Noise Industries was one of the first plug-in developers to leverage the power of the GPU by tapping into the core image component of Mac OS X. This approach took off when Apple added the FxPlug architecture to Final Cut Pro. From this start, Noise Industries has been able to develop its FxFactory product into both a powerful filter package and a platform to add filters from other partner companies. FxFactory 4.0.2 now supports Final Cut Pro 7 and X, Motion 4 and 5, After Effects and Premiere Pro (CS6). Although After Effects has been supported for a few versions, the upgrade to 4.0 extended support to Premiere Pro CS6. (FxFactory Pro 4.0.2 is a free upgrade for owners of FxFactory Pro 3.x versions.)
When editors install the free FxFactory application, it functions as a central control point to purchase, install, license and manage all of the filters. Most of the plug-in installers are included with the package and are available as trial versions, plus there are links to tutorials for each effect. FxFactory enables users to activate or deactivate products based on preference.
If you purchase Noise Industries’ FxFactory Pro filter set, then this adds 176 filters, generators and transitions for Final Cut Pro 7, Motion, Premiere Pro and After Effects, and 160 effects for Final Cut Pro X. If you only purchased FxFactory Pro, you would have a well-rounded set of filters to tackle many creative challenges; however, the beauty of the FxFactory platform is in its extension through partner companies, whose plug-ins tie into this application.
Current partners include Yanobox, Ripple Training, Stupid Raisins, Squid FX, Tokyo Productions, Luca Visual FX, idustrial revolution, Nattress, Boinx Software, SUGARfx, PHYX, Cineflare, Dashwood, Sheffield Softworks, DV Shade, Crumplepop, Futurismo, Aquafades and nVeil. Depending on the company, some or all of their products are available though FxFactory and supported hosts vary with each product. Some of the newest additions that are built as Motion templates are only available within Final Cut Pro X. Purchasing FxFactory Pro and augmenting it with a number of these add-ins gives you a very powerful set of filters. On the other hand, if you only wanted to use Ripple Tools, Yanobox Moods or Luca VFX Lo-Fi Look, then simply purchase the individual filters you need and run them under the free version of FxFactory. This way you can grow your inventory of effects as budgets permit.
FxFactory developers have been rapidly adding to the options, due in part to the ability to create FCP X effects as Motion templates, along with an increased user demand for Premiere Pro plug-ins. Noise Industries has brought on board some of the popular plug-ins from the old FxScript days of Final Cut. These include Nattress and Sheffield with updated versions of their looks and grading tools. New developers, not previously known as plug-in creators, have joined the fold to offer FCP X-specific effects. These include Ripple, Tokyo, Squid FX, Stupid Raisins and others. Some of the long-time FxFactory partner developers, like Luca, Yanobox and idustrial revolution are bringing out new products, as well.
As a whole, this group represents one of the most eclectic set of filters and transitions available anywhere. Because these products are not developed by a single team of programmers, you get different styles that don’t all look like they came from one company. It would be very difficult, within a reasonable amount of time, for a talented editor to re-create from scratch the sort of transitions you get from packages like XEffects, Slide Pop, FxTiles or Punchline – even using a powerful NLE like Smoke or a compositor like After Effects.
As a working editor who uses these products, I appreciate that Noise Industries spends a lot of time making sure their tools work with the changes Apple brings about. They are fast with fixes and I’ve found that their filters tend to be more stable than some other packages as NLE or OS updates come down the line. This is especially true with Final Cut Pro X, which is still a moving target, as Apple tweaks AV Foundations with each update. FxFactory Pro and partner filters run well within the application and provide reasonable real-time performance when left unrendered. If you are running variations of Final Cut, Motion, Premiere Pro and After Effects, then one price covers the plug-in installation for all of these hosts.
©2013 Oliver Peters