Tag: effect

SC Retimer detail

S•C Retimer User Guide

S•C Retimer User Guide

Perform complex retiming of clips without blading. Forwards, backwards, freeze frames, anything without making any cuts, and it’s very easy to make adjustments at any time using the Video Animation editor. And! Keyframed adjustments can be eased!

SC Retimer is an effect for playing with the timing of a clip.

SC Retimer has a built in oscillator and stop motion feature.

SC Retimer can be used for normal playback of a clip. It uses only the frames within the clip however it has been trimmed. If you trim a clip after applying SC Retimer, you should readjust the Clip Length parameter if accurate information is important for you. You may, however, set any time length you want (see “Trick” below) or ignore it altogether.

SC Retimer features an onscreen dashboard/calculator to assist in designing your effect.

Although not absolutely necessary, you begin by entering the length of the clip by copying the number you see under the timecode clock in the viewer. The time entered is fixed to the time base of the project. A 24 fps project uses the time entered at 24 frames per second. It’s that easy. (All clips applied to a storyline are conformed to the frame rate.)

Note: if you’re using drop frame framerates, round to the nearest progressive framerate. 23.98 to 24, 29.97 to 30 and 59.94 to 60. This effect only counts full frames and cannot adjust for the dropped frames.

You can use the same timecode entry shortcuts in the inspector as you would for the timecode clock. For example, typing 9.5 sets the length to 9 seconds and 5 frames. The “leading” zero is not required. Another example would be 13. (ends with a period) enters 13:00 in the time. You can also click and drag on the number values in the inspector to set the time.

While it is not necessary to enter the precise length of the clip, it will be very much more helpful. The time is always with respect to the project and not the clip (consider that no matter what clip you use, it is conformed to the project frame rate!)

All the other values in the calculator dashboard represent:

1) the currently “selected” frame (Playhead)
2) the half amplitude frame count (right top)
3) the full amplitude frame count (right middle)
4) the current “playing” frame (even if it is the red zone)

The following assumes a 10 second clip in a 24 fps project. The Total Frames is 240, numbering from 0 to 239.

All parameters in the inspector are set up as percentages. You can read the frame values from the calculator.

Trick: input a Clip Length value that is exactly 100 frames to convert the values in the dashboard to percent. For example, in a 30p project, set the Clip Length time to 3:10 (3 seconds * 30 + 10 frames). For a 24p project, use 4:04 (4 seconds * 24 + 4 frames). For a 60p project, use 1:40.

The Dashboard Red and Green Zones

All playable frames are within the Green Zone. It is possible for the combined actions of this effect to go outside the green zone. It is possible that the calculated frame number can be outside the playable range.

Think of your clip as an Image Sequence.

When you add this effect to your clip, it no longer “plays”. You need to set up how it will play with this effect.

The Playhead. This parameter allows you to “select” which frame is displayed. It can be keyframed to play the clip “normally” or used to advance or reverse playback. Any order of keyframing will alter how you clip will play.

Oscillate: Oscillation is off be default. To turn it on, select the checkbox.
Wave Shape defaults to Triangle which is linear changes between the amplitude peaks. Sine will ease both near the amplitude peaks. Sawtooth will always go from the minimum value to the maximum value, then reset (like an “instant replay” effect). Square will alternate the displayed frames between the minumum and maximum.

Phase: All the curves start at the midpoint between minimum and maximum. Phase allows you to offset the starting point. For Triangle and Sine, setting Phase to -50% sets the animation start at the minimum (forward going).

S•C Retimer User Guide 1
Default waveforms at Phase 0. Shown: 3 complete cycles. They begin and end on the “zero line” (consider the Playhead value the center line).

Stop Motion: Turning on this option will create a easy to accomplish stop motion effect.

Steps over Range: No matter how long the clip is in “real time”, this value will play the number of (whole number) frames you set over the length of the clip. No matter if your clip is one second or much longer, only the indicated number of frames will be played. So you will need to gauge how to set this value based on how long your clip is. It may also depend on how fast you’ve set the playback with the Playhead parameter or oscillation.

