“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.
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 😉