+. For the 2013 MacPro this costs $249.
AppleCare OS Support Preferred costs $19,995 – for unlimited support with a two hour response time and custom post-production workflow design.
The best sign that Apple think that the Mac Pro would suit hobbyists would be for them to supply a special configuration just for them.
Instead of choosing the minimum configuration and having to remove an SSD, a couple of PCI cards and RAM, it would be better to buy a configuration with none of these things. One where hobbyists can source the parts suited to their personal needs from Apple or elsewhere.
None – a heat sink.
It seems that the CPU is socketed.
Other World Computing sell a wide range of RAM kits, their 256GB kit (64GB x 4) for the 2017 iMac Pro costs $2,279.
There are a wide range of PCI-based GPU cards. For those who want to use NVIDIA GPUs, they can use BootCamp to run Windows.
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports on top of enclosure.
Two 10Gb Ethernet ports.
There is range of PCI-based I/O cards for Thunderbolt, USB, Ethernet, Fibrechannel, iSCSI, ADB…
For those who can guarantee the power they will supply their Mac Pro – for example if they can put it on a 50 Amp circuit.
I would guess that Apple would not want to provide AppleCare+ for this configuration. It will be up to expert hobbyists and their suppliers to troubleshoot their configurations – with the aid of a section of the Apple Support forums.Read more
Today Apple announced their plans for their software, hardware and services for Apple TV, the Apple Watch, iPhones, iPads and Macs. Here’s a rundown of news relevant to Final Cut, Motion 5 and other ProApps.
The big news is that Apple did much more than give some hints about the forthcoming Mac Pro – they provided nearly all the information they would give if the computer was being released tomorrow. All of which is available on the Apple website today. Here are some interesting points on the Apple website…
The Final Cut Pro product page says that in Autumn a new version of Final Cut will be released…
Accelerated performance with Metal
Metal dramatically accelerates graphics tasks like rendering, compositing, real-time effects playback, exporting, and more. When you’re working on a system with an eGPU attached, you can select which GPU to use — internal or external — for peak performance.
This is likely to mean that a significant proportion of Motion 5 that used to implement animation with OpenGL has been converted to use Metal. The part of Final Cut that does the rendering and animation is Motion.
The new Mac Pro achieved
Up to 3.2X faster ProRes transcode*
*Testing conducted by Apple in May 2019 using preproduction 2.5GHz 28-core Intel Xeon W-based Mac Pro systems with 384GB of RAM and dual AMD Radeon Pro Vega II graphics with Infinity Fabric Link and 32GB of HBM2 each; [and a] shipping 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5-based Mac Pro systems with 64GB of RAM and dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics with 6GB of VRAM each. Mac Pro systems tested with an attached 5K display. Prerelease Final Cut Pro X tested using a 60-second project with 8K Apple ProRes RAW media, at 8192×4320 resolution and 29.97 frames per second, transcoded to Apple ProRes 422. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.
Up to 2.9X faster render†
†Testing conducted by Apple in May 2019 using preproduction 2.5GHz 28-core Intel Xeon W-based Mac Pro systems with 384GB of RAM and dual AMD Radeon Pro Vega II graphics with Infinity Fabric Link and 32GB of HBM2 each [and a] shipping 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5-based Mac Pro systems with 64GB of RAM and dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics with 6GB of VRAM each. Mac Pro systems tested with an attached 5K display. Prerelease Final Cut Pro X tested using a complex 90-second project with a variety of media up to 8K resolution. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.
Design motion graphics in stunning High Dynamic Range with Motion. View HDR images on any recent Mac that displays an extended range of brightness. Or heighten your experience with the new Pro Display XDR, which connects with a single Thunderbolt cable to reveal the stunning beauty of your HDR effects.
The keynote video is on the Apple website. The Mac Pro launch starts at 1:17:20.
On the Mac Pro tech spec page:
MPX modules are special packages for devices that need extra connections for Thunderbolt 3 and extra cooling that is integrated with the Mac Pro cooling system. The two MPX bays in which they go use up a double-wide slot for a PCI card and its neighbouring single-width slot.
Apple will be selling two MPX modules containing GPUs from AMD.
Promise will be making the Promise Pegasus R4i 32TB RAID MPX Module Kit. It allows you to install up to four 8TB 7,200RPM spinning hard disks.
They also plan to make a direct-attach drive kit with one 8TB drive and slot for an additional drive – it isn’t clear where this fits into the Mac Pro case.
