Plugins for Apple FinalCut
Joe's Levels by Joe Maller
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Joe's Levels

By Joe Maller
Plugin for:
FinalCut Plugin available for Macintosh 
Ease of use
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Joe's Levels is a standard five-adjustment Levels adjustment for Final Cut Pro, it works just like Photoshop and yields equivalent results. This is a replacement for the built in Levels filter in Final Cut Pro which never made much sense to me. In addition to the five standard adjustment controls, Joe's levels adds a complete set of YUV and RGB channel targeting options. Levels is a fundamental adjustment for digital image processing offering very specific control over image values. Everything that can be done with a conventional Brightness and Contrast control can be done better with Levels. The Contrast control of a standard Brightness & Contrast adjustment moves the Input Black and Input White equal amounts towards the center. The higher the contrast, the less the distance between the Input Black and White. Levels allows for much more precise adjustment tailored exactly to an image's specific characteristics. Instead of compressing the image's value range equally from both ends, Levels can compress from either direction, or bias the compression towards light or dark. A conventional Brightness adjustment moves either the Output Black or the Output White towards the middle. A higher brightness value equals a higher Output Black, a darker brightness setting equals a lower Output White. With Levels, the values can be controlled independently, allowing for more or less brightness skewed in either direction. Gamma bends the gray curve of the image. Changing gamma settings can lighten or darken an image without shifting the highlights and shadows. This adjustment is very similar to having precise control over film response, the photographic term for how a given film stock reproduces a gray ramp. Moving the gamma setting towards black (less than one) will bend the curve and lighten the image by increasing the value space between middle gray and white. Moving gamma towards white (greater than one) will darken the image by increasing the value space between black and middle gray.

 Other plugins from Joe Maller 
 For FinalCut: Joe's Sampled Color Levels, Joe's Saturation & Colorize, Joe's Simple Saturation, Joe's Threshold and Posterize
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