A long time ago, in a galaxy not unlike this one – actually it was this galaxy and it wasn’t exactly that long ago – a little film called Star Wars was released and it changed the way visual effects (and even sound effects) are made.

We all know the history of George Lucas’s epic space opera so well, that there’s little need to repeat it here. And with the latest release opening across planet earth this weekend, everyone and thier space donkey (better known as a Tauntaun) are cashing in on the franchise.

Despite being loved by people of all ages, it’s the kids who are really captured by the magic of Star Wars, and all of its various sequels, prequels and spin offs. Which brings us to the creation of these Star Wars-inspired VFX plugins from Dashwood Cinema Solutions’ off-shoot company FanFilmFX.

The plugins were developed by the company’s youngest designers, 12-year old Alex Dashwood and 10-year old Ben Dashwood. Who pay tribute to the iconic visual effects of the series by creating VFX that emulate lightsabers, blaster bolts and those unique transitional wipes.


Alex and Ben Dashwood showing an example of the a final result when using the plugins – one of your kids succumbing to the dark side. (image: supplied).

The first round of plugins have just been released, with a second round expected sometime in early 2016. The second round will include feature effects such as Space Visor, Holo Projection, Ghost Master, Starfield, Hyperspeed, Opening Scroll and End Credits.



  • Saber Blade: The weapon of choice for any true Jedi, easily keyframe and rotoscope lightsaber effects into videos to achieve the quintessential battle scene.


  • Blaster Bolt: Add laser-shooting guns to intensify fight scenes by animating a Blaster Bolt’s laser burst effects onto your own space battle videos.


  • Space Wipes: Take a tip from the director himself and emulate the scene transitions used heavily in the movie.


The Dashwood kids are also hard at work developing plugins to emulate other iconic films, such as Star Trek, The Matrix, Predator, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, James Bond and Harry Potter.

We just wish we had more info on how much actual work these kids do in developing these plugins. Still, if they’re made with the help of a 10-yr old, hopefully they’ll be easy enough for a 10-yr old to use. Although, in saying that, most kids these days were raised on technology. It’s a far cry from when this writer was that age, where the height of technology was a microwave oven.

The good news is that the company offers a free limited-feature version of the plugins on its website, along with a free trial of the full versions.



The FanFilmFX Star Wars-inspired plugins retail for US$19.00 and are only available for Mac OSX users, with either Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC and Apple Motion 5.1. If you want to use the plugins in Final Cut Pro 7, users are required to download the FxFactory 4.1.9 app.

For more info, check:


1 Comment

  • Reply December 30, 2015


    Be great if the plug-in eventually supported Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro on the PC.

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