The implication is that these will be user-installed items – ‘Plug & Play inside the new Mac Pro’
Apple PR also has some quotes from makers of Pro Apps:
Jarred Land, president, RED Digital Cinema:
We are very excited to bring a Metal-optimized version of R3D in September.
Steven Warner, vice president of Digital Video and Audio, Adobe:
With the power offered by the new Mac Pro, editors will be able to work with 8K without the need for any proxy workflows in a future release of Premiere Pro
Jules Urbach, CEO and founder, OTOY:
Octane X will be leveraging this unprecedented performance to take interactive and production GPU rendering for film, TV, motion graphics and AR/VR to a whole new level. [Octane X] has been rewritten from the ground up in Metal for Mac Pro
Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design:
With the new Mac Pro and Afterburner, we’re seeing full-quality 8K performance in real time with color correction and effects, something we could never dream of doing before.
David McGavran, CEO, Maxon
The new Mac Pro graphics architecture is incredibly powerful and is the best system to run Cinema 4D.
The preview page tells us…
Dedicated system volume. macOS Catalina runs in its own read-only volume, so it’s separate from all other data on your Mac, and nothing can accidentally overwrite your system files.
Apps must now get your permission before directly accessing files in your Documents and Desktop folders, iCloud Drive, and external volumes, so you’re always in control of your data. And you’ll be prompted before any app can capture keyboard activity or a photo or video of your screen.
The following Macs can run macOS Catalina:
Zoom your second display
If you have two screens, you can keep one screen zoomed in close while the other remains at a standard resolution. It’s great for everyday work and giving a presentation.
Hover Text makes it easier to view text on your Mac display. Just hover over any text with your cursor and press Control. You’ll get a dedicated window with large, high-resolution text. You can even choose the fonts and colors.
Apple Watch approval:
Approve with Apple Watch
Double-click the side button of your Apple Watch to authenticate on your Mac. Unlock a locked note, approve app installations, and view your passwords in Safari preferences without having to enter one.
- Mirrored desktop: Mirror the screen on your Mac to have two screens displaying the same content, making it perfect for sharing with others.
- Wired or wireless: Connect your iPad to your Mac using a cable to keep it charged, or use it wirelessly — within 10 meters — for greater mobility.
- Gestures: Use the same Multi-Touch gestures you’re familiar with on iPad, along with all-new text editing gestures that let you cut, copy, paste, and undo without lifting your hands from the onscreen keyboard.
- Sidebar: Get easy access to your most commonly used controls from the sidebar. Use modifier keys to enable shortcuts in pro apps, and access buttons that allow you to undo as well as display or hide the menu bar, Dock, and keyboard.
- Touch Bar: For apps with Touch Bar support, the controls appear at the bottom of your iPad screen — even if your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar.
The current list of Sidecar-compatible Mac applications:
Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Cinema 4D, CorelDRAW, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Maya, Motion, Painter, Principle, Sketch, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, ZBrush
Looks like Apple made sure professional applications would be abe to use this feature.
Safari 13 and macOS Catalina support displaying and compositing HEVC video with alpha channels. The updated versions of Motion, Compressor and Final Cut will be able to encode and display HEVC with alpha. Could this be the future codec for Final Cut proxy workflows across platforms – the web, iPhones and iPads?
As a side note Safari 13 will be able to do screen sharing using web technologies – without the need to install plugins. Useful for online collaboration.
After years of no updates, Quartz Composer is now officially depreciated. Although it is supported in macOS Catalina, Apple does not guarantee it will be in versions of macOS after Catalina. Some powerful Final Cut plugins depend on quartz compositions generated using Quartz Composer.
Jon Chappell of Digital Rebellion brings up some useful points in his Thoughts on the 2019 Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR:
Apple is including a monster 1.4 kilowatt power supply in the system, capable of delivering 1280 watts of power continuously, however in reality you would only get this kind of power draw if you max out the specs, fill it up with graphics cards and set it churning away on a complex render.
In the US, most household circuits are 15 amps at 120 volts, meaning the maximum power draw for a single circuit is 1800W, with a continuous draw of around 1440W. This means that at 1280W there is a narrow overhead before the breaker trips, so you would need to be mindful of what else is plugged into the same circuit at the same time (note that a circuit may consist of multiple outlets). Most people probably won’t have to worry about this but it’s an important thing to think about if you’re planning to max out the specs.
