Professional production involves a number of creative disciplines, including capture and editing of digital video; design of complex motion graphics and photorealistic visual effects; composition of well-crafted music scores; and editing, sweetening, and mixing all the audio tracks, including dialog and sound effects. Depending on the intended audience, finished projects are either printed directly to videotape, recorded to motion picture film, or compressed for distribution via FTP, satellite transmission, or some other streaming-media format. Thanks to the proliferation of DVD, the creative process doesn't end when songs, videos, or films are mastered. Instead, elements from programs are used to create compelling, interactive DVD menus, the majority of which now include motion graphics and seamless motion menutomotion menu transitions.
Apple's round-trip production paradigm heralds a new era in content creation workflows. In the same way that you can save spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel and have them automatically update in Microsoft Word, designers can now save their motion graphics in Motion and have them update automatically in Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro. Xsan's storage area network brings all these apps together in a collaborative workgroup environment. The accompanying increase in productivity is incalculable, with benefits that go well beyond financial measures. The quality of design improves dramatically, simply because there's more time to experiment; more time to try the best filter, behavior, text animation, or particle effect; more time to try various cuts and transitions; more time to create custom DVD menu transitions and designs. And because Apple's system architecture takes full advantage of the stability of Unix and the increased performance of 64-bit processors, powerful graphics cards, and fast SDRAM, new combinations of effects, transitions, filters, behaviors, and particles can be previewed in real time.
Real-time performance and round-trip production, on a single system or in a collaborative workgroupthat's how the creative work flows between Apple's professional applications.