Twixtor is an almost legendary plugin, for retiming footage for that extreme slomo look there isn't a better method. It's been released for FCPX, but sit down before you look at the price.
First of all a plea from us here at FCP.co - Please don't release product news on a Friday! Especially if you are based in the USA as you are going to miss a large section of Europe as they head home for the weekend. Us included.
Back to the plugin and if you've had any VFX experience over the last few years, you will have come across Twixtor running on another platform such as After Effects or possibly one of the pricier compositing systems out there.
Twixtor makes those ultra smooth slomo shots of skateboarders or BMX kids flying through the air even though the footage was shot on a standard framerate camera. It accomplishes this feat by calculating and building 'inbetween' frames from tracking the movement of each pixel rather than the normal clumsy method of frame blending. The two guys behind RE:Vision FX should know what they are talking about as they've won Academy Awards for their technical achievement with this type of software.
Here come the blow though, a standard Twixtor licence for Final Cut Pro X is yours for the rather hefty outlay of $329.95, Ouch. We can remember a software manufacturer saying to us that pricing a plugin higher than the actual host cost probably isn't a good marketing strategy. We think any software for FCPX over $99.00 is a hard sell, but if there's a plugin that could command a premium then Twixtor may be the one.
Here are the bullet points on Twixtor for Final Cut Pro 7, we would imagine them to be similar for FCPX.
Warping and interpolation of frames to "time warp" input footage.
Smart processing of interlaced material
Stretching of a sequence using a single scaling parameter.
Keyframable retiming for complete control on a frame by frame basis.
Option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. In many cases, footage that was difficult to track becomes much more well-behaved upon retiming.
Contains an option to add or remove motion motion blur, as appropriate.
Support for marking material so that Twixtor does not motion-interpolate across a cut.
RE:Vision FX say the Pro version of Twixtor for FCPX will be available in the near future.
So what can Twixtor do that Optical Flow in FCPX cannot? You don't have to roundtrip to Motion to get the slomo effect now as you did with FCP7, it can all be done on the timeline. We would love to see some side by side comparisons of Twixtor V Optical Flow, so please email us a link if you do any tests.
It's expensive, but an amazing plugin, so for some inspiration we shall post a couple of 'Twixtored' examples.