Post Magazine

January 2015

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Page 49 of 51 48 POST JANUARY 2015 otionVFX is a Polish team of devel- opers who create eff ects for Final Cut Pro X, Motion, After Eff ects, etc. One of their latest creations is Mhud, a set of eff ects that reminded me of Yanobox's Nodes 2. Mhud comes as a set of ad- justable Final Cut Pro X Titles, as well as QuickTime 1080p movies. The Mhud Titles set consists of six categories, each with a number of actual eff ects. There are circular eff ects, loaders, linear and complex eff ects. They all have one thing in common: they move, they can be adjusted, and in some, the text can be edited — all using the Final Cut Pro X Inspector. I had my doubts, having previously reviewed Yanobox's Nodes, but after experimenting with a couple of these Title eff ects, I found the customiza- tion capabilities to be really good. You can change colors, glow eff ects, 3D position and, when there's text, you can edit that as well. The way Mhud is presented makes it an excellent choice for anything from commercials to sci-fi movies. A circular eff ect, for example, is great to give a dull view of a wristwatch a sci-fi look and feel. I tried a linear eff ect with a clip of an in- dustrial printer and the printer immediately looked a lot more exciting. One of the most important appeals of Mhud, however, is the time it may save you when you're looking for a nice, out-of-this-world eff ect. If you want to achieve the same with Nodes 2, you'll end up spending half a day custom- izing one of the Nodes until they match the simple eff ect I tested Mhud with. On the other hand, Nodes 2 is better when you want to create something truly complex, or when Mhud cannot be cus- tomized to what you want to end up with. The latter may never happen, as you can stack Mhud eff ects so they appear one on top of the other. Nevertheless, Nodes 2 would be my preferred eff ects generator for at least one reason: if you want to create a high- ly-complex composition, Nodes 2 will give you a built-in camera that can be moved in 3D — and all of its adjustment parame- ters will work in Motion 5, as well as After Eff ects. With Mhud, you'll need to use the provided QuickTime movies if you want to go outside FCPX to create stuff — e.g. in After Eff ects. The Mhud movie clips are much less customizable than a complete parameter-based system in the dedicated compositing apps. Initially, I thought it would be better to also use Nodes when you want to move your eff ect around with a moving object. For example, if I wanted to track a wristwatch while the person wearing it moves his hand, the Mhud eff ect will stay put unless I start keyframing the eff ect so it follows the motion. And keyframing isn't exactly a comfortable way to track a moving object. But if you're happy with the Mhud movie clips as they are, you can put them to good use even inside FCPX. Presuming you have TrackX by Core- melt installed in Final Cut Pro X, you can track the wristwatch and "place" the Mhud inside the tracked shape. This makes you lose the adjustment capabili- ties of the eff ects, but it makes following a shape that moves across the screen much easier. In fact, if you want to change the defaults of an Mhud eff ect — e.g. the col- ors of the inner rim and outer rim, glow, etc. — you can use the eff ect on an empty timeline, change the parameters, export to a ProRes 4444 clip, re-import that clip and drop the clip into the TrackX image well where it will follow your moving ob- ject with no eff ort at all. Doing so will cost more time of course, so you'd lose out on the time savings benefi t, but if the Mhud eff ects are all you want, this can be an elegant solution to the problem. The bottom line with Mhud is that you get a nice set of sci-fi eff ects that you can use within minutes, that you can adjust to your liking, and animate in two ways — ei- ther using keyframes or by following the TrackX route. There's one thing that I would liked to have seen diff erent: Mhud is not available in 4K resolution, only 1080p. With an increasing number of projects now being edited in 4K, the 1080p limitation seems a bit odd, but then again, for a mere $49 USD, you can't go wrong. MOTIONVFX MHUD FOR FINAL CUT PRO X SIX EFFECTS CATEGORIES AND LOTS OF ROOM FOR USER CUSTOMIZATION VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: MotionVFX PRODUCT: Mhud PRICE: $49 WEBSITE: • easy-to-use sci-fi eff ects • users can adjust colors, glows and positioning • extremely low-cost solution for HD productions M REVIEW BY ERIK VLIETINCK ERIK@IT-ENQUIRER.COM SKYPE: ERIKVLIE HTTP://UK.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/ ITENQUIRER Mhud was used to add eff ects to this footage of a wristwatch.

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