Make particles move in tandem with objects in Final Cut Pro X

CoreMelt added yet another plug-in to its mocha planar tracking product range: DriveX. The new plug-in is available as a separate product or in a bundle with SliceX and TrackX. With DriveX added to the bundle, CoreMelt now delivers planar tracking technology to create masks and tracks right inside Final Cut Pro X for every possible purpose, including some pretty spectacular compositing.

drive x titlesWith DriveX you can add tracked 3D text or particle effects that react realistically to movement, including tracked smoke, fire, light trails, sparks and every other effect you can create a Motion template for. Predefined DriveX effects include eight Title templates and 12 Effects templates. The DriveX page on Coremelt’s website has four video tutorials that clearly show how it works and how quickly you can set up stunning effects.

I tried it myself with some older footage and the Magic Orb effect, as well as a short clip of myself moving my finger acting as a candle and a couple of 3D title effects. It all worked well, although you do need to remember to select the correct tracking mode — “perspective” doesn’t always generate the best results.

The Motion template effect is essentially an empty effect that you can fill yourself. It’s a great idea, but you do need to have Motion installed on your system, know how to work it and follow Coremelt’s instructions to the letter in order to make a perfect effect.

DriveX resembles TrackX a bit, but differs in the type of effects you can ultimately create. Whereas TrackX is really meant to track text and layers, DriveX specialises in tracking FX generators. The example of the magic candle finger speaks for itself. An added benefit of DriveX is that you’ll get a much better tracking experience of — in my case — the moving finger than keyframing because the tracking engine is based on Oscar-winning mocha technology.

Finally, when you buy DriveX you’ll get the ability to easily composite 3D text moving in sync with some movie object. However, some of the text effects are not quite what you think they are when you first place them in a scene. For example, if you place the “Light” 3D title on the timeline, the text isn’t going to move but the light effect is, which took me by surprise. In that one specific title effect, you have multiple options that lead to multiple results.

drivex titles

In short, DriveX is a much valued member of the CoreMelt mocha driven plug-in series and one that you’ll definitely want to add to your Final Cut Pro X effects collection. The DriveX plug-in costs approx. €89 while the bundle costs €179.

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