Creating Final Cut Pro Transitions in Motion

This Week on MacBreak Studio

How do you customize effects in Final Cut Pro X?

That's a question I hear frequently from legacy Final Cut Pro editors. They are used to changing the settings of a built-in effect, then saving the modified version so they can use it again in other projects with all their adjustments “baked in”.

In Final Cut Pro X, when you add an effect, title, transition, or generator from its respective browser to your project, and then modify its parameters in the Inspector, there doesn't appear to be any way to save your changes for future use. And that's because, just like many other workflows, Final Cut Pro X has a different approach.

In FCP X, almost all of the built-in effects are actually Motion project files. As such, they can be changed in Motion. Or, you can create your own. In this week's episode of MacBreak Studio, Steve Martin from Ripple Training shows you how to do exactly that.

His personal motivation is that he'd like to have a set of standard cross-dissolve transitions, each with a specific duration, so that he doesn't need to adjust the duration every time he applies them to a project. Therefore he creates a new Motion transition project with the duration he wants. He then shows us how easy it is, even for a novice Motion user, to modify the default transition and then publish it to Final Cut Pro X.

The take-away from this episode is two-fold. First, the way to create custom effects (and titles, transitions, and generators) in Final Cut Pro X is to open an existing one in Motion, modify its settings, and publish it as a copy – or build your own from scratch. And second, while it may feel intimidating to open another application, Motion is in reality quite approachable and modifying or creating simple effects is a great way to start to experiment with this powerful application. Who knows, maybe you'll become excited about all the possibilities of creating your own effects that Motion offers?


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Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an…

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