Better 3D


“Better 3D” was one of the first FCP (Classic) plugins that I hacked together .. and it was also the first one that I thought other FCP users might actually find useful. It was based entirely on Apple’s own “Basic 3D” filter script, but by tweaking a couple of lines of code it offered just an extra gnat’s whisker of control, switching out the “Position” parameter (we could use the basic motion properties for that) and replacing it with “Anchor” and “Perspective” controls instead.

Background: I was working as an editor for Star TV in Hong Kong at the time, and they were moving to FCP as their primary NLE (replacing older Lightworks suites and Avid suites). Online editing was still being handled for the most part in multi-machine linear edit suites (the good/bad old days), but FCP was set to bring a bit of online goodness to our NLE suites. Many of the editors that worked in the linear tape suites were of course complete dinosaurs, used to far more complex but yet comfortingly familiar equipment (insert appropriate FCP X analogy here). To help ease the transition I started writing plugins that would emulate some of the controls of the equipment that we were more used to, such as our good old fashioned DVE’s (that would be Ampex ADO 100’s and Abekas A57’s for the most part, bless). Well, I guess it was a worthwhile exercise in coding for me as I hadn’t done any for some time, but my A57 Emulator plug-in never really saw the light of day … Why? Well because big behemoth DVE plugins just don’t make sense any more. They’re unnecessarily cumbersome, forcing your effect to follow a predefined effect pipeline which goes directly against the more flexible modular approach available in your NLE (ie combining effects as needed and in any order). Keep It Simple Stupid. I consigned the A57 plugin to the scrap heap and Better 3D was born.

So what about the “new” FxFactory version of Andy’s Better 3D? Well there are certainly superior options … you could bounce out to Motion or After Effects for a start … but for a quick and easy 3D move you could do a lot worse.

Better 3D combines both “Source” and “Target” transform controls into a single plugin, allowing you to freely move and rotate your 2D image in 3 dimensions.

For example:

If you want your image to swing inwards from full frame (like opening a door) then
a) set the Target Transform > Anchor Point at the left edge of the source
b) rotate using the Target Transform Y-axis Rotation control.

If you want to rotate your image around an offset centre point (like a carousel) then :
a) if wanted, adjust the relative size and position of the image using the Source Transform > Position controls
b) set the offset for the rotation, (relative to the source) using the Target Transform > Anchor Point Z (depth) control
c) rotate around that Anchor Point using the Target Transform Rotation controls.

You know what? Just give it a go, it’s more easily done than said 😉


12 responses to “Better 3D

  1. Andy, I just discovered your excellent FCPX plugins and simply wanted to say thanks.


  2. Thanks John, really appreciate the positive feedback … and the donation was a very cool move too 🙂 Let me know if there’s ever anything I can do for you.


  3. Hey Andy,
    Just ran across your plug-ins and downloaded this one! Once downloaded…where are the files placed?

    Thanks so much!

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  5. hi andy. i,m trying to load Better 3D but it crashes. i,m running 10.6.8 FCP 7 and i have FX Factory installed.

  6. Andy, I am producing in FCPX and in my preview window I see the spin animation just fine. But when I export the video out the animation is gone, it seems to jump over it. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!

  7. Hey Andy, this is an amazing plug-in, one question though – it seems to crop some images, especially through rotations, any idea why?

    • Hey James
      I’m not actively working on these plugins at present, so I’m afraid that for now they’re “as is”.
      That said, if and when I get some free time I will try to take a look at the issue.
      No promises though.

  8. Hi Andy, when I apply this plug-in I get a crazy flickering during playback (fcpx 10.2.2). I’ve tried rendering, removing plug-in and reapplying, changing playback settings, etc. Any tips?

    • Hey Nicole, is this with a particular clip/format or does it happen with any and every clip/format you use? Also what are you sequence settings? I’ll need some details to see if I can replicate it.

  9. using Premiere Pro i find that i cannot fill a matte with a pic or video clip and then re-position the clip or make a move on the clip within the matte. in final cut 7 it is easy. i have asked adobe to please make changes to their TrackMatteKey to no avail. so i use your free Better 3D…but it’s lacking a size control. if you could add size control then you would make Premiere editors very happy..and you could name it Andys Even Better 3D

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