Tips on Using Motion Templates in FCPX

Ref: “For the Motion/AE Challenged (like me)”

Ok, below is my first rather ambitious use of a Motion Template. It’s a two minute video. The template was about 30 seconds I think.

First of all, this template from Motion VX, can be opened up in Motion 5 and every parameter is available to be altered to suit. When I did open it in Motion I was astounded by the sheer mass and complexity of what was done by the creator to make that template. I promptly abandoned any idea of changing any aspect of it–primarily because I had NO IDEA of where to start.

So with some vague idea of future Motion Training to be scheduled, I proceeded to figure out a way to extend the template to suit my needs.

The first thing you discover when you try cut (edit) the template in the time line, it’s like there’s a rubber band inside of it and it all goes splooey. So you can’t simply cut out a section and copy-paste it for example. Doesn’t work.

The solution, however, is simple.

If you click on the template and make a NEW COMPOUND CLIP out of it,  you can then cut it and it won’t affect the rest of the template.  So, for example, if you want to cut out and duplicate (copy) a portion of the template, you can do that with impunity in a compound clip. Be sure to NAME the compound clip so that when it shows up in your event file you’ll know what it is.

IMPORTANT:  You must import the template back onto your time line  and make a NEW compound clip EACH time you want to use a different portion for a different purpose.

In other words, say there is one portion of the template you want to use two or three times in the edit. Every time you edit one of them, it will change the others as well. For example; if you duplicate one portion of the template which contains TEXT, and you want to use it in several places for DIFFERENT text, every time you change the text for your next edit, it will also change the text of your earlier edits because it considers your “copy paste” portion of the template to be the SAME.

So…re-import the entire template into the timeline, make it into a new compound clip, NAME IT for your new edit, and cut and paste the piece you want and then change the text for that portion. Delete the rest of the template and build your edit in this way.

I know, it sounds tedious and it is.

But that’s what you can do to manipulate templates without having to go into Motion to alter them.

And yes, I know, that’s the price you pay for being dumb.

I hope someone can point me in the direction of a good value-for-money way of learning Motion. Looks like you could make a killing producing templates!

By the way, after extending the template in the fashion described above, you can then use various transition tricks (or not) to smooth out the cuts you’ve created in the template. Since they were created in Motion, you will generally find there are FCPX transitions  and effects that you can use to make it as seamless as possible.  The template I used, for example, used a “raster” effect throughout the visuals. So whenever I created or added a new image that wasn’t part of the template, I just added the raster effect to it to help it integrate. etc.  I also had to do some basic motion tracking with key frames to animate a few things to integrate with the template. Maybe I picked a rough one to begin with.

Oh, and I used more than one template to create this. All the “multi-screen” stuff was another template. The “screen crawls” were an FCPX effect to which I added the raster effect. Etc.

This video took too long to create and it isn’t perfect. But I learned a lot.

Hope this helps you, if you’re anything like me.

Here’s another one, a bit simpler:

3 responses

  1. i did some trials with my pile of motion from A/E a few of the first ones were failures and like your self i found the whole did not like to be sliced – the end result of the one i settled on worked well and the client was very happy – 🙂
    I like what you did with yours to show off the music shop – it is well executed and i would estimate aside from capture of video and stills you put about 25 -30 hours into creating that piece …


Don't just sit there...say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: