Category: User Guides

Shatter Generator for FCPX by sight-creations |

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 —

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

Talking Head effect for Final Cut Pro X

Talking Head User Guide

Talking Head User Guide —

Video layouts and title animation made easy.

Talking Head by Sight-Creations —

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


SC keyFX-feature

SC KeyFX Tips

Dear User,

Thank you for your interest in SC KeyFX for Final Cut Pro. I have been working with these effects for that last year and a half and it is my sincere belief that with these effects you will be able to go from a simple “cutter” to a special effects artist quickly and easily. The possibilities are virtually endless! As such, a single User Guide has proven somewhat impossible. These are easy to use effects, just dig in!

KeyFX effects are designed to exploit the Effects Masks feature of Final Cut Pro. Ironically, these effects will not work in Motion. They are grouped together as “Key” effects since that is their general behavior, however, there is no rule requiring the colors to be green or blue as in their respective screens. Any color can be selected and you may opt to use them full screen if you so choose. A range of colors can be selected (two hues can be chosen effectively; more than that will generally require the addition of another effect of the same kind (easily done by selecting the storyline clip and Copy > Paste Effects or command-option-V) then choosing other colors in subsequent additions.

scKeyer is the simplest and will probably be the least used effect of the set, however, it provides no distractions for the following guide.

There are no parameters to scKeyer other than a checkbox to Apply Mask. A mask must be applied for this effect to do anything.

When you mouse over the scKeyer titlebar, a small icon will appear — this is the effect masks menu.

Clicking on the icon presents the available options:

You get one color mask per effect added and as many shape masks as you need.

Adding a color mask provides an eyedropper tool. This is the same kind of tool you would find in a photoediting application and it is used in the same manner. Clicking on a color selects that color (in a very narrow range — about 2% — of the Hue-saturation-value of the color when Softness is set to zero). Holding the shift key down and clicking will add more color to the selection. Holding the option key is supposed to subtract a color from a selection, but that doesn’t always work. If you have to subtract color, you either have to start over or type Command-Z to undo the last “steps” (unlimited). It is possible to restart a selection by not holding any keys down and clicking on any color.

Once you have applied any type of mask, check the Apply Mask option if it exists or there will be an Opacity slider (as in scKey Fill). One exception is the scKey Gradient effect which starts with the gradient full screen so that you can design it. Then slide the Opacity to zero to select a mask and reapply opacity and Blend Mode.

Notice the blend mode (“Add”) – is grayed and cannot be changed (at this point).

When adding a Shape Mask, it is added above the first added mask (in this case a Color Mask). Notice the Blend Modes. The shape mask takes on the Add mode and the color mask switches to the Intersect mode and it becomes selectable.

Masks can be rearranged by clicking on the name and dragging it to a new position in the mask list, which is helpful when blending modes need to be manipulated. Typically, you will want a Color Mask to be the dominant mask and the shape masks used as garbage mattes or to isolate the color mask to a specific region.

The options for blending are Add, Subtract and Intersect. Add is obvious – wherever an Add mask is applied, the selection will include all regions. Subtract will literally subtract the region of the lower mask from the upper mask. Intersect will act as a “limiter” meaning that the selected area will only fill the region provided by the lower mask on the list.

Multiple shape masks are going to get a little complicated. Just know you can manipulate the list order and masking to create the effect you need… generally.

If things get too compicated… add another effect and use an extra set of masks — all added effects “instances” are cumulative!

KeyFX are modular. Drag and drop what you need on your clips to add these functionalities. There are five “core” effects: scKeyer, scKey Fill, scKey Gradient, scKey Clone, and scKey Replace which is a great deal like a regular keyer except the background is filled with drop zone media instead of having to line up two clips one above the other. scKey Replace also makes it easier to match up the inside/outside mask edges through the utilization of blending modes and/or setting the original media to luminance values by removing saturation and adjusting the brightness — this makes scKey Replace a generally better option than scKeyer to use when using greenscreens or bluescreens (or any other color background that is more or less solid).

Some of the other effects in the set are “support” effects. Spill Suppress is useful to remove a color fringe (typically green from green screen media) or any other dominant color around the edge of a selection. Matte Magic will only work with scKeyer (and if you have to use it — it will require enlarging the media to a scale of 102% to remove a soft border that will appear.) scKey Sharpen is included (great effect – you’ll love it). Matte Shadow will allow you to provide a drop shadow for scKeyer effects (or scKey Fill if the blend mode is set to Silhouette Alpha).

The rest of the effects provided are for fun. They include Grain, scKey Cellular, scKey Checkerboard, scKey Grid, scKey Halftone, scKey Lens Flare, scKey Manga, scKey Op Art 1, scKey Rays, and scKeys Stripes (others might be included by the time these ship.) Most of these will be used to “fill” keyed out backgrounds or skies.

You will need to practice somewhat to get the best result from these effects. Below are a few tips and practice files have been provided so that you can begin to get a “feel” for the behaviors.

There are a few pattern generators provided for practice (they will be located in a “Practice” folder and will need installing as generators for FCPX).


Set the Softness value of a color mask to 0 when making selections and try to capture as much of a color without “bleeding” into unwanted regions of the image. You will see what that means when you start pushing the amount of color needed. When bleeding begins to occur, back up with command-Z and try adding Softness before resorting to using shape masks if you can. Softness will work best with narrower ranges of color selection.

Try to make a color range selection with as few “clicks” as possible when shift clicking. Start on the light end of the scale and work towards the dark. For green screens, start close to the subject and work out. This might mean you will need to start the selection process a few times for the best result.

If you are removing a green (or blue) screen, try to collect as much of a hue as possible. Click and drag to gather as much of the green or blue as possible. Shift click to pick up the any remaining regions. The fringe areas around subjects will likely be the most difficult to eliminate (there’s usually always a fringe from backlight). Increase the scale of the Viewer and work as close to the subject as possible. Add modest amounts of Softness (too much will cause fade spots in your subject). Finish it off with Spill Suppress (more below). [If this sounds contrary to the previous tip, it is. Every clip is different and your approach may have to change depending on its quality.]

Clip quality will play a large part in your ability to make good selections. What is meant by clip quality? Bandwidth. Highly compressed video will have very little “latitude” to “push”. “JPEG artifacts” (blockiness) is a telltale indicator of low quality video. Your video clip might look “marvelous” just as it is, but try to change any feature like saturation or brightness might make those compression artifacts exceptionally obvious. High quality clips can be pushed quite a bit and no matter what you add into the image, it will look great. [“Push” is a term borrowed from photography whereby the base film is a specific ISO but pushed to be a higher ISO than rated and image “density” is compensated for by prolonging the development time. This technique is notorious for introducing more grain into the image. The “latitude” of film/processing is how far you can take this process and still obtain “acceptable” results. Measurement is usually done in “stops” or f-stop change from the normal for the film. As an example, ISO 400 film pushed to ISO 4800 is a push of ~3 1/2 stops. Tri-X ISO400 film had a latitude of ~4 stops or 16 times its base rating.]

Occasionally View Masks to check your progress. It is possible to Command-Z undo steps if you need to back up, or simply start over by releasing the shift key and making a selection.

Any number of KeyFX effects can be added to make more complex selections/effects. These effects are exceptionally “light weight” and will render in “respectable” time (quite fast actually). Experimentation is worthwhile! When re-coloring a scene, it will not be unusual to have several scKey Fill effects added to a clip. You may also want to sharpen color (or shape) selected areas (although the entire frame is the default), add a Lens Flare, or one or two of the other “fun” effects to your scene. Everything can be blended rather seamlessly into your scenes.

Use Softness to close any fringes that might occur. However, there will be plenty if instances where you will want a color mask to bleed over other colors and using color blend modes to smooth out the influence of the added color (or media).

[left image: original; right image: 3 Fill, 1 Gradient, 1 Sharpen (water surface + beach regions) effects added (sample frame ©Pond5)]

Use blend modes to create more natural effects. For all the “fill” effects, try setting the Saturation to 0 and using a color with a blend. Use the Value (or Brightness) parameter to help match inside/outside mask regions to help remove any fringing that might occur.

Spill Suppress is typically used with a keyer. Spill suppress can be used with just about any of the effects. Using a green screen as an example, add Spill Suppress and use a Color Mask to select any remaining green in the image, then turn on the suppression. That will keep Spill Suppression from affecting any other color in the image. If using it for any other color than green, change the Color parameter to match the selection. Note: for green screens, it is often helpful to dial down the Color disclosure triangle and increase the Red value, particularly for areas around hair (even blonde!) It is frequently useful to pull the white tag down on Spill Contrast levels. Extra Contrast controls have been added to Spill Suppress to assist in de-fringing. Use after you’ve gotten the best results you can from the “top” parameters.

When using chroma screen media, better results will be obtained using scKey Replace. Place the “behind” media in the Drop Zone. Blending edges will become easier in the “all-in-one” effect.

If you need an “inside/outside” color masking setup, create a first color mask for the inside selection, then select the clip in the storyline (yellow outline) and Copy; then Option-Command-V (paste effects) to make a duplicate. Switch the masking of the pasted effect by selecting Invert Masks from the mask menu. For example: the “Pleasantville effect”, the main selection use a scKey Fill effect to isolate the preserved color regions then for the inverted copy, duplicate the Fill effect, invert the mask, set the opacity to 0% and set the Base Saturation to 0.

The color mask can effectively select two concurrent hues (although it has trouble with complementary [opposite] colors). Going beyond that will cause some unusual results (but if you need to – go for it!)

Any number of Shape masks can be added to constrain the selection or to mask unwanted areas of a selection.

Don’t forget that even more complex layering of effects can be accomplished with Compound clips.

Effects can also be added to Titles and Generators in Final Cut and parameters will be available in the Video inspector tab.

These are a powerful set of tools with which you can accompish all kinds of special effects right in the the Final Cut storyline, from simple color accents to the very sophisticated. No need to use any other application.

There are many other effects that ship with Final Cut that can use masking in the same way. Once you get used to dealing with effects on this level, they will never be the same again! As an example, try making a color selection with Gaussian (blur) and inverting it. Increase the blur Amount. Use a Shape mask inverted for a “tilt-shift” effect.

Enjoy your adventures!

F.X. Mahoney

sight-creations |

Available here:


The Wand Clock Wipe

The Wand User Guide

The Wand

a title for FCPX

Installation instructions:

A simple and elegant effect.

The inference to a magic wand is on purpose. The Wand is truly a wide range effect.

On the surface, The Wand looks like the simple divider it is. The scene is divided between the storyline and a background with “auxiliary text”. Animating the divider across the text creates a text reveal. There is a built in Drop Zone behind the background (revealed by lowering the color solid opacity) creating a split screen effect with built in text. With the split screen effect and animating the divider, this template is turned into a “wipe” transition. Animating positioning and rotation of the divider, very interesting and complex wipe effects are easily accomplished!

There is an OSC with a “post”. The OSC controls a line. The post controls the angle of the line. The line divides the scene into whatever is below the title clip down to the storyline and either a solid color background or a drop zone for any other kind of media (or both with opacity on the solid color). On the solid color/drop zone side, there is a text object which can be used as a text reveal title, or hidden (recommended to change the text to just a few space characters so as not to lose the text bounding box).

That’s it.

That’s not it. Since this is a title template, and titles accumulate whatever is underneath them, it is possible to stack a number of “instances” of The Wand to create custom multidivider effects. Since this title contains a drop zone for a background, it can be used as a split screen. Since it is “stackable”, it can be used to create multi-split scenes (see below).

This is the OSC (onscreen control).

The default divider is black and 12000 pixels long. This title will work on up to 5K (and possibly 8K) video. [Tested on 4K.] The OSC is *always* at the center of the line. The line rotates around this point. Drag the post around to set the angle of the dividing line. The rotational span values go from -720° to +720° giving you a maximum of four complete revolutions of keyframed animation (only if you start at one end of the 720 range and go to the other). Since the default orientation of the divider is 90° (vertical), that will limit the number of complete revolutions to three, in general. Most of the time, you will probably only be concerned with intervals of 180° of movement.

When the title clip is selected, the auxiliary text is selectable as well. You can use a mouse to move the text around on the screen to where you need it positioned, even if the text is obscured by the “foreground” side of the divide. You do, however, have to mouse over its region (a bounding box will appear).

Text can be animated as well. There are position and rotation controls in the FONT PARAMETERS section for your keyframing needs.

Below is a few examples to get you started and see the demo video below.

A clock wipe is easily accomplished by placing the OSC center along the edge of the video and rotating the line across the scene.

Animating The Wand to create a text reveal

When mousing over a parameter that can be animated, a keyframe mark appears. Every parameter that shows the mark when mousing over it can be keyframed (that includes colors!)

Clicking on the keyframe mark will cause it to become filled (a solid diamond shape). You can set a keyframe and make changes to the parameter or vice versa. The order does not matter. Once set, all that needs to be done is to move the playhead to another point in time then update that parameter to whatever new setting is needed. Final Cut will interpolate values between the two keyframed values and the animation is executed. This template will often require keyframing if any movement is required. You’ve been given total control over how this template operates. If you need any further help with keyframing, there are many free tutorials available on YouTube or Vimeo.

Keyframing is easy and you will rock this template!

Set up The Wand to the “still” position you want the animation to pause.

Move the playhead to about 15 or so frames from the beginning and set a keyframe. Move the playhead to about 15 frames from the end and set another keyframe. Move the playhead to the beginning and move the divider just off the screen. Move the playhead to the end and move the divider to its end position. Play.

Solid color backgrounds can be any color you like and with opacity turned down, used to color cast the drop zone media behind.

To easily create an effect like the following, set the initial angle of a first title instance, then Option-drag a copy over the original. Use the OSC to slide the divider to a new position.

To line up multiple copies like this, multi select all of the titles used at once.

This will turn on all of the OSCs at once and you can fine tune the lineup (and you can also “do the math” and use the published position parameters for more accuracy). Dragging the OSC center control will not change the angle of the divider line.

Here’s an example of a creative alternative to the above layout.

Example of 4K video

Using the effect artistically by keeping a solid color section

Simultaneously adjusting the alignments of multiple “The Wand” titles

Staggering the effect to wipe on three extra splits over time.


The published parameters:

Experiment! Enjoy!



The Wand

The Wand

Vegas Baby demo

Vegas Baby Title

Vegas Baby

Title for FCPX

Installation instructions:

User Guide

The iconic Las Vegas Welcome sign was designed in 1959 by Betty Willis. It is in the style of “Googie Architecture” (FYI). She gave the design as a gift to the City of Las Vegas without copyright. It is in the public domain.

Vegas Baby is a 3D Text title for Final Cut Pro. It requires FCPX 10.3.4 or better, a video card with a minimum of 1GB of vRAM, and the installation of a specialized font (ZZSCVegasBaby-Regular.ttf) responsible for the “neon” letters and the sign shapes (it will be necessary to restart FCPX after installation of the font).

Vegas Baby is a complex effect with flashing lights and special textures (coin faces) and animations on two separate sides. Expect long render times. When dealing with the title in the FCPX storyline, it is best to set the View > Quality to Better Performance. Since Vegas Baby performs “reasonably well” using Better Performance, it was deemed eligible to be released. Please be patient with it!

Vegas Baby features an easily customizable “banner” (circled letters) and drop zone panels on the front and back sides. Separate titling for the front and back panels. Titling and drop zones can be combined. Complex text formatting will need to be handled via imported image/video or by creating compound clips in the storyline. An example would be any text message with more than one font used.

A 3D OSC (on-screen control) has been applied to this effect. For this reason, none of the text in the title is editable in the viewer but text boxes have been added to the Inspector to make text changes. To use the OSC simply single-click on the Vegas Baby panel and wait about 1 second. A Rectangular outline will appear and a 3D directional control will appear near the center of the rectangle region. It’s a hack… but it works. You can use the 3D control to keyframe rotation, but positioning via keyframe will have to be manually done with the parameter values in the Inspector. [Note: the OSC is a text character itself which is editable in FCPX – ignore anything you see in the Text Inspector as it pertains to this character used for the 3D onscreen control. If you accidentally change the character, its default is the character zero (‘0’) and its size is 856.0 if you find you need to manually reset these values.]

The Coin Features (Banner) Section

The neon letters in the circle shapes at the top of the panel are considered the banner. As with the real sign, the front surface of the circular regions have the pattern of a 1922 “Peace” silver dollar. The “coins” are not “regular” and each surface of the original WELCOME sign have different rotational orientations for the coins. This title has a feature to force them to align if you so choose — set the Coin Rot. Variance to 0% and set the Coin Rotation to orient the faces to the same angles across the characters of the banner.

In the Circle Text entry, you can enter anything from deleting the text (to completely remove the circled characters) to whatever you think can fit on a single line and still look good as a sign ;).  Whatever you enter will apply the characters (only a-z lowercase [and space] are supported), the coin circles and the rim “ring” lights. A space character will add a small separation between letters.

There is a fundmental “lighting” structure to this 3D model. Sometimes expected colors may seem darker (or lighter) than the values provided in the inspector. Make visual adjustments in the Viewer and don’t rely so heavily on the numerical values. For times when even the “brightest” color is not bright enough: the numerical values of the RGB color can be adjusted to greater and less than the absolutes provided by the corresponding sliders. Click on the individual numerical values for the R, G, and B elements and drag up to go beyond 1.0 and drag down to go below 0 (towards -1).

Due to the design of the template, text is not editable in the viewer. For each panel, there is only an option for one font. If you need more complex textual design (more  than one font, or font and graphics) create a compound clip in the storyline from titles and other graphics and add the compound clip to the drop zone for that panel. You can delete the compound clip from the storyline immediately after adding it to the template.

Flashing light animations will be affected by lengthening or shortening the time of the Vegas Baby title. Longer times will slow it down; shorter times will speed it up. Recommended length in storyline is about 5 – 15 seconds (10 is default). Ten seconds is a good length of time to leave this title active to give the viewer time to take in the whole effect.

The rest is fairly typical.

Published Paramters


Position — It is possible to position this template in the view with an OSC (described above). However, if you want to keyframe motion, you cannot use the OSC to make position changes. Use these parameters “manually” for keyframing. Another benefit of these parameters: no matter what rotational orientation you have set for the template, these parameters will move it in tradition X, Y & Z axes relative to the Viewer. Using the OSC: rotation changes the XYZ axis orientation as well. Position parameters override that orientation.

Rotation — Unlike Position, Rotation can be keyframed using the OSC. These parameters do not override those set in the Viewer.

Hide Stand — The blue stand can be removed from the scene to reduce the template to the basic sign.

Glow Amount — This is set to 3 by default. In general, this setting is likely the best setting. However, you can raise this value to create more “light halos” or turn it off altogether.


Circle Text — This is where you enter the text for the “banner” section. Only lowercase alphabetic characters (a-z) are used for the effect. Other characters will not provide the correct visual effect.

Text Color Keep in mind that this is supposed to be a neon-like light. You will want to adjust this color to a value that will be enhanced by the glow effect.

Circle BG Color By default, this is set to 90% white. You can set this, and all colors in this template to “supercolors” (element values greater than 1.0 or less than 0.0).

Coin Face Intensity This determines how dark the “marks” are that create the coin “face”. Setting this to 0 will fade the coin face out completely creating a solid color background for the neon characters.  Setting this value to maximum intensity will help “punch through” the pattern if you adjust the Coin BG Color somewhat darker.

Coin Rotation The “real” Las Vegas Welcome sign has 1922 Peace dollars painted on the backgrounds at varying angles of rotation.  This is set at 360 (straight up) to help with the Variance (see below). When Variance is set to zero, all the coins are rotated to this value.

Coin Rot. Variance The variation from one coin to the next for the rotation. When Coin Rotation is 0, this has no effect. When Coin Rotation is non-zero, this parameter will randomize the rotation between 0 and the Coin Rotation value.

Var. Random… This is the Random Seed generator for the Variance. Click the “circle arrows” to generate a new “seed” value and change how the coins are varied.

Ring Light Color Each character in the banner also has a “ring light” — another “neon” (or florescent) type light around the rim of the “coin” background. Use this parameter to change its color (default is white).

Emit Intensity This parameter will change the brightness of the Ring Light color.


(each section has identical parameters, both of which will be outlined in this section.

Front (Back) Text Use this text box to enter the text you want to appear on the sign panel. This can be used in conjunction with a drop zone (always appears on top).

Collection Font Book “collections” are supported with this template. If you manage your fonts with collections, you can set the collection here. For example, you have a collection of just “script” fonts, you can set this parameter to your scripts collection then search for the script font from that collection you are looking for without having to navigate a font menu that might be hundreds of fonts long.

Font Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience.

Size Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience.

Color Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience.

Weight This is a feature of 3D text. You can use this parameter to change the thickness of characters, make them more bold or more thin. Best practice: hold the Option key down while dragging the numeric value for more refined alteration.

Line Spacing Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience.

Tracking Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience.

Baseline Same as from the Title Inspector provided here for your convenience. Use this parameter to help vertically align the text where you want it to appear.

Drop Zone Optional. Drop Zones are pre-loaded with a transparent PNG so that the typical drop zone “symbol” does not appear.

Pan Use the X and Y parameters to adjust the alignment of the image in the panel.

Scale Use this parameter to size the media to fit within the panel.

Front (Back) Brightness As mentioned above, this is a 3D model and lighting is affected by things like angle of rotation. You can use this parameter to help override a “too shadowy” look, or tone it down if it’s too bright.

Vegas Baby

Vegas Baby

Solari Strip feature with SC logo

Solari Strip User Guide

Solari Strip

Generator for FCPX

Installation instructions:

User Guide

Solari Strip is a “real” 3D effect. The Split-Flap animation is built with actual 3D modeled parts. The effect can be moved around in 3D space and still have a consistent “look”.

Solari Strip is an easy to use generator. It features 14 Solari (or split-flap) character sections. Each section is limited to the characters A-Z and numbers 0-9 with spaces between the groups. An added feature is the ability to turn each split-flap character on or off to make creating layout “patterns” possible.

Solari Strip requires installation of a font: ZZSC Flipboard Parts provided with the download. Use Font Book to install the font. The font name starts with “ZZSC” to drop the font to the bottom of your font menu and out of the way of your regular fonts.

Published Parameters

This is a partial list. The SLOT # CONTROL sections are the same for all 14 split flap sections.

At the top of the inspector are the Position control in the scene. Position, Rotation and Scale plus the color of the “Back Panel”. Before releasing, a few other parameters have been added. They are:

Back Panel Opacity — it is possible to fade or completely turn off the back panel which is an effective way to make the Solari characters look as if they are part of the storyline background.

