July 6, 2009

Noise Industries FxFactory Pro 2.0.8

www.noiseindustries.com - $399.00

ParticleMetrix preview movie

Review by Steve Douglas

That's $399.00 only to those who do not already own FxFactory, for everyone else the new Noise Industries version 2.0.8 is an absolutely Free download available on the Noise Industries website. Now long established as one of the leading 3rd party plug- ins and effects companies, the latest version of FxFactory comes with two new plug ins, the Spot Light (multiple) filter and the Organic Dissolve transition. The Spotlight (Multiple) filter now improves on its previous spotlight filter by supplying up to 4 separate lights to the same source. It also supplies several different presets, which can be manipulated by many parameters including the number of lights, light colors, spread and concentration of lights, brightness and more. I've not used this filter for my own uses in the past but was pleased by the effects I could get with this latest version.

Multiple presets available which you can tweak and save supplement the latest Spotlight Filter.

The new Organic Dissolve transition also comes with several different presets. To be honest, several were similar in many ways and I have seen similar transitions in other transition sets often called splotches, acid burn and the like. One preset, shown below was a bit different and utilized the name 'Fine Tooth Comb'.

Both the Organic Dissolve transition and the Spotlight filter had no trouble playing in real time without dropped frames.

One thing I have always liked about FxFactories' frequent updates is that they have continued to try to improve on what they have produced in the past. In doing so, and by supplying new and free plug-ins to previous purchasers, they have enlarged the editor's toolbox. No editor uses the entire plug-ins, filters and generators sets they have at their disposal but, by simply having these tools, they are there should they be needed.

FxFactory, for a long time, has had several other 3rd party plug-ins companies utilize the FxFactory application. This list has grown in both the number of companies allied with FxFactory as well as the number of various plug in packages coming from them. In order to utilize any of the packages from these different companies you do need to have FxFactory already installed, however, the download of FxFactory is absolutely free. Apparently there are users who think that they have to purchase FxFactory Pro first before they can purchase an FxPack.

Along with the 2.0.8 update are trial versions of two additional plug-ins. The first is called ParticleMetrix which is a completely new set of particle based plug-ins by Idustrial Revolution. Optimized for Final Cut Pro, FC Express, Motion and Adobe After Effects, it sells for only $99.00 with a free 15 day trial available from the website as well. ParticleMetrix is a single plug-in delivered in both transitions and filter form. There are over 50 built in presets, which you can adjust to your hearts content. The many presets are divided into those meant for text and those for video though I found I could switch around in the way I applied them. Additionally, what was nice was that my previews were very quick, no dropped frames even when set to high resolution and renders were almost just as fast.

You could spend a day just experimenting with the many presets provided. Of course, there were some I liked more than others
and some that needed more or less tweaking to meet my needs, however, that will always be the case.
Most important is that the filter was easy to apply, and the parameters fairly intuitive to manipulate.

I found ParticleMetrix to be a primarily wipe based filter and transition. However, as their demo movie demonstrates, some incredibly creative effects can be administered. With many different types of particles to chose from you can use any of your own or the supplied presets to reveal or hide your source footage and have that done from a number of different directions. However, this is no simply 'exploding in particles' type of filter. You are provided concise controls enabling you to create some seriously fine effects for many commercial and individual projects.

From Jon Medel's new movie 'Cut', caught fixing her makeup, actress Tara Klingenstein, stole the hearts of the crew.
Yeah, I know, corny but I needed something to say here.

Using a simple particle wipe to transition between scenes.

While using ParticleMetrix's Soft Circles setting, I could get a really excellent 3 D feeling with these coming at you. Imagine zooming through a time warp of bubbles, very cool effect. Now I just need to think of a project where I will be able to use it. As I mentioned before, there is a great little preview movie showing off all the possible ways you can use PartlicleMetrix. Many of the effects are easily figured out just by looking, however, for the new user or editor, some project files or tutorials would be welcome. Noise Industries has, in the past, endeavored to create tutorials for its clients and, hopefully, a few for the ParticleMetrix buyer will be coming soon.

All from ParticleMetrix, the possibilities are endless.

In addition to the ParticleMetrix plug in set, with the new Noise Industries FXFactory 2.0.8 you also get a couple of new plug ins from Sugar FX which, after the trial version runs out, costs only $79.00. What they are calling Sugar FX HUD is a very specialized assortment of military type effects that produced excellent results. There are 3 types of filters, Binoculars, OSD(on screen display) and Target. Each one comes with more parameter adjustments then you can imagine providing you with tremendous flexibility as to the appearance of the final result. The binoculars plug-in is far more extravagant and adjustable than any similar binoculars plug-in I have had. It can create a number of different types of viewfinders whose own components are easily resized, added or eliminated. You can even adjust the focus of the source media to simulate the binoculars manual focusing. With just a little keyframing, you can recreate a very realistic effect.

Using the Binoculars filter, I was able to easily switch the preset to an infrared appearance.
The size of the lens, as well as any of the info surrounding them is easily modified.

Also using Sugar Fx's Binocular filter, a completely different look is capable with more or less info.
You can go from a standard appearance to one like this very high tech look.

Showing off the On Screen Display filter, you can simulate various camera and camcorder appearances enabling you to create a viewfinder on your screen.

Just a couple of the different camera screens you can emulate.

And there you have it, the latest update from Noise Industries coming with two new and free plug-ins as well as introductions of both new and useful filters and transitions from idustrial Revolution's ParticleMetrix and Sugar Fx. These companies are certainly not sitting on their laurels and I have always appreciated the new notifications that come out when updates are available. While there is no 'Check for Updates' button in the FxFactory application, something more and more companies are thankfully including in their software, at least they are great about letting you know when one comes out. If you already own FxFactory, get that free download. If you don't, What are you waiting for?


Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com


copyright © Steve Douglas 2009

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