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Get Your FCP Timelines in Motion with Final Cut Studio

COW Library : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Tutorials : Jiggy Gaton : Get Your FCP Timelines in Motion with Final Cut Studio
CreativeCOW presents Get Your FCP Timelines in Motion with Final Cut Studio -- Apple Final Cut Pro Tutorial


Phoenix Studios
Kathmandu Nepal
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


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.

Tools Needed

  • Apple Final Cut Pro Studio 2 with Motion 3 installed

Overview

From Final Cut Pro to Motion Work inside Motion with an FCP Timeline From Apple Motion to Final Cut Pro
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....

Send to Motion

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.

Export sequence and launch Motion

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?

Rename items in the FCP bin as needed

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.

Add particle generator in Motion


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.

Motion sequence on FCP timeline

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.

"Open in Editor" allows the FCP sequence to be edited in Motion


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.

Summary

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.

Finished Motion sequence rendred in FCP

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.

Comments

Re: Get Your FCP Timelines in Motion with Final Cut Studio
by don simpson
Hi. I'm using Motion4. In the tutorial book, they have a bunch of ready-made clips to practice with. How do I make my full res clips available in the finder so I can grab them in the motion browser? I saved the clips from the FCP bins to the finder and they show up. But in the Motion browser the folder opens but it's empty.

Thanks for any help!
chapter markers
by Mike Forbes
My question is what if the clip you send to motion had several chapter markers which are the points that require animation. can I view those markers in motion?
my whole file (rather than just my clip) goes to motion
by fiona murphy
I can't seem to restrict the clip I export to the bit I want, and so the analyser says it is going to take 31 hour and there isn't enough space on my disc to run it. Can you think what I'm doing wrong?
Thanks from rainy London.
Fiona
Motion moment
by Paul Dymon
Hello Jiggy,
Thanks for all the great stuff leading the way for others. Motion question: Often I want to send just one clip to Motion for timing or fx, later I might want to send another from another part of the project. Maybe 5 or 10 Motion elements require that number of projects? Or do you send the entire sequence? Am I missing the big picture?
I guess I'm old school - did you ever work with Commotion?
Please tell your dog my dog Brian sends his regards,
Paul


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