Light effects can make a dull video look exciting. Over the course of the past couple of years, companies such as Crumplepop and Rampant Design Tools have been releasing light effects specifically for Final Cut Pro X and/or as QuickTime movies usable anywhere. Tangent Fx has now released a set of very spectacular effects both specifically for Final Cut Pro X and in QuickTime movie clip format.
If you want to make videoclips with a lot of action and you can’t find topics to shoot that have enough motion to your liking, you can always add animations to your footage. Final Cut Pro X makes this incredibly easy and simple with keyframes. But no matter how easy it is, animating clips will always be a time-eating monster. Unless you use an animation plug-in that doesn’t use keyframes at all. That’s what ANIMO by SugarFX is all about.
You can enhance your photos by giving them an accurate look of film with or without grain. You can opt to composite using textures, add borders, and change bokeh, but rarely will you get all those features in one filter that you can use from within the major image catalogue apps such as Lightroom and Aperture as well as Photoshop. Alien Skin Exposure 6 has everything you need and works as a stand-alone application with batch processing functionality as well.
A couple of years ago I reviewed Crumplepop’s ColorKit plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. I wasn’t too impressed with it and criticised the plug-in’s interface and on-screen controls. Recently, I wanted to colour-grade some GoPro Protune CamRAW clips and started working in Da Vinci resolve first, then switched to SpeedGrade CS6 and ended up with Red Giant’s Magic Bullet looks. They all looked like overkill, forcing me to go through fat user guides again, because I don’t use these applications often enough to remember their workflow by heart. Then I thought: why don’t I try it with ColorKit again? I rediscovered that plug-in and found it fit my needs perfectly. Better yet, tuning the clips took me about 10 times less effort and time than with any of the other solutions.
Red Giant Universe is a community with access to an ever-expanding library of free and paid tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and graphic motion designers. Red Giant Universe does not include any Trapcode, Color, Shooter or Keying suite tools. Some tools from the Effects Suite are being ported over to Universe for better speed and results, but the paid upgrade of Universe — Universe Premium Membership — includes only the Universe versions of those tools instead of the entire Effects Suite. Which makes you wonder if Universe is worth upgrading to a paid version at all.
Noise Industries, the developers of the plug-in management and shopping system FxFactory, last week announced a new plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, After Effects, Motion and Premiere Pro. It’s an upgrade of a compositing classic: Yanobox Nodes 2. The first version of Nodes was nice, albeit a bit limited in capabilities and customisation parameters. The new version will simply blow you away. For those who are new to this game: Nodes started life as a plug-in that allowed you to create lower thirds, titles and animated infographics, but version 2 is much more powerful and enables the creation of exciting sci-fi effects.
Stylism is a new Adobe Illustrator plug-in by Astute Graphics, which allows you to create Adobe’s Live Effects using a simple real-time annotation system. Adobe’s dialogue window driven system isn’t bad, but it stops your “flow”. Stylism, on the other hand, makes creating and changing Live Effects extremely easy and incredibly fast — and changes update in real time.
A cinemagraph or living photo is a hybrid illustration, partly photograph, partly video. After having created a cinemagraph, you end up with a video or animated GIF looping for 10 seconds. Creating a cinemagraph with a NLE such as Final Cut Pro X is tedious and difficult. Cinemagraph Pro makes it dead easy.
Rampant Design creates its effects, transitions and mattes simply as movies that you can load in any NLE of choice, thereby avoiding plug-in overload. A week ago, the Rampant Design library expanded with a plethora of new effects.
A large number of plug-ins exist that re-create the filmic look on digital video footage by adding digital noise that looks like film grain. The developers of FilmConvert take a different approach. They scanned a limited but important selection of film stock emulations at 6K resolution. They tuned the scanned results specifically for the digital camera you’re shooting with, which results in filmic looks and grain for footage of up to 4K. The stand-alone version even includes some nice colour grading features.