Creating Final Cut Pro X plugins in Vuo

Turning a composition into an FxPlug plugin for Apple Motion and Final Cut Pro X


Hi, this is Jaymie from the Vuo team. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a Final Cut Pro plugin from a Vuo composition.

Plugins for Final Cut Pro and Motion are called FxPlug. There are three kinds of FxPlug plugins you can create in Vuo: video effects, transitions, and generators.

Video effects appear in the Effects Browser. They alter how a clip looks.

Transitions appear in the Transitions Browser. They transition from one clip to another.

Generators appear in the Titles and Generators sidebar. They generate clips.

To create a video effect, first go to File > New Composition from Template and choose either Export > FxPlug > Effect or Protocol > Image Filter. The new composition has the published ports that it needs to communicate with Final Cut Pro. Final Cut is going to feed a series of images into this image port. It’s going to feed the number of seconds since the clip began into this time port. Then your composition is going to do something with the image and send it back to Final Cut through the outputImage port.

Now we need to fill in the middle of the composition. Let’s do one of my favorite effects, Frost Image. Connect the time, image, and outputImage to the node.

We can preview the effect by hitting Run. I’m going to change a couple of the input values and publish one of them, Noise Amount, so we can change it in Final Cut. And I’ll save the composition.

Now go to File > Export > FxPlug. It’s creating the plugin and installing it where Final Cut will find it. Once that’s done, you need to relaunch Final Cut Pro.

Here’s the effect I just exported. Let’s drag it onto a clip. Here’s the Noise Amount parameter that I published. Just like other parameters in Final Cut, you can adjust the slider or keyframe it to change over time.

Now you’ve seen how to create a video effect. For the two other kinds of FxPlug plugins, transitions and generators, the process is almost the same. The difference is which menu option to choose under New Composition from Template. Instead of Image Filter or FxPlug Effect, choose Image Generator or Transition, or FxPlug Generator or Transition.

Those are the basics. I’ll finish with three tips on exporting FxPlug plugins.

You can customize the default value of a parameter by double-clicking on the published input port, and the range by right-clicking and going to Edit Details. After re-exporting, here it is with the new default and range.

You can change the name and category of the plugin by editing the composition information. After re-exporting, here it is under the new category.

You can share your plugins with other Final Cut Pro users, even if they don’t have Vuo. There are two files you have to find. The FxPlug file is in Library > Plug-Ins > FxPlug. The Motion template file is under Movies > Motion Templates. When you give those two files to someone, have the other person install them in the same places.

So that’s how to make Final Cut Pro plugins in Vuo. If you have questions, there’s more info in the user manual, or you can ask on Thanks for watching!

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