Feel like you’re glowing today? Could be made into reality if you have a video shot of yourself and the Kingluma Radiance plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. The Kingluma Radiance plug-in, which is available through the FxFactory system, lets you set up a glow or rays, allowing you complete control over the end-results.
The examples Kingluma offers from their Radiance plug-in in the FxFactory management app’s Info window give a pretty good idea what you can do with this plug-in. After spending some time with it, I believe you can also use these effects in promotion videos, video ads, SF movies, and more. To be quite honest, I didn’t know that many variations of a glow or ray effect were possible.
Radiance lives in the Effects category of the Final Cut Pro X Inspector, as well as under the Transitions tab. There are basic and full glow effects and basic and full ray effects. The difference between basic and full effects is in the controls. Basic glow effects are located in the centre of the frame. They can’t be moved off-centre, but you do get the ability to use a colour matte for restricting the effect to specific areas. Full glow effects can be moved around in the frame, although some only vertically or horizontally — when it doesn’t make sense to give them more freedom of movement.
Every glow effect has on-screen HUD controls. Three of these — luma threshold, threshold smoothness and glow brightness — are always on the left, with the point of origin of the effect having two or more controls in the centre of the frame by default. Most effects have colour controls while the complex glows also allow you to have shape masks, shimmer and flicker variations, and even image masks!
The ray effects Kingluma Radiance offers can all be located across the frame and come in as many complexity levels as the glow effects — between 6 and a dozen per subcategory. The controls are comparable with those of the glows.
What can you make with Kingluma Radiance effects?
What struck me when I started playing with the effects from different subcategories is that none of these effects are duplicates of each other. Often a plug-in with lots of presets will include at least some presets that seem to differ only slightly from each other. That’s not the case with Radiance. Every one of them has a completely different starting point, and changing any of the parameters results in totally new results.
The second thing that struck me is that glows can be very close to rays and still be completely different. There’s a basic glow preset called Vertical Flickering Prism and a basic ray effect called Bright Light from Above. Both make for an effect that looks like some divine presence shines down on your scene, but their looks differ enormously and to choose one over the other might be harder than you think, because of the many ways you can change the effects by fine-tuning them.
In addition, by using the masks and matte capabilities, you can make it look as if some of these glows and rays come from behind objects in the frame, while the movable effects can also be keyframed using Final Cut Pro X’s own keyframe features.
Much to my surprise, Kingluma’s transitions differed from the effects. Again, many other plug-in authors create spin-offs — literally — from their effects to serve as transitions. This author clearly has a different view. There are 41 transitions available, and I especially liked the ray dissolves. The glow transitions are also quite nice, but rays have something special — at least, to my taste.
As with the effects, you get a high degree of control over the entire transition effect, including blend mode, transparency and many of the parameters you also get in the effects. Some on-screen HUD controls are available too, but not with every transition.
Of course, if you’re a purist, you will leave these transitions sitting idle in the Inspector as the straight Cut and Dissolve are about the only ones you’ll ever want to use.
Kingluma Radiance is another high-quality plug-in that’s available through the FxFactory plug-in manager. It costs about €70.50 ($79).