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Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 31 of 42

The Effects Browsers and Generators


Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 31 of 42

The Effects Browsers and Generators


Lesson Info

The Effects Browsers and Generators

Remember when we were doing the transform setting? I'll go up to here and turn on transform we can use transform to scale a clip, for instance, if I click a key frame, notice that I've said a key frame at this point and I grab a corner on dh well, let's, leave the full screen and then will move again as soon as I move this clip and I've started to scale it it's gonna automatically create a key frame? I can't see the key frames anywhere if I select the clip in the timeline type control v, as in video, it opens up the timeline animation controls, and I can see the key frames that I said inside the timeline here they're under transform, you can see a key frame here, and you can see a key frame here. This is this is ah, gives us the ability to see what key frames look like and where they're positioned. Aiken grab this key frame and I could drag it so I can change the exact timing of the effect. I could even delete the key frame by right mouse clicking on it, say, delete the key frame and y...

ou can turn off the display for video by typing control v control v turns it on, turns it off and control a does the exact same thing for an audio clip. I tend not to use it I tend to work with key frames inside the inspector as supposed to work with key frames down here I just find the inspector easier to work with, but you should know that that animation control is there jim, are there any other questions we need to cover before we talk about something new? I think we're ready to jump into effects if that's where you're going, it is where we're going we've been in effects we're going to continue being an affection what we're going to do now so I want to just review what thes browsers are over here. This is an export control will be talking about that in the fourth section today this turns the inspector honor ofthe keyboard shortcut his command before this is the themes browser, the generators browser, the titles browser, the transition's browser music and sound browser photos browser and the effects browser. The one we spend the most time in is the effects browser followed by transitions in text, but we'll toss spend time talking about all seven of these in this section let's take a look here at the first let's refresh our memory this is the browser we use for transitions all browsers air constructed the same way that is to say when you click on the browser control in the tool bar across the top, the browser itself opens categories of effects are listed on the left this is all the transitions that have blurs or all the transitions that do dissolves or all the transitions that have light effects so our movements are used objects inside the transition at the bottom of the browser is a search command for instance. Here we can do ah a pan on all the transitions that have the word pan in their title appear. Now the reason no transition shows up is that there's no pan transition inside the object category to be able to see all the transitions you need to select the all category and then all the transitions that have pan as part of the file name will show up inside the transitions. Apple has also categorized them by sort of a stylistic approach will see more of this in just a second but here's a bulletin board effect or a comic book effect or a data computer generated data or filmstrip effect the's are designed inside motion biographic artist saved in such a fashion that they can be accessed inside final cut and it's available to us to uses the transition to clear the search, click the x in a circle and that clears the search this little button here hides the category so if you know what the categories are or you're just searching for something and you don't need to see all that other stuff on the left hand side even hide it. This is exactly the same icon to hide categories down here as it is to hide libraries up here. They do the exact same function. They make a particular portion of a panel disappear. Well, we spent a lot of time yesterday looking at transitions. We also spent time yesterday looking at titles and noticed that when I click on the titles browser exactly the same layout categories down here and specific titles on the right hand side and what's really cool is if you put your play head and just hovered, you don't have to collect. Just put the play, had not the play headbutt the cursor over a particular title. It gives you a preview of what that is. Same thing with the transition here's an interesting thing. I bet you may not have known this. If I drag across the transition, it gives me the look of that transition. I can see what that transition looks like. Okay, now, when we get to effects there's, another keyboard shortcut that we can hold down, which allows us to see how the effect can be varied, but for the transition, just hold your cursor over the transition and drag it slowly back and forth. You can see what it looks like, okay, so that's titles again the same structure let's, take a look at this one it's called themes when I first saw this with the release of final cut ten, I was unimpressed. Uh, and now I'm somewhat impressed. I don't use it a whole lot what themes are our themes of designed for editors that are new to editing that air graphically challenged while I am graphically challenge diamond off people like jim who consider looking a blank sheet of white paper and have magic appear, I look at a blank sheet of white paper and nothing shows up on a care how hard I think about it at all. I can't draw a straight line without mechanical help, and when I do, nobody likes what it looks like, so I left all the drawings were done by other people that's, the team's air for themes group generators that we have not yet but will and transitions into an titles into a common visual category. This is a