I’ve updated my Magic Lantern Compose Final Cut Pro X generator.
November update: The 10.0.6 update to Final Cut Pro X has broken these generators – they only work in 10.0.5. This is because the way motion templates handle drop zone clips has changed. Sorry!
Magic Lantern is a system for adding features to Canon DSLRs, Unified is a recent ML package enables some cameras to shoot footage that can processed to produce content with a larger exposure range – i.e. High Dynamic Range.
The files produced are made up of alternate frames of under- and over-exposed footage. The generators take these frames and give you better control over how these frames are combined.
For more information on Unified and Magic Lantern and the software to for your Canon DSLR, visit its home
Note that you must shoot footage at twice the framerate you need, as 50 fps footage results in 25 fps HDR footage. These generators don’t do any interpolation.
Download this disk archive:
It includes an installation script for Spherico’s Motion Template Tool application, if you don’t have it on your Mac, download it. It is a freeware/donationware tool that simplifies effects installation for Final Cut Pro X users. MTT installs effects for Final Cut Pro X in the correct folders, creating them if need be. You don’t need to have Motion 5 or MTT installed for these effects to work.
Once you have MTT installed on your computer, double-click the ‘Install Alex4D ML HDR Compose+ 1.0.mtt’ file.
If you don’t want to use MTT, install these effects in Home / Movies / Motion Templates / Generators / Alex4D:
1. Start Final Cut Pro X, add your HDR footage to an event.
2. Create a new project at the native frame rate of your footage – 59.94 or 50 fps, or half the frame rate of your footage – 29.97 or 25 fps.
3. Add your ML footage to the project.
4. Go to the ‘Alex4D’ section of the Generators panel:
The Magic Lantern HDR Compose+ generators default to a duration of 10 minutes, so to set the correct length, drag the generator you need on top of the ML footage:
When you release the mouse button, a pop-up menu will appear. Choose ‘Replace from Start’.
5. The ML footage isn’t automatically added to the generator, so you need to click it, click the clip well and choose your ML footage.
6. Use the Show pop-up menu to choose which version of the HDR frames are shown by the generator:
The default setting is to show the source frames: the interleaved over- and under-exposed frames as produced by Magic Lantern.
You can display the + or – frames only: before and after processing.
You can choose to compose the + frames over the – frames, or the – frames over the + frames.
The processing you can perform on the frames is choosing blend mode, overall opacity, luma key and RGB levels.
The luma key controls allow you to select which parts of a frame are used based on their brightness. If you increase the value of Luma Low from 0, the darker parts of the frame aren’t drawn. If you decrease the value of Luma High from 1, the lighter parts of the frame aren’t drawn.
The levels controls are the same histogram controls over overall brightness, contrast and gamma.
There is also an overall saturation control that is applied after the other effects.
7. If you use the 50 fps version in a 25 fps timeline (using 50 fps ML footage), or the 59.94 fps version in a 29.97 fps timeline the Show menu cannot display all the source frames, but should work otherwise.
Check out my other free effects and articles on my Final Cut Pro X home page.