MotionVFX released what is probably going to be one of their most popular Final Cut Pro X plug-ins. mDoubleExposure is a compositing tool that gives you the ability to create multiple masks overlaying videoclips on top of each other. Due to the granular control this plug-in offers you, you can achieve dazzling effects.
How do you draw people’s attention when everybody seems to create appealing movies for everyone to see on Youtube? The answer is twofold:
- You need a good story, no matter how short it may be
- You need to present it with visual acumen.
To be visually appealing a movie may be created so to set itself apart from the rest of the crowd. If you use effects such as those that are used in TV commercials, your video may come across as dishonest and not spontaneous. But if you use artistic effects, chances are that you are perceived as someone who knows the trade inside out. Until now, you could only achieve such effects by compositing in Motion or Adobe After Effects.
Now there’s the Final Cut Pro X plug-in mDoubleExposure. This new plug-in by motionVFX allows you to create one of the most breathtaking effects ever. In photography, a double exposure lets you superimpose two images on top of each other. In the digital era, you can create the effect in Photoshop or Affinity Photo without great effort. The results can be stunning — if done right. With movies, things are a tad more complex.
Superimposing one clip on top of the other is easy in Final Cut Pro X. By default, however, there’s little control over the end-result. You can change blend modes and opacity of the top layer. That’s it. If you want to mask out areas so that a shot of a moving man’s head becomes a silhouette with drifting clouds showing through, you’ll have to use Motion or After Effects.
After Effects isn’t straightforward to use and neither is Motion. There’s no need to take a trip to After Effects or Motion if you have mDoubleExposure. The plug-in lives in the Titles tab of Final Cut Pro X. You drag it to the Timeline as any other title effect. It has single mask, double, triple and multi-mask capabilities. There are about 50 controls in the single Mask effect alone. They allow you to set options for:
- the clip you load in the plug-in’s footage well
- the mask fill
- the background footage
- and even the grading of both mask and underlying footage!
Controls include settings such as opacity, black and white in/out levels, gamma, contrast, pivot, saturation, blur, range size, range position, rotation, feather, etc, etc. Range applies to the frame of the mask footage as well as the mask itself. This means you can have a clip of a small moving object on top of the background, with the object itself cut out from the background it was shot in front of. It sounds complicated, but when you start experimenting with mDoubleExposure, it quickly becomes clear what you can do with these range controls. At the very least, they allow you to shoot an object or subject in front of any background and have the background removed in large part without having to track anything.
With the Triple Exposure effect, you can have a mask clip and a background clip, which in the single Dark/Light Mask effect would be a static colour background only.
Even with the Triple Exposure effects, motionVFX managed to keep the controls to about 50 of them, which allows you to learn the simpler effect first and have no learning curve to apply the more complex ones. The only effect that uses more controls is the Advanced Multiple Exposure effect, which allows you to use two mask clips and one background clip.
In short, mDoubleExposure gives you all the tools you need to be as creative as you can be. It’s really down to you to make something eye catching come out of your efforts.
There are quite a good number of developers out there selling good, useful and creative tools for Final Cut Pro X. Few of them make plug-ins that let you create movie effects that will turn heads. With mDoubleExposure, motionVFX definitely belongs to that small club of select plug-in builders. The six title effects you can create with this new plug-in far go beyond any other title effect currently available. mDoubleExposure costs approx. €53 or $59.