Back Panel Width — it is possible to turn off individual Solari characters in order to create your own formatting. For example, you need 2 slots for number and 7 slots for characters. You can adjust the width of the Back Panel to span just the 10 characters used (including a “gap” character).

Back Panel X Offset — allows you to align the Back Panel to any section or subsection of the solari characters.

Each Solari Strip generator will have its own OSC (on screen control) to allow you to easily position the strip in the Viewer.


All Slot Control sections are the same for all characters.

Each section control is a menu to toggle on or off that “slot’s” solari (or split-flap) character. Turning off the character will leave a blank space.

Move the playhead to the beginning of the generator to set the Starting Character (Start Value), then move the playhead to the end of the generator to set the Ending Character (End Value).

The Start and End Offset parameters determine the (video) frame offsets from the beginning and end of the generator that animation begins and ends. You can completely customize how the characters change with these parameters. The default length of the generator is 300 frames. “Crossing” the start and end values will effectively freeze that Solari character to the End Value. Setting the Start Offset to 300 or more will “stick” the character at its Start Value.

The character sets (A-Z 0-9) loop so the starting and ending (Value) numbers can be just about any positive value. Please see the accompanying PDF file for number/character associations. This is a looping effect and to give the illusion of very fast action, you could set 2-3 spans of entire character sets before landing on the ending value.

If you set the Start Value to be a greater number than the End Value, that Solari Character will run “backwards”!


Do not set the Start and End Offsets to 0. Give the reader a second or two to see the first set (Start Offset = 30 to 60). 

Vary the Ending times a little so that the flaps do not all finish at the same time (not very “real-life”).


Viewing the panel of character from behind, although possible, will look rather strange (only the “face” of the effect works as expected). This is why the Back Panel was provided. Use it if animating the Strip in rotation.

The Back Panel is simply a flat (no beveling or other styled corner) surface with depth. Lining up several generators will make a seemless surface even when overlapped (provided the Z-positions are exactly the same).

If you create a scene with several simultaneous instances of Solari Strip, be prepared for a rather long render time (on the upside: it will be worth it!) If placed in scenes in your movie that require further editing, consider “baking” the Solari Strip effect with transparency (ProRes 4444) and bringing the exported movie back into FCPX for application in your scene(s).

Even with one strip, rendering will be somewhat lengthy (depending on your Mac’s specifications).

Demo video:


Solari Strip

Solari Strip

Rolling Credits II Update image

Rolling Credits II User Guide

Rolling Credits II

Generator for FCPX

Installation instructions:

User Guide

Rolling Credits II has been reworked from the ground up. It is a completely new template utilizing new features in Final Cut, and therefore will require version 10.3.4 or higher.

What’s new?

The original Rolling Credits applied text from the bottom up. Rolling Credits II applies text normally from the top down.

Auto-Shrink has been removed.

The original plain image (with border, or “photo” style) remains and three new ones have been added — 1) Slide, 2) Polaroid, and 3) Stamp.


Effect Opacity has been add for fading in/out without having to go to the Video Animation Palette.

Rotation for the Drop Zone has been added (it’s amazing to watch as even the rotated images will align with the same text control!)

Offset Parameters for the Drop Zone have been added which means it is possible to animate the drop zone in your titling sequence.

The original Rolling Credits uses a different font (Model Parts One). At the time of the font’s creation, it was not realized how it would appear in font menus, so a new font has been designed and its name will appear appropriately. (All new fonts created for templates all begin with ZZSC. The ZZ drops the font to the bottom of your font menus so that they will not interfere with your regular font workflows. The SC stands for Sight-Creations. The new font used for this template is ZZSC Rolling Credits. This font must be installed before you intend to use Rolling Credits II Generator.


Redesigned Rolling Credits font displays normally in font menus.

Demo of the new version:


Add Rolling Credits II (RCii) to the storyline. It can be added over video, a still, a gap or directly into the storyline if no background is required. Move the playhead to about the halfway mark into the generator. The default length is 15 seconds which is about the time it takes for the default “content” to move from just below the Viewer (let’s call it a “canvas”) to just out of sight above. However much content is added will require an adjustment to the Animation Speed parameter. Overall timing can be adjusted by lengthening the Generator in the storyline and adjusting the Animation Speed parameter. Once you have designed a “starting” pane, it is recommended to Option-drag copies to create subsequent panes to be filled with new text.

When RCii is selected in the storyline and you mouse over the canvas, a “bounding box” should appear dileneating the default “paragraph” size alotted for the text area. If you double click on this region, a ruler will appear and the bounding box outline will display control points at the centers and corners. These control points can be used to reshape the text area in the canvas. You have complete creative control over the formatting of your text.

For the best workflow, it is highly recommended that you maintain the vertical region for a “pane” of text and use multiple “instances” of RCii to achieve the entire credits layout. The benefit to this approach is that you have the option to include one image (and that is still optional) for each pane’s worth of text and the rendering time it takes FCPX will be at its minimum. When text is added to one instance of RCii and is longer than the canvas, rendering times can increase dramatically!

It is also recommended that you prepare a “first instance” with a set height (pane) and animation, then duplicate it (option click drag a copy) to create subsequent panes as this is the easiest way to keep animation flow consistent over time (although it is not that difficult to match animation with animation speed changes if they are necessary).

The view below shows the default layout of RCii with the ruler toggled on. Notice the bounding box is within the Title Safe region of the canvas. You are not required to stay within the Title safe region. In HD video, the “new title safe” is the old “action safe” bounds but there are no design laws that state you must stay within either. It should be noted that the drop zone automatically aligns to the bottom-most line in the text. Parameters are supplied for offsetting its position as well as the text alignments for left, center and right (to be used as starting points for the offsets).

If the ruler gets in the way or you’ve finished setting formatting tabs, you can turn its display off by clicking the small ruler icon at the top right corner of the canvas. If the ruler does not appear as expected, check the state of this icon, it may be necessary to turn the ruler display back on.

Right clicking in the ruler reveals the “Tab Stop” selection tool. To remove an unwanted tab stop, simply click on it and drag it off the ruler.


This text model appears to be an adaptation of the original Macintosh Toolbox TextEdit which has been included with Macintosh since the very first model which shipped with only MacWrite and MacPaint. How to use this “tool” should be a skill every Mac user has. However, one last thing to mention:

If you copy formatted text from an .rtf (Rich Text Formatted) file and paste the contents into this generator, the formatting should be retained, including font, size, style, and tab stops, etc.



The difference between Native DZ Scale and Media in Char Scale:

The drop zone has two treatments: by itself and as a part of another object. The “Native” parameters are applied to the drop zone itself. The other parameters are applied to the object in which the drop zone appears (the “picture frame”).

Why are both required?

Drop zones are a little strange. They have to be flexible enough to take any aspect ratio media. There is a further “complication” that the container is “cropped” (usually somewhat square, by default). When you change the Size of the drop zone in the canvas, the Drop Zone will need readjustment. To defeat the cropping that is applied, use the Native Scale (this applies to pan as well) first by decreasing the value until you can determine the aspect ratio is correct, then use the Media in Char Scale to fill the frame/space of the drop zone. Native Pan might hide part of the media behind the original crop — using it to center the media is more appropriate at this level. Using Media in Char Alignment will align the media within the drop zone style frame.

DZ Fill Opaque is on be default (some media sizes can “glitch” if they don’t correctly fill the space). Fill Opaque generally fixes that problem. However, if you’re using a transparent PNG, turning off Fill Opaque will be necessary (as in the F•X logo in the demo video).


