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FxFactory Pro: An Essential Plug-in Companion for Final Cut Pro and Motion

May 27th, 2008 · No Comments

This is the first time that I have done a product review on this site for a company that has reached out to me and asked me to do it. Nosie Industries asked me to test out and write a review for FxFactory Pro. I have to say that FxFactory Pro is candy for any editor especially ones that fight tooth and nail to try to add some style and pizazz to a video.

Most of the time I do reviews based on my horrible or very impressed experience with a product. This is a great way to inform my readers about cool products related to video editing. Some products may help us move forward as professional editors and other products may help the amateur editor take that next step. This is a product that will help both amateur and professional filmmakers.

Rating
5 out of 5

I give FxFactory Pro the best rating for the features, the usability and the price. Here is a short demo of the plug-ins in action.

Demo

Overview
FxFactory is a visual effects package which powers a large collection of plug-ins for Apple Final Cut Pro & Final Cut Express and Apple Motion software. FxFactory offers over 200 GPU accelerated filters, generators and transitions that work natively within the Apple Final Cut Studio/Express user interface.

Check out the list of available plug-ins.

Usability
It is so easy to set up and use I’m having trouble finding words for it. Once you download FxFactory Pro you just double-click and it loads into your FCP suite. You can use these plug-ins in Final Cut Pro, Motion and Final Cut Express.

How do you use these plug-ins? Simple really, you apply the filters or transitions just like the default filters in FCP or Motion. Some filters have presets so you could experiment with the settings to make it suitable for your edit.

Features
As a professional you are asked now to do more than ever before. Shoot, edit, produce, light, record sound, graphic design, and even create motion graphics. These plug-ins will help you cut down on time trying to produce these looks yourself. They will add cool transitions as well as sweet filters to give your video a really cool look and feel.

Think of what the web brings you, connectivity, creativity and progressive thinking. Now apply that to a business plan and execute it. Sounds like the future of business… actually the future is now and FxFactory Pro is setting a standard in the creative community.

The coolest feature for me is the fact that you can go into FxFactory Pro’s application and create your own filter or transition. There is a slight learning curve but to be honest there is nothing on the market that will allow you to create your own filters/transitions like this. There is no need to write code or scripts in order to make a plug-in. If you create a superb plug-in, Noise Industries will share or sell it for you on their site. Show me any company that does that.

Their effects library keeps growing thanks to Industry leading broadcast designers that have embraced the FxFactory Pro plug-in manager — creating, packaging and distributing highly innovative plug-in
applications. This dynamically expands the FxPack library with a wide range of standard and unique FxPacks.

FxFactory Pro also comes with some solid generators that will enhance your video library.

Ten Favorite plug-ins

Geek Specs
So is FxFactory Pro for you? Most recent Intel Macs already have the graphics card needed to process the plug-ins. Besides Macbooks, Macbook Air and Mac Minis.

Very Important, FxFactory is based on innovative Mac-OS technologies such as Core Image and Quartz Composer. This allows FxFactory effects to be rendered on the graphics processing unit, or GPU, resulting in never before seen rendering performance inside a non-linear editing system. If you ever tried a filter from another vendor it relies on the processor to render the image depending on the filter it can take hours to render. By rendering visual effects on the GPU is not only a lot faster, but utilizing the graphics card for image processing operations frees up the CPU for other tasks.

FxFactory effects run natively on the GPU on both Intel and PPC Macintosh systems.

Here is a list of requirements.

Mac OS X Leopard
Version 10.5

Mac OS X Tiger
Version 10.4.9 (or later)

Mac computer with PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel processor

Final Cut Studio 2
Final Cut Pro version 6.0 or later
Motion version 3.0 or later

Final Cut Studio
Final Cut Pro version 5.1.2 to 5.1.4
Motion version 2.1.2

Final Cut Express
Version 4.0 or later

One of the following graphics cards:
• ATI Radeon 9550, 9650, 9600, 9600 XT, 9700, 9800, 9800 XT
• ATI Radeon X800, X850, X1600, X1900 XT
• ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT, 2600 PRO, 2600 XT
• ATI Mobility Radeon 9600, 9700, 9800, X1600
• NVIDIA GeForce 6600, 6800 Ultra DDL, 6800 GT DDL
• NVIDIA GeForce 7300, 7600, 7800 GT, 7800 Ultra
• NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT, 8800 GT
• NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500, 5600

For best performance, a graphics card with a minimum of 256MB video memory is recommended.

The following graphics cards are not supported:
• NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200
• NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
• Intel GMA 950, X3100
• ATI Radeon 8500, 9000, 9200

The Macbook, MacBook Air and Mac mini series are not supported due to the limited feature-set of their built-in graphics cards.

Not sure what graphics card is installed in your system?
You can determine what graphics card is installed on your system by selecting the “About this Mac” command under the Apple menu. When the system summary appears, click the “More Info…” button, which will launch the System Profiler application. Graphics cards are listed under the “Graphics/Displays” section of the System Profiler.

Price
FxFactory Pro is sold for $399 which is a great price. If you are a professional wedding videographer/editor these plug-ins will make your work so much more easier so you can spend the rest of your time doing re-edits with your client.

There are a number of additional plug-ins developed by third party vendors that are exceptional. These vendors have years of experience editing in the profession and bring their creativity and professional graphics to us for a really affordable price. You have to scroll through each FxPack and decide which one is right for you. Most FxPacks range from $49 – $99. Take a peak at the list of additional FxPacks.

Pros
The fact that other professionals get to share their plug-ins with everyone else. These plug-ins are from top professionals and bring it to us at an affordable price. The installation is simple and so easy to use. These plug-ins bring new ideas to simple edits that will change the way you edit.

Nos
I really can’t complain about anything really, but if I have to it would be when you purchase FXFactory Pro. You get 120 plug-ins plus a 15 day trial for other editing plug-ins created by third party vendors sold through FxFactory Pro’s site. To be honest this is an “I want it all,” kind of thing for me. The 120 plug-ins with FxFactory Pro are great but once you use the default plug-ins you want more. It’s like an addictive drug. Once you get a taste of it, you’re jonesing for more… not that I would have any experience with drugs… it’s an analogy people.

I will be updating this post regularly when I use these plug-ins. If I have any problems or if some new features present themselves I’ll let you know.

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