Having both FCP and Motion in Final Cut Studio means more options for effects creation with your video projects -- and FCS integration makes it easy to work with them together. Having Motion projects sitting on your FCP timeline even helps keep your projects organized! Our man in Nepal, Jiggy Gaton, shows just how easy it can be to take advantage of it all.
This tutorial was created for those new to FCP and who want to quickly enhance their video clips with Motion 3 animations & effects from within the FCP project - or in other words, take a roundtrip. Rountripping with Motion & FCP has nothing to with what some of us did as teens, but does have the same exhilarating effect after you realize just how easy it is to mix Motion animations and effects into your video clips.
- Apple Final Cut Pro Studio 2 with Motion 3 installed
|Step 1: Using an FCP project we'll create a Motion 3 project right on the timeline and add that to our video mix
||Step 2: Once in Motion, let's add animation and effects to our video, and then return to FCP with just one click.
||Step 3: Let's render the new FCP timeline with our animated video, and return to Motion for further editing if needed
Step 1: Create a Motion Project right on the FCP Timeline
With FCP Studio 2, no longer have to leave your timeline for long to include cool animations and special effects, in fact, you don't have to leave at all - just select the track you want to animate or add effects onto, and right-mouse Send To > Motion Project....
You are then asked where and how to save your new motion project. I am very anal about organising FCP projects (how about you?) so I always create a subdirectory called Motions to save these files along with my other project files. In the Save As drop-down you want to name and save the file intelligently, even though FCP is going to place an entry for this in your Bin. Essentially, you are creating a brand new Sequence, as well as creating a new Motion project. So just make sure Embed "Motion" Content and Launch "Motion" is ticked off and you are good to go.
A new Motion project is created and Motion opens up loading your clip and you are now ready to "sFX" at will.
Note: My FCP v6.0.4 does something strange after this step: it creates a new sequence in the Bin, but the new sequence is actually named the same as the old one, while the old sequence gets the "Save As" name! Strange eh?
Not to worry, just make a note if your FCP does the same, and if so, you can always rename Bin items however you feel is right.
Step 2: sFX your clips in Motion!
Once you are in Motion 3, the possibilities are endless, unlike the stock possibilities on the FCP timeline using just the FCP effects. In this example, I took a movie clip of a 3-D tiger and 1) added a fade-in/fade-out and 2) a particle generator full of fall leaves.
The advantages of using Motion in this way for effects include:
Getting to use all those goodies packaged on the Motion 3 DVD.
Working in the expansive and user-friendly interface of Motion (vs. a tiny keyframe editor in FCP)
Working efficiently with click-able roundtrips between FCP and Motion.
So once you're done, just close Motion remembering to click Save!
Step 3 - Back at the Timeline...
Once your back home in FCP, you are going to notice a few new things (besides what's already noted about the new Bin entries from Step 1):
Your new motion project is sitting on the timeline in place of the clip that you edited...it's not rendered (as indicated by the redline), and will need to be rendered now, and every time that you decide to go back to Motion and make any changes.
To go back and make a change, just right-mouse the .motn entry in your Bin, and select Open in Editor. Motion will open where you left off last time.
To make Motion your default editor for Video Files (this is the default, but it may have been changed) you go to System Settings / External Editors / Video Files and make that so.
For the geeks in the crowd, we call this "roundtripping," but not to be confused with anything we used to do in the '60s.
Using Motion 3 Roundtripping to and from the FCP timeline, you can easily enhance your video clips using all the power that Motion can muster.
Having Motion projects sitting on your timeline will also help keep your FCP project organised by letting the software remember where you put things, instead of you trying to recall where all the bits and pieces are.
If you got stuck, or need some clarification, just ask in the Comments here. You can also find me on the COW in any of the Final Cut Studio forums (including Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack Pro) to get more info, or to ask for any additional tutorials.
Jiggy Gaton is an expat living in Kathmandu Nepal, running a small A/V studio with family and dog. He is an author/cartoonist, filmmaker, and overall geek from way back. Not the kind of geek who would ever be sitting in a Star Trek Captain's chair - more likely to be sitting on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet somewhere out in the middle of the Himalayas - but only when he's not behind his Macbook Pro hacking out whatever needs to be done in the studio.
And hey, if you've ever wondered what it's like to run a studio in Kathmandu, check out Jiggy's COW Blog
, as well as more great stuff
by the rest of the herd.