MotionVFX puts mocha’s tracking technology to good use. An example of how effective you can create composites if you have the right design, just enough controls to keep everybody satisfied, and the right tracking engine, is mHUD 2, powered by mocha. You can use it to make commercials more exciting or add spice to sci-fi movies. First MotionVFX released mHUD, a set of static heads up display (HUD) elements. These HUD elements allow you to use Final Cut Pro X’s Titles to create complete HUDs that have moving components, but don’t move themselves. You could keyframe elements, but that was a bit tedious and sometimes just not easy to do. For HUD elements that must stay in one location — e.g. when you want to get across the atmosphere of a control room — the first release of mHUD was simple to use, yet allowed for intricate designs. If you own mHUD 1 and buy mocha powered mHUD 2, trackable mHUD 1 designs will be automatically installed during the mHUD 2 installation process. One reason …
The Bechstein Digital Grand is an exceptionally versatile instrument and plug-in. Its tonal character is said to be close to the acoustic model. While playing with high polyphony throughout all registers, each note remains clearly defined within the arrangement. The player software frustrates.
Video footage is often a little soft and sharpening details can make a world of difference. I tested Samurai Sharpen for Final Cut Pro X. This Digital Anarchy plug-in allows you to use parameters that let you easily isolate specific areas of the footage and only sharpen those areas. It’s precise and simple.
Crumplepop has come up with a solution for stabilising footage in post-production. BetterStabilizer works as a Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro plug-in. I tested the Final Cut Pro X plug-in and was impressed with the ease-of-use and the excellent results.
mDoubleExposure is a compositing plug-in for Final Cut Pro X that gives you the ability to create multiple masks by overlaying videoclips on top of each other. Due to the granular control this plug-in offers, you can achieve dazzling effects.
Adding motion to static components like logos usually means a side trip to After Effects or Motion. FxFactory has made it its business to spare you that trip and enable you to create those effects right in Final Cut Pro X with AddMotion. Not too long after I received a copy of AddMotion to try out, Red Giant released its own system under the Universe umbrella. The two systems resemble each other, with each having its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, AddMotion doesn’t offer outgoing animation, while Universe’s uni.Logo Motion does, but by cutting up your clip and changing AddMotion’s parameters so the object moves back off-screen, you can make outgoing animations with no additional effort. Red Giant’s uni.Logo Motion is more complicated to use than AddMotion and comes without instructions. AddMotion comes with an instruction video and is very simple to use. You’ll be creating nice animations much quicker with this plug-in than with Red Giant’s. Although Red Giant’s Universe plug-in looks more feature complete, AddMotion does offer its own unique features. There’s …
Image noise is detrimental to photographs, but it’s even worse when it occurs in video. Even a bit of noise can ruin your footage. I received Photon Pro, a very inexpensive and simple to use Final Cut Pro X plug-in that claims it removes noise from your footage achieving the same quality as much more expensive “professional” denoising products. That’s a pretty hefty statement, so I decided to compare Photon Pro with the Red Giant Software Denoiser II plug-in in After Effects.
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 3D Look Up Table (LUT) strictly spoken is a colour management tool originally meant to bridge the differences between a digital workstation’s colour representation and movie film emulsions. Today, a 3D LUT is a full-scale colour grading component. The only problem is that not that many video editors support 3D LUTs while there aren’t that many 3D LUT management applications either. Look Converter therefore is a godsend for everyone who wants to create creative 3D LUTs, while LUT Utility is needed for using LUTs in Final Cut Pro X “natively”.
Final Cut Pro X has a colour grading module, but the interface is non-standard and the capabilities are pretty basic. One FxFactory plug-in that tries to fix this is Hawaiki Color. It’s a plug-in that uses the traditional but familiar interface elements for colour grading: colour wheels and sliders, combined with numeric configuration fields. It extends colour grading inside Final Cut Pro X beyond the basics and is great to work with.