Luca Visual FX Hi-Tech Templates

lucapicWith the release of a new collection of plugins known as Hi-Tech, Luca Visual FX becomes the leading plugin developer to offer totally customisable mographs for FCPX. Being this a collection of over 30 FCP X effects templates, post professionals can completely customize mograph elements for a variety of projects ranging from music videos, promos, documentaries, corporate videos and a lot more. Within this collection, users have display screens, fractals, lower thirds and sci-fi based elements. From the promo below, you can witness the depth of intricate and expansive Hi-Tech is.

I had a chance to try out these awesome templates and was immediately impressed with all the options available for manipulations. One element that caught my eye was the fractals. These geometric, colorful patterns animate to simulate light and color effects that have been seen in various sci-fi shows and movies. Color Blast is a fun effect to experiment with. Lots of options under the hood and endless possibilities through experimenting with the built in parameters and blend modes, use the latter and the blur parameters to create even light leaks, flares and light streaks effects. I used it on a clip of a dancer in its default state as well as customized the settings.

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Another effect that stood out to me was the Hi-Tech Vignette. The parameters and capabilities of this effect is something I can see myself using a lot on my work. I gave it a go myself and came to this result.

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Creating holograms for a project can be tedious if you have to do them from scratch. The hologram effects with Hi-Tech are a welcome relief from creating them from scratch and the flexibility they offer are incredible. The default settings alone are eye catching but having the option to use drop wells to place your own clips or rendered models makes it no brainer effect. I tried out both the Holographic objects and Hologram on the left effects. When I saw the objects effect in the promo, I immediately had to try it out for myself. The effect reminds of the Star Wars and Iron Man films where you had rotating 3D object being projected with a nice and subtle glow. I tried these holograms myself on two separate clips. For the objects effect, I tried it on a clip of a woman looking up wearing sunglasses. The default spinning wireframe is cool but I felt it didn’t fit for this particular clip. I tried the other model options and arrived at the atoms animation.

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I tried the holographic screen on the left with an athlete training. I want to give the appearance that athlete was watching some programming while he trains. Using the perspective parameters in the Inspector, I was able to match the perspective of the camera as well as insert my own footage.

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Aside from the fractals and displays, Hi-Tech provides lower third effects. With 5 lower third options available, you are provided with the added benefit of titling with any other effects you use in the Hi-Tech collection and the possibility to implement your own media to achieve your very own look. I tried out the Lower Third default as well as the “free” Sports highlights. Both offer great customization abilities as well as endless possibilities. Take a look below.

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Overall, Hi-Tech is by far the most expansive and affordable collection of customizable mograph plugins I have encountered so far. From the available parameters in the inspector as well as the overall look of each effect, the creative possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Experienced FCP X guru Alex Gollner edited a short demo showing all default looks and quite a few personalised versions.

This is a must have plugin if you want to maximize efficiency in mograph creation. At $49, it’s a purchase that will make your workflow very worthwhile and the good news are that it comes with 2 free sport-themed templates: Highlights and Score-board. Right now, Premiumbeat is offering a giveway of 6 copies of Hi-Tech. To enter, all you have to do is use the auto tweet option and wait until November 29 to find out the winners.

Here is a video of all the images you saw with Hi-Tech applied. An amazing, must have collection of plugins.


Luca Visual FX Alpha Transitions

Alpha TransitionsYears ago, if you wanted to buy high quality motion graphics such as light leaks, film leaders, countdowns and other film effects you were limited to the royalty free site, Artbeats. However, that all changed when Luca Visual FX started selling these items for an affordable price. Since 2010, Luca Visual FX has provided a growing collection of drag and drop Alpha Transitions that work in almost every popular NLE and compositing application. This collection includes Film FX 1 & 2, Leaders, Light Transitions, Grunge and Modern Transitions. With each pack, the user is given anywhere from 16-86 transitions to use on their projects. These transitions are compiled of selection film burns, film flashes, light leaks, countdowns as well as freely interpreted light effects and contemporary looking transitions. I’m going to address how to use these transitions in your next project as well how users on both Mac and PC can benefit from using these transitions. I’ll also touch base on the advantages between using these over plugins.

