With FCP now having very decent (if basic) built in color tools, I do a lot of simple color balancing directly in FCP, dial a LUT in with 20%-30% to give it some flavor, and Bob's your uncle, done and done.
However, there are those jobs that need some more finesse for the color, ideally in an intuitive interface. And most importantly, staying in FCP because there's no time for the round trip.
Which is the best plug-in to give FCP more color grading horsepower?
Note: Yes. DaVinci Resolve is the best option for color, and when I have the time and the client has the funds, I do think it's work making the round trip. This is about those jobs where a quicker turnaround is of importance.
Color Finale on an M1 with FCP 10.5.4 and MacOS 11.5.1 is beginning to give me issues when encoding directly to Compressor version 4.5.4. I am getting an intermittent gray box show in Compressor that is similar to missing drop frame. When I remove Color Finale effect from my adjustment layer the Compressor gray box disappears.
Not sure why this is occurring. I also believe that Color Finale is increasing encoding time. No hard figures as yet. I will post them when I get more time to work on this.
For one thing I can get beyond those simplistic non-helpful names Color Board 1, Color Wheels 1, Color Wheels 2.
CF allows naming of the layers to keep track of complicated or individual corrections applied to adjustment layers. I jumped on CF to avoid using that goofy Color Board puck silliness. LUT selection and previewing is faster.
One thing about the loading LUTS into CF... Be careful it doesn't load EVERY LUT off your drives into the program. It will scour all the drives for cube files and you'll have hundreds of them to sort through unless you specifically add them manually. Updating to version 2 did that to me until I directed it where to look. You have no idea just how many are hidden in various folders and packages on a hard drive.
I'm still using the trial version but I can say that I find CF works very well.
I have trashed most of what I did in FC and replacing it with the CF grading which I find a lot better to work with.
I'm not saying FC isn't good but simply that I manage colorgrading much better with CF.