Product Review: Page (1) of 3 - 04/08/08 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Noise Industries' SUGARfx

Video effects for Final Cut Pro By Kevin McAuliffe

A while back I took a look at Noise Industries FXFactory Pro, and I really liked it a lot. Well, Noise Industries (NI) is back again with their SUGARfx packages for Final Cut Pro, and with that, not only is NI trying to bring your work to the next level, but it is trying to also bring an unparalleled ease of use to your workflow. For the purposes of this article, we're going to be looking at the "Studio" versions of the plug-ins, so let's see how these packages stand up.

Much like I have said before, I really like how Noise Industries has set up their plug-ins and generators for Final Cut Pro. All of the SUGARfx packs are installed through the FXFactory application located inside your "Applications" folder. To install one of the SUGARfx packs, simply download it, launch the FXFactory application, and drag and drop the unzipped pack right on top of the open window. Once you let go of the mouse, you will be asked whether you want to register the pack, or use the 14 day trial version. If you've purchased your SUGARfx pack, simply input your information with the serial number and you're all set to go. If you are just looking to try before you buy, don't worry about inputting any information. The product is ready to be used in it's trial mode. Once you either enter your serial number or simply click cancel, you will see your new SUGARfx package in the "Plug-ins" section ready to use. The great thing about the SUGARfx package, much like the other FXFactory plug-ins, is that you can enable or disable them right from within the FXFactory Pro application. The download of the packs should take you longer than the actual installation process.


What are SUGARfx, you might ask? Well, they are motion graphic templates or more aptly called motion graphic generators for Final Cut Pro. If you are familiar with Final Cut Pro being able to import templates that have been created in Apple's Motion, than these are pretty much the same, but the best part is that you don't have to create anything, as all the work has been done for you.

Once you have launched Final Cut Pro, navigate your way over to the generators drop down menu, and you will immediately see the SUGARfx sub-menu with all the installed SUGARfx packs. Since I have all of them installed, I can see them all right away.

Next, simply select the one you want to use, and click on it. Let's use "Portfolio" for this demonstration. Once you let go of the mouse, you will immediately notice that nothing is happening. That's because this generator is a moving template that dissolves onto the screen, so we are supposed to see nothing. Let's take this template and drop it into our sequence (F10), so we can watch it as if it was an element in our final product. Here is what the unaltered Portfolio template looks like.

At this point, we obviously want to add our own images and text (font type, size, etc), and tweak any other parameters we want. No problem. Simply double click on the clip in your timeline to open it in the preview window, click on the "Controls" tab, and you now are not only able to adjust the font, it's color and its size, but you can add your own images, decide how long you want the duration of the bumper to be as well as using presets that come with the generator, or even save your own.

One other great feature of the templates is that if you build one, and it doesn't quite look the way you want, simply select another preset, and SUGARfx leaves all your images where they are. No need to reinsert them. Something I found slightly strange was the fact that the font size and type resets itself, but the actual text you entered stayed the same. This I found slightly annoying, as I don't know why Noise Industries (NI) wouldn't have made sure that everything stayed the same. Well, that was a minor issue. Here is the way my animation looked when I was done with it.

And here's how it looked with a preset change.

One thing that I quickly want to mention is that these generators are also multi-format capable, and work in web-size, SD and HD alike. Overall, the Portfolio package is very easy to use, and produces good looking results, so let's start our recommendations here. 

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Related Keywords:video effects, NLE, video editing, plugins

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