Stu Maschwitz wrote an interesting Twitter thread about hobbyists vs. professionals reaction to the Mac Pro:
It’s fascinating watching the Apple community come to terms with the fact that Apple, by finally meeting nearly every one of their demands for a Mac Pro, has made a computer that is 100% not for them. I think a lot of the perceived demand for a “pro Mac” is really a desire for a “hobbyist Mac,” a Mac for people who like tinkering with computers…
Michael Pusateri’s Twitter thread is from the point of view of someone who ‘help[s] oversee 175+ Macs used for professional video editing, audio mixing, and graphics creation’ – read the whole thread for a twist at the end:
It looks like Apple has delivered. This computer is not for any hobbyist, enthusiast, and realistically most video editors. The Mac Mini can easily handle the majority of graphic & video work. The iMac Pro speeds everything up for renders and better playback. o why is this new Mac Pro good, if it’s not needed by many users? FLEXIBILITY!
the real change here are the delicious PCI expansion slots with are really what this whole computer is about. This will allow interfaces and upgrades to focus the Mac Pro into an optimal platform for individual groups.
A new feature for the Vision machine learning framework is Image saliency:
…gives you a ‘heat map’ for an image, highlighting important objects and where users are likely to focus their attention. We use this today in Photos to intelligently crop images as part of the curation experience.
A feature that would be very useful when auto-recomposing shots when changing a video aspect ratio in iMovie or Final Cut. Possibly relevant: the Apple Video Applications group makes the feature in Photos called Memories – that auto generates videos based on a group of photos.
The Vision machine learning framework will also gain a text recognition system in images and video.
Sessions I’ll be keeping my eye on. I’ll watch the videos when they become available and add quotes and notes here if relevant to pro apps:
Could there one day be a Swift Playground for making Final Cut plugins using Core Image?
Currently the Shortcuts automation system is only on iOS, iPadOS and watchOS, but will probably come to macOS.
For when pro applications run on iPadOS and collaboration applications run on iOS:
Your iOS app can now access files stored on external devices via USB and SMB. Understand best practices for creating a document-based app that reads, writes, and manages files on physical media or networked storage. Learn about enhancements to Quick Look on iOS and macOS that help you access and display file thumbnails.
For almost 15 years, Motion has been about bringing the power of OpenGL to real-time animation.
A good candidate for Apple’s next ProApp could be an AR authoring application.
A session that seems to be specifically for the developers of applications that up until now use CUDA for fast rendering on NVIDIA GPUs:
Metal is the platform-optimized graphics and compute framework at the heart of GPU acceleration on Apple platforms. Learn key aspects of the Metal architecture that support the techniques for modern high-performance pro applications and workflows. Learn how to leverage Metal capabilities to optimize performance and maintain a steady frame rate in video editing pipelines.
Audio Unit app extensions gives users a convenient way to create or modify audio in any iOS or macOS app that uses sound, including music production apps such as GarageBand or Logic Pro X. And now, with iOS 13, you can store user presets for your extensions that are accessible across applications.
New in iOS; the ability to capture footage from multiple cameras and microphones at once. Currently the front and back cameras and mics, but soon iOS devices are likely to have multiple cameras.
Powerful new features in the AVCapture API let you capture photos and video from multiple cameras simultaneously. Photos now benefit from semantic segmentation that allows you to isolate hair, skin, and teeth in a photo. Learn how these advances enable you to create great camera apps and easily achieve stunning photo effects.
Hopefully the basis of a new QuickTime Player for macOS Catalina that replaces both QuickTime Player 7 and QuickTime Player X:
AVKit is a high-level framework for building media user interfaces, complete with playback controls, chapter navigation, Picture-in-Picture, audio routing, support for subtitles and closed captioning, Siri and Now Playing integration, and support for keyboard, Touch Bar, and remote control.
With the addition of alpha channel support for HEVC video, you can now composite video over custom backgrounds in both your apps and on the web. Learn how to author compatible media, and the best practices for playback.
Apple platforms provide a comprehensive set of audio frameworks and technologies that are essential to creating a rich app experience. Learn about which frameworks and APIs are recommended to ensure that your app is well positioned for the future.
‘Well positioned for the future’ is Apple-speak for ‘work with an unreleased device we plan to release in the next year.’
Learn all about the many advances in the Vision Framework including effortless image classification, image saliency, determining image similarity, and improvements in facial feature detection, and face capture quality scoring. This packed session will show you how easy it is to bring powerful computer vision techniques to your apps.