Working with Twixtor in FCP

By April 7, 2011editing, post, production

First off, anything named “Twixtor” has got to be hard to work with. Just trying to spell the word can be hard at times (I have a mild case of dyslexia). The company that put Twixtor out there is called RE:Vision Effects. You have to check them out. They have some other handy tools.

Since getting the Twixtor plug-in, my head has had a constant headache. I go to sleep rethinking my strategies to master it. There are so many tutorials online, but it seems that not really anyone has really gotten the full grasp of it down. Nor does RE:Vision. This must be some kind of trick to weed out all the filmmakers from the true passionate filmmakers.

Basically what it is trying to do it recreate the your image the best it can with the details captured by your camera. If it cannot make out all the detail in the image the clip will have this smeared look to it, or be jumpy. Look below at the smearyness.

I have to admit, I have almost given up on it too. After searching blog after blog, You-tube, Vimeo, and forums…there is a lot misleading info. I have tired most of their advice, and I think it all comes down to what is being filmed. I truly believe a lot of the guys out there that have successfully made a video with it still can’t explain how they did it. It is a cool plug-in, but come on RE:Vision…a little help please!!!

I’ve always stressed, learn from your mistakes. So, here is what I’ve learned in trying to use it:

1) You must shoot in 60p. Then convert to 23.98fps in Cinema Tools. Not 24fps, it must be 23.98fps. I tried 24fps, and did not get the same results from 23.98fps.

2) Shoot with a fast shutter speed. I shoot with 1/1000 to 1/4000.

3) Use a fast lens, and even add a ND Fader to get great bokeh. The less sharp objects in the background, the better the foreground image can be Twixted.

4) I have seen everyone, even Re:Vision nesting a clip on a sequence, then dropping that nested sequence onto another sequence then adding the Twixtor plug-in. Not necessary. If you have plenty of footage before and after the clip you want to Twix, then simply roll with it on one sequence. (If you don’t understand the nesting process, it is when you take clips add them to a sequence, then taking that sequence from your browser, and dropping it onto another sequence.)

5) Change your video processing for you sequence to 8 bit. 8 bit will render faster than 10 bit.

6) Before you apple Twixtor to a clip, grade/color correct first.

7) After applying the Twixtor plug-in, if you make any changes to other plug-ins/filters on your clip, you might have to re-apply the Twixtor plug-in, or un-check it in the filters tab, then re-check. Why do this? I dunno. Just worked that way for me. I noticed when I added all my plug-ins/filters to a clip, then changed a setting on a filter, the clip would play back glitchy.

B) After you have successfully applied the plug-in, the whole clip will not be perfect. You have to edit around the smeared looking footage.

9) I tried multiple times to slow my clips down to 5% or even 15%, but did not have much luck. There are some amazing filmmakers out there that have master it on Vimeo. But not me. I’m still a work in progress.

10) And finally, don’t expect to get it and for it to work the first time you try to use it. It takes lots of practice. Trust me!

So, here is my attempt at mastering Twitxor.Twister….Twxiter….TWIXTOR! It is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

Doxology | Twixtor | Canon 7D from Unblind Productions on Vimeo.

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