Published Parameters:

Start Position (Y) — Use this parameter to move the content of the credits/text below or above the viewer. This parameter can be key framed. This parameter as well as the Y Animation parameter should be set after you have designed your text and drop zone areas.

Animation Speed — Use this parameter to set the motion of the Rolling Credits. A positive value will move the contents upwards. A negative value will move the contents in a downward direction. Move the playhead to the end of the generator and after setting the Start Y Position, drag the value of the Y Animation until the text just disappears off the other side of the viewer. That’s all!

Opacity — Sets the overall opacity of the entire effect. Use to fade credits on and off.

Drop Zone Size — Point size of the drop zone “holder”.

Drop Zone Alignment — A menu selection to align the drop zone relative to its text boundaries (Left, Center, Right).

Drop Zone Style — A menu selection to choose “Photo” (or plain), Slide, Polaroid, or Stamp.

Photo Style Border — If using the Photo Style, this parameter is used to set the border width. Use ‘0’ for no border (or plain).

DZ Border Color — This parameter can be used to set the border color regardless of Style.

DZ in Scene— Section Marker – not a parameter.

Use Drop Zone — A checkbox to select whether or not to use the Drop Zone for this instance.

DZ Location Offset — You can change the location of the drop zone relative to its position attached to the credit text.

Drop Zone Rotation — New Feature! A parameter to rotate the orientation of the drop zone. Alignment (left right center) is maintained.

Media in Char Align — The drop zone is applied as a “layer” over a rectangular shaped text character. This parameter can be used to offset the alignment on this character. Usually used in conjunction with the Native DZ Pan (see below).

Media in Char Scale — The drop zone is scaled relative to the text character. Usually used in conjunction with the Native DZ Scale (see below).

DZ Specifics — Section Marker – not a parameter.

Drop Zone — The source well to drop your media. Media can be an image or video and includes support for transparency.

Drop Zone Fill Color — When using Native DZ Scale and scaling smaller than the media’s native resolution, the Drop Zone Fill Color is used to fill around the edges of the media. Used in conjunction with DZ Fill Opaque (see next). *Note: if scaling the drop zone small enough to see the background color, there is a possibility of the media “glitching” (jumping around in position) if the drop zone background is not filled opaquely.

DZ Fill Opaque — A checkbox to select the option to fill the Drop Zone “region” with a solid color. Uncheck this option to use with transparency.

Native DZ Pan — This parameter offsets the alignment of the media within the region allotted for the drop zone.

Native DZ Scale — This parameter scales the medie with respect to the region allotted for the drop zone. It may often be necessary to scale down the drop zone media in order to restore its actual aspect then apply Media in Char Scale to scale the media up to fill the “layer” used as the drop zone holder.

DZ Media Rotation — Not only can you rotate the drop zone (holder), you can also use this parameter to rotate the media within the drop zone region. Use this to creatively misalign an image within its frame to look more “personal” or amateurish, etc.

Text and Font Params Section Marker – not a parameter.

These are the same parameters you can find in the Text Inspector republished here for your convenience.




Line Spacing


Text Color

Use the Text inspector to edit the text style further.

Note:   due to an apparent bug in FCPX which may cause instability, make sure you add all of the text you intend for a segment before you add formatting tabs to the layout. Once formatted, any changes to the text have been crashing FCPX. If you suffer this effect, please Send Final Cut Pro Feedback from the Final Cut Pro menu to Apple. [This note is from the original Rolling Credits generator and may still be applicable.]


Demo video:

Rolling Credits II

Rolling Credits II & III

Artistic Magnifier

Artistic Magnifier User Guide

Artistic Magnifier

A Title for FCPX

User Guide

Installation instructions:

Originally designed as a utility magnifier for tutorials and such, it turns out there are interesting visual side effects that make this effect usable anywhere!

This effect was designed as a Title which allows any other object positioned below the title attached to the storyline, including text. If you’re okay with a little softness in the text (which is also a nice effect occasionally), this effect can be used to “transition” text with a slight drift and marvelous fade.

This effect was designed so that the scaled media used in the magnified view region maintains an “edge alignment” proportional to the position of the magnified region within the view frame of the video. What that means is: when you align the edge of the magnifier region with any edge of the view frame, the scaled media also aligns with that edge. The magnifier is designed not to go beyond the view frame edge, it will always be contained within the view frame. This technique means that when the magnifier region moves away from the center of the screen, the scaled media also moves in the opposite direction. It is a very nice effect — a beautiful difference in parallax view of the scene and gives a subtle sense of “3D-ness” to the scene.

In the diagram below, the Magnifier region is moving along the direction of the green arrow and as it moves, the Scaled Media is moving toward the border of the Drop Zone/Storyline frame boundary in the direction of the red arrow, synchronized to coincide at the edges of the frame boundary. The Scale value determines how much movement is perceptible. 

Artisitc Magnifier Diagram
How scaled media moves with respect to the magnifier


Artistic Magnifier parameters
Artistic Magnifier parameters


This effect has a single OSC (onscreen control) to assist in positioning in the viewer.  The position can be keyframed.

Width/Height: Due to the nature of the design for this effect, it was necessary to limit the width and height to only 1280 wide by 720 high. If you’d like to see how this was done, you can go into the Motion template in Motion and dig it out. It did require working a spreadsheet in Numbers to make the calculations necessary and for values beyond the 1280 horizontal and 1080 vertical, there was not enough room to add the number of control points necessary to handle the exponential expansion of values to make alignment for a larger region possible.  Maybe, someday, Apple will add a way to perform that kind of math automatically and this project will be updated. It is not necessary to keep these values proportional to each other. Within the bounds of the maxWidth and maxHeight, any size can be created (even 0 by 0) and keyframed for effect.

Scale: Range from 0% to 400%; default is 200% (or 2X). May be keyframed for effect. All scale values work with the math used for the region/scaled media edge alignments. However, when going smaller than 100%, it will be necessary to resize the width and height parameters if an outline boundary is desired.

Roundness: The magnifier region may have rounded corners. Rounding can also be used to create a more circular effect (although you may have trouble obtaining a “perfect circle”).

Border Color: keyframable value can be animated to change color over life, or simply be set for the life of the effect.

Border Opacity: keyframable value can be animated to fade in/out the border.

Border Width: keyframable value can be animated to adjust the weight of the boarder. The center of the border is the edge of the magnifier region. Using large values will obscure edge pixels.

First/Last Point Offsets: These parameters can be used to offset the beginning and end where the border is drawn around the region. These can be keyframed to create an (eye-catching) animation, typically drawing the box, or used to create an animated arrow (see the Outline Start and End Caps below).

Corner Style: when the region is set up as an unrounded rectangle and outlined with a line wider than 1 pixel, the corner style can be set to Square, Round or Bevel (which will create a 45° angle “cut” on the corners).

Outline Start/End Cap— There are four options: None (similar to Square), Square, Round, Bevel and Arrow. None ends at the actual control (corner) point whereas Square represents the center of a “fill” of a square that is “Width x Width”. Bevel cuts two 45° angles on the end and Arrow applies an arrow head. (Arrow size controls were not included with this effect: they were deemed superfluous for the most part).

Feather Edge/Falloff: These controls can be used to control a blurred and mixed edge between the magnifier region and the underlying media. There are values available beyond the slider, so click and drag the values up/down to create a larger feather.

Bg Overlay Color/Opacity: This effect includes a method of darkening the area outside the magnifier region, for effect. Color is black by default but may be set to any value and animated over time. Opacity is also a keyframable value that can be animated to fade in/out the color overlay.


These parameters deal with transitioning the magnification effect.