S•C Retimer User Guide 2
S•C Retimer Parameters

The CLIP COPY section deals with resizing and orienting the effect. By default, the background original clip source is turned off. If you need to use Effect Masks (color correction, or for other effects) turn on the Source and use it (you will have to move the SC Retimer affected layer — scaling to 0 will completely remove it — but you just need to get it out of the way enough to create the mask.)

Stretching out the effect:
You can play and/or replay the same frames over and over from a clip, but where do you allocate the time? Simply use FCPX to retime a clip to as slow as you need for as much time as you need. You aren’t going to be seeing the original clip playing slow. Use as long as you need to keep reusing the frames with SC Retimer. [Speeding up a clip will not work as well!] Do not trim any frames from the original clips that you need to be able to “play”.

Keyframing the Playhead parameter has the extra added benefit of Easing. Use the Video Animation feature and select Playhead from the dropdown menu for the effect. Right-click on the line connecting keyframes and choose the easing you want to enhance your effect. For example, slow down the playback at the end of a segment to a freeze frame; or vice versa.

S•C Retimer User Guide 3

Consider the possibilities! From fast motion to freeze frame! Instant Replay or dancing zombies; stop motion effects. How about “crazy credits”?

S•C Retimer

S•C Retimer

SC Bokeh Generator for FCPX

SC Bokeh User Guide

SC Bokeh Generator for Final Cut Pro X

Requires 10.4.4 or higher. (Can be backdated to older versions).

SC Bokeh is designed to be simple to use on first drop with plenty of adjustments to customize and adapt it to a wide range of uses — even as a Title! SC Bokeh started out as a title but that format has limitations that prevented the effect from working as expected. The principal concept that needed to work was the generated bokeh had to pick up the colors of whatever was in the background, and this could only be accomplished with a generator.

SC Bokeh on first drop
Appearance on first drop

On first drop, you will see a custom drop zone image in the Viewer. Normally, you would use a clip that would generate the colors and feel for the bokeh you desire.  If you need sync’d sound, then you should know the mechanics behind drop zones (for which no sound carries over with the inserted clip) and how to match the first frame chosen for the drop zone with the clip’s original sound track.

When you select the Drop Zone Source parameter, the Viewer turns into a 2-up display, the cursor changes to a hand with a pointing finger and clip skimming is turned on. As you mouse over your chosen clip, the finger marks the *frame* to choose as the first frame displayed in the drop zone. It comes down to a matter of technique. One method you can use is when you are choosing a clip from the Event browser (recommended) is find a starting point for the drop zone and before you click on the clip to mark the starting frame, type the ‘I’ key to set an In-Point on the clip. Doing so will mark the first frame of audio you will need to match… clever, huh? You can add the clip to the storyline, separate the audio — or set go to Edit > Source Media > Audio Only (Shift-3) and type Q to attach the audio to the start of the SC Bokeh generator in the storyline.

Since SC Bokeh was originally designed as a Title, the initial text (“Bokeh”) can be placed anywhere you like by clicking on the text and dragging it to a new position. All the text attributes to customize the look are available in the Text Inspector which will automatically activate as soon as you click on the text. The default font for the text is Goudy Old Style Regular, which should be available in every installation of Final Cut.

The Parameters

Shape is a drop down menu with the following selections:  Octagon, Circle, Hexagon, Pentagon and Heart.  You will only get one style at a time, however, there are options for extra blurring which affect the overall shapes during the added effect time. (See the Extra Blur parameters below).

Num Shapes determines how much bokeh is put in the scene (over time). This value is best set near its default, but don’t let me be your guide. How these shapes all appear can be “tempered” by some of the following features!

Spread determines how the shapes appear over time. A value of zero will make the bokeh shapes pop on and off, more or less, like flashing lights. A high value will make large numbers of generated shapes smoothly fade in and out over time. The default value of 25 seems to be the best starting placement.

