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Creative F/X at lightning speed!

This is the second of three tutorials in a series about PlasmaFX.LE By Marco Salsiccia

Creative F/X at lightning speed! Digital Anarchys new PlasmaFX filter suite are powerful, fast effects for Mac users on Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects. The 26 filters use new Apple technology like FxPlug architecture and OS Xs Core Image system. This base system provides a big boost in speed, making the effects real time in some cases.

This is the second of three tutorials in a series about PlasmaFX.LE, or ?Lite. Especially for DMN,
Digital Anarchy is giving away three of the filters in a free ?Lite set, and offering a discounted upgrade for the full suite (given at the end of this tutorial). The following tutorial discusses using Light Burst from PlasmaFX.LE.

PlasmaFX.LE: Light Burst

There comes a time when a designer needs to blast light rays through a title or touch up a lightsource in some footage. Light Burst is a quick and versatile plugin that does more than those effectsand everything in between.

Our final Light Burst effect

Technical notes
This tutorial covers the use of PlasmaFX in Final Cut Pro. You must have FCP 5.1.2 or higher to use our plugin, which takes advantage of Apples new FxPlug and Image Core technology. You will also need Mac OS 10.4 to run the filters.

The parameter settings for this tutorial were created for an NTSC SD composition within Final CutPro. They can be easily translated to HD footage and the Motion and After Effects versions of this PlasmaFX filter.


To follow along, download the source footage and sample movies from here:


(Readers should download ?source-clip-trees.mov, ?unfinished_burst.mov and?final_lightburst.mov)

Step 01: load your footage

In FCP, import the 25MB footage clip called ?source-clip-trees.mov. This is saved as a 4.0 second
Standard Definition NTSC DV 720x480, deinterlaced, Photo-JPEG compression.

Make sure your sequence matches the footage you will be working with. Ctrl-Click/Right-Click on the sequence in the Project Bin and go to Sequence Settings. Verify that the Sequences Size preset is the same as your footage. Once done, drag your imported clip into the Timeline.

Our source footage of trees and a bird feeder. This image needs some pizzazz.

Step 2: apply light burst

Double-click on your footage in the Timeline to load it into the Viewer window. This will give you direct access to the Effect controls once you apply our PlasmaFX Light Burst filter.

Click on the Effects tab in the Browser window and open up the Video Filters bin in the resulting list of folders. Select ?P: Light Burst out of the Digital Anarchy section. Drag this item onto the footage clip in your Timeline.

The default appearance of Light Burst

Step 3: default light

By default, Light Burst is placed directly in the center of your footage. Light rays streaming off in every direction are added onto your source footage. This might suit the effect you are going for, but not always, and it certainly doesnt work with the direction of our tutorial.

In the next steps, well boost a particular light source in the image to make sunlight appear to stream through the trees.

Bad choice for light source


Good choice for light source

Step 4: determine a light source

All lights and lighting effects need a coherent source; otherwise, the effect looks slapped on and unprofessional. In our clip, there is a break in the trees off to the upper-right of the frame. Well usethis patch of sky to put in our ?sun.


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Related Keywords:plugin filters, FCP, final cut pro plugins, NLE, editing, video editing


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