Richard Townhill, Apple’s senior director of applications marketing, told me that Final Cut Pro X has a great number of developers onboard, and the floodgates have truly opened, and there are a growing number of fantastic third-party plug-ins and apps for Final Cut Pro X. They specialize in utilities, sync tools, color grading and effects, video effects, video transitions and audio effects and titles. I wanted to create a place to find out more information, along with links. I’ll be adding to it as the number of supported plug-ins and apps grows, and if I miss any, please leave a comment and I’ll add them in. Without further delay:
It’s always best to start at the official Apple Final Cut Pro X resources page, which has links to training, more information and, of course, third-party plug-ins and apps. Be sure to visit here often to see what’s new.
FCP X Utilities
1. 7toX, Intelligent Assistance: An affordable third-party app that will successfully take your FCP 7 and 6 projects in FCP X.
2. Xto7, Intelligent Assistance: A third-party app that will move your FCP X projects to FCP 7 and later versions. It’s a bit pricier than 7toX.
3. Event Manager X, Intelligent Assitance: Hide and show your FCP X Events and Projects.
4. Pro Maintenance Tools, Digital Rebellion. This is the entire suite of Final Cut Pro utilities, now optimized for FCP X. They include Autosave Manager, Compressor Repair, CS Repair (for Adobe Premiere Pro), FCS Remover (easy way to remove FCP and Final Cut Studio from your system), Housekeeper, MC Repair (for Avid Media Composer), Plug-ins Manager, Preference Manager, Project Repair, System Toolkit, XML Repair and more. Much more. Make sure you visit their site for information, plus some of the apps are available separately.
5. CatDV, Square Box Systems: Manage your media assets, especially when you’re dealing with different types of media and multiple platforms.
6. ClipExporter, MindTransplant. A very affordable app that allows you to export projects or specific clips as reference movies, for visual effects work. You can save them as QuickTime reference movies, Nuke files or Syntheyes files. Check out FCP.co for more info.
7. Cut Notes for iPad, and Cut Notes Marker Importer, Digital Rebellion. If you’re handwriting timecode (“paper edits”), this is pretty awesome, plus you can take notes and much more. The free Cut Notes Marker Importer plug-in will import the timecodes into FCP X (click for details).
8. Disksomnia, Digital Heaven. Stop your hard drives from spinning down and going to sleep while you’re editing in Final Cut Pro X.
9. Pro Versioner, Digital Rebellion: I love Digital Rebellion’s utilities, and this professional back-up software will keep versions of your FCP X, FCP 6/7, Avid, etc., project files with a screen capture, so you can easily see which version is which, Cover Flow-style.
Sync Tools and Dialogue Search
1. PluralEyes, Singular Software: The best way to sync multicam clips of video and audio, making it much easier to edit. Check out my review here.
2. DualEyes, Singular Software: A stand-alone app that will sync your DSLR video and audio recorded externally.
3. Boris Soundbite, powered by Nexidia, Boris FX: This is the app EVERYONE needs if you’re transcribing interviews, dialogue, etc. Don’t spend hours going through footage, marking timecodes, etc., when Boris Soundbite can do it for you, and import an XML file into Final Cut Pro X, 7/6 or Premiere Pro. Read my review here.
Color Grading and Correction
1. Levels and Curves Filter Pack, Nattress: I love Graeme Nattress’ filters, and this is only the beginning of his support for FCP X. This plug-in allows you to adjust the levels and curves of your footage, and it’s flexible, powerful and professional. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to try and purchase. Also works with Motion 3-5 and After Effects.
2. DaVinci Resolve and the free DaVinci Resolve Lite, Blackmagic Design: It really is the pinnacle of color grading. Find out the difference between the two here. Please note that you’ll need a quality graphics card to use either version.
3. Magic Bullet Looks 2, Red Giant Software: One of the absolute best set of color grading and effects tools, designed by the Red Giant team and legendary filmmaker and colorist Stu Maschwitz.
