Where does PixelConduit come when comparing the various methods for making Final Cut Pro plug-ins?
The post powerful Final Cut Pro effects are FxPlugs: implemented in Objective-C, using the same kinds of tools that make OS X and iOS apps. This is the hardest method.
Today Finnish company Lacquer updated their Conduit Live product and made it free for Macintosh users. Renamed PixelConduit, it is a video effect development system for motion graphics designers.
It was conceived as a live video performance tool. The application was designed take multiple video sources, apply many complex effects in real time and distribute the results to multiple screens. In recent years, it has been designed for more uses (from the manual at PixelConduit):
- Previewing visual effects on set.
- Theatrical shows and other video-based performances.
- Video installations.
- Compositing and other finishing work.
- Post-production workflow automation.
- Rendering custom graphics in post.
- Live graphics with custom control interfaces, e.g. for TV productions.
In order for real-time video effects to work, the UI metaphor is based on flowcharts that can be quickly manipulated while live video is being fed in:
Although welcome, the recent 5.0.5 update to Motion was nowhere near as big as the 10.0.6 update to Final Cut Pro. As is usual, Apple’s release notes refer to bug fixes and performance improvements. This time there are also user interface speed increases and a few interesting new features.
Text Edit Markers
If you are designing titles, generators or effects which have a series of text layers that take turns in appearing, you can add a Text Edit marker to each text layer. Editors using the template in Final Cut Pro can navigate from marker to marker to make it easier to enter and edit text.
Here’s the Motion timeline for Final Cut’s built-in title from the Bumper/Opener section: ‘Snap – Text Build’:
To showcase the template features of Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X, Apple shipped them with a range of fonts to suit every mood.
There are 28 font families, as some families have more than one variant there are 53 fonts in total. They are built into each app so that they’re are always available if projects include any Motion templates.