The great thing about the internet is that there is no-one between me and my audience. Minutes after I have an idea, the results are available to anyone on the internet. On this page you’ll find free plugins, tips and tutorials that I hope will save you many hours of work.

This page applies to the versions of Final Cut Pro up to version 7

I have also posted effects, tips and articles for Final Cut Pro X.

If you find my content useful, please consider donating as a sign of your appreciation. Thank you.

My Free Final Cut Plugins

Use Reel Name as Font Choice filter

Add a slug clip to your timeline, edit the reel name to match your choice of font. Apply this filter and the text will be drawn using that font. Any copies with different text will use the same font, if you change the reel name, the font listed in all the copies will change as well.
Uploaded 4 August 2010

Inside-Outside Matte
IO_Matte_3_points_192

Define two 3- to 8-point shapes defining the inside and outside edges of a matte.
Uploaded 8 September 2009

Three Horizontal and Vertical Matte Feathering Filters
V-feather-192

Use these filters to have independent controls for horizontal and vertical feathering of mattes.
Uploaded 2 September 2009

Improved Crop
crop_192

Use the filter to crop the edges of a clip, feathering only the cropped edges. You can also invert the crop and choose how opaque the hole is.
Uploaded 24 August 2009 – Updated to v1.1 – 25 August 2009

Improved text Crawl
crawl-screen-192

This generator removes the limit on the amount of text you can use in a crawl, and adds extra features.
Uploaded 17 August 2009

Gradients with Opacity
custom_gradient_sm

This generator allows you to set the transparency of the start and or finish of a gradient.
Uploaded 12 August 2009

Six transitions with curve controls
curves_Cross_Dissolve_sm

Adding bezier curve controls to transition response curves.
Uploaded 25 June 2009

Lower Third
Alex4D Lower Third Final Cut plugin

This generator provides extra text and positioning options for labelling people and places.
Uploaded 31 March 2009

Repeat
Alex4D Repeat Final Cut plugin

This filter surrounds a scaled down version of a clip with copies.
Uploaded 2 February 2009

Cube Spin transition
Cube Spin - Alex4D

An improved version of Cube Spin with more controls and bezier controls for the response curve.
Uploaded 1 February 2009

Wave transition
Wave transition filter

A transition plugin that produces a variety of wave transition effects.
Uploaded 31 January 2009

8-point Matte
8-point matte

A filter plugin that gives you the option to scale, reposition and rotate an 8-point matte you’ve set up.
Uploaded 13 January 2009

Ripple transition

A transition plugin that produces a ripple effect on the incoming and outgoing clips.
Uploaded 7 January 2009

Vignette filter

A vignetting plugin giving control over position and aspect ratio.
Uploaded 5 January 2009

Pond Ripple transition

A transition plugin that produces a pond ripple effect on the incoming and outgoing clips.
Uploaded 20 December 2008

Swing filter

A plugin to make objects swing in or out of the screen.
Uploaded 9 December 2008

Move

A plugin to move objects at specific speeds – for example to match scrolling credits.
Uploaded 16 November 2008

Closing Credits

This plugin gives you typographic controls over all names or credits or section titles at the same time. You can also set the credits to scroll at specific speeds.
Updated 29 October 2008

Access to all your fonts

Apple’s plugins don’t give you access to all your fonts. Use these replacement versions to use any installed font.
Updated 29 October 2008

A replacement ‘Scrolling Text’ generator plugin

There’s a bug in Final Cut Pro’s Scrolling Text plugin which produces errors if you use any characters such as ‘ é or π. This replacement plugin fixes that.
Updated 29 October 2008

Final Cut Tips and tutorials

These tips apply to all versions of Final Cut unless marked otherwise.

Digital copy of the manuals (v4-v6)

Moving multiple filter, motion and sound keyframes

Replacing one clip with another, maintaining filters and motion settings

Switching between Ripple and Roll tools

Smoothcam samples

Slow motion

Slow motion – going too far on purpose

Rendering a few frames of a long clip

Playhead sync – add the shortcut to your keyboard

More precise mouse control

Introduction to using Avid for Final Cut users

Naming timeline sections – 12 Oct 08

Auto-opening Final Cut Pro QuickTimes in other applications – 17 Oct 08

Final Cut links – 18 Oct 08

Sorting using more than one column in the browser – 21 Oct 08

Quick ways to set In and Out points – 27 Oct 08

Jumping to markers in Digital Cinema mode – 28 Oct 08

Duplicate frames – not just for Film users – 31 Oct 08

Switching between tabs – 24 Nov 08

Changing the default colour my making your own plugin – 16 Nov 08

Making transitions more feathered by modifying their plugins – 28 Nov 08

Stopping Final Cut adding ‘from clipname’ suffixes to marker-generated subclips – 2 Dec 08

How to modify a built-in transition to make a flash frame transition
Flash frame transition

- 3 Feb 09

Which version of Final Cut works with which versions of QuickTime and Mac OS X? – 20 Feb 09

Night vision effect using three built-in Final Cut filters.
green-night-vision-mini1

- 24 March 09

New Alpha Transition plugin that comes with v7 works in v5-6. – 30 Jul 09

Final Cut Pro 7

Current versions of QuickTime can play the new ProRes footage – away from computers with Final Cut Studio installed.

