Kinetic Badges: unique and dynamic vector graphics for Final Cut Pro X

Kinetic Badges is a Final Cut Pro X plug-in distributed by FxFactory. It’s a set of vector graphics that can be used as stand-alone graphics or combined with various badge options that come with the plug-in. What makes Kinetic Badges unique is that each graphic is slightly animated to add dynamism.

Kinetic Badges is the latest addition to join the gorgeous animations and infographics available with FxFactory. The reason why I chose to review Kinetic Badges Generator is that it enables several hundred combinations using the badge graphics and badges. Except for preset animated badges, Kinetic Badges comes with a custom image badge that allows you to load your own image, as well as a custom text badge. Even more exciting is the addition of two fill statistic infographics that allow you to choose from 30 original vector graphics as a statistical fill (ranging from bottles and people to briefcases).

Although, you can use the statistics badges with your videoclip set as background, the statistics badges come with 10 included backgrounds that are optimised to make the motion of the stats badge stand out the best.

Interface Kinetic Badges

The use of any sort of infographics in video is limited to news, advertisements and presentations. In the case of Kinetic Badges, you can also put them to good use as titles, perhaps not so much for feature film, but certainly for everything else.

As with most Final Cut Pro X plug-ins, Kinetic Badges comes with a large set of parameters, allowing you to customise the badge, the graphic, images inside the badge, colours, animations and more. I tried them all and found only one parameter that was lost on me. Apparently, the custom image badge allows you to animate the rotation of the image, but I couldn’t make that work.

By the way, Kinetic Badges comes with an on-screen (inside Final Cut Pro X) user guide, which I guess most of us can do without — well, except for the animation thing — but which I find a very nice touch as even some complex plug-ins let you discover everything yourself and lose valuable time over it.

The preset badges are carefully created and animated so as not to distract too much of the viewers’ attention, or be too busy, but having just enough motion to attract attention. For example, the still camera graphic has a blinking red dot; the one that you see when taking a self-portrait. The globe rotates and shows all continents, etc. Badges and graphics can be resized, both together and separately. I’ve created a silly demo in which the airplane will grow and move outside of the badge’s borders.

If you want to animate the entire badge and graphic as one, you can do so using Final Cut Pro X’s built-in keyframing system.

Interface Kinetic Badges

The fill statistics badges are brilliant as well. There are two options for these badges: a simple image fill with percentage and a split statistic image fill that shows the percentage on both sides of the statistic. The basic fill statistic badge has layout options, 30 vector images to choose from and even the ability to load a custom image in the dropzone. A custom image must be a square image with transparency. You can also change the scale and Z-position of the image, so it seems to float against the backdrop.

An automatic camera sweep for both X and Y axis, complete the 3D appearance. In the Percentage area, you set a custom percentage endpoint and the number will count up to that point automatically. Your graphic will “fill” with your preferred colour to a corresponding level as well. In the text area, you can type in your own text, but you can’t change fonts. The default font is a sans-serif chosen for clarity I imagine. The default two lines have too little line-height, but that’s easily fixed by adding a paragraph.

The background options allow you to choose one of 10 textures or the videoclip above which the Kinetic Badges Generator clip floats. The textures, however, have the advantage of interacting correctly with the camera sweep. Some of the effect is lost when you use your underlying clip — if you have one — as backdrop.

Kinetic Badges is a great addition to your Final Cut Pro X toolset and buying as well as managing it is comfortably done from within the FxFactory store/management app. Warmly recommended.

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