FxFactory 4.0.1 + FxFactory Pro review

Previously only available for Final Cut Pro and AE, FxFactory 4.0.1 has now found its way onto the Adobe Premiere Pro 6 platform as well. The basic app, FxFactory is a plug-in management facility, into which Noise Industry and other third party filters are installed and managed. FxFactory itself is actually free and allows the user to download some free effects and to trial the paid-for ones. It lists the suppliers and the filter types and there are over 170 plug-ins available. Noise Industries also produces FxFactory Pro plug-in, which is a raft of visual effects and costs $400, that works with the main app. The system gets slightly bogged down by the fact that the FxFactory interface only shows purchased and trial filters that are installed, it doesn’t show the free ones. For that you have to go to the Noise Industries website where those and other, new ones are listed. Some of the filters are only compatible with Final Cut so it’s handy to see a toggle on the FxFactory screen to remove those not compatible if you are using Premiere. Once you’ve finished managing which filters to try, use, download etc, then close the FxFactory app and launch the actual host application.

Once into Premiere the filters all appear under the Effects tab as usual, ready to be dragged to a specific clip to apply. The Factory Pro kit has filters under these categories: Blur, Colour Correction, Distort, Generators (patterns, particles and noise), Glow, Halftones, PDF Animator, Sharpen, Slideshows, Stylise, Tiling, Transitions and some basic Video. There are 160 in total. The wipes will come in handy for anyone’s project and cover the usual geometric options of sliding the screen around, folding and slicing it up. There’s also some more interesting ones in the form of organic fades, luminance dissolving, scattering and paint wiping. The tile effect are a little mundane but this is made is for by the large Stylize section. Here there are artistic effects like sketch, crystallize, dots, edges and a pointillise effect.

The base app runs on its own and manage the plug-ins. Add, try or purchase new ones.

What’s nice is that in the FxFactory app itself, if you hover the mouse over the thumbnail of the effect, the description changes to link to a tutorial on YouTube. Obviously if you’re already in Premiere and are wondering what an effect does, it’s slightly awkward to switch out to the host app to find this out, but at least its there and the videos are very useful. Back in Premiere you can click on the Effects Control tab to tinker with the settings for how the filters works in practice.

The best part of the system is either trying out new filters first to see what they can do. The downside to this is that you will now find your effects list absolutely full of what are in fact trial versions of plug-ins, complete with watermarks, making it harder to find ones that have been paid for and work fully.

The full range of FxFactory Pro and all the trial versions are listed under the Effects tab. Drag to a clip to use.

OUR VERDICT

The latest version of the host app is faster than before thanks to graphics card, hardware acceleration and of course it’s also free. The system is slightly convoluted but at least gives a good indication of what all the third part plug-ins will do. The Factory Pro plug-in is quite pricey but offers a large number of useful effects. None of them are jaw-dropping but it’s a good grounding.

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