One of the most accomplished grading systems is Filmlight's Baselight. And with the announcement of a standalone grading plug-in for Apple's Final Cut Pro (FCP) at NAB, it became a hotly-anticipated demo for FCP users at IBC.
The plug-in that we saw at NAB, is no-longer. Instead there is a completely redesigned plug-in, porting across almost all of Baselight's features, including the GUI. What you get is a fully-fledged grading platform in your NLE. No more round-tripping between FCP and Color. Simply apply your grade layers and render.
Like I mentioned before, you basically have a full Baselight, primaries, secondaries, masks, etc. Unfortunately the beta currently does not support tracking, which is a bit of a shame. That said, Filmlight insist that it will come hopefully in the release version, or in a later update.
Once they demo'd the grading functionality of the plug-in they went on to demo the round-tripping between Baselight for FCP and its big brother Baselight 4.2. Just by exporting an XML 5 out of FCP and then imported into Baselight, all grade layers from FCP were visible, and more precise grading could be carried out. You can then roundtrip again and bring in the big brother's more advanced layers into FCP, including tracking data. So though you are not able to track in FCP, you can bring in the tracking data from Baselight and apply new masks to that track, for example.
They are currently working on a Nuke version, also with the same versatility and functionality, and are currently working on a Motion 5 and FCP X versions.
You currently can only use Avid MC Control and MC Transport tangents panels, though they are looking at other companies to support the plug-in. Baselight for FCP is planned to be released Q3/Q4 of 2011.
For more information on Baselight 4.2 and Baselight for FCP, head on over to Filmlight: http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/products/baselight/overview_bl.php.
Sam Johnson got his start as a runner in Soho, learning the ropes on Avid systems and working his way up the ladder. He is now a Production/Post-Production Engineer for the LAB, AMV BBDO's post facility, and specializes in Apple Pro Applications & Xsan Environments. He also provides consultancy to the TV department. Learn more about AMV BBDO at http://www.amvlab.com.