category called boxes. As I go over here, look what I've got a transition, which is a set of boxes waving from one system to another, boxes that air sliding in, I have titles which have boxes associated with look of the title there's, a consistent look and feel to the generators, which we'll talk about the transitions and the titles as I look att bulletin boards, for instance, I've got a bulletin board kulash which is useful is a background or video transition which is using that pan that we looked at earlier and also in transitions yesterday we have titles which have kind of a bulletin board look that's what the theme is it takes generators and titles and transitions and groups thumb into a graphically unified theme so that you have a common look and feel throughout all of your projects. These tend to be much more home movie ish than commercial movie ish, but there's no reason to say that we can't take advantage of that in the projects that were creating it may be that we're creating a travelogue I'm thinking of the documentary bernard that you did on the space needle in a school that was there before you could easily have done that as a travel log let's go back in time and emulating a lowell thomas narrated kind of thing. Maybe you want to use that for a particular look and feel or you're a school teacher that wants to give their kids additional things to play with final cut appeals to a very wide audience and not all of us air creating feature films and some of us do want to use visual effects tow us tto add variety to something that's kind of dull and boring if we don't do it themes are useful in that that regard stepping over from and basically with themes once you understand how transitions work once you understand how titles work and we're going to talk about next just generators once you understand how generators work you know how to use everything that's inside a theme everything in a theme appears in another browser the transitions in the theme appear in the transition process the generators theme appear in the generator process the titles in the theme appear in the titles browser so there's nothing in themes that you don't see somewhere else it's just their group together to make them easy to find okay still with me let's move the generators generators are video which has created inside final cut and we've got really all kinds of interesting things to play with I thought generators were the dumbest things I've ever seen and I used him in every project all the time constantly they're just wonderful they're backgrounds for infographics they're insects for text to give texture to text I love background I love generators so let's just take a look at what's here some of them are tacky and some of them are wonderful and if you just look at it and say who is going to need a red and orange glob and you give up on the whole category because the blob looks pretty dumb you are missing a really treat so let's just take a few minutes and look att generators ah generator is video they come into full screen backgrounds or elements I can even and I have here I've created my own generator which is adding a spotlight effect to a clip you create generators inside motion save us they can be used inside final cuts so you would not cia larissa effect generator on yours we have solid colors and solid shapes we have textures I'll just start with textures because it's way cool scrap metal texture the way that you apply a generator just simply click it and drag it if it's the first clip in your project that says I don't know what kind of settings you want we're just going to set this to seven twenty p and we're going to set it to oh twenty nine nine seven so I've now set my project properties look at that how hard would it be to draw that it's impossible to drop what not impossible for jim but it's impossible to draw for most normal people we can't get that kind of grit and and we could do all kinds of cool things with this grid one of which is to select the clip go to the inspector and say what else do you do go to the generator tab remember the inspector's where we make changes and look at all the different things that we can play with we've got distressed copper we've got pocket squares we've got waves we got stats slaps but this is one of my favorites oxidized medal we can do all kinds of things with that we can use it as a background for an infographic weaken blur it which you'll learn how to do in this session we khun ad text on top of it we can have it slowly move it is I mean what you want this elements that you complain with this is an element you can play with let's take a look at natural let's just drop natural over all right great bamboo in focus but we can add a blur filter knocking out of focus we can have a it's actually coco this is bamboo mohr bamboo we've got banana leaves I mean, clearly the world is a better place because we've got banana leaves toe work with I'm on ly a little facetious but look at this bark look at the texture there. What happens if I put that texture inside text and put that text on a black background much more interesting than white text against black you'll learn how to do that in this session generators have multiple multiple multiple settings associated with them drop them into the timeline select a clip, go to the inspector click the generator tab we can even change tent colors I wanna have this go browner ish it's a real word I looked it up let's have this thing tent brown okay, well just lean this a little bit more toward brown I want to have a tent toward red or green or mold or blue or you know embers of a fire this is full immutable stuff that we can play with to give us a background that is whatever we want the background to be I saw the blob and I said this is just disgusting nobody's interested in this and then when I finally I forced myself to actually look att what's there and go to the generator tab the choices that we have just amazing all right here's one of my favorites grunge again click on it but let's look at look adjust some of the textures here and