Action Origin is an interesting variation. The options are Left and Right. This will start the bokeh coming on from either side of the scene and marching across the screen to the other side, depending on the Spread (particularly if it’s “low”).

Rand. Order more or less overrides the Action Origin and the bokeh will be relatively evenly distributed across the screen.

RND Arrange: if you don’t like the arrangement of the shapes on the screen, click the circular arrow icon to generate a new arrangement. You can do this over and over to your liking and if you find a value you really like: remember it to type in again in another intance.

Shape Scale allows you to change to “default” size of the individual shapes.

Shape Scale Rnd. creates variations *from* the default size you set up in Shape Scale. You may set the Shape Scale to 0 and set this parameter to anything much larger. You will simply get 100% randomized sized shapes doing so.

RND Shape E(mitter) will re-randomize the shape sizing.

Extra Blur Start and Extra Blur Middle create animated extra blurring blowing up the shapes into larger circles (very much as refocusing will in a camera). Start begins at the beginning of the generator and Middle animates around the middle of the clip. There are no timing markers in this generator which means that readjusting the length the generator plays in the timeline will affect the speeds these animations play.

Motion Speed and Motion Distance work together. Motion Speed means nothing if Motion Distance is zero. At greater Distances, Speed will really move the bokeh shapes along. All bokeh shape motion is horizontal.

RND Motion will randomize the directions the individual shapes will progress. The overall effect will be somewhat tempered by the other “optical illusions” introduced into the effect (such as Action Origin and whether or not there is a large enough Motion Distance applied).

Fade In is very subtle. It is the number of frames it takes the bokeh shapes to attain their full opacity. Since they are using blend modes with the background, this is not always that obvious, however, at large values (around 300), the fade in will affect the overall opacity of the individual shapes during their “lifetime”.

Drop Zone

Pan and Scale: These parameters allow you to resize the source media applied to the drop zone. If you scale the media down to smaller than the frame size, bokeh is only generated from the source media (although it may move “out of bounds” and over the background) when the Rand. Order parameter is off and the background is black.

DZ Fill Color is the Background Color for the source media in the drop zone. It only appears when the Scale is set so that the source media is smaller than the frame. If you dial down the disclosure triangle, you will find an Opacity option that will allow  you to place the generator with source media resized smaller over another clip as a kind of PiP arrangement (use Pan to move the source into a corner.)

DZ Levels is a section that is revealed by dialing down the disclosure triangle. This will allow you to make some image adjustments from within the generator. It can be used to make the bokeh “pop” a little bit more.

Lens Defocus and Soft Focus are another set the work in tandem. 100% of either of them individual is probably not enough for a genuine out-of-focus appearance to a scene (not that you must have out-of-focus content — totally up to you.) Lens Defocus is more of a “chunky” blurring of the media. Soft Focus alone usually just makes the media look “dull” until 100%. You will need to use both to find a nice convincing balance for the effect you are likely to want with this effect (not that anything needs to be blurred at all!)

Vignette Color. A side effect of blurring is that the edges of the media are not blurred quite as much. This effect has been modified to ensure even blurring to the edges but the side effect of that is a kind of vignetting. This parameter allows you to choose a color to blend with the scene to minimize this problem, or you can go in the other direction and create a vignetting to stand out,

Text Control

There is only one parameter here: Opacity. This is a different opacity setting than the Text face Opacity parameter available in the Text Inspector, so it will work independently. It can be used to hide the text if not needed or used to fade in/out the title as needed.

Installation instructions.

SC Bokeh

Shatter Generator for FCPX by sight-creations | FCPXTemplates.com

Shatter 3.2 User Guide

Shatter 3.2 User Guide

Shatter 3.2 is a “break-out” effect simulating breaking glass. The optical effect is created by a specially crafted font with exceptional precision and using 3D Text to take advantage of very realistic lighting effects. It will be well worth the effort to get to know this Final Cut Pro visual effect in order to get the most out of it.