4. ToneGrade, CrumblePop: Easily add in HDR tone mapping to your video.
5. Finisher, CrumblePop: A quality image finishing tool, to correct skin tones, latitude and more.
6. Planiotype, CrumblePop: Add a platinum photographic look to your footage.
7. Noire Moderne, CrumblePop: The name says it all, and Noire Moderne makes it easy to create stylized, atmospheric looks for your video.
8. Tonalizer/VFX PRO, Irudis: Excellent tonal enhancer and fine-tuning tool. They also have a free version, too, Tonalizer/VFX Lite.
9. Yanobox Moods. A color correction plug-in that features a heads up display (HUD), also works with Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.
10. White Balance Plugin, FCPeffects: A nifty and affordable plugin to easily white balance your footage if it’s too blue, orange, etc.
11. Beauty Box 2, Digital Anarchy: Easily and professionally smooth out the skin and features of your cast and models, especially with the latest high-resolution cameras debuting in all their digital sharpness glory. Can you say 6K?!
Video Effects and Film Grain
1. Sapphire Edge Video and Visual Effects, GenArts: Over 350 image presets, transitions and more.
2. ShrinkRay X, CrumblePop: Make landscapes and other shots look miniature. It’s pretty popular in photography these days, and is also known as tilt-shift.
3. Lumineux, CrumblePop: Light leak effects.
4. SplitScreen X, CrumblePop: Create some cool split screen effects in FCP X.
5. Paul Imimiter’s Dacar, CrumblePop: Light leaks and lens flares, created with an old lens. Pretty cool and a must-have for JJ Abrams’ next film!
6. Twixtor, Re:Vision Effects: Perhaps the most famous way to control the speeds and change frame rates (including the difficult 30p to 24p) of your footage, now available for FCP X.
7. DH_BoxX, Digital Heaven: Create split-screen effects in FCP X and Motion 5.
8. DH_ReincarnationX, Digital Heaven: Dead pixels show up with any camera, including DSLR. This plug-in will fix up to two dead pixel areas, for FCP X and Motion 5.
9. Damage v2.5, Digieffects: You can do a lot of “destruction” of your project in FCP with Damage, including putting in scratches, overexposure, film grain, interference and more. Works with FCP X and Motion 5.
10. Delirium, Digieffects: Create all sorts of cool visual effects for your video projects, including rain, fireworks, color effects, distortion, moods (like lighting, glow, etc.) and a set of compositing tools.
11. bounceIt! and springIt!, ReelPath: These two plug-ins were designed exclusively for Final Cut Pro X, by one of the guys who used to work on the FCP team (read the details here). You can use these plug-ins to create bouncing or springing effects to photos and video. I’d even argue that they’re good for video transitions between photos, too.
12. ParticleMetrix, Idustrial Revolution. Transform video or text into particles, including fire, burn, snow, trail and more. Uses FxFactory.
13. Volumetrix 2, Idustrial Revolution. A lot of really cool video effects, including light effects, transitions, titling and more. I have used Volumetrix in the past and enjoyed it. Uses FxFactory.
14. Grunge Collection, Luca Visual Effects. Cool overlays and transitions, with some cool, funky textures and more. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.
15. Film Leaders, Luca Visual Effects. Pretty cool film leaders and grungy titling. Uses FxFactory.
16. IndieScans. Add in film grain to your project in FCP X, including 35mm, 16mm and Super-8mm. (I would’ve loved the Super-8 back in 1999-2001 when I was cutting my film Skye Falling; I was aiming for a Super-8 look, or reverse black-and-white and color 16mm.)
17. LightPack, SUGARfx. Very cool lens flares and other lighting effects. Uses FxFactory.
18. Viewfinder HUD, SUGARfx. Create cool heads up displays (HUD) and other FX, like night vison goggles’ POV. Uses FxFactory.
19. LensPack, SUGARfx. These are really cool effects that look like you’re using different types of lenses, such as a soft lens, broken lens and more. Uses FxFactory.
20. Light Kit, Luca Visual FX. Create light leaks in your footage. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.
21. Sprokets Slip, Luca Visual FX. Make your footage look like it’s film having trouble going through a projector. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.
