QC Integration FX V1.6
QC Integration FX V1.6
Review by Steve
must be dating myself, but I do remember a time when plug in
packages for Final Cut Pro were few and far between. Each new
package offered something different and worth getting excited
about. These days, companies producing their own versions of
plug in sets are considerably more prolific. CHV-Electronics,
spearheaded by Christoph Vonrhein has been in the forefront of
software development for use in Final Cut Pro, Motion and Final
Cut Express since the beginning, and I have always been pleased
to review his new offerings as they came out.
This latest set of plug-ins is
not exactly new, but it has been updated with enough new features
and plug-ins to warrant another look.
The QC Integration FX 1.6 is comprised
of 85 plug in transitions, filters and generators designed to
be used as they are or work within the quartz composer to enable
you to create and save your own plug ins, or even to create and
sell them to others. In order to create your own FX for yourself
or for sale, you must first have Quartz Composer found on your
OS installation disc installed. I do not, so I did not attempt
to test or utilize this versatile feature. However, using it
can certainly expand the number of preset plug ins you already
have and it won't cost you a penny further. If you are unsure
as to whether it is installed, simply go to your hard drive/Developer/Applications
and you should find it there. If not, you can install it off
your original installation discs.
There are more transitions,
filters and generators compiled in this set than you might ever
but isn't it nice to know that, should you need them, they will
We've all seen clips that appear stair-stepped
and the QC Integration FX set is the only Quartz Composer related
plug-in package that completely supports high quality Anti-Aliasing
rendering. For example in the Video Generators > QC Integration
FX > Scale HQ" (as well as "Video Filter > CHV
QC Replicate > Tile HQ") are scale effects that do not
create those artifacts that you see when you scale or tile a
video with the FCP internal scale function. "Scale HQ"
and "Tile HQ" always create perfect high quality video.
There are a number of filters and transitions
that you may find similar to others you may already have. Often
different companies just give their FX different names. However,
CHV has come up with a few different and original effects that
you very well might find useful for a number of projects.
While I have similar filters, the CHV
Bloomy filter had a gentle glowing effect when used properly.
In the example below, I have exaggerated the parameters a touch
but the Bloomy filter does create an ethereal aura with the photo.
Before and After
New to the CHV collection is the Liquid
Metal Filter which produces an animated melted metal flowing
effect. It can be fully key framed and utilized in a number of
Wish I had a few
shots of the Hawaiian volcanoes, I could see making a transition
between eruptions with this Liquid Metal Filter. Alas, I had
to use this Island shot.
I had a clip of a tiger shark that seemed a bit soft in the focus
so I applied the CHV channel sharpen to get back some of the
color and a bit of contrast. While I have exaggerated the settings
again for this review, look at how the detail of the fin meeting
the body is sharpened and improved.
CHV Channel Sharpen
has parameter controls for all channels as well as a master setting.
Before and After.
The Feedback filter was an interesting way to bring in a new
clip layered over an existing clip. The result is an echo of
the original. This filter, like several of the filters and transitions
can be very GPU consuming so not all of them will play in real
time. Option/P will give you a good preview of any of the effects.
A swirling filter
that also can be used as a transition.
While there are a number of transitions in this collection, I
particularly liked the disintegration and integration transitions.
I believe they may work off a clips' luminance values and are
really just opposite transitions of each other. Either way, they
produce a very pleasing dissolve effect that I know I will be
able to use in many projects.
I wish you could
see this disintegrate transition in action. A full clip would
show it off a lot better than this screen grab does.
Many sets of plug-ins have various light ray effects, however,
I think that this light ray filter from CHV exhibits the high
quality that I find in most everything Christoph Vonrhein has
Before and After:
The CHV light rays filter creates its own aura which you can
manipulate in numerous ways.
This is the default setting laid upon the reflection of the water
back lighting a fellow shark diver.
There are some areas for improvement, which I know Christoph
has been working on, and will result in free updates to the user.
Some of the generators such as the CHV VideoWall and the CHV
Coverflip use images stored in folders that you have accumulated.
In order to reach these images you will need to use the 'Folder
Path' parameter and type in your own path. Once done, it took
forever to actually bring anything up. I have been told that
a newer and more standard way of choosing the folder you want
will be forthcoming in a soon to be update. I would also like
to see the ability to import files from stored folders so that
an entire folder does not need to be imported. In addition, while
the Snow generator worked perfectly, to me, the snow never looked
terribly realistic. Finally, while almost all the parameters
found in this abundant collection of FX worked beautifully, there
were some that were extremely sensitive to use like those in
the Floating Text generator. Once you identify which ones these
are, you'll start typing in the settings rather than using the
sliders. It is important to note that this collection will be
getting bigger over time and that more plug-ins will be added
free to the purchaser. The most important thing is the fact that
QC Integration FX is not just a plug-in package, it is actually
a full blown plug-in platform where everyone can create new plug-ins
for FCS without the need to write a single line of code by using
Quartz Composer. In addition there will be Add-On packages that
work on top of QC Integration FX.
My bottom line is that for those who
have not built up a library of supplementary plug ins in addition
to that which is already installed in Final Cut Pro, or even
for those who have other sets, the CHV QC collection is definitely
worthy of consideration for a number of reasons. Having used
most of these plug ins at one time or another, I have always
found them to be very user friendly supplying the necessary parameters
within each to provide ample customization. The CHV plug-ins
continue to retain the quality many other companys should envy.
And then there is the price, this set is not going to set you
back $1200.00 for a plug in app that takes you forever to figure
out. Almost every thing I have seen from CHV is quite intuitive
so, if there is a learning curve, it is not a steep one. In todays'
market, where money is only in the hands of the CEOs and politicians,
CHV is offering as good a deal as you can find anywhere.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro
6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast
Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los
Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious
2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he
also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater
Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver
on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed
footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, the History
channel's MegaDisaster show and is a feature writer for Asian
Diver Magazine. His first National Geographic special will air
in late 2008. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the
San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater
filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions
to Kenya in Aug.09, the Red Sea for Nov.2009, and Truk Lagoon
in Micronesia for July,2010. Feel free to contact him if you
are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips.
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net
and is reprinted here with permission.
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