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GenArts have released Version 6 of their popular plugin pack Sapphire for Final Cut Pro 7. They seem to be moving away from compositing tools and going for the eye candy.

When Sapphire was first compatible with Final Cut, most of the plugins were inherited from the top end compositing systems such as Flame. Your average FCP editor only ended up using a handful of the plugins, the excellent glow, film look, lens flare and vignette maybe. With the ever expanding range of inexpensive NLE's on the market including FCP7, Sapphire now comes with new plugins aimed directly at the one click eye candy brigade. 

The new flare editor is the most interesting to us as lightleaks and lens flares seem to be the 'must have' effect of the moment. Then again we can remember having to add page turns to everybody's productions not that long ago, look how naff they look now.

New in Version6 for FCP7 editors:

  • Design flares from scratch and control individual elements
  • Visually browse 1,100+ customizable presets on your media, or create and save your own
  • Get new presets monthly via an included one-year subscription to FX Central (currently in beta)
  • Enjoy expanded creative options with 240+ effects and transitions

Now for the eye watering bit, the version of Sapphire to run with FCP7 sells for $1,699.00 Ouch! If you want a floating licence then that will set you back $2,499.00. Don't get us wrong, we've used Sapphire on hundreds of productions, but this is a bit steep when placed alongside other plugin products in the FCP ecosystem. They do a offer a rental system that starts at $169 for a month. Other compatibe hosts include Adobe, Avid and Sony Vegas as well as the high end compositing apps, here is the complete price list.

GenArts produce some of the best engineered and highest quality plugins out there, but the industry is changing, fast. We would bust out the flare generator and make it into a standalone plugin and sell it for $99, that way they would get a lot more users on the first rung of GenArts products. No mention of when or if Sapphire will be available for FCPX either.

Here is a tutorial on building your own lens flares with Sapphire. The host is After Effects, but we would imagine the GUI will be the same in FCP7.

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