What is the quickest way to create heavily graded footage in Final Cut Pro X but protect skin tones ? We think we might have found the answer with Picture Instrument's new $47 plugin called Warping Wheels. 

We see many new plugin releases here at FCP.co towers and over the years there seems to be a lot of repetition; even third parties producing products that duplicate functionality that's already in FCPX. Who wants to buy a white balancer plugin for example!

So when we saw Picture Instrument's new Warping Wheels plugin, we were quite sceptical as to what it might add to an NLE that already has very good colour correction tools, including the wheels!

Then we watched the demo video.

Although the video demonstrates the plugin with Premiere, about halfway through, the video shows the plugin has a control to protect skin tones. So no more stacking up of colour correction instances and no colour mask pulling to put the skin tones back to where they should be. Clever.

Yes, this is all possible within FCPX using the existing built-in colour correction tools. Yes the colour correction wheels in the plugin do bear a striking resemblance to the FCPX ones, but that protect skin tones slider is the killer feature.

Imagine you are making a music video, you can go crazy with the colour correction, be it orange and teal or any other flavour of the month look, then dial the correct colour of the performer's skin back in, in seconds.

There is a free watermarked trial, but we did have an NFR licence from the developers to give it a try. Our initial tests have proved to be positive, you do get a GUI opening up over FCPX and that means that the scopes can be obstructed. There are sliders in the inspector that will work without having to open up the Warping Wheels GUI. The GUI also shows one frame only although you can play in the background and that will update.

We also got the red failed to render screen on SD footage in an HD timeline. We will pass all these bugs on to the developer.

Maybe we will get a demo video online and give it a good thrash in Final Cut Pro X. It should be interesting! In the meantime, if you are interested, we recommend you try out the trial and see if it works for you. Priced at just $47, this could easily repay the money back on the first job. 



  • Fine adjustment of the area of influence for shadows, mids and highlights in terms of the brightness-level
  • Setting the influence radius of shadows, mids and highlights with the smoothness control.
  • Function for protecting skin tones from the influence of the color wheels
  • Functions to adjust the skin tones independently of the color wheels.


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