Final Cut Pro: What Is a Generator Clip?

Final Cut Pro is a nonlinear editing program compatible for MAC platforms which makes editing a convenience providing several functions for video projects. One of the main features in Final Cut Pro is the generator clip. With this feature, you can produce several special functions such bars and tones, mattes, shapes, text and many more.


The generator clip is located under the effects option in the program browser. Another place to easily find the generator clip is through a tab icon located at the lower right hand corner of the Viewer. Once you click on the icon, a menu will appear with several options. The menu will provide the following selections: Bars and Tone, Boris, Matte, Render, Shapes, Slug and Text.

Purpose and Use

This feature in Final Cut Pro provides many options for editors as the generator clip stores many pre-made templates for quick and easy use. This feature also allows the choice for a slightly tweaked version of the template for each project preference. You can adjust each template by selecting the control tab located towards the top of the viewer. Just like any other video that can be incorporated into your timeline, the generator clip can be used with motion key frames, applied with filters and capable of being layered with several other forms of media in the project timeline. Many of these features are excellent sources of placeholders within your time line. The Slug feature provides an excellent placeholder in your timeline to keep accurate time duration for your project. The Bars and Tone option provides the proper way to set up a slate for clients. Both of these options automatically provide you with a designated time for each generator clip, but you can easily change it at your own judgment for your project.

Timeline Manageability

The process to add these generator clips to the timeline is simple. All you have to do is to click on the viewer window and drag the contents onto the time line. Once you have placed your generator clip in the time line, you are still able to tweak and adjust the time duration on the clip as well. You can also adjust your generator clip by double clicking on the video in the project timeline. The generator clip will appear on the viewer. You can now make your adjustments through the viewer and the edits will be directly applied to your clip in the timeline. This will save you time versus a back and forth process of constantly dragging your new edit into the timeline.


Upon applying your generator clip to the timeline, you may need some time to render these clips in the project timeline. In order to view your project in the timeline, you must allow your sequence to render out completely. Please allow yourself some time for the rendering process to be complete.

If you’re looking for an option in Final Cut Pro that allows you to create templates for your project, the generator clip will provide you with many choices. With these choices comes an endless amount of possibilities to create for your project.