Video and Audio Generators Available in Final Cut Pro

In Final Cut Pro, generators are a class of effects, so much of the information presented in the effects chapters also applies to generators. For more information about generators, see the following topics.

The following tables provide information about the generators available in Final Cut Pro, including a discussion of each generator’s controls.

Color Bars, Tone, and Other Signal Generators

You use color bar and signal generators for calibration and testing purposes. Each Bars and Tone generator uses the image dimensions and color space intended for a particular video system. For more information, see Measuring and Setting Video Levels.

Generator
Result
Bars and Tone (HD 1080i60)
Generates reference color bars and audio tone for 1080i60 video systems.
Bars and Tone (HD 25p/50i Full Frame)
Generates full-frame reference color bars and audio tone for HD 25p/50i video systems.
Bars and Tone (HD 25p/50i)
Generates reference color bars and audio tone for HD 25p/50i video systems.
Bars and Tone (HD 720p60)
Generates reference color bars and tone for 720p HD video systems.
Bars and Tone (NTSC)
Generates reference color bars and audio tone for NTSC systems.
Bars and Tone (PAL Full Frame)
Generates full-frame reference color bars and audio tone for PAL systems.
Bars and Tone (PAL)
Generates reference color bars and audio tone for PAL systems.
More Bars and Signals
Generates test signals for external video calibration. Use the Test Signal pop-up menu in the Controls tab to specify a test signal.

Boris

For information about the Boris generators, see the Boris product documentation.

Matte

You use the Matte generators to create colored and solid-colored backgrounds. You can create colored backgrounds behind other layered clips in a sequence or as containers for special effects filters that create visual images. In conjunction with filters such as Mask Shape, they can be used to create different shapes as design elements or as track matte layers. Other interesting effects can be obtained by limiting these generators to shades of gray and using them with the track matte composite mode, or with filters that perform luma key operations.

Generator
Result
Color
Generates a frame of color. The color controls allow you to specify the color.
Color Solid
Generates a single-colored object. You can adjust the color of the solid, as well as keyframe the color to create an animated texture of changing colors

Render

You can use the Render generators to create backgrounds filled with gradient shades of color or grays.

