Luca Visual FX has done it again with their line of plugins and this time in comes from updating one of their top plugins, Light Kit. Light Kit has been a collection of plugins for situations where you need abstract flashes, frantic to pulsating blinking lights or quick color stylization. With Light Kit 2.0, 7 new plugins have been added to the kit which will be mainstays for video editors and motion graphic artists alike. These included: Blinks, Color Bands, Color Boost, Night-Time, Retro Color Shader, Stylized Luma and Temperature. I’m going to go in depth how this kit has changed since the 1.0 release. With 7 new plugins added to this kit, they join the 9 original plugins (7 effects and 2 transitions) bringing the total for this kit to 16 plugins overall. I’m going to give a brief description of the plugins that caught my eye and how they can be implemented into your bag of tricks.
Blinks is a plugin that does exactly as you would expect which is that it blinks a color over time. Within this plugin, you affect the whether it blinks across the full frame or a shape in the dropdown menu.
You can also change the mode from it being a pulsating blink all the way to ramp down or none. Aside from that, you have the ability to change the position, scale, angle, duration, glow and much more. There are 6 presets which ship with this plugin which can be used for great starting points on the effect you are trying to achieve.
One of the things I like about this plugin is how flexible it is. I can use the shipped presets or create my own blinking custom image. I also like how I can easily create a blinking shape or text effect without having to do a lot of legwork to achieve as shown in this example below.
Color Booster is a plugin that gives your footage a boost of colors based on 2 colors, saturation and gamma. This can be a go to plugin when you need to give your footage a cinematic look without too much hassle.
You have the ability to change the color treatment mode from gradient or uniform. Gradient will color your footage based on the 2 colors of your choosing. Uniform will attempt to mix the parameters across the entire frame.
Color Bands adds varying blocks of alternating color across your footage. In its default form, you get about six bands of color which change color over time. You have the ability to change the style from geometric or random. Changing the overlay mode gives you the option of a simple overlay look or a more diffused look when you choose translucency. The ability to change translucency stands out as it controls how much of your footage is visible between the bands.
What stands out about this plugin to me is how simple it is to overlay a variety of colors without much complexity. Doing this from scratch can be a tedious manner with layer management and blend modes not cooperating. With this easy to use plugin, I worry less about the tediousness of layer management and focus more on the creative options that await me.
Retro Color Shader
Retro Color Shader is an effect that works great when you have footage that features landscapes and/or nature sites and you want to give it a retro/vintage feel similar to filters found in Instagram. With this effect, you have the ability to reposition where lights are coming from as well as their position overall. If you are an FCPX user, you have the ability to manipulate these parameters via the OSC.
Night-Time should be your go to effect for times when you need to mimic a day for night shot. Users have the ability to affect highlights, midtowns, shadows and other parameters to achieve the night time shot they are looking for. One parameter to keep on eye is luminosity. It controls the light in the whole image.
This effect does as it says which is it allows you to modify the temperature of your image. Whether you need to make image warmer or cooler, this effect helps you achieve. Be careful not to overdo it in some of the parameters as it could result in an undesirable image.
This effect is great for when you need to stylize the highlights in your image. Within this effect, you have the ability to create a subtle diffused look, volumetric zoom blur, motion blur or an isolated color look. This effect works great when combined with the Temperature effect as it can help turn images that maybe overexposed or bright into more appealing shots.
One thing to note about this update is that the UI has been overhauled for FCPX. More options are available to get the look you want than were available from Light Kit 1.0. Parameters vary from plugin to plugin but users now have greater control than they did before.
If you are looking for a plugin that offers quick color styles, pulsating light flashes or the ability to have multiple colors blend into your footage, look no further than Light Kit 2.0. Powered by FxFactory’s engine, all you have to do is download it to try it out for yourself. Light Kit 1.0 users can upgrade to this new version for $29. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get details on this offer.