In just a short time, Final Cut Pro X has come a long way, with firmware updates and third-party software fixing many of FCP X’s initial shortcomings. Although Final Cut Pro X still continues to have many detractors in the professional community, there are aspects and features of the program, such as the Magnetic Timeline, that are actually more advanced and forward-thinking than other NLE systems.
A feature I really love about Final Cut Pro X is the ability to skim through, or preview, shots by simply hovering your cursor over a thumbnail. (Adobe has recently implemented this feature into Premiere Pro.) In FCP X, not only can you scrub through shots in your Event browser, but you can also preview the effects in the Effects Panel in the same fashion, hence the elimination of unnecessary rendering if you don’t like the end result.
Thanks to third-party plug-ins and tools, Final Cut Pro X is on its way to becoming a true professional editing system. 7toX is a plug-in that lets you translate your FCP 7 (or 6) XML to FCP X XML—something that was severely lacking in FCP X’s launch. For video effects, one of the most popular plug-ins is Boris Continuum Complete, which gives you 200+ filters, including transitions, 3D particle effects, touch-up tools, lens flares, etc. Another popular video program is Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite 11, which gives you nine tools that will also enable you to achieve high-end results. Some of these tools include Colorista II, Looks 2, Denoiser II, Cosmo, Mojo and more.
NOISE INDUSTRIES’ FXFACTORY PRO
I recently had the opportunity to try out Noise Industries’ FxFactory Pro, which contains 160 filters, generators and transitions for Final Cut Pro X. Although you can use the program for Premiere Pro, After Effects and Final Cut Pro 7, it’s in Final Cut Pro X where the effects suite really shines. After installing FxFactory Pro and opening FCP X, you’re easily able to find the effects in the Effects Panel. After you find a specific look or effect, you can skim through what the shot will look like, and if it’s a look you’re satisfied with, you simply drag and drop the thumbnail effect into the clip in your timeline and the effect renders in the background as you continue to work. You can also make subtle adjustments to the strength of the effect in Final Cut Pro X’s Inspector Panel. The process is super-simple and you get real-time preview results.
FxFactory Pro is also the first effects app that lets you create your own plug-ins without writing code. Working with the same tools that Noise Industries engineers use, you can create your own specific looks or effects that fit with the look of your project and then also share them with other users. The effects are generated using the graphics card for previewing and rendering, which makes the process faster and frees up your computer’s CPU in order to run other tasks. The rendering engine supports more than 8-bits per component, which gives you excellent color fidelity.