imagine what you could do with these textures just get rid of that end of clip marker some interesting interesting things and I don't have to run around and find photographs aiken just as you see us we get into blend much in a few minutes this is going to make your life so much more fun so these air textures we have solid we have solid colors um the whites was kind of need to goto whites we've got different quite colors if I go too off white various flavors grayscale this is an interesting one because when I select grayscale I can say I wanted to be black I wanted to be white and I could be very precise in it's eighty percent white or fifty percent white or twenty percent white just really, really neat stuff jim question yes sir andre would like to know is there any option of making transitions and effects as favorites? Yes, well, yes and no not in terms of the final cut seven favorite but yes in terms of the default if I go too the transition window and write mouse click on it notice I have a choice you're called make default what this does is this allows me to set a particular transition when I type command t that transition is then what supplied with command t by default the way the final cut of set up command t adds to cross this off but you could just as easily make band or any other transition the default transition click on the transition type command tea and now as we play this back, go back to sleep I don't need you right now thank you and we play the transition we've now applied that default transition of bands or I go back to dissolves right mouse click make that to default and add that transition. The other thing you can do is you could write mouse click a transition uh see, I noticed that under many but obviously not all so I couldn't get it to work with crosses off many transitions we can open a copy in motion when you open a copy in motion, it creates a second copy of that transition. You don't have to make any changes in motion, but when you save it, you have the ability to save it, as I've done here. Where to go right there, I could save a category called larry's favorite transitions or larry's favorite titles, and by doing of save as in motion tohave it automatically go to your own category. You could build your own effect favorites by saving that particular transition or tidal generator a zoo or effect as a favorite, and you'd be able to find it there by just simply clicking on that category. So what we've seen is themes group elements stylistically generator's give us video all let's do one more thing if I goto elements if you want to display the time code of the project now, timecode is a there's a number of things that we can do, but time code allows us to to make it bigger and drag it up to here. Ok, notice that this is showing the time code of the project. The play had his five twelve that's, the number that's being displayed here many times. Clients would like to see a rough cut of our project, with timecode burned into it easy to do by simply adding the time code generator on top of our clips and the time code is always the time. Code of the project time code of source clips is much harder to obtain. But time code of the project is the timecode setting. Another thing that we can do is we can set a countdown clock, for instance, here by grabbing countdown, selecting it the way the countdown generator works is you have a starting number in this case one and unending number in this case three hundred. And as this clip plays let's, just drag this down here, go to the transform command, grabbed the y value, drag it down so it's dark enough that you can actually see. And now we can see that this is counting up the speed of the count up or countdown is based on the duration of the clip. And you can have this clip as we look at the generator it's going to be counting in numbers or currency for percents or scientific. Notation it, khun, spell out the words give it to you in binary or even hacks a decimal. If the starting number is lower than the ending number, it counts up. If the starting number is higher than the ending number, it counts down and you can specify the number of decimals. By simply grabbing the decimal slider and it will be the number of decimals that you want. You can also specify the minimum number of digits so that it pads to the left hand side of the number. You can change the font, you can change the color. You can change the tracking. This can be. This can be a countdown clock, but you just have to be careful and making sure the duration of the clip is the duration that you wanted to countdown. So if it's counting down from five minutes to clip, needs to be exactly five minutes long, the speed of the countdown is determined by the duration of the clip. We can also add shapes will see this more when we talk about, um, blend modes a little bit later notice I now have a shape around this particular background. I can take the shape I can say. Don't fill it so I could make the center transparent. I could make the outline appear or disappear. I can make the outline thicker by grabbing the outline with and just dragging it up. We can change the shape there's a variety of geometric shapes that we can work with. One of the biggest traps that I fell into and I'm just going to stress this one more time and then we're going to move on is that I took a quick look at generators and I said, there's, nothing here that appeals to me because I didn't actually look at the settings that were available. Some of these generators are only one thing. There's one I movie color for instance. Here the blob, all you've got is a blob with one of the eye movie colors. For instance, this one you have a very limited number of color. Some of them are quite limited, but most of the time, when you select the clip and go up to the generator menu, you're going to have lots and lots of options in terms of what that particular generator can do, so don't give them up it's a bad deal until you had a chance to explore and some of these generators. I used a lot because the textures are just wonderful.

