DxO recently released a brand new version of NIK Collection. NIK Collection 2 now includes Analog Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 4, Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3 Output and Sharpener Pro 3 Raw Presharpening, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Viveza 2. DxO created over 40 new presets, includes U Point local adjustment RAW editing capabilities and adds support for HiDPI displays — which is interesting for Windows users only.
There are five new text effects and a brand new dashboard in Universe 3.0. I tried the new version with Final Cut Pro X and Motion, and while the dashboard still needs some tweaking, the new text effects were brilliant for enhancing sci-fi and thriller movies.
FxFactory has done it again: they’ve released a plug-in that everyone will want. It’s a plug-in that enables you to create tilt-shift, variable blur, and selective focus effects. That sounds a lot less exciting than it is.
To create composites, you need mattes. In Final Cut Pro X, you can create simple mattes out-of-the-box, but for anything more complex than a box or ball shape you really need a bit more power. Lots of power and controls come with Hawaiki Keyer. I reviewed version 3 a while ago and although I’m late in the process – version 4 has been out for some time now – I found version 4 worth the trouble of going through this must-have plug-in all over again.
FxFactory sells Crumplepop’s SplitScreen Pro, a Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro plug-in that enables split screen effects without the headaches. After having installed SplitScreen Pro in my Final Cut Pro X effects collection, it became clear Crumplepop’s split screen generator makes complex effects really simple.
Acoustic room correction is a process that only million-dollar studios can afford, at least that’s what many of us think. And yet, with a growing number of movies and videos playing on devices that have wildly differing sound characteristics, sound accuracy at the source is increasingly important. So, is there a system that costs less but is up to the job, nevertheless?
Turning Final Cut Pro X into a grading application a la Da Vinci Resolve is what Chromatic, CoreMelt’s latest plugin sets out to do. It succeeds pretty well by cramming a lot of functionality into this full-blown colour grading solution. It’s the only plugin that delivers the ability to select colour ranges right in the clip viewer, but to appreciate its power to the fullest, a lowly iMac such as mine won’t do.
FxFactory released yet another great plug-in, 3D Video Walls. This plug-in contains a whole bunch of titles that you can create illusory 3D video walls with, based on the videoclip underneath it. If you want to have a dynamic backdrop to show these video walls against as well, you can create a compound clip out of the 3D wall and place that clip on top of another one in the Timeline. The effect is brilliant and the controls allow for virtually endless variations.
I’m not a fan of automatic image enhancement tools, but Perfectly Clear 3 struck me as a Photoshop plug-in that allows for subtle improvements on portraits without making you look like a plastic Barbie doll. It offers a plethora of presets and a full set of controls too.
The MasterCheck Pro plug-in analyses loudness for audio that is delivered through loudness normalised channels. It helps mastering loudness normalised audio. Nugen Audio came up with MasterCheck Pro because loudness normalised audio makes it crucially important to understand how your music will reach the consumer. If you do not take this into account, there is a good chance that it will not sound as you originally intended.