> AJW's Filters for FCP Classic copyright © 2009-2016  Adam J. Wilt  
Final Cut Pro's FXScript lets you build new filters, generators, and transitions

(Updated 2016.03.04)

AJW's Filters

Here are some free Final Cut Pro FXScript filters.  They focus on technical problems rather than creating looks, but some of them have creative uses, too. These filters are for Final Cut Pro / Final Cut Studio "Classic", not FCP X.

They aren't encoded, so you can open them in FXBuilder and see how they work, and modify them for your own needs.

To install them: Unzip the "AJW's" file, and you get a folder called AJW's Filters. Drag this into one of two places on an OS X system:
Run Final Cut Pro (if it was running when you installed the filters, you'll have to restart it), and they'll appear under Effects > Video Filters > AJW's Filters.

Disclaimer: while these plugins have been tested in FCP versions from 4.5 through 7.0.3 (except Pixel Mask, which has only been tested in 6.0.5 and later), there's no guarantee they'll work for you. Your sole remedy in the event of dissatisfaction is to (a) uninstall them by deleting them, or (b) open them in FXBuilder, see what's wrong, and fix them to make them work better.

To learn more about FXScript:

Channel Balance [ajw]

Works in either RGB or YCrCb (YUV) color spaces, letting you play with the levels (DC offsets) and gains of each channel individually. Originally written as a training aid, so people could see how YCrCb is less sensitive to level and gain problems than RGB is.

Technical Uses

Fix channel gain and level issues due to production or dubbing problems.

Creative Uses

Creatively screw up the image to distort its colorimetry.

Channel Blur [ajw]

Works in either RGBA or YCrCbA (YUV) color spaces, letting you blur channels individually.

Technical Uses

In YCrCb mode, blurring Cr and Cb by around 2 to 4 is a pretty effective progressive-scan 4:2:0 Chroma Smoother.

A slight chroma blurring of this sort can also serve as a chroma noise reducer.

Creative Uses

In RGB mode, a slight blurring of the red channel is said by many to add to a filmic look ("defocusing the red record").  In either mode, visibly defocusing one or more channels creates a look that's dreamy, uncanny, or creepy, depending on the color space, the channel(s), and the amount of defocusing.

Channel Offset [ajw]

Works in either RGB or YCrCb (YUV) color spaces and lets you displace each channel horizontally and/or vertically. Edges "extend"so you don't see borders when an edge of the channel is moved into the image. Originally designed, like the Channel balance filter, to show the difference in appearance caused by inter-channel timing errors in RGB and YUV component systems (for example, if different cable lengths were used for the different components).

Technical Uses

Undo the effects of mismatched cable lengths when a component signal was dubbed, or reposition misaligned channels (see also the Y/C Delay filter).

Creative Uses

Animate both H & V to wobble the channels (in either RGB or YCrCb modes) out of sync, to simulate the POV of someone under the influence of alcohol, or (so we have heard) other dangerous drugs.

OK, it's lame, but channel-wobbling is a time-honored Hollywood tradition for communicating the idea of woozy-headedness.

Field balance [ajw]

Lets you fiddle with the luma and chroma gains of the even and odd lines of the image independently. If your source started off interlaced, these will be the two fields treated individually.

Technical Uses

Repair field-level luma/chroma imbalances due to misaligned preamps in two-head analog VTRs.

Creative Uses

Simulate the "gosh, now we're looking at a teevee" look of interlaced television as often seen in films (as shown in the sample image here).

H. Chroma Blur [ajw]

Blurs chroma horizontally, and allows a horizontal offset. Designed prior to FCP's inclusion of 4:1:1 and 4:2:2 chroma smoothers to remove the "steppy edges" in DV chroma when compositing or when rendering to higher-chroma-resolution formats.

Technical Uses

Fix 4:1:1 or 4:2:2 chroma edges, as an alternative to FCP's Chroma Smoothing filters.

Creative Uses

Smush the color horizontally on nice clean 4:4:4 sources as if they had been recorded on DV some time in the past (hey, I'm reaching here; work with me, OK?).

Pixel Mask [ajw]

This filter is used to mask "hot" pixels. It may also be useful for hiding well-defined dust spots on the lens. It works by replicating adjacent pixel values across the masked area.

How To Use It

Technical Uses

Mask dead pixels or other small image problems by replicating adjacent pixels atop the affected area.

Creative Uses

Um, simulate what would have happened if you had had a dead pixel?

Y/C Delay [ajw]

Lets you offset the chroma in both H and V directions while leaving the luma in place.

Technical Uses

Fix chroma delays dues to multiple generations of color-under analog recording. Every generation of Betamax, VHS, or Video8 typically results in the color dropping one line further down in the image, and all analog formats can suffer from horizontal chroma delays due to processing and filtering.

Creative Uses

See Channel Offset for one lame idea.

Contact info

Last updated 2016.03.04