How To Use Alpha Transitions

These alpha transitions are real easy to use. All you have to do is drag and drop them over your edit point in your NLE. Since they come in both in high resolution, lossless codecs, their quality is always top notch and they also come with embedded transparency. One thing I recommend when you using these transitions is placing a marker at the wipe point of the transition. The wipe point is the point in the transition where it covers the screen or most of it. Having a marker at that point makes it easier to snap to your edit point. Now, you have the ability to manipulate the transition to your liking by changing its scale, position, blend modes and/or color. Best part is you can stack multiple transitions to create one unique transition of your own.

One thing to note is that Alpha Transitions have 2 ways of being using in Final Cut Pro 7. In Final Cut Pro 7, you can actually use some of these Alpha Transitions with the Alpha Transition wipe. All you would have to do is drag them in the first drop well of the Alpha Transition wipe. Then you have the ability to manipulate duration and other parameters.

Advantages over Plugins

One of the advantages to using these transitions over plugin-based transitions is their ease of use. With these drag and drop transitions, there are no parameters to learn or modify. Lay one of them over your edit point and you’ve added instant production value. Better yet, these transitions render and export quickly. Some plugins can be render hogs but you won’t get that with these transitions. You don’t run into the issues you would when dealing with plugins when you have these items. These Alpha transitions are not tied to any software package so you have the option of purchasing the whole collection or a la carte.

Another advantage of these transitions is that they can be used as overlays for your clips, (blend modes like SCREEN OR ADD can enhance the impact of the color and shapes). Although they are shown as transitions, I can overlay them over video clips to give them a distinctive look. Transitions like the Leaders collection or Film FX can give your footage a cinematic or grind house look by placing them on top of your clip. In order to achieve this, you would have to use a filter that can may or may not be RAM intensive and wouldn’t allow you to view it in real time without some rendering.

LVFX offers 2 free tailor made customization of Film Leaders Transitions to buyers who want to change the word, name or even insert a logo.

The ultimate advantage of using these transitions is their cross platform encoding. These transitions come in the Animation and Pro Res 4444 codec. Whether you are working on a Mac or PC, you are able to use these transitions. You don’t have be in the situation where you are a platform switcher and sacrifice access like you would with some plugins. One thing to note is that these transitions work even if you on older OS platforms such as 10.3 and 10.4. These transitions are guaranteed to work with most of your NLE or compositing program.

Overall, Alpha Transitions from Luca Visual FX are a versatile set of transitions. These drag and drop transitions offer the user a lot manipulation options and creative avenues. As a freelance editor, I find myself using these more often than plugin transitions because I’m not bogged down by long render times or complex parameters to change. Try out a demo of these transitions (Modern Transitions you can be fully downloaded as trial watermarked copy) and you will instantly want them on every project from here on out.

There is a special promotion for these alpha transitions going on right now. You can get 20% off any pack when you use the the coupon code CHANCE2WIN. Those who use the code are automatically entered into a drawing where 5 buyers will be chosen to get a free single pack of alpha transitions they don’t already at the end of NAB. So don’t miss your chance to partake in this excellent Alpha Transitions.


NLE Ninja Edits Volume 3

NLE Ninja Edits X Volume 3 Screenshot

Hey everyone. I would like to present NLE Ninja Edits Volume 3. This free Premiere Pro CS6 project file contains 7 transitions, 4 effects and presets which you can download and use on your next edit. This file was made to commemorate 2 years of making video tutorials and the progress I’ve made in the community. Here’s a breakdown of each effect below:


Diagonal Stripe Passby– A transition with 2 colored stripes which slowly pass by between two clips.

Spaces Animation– This transition simulates the Mac OS function of switching between desktop views only instead it switches between clips. It features a graphic at the bottom which shows which space it’s going to.

4-Flare Transition– 4 blurred lens flares animating towards one point from 4 corners of your screen to reveal your next clip.

Fractal Zig Zag– A zig zag patterned transition with a fractal noise bars to follow each path revealing your next clip.