Fade In Time: the number of frames to fade up from 0 to 100% opacity. Timing may be affected by stretching the effect’s timing in the storyline.

Fade Out Time: the number of frames to fade out from 100% to 0% opacity. Timing may be affected by stretching the effect’s timing in the storyline.

Start Offset: the number of frames before starting the Fade In.

End Offset: the number of frames before the end where the Fade Out ends.

These parameters controlling the fade of only the magnifier region allows animating other features before (and/or after) these Fades are applied.



Artistic Magnifier

Artistic Magnifier

Fiesta Title


Fiesta User Guide

A Title for FCPX


Installation instructions:

This looks like a lot of parameters, but they are broken down in to easy sections and in order of general importance, so to speak. This title has a “build in” and “build out” that animates the title into the scene at the beginning and out of the scene at the end. The lengths for both are 1/2 second which will remain constant whether the title is stretched out or reduced in the storyline. This title was designed to move, otherwise it would have been called “Siesta”.

Workflow Tips

If you select the title and type ‘/‘, the title will loop and you can make changes in real time. (If it doesn’t loop, type Command-L to toggle on looping).

If you do nothing, Fiesta will animate in from the top of the frame to the center of the view, stay for 4 seconds and animate out upwards off the screen.

Begin with the ANIMATION CONTROLS. Set a custom Direction In. Try -90° to start the animation in from the left side and set Direction Out to +90° to move the title out to the right at the end.

Go down to the RANDOMNESS section. Change Position Amount to about 30.

Add Z Rot. Rnd Amt – about -25 and increase the Angle Freq to about 0.3. (The slider only moves in the positive direction— click on the number and drag downward with the mouse.

Go down to the SPOT GENERATOR section and dial down the Spot Color(s) parameter. The default is a single white color:

Notice the Interpolation is set to Constant. This means you can create a discreet color “table” of colors to be applied to the random spots.

Right click on the small square under the left corner and select a color from the color palette popup.

Click on the bottom “bar” at another location to create a new “tab” and right click on it in the same way and pick a second color. Continue for as many colors as you would like to add.

Note: if you reset the Title from the top of the Title Parameter list, the published “gradient” tools will reset to a blue-gray to blue gradient with the Interpolations set to Continuous which creates a smooth gradient between the two tabbed colors. The behavior of the tool also changes and new tabs will also be continuous. To change back to Constant, strip off the end tab (click and drag straight down until it pulls off), click on the other tab and set the Interpolation to Constant. Then, as you add new tabs, they will also be Constant (again).

This same technique can be applied to the Text Coloring for banding colors on the text.

That is the fundamental, simple workflow. Experiment with all the rest. The parameter descriptions below should give you enough information for how to proceed.

To copy the settings from one instance of Fiesta to others, simply option-drag a copy to another location in the storyline. To Save a set of parameter settings, create a Compound Clip to use later.

Parameter Descriptions

Main Controls

Title Opacity: This parameter controls the overall opacity of everything in this title. It is helpful when animating the contents directly forward or directly backward into the scene.

Text Coloring: Although initially set to a single color, this control is a “Gradient” control which includes Opacity. The default setting for new color additions is “Constant” which will create a “banded” look. This setting can be changed any time and for any color swatch by changing the Interpolation to Continuous. Dial down the disclosure triangle to reveal the gradient parameter controls.

Animation Controls

Direction In/Out:  Presented is the Z axis direction control. 0° is straight up, 90° is due right, etc., so the angle is with respect to the line coming straight out of the screen. Dialing down the disclosure triangle reveals X and Y axis directions. X is left/right and Y is up/down.  Move the playhead to near the beginning of the title in the storyline to manipulate these values to determine from where the title moves into the scene. As an example, the default direction is from directly up. Increasing the X axis rotation to 90° will cause the starting position to be directly away from the viewer and -90 (or 270) will start the title behind the viewer (off-screen).  Use Y axis rotation will move the starting position left or right of the center line. It is best to position the playhead and watch where the title moves as these values are changed.

Amplify Direction: The default amount of movement is from just outside the bounds of the video frame. When animating from away or behind the viewer (you), it becomes necessary to lengthen the amount of “distance” travelled. This parameter will make the animation both faster and have the effect of making it travel farther by up to 400%. Keyframe the Title Opacity to help fade the effect for distance.

Start X/Y/Z°
End X/Y/Z°
These values can be used to set the starting and ending orientation of the Title with respect the the plane of the Viewer.


Position Amount: How much the title moves around the center point

Pos. Freq.: How often the movement changes (randomly – based on “seed”)

Pos. Noise: How *severe* the changes will be

Pos Rand Seed Click the    to create a new random value or double click the number and type in your own.

X/Y/Z° Rot. Amt: How much the Title rotates

Angle Freq: How often the rotation changes

Angle Noise: How severe the changes will be

Angle Freq and Noise control the settings for all three rotations.

Angle Rand Seed: This is a slider with 20 different random seeds. This will help setting up how the title looks at a particular point within the animation. Set the Playhead at a specific point and use this slider to set the randomized angle at that point in time.

Spot Generator

Spots: The number of spots generated

Scale Randomness: The randomness of the size of each spot generated

Spot Color(s): A gradient tool like the Text Coloring, pre-set for Constant color change. Simply keep adding colors to the gradient as needed

Randomize Spots: Randomizes the positioning, scaling, and coloring of the spots.

Text Controls (For your convenience – duplicated in the Title Inspector)

Text: the copy of the text in the title

Collection: if you organize your font into Collections in Font Book, those collections can be selected here (this is NOT a feature available in the Text Inspector!)

Line Spacing

Drop Zone Controls

Use Drop Zone: This will turn on or off the drop zone. 

Drop Zone: The drop zone, by default, is filled with a transparent PNG. It will not appear even if the Use Drop Zone option is selected until you change to content to another clip or image.

Scale: By default, the drop zone is full screen. This value can be used to scale down the media

Pan: This value can be used to offset the media from the drop zone center.

Scale and Pan can be used to shrink and position images or video in your title scene.


Demo video:




Touch of Class gallery

Touch of Class

Touch Of Class User Guide

Title for FCPX 10.3+
by Sight-Creations (F•X Mahoney)

By default, ToC is a simple labelling title with enough flexibility to be a full view title or a lower third.

A blurred background label type title with a high level of customization.

All non-option parameters can be keyframed!

Position (for animation)

Fade (A convenience to avoid using the Video Animation tool).

Font (default: Helvetica Neue)

Size (default: 48)

Color (text color: default white)

Text Vertical Adj (Different fonts have different ascents/descents. Vertical adjustment will be necessary if you change fonts. You can also use this parameter to adjust the text relative to the background label “tape”).

Text Horiz Adj (As with Text Vertical Adj., it is possible to adjust the horizontal position of the text relative to the label tape with the center text position at 0).

Label Width Adj (You can adjust the width of the label tape to any size from 0 to beyond the size of the screen, suitable for creating a lower third).

Label Height Adj (You can adjust the height of the label tape to any size from 0 to beyond the size of the screen, suitable for creating an entire blurred background).

Label Brightness (Improve contrast with your text by adjusting this parameter).

Label Blur Amount (Blur the background behind the label tape from 0 [no blur] to 100).

Tint Option (Checkbox to turn on Tinting).

Tint Color (Used to colorize the background label tape).

Tint Intensity (Used to adjust the amount to coloring applied by the Tint).

Touch of Class Option (Adjustable outline inside or outside blurred label tape region, adjustable from 0 to larger than the screen region).

Outline Color (The outline is a tasteful (touch of class) 1 px width, not adjustable — the color can be used to complement the title text color).

Outline Opacity (Blending with low opacity gives a beautifully subtle look).

