Final Cut Pro X Free Effect Friday: Alex4D Switch Channel plugin

My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday is a new free Final Cut Pro X transition: Alex4D Switch Channel.

For more information and download link, visit my website:


Switch Channel was inspired by my ‘Bad TV a4d’ effect plugin. I liked how it made the image roll up or down. I thought it would be good if as it rolled, another clip could appear. I realised that this transition would simulate the display of old TVs from the 70s and 80s – especially those without remote controls. When you turned the knob or punched a button on the TV it would take a while to retune and  handle the information coming in from the new channel.

This transition works well when you want to change the subject, or when you want the next shot to interrupt the current shot – or for a momentary aside. If you want to simulate switching through many channels, add the shots to your timeline and apply the Alex4D Switch Channel transition between them. Select all the transitions and type Control-D and enter a low number such as 5 or 6.

If you want a temporary interruption – such as a comment from an interloper – use pairs of Switch Channel. With each pair choose different Roll directions for the first and the second: for example roll up to start the interruption, and roll down when you return to the main story.

Here is a video showing what it can do:

As well as the free Final Cut Pro X plugins at my site, there are many more free plugins on my Final Cut Pro X blog archive page


Free Effect Friday

‘Free Effect Friday’ is an idea popularised by Here are links to lists of new free effects they published on Friday June 14Friday June 28, July 8thJuly 19thJuly 26thAugust 23 and September  6th.

On Fridays search for #FreeEffectFriday on Twitter to see who else is making free plugins for Final Cut Pro X.

  1. I used your a4d bad tv to music here, Thanks, your plugin was awesome!

  2. Janice Valdez said:

    Hi Alex,

    When I try to install your Friday apps, I get this message on my IMac that it “can’t be opened because it was not downloaded from the Mac App Store.”

    Is there a work around for this?

    Thanks, Jan

    • Alex said:

      The answer is in the OS X security settings.

      Although I’m an Apple developer, I don’t yet sell in the App Store, so

      1. Go to the Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences…’
      2. Click the ‘Security & Privacy’ icon on the ‘Personal’ section – the first row of icons
      3. Click the lock in the bottom-left corner of the Security & Privacy window
      4. Enter your password (if the lock is unlocked you don’t have to do steps 3 and 4)
      5. In the lower half of the window click the ‘Mac App Store and identified developers’ radio button. You will be letting apps run on your machine from Apple-identified developers – like me!
      6. Close the Security & Privacy window

      Thanks for asking the question – I’ll add this info to my recent plugin posts

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