The Pro App Paradox (Part 3)

The Pro App Paradox (Part 3): Seven years later, more an exploration of ideas and rabbit hole of links, than a coherent argument.

Writer’s note: more an exploration of ideas and rabbit hole of links, than a coherent argument.

Featured image: tweet in reference to the introduction of Apple‘s iOS app: Cards.

In the final part of this series I will explain why content creation tools are the antithesis of Apple’s design philosophy.

From The Pro App Paradox (Part 2). Written over 7 years ago!

Major” motion pictures are “logistically complex [projects] and difficult undertakings, much like waging a small war.” Therefore the software tools used to tackle these complex problems will have more in common with architectural and medical software, than anything used to consume motion pictures.

3D Modeling

Screenshot-2018-6-29 Maya Editor overview
Screen Grab from the Autodesk Maya’s webpage.
Revit Structure Revit Autodesk
Just kidding, this is Revit. Also by Autodesk, but for architects.


Screenshot-2018-6-29 Features of Nuke Foundry.png
Screen grab from Nuke’s webpage.

Traditional Nonlinear Editing

Screenshot-2018-6-29 Media Composer - Video Editing Software - Avid
Screen grab from Media Composer’s webpage. Used by 90% of motion picture editors.

Now let’s compare that to Apple’s websites for…

Final Cut Pro X

Screenshot-2018-6-29 Final Cut Pro X
Clean interface for daaayys…
Screenshot-2018-6-29 Final Cut Pro X(1)
Screen Grab from Final Cut Pro X’s webpage.


Screenshot-2018-6-30 iMovie
“But you can’t make editing mechanical,” the Avid curmudgeon.


Screenshot-2018-6-29 Keynote
Apple’s webpage makes using Keynote look like fun!

There is an inherent tension between complexity and simplicity. Apple is erring on the side of simplicity. (Link, Link, Link, Link, Link, Link. Each of those is worth a read BTW!) And because of that they are making software that probably won’t ever be used for complex tasks; like making Thanos awesome!

On the other end of the spectrum, the motion picture industry accepts the role of the Vfx Editor. Although I think those days are numbered. Hiring a person to do something that computers are way better at doing is inefficient and soon enough Adobe’s Toggle Proxies and Fusion Connect are going to be better than pension payments.

But here is the thing; I don’t think Apple is wrong.

From Google’s June 26th Los Angeles Media Summit

At a recent Media Summit Google hosted a panel with three interesting players in the Vfx space. All are moving away from infrastructure: Sony is moving towards virtual workstations in the cloud. The Mill already renders everything on the cloud. And the Foundry’s new cloud platform, built on top of GCP, is using Machine Learning to calculate accurate bids, among other things.

You don’t need to read tea leaves to see that there isn’t much long term value in creating a killer workstations anymore. Making killer thin clients is where the future is at for Apple. The interesting question is going to be: so what happens to the file system?

3 replies on “The Pro App Paradox (Part 3)”

The entertainment industry is clearly moving from infrastructure to the cloud. It will be interesting to see future developments. P.S. – I had 16 links open by the time I finished reading this article. Is that a personal best, Dustyn?


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