Shatter 3.2 requires the installation of a provided font (ZZSC Shatter Glass-Regular.ttf). User Font Book to install into your User collection, or create a custom collection for the font. You must restart FCPX before it will become available.

By itself, Shatter does nothing. It requires interaction. It can be used as a still effect, or it can be animated.

Looking at the parameters, there are five groups:
Shatter Generator by sight-creations — FCPXTemplates.com

The top portion is the drop zone, transform parameters and a Thickness parameter. The shatter effect utilizes “real 3D” and requires installation of a specific font (supplied with the effect and requires installation before using in Final Cut.)

The next group are the Travel Parameters. These are the primary parameters for animating in Final Cut.  The next group are the Animation Options which can be used to set up the ranges of the “travel” in 3D space. The next group allows you to randomize how the animation occurs. The last group allow you to customize the look of the drop zone media making it appear either solid or transparent. The real 3D features of this effect also provide for light reflections as well as an environment reflection.

In the beginning, the most important parameters are the Travel Parameters. They determine the movement of pieces in straight line Z, rotation amount, and gravitational pull. The Shatter effect has two built in methods of fading. The gravitational motion fade is automatic and cannot be overridden (except by increasing the Gravitational  Distance parameters to a larger amount which delays where the onset of decreasing opacity comes into play.) There is an optional Z Distance End Opacity that is tied to the Z Distance Travel %. It does exactly what it looks like: animates the opacity of shard pieces over the distance traveled. At 100% travel, the pieces will have the opacity set by this parameter.

With Shatter installed and available in Final Cut, add it to the storyline either in the storyline by itself or over another clip. The default look is a custom Drop Zone image that comes with the effect. Leave it for now.

The first thing to do is move the Z Travel Dist. % parameter. This parameter moves the shatter pieces from 0 (default) to Maximum Z distance by percent (max Z can also be a negative value — the pieces will move away from the viewer instead of toward). Move the slider slightly and observe the behavior. Reset the slider and do the same with Rotation Amount. Like it? Now move the Gravitational Travel slider slowly.  These will be the three main parameters you will most likely animate, although you could choose to animation only one for a particular effect.  The Z Travel Group size determines how many shard pieces move “together” at roughly the same time. The default is 250 to get them all moving more or less immediately. Setting this to 0 will make a piece “pop off” and travel immediately to its end position. A setting of one will look more natural as one piece appears to move through its travel space at a time, and so on.

Keyframing in Final Cut is quite easy. I’ll leave that information to other sources if you need help.

There are randomization controls so that you can change up which pieces behave which way at any given time. The Randomize controls sport a “yin/yang” set of arrows. Simply click on that small icon to change the parameter value. The Variance controls determine how much random difference is employed. (The Gravitational Variance does not have this control – just a random value.) The Z Minimum Variance has a value range from -100% to 100%. Using the slider will stop at 0 on the minimum range, but you can click and drag down on the number to take it down to -100. Rotation Variance stops at zero using the slider or click/drag.

The final section, Glass Properties, will probably be the most difficult to use (and to explain!) The default values should give a good approximation of what the original clip should look like outside the Shatter effect with the exception of a slight reflection of the “environment” on the image. All of these parameters can be keyframed to control how they behave over time (not that anyone is likely to, but it could help out if you care to learn about them.)

Glass Properties

Reflective Light. A bit of a misnomer. It is a compound “effect”. Dial down the disclosure triangle to reveal Lights and Environment.  If you dial down Environment to zero, you can eliminate its reflected effect on your image completely. The Lights control can be used to control shadows that you may want to appear in your animations or displacements. These parameters are capable of very large number values if you click and drag directly on the numbers.

Surface Shininess determines a more “glass-like” reflection as it approaches 100%.

Surface Blend is the amount of the image blended into the surface reflected light. At 0% (no blend) you will barely perceive much of your image.