Generator
Result
Caustics
The Caustics generator creates an animated, simulated water surface. You can use the Caustics generator to add light patterns to a project, or as the source object for an image map. The size, speed, refraction, brightness, and color of the Caustics pattern can be modified and animated using the generator controls.
Cellular
The Cellular generator creates an animated pattern that looks like cells moving under a microscope. You can change the size, speed, and gradient shade and color of the cells using the generator controls.
Checkerboard
The Checkerboard generator creates a static checkerboard pattern. The contrast, color, size, and position of the checkerboard squares can be edited and keyframed using the generator controls.
Clouds
The Clouds generator creates an animated cloud pattern. You can modify or animate the scale, speed, gradient shade and color, and strength of the cloud layers using the generator controls.
Concentric Shapes
The Concentric Shapes generator creates a repeating pattern of shapes. You can create many effects using this generator; one example is to animate the Phase parameter to create a “hypnotic”effect. You can change the shape, number of sides, rotation, position, inner and outer cutoff, and color type (choosing either 2 Color or Gradient) of the concentric shapes using the generator controls.
Custom Gradient
The Custom Gradient generator creates a gradient layer. You can modify the gradient by using the Shape, Start, Gradient Direction angle, and color controls and by selecting the Dither and Gaussian checkboxes.
Gradient
The Gradient generator creates a predefined gradient based on a direction you choose from the Gradient Type pop-up menu. You can modify the predefined gradient by using the Start and End controls and by selecting the Dither and Gaussian checkboxes.
Grid
The Grid generator creates a grid pattern made of two different colored lines. The default grid pattern uses white lines on a black background. You can customize the colors of the grid lines, the line widths, and the background of the grid. You can also add additional graph paper lines using the generator controls.
Highlight
The Highlight generator creates a simulated specular highlight band. You can customize the position, angle, width, softness, and highlight and background colors using the generator contrtols.
Lens Flare
The Lens Flare generator reproduces the look of a flare of light hitting a camera lens. By adjusting its controls, you can create the effect of a lens flare in a specific location and with different intensities and colors. You can customize the position, size, intensity, falloff speed, and color, streak, ring, and glow settings using the generator controls.
When you use the Lens Flare generator, be sure to select the generator clip in the Timeline and set the Composite mode to Add. These settings make the lens flare appear transparent on the background clip.
Membrane
The Membrane generator creates a sheer, animated sheet with lines that appear to move gracefully about in 3D space. The speed, start and end points, offset, brightness, and color can be modified and animated using the generator controls.
Noise
The Noise generator creates random pixel noise, similar to static. A Noise generator, when superimposed over a video image with a very low opacity level, can be used to simulate gain, similar to a film image or clip shot with a video camera whose gain is turned all the way up.
Two Noise generators are available. The FxPlug version allows you to adjust the Random Seed parameter that controls the noise pattern. The other Noise generator can be adjusted to appear in varying levels across every channel of the clip, including the alpha, red, green, and blue channels, using the appropriate slider controls.
One Color Ray
The One Color Ray generator creates a pattern of rays that emanate from a center point, based on variations of a single color. You can select color information, the degree of variance, the number of divisions represented, and the rotation of the pattern using the generator controls.
Op Art 2 and 3
The Op Art generators help confuse your background-foreground senses. The Op Art generators create mathematically oriented patterns using a repetition of dots or lines. Although some static patterns create a visual illusion of movement, you can keyframe the Op Art parameters to create actual moving moiré patterns using the generator controls.
Particle Noise
One of the more graphical generators in Final Cut Pro. The Particle Noise generator, unlike the Noise generators, creates random patterns of different shapes. By adjusting the generator controls, you can create all kinds of effects.
Soft Gradient
The Soft Gradient generator creates a soft-edged, radial gradient that ranges from a single color to transparency. The gradient contains an alpha channel so that you can place the generator over another image in the project. You can change and keyframe the position, color, and radius of the gradient using the generator controls.
Spirals
The Spirals generator creates a repeating circular spiral pattern. You define the styling of the spiral using the Type pop-up menu, choosing Modern, which creates evenly spaced color swirls, or Classic, which creates color swirls that narrow as they move toward the center of the spiral. You can customize the position, color, scale, tightnesss, contrast, and rotation of the spiral using the generator controls.
Star
The Star generator creates a glowing star shape that contains an alpha channel. The position, color, and radius of the star can be modified using the generator controls. Additionally, the scale, width, angle, and opacity of the star’s spikes can be modified and keyframed using the generator controls, and the size and shape of the star can be fine-tuned using the Epsilon controls.
Stripes
The Stripes generator creates a default image with vertical bands of two alternating colors. An interesting way to use the Stripes generator is to animate the Center parameter, creating an animation in which the stripes continuously move across the screen without the need to resize and pan the object across the Canvas. You can change and keyframe the position, colors, size, and contrast of the stripes using the generator controls.
Swirly
The Swirly generator creates an animated pattern based on the Pulse, Spiderweb Spin, or Spiky style you choose from the Style pop-up menu. You can modify and animate the scale, rotation, persistence, radius, amplitude, and number of passes of the pattern you chose using the other generator controls.
Two Color Ray
The Two Color Ray generator creates a ray pattern that emanates from a center point and alternates between two colors. You can select the colors, the number of divisions represented, and the rotation of the pattern using the generator controls.

Shapes

You can use the Shapes generators to create shapes of different colors and sizes that can appear in backgrounds.

Generator
Result
Circle
Creates a circle. You can change the circle’s size, edge softness, and color using the generator controls.
Oval
Creates an oval. You can change the oval’s size, aspect, edge softness, and color using the generator controls.
Rectangle
Creates a rectangle. You can change the rectangle’s size, aspect, edge softness, and color using the generator controls.
Square
Creates a square. You can change the square’s size, edge softness, and color using the generator controls.

Slug

You use the Slug generator to create a solid black background.

Generator
Result
Slug
Generates a video clip consisting of a black image with an empty pair of audio tracks. Slug is used primarily as a placeholder in areas of your edit where you want to keep a gap between two clips.

Text

You can create a variety of text titles, credits, and other types of text labels using the text generators.

Generator
Result
Text generators:
  • Crawl

  • Lower 3rd

  • Outline Text

  • Scrolling Text

  • Text

  • Typewriter

Generates text for titles, credits, and so on. Each text generator can be customized using its controls. For more information, see Creating Titles.