Color Trix’s Color Finale 2 Pro Introduced – A Complete Color Grading Solution for Final Cut Pro X

October 12th, 2023 Jump to Comment Section 7
Color Trix's Color Finale 2 Pro Introduced - A Complete Color Grading Solution for Final Cut Pro X

Color Finale 2 Pro is a powerful plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. The latest version includes advanced features that boost the Apple editor with a complete color grading solution for any video project.

Color Trix is a company based in the UK with a long history of plug-ins (LUT Utility, Color Finale, Cinema Grade) and color and VFX solutions for the film industry. 

Color Finale in context

Color Finale is a plug-in for Final Cut Pro X that has been out for a while. Its early versions offered a compact and straightforward solution for colorists using the Apple NLE who didn’t want to switch to more complex ecosystems such as DaVinci Resolve.

Color Finale offered an attractive interface, ease of use, and a layering system that was familiar to previous Premiere Pro or Photoshop users. When FCPX was first released, and we got used to its magnetic timeline, it became the preferred NLE for many editors, filmmakers, and content creators who found a simple yet powerful editor in the Apple product.

The Color Finale 2 Pro Inspector. Credit: Jose Prada/CineD

In that scenario, without the internal FCPX color tools that were developed later, Color Finale provided the missing piece for a complete postproduction workflow. Color Finale’s advanced tools were perfect for finishing projects, especially for filmmakers with some color grading knowledge. However, the plug-in fell short in terms of more complex situations, and creators usually had to switch to other solutions such as Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve. 

Luckily for Color Finale users, Color Trix has continued improving the plug-in, and their Color Finale Pro 2 includes everything you need for 99% of your projects, including masks, trackers, log wheels, effects, etc. Color Finale Pro 2 is now a complete color grading solution for FCPX. Let’s take a look at its main features.

The Color Finale Pro 2 Inspector

As with any other FCPX plug-in, after applying it, you’ll find the Inspector Control Panel on the right side. This panel gives you access to the primary color correction tools.

The new version includes Log wheels. Source: Color Trix

The Color Finale 2 Pro Inspector is divided into six sections: 

  • The Gear Menu opens the preferences, LUT options, purchases, updates, etc.
  • In the Color Management tab, you can select the initial Color Profile for your clip (video, log, Input LUT…). The Assume Log option is helpful when you don’t know the kind of camera or log file you’re working with. 
  • The Corrections tab includes all the essential familiar tools every NLE has: contrast, exposure, temperature, saturation, etc. A remarkable feature here is the copy/paste button, which allows you to apply selected changes to other clips. Let’s leave the Layers tab for later because that’s the spice that makes Color Finale different.
  • Another element is the False Color button in the Image Analysis tab. This option is helpful to check crushed or clipped areas, as well as correct exposure for your skin tones. You can also select a part of the image to analyze and check its values in the waveform.
  • The Film Emulation tab adds film grain to the image, and the different sliders customize the effect. While less advanced than DaVinci Resolve grain, giving a film touch to your clip is helpful. 
  • After we make our grade, we can select how much will be applied to the clip with the Mix slider. 

The Layers Tab – Color Finale 2 Pro’s secret sauce

Many of the options mentioned before are available virtually in every photo and video app on the market. 

The magic, however, lies in the Edit Layers button. Once pressed, we can access a “mini DaVinci Resolve color tab” into FCPX. You can apply each tool in a layer style, changing and rearranging their order, changing the opacity, creating sub-groups, selecting blend modes in Photoshop style, etc. The most significant feature, in my opinion, is how easy, visual, and organized the plug-in is. With everything in view, you can create your grades without feeling lost. You can add masks, track them, select parts of the image by luminance, HSL ranges or shapes, etc. In this version, they have included simple effects like blur and sharpness. We can also resize the layers window for more accurate control. 

The Edit Layers button opens up a whole world for color grading. Credit: CineD / Jose Prada

These are the tools you can play with in the Layers tab:

  • Curves
  • Color Wheels
  • LUT
  • Six Vectors
  • HLS Curves
  • Shuffle layer
  • Filters (blur and sharpness)
  • Camera matrix
  • Log wheels.

Color Finale 2 Pro blends perfectly with the FCPX workflow and will give you all the tools you need to grade and finish any of your creations. Maybe because I learned the craft with the layering system, it feels more visual and organized than FCPX’s native color tools, and once you export the videos, the quality is great.

Color Finale could be an option for filmmakers who have to deal with all the postproduction steps and need speed and clarity in their workflow (like many of us). For more extensive and specialized crews, or when you have more time to finesse your creations, other specific suites can offer more advanced tools and effects for the job.

Now you can mask and track your grades. Credit: CineD / Jose Prada

Color Finale 2 Pro features

  • Apple Silicon, Metal 2 native. Up-to-date with the latest versions of macOS and Final Cut Pro
  • Optimized for higher resolutions (8k+)
  • Improved bypass controls
  • Telecine-Style Color Wheels    
  • RGB Curves tool    
  • HSL Curves tool    
  • LUT Gallery    
  • Vector Grading With 6 color vectors    
  • Shuffle tool
  • Color Matching With X-Rite Color Checker Passport Video
  • 80 included color-grading presets    
  • Support for control panels from Tangent devices
  • Color management with ACES working color space
  • Group grading
  • Save new grades as presets
  • LUT export
  • HDR support
  • Image analysis – false color, isolate area/line
  • LUT search and LUT presets
  • Log Wheels tool
  • Camera Matrix tool
  • Area tracker + masks        
  • Film grain emulator
  • Detail/sharpness tool

Price and availability

Color Finale 2 is available from $99. The Pro version costs $149. You can check the differences between the two versions here. You can also download a fully-featured 7-day free trial.

What do you think of Color Finale 2 Pro? Would you give it a chance and implement it into your workflow?


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