Apple Final Cut Pro X enjoys a broad ecosystem that augments and supports the product with companion applications, graphic templates, and plug-ins. Thanks to the ability to use Motion to create Final Cut Pro X template effects, the application has spawned a wide range of innovative, albeit sometimes novice, developers. But really getting the most out of what Apple offers under-the-hood requires experienced plug-in developers, such as Noise Industries (FxFactory), Coremelt, motionVFX, and others.
I’ve known the principals at Noise Industries for over a decade – going back to their days developing a plug-in package for Mac-based Avid Media Composer systems. Riding the wave of popularity enjoyed by the original Final Cut Pro, Noise Industries has become known to most users through their FxFactory platform. They were some of the first to get behind Final Cut Pro X and haven’t looked back since.
In that time frame, FxFactory has become a robust platform, which functions as a central place to purchase, install, and update plug-ins, templates, filters, and utility applications from developers that have partnered with the platform. Unlike other third-party developers, Noise Industries features not only their own products within FxFactory, but also a curated collection from a wide range of other partner-developers. The portfolio has grown and extends beyond simply supporting Apple’s ProApps applications. It now also includes products for Mac-based versions of Adobe, Avid, and Blackmagic Design software.
I have often written about and reviewed various FxFactory products in the past. Since they are constantly updating features and adding new products and partners to the catalogue, it seemed like a good time to revisit some of their offerings. I certainly can’t touch on each and every one, but here is just a sampling of what falls under the FxFactory umbrella in 2020.
Audio. FxFactory originally started with only video products, but as more developers have partnered with the platform, audio plug-ins have been added to the line-up. These work not only for the editing apps, but also DAWs, like Logic Pro X, GarageBand, Pro Tools, Audition, and Resolve (Fairlight page). These come not only from established video developers like Crumplepop, but also audio developers, like Accusonus. Check out the various options for volume control, noise reduction, and more.
Tracking. What many users may not have realized it that Apple quietly added tracking capabilities under-the-hood, which developers can use to add tracking features to their apps. This is particularly useful for graphic templates, such as where you might want a title to follow a race car around the track. Some of the effects that now offer tracking include Crumplepop’s EasyTracker and idustrial Revolution’s Tracking Callouts.
Toolkits. By and large, the most useful items in the catalogue are the various toolkit bundles. These are usually a mix of different effects designed to cover a proverbial Swiss Army knife of post needs. While some may overlap, it doesn’t hurt to load up on several. Particularly useful are those from idustrial Revolution (XEffects Toolkit) and Ripple Training (Ripple Tools Complete), along with the Andy Mees free effects.
Glows. Whether it’s sci-fi or sexy, glows can be a very creative tool. But the range of control is often quite limited with the standard glow filters included in many other effects packs. FxFactory sports quite a few options for glow and lighting effects from different developers. Along with FxFactory’s own Light Show, there’s Hawaiki’s Super Glow, Kingluma’s Radiance effects, and others.
Transitions. Cuts and dissolves? Meh. Fancy transitions are all the rage and FxFactory offers a cornucopia of options. These range from various dynamic transitions to glitch effects to light leaks. Just a few of the options are FxFactory’s Wipology as well as PremiumVFX’s Glitch, LightSpeed, and Dynamic Transitions.
Animations. The biggest two categories of effects have to be the ones that offer quick and easy title animations along with those that offer graphic design Motion templates. Both styles tap heavily into Motion’s and Final Cut Pro X’s behaviors-based movement effects. These are designed with built-in animation characteristics without the need to tweak keyframes. The effects in an animation bundle can be applied to titles and footage. They take the drudgery out of building quick DVE-type animated moves and transitions. Checkout Alex 4D’s Animation Templates, Cineflare’s Object Animator, and Stupid Raisins’ wide selection of Pop bundles.
Graphic Templates. Feeling graphically-challenged? Don’t have a designer that you are working with? FxFactory’s got your back with a wide selection of animated graphics templates. Name a style and there’s likely to be something to cover the need. Sports, social media, news, slideshows, simple titles – you name it. Various packages in different styles from idustrial revolution (XEffects), PremiumVFX, SugarFX, and UsefulFX. Most of these take a toolkit approach. Each package includes a range of title elements that can be mixed and matched to create your own custom look.
But wait, there’s more. Granted, these are just broad categories and certainly this list doesn’t include all of the partners with products in the catalogue. Many offer eclectic stylized or image processing effects that simply don’t fit into specific categories. For example, Luca Visual FX’s Lo-Fi Look, Image Sharpener, or Impackt. There are quite a number of color correction filters, too, such as Lawn Road’s Color Precision, Sheffield Softworks’ Movie Color, Hawaiki’s Color and AutoGrade, and Crumplepop’s Koji Advance. And keying filters, like the Hawaii Keyer.
I could go on, but this will give you just a small overview of the options in 2020. Enjoy!
©2020 Oliver Peters