It has been an eventful past few weeks for useful tool post-production software as three products that we’ve discussed here before had major releases or updates:

FxFactory 2.5.4, with the new Manifesto titler

Singular Software’s PluralEyes for Media Composer version 1.0

Sorenson Squeeze 7

FxFactory Pro 2.5.4 with Manifesto

With the 2.5.4 update to Noise Industries FxFactory package for Final Cut Pro, Motion and After Effects, the developer has added a new a new Sun Rays effect that “adds sun rays to the source footage using light leak techniques.” That’s fun but the big addition is the free titling plug-in called Manifesto. This tool adds “a static title generator and a title roll/crawl generator, which lets you match the duration of your rolls and crawls to the duration of the clip, thus eliminating the need for keyframes.”

The Manifesto Edit Text window

I’ve used Manifesto within Final Cut Pro and it’s a nice addition to FCP’s title tools. It’s much better than the default FCP titler and a nice complement to the Boris Title 3D. Manifesto has the ability to import data from a text file, which will come in handy for those lengthy credit rolls. Plus, it has a somewhat WYSIWYG composition window with a lot of font controls. Unfortunately it doesn’t give you a static image frame from the timeline to compose with but that’s more of a FCP limitation. Premiere Pro still has the best titler out of the Big 3 A software developers but Manifesto is a welcome addition. Plus, it’s free!

PluralEyes for Avid Media Composer

We’ve been waiting a long time for this one and now it’s here. The first full release of PluralEyes for Media Composer is out now and it brings the automatic clip syncing that we have known and loved for some time to Avid. Operation is basically the same: stack your clips to be synced, then export an AAF file from Media Composer that PluralEyes will then use to sync the footage. Import that back into Avid and you’ve got a synced sequence.

It’s worth noting the current limitations of PluralEyes for Media Composer before you buy. For starters, it doesn’t work when media is stored on a Unity system. Overall it works similarly to the FCP version, though it won’t create new merged clips. The biggest limitation I saw was in Avid’s inability to support more than 24 video tracks in a single timeline. I reached that limit when trying to sync a music video. For basic multicam shoots that won’t be an issue.

The PluralEyes for Media Composer interface

PluralEyes for Media Composer is available for both Mac and Windows as is currently on a $119 introductory special until February 21.

Sorenson Squeeze 7

Finally there’s a new release for the encoding application Sorenson Squeeze. This version 7 update gets a number of new features including Adobe Premiere Pro integration (to add to its other supported NLEs), adaptive bitrate encoding, as well as some new broadcast and web formats.

But the biggest news is that Squeeze 7 now supports GPU acceleration for H.264 encoding, possible if you’re running a supported NVIDIA CUDA graphics card. The press release says it all: “By utilizing GPUs such as NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions, the specialized microprocessors that power graphics in professional workstations, Sorenson Squeeze 7 delivers significantly faster encoding times. Sorenson Squeeze 7 automatically recognizes when the user’s primary CPU or GPU may be faster and will use the better resource for the encoding job. The software is optimized for NVIDIA CUDA, the parallel computing architecture created by NVIDIA that powers a variety of their popular GPUs. Internal benchmark tests have shown Sorenson Squeeze 7 is up to three times faster than Sorenson Squeeze 6 when encoding in the H.264 format using GPU acceleration.”

The GPU preference within Sorenson Squeeze 7 (apparently I need to update a driver)

Version 7 includes a new GPU preference pane that provides information about the CUDA card installed and how Squeeze will utilize it. It’s great to see more and more programs taking advantage of these powerful graphics cards. Pricing for Squeeze 7 is $799 for a new license and there’s a number of different upgrade options as well.