Best Free plugins for Final Cut Pro X
Apple’s Final Cut Pro X comes pre-bundled with many cool features, and useful editing elements, especially transitions, text generators and filters. There are times, however, when you need something more creative or specific to a project. If creating transitions and graphics is beyond your skills, you’re in luck as this is where FCPX plugins can help.
There’s an entire community of companies and individual experts producing plugins for Final Cut Pro X, which offer a myriad of solutions for almost every editing instance. If you’re on a tight budget then checkout VideoHive as they have some great plugins starting at only $2!
In the meantime we’ve put together a list of favourite free plugins because everybody likes a freebie!
Stupid Raisins have a range of free plugins available which can add some great After Effects style elements to your Final Cut Pro projects. The packages are fairly priced and well worth considering for your suite.
To give you a taster, you can download three sample packs (Sign Pop, Template Pop & Panel Pop) directly from their website, all you need to provide is an email address.
Sign Pop offers 50 animated icons, from an AA battery to a rocket ship. Each icon is highly customisable, including controls over individual colours, choice of four in/out animations and finer control over wiggle and bounce. Whether you’re making infographic videos or just want to add an animated flourish at the end of your vlog, this plugin is a must have.
Template Pop offers a range of animated titles, from simple lower thirds to a complete typography style template. Each one is as customisable as any Final Cut Pro X title generator, with the addition of colour and transparency control over background animations. Template Pop is a great addition to the built-in FCP X titles, giving you a wider range of control and numerous options. There is something for everything, from creative projects to DVD menus.
Panel Pop gives you 26 customizable Final Cut Pro X transitions that break your video into panels and animates to reveal the incoming clip. It’s a great plugin which integrates well with Final Cut Pro and really saves you time.
Alex4D has a heap of free plugins for Final Cut Pro X, with helpful guides to get the most out of them. There are some great tools, such as Feature Overlays, ideal for a creative filmmaker’s review process, and makes overlaying production details and watermarks incredibly simple.
Most notable of the selection are Switch Channel, a fun transitional effect which simulates an analogue TV switching channels, and Trim, a cropping tool that gives you the ability to feather edges, something missing from the standard crop function.
FxFactory is a self-contained catalogue of over 100 plugins for Final Cut Pro X, which allows you to trial, purchase and download plugins directly from within the app. There are several free plugins that you can download.
3D Title Animations offers exactly what the name suggests. There are five different styles of title: Fade; Rotate; Scale; Spacing and Tumble. That might not seem like a lot, but each one has up to nine variations of animation, with finer control over the font, colour, style, background, and animation speeds. This plugin is simple and very easy to use, but the range of customisable elements means it will be a long time before you get bored of this one.
Editor Essentials have 12 different tools within the plugin, but most notable are the White Balance, RGBA Levels and Luma Levels tools. This powerful plugin can completely replace the standard Final Cut Pro X colour board and can make fixing those odd shots that much simpler. Although this might not be a replacement for colour grading software DaVinci Resolve, it can dramatically help with pre- grading or colour balancing shots.
Coverflux is a template plugin for a stylish photo slideshow. While the slideshow only works with still pictures, it has a range of customisable options and includes titles alongside each image. A more experienced editor can get the most from this plugin by building layers of slideshows to create stunning photo walls.
Automatic Duck Media Copy is probably the most helpful of the free plugins available. While this doesn’t help you with your editing, when it comes to getting organised, this plugin is your new best friend. Archiving old projects can take massive amounts of space, but it is tricky to know what you need to keep. Export an XML of your final projects, and Automatic Duck will copy all associated files to a location of your choosing. This plugin helps ensure you keep all necessary assets used in a project while allowing you to remove unused clips to save space.
Data Pop (Free) is another free sample pack from Stupid Raisins but is only available through FxFactory. This plugin offers a range of animated charts, graphs, and timelines. Each template has customisable colours, styles and of course, data points. While this isn’t a replacement for building infographic elements in After Effects, it does allow even the least experienced FCP X user to create impressive data centric videos. Combined with Sign Pop, these two free plugins can create some impressive infographic animations.
Other Favourite Final Cut Pro X Plugins
Andy Mees has a collection of six free tools available through FxFactory, each answering an FCP X problem you didn’t necessarily know you had.
Better 3D quite literally gives you better 3D positioning options than the native FCP X tools and works on text elements as well as footage, images and graphics. The plugin gives the editor greater control over the X, Y, Z axis, scale and rotation, allowing for finer keyframe animation.
Region Tool allows you to add effects to specific parts of a clip. This incredibly useful plugin will save time and money when blurring-out logos and faces from shots. Region Tool is a must have for any documentary filmmaker.
So there you have it, a wide ranging collection of totally free Final Cut Pro X plugins to play around with. Happy editing! If you’re looking to speed up your editing workflow even further then check out our article on how to get organised in FCPX.