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Build and share complex plugins for Final Cut Pro X with the free PixelConduit app

pixelconduit

The very flexible realtime video and graphics compositing tool Conduit has an exciting new lease of life. It is now called PixelConduit, it works in FCPX and it is now free.

If we were not writing this story this morning, we would be trying to build new sets of plugins for FCPX with PixelConduit!

The majority of plugins that are now released for Final Cut Pro X are written in Motion. In fact they shouldn't really be called plugins, they should be called Motion effects. There is a limitation to what you can build within Motion and very complex effects tend to slow everything down

The free app PixelConduit allows users to build effects and publish them as plugins. If the idea and the GUI look familiar, the application was just called Conduit before and although had a few devoted followers (Some on our Forum) it lacked any real traction in the plugin market.

It seems that the version 3 app has had a rebirth and distributing it for free will guarantee an uptake especially if third parties start building and distributing their own custom effects.

What makes the app interesting to us is the use of a node based model which will be familiar to anybody who has used Shake or Quartz Composer. There are over 80 different image processing 'nodes' which are connected together with 'noodles.' You can connect colour correction nodes, keyers, blurs or any node and wrap it all up into a plugin that can be loaded into FCPX and other platforms such as Photoshop and even Aperture.

pixelconduit 2

 

So what could you do with the application? As you can see from the diagram above, there is a curves node which means in a couple of minutes you could have your own custom effect for handling DSLR files that have been shot with a flat picture style. A good point to note here is support for Cineon/DPX and OpenEXR, although if you want to use the effect in FCPX you will have to use the media available in events.

Building complex effects that can't be built in Motion (as it lacks expressions) is possible in PixelConduit as it supports JavaScript. Ever wanted to use a Kinect with FCPX? PixelConduit has a patch for that! 

PixelConduit is very, very flexible and we suggest you take a read of the 145 page Version 3 User Guide for more information. 

If that wasn't enough to write off an afternoon of experimenting, Lacquer, the company behind PixelConduit has also released PixelConduit Complete. This is a $119 add-on pack that brings batch actions, capture tools, live tools and most interestingly, stereo 3D tools. It looks like a very inexpensive way to get good 3D results.

We will be watching the development of PixelConduit with a keen interest.

conduit3d FCP Example

 

 

 


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.

FCP.co

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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