- Final Cut Pro Plugins
- Final Cut Pro Plugins
Digital Video Effects for
Apple Final Cut Pro
OS 9 and X, FCP 2 and 3
The Text Collection - Credits and
Review by Ken
When Apple released FCP about three years
ago they made a wise decision. Apple made its FXBuilder Scripts
'open source', so that any one who had the skill could write
video filters, generators and transitions plugins for FCP. The
first third party plugins, were the Eureka Plugins, written by
persons unknown. Now three years later we have numerous plugin
packages available to us.
As time has passed these third
party plugins have become more sophisticated with greater functionality
and control. In addition to more powerful plugins these third
party vendors now have tutorials for their plugins posted at
their web sites.
CHV-Electronics - Final Cut Pro
Plugins by Christoph Vonrhein is the new kid on the block and
these plugins up the ante. Feature rich, these new plugins are
Vector based and work at the sub pixel level, producing excellent
motion graphics. Another advantage to the CHV plugins is that
you are not required to purchase the entire set of plugins, rather
you can purchase smaller collections of plugins depending on
As one of the on going struggles
for all FCP users working in DV is to get good quality Text,
I decided to test the Text Collection from CHV, this collection
offers two plugins, Credits and Sub-Title.
The Credits plugin does much more
than simply scroll text up or down the screen. At the top of
the controls window are the General settings for the plugin.
Deflicker, border control (mask) with a Feather control to fade
or feather out the text and overlays in the Canvas window showing
border placement. Lineheight, Speed control, text positioning,
and a Movie/Map which when used with a clip or image with an
alpha-layer will use the alpha channel as a mask. You can also
use the red, green and blue channel as well as the luminance
of the clip.
There are too many different features
to list them all here so I want to go into those features which
are unique to the CHV Credit generator.
This Credit generator gives you the opportunity to define 9 different
font sets to use in your credit rolls. Each font set, 1 through
9, can have its own custom settings, font face, size, color (an
eyedropper is provided to sample colors from the Canvas), style,
spacing, alignment and spacing (below left). When setting text
in the Text box (below right) you enter the 'Font Setting' number,
F1 through F9, to call up the text attributes for that line of
text. You can also assign a screen placement to each of the nine
different fonts; flush left, left of center, center, right of
center and flush right. This allows you to create columns of
Shown below is a sample of three different
'Font Sets', #F1 - #F2 - #F3. I also have the Action and Title
Safe overlay turned on. You can see a green and blue horizontal
line running across the Canvas. These two lines represent the
borders that I have set which will define where my titles fade
in at the start of the credit roll and fade out at the end of
Text On Path
You start by turning on the red path line. You can swing the
top and/or bottom of the path to the left or right as shown below.
Your text will scroll following the red line.
There are additional controls to turn
the straight path line into 'S' curves or to apply a sine wave
to the path for a more complex path. The path shape is fully
Just like text, you can define up to 9 different images to use
either with your titles or by themselves. Drop your video clip
or still image into the 'image well', red arrows below left.
The clip can then be sized, positioned and the opacity set, all
of these parameters are Keyframeable. Most video clips will have
a thin black border on some of their edges. Using the 'Cut Border'
controls you can crop the image. Here is the most exciting part.
When you use a video clip, the clip actually plays as it scrolls
up the screen. There is a 'Offset' control, blue arrow below
left, which allows you to set the starting frame for the clip.
To enter your clip into your Credit roll simply call out each
clip, Image number one, image number two, (#I1 - #I2) in the
Text box as shown below right, red arrows.
In my video clip below, as my video background
plays, small images with titles on them fade in, scroll up the
screen and then fadding out as they play. When rendered titles
are sharp and the motion is excellent as it plays on NTSC.
There are additional features. When you
use "Manual Speed", the credits will roll with the
speed you define with the "Manual Speed"-slider. The
duration of the credits will be displayed in the Canvas window
when you activate "Show Duration-Info". "Movie/Map",
with its Image Well, uses a clip or still image as a mask with
channels Alpha, Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue.
The CHV Sub-Title is a title generator
with a split personality. While it can do sub-titling work it
has other features that make this title crawl generator more
versatile. You can have one, two or three lines of titles scroll
across the screen. Each row of titles can have its own font style,
size, aspect, style, spacing, color and auto kerning. There is
both vertical and horizontal positioning of the titles and the
ability to have titles alternate colors. You can fade the title
crawl in as it appears on the screen and fade it out as it leaves
In addition to having Titles on
any of the three rows you can have images in place of titles.
Like the Credit generator you can use up to nine different images
with your titles.
Sub-Title has a "Movie/Map"
Image Well with the standard FCP Composite Mode options available
which will use your titles as a matte. You can add a background,
invert background and text, use a clip or still image as a color
map and generate an Alpha mask.
CHVs Credit and Sub-Title text generators
are intuitive and easy to use. You can make use of the numerous
features to produce sophisticated credits and sub-titles. All
of the features in these generators are keyframeable. Being vector
based and with sub-pixel rendering, all motion is smooth, text
is clean and sharp. Both plugins can handle really long text.
Credits can carry 1000 lines, Sub-Title 4000 lines.
CHV offers a number of FCP Plugin sets
at very reasonable prices. The ability to purchase just those
plugins that you need is a real plus.
- Starter Collection
- Text Collection
- Distortion Collection
- Color Collection
- 3D Collection
- Film-filter Collection
- Time Collection
copyright © Ken Stone 2002
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
All screen captures and
textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.