Class Description


  • Import media into Apple Final Cut Pro X
  • Use its media management tools to organize your files
  • Explore the endless possibilities for creating amazing video effects and dig into audio.
  • Sharpen the skills you need to edit, trim, and combine clips to create a dynamic, engaging final cut.


Apple® Final Cut Pro® X has been rocking the film editing world since its initial release in 1999. Today, eleven upgrades later, the video editor's users number in the millions and its editing tools have powered major motion picture and small screen edits. Join Larry Jordan to learn what makes this video editing software so powerful, versatile, and indispensable.

Now an industry standard video editor alongside options like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X encompasses pro-level editing tools for Mac. Final Cut Pro is a Mac-only program with professional tools that blow the free video editing software and budget video editors like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Elements, and Movie Maker out of the water. The video software can handle everything from 360-degree video to Hollywood-level productions. But navigating those advanced editing tools is a daunting task for beginners. Pretending Final Cut Pro is an intuitive, beginners program will only leave you frustrated and missing the biggest features.


Whether you are brand new to editing, self-taught, or a seasoned pro, this course will take your editing skills and Apple Final Cut Pro X mastery to a whole new level, from upload to save.

Apple Final Cut Pro X


Larry Jordan is an internationally-renowned consultant, digital media analyst, and trainer with over 35 years of experience as a television producer, director, and editor with national broadcast and corporate credits. He is recognized as the foremost trainer in both Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac and Windows) where his informative and entertaining teaching style provides video editors around the world with unique resources to increase productivity and enhance their skills. Jordan is on the faculty at both USC and Video Symphony and the host of the weekly podcast.


  1. Introduction

    Larry Jordan says a majority of the Final Cut Pro X technical help questions he answers stem from jumping right into editing without understanding how the software works. In the first lesson, learn what to expect in the class and why, when you edit videos, you start with organization.

  2. Key Terms

    Video editing tools are often confusing for newbies because of the terminology. Walk through the jargon you need to know and key concepts for Final Cut Pro to get started on the right foot.

  3. System Configuration and RAID Storage

    Final Cut Pro X can run on any Mac except for the Mac mini. Here, learn the best system set up for video editing and learn how to make your budget go the farthest when setting up a computer for video editing, and why storage, not the computer is most important.

  4. Q&A with Creating an Efficient Workflow

    Video editing with Final Cut Pro is just as much about the actual tools as it is about creating an efficient workflow. In this lesson, find the answers to some of the biggest questions in the workflow.

  5. Interface and Media Management

    Understanding the Final Cut Pro X interface helps you navigate through the program from one step of the workflow to the next. Explore Final Cut's single window interface and the three broad sections, as well as where to find the hidden windows and what they do.

  6. Importing Media Part 1

    Final Cut Pro will import any videos supported by your computer, from files that already exist on a hard drive to videos from a camera's SD card. Walk through the import process and options, from basic options to marking favorite locations, when working with files that already exist on the hard drive.

  7. Importing Media Part 2

    Final Cut Pro will also import your media for you from a camera. Larry walks quickly through what's the same when importing from a camera and points out the important differences when using different import methods.

  8. Ratings and Keywords

    Creating a video often means working with multiple, long video files. This lesson walks through organizing video clips to make finding the exact clip you need easy. Larry then walks you through creating the actual project and getting started in the video editing process itself.

  9. Reviewing Clips for Edit

    Time to dig into editing -- but where do you start? Reviewing the available clips to see what to include is a good place to start. Larry walks you through the process, from the keyboard shortcuts, to marking a clip.

  10. Importing Clips

    Once you've identified some clips to work with, it's time to actually add them to your timeline. Jordan walks through the different options from using keyboard shortcuts to mark the in and out to using a simple drag and drop to the timeline. Whichever option you use, Jordan says, don't worry too much about getting it exact because you can fine-tune further later on.

  11. Editing an Interview Demo

    In this essential lesson, see a finished clip and walk through how the interview was assembled. Larry outlines the fundamentals of assembling an interview -- using techniques that work with any type of video edit -- in Apple® Final Cut Pro® X.

