Motion FX uses Lion to add video effects in real time

Autodesk on Wednesday launched a new video-effects application for Macs, one that uses the face-tracking technology of OS X Lion to create exotic images using your computer’s camera.

Motion FX uses Autodesk’s Maya animation software to offer 80 visual effect filters—including smoke, fire, and “rainbow plasma”—all designed to react in real time to your on-camera movements. Users can set the application to apply the effects using motion, face, or color detection. Animated thumbnails allow you to preview effects before using them. (See the video below for a demonstration.)

The app includes a “cycle mode” that can automatically shift between effects during an on-camera performance. It includes support for switching between multiple cameras, and can be viewed using multiple displays—letting operators control the effects from one screen, say, while the performance is projected for an audience.

Motion FX is free, and compatible with computers running OS X 10.7 Lion.

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