July 5, 2011

Use clean title as adjustment layer in Final Cut Pro X

I love the collaboration between Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5. You can make generators, titles, transitions and effects to Final Cut Pro X with Motion 5. Each of these behave little bit differently in Final Cut Pro X.

One thing I love in After Effects are adjustment layers and I just realized you can actually use titles as effects in Final Cut Pro X and they behave just like adjustment layers (actually you can go much further in Final Cut Pro X). For example if you color correct in Final Cut Pro X it's very easy to create illegal colors and to get colors back to legal you're supposed to create compound clip and then apply broadcast safe effect to it. I also love compound clips but those can make your projects really complex and another thing is that you have to render everything once again after you apply filter to compound clip.

So titles process everything below in Final Cut Pro X even with effects applied to those. So why not just build clean title in Motion 5, put that to top "track" before starting color correction and add broadcast safe effect to it. This way everything is rendered straight to broadcast specs and you don't have to hassle that much with compound clips.

This technique works with all effects (also color board works on titles) so for example if you want to have certain look for some period of time simply add clean title to top track for that time and add effect to it. I think this technique has tons of potential for people who want to keep their timelines in order and don't want to create complex compound clip messes.

If you don't have Motion 5 you can download Adjustment Layer here. Just extract contents to your Movies/Motion Templates/Titles folder and you'll find it in Final Cut Pro X Titles under Adjustment Layer.

UPDATE 10.7.

Mark Spencer informed me in CreativeCow with this very essential information:

If you don't have Motion 5 installed, you won't have the necessary folder structure for placing that title into. You'll need to create a "Motion Templates" folder in your "Movies" folder, and inside it, create folders for "Titles", "Transitions", "Effects", and "Generators".

And still, this won't work until you do a get info (command-I) on each folder and add the ".localized" extension.

THEN it should work.