Create a transition template

Use the Final Cut Transition template to create a custom transition that can be applied to clips in the Final Cut Pro X Timeline.

Create a new transition template

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

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

    Final Cut Transition 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 Transition in the Project Browser.

    A new, untitled Motion project opens containing two placeholder layers: Transition A and Transition B.

    New Final Cut Transition project showing Layers list and Canvas

    Note: You cannot delete the Transition A and Transition B placeholders from a transition template. Nor can you create additional Transition placeholders.

  4. To add a reference image to the placeholders to preview your work, do the following:

    1. From the File Browser or Library, drag a still image onto the Transition A layer in the Layers list (or onto the Transition A arrow in the Canvas).

    2. From the File Browser or Library, drag a second still image onto the Transition B layer in the Layers list.

      Be sure to release the mouse button when the pointer is over a placeholder (the downward arrow in the Canvas or Transition layer in the Layers list). If you miss the target, you create a new layer, which cannot be dragged to the placeholder layer.

      The images are added to the Transition A and B placeholder layers, replacing the downward arrow graphics in the Canvas. The images serve as temporary media to preview the result of the transition you are building. They are not used in the Final Cut Pro X transition.

  5. Modify Transition A and Transition B so they flow into each other midway through the transition, using filters, behaviors, or other combinations of effects.

    For example, animate a lens flare filter that moves across the screen as Transition A fades into Transition B.

    When designing the template, think about how best to line up the end of incoming clip A with the beginning of the transition, and the end of the transition with incoming clip B. For example, a transition that begins on a full-screen Placeholder A and ends on a full-screen Placeholder B avoids jarring jumps. Because the default behavior between the transition placeholders is a simple cut, to smooth out the transition, you may need to adjust the placeholder timebars to overlap in the Timeline, then animate their opacity using keyframes or a behavior.

    For more information on working with filters, see Filters overview. For more information on behaviors, see Behaviors overview.

  6. To allow Final Cut Pro users to modify 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.

  7. Optional: When you’re satisfied with the transition you’ve built, you can remove the preview images from the template by selecting each Transition layer, then clicking the Clear button in the Image Inspector.

    The temporary image is removed.

  8. 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 Transitions 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 Transitions 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, an effect, 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 Transition template appears in the Final Cut Pro Themes Browser as well as in the Transitions Browser.

    4. To retain unused media in the project (media or audio in the Media list that is 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.

  9. Click Publish.

    The template and remaining media are saved and exported to the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser. If you did not remove the reference image, it appears in the template’s thumbnail in the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser.

Override the default transition length set in Final Cut Pro

The duration of transition template is determined by the Final Cut Pro project settings. However, you can override that default duration in Motion.

  • In Motion, select the Project object in the Layers list, then select the Override FCP checkbox in the Properties Inspector.

    The transition also has adjustable In and Out points in the Final Cut Pro project.

Apply the transition in Final Cut Pro

  • Locate the transition in the Final Cut Pro Transitions Browser, then apply the transition to an edit point in the Timeline.

    Images or clips in the Motion placeholder layer appear in the Transitions Browser icon, but are not applied to the clip in the Final Cut Pro Timeline.

For information on applying and editing transitions in Final Cut Pro, see Final Cut Pro X Help.