      - 30 Jul 09

Undocumented Timecode Viewer features. – 31 Jul 09

A new playback shortcut – works while editing markers too. – 1 Aug 09

Revealing the hidden text in the Final Cut Studio help system. – 1 Aug 09

Using Automator to perform repetitive operations in Final Cut. – 10 Aug 09

Final Cut Studio – tips for the other applications

Motion – PAL and NTSC projects

      - 4 Jan 09

Unlocking international versions of Final Cut Studio – 3 Aug 09

Your browser is faster at displaying Final Cut Studio help than Help Viewer – 5 Aug 09

DVD Studio Pro has free built-in fonts you can use elsewhere – 6 Aug 09

Final Cut past and future

Thanks to Microsoft

A multitouch user interface for Final Cut

A Final Cut Server client suggestion

Feature suggestion: Search and replace

Edited in Final Cut

Videos at Vimeo

Videos on YouTube

My site

Three free fonts

stumbleit

46 comments
  1. Hi Alex, I got your address from Dr Mary Wood. Do you know a quick and easy way to apply a night vision look to something shot during the day? I am trying to imitate some green night vision material that was shot with an infra red light off the camera ( I think). Similar to this without the vignette http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivZ6K_yFUNo
    You have a great site.

  2. Enrico said:

    Hi Alex,
    we met at BFI festival last week.
    I did you some silly questions about FXplug :-)
    Nice site!!
    I’ll come here searching plugin but doc seems to be great.
    I’m involved in doc and screenwriting too.

    bye!

  3. JL said:

    Alex,

    Thanks tons for the plugins and tips. A friend shared your site with me and found many things to help me out.

    Nice work. Thanks again

    JL

  4. BigE said:

    Hey Alex, cool blog you’ve got here! All the tips and plug ins are a great help, thanks. But I have to ask, hope this doesn’t sound stupid, but in your training vids, every time you click your mouse a green pulse appears, is that a setting in FCP or Mac OS?

      • BigE said:

        Thanks, I think it looks cool if it does that while you edit, something different, will check it out.

        Cheers

  5. Alex,
    Thanks so much for these transitions––I’m sure I’ll find lots of use for them on my videos–––lots up on billboy647 on Youtube.
    guys like you are the best!
    tom ridenour

  6. hi alex

    I’ve loaded your swing + curve transitions into fcp. I can see them, but how do I active them? I want a track to swing back to reveal another track under – i’ve set this up in fcp and can use the 3D effect,but yours looks much cooler in the demo. thanks for any help

    mark in california

  7. Alex said:

    Once you’ve applied the transition, choose ‘Curve’ from the ‘View’ pop-up menu. Then you can choose different points for the start and finish handles. Play the transition to see the effect. Then switch the view back to ‘Output’

  8. HI Alex

    Thanks – I must be slow, because i can’t get the “swing” to work – I’ve place an in and out – selected swing in and..nothing (I change from curve to output to view) what am I doing wrong? Thank you!! And yes – I’m new to editing…

    • Alex said:

      I need to know more.

      How did you set and In and Out? Do you mean that you’ve set the duration of the transition? Is there enough footage for the transitions (i.e. are your handles long enough)?

      Does the transition happen when you view the curve, and not when you view the output?

      • HI Alex

        First thanks for getting back to me –

        I have 3 video tracks – the base track or bottom track is a logo – track 2 is a montage and this is what I want to “swing” – track 3 is a host (me) addressing camera and welcoming viewers to my website –

        When I apply the effect, I can only apply it at the beginning of the track – I see it – but I can figure out how to make it work. The entire video is about 1:20 – my concept is to have the montage play for about 8 seconds – swing open and continue playing – i want the effect to swing open and stay – while the third track engages – I did have some success with the regular “swing” but the bottom track is what swings not the montage – sorry to be so slow – editing is fairly new to me – I can send screen shots of my tracks if that would help…

        best,

        mark

  9. Mark Pigott said:

    One suggested plugin would be a spill supressor with a colour picker.
    As we used a non-pure blue for our chroma-key; the built in spill suppressor
    won’t do a good job on it.

    just a suggestion.

    p.s. I think your plugins are great Alex

  10. Robert Eidschun said:

    Hi Alex,

    Using just a few keystrokes, is there a way to change the field dominance of all of the clips in the Timeline?

