Wild SMPTE Leader


Wild SMPTE Leader is BACK! And better than ever. Absolutely precise in all frame rates!

It was originally made for Final Cut Pro 7 (Jan. 12, 2010) now finally remade for FCPX 10.4.8 (may be backdated!) Requires installation of the provided font: ZZSCWildSMPTE-Regular.ttf (just to make sure everybody gets the same thing!)


Wild SMPTE Leader - a full color psychedelic variation!

My YouTube video for this effect is one of my all-time most popular videos! … … … Go figure… hmmph. I had never released this effect previously in any form, which was unusual. I had promised a tutorial (Motion 4), but never got much reaction to it (comments/requests/whatever). It is, however, still getting viewed at a rather regular rate, so I decided what the hell… I’ll remake it for Final Cut Pro X and release it. I actually had to make a font for it because it uses an ancient version of Concorde that most of you probably don’t have.

The number set for Wild SMPTE Leader is from a very old font (circa 1992) and something I’ve had on my system since those days. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the same font, you don’t get the same view, so I made a small font for this generator that must be installed before using. It’s called ZZSCWildSMPTE-Regular.ttf. It starts with ZZSC (double ZZ to drive it to the bottom of your font menu and out of your way; and SC for Sight-Creations — in case you were wondering.)

Wild SMPTE Leader generator works in ALL supported project timings in Final Cut Pro X. It works with precision in all “whole number” frame rates without alteration. If you feel you must (and some do) use a fractional frame rate like 23.98, 29.97 or 59.94, then there is a menu selection for each of those that will correct the precision. It is the *only* parameter available with this generator. At exact each second mark, the white rotating marker will be straight up and the number will change to the next in the sequence. In All Frame Rates. (The solution was simple — it only took 10 years to figure it out!)

It doesn’t matter if you stretch out the generator, the original countdown sequence will play exactly the same. You may, however, shorten the generator to the “two-pop”, or any place you want for a shortened countdown (from 9, always 9).

The “two-pop” sound effect is located in the Media folder inside the Wild SMPTE Leader generator folder. You will have to manually import that into FCPX. You can line up the beginning of the “countdown-tone.aif” at the 2 second mark (remember the white moving line will be exactly vertical at the top) for an accurate timing position.

Customizing Wild SMPTE Leader

You can do some customization on this generator by apply the Hue/Saturation Effect and dialing the Hue around. You can also “play” with Saturation and Value. To achieve some really “killer” customization, allow me to suggest SC Color Grade, Highlighter, and or SC KeyFX to make custom alterations to the color scheme!

Wild SMPTE Leader plus Hue/Saturation plus SC Color Grade
Wild SMPTE Leader with Hue/Saturation and SC Color Grade applied

The original video:

Installation Instructions.

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A good place to see all of my effects as well as several tutorials and other demonstrations in use is on my YouTube channel.