Outline Offset (Adjustable in negative [inside the label tape region] and positive [outside the label tape region] directions).

Need help installing?


Demo video:


Touch Of Class

Touch Of Class

Duotone thumb


Duotone User Guide

A Retro Effect

for Final Cut Pro X

duotone parameters
Duotone Parameters


User Guide

What is old is new again…

Duotone is an old technique to add a little color to otherwise grayscale images, for example, sepia-toning images to lend a somewhat flesh color to an black and white image.

Duotones can be any single color plus black (or white) or any two colors. The most popular color combinations are CMY combinations (cyan-magenta-yellow) or RGB combinations (red-green-blue). The default Preset color combination in Duotone is Yellow/Magenta. The available colors in the Presets are:

Highlight:            Shadow:



You will see duplicates from one to the other. Remember I said that the *combinations* were from the CMY or RGB — they can be any order you like.

You may want a kind of “negative” effect.

There are a wide variety of combinations available in the preset colors.

Each color has the option to customize the color with the color picker.  Select the option to Customize Highlights or Shadows and choose a new color from the respective pickers. Note that when you select to customize, the color swatch will “revert” to it’s last created custom color. The Highlights custom color starts at white and the Shadows start at black. When you select new colors, you can go back to a preset by unchecking the Customize option. Reselecting the Customize option will put back the last select custom color. It does not matter that you might change the Preset. The color swatch shows the last selected color (Preset or Custom).

Duotones are created by “inking” the grayscale image.  Duotone Intensity determines how much color is applied to the highlights and shadows of the grayscale image. A setting of 0 is a Black & White image.

Duotone controls can make that Black & White Image look outstanding (not simply a desaturated color image, but a genuine black & white image). The Brightness Level is not true brightness, but a conversion of the “value” portion of HSV (Hue-Saturation-Value). It will help boost the lightness of a fully infused duotone that may appear too dark initially (example: using Blue).

The Grayscale Balance section is essentially a Levels control. The Black and White Points determine the range of grayscale. Anything below the Black Point value, when raised will be crushed to black (extending the Black range). Anything above the White Point value will blow out to white. These two controls can radically increase the contrast of the image. The “crushing” values can be mitigated by the use of the Contrast Redux controls.  The Mid Gray Point can elevate or lower a midpoint value and be used to determine the ratio of Highlight Color to Shadow Color.

The Contrast Redux controls will soften the crushing effect of either the Black or White Point.

Duotone Mix will allow you to keyframe a transition from the full color image to the duotone; or it can be used to soften the duotone effect and blend with the original colors of the image.

This is a simple effect. It has an extremely wide range of possibilities! Combined with the Effects Masks provided by FCPX, particularly Shape Masks, even more creative effect can be created with Duotone. Remember that Colors can be keyframed for animation just like any other parameter.

Have fun! Experiment. And use this beautiful classic design tool to take your video to a whole new level!


Installation instructions can be found here:


Demo video:




SC Guides 3 sample 2

SC Guides

SC Guides 3 User Guide

SC Guides 3 is a Title for FCPX


parameter list
SC Guides Parameters


This is a simple tool. It is designed to help you place or align objects at specific locations in your video. It is also designed to work with any resolution up to 9600 x 9600 (and a little more).

In FCPX, some of the default resolution settings are not all “square” pixels. For these resolutions, there will be a slight discrepancy in the Video Dimensions parameters — the adjustments are easy to make to correct the values displayed in the Viewer.

You begin by supplying the video dimensions (1920 x 1080 are the default).

There is an OnScreen Control (the larger one) with the guidelines attached which can be controlled in the viewer or by manipulating the Location parameters (X and Y). You will notice the values are decimal values between -0.5 and 0.5 for the top values and 0 to 1.0 in the disclosed values. You can use either set of these values for precision placement of the gridlines (sometimes manually controlling the OSC, especially in downscaled views, makes it difficult to achieve the position you require). By holding down the Option key and dragging the mouse on the values up or down, you can get fine tune control of the gridlines.

The last two parameters allow you to customize the line color and its opacity.

When you’re done positioning or aligning your objects, select the SC Guides title and type the ‘v’ key to disable it, or simply delete it.

If you need help installing this template:


SC Guides 3

SC Guides 3

scOverlay Generator

SC Overlay

SC Overlay User Guide

A reinterpretation of the standard Bumper/Opener Boxes > Overlay Title.

Installing SC Overlay

SC Overlay was created to be moved into the same Theme as the original. You might not always want to use the extra features supplied in SC Overlay, but it will be available in the same location if you follow these instructions.

Starting at the “root” level of your main drive, usually called Macintosh HD:

Open Users

Open your Home folder (the currently active user account will have a small house icon)

Open the Movies folder

If you have a folder named Motion Templates, open it. Otherwise create it:

     Create a new folder.

     Rename it: Motion Templates (case sensitive, space necessary)

     Type Command-I to open the Get Info window.

     In the Name & Extension section add: .localized to the end of the name if it doesn’t already exist

     Open the folder.

Find and Open the folder “Bumper/Opener” if it exists. Otherwise create it:

     Use the same steps as above – case sensitive and the slash is required

     Open the folder.

It is not likely that a folder named Boxes exists yet, so create it following the same instructions above

    Open the folder.

Move the entire SC Overlay folder inside.

Check to make sure that SC Overlay is available in FCPX by going to the Titles inspector >  Bumper/Opener category and scroll down to the Boxes section. You should find the original Overlay title as well as the SC Overlay variation. If not – check your spellings on the folders you created and the ‘.localized’ extension is properly applied.

Using SC Overlay

SC Overlay is almost exactly the same as the original. There is a menu parameter named Direction. The original did not allow this option. All animation was from the Left In except for the Arrow Shape option which was Left Top Down. Left In is now available for all shape options as well as the following:

  • Left Top Down
  • Center Top Down
  • Right Top Down
  • Right In
  • Right Bottom Up
  • Center Bottom Up, and
  • Left Bottom Up

SC Overlay allows you to set the Amount of Blur (“Blur Motion Amt.”) applied to the motion animation from 0 to 32+ (for higher than 32 values, click and drag up on the number value to increase).

Color Theme and Shape options remain exactly the same.

Align Title has been repaired so that the value of 0 indicates the default (centered) position of the ‘title subtitle’ text section.

In SC Overlay, the description/name pairs has been modified in the following way:

     These text items are formatted as “Paragraph” style text objects meaning

     that they are complete TextEdit objects contain a bounding box and ruler for placing Tabs.

     SC Overlay adjusts the right side of the bounding box to equal the offset of the left

     edge. What this means is: you can use the Text Alignment parameters in the Title inspector

     to align the text objects as Left (default), Center and Right aligned text and have the

     text align properly within the background bounds.


Editing in SC Overlay
editing text in SC Overlay


If you need more room for text entries, modify the text bounding boxes by dragging the control squares along the edges of the bounding box to adjust the space needed.

For assistance lining up altered text spacing, I recommend: (SC Guides 3)

a FREE simple generator for lining up objects within the frame viewer in Final Cut Pro.

Thank you for your interest in Sight-Creations Templates (available on

SC Overlay

SC Overlay

Piet's Corner Title

Piet’s Corner

Piet’s Corner User’s Guide

A Title for FCPX

by Sight-Creations


This title will require Final Cut Pro 10.3.1 or above.

