Everybody loves plugins within Final Cut Pro, there are now hundreds to buy or download free in the FCP 'Ecosystem.' With the radically new FCPX less than a month away, what is going to happen to your favourite FXScript plugins?

You are probably more familiar with the names of commercially available FXScript plugins such as Nattress, CHV, Joe's Filters, Digital Heaven, CGM and more. So what the hell is FXScript anyway? It's a scripting language that allows you to describe simple or complex visual effects using FXBuilder within Final Cut Pro. Apple officially describes FXBuilder here:

"FXBuilder is a scripting utility in Final Cut Pro that gives you the ability to create, test, and modify custom video effects, such as filters, text generators, or transitions. You can build and connect effects, modify existing Final Cut Pro effects, and combine several effects into one FXBuilder script.""

We are sure most editors have never even seen the FXBuilder menu item let alone tried to build an FXScript plugin. One editor who did exactly that a few years ago though was Shane Ross and you can watch his tutorial on how to build a simple colour correction plugin from scratch. Pretty impressive.

So why all the fuss? FXScript is more than 10 years old and along with the existing Final Cut Pro is now showing its age. Over the last few years Apple have been very keen for plugin writers to move over to FXPlug, their newer image processing technology that uses the graphics card rather than the CPU. This means that FXPlug plugins can benefit from Apple technologies such as Core Image and will harness all the power your GPU can supply. FXScript plugins will not run in Motion.

So you can see why Apple might just take this opportunity to quietly leave out FXScript from FCPX when it gets released. You can be sure that the internal Apple effects plugins will be written in FXPlug, doing them in FXScript would be like filling a Formula 1 car up with two star! Would writing an emulator to wrap FXScript plugins up into a package FCPX could understand make economic sense? Probably not.

So why can't plugin writers convert their plugins to FXPlug themselves? Well FXScript and FXplug are completely different. FXScript is written within FCP and FXPlug plugins have to be built using Xcode, the app that's also used to build Mac applications. They are two very different ways of thinking.

We hope this isn't the end of the road for FXScript as this will mean the end of some of our favourite plugins that we have used over the years.

If you'd like to have a go at writing your own FXScript plugins, these links should help.

Using FXScript (Apple) Article removed

The FXScript Reference

FXScript Basics  Article removed

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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