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Three free handy plugins for Final Cut Pro 7 and FCPX from Andy Mees

andy mees fcpx

It's certainly new plugin Monday here on FCP.co and we have to thank Andy Mees for releasing three free plugins to download. They all work on FCP7 & FCPX, Motion, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Free is always good, but even better when the free product on offer is actually useful. Longtime FCP guru and contributor to our Forum Andy Mees has very kindly published three free plugins for editors. We chatted with Andy about how the plugins came to be released, but let's detail each one first. 

 

Andy’s Elastic Aspect
A free plugin to dynamically stretch the aspect of mismatched footage to fit a standard 16:9 frame. There's a demo to show you exactly how to reformat 4:3 footage without having to enlarge the whole frame. This is a great plugin that many other plugin writers would charge for.

 

Andy’s Region Tool
An essential tool to apply effects only to the part of the image that needs it.

Andy’s Safe Guides
Display a variety of safe area overlays. All three are compatible with Final Cut Pro 7 & X, Motion, After Effects and Premiere Pro.

 

Three great free plugins, but how did they come to being released? We asked Andy...

As readers might know, I was a relatively active FxScript plugin writer for for FCP (Legacy) since around 2005. I regularly threw together small, simple plugins designed to help either myself or a colleague to achieve (or just make easier) a specific task. And once built, I was always very happy to make them freely available to anyone and everyone who wanted them.

Following the launch of FCP X, I was quite surprised by the number of users who contacted me to ask if I might consider remaking my old plugins for FCP X, or in some cases, for Adobe Premiere. One of those latter cases was a contact at GoPro, who explained that they were regular users of my Elastic Aspect plugin, and that they were looking to transition to a Mac based Premiere Pro post workflow ... but felt they couldn't easily do that due to a lack of an alternative non-linear stretching plugin available for that platform.

Well, I love GoPro cameras, and I wanted to help, so I had a quick look at the Adobe Premiere and After Effects SDKs (software development kits) and built a few test plugins (and they worked) ... but the Adobe plugin development environment, I discovered, is clearly intended for "real" programmers with plenty of time and energy to delve deeply into their code. For a part-timer like me (even though I played the part of a "real" programmer in an earlier life) the sacrifice required to master it just wasn't worthwhile ... I like spending my evening and weekends with my family!

fxfactory 4 fcpx

Then, towards the end of last year, Noise Industries announced version 4.0 of their excellent FxFactory application, bringing qualified host support for Adobe Premiere Pro ... and it just so happened that I'd been sitting on a copy of FxFactory Pro for some time. Long overdue, I cracked it open to have a look ... and what an amazing tool it is! I'd investigated Quartz Composer only a very little in the past, not a lot but at least I wasn't coming at it as a complete novice, and yet despite that inexperience, just few evenings of tinkering later I had an early re-version of my Elastic Aspect plugin working inside Adobe Premiere. With some help from the awesome support at Noise Industries I sent that off to the guys at GoPro ... and with a bit of feedback from them over the following weeks, and a bit of tweaking in my spare time, I ended up with this new Elastic Aspect plugin.

Fast forward to the end of last month ... I contacted GoPro again to let them know I was going to put it out as a public release, did some last minute polishing (had to write some kind of manual) ... and here we are. Happy campers.

andy mees fcpx 2

Future development? Well ... as soon as Elastic Aspect was packed up and ready to go, and buoyed by the overall experience and the ease of development in FxFactory, I thought I should probably have a look at some of the other more popular old plugins that I'd put together in the past ... and so new versions of my Region Tool and Safe Guide plugins made it out just in time to join Elastic Aspect. There's a fair list of other plugins that I may or may not port, I've got a couple on the go at the moment, one is done, the other nearly there (but still need to make icons, write guides etc for both). On that point, I really want to make sure any re-creations of my earlier free plugs will stay free, but I'm certainly not ruling out the possibility of launching new commercial products in the future. We'll see how it goes.

We thank Andy for the information and of course the great plugins!

 

 


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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