    The only way that I know of, is to select all of them (in the Timeline), then right-click anyone of them and choose “Properties”, then change each one, one at a time, in the window that appears.

    But I have hundreds of clips in some of my Sequences and I sometimes need to change the field dominance of all of them to the same setting. It can take a very long time to do this when having to change the dominance of each one individually.

    If you know of a work-around, that would be great!

    Thanks.

    Robert

    • Alex said:

      If you had all your clips in the browser, you could make sure the field dominance column is visible, select the clips and control-click the field dominance value of one of the selected clips and choose a new value.

      As your clips are in sequences, all you can do is use the Shift Fields filter. This will only work if you want to change from Upper to Lower or vice-versa. If you do, apply the filter to one clip, choose your setting (-1 or +1), copy the clip, select all the clips in the sequence, command-click the clip you copied to deselect it, choose Paste Attributes from the Edit menu and make sure ‘Filters’ are only selected. Then go to any other sequences and use Paste Attributes to apply the filter to all of them at once.

      • Robert Eidschun said:

        Hi Alex,

        Thank you very much for the suggestion. I hadn’t thought of using the Shift Fields filter.

        By the way, I think it’s great that you’ve come up with plugins that address problems in Final Cut Pro, rather than just plugins that create fancy effects. For example, the matte that allows different feathering on the vertical and horizontal edges is something that I’ve needed for a long time, since sometimes, you need to matte out something right up to the edge of the screen, but still need a feathered edge between the matte and the part of the image that still shows. Any chance of coming up with something that can change the Field Dominance of clips in the Timeline, as I described in my previous message?

        Regards,

        Robert

  11. Thank you for providing these free Plug-ins! Especially for free! Is there a “home version” of FInal Cut that is less expensive (not $999)?

    • Alex said:

      Final Cut Express is the ‘home version’ of Final Cut Pro.

  12. BigE said:

    Hey Alex,

    Hope your well? I’ve got tons off film filters, but non of them can give me that film burning effect. Is there anything you know of that can give me that effect with out using 10 filters to get it?

    Regards
    BigE

  13. Alex – I’m using your 8-Point Matte editing Warehouse 13 season 2. It is great. Thanks. I’ve looked forever for a matte that can be moved as a shape, rather than click every point for every move.
    Do you have any suggestions for a plugin that will track a shape or object?
    Again, thank.

    • Alex said:

      Sadly no single plugin that does this. I had to do this regularly, I’d use Mocha for After Effects to track objects and do the matting there.

      However, I’d rather stay in Final Cut (hence ‘Use Motion’ or ‘Use AE’ aren’t great answers for me), that’s why I’ve been making these plugins.

  14. Kevin McKenna said:

    Hi Alex,

    I am using your Closing Credits plug in for FCP, firstly, thank you very much, this is a great tool, and can save a lot of time.

    The problem I have using the tool is this – when I create the text in word, text edit etc including all the * | symbols, then simply copy the text and then paste it into the controls window, although the text remains the same in the control window, the text shown in the canvas is all in 1 line, in order to fix the problem I then have to press return at the end of every line in order the text show correctly. In some cases there has to be 2 empty lines between text in order that there not be any line spaces shown on the canvas…..

    I am doing something wrong here, or does the plug in only allow for typed text, not pasted text?

  15. Kevin McKenna said:

    Closing Credits –

    Hi Alex, just one more question – When you scroll down to the bottom of the control window in FCP to edit text, then click away to check the canvas, then click back in the control window, the cursor always jumps back to the top. Is there any way I can prevent the cursor jump each time I click in the control window?

    Thanks

    • Alex said:

      No, it’s a limitation of the Final Cut interface. I use the ‘End’ key on the keyoad (the key to the right of the forward delete key) to jump to the end of the credits if need be. If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, can can use it to scroll the text in the field.

  16. Thanks Alex!!! I needed an advanced matte for a short project I was working on and your “Inside-Outside Matte” did the trick very nicely. MUCH APPRECIATED! :-)

  17. David said:

    Hi Alex. I just wanted to say that FCP plugins are very helpful in my editing. However, there’s a few things missing. Ability to except mp3s, more pricise audio settings like in Pro Tools, more control in timegraph (which is importent since apple took that away in 7. I’ve included a video of the timegraph issue). And last but not least, adding more realistic visual effects as well as audio effects.

    Keep up the great work ^^

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