Yanobox Mosaic converts footage into tiles

FxFactory has a new Yanobox plug-in that works with Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and Motion. It’s called Mosaic and it turns your footage in dynamic mosaics. If it only were that simple, I’d be finished writing my review, but it isn’t. Mosaic enables you to create gorgeous effects. There are 100 presets and one totally empty, free for you to fill in how you like. It works with all footage, but some will be better than others to achieve a proper “wow”-effect. As with Nodes, Yanobox’s other plug-in, you’ll be creating a truly magnificent composite with Mosaic.

Yanobox Mosaic is a plug-in that creates an overlay, turning your footage into a mosaic of elements randomly moving and/or changing in appearance. The elements move with changes in brightness, colour and motion. The result is a mesmerising dance of blocks, characters and colours or wireframes, moving in sync with the pictorial elements in your scene. If you make these elements very big, the effect becomes a moving abstract painting. If you make them very small, it shows through the original footage broken up in small fragments. The creative possibilities are endless.

Testing as always with Final Cut Pro X, my Mosaic plug-in lives in the Effects tab of the Inspector. There are three categories of presets that come with Mosaic: wireframe, graphic and ascii. All of these effects have a large number of parameters you can set, but the preset ones are set to a default, so you can quickly create something that matches your footage and your vision. If time is not an issue and you love to create something from scratch, then the empty Mosaic effect is what you’ll want to use. It offers a clean slate to create something truly unique. In case you’re wondering: there are fewer parameters than within Nodes.

That’s not to say you have less creative freedom. There are a good many presets to choose from and Mosaic offers many ways in which elements can be made to ‘synchronise’ with the footage. Even within one preset you can create numerous variations on the same theme.

The ascii category uses monospaced alphanumeric or numeric characters. The graphic category uses blocks, mostly coloured blocks, to create the mosaic pattern, with different effects in this category combining graphical elements. Some of the graphical elements contain renditions of documents — such as the Mosaic News Paper effect. The wireframe category contains effects that use wireframes.

You can make all of the effects adaptive. This means they change their appearance, size and dynamics according to changes in contrast and/or luminous values of the footage. If you opt to have a “classic” look, the size at least is fixed. The entire system is based on motifs. A motif is an image or video loop containing footage aligned on a grid. Each cell can be a different image, graphical element, text or loop.

The presets obviously use pre-defined motifs, but you can create these yourself too — how to do that is explained in the plug-in’s user guide. Creating your own motif or texture atlas as Yanobox calls them, allows you to create designs that are unique. Within the plug-in itself you can further manipulate your motif — which are best saved as black & white PNG or ProRes clip — including changing its colours, size, etc.

Conclusion

Mosaic is one of those plug-ins that allow you to create brilliant composites that are unique if you put some work in it. Yanobox made a fantastic plug-in with Mosaic (just as it did with Nodes). It’s up to you to make fantastic movies with it.

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