  12. Replace Edit and Timeline Index

    Continue to work with the timeline with tricks for replacing clips. Larry walks through simple methods, like using a drag and drop, to more advanced options like the three-point edit, as well as timeline tricks for working with chroma-key. Learn replacement edits along with other timeline tricks in this lesson.

  13. Compound Clips and Auditions

    Compound clips and auditions are specialized functions inside Apple Final Cut Pro. An audition allows video editors to compare clips easily. A compound clip is a project inside of a project. Walk through the how, why and when for these advanced features.

  1. Editing Review

    Jump back into video editing with the editing review that launches day two of this three-day class. Larry reviews the first part of the class and gives you insight into what's next.

  2. Trimming Part 1

    The way clips are assembled in the final video plays a big role on how the final video influences the viewer's emotions. Larry mixes the art of clip trimming with the tools inside Final Cut Pro.

  3. Trimming Part 2

    Trimming isn't always adjusting the beginning and end of a clip. Larry walks through the process of creating a slip trim, as well as tricks like trimming multiple clips at once.

  4. How We Hear

    Jumping into audio, learn the basic terms to audio editing, how we hear, and get started on understanding audio tracks inside Final Cut Pro.

  5. Audio Key Terms with Q&A

    Continue unraveling audio editing with key audio terms that aren't specific to Final Cut Pro. Learn how sound is visually represented and how to set levels for the best sound.

  6. Audio Basics, Meters, and Inspector

    Work with levels and audio inside the Final Cut Pro timeline by diving into the video editor's basic audio tools. Larry walks the class through levels, audio meters, keyframes and more. Learn how to eliminate a cough from the audio, how to reset parameters and more.

  7. Audio Q&A

    Audio is a big component to understanding video editing. Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions with this quick lesson using questions from students just like you.

  8. Dual System Sound and Audio Analysis

    Video and sound are sometimes recorded separately -- often when the mic built-into the DSLR or GoPro used to record the video isn't great at capturing audio. Larry walks through the process of syncing audio to the clip with double system recording along with the audio analysis tool that allows Final Cut to conduct an automatic analysis and fix some audio problems.

  9. Multicam Editing Part 1

    Editing video shot with multiple cameras is a common task in the video industry -- and Final Cut Pro has tools designed just for the task. Larry walks through the basics of multicam editing and getting started with the multicam feature. Learn how to group the cameras, create a new multicam clip and adjust the order using the angle editor to prep the workspace for working with videos from multiple cameras.

  10. Multicam Editing Part 2

    Once the footage is grouped and ready, follow Larry through the process of finessing those multiple feeds into a cohesive video. Start with setting the audio to a single camera, then move into switching the camera angles with a simple click and more advanced multicam tools.

  11. Transitions Part 1

    Transitions help make moving from multiple cuts a smooth experience. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for transitions, timing transition adjustments, and adjusting a transition with a roll trim.

  12. Transitions Part 2

    Creating transitions is an art -- learn the three main types of transitions, when to use them, what emotions transitions bring, and working with transitions in Final Cut Pro.

  13. Formatting and Animating Titles

    Titles reinforce key pieces of information, Larry says. Learn how to use titles, how long to leave titles up, where to place titles, and how to format titles in Final Cut Pro.

  1. Additional Effects

    Titles aren't the only type of special effects you can create inside Final Cut Pro. In the first lesson of the final day of the class, get a peek at what's up ahead, including how to add video stabilization, correct rolling shutter, work with images and create special effects like the Ken Burns effect.

  2. Editing and Trimming Review

    Recap the editing and trimming essentials to review what Larry says is the most essential thing to understand on using Final Cut Pro. Larry puts all the editing and trimming together in a final look at the process.

  3. Changing Speed of a Clip

    The speed of a clip can create drama. Learn how to manipulate the timeline with techniques like freeze frames, variable speed, and slow motion. Decipher the retime menu and learn the tools for manipulating time.

  4. Inspector Effects

    The Inspector inside Final Cut Pro allows video editors to make changes, from adding video stabilization to adjusting the aspect ratio. Follow Larry through the Inspector Effects to learn the special effects hiding in this menu.

