Post Production

Creating Tiny Planet FX in Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, Steve Martin from Ripple Training shows us how to create a tiny planet effect out of a 360 clip in Final Cut Pro X.

Steve shoots a lot of 360 footage with his GoPro Fusion. We’ve already explored in several episodes how you can shoot 360 video yet still deliver regular “flat” video in a standard rectangular frame where the viewer doesn’t need to drag around or use a head-mounted display. This episode takes that concept one step further, thanks to a plugin called Revolve 360 from SUGARfx, which is available through the FxFactory platform.

The plugin allows you to create a variety of interesting effects that each take the full 360 image and map it to a plane in different ways. One that we both like a lot is called “Tiny Planet” which wraps the scene in a sphere with exaggerated elements.

Steve’s example is a clip of him interacting with a storm trooper at Disneyland. One tip to ensuring that the plugin works correctly is to set the 360˚ mode to “none” in the Browser for the equirectangular clip (which was stitched using the Fusion app on the desktop).

The plugin, located in the Effects Browser under 360|SUGARfx, includes pop-up menus in the Viewer in addition to the parameters in the Inspector. Starting with “Basic Presets”, you can then flip or flop the image or transform it including adjusting tilt, pan, and roll to essentially reframe your shot as needed.

Where things get really interesting is animating between presets: by setting keyframes and then selecting another preset, you can create dynamic and interesting camera “moves” that remap the equirectangular image. Steve animates from the “Tiny Little Planet” preset to a normal view pointing just where he wants. Essentially he is taking the “directing in post” process a step further thanks to this plugin.

Check it all out above. And to really learn how to edit 360 video in Final Cut Pro X, check out his excellent tutorial.


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Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an…

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