Media Buffer– A transition that simulates what happens when your screen freezes because your media is not done loading up yet.

X-Bar Transition– A transition where 4 bars come from the each corner of the screen to converge onto one point and then reveal your next clip.

Alt + Tab– This transition simulates what your OS does when you want to jump from open documents/applications but instead of applications you can choose as many as 1-4 clips.


iPad Overlay Animation– This effect simulates what your screen looks like when using an iPad then unlocking it.

CW Overlay– This overlay effect takes a note from the current CW promo graphics by having your clip blurred in the background and also having it in a rectangular frame slowly zooming in.

Chaos Overdrive– An effect which starts off normal and then comes in the blurred streaks and unpredictable screen shakes and zooms.

Ribbon Wall Video Display– An animated ribbon wall background that compliments the matted video displays in 3D space with an editable title at the front.

This project file is a sequel to the last one I released back in 2012. I believe from this point on, I plan to release single effect projects to keep my subscribers coming back for more. In the meantime, enjoy the promo and the free project file. Would love to see how it works for you and a tutorial explaining how to best use it is on the way.


Work Smarter Not Harder with Rampant Media Design

As editors and motion graphic designers, we are tasked with bringing our clients’ vision to life through our cuts and creativity on a regular basis. Those of us who have had to create in a short amount of time know the pressure of achieving a certain look or creating a time-consuming mograph element. Lately, I’ve been hearing the phrase “work smarter not harder” thrown around by creative professionals I’ve talked to. That definitely rings true with Rampant Media Design. Sean Mullen has created an array of products that can address a multitude of projects. Have a short film and you need camera made lens flares? Get LightFX. Need to add floating particles to a motion graphic composition and you don’t have or understand your particle plugins or want to endure long renders? Use DustFX. Do you want your show to look like the MTV’s Ridiculousness? Buy Screen Damage and Glitch Transitions. Need to create interesting split screen effects and your crop tool isn’t doing it for you? Get Style Mattes. I can list off all the products in the Rampant product listing and find a use for them.

The point I’m trying to make is these products were made with the philosophy and intent of working smarter not harder. With the growing demand for editors to create on tight deadlines and to give their projects high production values, Rampant has the products to accommodate you. As you can see in any promo video that is on their Youtube channel, all you have to do is drag, drop and go. After you’ve done that, you can continue editing and meet those deadlines. I can personally say that whenever I’m handed a project that needs a quick turn around, Rampant is my go to ”bells and whistles”. I don’t have to go through a volume of discs or converter to get the elements I need for my edit. Just import, drag, drop and go. I am granted more time to edit and revise if needed and spend less time doing the conversion/rendering roulette. The convenience factor it offers me is hard to beat. Below I have provided my experiences/recommendations for some of the Rampant products.

Flare FX

How many times have you ever been in an edit and your client wants lens flare transitions but you don’t have any? There are many lens flare transition plugins on the market to choose from. When time isn’t on your side, do you want to spend hours fiddling with the parameters or would you rather have a pre-made lens flare transitions that fulfills your needs? Look no further than FlareFX. With FlareFX, you get 200 lens flare transitions to play with. I’ve used them on a few edits recently and it gave me more time to focus on the edit than play with parameters of a plugin. Next time you need to add some lens flare transitions between your cuts or reveal a title, look no further than FlareFX.

Film FX 2

One of my top favorite products and go to set of elements when editing. Film FX 2 provides you with those film elements that can make your videos pop instantly. I’ve used them on event highlights, fashion demos and high energy sizzle reels. One thing about Film FX 2 is that you can use it in its default way or turn it into something much more. I’ve used some elements for transitions, overlays and more. The possibilities are endless and with some out of the box thinking you can find new ways to utilize Film FX 2 for your projects.

Color Transitions

These transitions are one of the new additions to the block. I’ve used pattern transitions from other sources before but I prefer these more. With an array of transitions to choose from, you’ll find a place in your project to use them. I’ve used them on a few web shows I’ve cut and I feel these transitions can work in a variety of videos such corporate, event highlights, sizzle reels and even talk shows. In fact, I’ve seen similar transitions like these used on the Talk during the intro segment. One of the things I enjoy about Color Transitions is the speed they animate at and the varying color palette per transition.