Piet’s Corner (pronounced “Pete’s Corner”) consists of a square shape, one horizontal line, one vertical line and the Title text. The square and lines are arranged like a section of Piet Mondrian’s works from which this title was inspired. It is very easy to stack instances of this title to create more complex “artwork” for your titling. The parameter selection is very easy to use. There are parameters to alter the length of the lines and their offsets from their default position. Animations are automatic and always work regardless of the changes in line parameters. There are eight built in animations: horizontal line moves in from left and exits right, vice versa, or can be made to “bounce” direction. Same rules for the vertical line in up or down directions. It is possible to keyframe your own line animations using the Offsets parameters so you can animate either in or out if you don’t want both.

User’s Parameters Guide

Style Arrangement: There are four arrangements based on the location of the square shape. They are: top left, top right, bottom right and bottom left. Lines are always aligned on the inside (text side) edges of the square.

Animations: There are eight line animations, simply combinations of the horizontal line moving in from the left (Left) and moving out to the right, or the option to “Bounce” (in from the left — out to the left). The vertical line moves in from the top or bottom and exits the opposite direction or bounces.

WriteOn Snapshots: When set to 100, the text does not animate. Anything less will cause the text to write on. Higher values will animate more quickly. Setting this value to zero will cause the longest delay to the start of writing on and write on the slowest. In between values are interpolation of the five write-on “presets” created for this effect.

H-Line Size: The default H-Line Size is the width of whatever text is being used. This setting can be used to set whatever line size you’d like (or set it to 0 to eliminate the line). The parameter can be keyframed to animate.

H-Line Offset: The default H-Line Offset is 0, that is, it automatically aligns to the left and right edges of the text’s bounding box*. This parameter can be used to change the alignment of the horizontal line with respect to the text. Especially effective when H-Line Size is also used.

V-Line Size: The default V-Line Size is the height of the text’s bounding box. If you use multiple lines of text, this size will automatically adjust as lines are added.

V-Line Offset: The default V-Line Offset is 0; automatically aligning with the top edge of the first line of text. This parameter is analogous to H-Line Offset.

Square Size: Use this parameter to change the size of the corner square from its default of 24 down to 0 (not visible) to a much larger size (as a large corner block — which can be very effective). It is not advisable to keyframe the size of this object. Due to the effects of the behavior used to align this object with the text, it is likely to look “jumpy” under animation.

Text Color,
Square Color,
H-Line Color,
V-Line Color: Independent color selections for each visible part of this title. Text color is provided as a convenience: this is the same color as the Text Face color available in the Text inspector.

Drop Shadow: This is off by default. It can be used to good effect… try it with all white title parts on a white background.


Position the text in the viewer by clicking on the text and dragging to whatever location you want it to appear. Everything follows with the text as if it were one object.

When making color selections, it is often useful (and advisable) to use the same color for more than one part. Simply click on the color swatch in the inspector and drag it on to one of the other swatches and drop.

When creating a multiple level effect, customize the first instance then hold the Option key down and drag a copy of the title above the original. Then, all you need to do is drag the new instance to a new position and make any minor alterations to the title you might need. It is possible to build beautiful and intricate lattice effects for your titles.

If you need help installing this title for use with FCPX, please go to


Demo video:


Piet’s Corner

Spot Marks the Text title thumb

Spot Marks the Text

A Title for Final Cut Pro

Spot Marks the Text User Guide


This template will require FCPX 10.3.3 or higher due to the usage of the new Fill filter in Motion introduced this past January with version 5.3.2.

Development Note

When developing this Title, FCPX occasionally crashed (froze — spinning beach ball of death). No specific feature of the Title could be tied to the crashes and the instability may only exist on my personal system or there is a new feature in use that might be causing some instability. FCPX would freeze requiring a force quit. Restarting FCPX restored everything completely and no side effects occurred. The title and its parameters worked perfectly without further incidence. If you experience a crash, send the crash report to Apple and restart Final Cut (it will not automatically restart after a force quit). This title should be otherwise safe to use or it would not have been released.


This effect has been carefully crafted to allow a wide gamut of creative possibility. A “spot” animates through the center region outlined by two lines revealing the Title’s text. Two of the options are that the separation between the lines is user adjustable as well as the size of the spot which does not have to be a circle, it can be made into an oval. The title is crafted in such a way so that no matter what size the spot is, it always begins and ends the animation just beyond the bounding lines. This will make synchronizing multiple instances of the title in imaginative ways possible. Changing these dimensions will not effect the way the title works. You don’t have to worry that a smaller spot will mean a longer wait for it to appear or that the Line Separation will cut into the starting point of the spot.

This title is deliberately designed to be timed for 5 seconds. Need slower animation? Stretch out the title longer in time. Rapid “scrolling” can accomplished by shortening the time to 2-3 seconds.

This title has been designed with three lines of text. Default position for the specific font (Sinzano), font size, and the three lines has been set with Font Size, Line Spacing and Baseline. These three parameters will be very important to adjust when changing fonts, their size and the number of lines in use. Use the over and under lines as guides when making adjustments. These are easy adjustments to make — just use your eyes. You want the centering to occur at the midpoint within the title. If you double click on the title clip in the storyline, the playhead should automatically be set to the center frame of the title making these adjustments more precisely placed.


Build In/Out — The two lines that appear on the screen animate in the “build” portion of the template. You have the option of turning off this behavior for one or the other or both. This is useful if you have two or more instances of the title adjacent in the storyline and you want to animate the build in of the first and the build out of the second title, or have three in a row and turn off the build in and out of the middle instance. In this way, several lines of text can be animated inside the bounding lines with only the end titles providing the line animation on and off.

Align Text 2 Spot — By default, this title has a fixed location for the text and the spot reveals it as it passes through the effect. However, with this option checked, it is possible to the the text move with the spot.

Effect Y Position — By default, this title is centered in the frame, horizontally and vertically. This parameter allows you to create a lower (or upper) third by repositioning the title in the vertical space of the frame.

Spot Controls

Direction — Forward (default) and Reverse (moves from up to down).

Pause — By default, there is no (programmed) pause in the animation of the spot. With this option, you can have the spot pause when it reaches the center position within the animation.

Spot Radius — By default, the value is 212 pixels radius from its center. With this parameter, you are able to resize the spot to accommodate whatever text you require. You may also distort the spot into an oval shape: dial down the disclosure triangle on the left edge to access the width and height parameters.

Fill Spot With — Default is Color. However, you may select a Gradient.

Color/Gradient — This will depend on the Fill Spot With selection. If set to color, you will see a Color swatch with which you can set (and animate!) the solid color of the spot. When Fill Spot With is set to Gradient, you will see a gradient tool here. If  you require partial opacity of the spot, use the Gradient and the Opacity controls built in.

Text Controls

These parameters are placed here for your convenience. These same parameters are also available in the Text Inspector (except Text Fill Style and Collection).

Text Fill Style — By default, this option is set to Color. The other option is Cut Out which essentially fills the text with whatever the background media is in the storyline.

The default font for this effect is Sinzano. It is available to all users of Final Cut Pro.

Collection — If you organize your fonts in Font Book into collections, this is a convenience to finding the font you want by going directly into that collection. The Font menu will only display those fonts within that collection. The collection “All” will show all your installed fonts from the font menu.

Line Spacing — When using this parameter, be careful to select all the text so that Line Spacing is evenly applied. Otherwise, Line Spacing can be used to vary the spacing between lines any way you wish.

Tracking — used for spreading out the characters (increases kerning uniformly).

Baseline — This title is set up for three lines of text and centered according to the Sinzano font characteristics. If you use only one or two lines (or more than three), use this parameter to bring the text back to the center within the two horizontal lines. Note: this parameter has no effect when Align Text 2 Spot is active.

Rotation — Rotation is included for effect. When used with Slant, it makes a very interesting variation.

Slant — See Rotation.


Demo video:


Spot Marks the Text

Spot Marks the Text