  5. The Effects Browsers and Generators

    Video editors can create their own videos directly inside Final Cut Pro using Generators, a tool that's helpful for creating backgrounds for infographics and other items. Larry walks through the Generators and how to use them, along with diving into the Effects Browser interface.

  6. Blend Modes

    Blend Modes originated in Photoshop, but introduce some interesting special effects for video editors as well. Learn how to use blend modes, change the opacity for regular clips and picture-in-picture, and more in this lesson.

  7. Effects Q&A

    Dive into the most frequently asked questions on special effects as Larry explores questions posed by students just like you.

  8. Simple Effects

    Final Cut Pro has a number of different special effects options. Larry walks you through the most useful special effects and how to use them, so that you'll know how to manipulate those oddball effects too.

  9. Intro to Color Correction

    Color correction is a big enough task that entire careers are dedicated to the task. Learn what you need to know on color correction basics to successfully create a color-corrected video inside Final Cut Pro.

  10. Video Scopes

    Final Cut Pro uses three main video scopes -- the waveform monitor, the vectorscope, and the histogram. Larry walks through how to use each tool in color correction.

  11. Color Correcting for Video

    Learn what colors are most essential to get right and how to manually adjust color in videos inside this lesson. Work with the vectorscope and waveform monitor to edit color in a video.

  12. Color Correcting Skintone

    If the skin color is off, the entire video looks off. Larry walks you through how to adjust skin tones. Every skin tone is different -- this lesson is designed to give you the tools and know-how to correct for every skin tone.

  13. Color Correction Q&A

    Dive into the most common questions on color correction with this short lesson taking questions from students.

  14. Audio Effects Part 1

    Visual effects are only half of the special effects equation. Walk through audio effects, from manipulating audio levels to creating a stereo mix.

  15. Audio Effects Part 2

    Continue digging into audio special effects with advanced techniques inside Final Cut Pro. Work with channel filters to mix voice and music and the limiter filter to correct audio that's too soft.

  16. Exporting and Sharing

    After all that editing, how do you share your video? Walk through the export process, from exporting an XTML and a master file to sharing to YouTube directly from Final Cut Pro. Learn about exporting to different file formats and video formats, including .mp4.


a Creativelive Student

Absolutely one of the best & easy to follow teaching / learning sessions for this product. Larry has a great approach & insight into delivering a wealth of information from his years of experience that budding video engineers will certainly benefit from with a product that is powerful & great to use. I'm enjoying the journey to better understand & use this great product, expanding my experience in producing awesome video presentations. Great work Larry, & also huge fan of creativelive Keep up the great work you all do to assist budding producers in mastering their skills. Noel Blake Melbourne Australia


Final Cut Pro with Larry Jordan has been of enormous help to me just stating in FCPX. Larry has a unique way of getting the message on the basics across in an easy to understand manner. I have not yet looked at the entire course as I am practicing the steps as I go through the course. Many programs of FCP are not presented in the easy to follow manner thatL array does so well. I am 100% delighted with my purchase. I am in Sydney, Australia, and, due to the time difference it is impractical to view courses live. So I had to purchase on trust which in this case was a good choice. It would be good if Creative Live could perhaps rerun programs so overseas folks could view them at a convenient time. The courses still need to be purchased as I find it best to run it on another monitor and put what is taught into practice. Well done and thanks for the special offer in July.

a Creativelive Student

Attending this class was really a life-changing experience. Larry is a wonderful teacher and clearly on top of the program and methodology, and the way he structured the course, did frequent reviews and constant technique reminders (naming keyboard shortcuts as he did them, for example) really added a lot to the presentation. The depth of the class was very much appreciated, and his command of a complex subject showed that it was possible. I have wanted to understand FCP for several years and have only gotten the beginnings of a handle on it in the last 6 months or so. This class was an exponential knowledge upload and I hope will allow me to do lots of things I've only wondered about. I thought Jim was a good foil for Larry and did a nice job keeping things together, even when there was a technical problem. The value for me of being able to sit through the class before deciding to purchase was huge, and I am very much looking forward to reviewing the videos as questions come up. The class was very thorough and I didn't feel anything was being left out. Thank you so much for making it available.

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