Style Mattes

One of the more popular new releases from Rampant Media Design. When this was released, the Rampant community was busy with questions on how to use these. I’ve explained how use this mattes in this video using a variety of NLEs and Graham Cohen explains how to use them FCP X in this video. Style Mattes is a great product because it takes the time out of having to use the crop tool and keyframes to achieve animations like these. Great part about this product is that you can create intros, montages and even transitions really quickly. Once this product was released, I referred any Youtube subscriber who had questions about mattes to this product. There are a lot of possibilities with this product and a must have if you plan on stocking up on Rampant products.

Rampant Music Tracks

The music offerings of Rampant Design have been phenomenal to say the least. With their first few releases, they had music that catered to the hip-hop crowd. The next releases offered a more eclectic collection of tracks that are suited for multiple projects. I remember when I was looking for a theme song for an entertainment show for one of my friends. I watched the Rampant promo for their music tracks and instantly feel in love with a song from their Dirty South collection. Now whenever I hear the intro to my friend’s web show, it reminds me where it came from. I look forward to seeing the future releases of Rampant music tracks. They will definitely have a place in my next project.

Overall, I can say that using Rampant Design products has definitely changed how I approach editing certain projects. If I need an element or transition to give my project instant production value, I’m running Rampant. Sometimes, you don’t have time to create the bells and whistles you would want to. That doesn’t mean your edit should suffer. Once you purchase one Rampant product, you’ll definitely want more and more. But don’t take my word for it, try out their sampler pack and take a look at the growing community they have. The next time you find yourself in a creative bind, work smarter not harder and run Rampant.


Audio Micro Blog


Hey folks,

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted too much on this site in awhile and I thought I would update you on what I have been doing. I recently began writing blog articles for Audio Micro. Audio Micro sells stock music and sound effects to the masses. They have asked me to write blog articles weekly on their site about using programs such as Premiere Pro, After Effects and other post production programs. Take a look at my recent articles below.

2 Methods for Dealing With Audio

Custom 3D Transiton

Freeze Frames and Layer Styles


New Rampant Media Design Online Community

rmd logo bg

Hey folks,

Just wanted to let you know about the new Rampant Media Design community. Here you can discuss current projects you are working on, applications you use in your daily workflow and much more. I’ll be available to answer any questions and provide great thought provoking topics for discussion. So don’t wait much longer and get in on the discussion. Run Rampant! http://rampant.forumbee.com/


Luca Visual FX Review

Since I started using Final Cut Pro some six years ago, I have always been a plugin enthusiast. I wanted to know all my available options for taking my projects from ordinary to extraordinary. One particular group of plugins have always provided me with limitless potential to do that and that was the plugin offerings of Noise Industries. With that, I was exposed to many great plugin developers who could take my edits to the next level. There was one developer who always stood out to me and that was Luca Visual FX. With their plugin offerings inside and outside of the FxFactory engine, I have enjoyed efficiency and client pleasing edits. Besides their great plugin offerings, I was also first exposed to concept of using Light Leaks and Film FX motion graphics to enhance an edit at a moments notice. By dropping just one or more of their movie clips, I could change a piece of footage into something much more than it was intended to be.

Best part about Luca Visual FX is how their products are created from the ground up. The developers start with a blank canvas for all their products and use their skills and creativity to engineer what you see today. And that’s why their products stand out above the rest. One thing I always do is keep all the freebie Luca plugins on a flash drive for when I go to other FCP machines so I can enjoy the benefits on using the variety of transitions and filters that are available. A lot of my clients are fans of the Flash Transition as well as the Flicker effect that’s available in the freebie downloads section here. Luca Visual FX also has some of the best quality customer service I’ve ever dealt with. About a year ago, I had purchased some Film FX motion graphics from them and ran into a snag trying to download them to my external hard drive. Not only did they alleviate the problem, they went out of their way to make sure my experience with the purchased items were everything I paid for.

