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 Filters.zip" file, and you get a folder called AJW's Filters. Drag this into one of two places on an OS X system:
- [Startup disk]/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Pro System Support/Plugins for everybody on your Mac to have access to them, or
- ~/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Pro System Support/Plugins if you want to keep them private to your user account.
- If you're still on OS 9, try [Final Cut Pro folder] > Plugins. Your FCP folder may be at the root of the disk (FCP 2 and earlier) or in the "Applications (Mac OS 9)" folder (FCP 3).
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.
: 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.
Fix channel gain and level issues due to production or dubbing problems.
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.
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.
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).
Undo the effects of mismatched cable lengths when a component signal was dubbed, or reposition misaligned channels (see also the Y/C Delay filter).
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.
Repair field-level luma/chroma imbalances due to misaligned preamps in two-head analog VTRs.
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.
Fix 4:1:1 or 4:2:2 chroma edges, as an alternative to FCP's Chroma Smoothing filters.
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
- Location - a standard "point" control; clicking the + button puts a crosshair on the image, letting you drag the mask over a dead pixel.
- Horizontal & Vertical Trim - Point controls are great for initial positioning, but (unlike point controls in Motion) they don't allow for easy incremental tweaks—so I added two sliders to allow independent trimming of both the X and Y locations of the mask. I use Location to get the rough location right, then I fine-tune things with the trims.
- Height & Width - While a single dead photosite may only be 1x1 pixels in size, camera processing and compression may spread or smear its effect. Height and Width default to 2 & 2, just to make the darned thing visible, but you may need larger values (up to 8) to mask dead pixels as well as compression artifacts scattered around them. These slider controls run the range from 1-100, but they're nonlinear controls biased to the low end, so you get finer control over smaller numbers.
- Mask Source - I provide four choices for how the pixel mask is to be generated:
- Left Edge - like the built-in masking on many cameras, this choice simply takes the pixel(s) bordering the left edge of the area to be masked and replicates it (or them) across the area.
- Left & Right Edges - takes the average of the left and right border pixels on each line. This is a good choice when the predominant scene content near the dead pixel consists of horizontal lines
- Top & Bottom Edges - take the average of the top and bottom border pixels for each column. Best when the local scene content is predominantly vertical.
- All Four Edges - For each pixel, averages the border pixels to the left, right, above, and below. This is often the best choice overall, so I've made it the default.
- Use Test Color - to aid in initial positioning of the mask, it defaults to a white square. Once you've positioned it, uncheck this checkbox to let the mask operate the way it's supposed to—at which point, if all goes according to plan, it becomes nearly impossible to see.
- Test Color - if you're trying to stomp a dead pixel on a bright background, you can dial in a different test color with this standard color control.
Mask dead pixels or other small image problems by replicating adjacent pixels atop the affected area.
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.
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.
See Channel Offset for one lame idea.
Last updated 2016.03.04