I was very reluctant to adopt Final Cut X and Motion 5 due to a number of reasons, one of the biggest of which was my favorite plugins working with the new software. I am very happy to say after many months, plugins are now available and coming out strong.
Let’s go on a little video lover’s escapade into the world of digital video and check some cool plugins! I even threw in a plugin for those who have not switched over to FCP X.
One thing is for sure, CoreMelt V2 is a great value. It comes with over 200 filters and effects. It works in many versions of Final Cut Pro and the last two version of Motion. There is also a free version available for you to try and see if you dig it.
Included in the set are advanced filters, color effects, filters, glows and blurs, and so much more! If you ever need waveforms that match the boom and bumps of your tunes, this effects pack includes an awesome VU meter that matches your music.
Price: $199 / Free
Requires: Final Cut Pro 6,7, & X, Motion 4 & 5
Developer: CoreMelt Pty Ltd
In Motion 5, a particle generator exists. It is not a completely custom generator, but for many it does the job. If you ever want to customize your particles and really amp up the production value, you need to step up to Particle Metrix. It works with Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 and of course functions in previous iterations of the aforementioned products as well.
Particle Metrix can literally convert any text, video, or object into a particle system and that can manipulate. It is supremely capable and customizable. For those who cannot or do not want to think about the details of fine adjustment, you can use one of the many presets built right into Particle Metrix.
Requires: FCP X,7, Express and Motion 4 or 5
Developer: Industrial Revolution
Apple has done a great job with making animation easy in Motion 5. For those times where you want to do it simply in Final Cut Pro X, you can use bounceIt. You can create great 3d graphic animations with several types of effects. bounceIt is created from the same animation engine used in Motion!
You can choose between some of the most amazing presets that are built into the program. Unlike other programs, you do not have to mess around with keyframes. Also included is a physics generator. Many of the forces in real life can be simulated such as wind, drag, velocity and more! It is a great addition to any FCP workflow.
Requires: Final Cut Pro X ; Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Sometimes pro and semi pro users need a group of plugins that are on their level of expertise, the built in plugins just won’t cut it. For those with high demands, Sapphire Edge is the answer. Sapphire Edge is built for pros and has a cost to match.
Sapphire Edge uses what is called the “Sapphire Engine” and comes with over 350 useful, pro effects to take projects to the next level. Sapphire Edge is 64 bit and GPU accelerated for faster processing and greater speed. It also uses all of your multi core processors instead of just using one. Those are just a few of the many features, I personally enjoy using Sapphire Edge for my video production.
Requires: Final Cut Pro 6,7,X, Express 4 & Motion 4+; Mac OS X 10.5+
3D is a fascinating technology that was once only reserved for ultra exclusive film studios. Now, many prosumer users can purchase stereoscopic 3D cameras at decent prices. The only problem is finding out how to import that footage into your NLE. Stereo3d Toolbox LE is your answer!
With this plugin, Stereo3d lets you import and export native 3D stereoscopic footage. It also comes with an invaluable preview interface so that you can see your footage. Once you are done, you can conveniently upload your 3D masterpieces to YouTube 3D! In all honesty, a tool that can work with 3D has never been this cheap, it is a bargain.
Requires: Mac OS X Lion or Snow Leopard, FCP 6+, Motion 3+, Intel Processor, FxFactory, ATI or NVIDEA GPU
Developer: Dashwood Cenema Solutions
The title generators built into FCP and Motion are adequate at best. A great supplement to the built in text generator would be Motype.
Motype is simple in nature; however, do not let its simplicity fool you, it is a powerhouse. With it, you can easily perform 3D moves on the text and create special backgrounds with lighting effects.
Requires: Final Cut Pro & Motion
For the hard core colorist, it is almost a known fact that you never take footage straight from the camera without making any color adjustments. Your color must match the feel and style of each individual project. Instead of doing advanced color work in separate programs, Magic Bullet Looks 2 offers an incredible array of presets that can dramatically alter the look of your footage.
This plugin offers manual adjustment for color profiles, video out support, fast gpu rendering, and many included scopes to monitor and create fine color adjustments.
Requires: FCP 6+, Motion 3+
Developer: Red Giant Software
Remember in Mac OS X Leopard when Apple introduced coverflow in Finder to match coverflow on iOS devices? Well now imagine having that same look available to you in your own videos. Coverflux 2 does exactly that and comes from Industrial Revolution. It is free for FCP 6 & 7 only. Beside that, the plugin is awesome and for the thousands still on FCP studio, your projects can go far with this free plugin.
As a side note, you must have FxFactory installed in order to install this plugin. Fortunately, you can get it installed at no cost.
Requires: FCP 6, 7 & Motion 3,4; FxFactory
Developer: Industrial Revolution
Luster Grade plugins are another set of plugins that take some of the guess work of working with the color of your project. The plugins offers presets that add a “sexy” look to your video. They include 20 presets that add an incredibly stylized look to your project, all you have to do is drag and drop.
Requires: FCP X
Developer: Color Grading Central
For those users of classic Final Cut pro software, you may remember these classic generators from that program. In the new FCP X you have great new presets and generators, but not these! Mark Spencer, master of applemotion.net, kindly made available these classic FCP generators to download free of charge. They include countdown, concentric circles, lens flare, and my personal favorite, time and date stamp. Let these cool generators take you back to a simpler time!
Requires: FCP X
Developer: Mark Spencer
Which Plugins Do You Use?
There you have it, ten fantastic Final Cut Pro and Motion plugins for every range of skill level and budget. Now that you’ve see our favorites, leave a comment below and let us know yours. Have you used any of the plugins above? What did you think of them? What did we miss?