One of the major accolades Luca Visual FX has achieved is being one of the few companies to take motion graphic items such as film leaders, light leaks and sprocket slips and turn those into plugins that users can modify and create their own versions in programs such as Final Cut Pro, Motion and After Effects. It was unheard of to see such items in plugin form until Luca Visual FX took a stab at it. Since Luca Visual FX has done this, users are no longer limited to just stock footage libraries anymore. They now have the ability to create various presets and rendered movies to use in their projects which they can use to expand their libraries.

Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to test drive products like Modern Transitions Volume 1 and more. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look here. I truly believe this is a must have product to add to your editing arsenal and I can already see the opportunities in future projects to use these transitions. I took it upon myself to commission a set of comprehensive tutorials explaining the intricacies of Luca Visual FX plugin line because I believe there was more to them then meets the eye. You can watch the tutorial I did on Film Leaders here. More tutorials on other plugins will be available in the coming months.

Last but not least, Luca Visual FX is running a contest which you can participate by going here. If you are a Luca Visual FX enthusiast or an editor that likes showing off your competitive spirit, I would encourage you to participate and try to win one of the many prize offerings they have.

Overall, if there is one company I would invest in for plugins and motion graphics it would definitely be Luca Visual FX. For what their products offer to post production users, you can’t go wrong. But don’t just take my word for it, visit www.lucavisualfx.com and follow them on Twitter @lucavisualfx for news, tips and updates. More amazing products are sure to come and you don’t want to miss out.


Rampant Media Design Review

A little over a year ago, I came across a site which sold royalty free stock footage elements and After Effects templates at a great rate. They are Rampant Media Design. As a fan of many popular royalty free sites such as Digital Juice, Videohive and Artbeats, I knew I was in for treat for when I looked at this one. The brainchild of awarding winning editor/motion graphic artist Sean Mullen and friends, they have set out to become one of the fastest rising royalty free stock elements companies in the U.S. Since their inception, they have expanded their product line to include many more items. They now sell sound effects, royalty free music tracks and stock elements that can enhance your videos in seconds. Best part is their motion graphic elements are shot in 1080p HD-4K using RED cameras which give them great resolution for tackling SD and HD projects. On more than one occasion, I can personally say their products have saved my ass. Projects I’ve worked on we’re always missing a certain element to be complete and the minute I went to my vast Rampant libraries, I found the missing piece of the puzzle. Below are a few of examples of where Rampant elements took my projects to the next level.

Since meeting the people behind Rampant Media Design at NAB in April, I’ve enjoyed a great relationship with company and have been a frequent supporter on the social media front from sharing their posts on Facebook to retweeting any and all of their tweets on Twitter. Also, in the near future I plan to contribute to their growing collection tutorials with the likes of Kevin P. McAuliffe, Casey Faris, Josh McDarris and more. Overall, I can say this with all honesty that whenever they introduce a new product, I’m just thinking how soon until I add it to my expanding collection. So if you are ever in a creative jam and need that one element that would complete your project, I suggest that you check out Rampant Media Design. Once you do that, I guarantee you’ll run Rampant with creativity and receive great client satisfaction. If you don’t believe me take a look at some of these great product promos below. #RunRampant


Modern Transitions Vol. 1 from Luca Visual FX

The fine folks from Luca Visual FX have released a fantastic new product, Modern Transitions Vol. 1. Modern Transitions Vol. 1 is a stylish and versatile set of 86 contemporary alpha transitions delivered in ProRes 4444 and compatible with both PC and Mac. These transitions are designed for editors to work in popular programs such as Premiere Pro, Avid MC, Final Cut Pro, Motion, After Effects.

I had the opportunity to try out this product and all I can say is wow. It was an amazing opportunity work with one of my favorite plugin developers and offer feedback on a wonderful product. I plan to use this product extensively in my upcoming projects and I encourage you to try the demo clips or purchase it for yourself. Here’s a link to the product page (http://www.lucavisualfx.com/Modern_Transitions.htm) and below is a video demo of these transitions in action. Take a look!