Final Cut Pro: How To Create Motion Effects in the Viewer

In order to create motion effects using the new digital age editing programs, you need to create keyframes. This process is necessary in Final Cut Pro as well. Keyframes are destination cues for a computer program which helps create motion paths. Keyframes allow an animator to create a first and last frame in a sequence with a keyframe motion path, and the computer will create the frames in between to complete the sequence.

This has allowed one animator to complete a process which previously required at least two animators to collaborate on. In the past, a lead animator would create the first and last frames and then an assistant animator would create the frames in between. This was a long, drawn out process which was difficult to control and often led to inconsistencies in the animation. With the precision of modern computer programs, the time restrains are lifted and the accuracy and conciseness of the animation is greatly improved with much less effort and cost than previous animation would have required.

Step 1: Setup, Planning and Preparation

The first step for an animator is to plan his animation. An animator must have a clear picture of how he wants the motion effect to play out and be applied. It is much easier to take the time in the beginning, prior to starting the process, than to have to return to it later because the animator's unhappy with the outcome. The animator then needs to be sure that the editing is done correctly and is stopping and starting in the correct places.

If the editing is incorrect, even if the motion effect is executed perfectly, the sequence will not seem to run smoothly and will not be as aesthetically pleasing as a correctly edited piece would be. The animator needs to open the clip in the viewer in order to properly apply the motion effects. This can be done by first checking that the playhead is at the beginning of the clip on the timeline and double clicking the clip. If this is done correctly, the scrub bar will appear like film. The animator should then click the motion tab in order to allow for motion effects.

Step 2: Working the Clip

The animator should then open the canvas version of the image. He can do this by selecting the canvas option on the menu. He should then select the option image and wire frame. Once this is done correctly, the animator should see a large X at the top of the image.

Step 3: Creating Motion with the Keyframes

The animator should now return to the Viewer screen and select the center option in the basic motions menu. This will create a keyframe on this frame and will be shown by a small triangular shape next to the keyframe option. The animator should repeat this process on the final frame of the sequence. Once this is completed, he should set the scale and position of the first and last frames beginning with the first frame.

To make this easier, he can click on the triangles next to the keyframe option in order to move between the first and last frame more quickly. After the frames are correctly scaled, the animator can play the sequence and view the motion.