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Creating signed installers to get your plugins and effects into Final Cut Pro X


Distributing templates and effects around different machines and editors can be made easy by using installers. Digital Rebellion's Pro Maintenance Tools gets an update that can build installers for custom plugin effects. Good job too as things are going to get even more complicated under Mountain Lion!

Digital Rebellion have updated their popular pack of utilities Pro Maintenance Tools to version 2.0.7. The main new feature of this update is the ability to create signed installers for Motion effects that have been built for Final Cut Pro X.

So what is wrong with just copying the effects over you might ask? FCPX has four folders where custom plugins must be installed for FCPX to load. If a plugin has a theme then effects, transitions, titles and generators might be contained in the pack and thus will need to be installed into their corresponding folders. Multiply this by different instances of the effects (since the FCPX GUI won't support preset loading properly) and you have a lot to get potentially wrong, especially if the end user isn't that comfortable or knowledgeable about installing files.


Pro Maintenance Tools allows you to group plugins together and build an installer that with a couple of clicks will install the effects in the right place. The end user doesn't need to have a copy of Pro Maintenance Tools, the installer is a standalone file that can be copied or emailed.


There are other apps out there that do similar things, but Jon Chappell is already looking ahead to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Applications that need to install files under 10.8 will have to reference a certificate that is issued through an Apple Developer ID. Unsigned installers means the end user won't get around the new anti malware Gatekeeper feature without agreeing to take the risk of installing untrusted software.


This seems an excellent way of building installers that'll be Mountain Lion compatible in the future. Jon has posted a tutorial on his blog page which gives more information and links. Don't forget that Pro Maintenance Tools is large suite of utilities that fix many of the common problems when editing with Final Cut, Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer.


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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