Environmental Intensity is the amount of the Environment (allowed by Reflective Light > Environment) that is “infused” into the image.

Env. Contrast: increasing this parameter to large values will “clarify” the “reflected” environment with the image. Reducing this value towards 0 will blur the environment effect in your image.

Saturation is the amount of color value infused with the reflected environment.

Material Opacity is the opacity of the image in the shard character. Dialing this value down is how to a achieve a more transparent glass-like look.

Refl. Img Brightness is the best way to compensate for the “fade” induced by Material Opacities less than 100%.

The accuracy of the descriptions of “Glass Properties” is not 100%. The explanation of each parameter is beyond the scope of this document. The explanation of “behavior” is more a less a guide for your use of the parameters. Feel free to “play with” their interactions. You can always reset all the parameters to their default values by clicking the reset button on the far right edge of the parameter’s cell that becomes visible as you mouse over the parameter.


Shatter 3.2 Generator

Shatter 3.2 Generator




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Talking Head effect for Final Cut Pro X

Talking Head User Guide

Talking Head User Guide — FCPXTemplates.com

Video layouts and title animation made easy.

Talking Head by Sight-Creations — fcpxtemplates.com

Talking Head was inspired by news channel format for “remote” interviews. A talking head is usually a camera shot in a kind of Picture-in-Picture format. However, most picture-in-picture effects for Final Cut are accomplished by the use of Titles or Generators using Drop Zones.  Anytime a drop zone is involved, all audio from any clip applied to the drop zone is gone.  If audio is needed, the audio track must by reapplied to the storyline and manually sync’d for the drop zone media. Talking Head is not a drop zone – it is the actual clip with all its properties loosened from the confines of the video full frame.

Talking Head has an OnScreen Control (OSC) to assist in making your clip layouts exceptionally easy. Size your Talking Head with the Dimensions parameter (dial down the disclosure triangle to set the Width and Height separately) then drag it into position with the OSC. Use the Horizontal and Vertical Img Offsets to reveal the portion of your clip required and use Image Scale if necessary to fit your subject inside the dimensions you have set. It is possible to animate the Horizontal and Vertical Img Offsets to slide your subject into the Talking Head “space”. There are controls for “Fill Color” and Fill Opacity to create a custom solid color background, or set the Opacity to zero to have the clip below show through.  There are similar controls for the border.

Talking Head is a “modular” effect. It can be applied along with any other effect and it is layer sensitive (effects added after Talking Head will affect the Border and Fill (if exposed). You can change the order of effects applied to a clip by using the mouse to drag them in the Video Inspector over or above other effects already applied.

Using Talking Head to create custom title effects

When added to a title like Basic Title, Talking Head can turn the title into text with a background fill, or outlined, or both. Text can be animated by Position and Rotation via the Position and Rotation controls added by the effect. Text can be animated inside the Talking Head frame to make a scrolling text effect, or a “news crawl” effect. Use the Horizontal and/or Vertical Img Offset parameters to keyframe the animation. See the video below for ideas.


More than one Talking Head can be applied to a clip to create other effects as well, for example:

Example of two Talking Head effects applied to one clip.

Talking Head 1, blue outlined clip. Talking Head 2, orange outlined with white background.

Tip for building a “slide” in effect:

The best workflow is to build your “final” layout. Size all your Talking Head effects in the “canvas”.  Move the playhead into the clip by a few seconds. Set a Keyframe on the Center Location parameter and the Dimensions parameter. Back up the playhead several frames (depending how fast you want the effect to animate – it can be changed later). Set the Dimension Width (or Height) to zero. Use the OSC (or click and drag on the Center Location X parameter) to move the Talking Head clip to line up next to the section you want it to expand from. Play. If done correctly, the left (or right) edge will remain stationary and the clip width will expand to fill the originally designed area. See video for example.


Talking Head Effect for Final Cut Pro

Talking Head