Five Must-Have Plugins for FCP X in 2021

Plugins can be huge time-savers for video editors. There are so many parts to video editing – especially for independent workers. We are talking about the basic edit, audio, visual effects, graphics, music, color grading, and plenty more. It adds up to be a lot and base software like Final Cut Pro may have a very robust feature set, but there is some key stuff that might be missing for you.

Denver Riddle from Color Grading Central is back with his five must-have plugins for Final Cut Pro X in 2021. Are you a Premiere Pro editor? Well, we have a post on five must-have plugins for Premiere for you.

5. Frame.io

Assuming you aren’t working on your video projects in a total bubble you probably have some collaborators or clients who you want to share early drafts of the edit with for comments and review. Frame.io has turned into one of the best platforms for video creators. And, they have a custom-built plugin just for Final Cut Pro. 

You can now export and upload projects and clips directly to frame.io directly from Final Cut. You can then see the comments right in the Final Cut window to make whatever changes you need to. No more multiple window nonsense. Another thing is that when a client leaves a comment you’ll see a pop up you can click to bring you to that part of the edit.

Another thing is sharing of assets. You can work with other editors and send assets to them so that you can maintain consistency.

4. Grids by LenoFX

Ever want to do a split-screen? It’s simple enough but takes a bit of time to manually set up. Especially once you do more than two at a time, like in a video conference call. Grids from LenoFX automates the tedious parts of the process while still giving you tons of control. In/out animations take all this to the next level.

3. ERA5 Bundle from Accusonus

I think every list of plugins I’ve seen includes the ERA5 Bundle from Accusonus. Considering the importance of audio and the difficultly in picking it up without years of experience working with EQ and compressors a bit of help here can go a long way.

The ERA5 bundle does that by simplifying audio editing to as few buttons and dials as possible. Enjoy noise removal, deepening voice, level audio, remove plosives, EQ your voice, and more with this bundle. It is easy to use and totally worth it.

2. mTracker 3D from Motion VFX

A standard feature in Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut is actually lacking a solid motion tracker. mTracker 3D from Motion VFX gives you that functionality and according to Riddle this is perhaps the best.

The use of a 3D tracker can help bring new life to any visual effects as it can actually create movements that match up with the camera and with the scene. It adds a seriously professional touch to you videos and does it all inside Final Cut. 

1. Cinema Grade

It should be no surprise that Riddle picked Cinema Grade as his number one plugin – it is his after all. Still, it’s a very loved plugin across the board. Cinema Grade simplifies color grading for everyone by making it almost point-and-click. Want to change the brightness of a subject’s face? Just click it and drag up. Change the color of the sky? Similar deal.

Only a few key and mouse clicks and you can create a well-graded image.

For photographers moving to video, it even has an Inspector panel that looks quite similar to what you would find in Lightroom or Camera Raw. And, beginners will appreciate a step-by-step process to help you go from correcting, to matching shots, to a final grade. There are even real-time previews and a match color function.

It goes beyond just the fixing, as it offers a false color tool to help you ensure the proper exposure. Plus, an auto-match function will read X-Rite color charts and get you to a great starting place.

Do you have any of your own favored plugins for Final Cut Pro?

[source: Color Grading Central]

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