Final Cut Pro X plugins everywhere sells more Macs

I think it would be a good move for the Motion playback system to be made available in macOS and iOS. At the moment, almost all the plugins in Final Cut Pro templates are made in Motion 5 – Apple’s motion graphics application. Motion can make effect, transition, title and generator plugins for Final Cut. If Motion’s features aren’t enough for plugin developers to make the plugins they want, they call FxPlug plugins in Motion to add features.

When Motion was first introduced, QuickTime could play back Motion files in any application. That meant you could use Motion documents as elements in After Effects projects. The current frame would be rendered very quickly in the GPU any time AE needed it. In many cases it was quicker to make complex animations in Motion and use them as layers in After Effects.

Imagine if that feature returned.

That would mean any macOS application would be able to use Motion templates. They are stored in the Motion Templates folder – not a ‘Final Cut Pro X plugins’ folder. If a plugin needs FxPlug extensions, those are stored in a standard OS folder. Timelines that use Motion templates would then be able to transfer from and to iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, Fusion, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Nuke and more on the Mac.

Mac-only workflows

Of course third-party developers would need to implement compatibility with Motion plugins. Compatibility that would not be cross-platform. Workflows that would not transfer to Windows and Linux: ‘Sorry, our render farm can’t work with your timelines – they use Motion templates. Our service isn’t Mac-based.’

For some developers, this would not be a problem – others might have a strategic direction that means that any feature that cannot be implemented on multiple OSes will not be implemented.

Motion templates available to all applications helps sell Macs.

iOS too

Also if iOS supported Motion templates, timelines could be moved to and from iMovie, Clips and any NLE running on iPhones and iPads. Not to Windows- and Android-based mobile devices.

An observation: If you attach Motion templates to emails in Apple Mail, once the email is sent, the icons are replaced by placeholders to show that these are video files that can’t be played in the current application:

Could this be in preparation for when Motion templates can be played in applications other than Final Cut Pro X? I hope so.

28th August 2018

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11th September 2018

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