22. Light Leaks, Luca Visual FX. Create different styles of looks with your footage. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.
23. 3D Perspective Plugin, FCPeffects: An affordable 3D video manipulator, so you can manipulate your video to a variety of angles and perspectives.
24. Cinema Film Grain, FCPeffects: An affordable 35mm film grain solution for your film.
25. Better Black & White Plugin, FCPeffects: FCPeffects argues their black & white plug-in is better than any others, and judging from their sample videos, it is pretty cool.
26. Miniaturize, FCPeffects: An affordable tilt-shift plug-in that will make your video look like miniatures. Very popular in photography, and only getting more popular in video production.
27. BPM Plugin, FCPeffects: It will make your video cut and even move to the music you add in.
28. Pan and Zoom Plug-in: Pretty cool plug-in that doesn’t require keyframing, so you can do some fancy photo and image movement in FCP X (Motion 5 and After Effects, too), much like the Ken Burns Effect, but it’s pretty cool. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to use the plug-in, which is free at the moment.
29. Keynotopia: iPhone, Facebook, iPad, Android, etc., graphics that you can edit, so you don’t have to pain-stakingly create these graphics for a client. Since they’re graphics, they work with FCP X, Motion 5, After Effects, etc.
30. Callouts, Ripple Training: That’s right, Ripple Training, who I use to learn FCP X (along with Larry Jordan), have created a plug-in. Callouts lets you easily create arrows, pointers, etc., in your project without having to resort to creating it by hand.
31. Film Stocks, Digital Film Tools: Tons of awesome film stocks to add grain, etc., to your project.
1. Film Transitions, Nattress: Recently announced, film-quality transitions to enhance your project in FCP X. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to try and purchase. Also works with Motion 4 and 5, and After Effects.
2. Transimatic Transitions, SquidFX and CrumblePop: Quality video transitions for FCP X.
3. FCP X Transitions Pack 1, Digital Heaven. Their first set of cool transitions, including lens flair, camera shutter and more. Only five, but very affordable.
4. XEffects Tech Transitions, Idustrial Revolution. A set of really cool FX transitions. More are coming soon. Uses FxFactory.
5. FxTiles, Boinx and Noise Industries. Cool tile transitions and video effects, also for Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.
6. Patterns, SUGARfx: Create cool transitions that, as FCP.co wrote, are like the old A/B deck editors from years past.
1. Punchline Titles and Transitions, SUGARfx: Professional titling and transition plug-in, to create dynamic, animated titles.
2. Titler Pro, NewBlue: A pretty nice and professional titling plug-in, though it’s priced a bit high. But it is an impressive titler.
3. Crawling Text Plugin, FCPeffects: An affordable and easy way to create a professional end credits crawl.
4. Rolling Credits, SUGARfx: Another quality plug-in to easily create end movie credits. Check out a tutorial here.
1. Stereo3D Toolbox, Dashwood Cinema Solutions: My old friend and colleague Tim Dashwood’s plug-in suite of 3D tools for FCP X, Motion 5 and After Effects is outstanding. He offers other great products, tutorials and more on his website.
2. Stereo3D Toolbox LE (Lite Edition), Dashwood Cinema Solutions: A “lighter” version of Tim Dashwood’s plug-in 3D suite.
1. Squeeze 8, Sorensen. Now supports Apple’s excellent ProRes format. It’s pricey though…
Audio Effects and Tools
1. X2Pro Audio Convert, Marquis Broadcast: Convert your Final Cut Pro X projects to finish your audio in Avid’s Pro Tools. A must-have app for the major audio editors out there, using FCP X and Pro Tools.
Motion 5 Plug-Ins: These are mainly or only for Motion 5. Some of the plug-ins above work in Motion, as well, but I didn’t want to double-post, so I made sure to indicate if it’s supported.
1. motionVFX Motion 5 Templates: A whole bunch of high resolution, animated templates for Motion 5. Very professional work here.
Big hat tip to FCP.co for posting up links and info to many of these plug-ins and apps.