Create a generator template

Use the Final Cut Generator template to create a custom generator that can be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X Timeline. A generator template is similar to a standard Motion project. However, when saved, it’s exported to the Generators Browser in Final Cut Pro.

Like any content added to a Final Cut Pro project, a generator template can be composited over a clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline, or added to the main Timeline. The duration of the generator in Final Cut Pro is determined by its duration when created and saved in Motion.

Create a new generator template

  1. In Motion, choose File > New From Project Browser (or press Option-Command-N).

  2. In the Project Browser, click Final Cut Generator, then choose a project size from the Preset pop-up menu.

    Final Cut Generator icon in Project Browser

    Important: Be sure to create the template at the highest resolution you will use in your Final Cut Pro project. If you’re creating 4K-specific templates, you can enable a setting that allows the Final Cut Pro media browsers to display only templates designed for use in 4K projects. For more information, see Set template resolution.

  3. Click Open (or press Return).

    If the correct preset is already chosen, you can double-click Final Cut Generator in the Project Browser.

    A new, untitled project opens. The project contains no placeholders.

    New Final Cut Generator project showing Layers list and Canvas
  4. Build the project as you would any other Motion project, using shapes, text, behaviors, camera animation, and so on.

    Note: You can also add drop zones to create additional effects, such as a picture-in-picture effect. Drop zones allow Final Cut Pro users to place media into designated regions of the applied effect. For more information, see Drop zones overview and Placeholders versus drop zones.

  5. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify specific parameters, choose Publish from the Animation pop-up menu of each parameter you want to make accessible.

    Publishing a parameter makes its user interface control (the slider, checkbox, or dial) available in the Final Cut Pro Inspector when the custom effect is applied to a clip. Published parameters can be adjusted and keyframed in Final Cut Pro. For more information, see Add parameter controls overview.

    Note: If you have many parameters that you want to adjust with a single control, you can rig the parameters to a slider, pop-up menu, or checkbox. When the rig controls are published with a template, the slider, pop-up menu, or checkbox becomes available in the Final Cut Pro X project. For more information, see Rigging overview.

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

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

      If you don’t specify a name, the template appears in the Final Cut Pro Generators Browser as “New Template.”

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

      You can also create a custom category. Categories represent how the effects are organized in the Motion Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Generators Browser. Custom categories also appear in the browsers.

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

      You can also create themes. Themes appear in the Motion Project Browser and in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser. A theme is a metadata tag that assists in categorizing different templates as being part of a single family. For example, you may have different template types that are related to the same project, such as a transition, a generator, and a group of titles. By tagging the templates with the same theme, all templates, regardless of their template type, appear in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser.

      Themed templates also appear in other effects browsers. For example, a themed Final Cut Generator template appears in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in the Generators Browser.

    4. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in the Media list that’s not used in the template but which you may want to include in the template later), select “Include unused media.”

      For information on where template-related files are saved, see About template files and media save locations.

    5. If you want a preview movie to appear in the Motion Project Browser, select Save Preview Movie.

  7. Click Publish.

    The template is saved and exported to the Final Cut Pro Generators Browser.

Apply the generator in Final Cut Pro

From the Generators Browser in Final Cut Pro, do one of the following:

  • Drag the generator into the Timeline, above the clip you want to composite it over.

    The generator can span multiple clips in the Timeline.

  • Add the generator to the main Timeline as a clip.

    When you release the mouse button, the generator is added to the main Timeline. Drag the generator’s In and Out points in the Timeline to change the duration.

For information on working with generators in Final Cut Pro X, see Final Cut Pro X Help.