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When the Final Cut Studio version of Pan & Zoom was released, it gave great Ken Burns style effects in Final Cut Pro 7 and was easy to use too. Noise Industries has now upgraded the free plugin to work with FCPX.

If you've ever tried to animate a still photo in Final Cut Pro 7, you'll know that you can get some odd acceleration & deceleration effects going on if you try anything apart from a straight zoom. Not to mention the almost impossible task of keeping a move on a photo smooth going through a transition.

When the original version of Pan & Zoom was released, the setup mode was a revelation: position the start and end wireframes on the picture and let the plugin do the rest. The duration of the move by default was set as the duration of the clip, including the dissolve or transition handles. So as the plugin didn't use keyframes, lengthening the clip automatically lengthened the move.

Noise Industries has released a new version of Pan and Zoom, it still works a treat in FCP7, but the new version will now work within Final Cut Pro X. The legacy compatible version has also had a tweak to add high-precision, color-managed renders. The plugin will also work in Motion and After Effects.

The most amazing thing about Pan & Zoom is the fact that it's free. Users will have to download the free FxFactory plugin management system and register the plugin, but you won't need to trouble your credit card one cent.

We have used the plugin on many jobs, from high profile broadcast work to corporate productions and wouldn't go back to the clumsy keyframing alternative in FCP7. FCPX supports a similar animation concept, but Pan & Zoom offers many more options to get a perfect move even Ken would be proud of. 

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