You can now get 3D models right onto the timeline and manipulate them in FCPX with a new £55 plugin called Super Charger from I Love QC. Standby for a lot of creative possibilities!
At the moment there certainly aren't any true 3D objects built into FCPX or Motion. Things can be faked by building a scene in 3D in Motion, but it still operates in the 'postcards in space' sense. We are not too sure, but we even think the classic '3D goto plugin' ProAnimator won't work with FCPX.
Belfast based I Love QC has today released Super Charger, a £54.99 ($95) plugin that allows users to import 3D models directly into FCPX and manipulate them on the timeline. Based on Apple's Quartz Composer technology, the plugin uses models with the .dae format (digital asset exchange) which means apps such as 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D and even SketchUp should all be able to output models for use.
There are four filters available in the effect browser when you have run the installer. The 3D Spin And Zoom plugin should allow you to drag and drop a .dae model into the text window of the plugin of the inspector. We couldn't get this to work, so had to resort to loading our hastily Googled Batmobile model into the same directory path as the samples. (Update from Graham Robinson from I Love QC who says dropping the model into the Spotlight bar will give the full path)
So here is our half hour experimentation including the Batmobile @ 40 secs:
The textures haven't come across on the render and Batman's favourite method of transport looks soft, but not bad for 5 minutes of searching online and loading into the plugin. It proves the concept works. One immediate feature we would like to see is the ability to render the object on a transparent background so it could be composited onto other video layers in FCPX.
This is a first version from I Love QC and there are bound to be improvements on the product from the customer feedback that the plugin will get. We are not 3D artists and we're also not familiar with .dae files so we're sure that users with more knowledge will get better results than us.
We can however see the creative possibilities that this plugin will open up, so we are going to watch its development closely.