Add multiple display aspect ratios to a template

When creating a template for Final Cut Pro X, you can build alternate versions that have different display aspect ratios—all within a single template. For example, when you create a template with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can add an alternate version customized for 4:3 displays. When the template is applied to a clip Final Cut Pro, the editing application chooses the version that matches its display aspect ratio. These alternate display versions of a single template are called snapshots. Snapshots eliminate the need to create multiple versions of the same template for multiple display ratios.

If you expect a template to be applied to differently sized clips in Final Cut Pro, perform the workflow described in this section before saving the template.

Add a display aspect ratio to a template

  1. In the Layers list in Motion, select the Project object.

  2. In the Project Inspector, click Snapshots.

    The Display Aspect Ratio Snapshots list appears, showing the project’s current default aspect ratio.

  3. Click the Add button (+) and choose a different aspect ratio from the shortcut menu.

    Snapshots pane in Project Inspector showing new display aspect ratio options

    If you chose Custom, the Custom Display Aspect Ratio calculator appears.

    The new aspect ratio appears in the list, and the project adjusts.

    Note: You cannot add a snapshot that matches an existing Display Aspect Ratio snapshot.

  4. To reposition your objects to better fit the new aspect ratio, click Edit Snapshot.

    A small floating window appears, indicating that you are in aspect ratio-edit mode.

  5. Position and scale the layers in your project to fit the new display aspect ratio, then click the Stop Rig Edit Mode button in the floating window.

    Click the items in the list to view the results in the Canvas.

    Note: When working with an alternate snapshot, the resolution listed in the Properties pane of the Inspector (when Project is selected in the Layers list) may seem strange. This is because the Display Aspect Ratio is shown, rather than the Pixel Aspect Ratio.

  6. Choose File > Save or File > Save As, then do the following:

    1. In the save dialog, enter a name for your template.

    2. Choose a category from the Category pop-up menu.

    3. If needed, choose a theme from the Theme pop-up menu.

    4. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in the Media list not used in the project), select “Include unused media.”

      When the template is applied to the Final Cut Pro Timeline, the template aspect ratio that matches the Final Cut Pro project is used.

Create a custom display aspect ratio (DAR) snapshot

Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) is the ratio of the width of a pixel to its height. For example, NTSC pixels are slightly taller than they are wide. They have a pixel aspect ratio of 10/11 (approximately 0.9091). Display Aspect Ratio (DAR) is a ratio of the final displayed image’s width to its height. For example, the iPad display aspect ratio is 1.3333 (also written as 4:3), but broadcast NTSC has a display ratio of 1.3636. To calculate the display aspect ratio of an image from its dimensions and pixel aspect ratio, multiply the pixel aspect ratio by the width and divide by the height. The most common aspect ratios are 4:3 (also referred to as standard, 4x3, or 1.33:1) and 16:9 (widescreen, 16x9, or 1.78:1). Older monitors and televisions are generally 4:3, so the screen is 33 percent wider than it is high. Newer HD monitors and televisions are 78 percent wider than they are high.

  1. In the Layers list, select the Project object.

  2. In the Project Inspector, click Snapshots.

  3. Click the Add button (+) and choose Custom from the shortcut menu.

  4. Click the Pixel Aspect Ratio pop-up menu, then choose an option, such as NTSC D1/DV.

    The pixel aspect ratio (PAR) appears in the field to the right of the pop-up menu.

  5. Enter the width and height in the fields to the right of the PAR value, such as 720 x 480.

    The new custom DAR is listed in the Display Aspect Ratio Snapshots list.