This is not a blog post about fixing what ails Final Cut Pro. It’s about useful tools for FCP! Here’s a quick round-up of the previously featured Useful Tools that have gotten recent updates prior to NAB: Digital Heaven’s Final Print, FxFactory’s Photo Montage and Get for Final Cut Pro.

Final Print

First, there was a major upgrade to Digital Heaven’s Final Print. This update brings the software to version 2.0 and implements a number of cool features. From the Digital Heaven website:

  • Completely redesigned interface
  • Ability to load projects directly from Final Cut Pro 7
  • Support for viewing clips inside sequences
  • Multiple XML files or projects can be opened simultaneously
  • Ability to filter by marker color or track number
  • New column layouts with sorting allows full customisation of display
  • Improved performance

We’ve been able to export Marker Lists into a text file for a while but Final Print is a much more useful, more robust application that can analyze and open a Final Cut Pro project or XML file and display all of the information about the markers placed in a clip. You’ll see a full list of clips on the side and then a column in the middle for all the data about the selected clip. What’s most useful about Final Print is that besides displaying just markers and comments from a clip it can also display the sequence markers, clip markers and sequence clips in a selected edit sequence.

Final Print displaying clip markers

Final Print displaying sequence info

The only addition I would make to Final Print is to have it display a little disclosure triangle (or some other indicator) next to a clip that has markers. That way you could see the clips with markers just by scanning the clip list. Final Print is $129.

Photo Montage

Next is a new addition to the always useful FxFactory suite from Noise Industries. It’s called Photo Montage and as its name implies, it’s for creating photo slide shows with quite a few tweakable parameters:

  • Keyframing optional: no keyframes are required for animation. Set durations for pause and transition, and leave the hard work to the plug-in.
  • All popular image formats are supported: including JPEG, PNG and PSD.
  • Easy re-ordering and re-timing: customize the order and duration of each photo without wasting precious time renaming files or resizing tracks on the timeline.
  • Excellent support for titling: assign titles to each image and customize how and where these titles appear in the final output.
  • More than a hundred presets available: no easier way to explore our product and find the desired look for your project.
  • Built-in motion blurring: create high-quality animations at any frame rate with built-in motion blur available in all effects.

Your first reaction might be, “Do we really need another photo montage/slide show plug-in?” I’ll argue the more the better because there’s really an infinite number of ways to do a photo montage. Best results will always be achieved by hand doing your own Ken Burns style moves (or even better, Riding Giants/Kid Stays in the Picture style) but often there’s not the time or money for that). Plug-ins to the rescue. The more photo montage-sytle plug-ins out there the more likely you are to find something that fits the style needed. The FxFactory plug-ins are quality products and there are tons of presets, as well as parameters, to dial in just the right thing. The more the merrier. Here’s a Photo Montage tutorial:

Photo Montage is available for $159 until April 17.

Get for Final Cut Pro

The third update isn’t really an update to the functionality of the phonetic search tool for Final Cut Pro but rather a dramatic price drop. Get used to be priced at $499 but as of April 1 the price dropped to $249, which includes one language pack. Additional languages are only $169. That’s an amazing price for an insanely useful tool for all you documentary editors out there. Truth told you can probably find a use for Get in most any edit outside of a music-only piece. The Get makers recently released a rental model as well but at $249, that’s affordable enough for most any editor actually making a living at this profession. If you need a reminder of exactly what a phonetic search tool is then read a review I wrote of it a while back or check out this video:

You can check out all the pricing options for Get on its information page.

Colorista II

There’s a minor update to Magic Bullet Colorista II that’s worth downloading if you’re running what’s arguably the best color correction plug-in for Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro and After Effects. It’s a free update that takes it to 1.0.1. The bullet list of features:

  • Colorista II now works properly on non-English Windows installations.
  • a crashing issue when using the auto balance eye dropper in Premiere Pro.
  • a compatibility issue between Colorista II and Warp that could cause your host app to crash.
  • In Final Cut Pro, the Mids and Highs RGB functionality were switched, so that when the RGB Mids were raised it effected the whites and when the RGB Highs were raised they effected the middle values.
  • an issue where the 3 way color corrector is sometimes reset to the default red.
  • several installer issues.

There’s also some keyboard shortcuts that have been added for After Effects users. Grab the update here.