Autodesk Motion FX

Ever since it decided to take the Mac seriously as a platform, Autodesk has been on a real tear, releasing all sorts of apps—everything from the $900 AutoCAD LT to SketchBook Express, a free drawing app. The company’s newest release is a bit different from everything else it has out now, though: Motion FX (Free) uses your FaceTime camera to create some really cool realtime video effects. Think of it as a pumped up version of Photo Booth, at no charge.

The app has five different modes: Motion Detect, Face Detect, Color Detect, Effect Paint, and Video Warp, and all of them do exactly what they sound like. For example, Motion Detect will track whatever is moving in the camera’s field-of-vision, and create effects atop it, such as smoke or fire. It’s all pretty trippy. You can even turn off the video so that you’re just getting the effects. It’s a fun way to spend a few minutes, and kids will probably get a big kick out of it. The download is free from the Mac App Store.

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