Saving Shapes and Shape Styles

Like all objects in Motion, shapes and shape styles (a custom gradient fill and outline, for example) can be saved to the Library. This allows you to add to the content that Motion provides to create a library of your own custom objects and styles, including customized behaviors and filters or whole project groups. Content you put into the Library is available to every project in Motion.

Custom shapes (including masks) can be saved in the Shapes, Favorites, or Favorites Menu categories of the Library. Custom shape styles, which are saved via the Shape Style pop-up menu, are automatically saved in the Shape Styles category. You can create your own folders within the Library categories or subcategories to better organize your effects.

Each customized shape or shape style saved to the Library is saved as a separate file in the Motion folder of the Application Support directory. For example, a saved custom shape named “red heart” in the Shapes category of the Library appears in the Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Shapes/ folder.

Figure. Custom shape icon as it appears in the Finder.

Items that are saved to the Library appear in the Finder with a .molo extension (“Motion Library object”). These items cannot be opened from the Finder.

Saved Shape Positions

When you drag a custom shape from the Library to the Canvas, the center of the shape is dropped at the location in which you release the mouse button. If you use the Apply button in the Preview area to add the shape, the shape is added at the center of the Canvas.

When you drag shapes that were saved with the “All in one file” option to the Canvas, the shapes are dropped at the location in which you release the mouse button and are positioned according to their arrangement when originally saved to the Library. If you use the Apply button in the Preview area to add the shapes, the shapes are added at the center of the Canvas.

When you drag a custom mask from the Library into a project, the mask retains the position with which it was saved (relative to the image or footage on which it is dropped).

To save a shape to the Library
  1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Shapes category.

  2. Drag the shape you want to save from the Layers tab or Timeline layers list into the stack at the bottom of the Library.

    Shapes that are saved to the Favorites Menu category can be quickly added to a project via the Favorites menu.

    The saved custom shape appears in the Shapes category of the Library in the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Shapes/ folder.

To save multiple shapes to the Library
  1. Open the Library and select the Favorites, Favorites Menu, or Shapes category.

  2. In the Layers tab, select all of the shapes you want to save, drag them to the stack, and hold down the mouse button.

  3. When the drop menu appears, choose “All in one file” or “Multiple files.”

    “All in one file” saves all the shapes together, and they are listed as one item in the Library. “Multiple files” saves the shapes as individual objects in the Library.

  4. To rename the file, do one of the following:

    • Control-click the icon, choose Rename from the shortcut menu, then type a descriptive name.

    • Select the icon, click “current name,” then type a new descriptive name.

    Note: When you Control-click the icon, the Edit Description option becomes available. This is a handy tool that allows you to enter custom notes about an item saved in the Library. Once you choose Edit Description, enter your notes in the text field and click OK.

To save a shape style to the Library
  1. With the shape selected, choose Save Shape Style from the Shape Style pop-up menu in the Style pane of the Shape Inspector (or in the Shape HUD).

  2. Type a name for the style in the Save Preset to Library dialog and click Save (or press Return).

    The custom style is saved to the Library in the All subcategory of the Shape Styles category by default. You can move the preset into an existing subcategory, or create your own folders to organize your custom styles (see below).

    When the style is selected in the Library stack, a preview is displayed in the Preview pane. The new preset now appears in the Shape Style pop-up menu in the Style pane of the Shape Inspector.

    The saved custom shape style appears in the Shape Styles category of the Library in the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/Shape Styles/ folder.

To apply a shape style to a shape
Do one of the following:
  • With the shape selected, click the Style pane in the Shape Inspector (or in the Shape HUD), then choose a style from the Shape Style pop-up menu.

  • Drag a shape style from the Library to a shape in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline.

To create a new folder in a Library category
  1. Open the Library and select the Shapes, Shape Styles, Favorites, or Favorites Menu category.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the window.

      Figure. New Folder button in the Library.
    • Control-click an empty area of the Library stack (the lower section of the Library) then choose New Folder from the shortcut menu.

      Note: You may have to expand your stack window or use icon view to access an empty area.

      The new untitled folder appears in the Library stack. The new folder does not appear in the Library sidebar.

  3. Double-click the name of the folder, type a new name, then press Return.

To create a new folder in a Library subcategory
  1. Open the Library and select a subcategory, such as the Fauna subcategory of the Content category.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click the New Folder button at the bottom of the window.

    • Control-click an empty area of the Library stack (the lower section of the Library), then choose New Folder from the shortcut menu.

      Note: You may have to expand your stack window or use icon view to access an empty area.

      The new untitled folder appears in the Library stack. The new folder does not appear in the Library sidebar.

  3. Double-click the name of the folder, type a new name, then press Return.

To move a shape to a custom folder in a Library category
  • Drag the shape to the new folder in the Library sidebar.

    The custom preset is added to the new folder and to the All subcategory.

To move a shape to a custom folder in a Library subcategory
  • Drag the shape to the new folder in the Library stack.

    The custom preset is added to the new folder and to the All subcategory.

To move a shape style to a custom folder in a Library category
  • Once the new preset is saved via the Shape Style pop-up menu in the Style pane of the Shape Inspector, drag the custom preset from the All subcategory in the Library stack to the new folder in the Library sidebar.

    The custom preset is added to the new folder.

    Note: Because shape styles are saved via the Shape Style pop-up menu in the Style pane of the Shape Inspector, they cannot be dragged directly to the Library.

To delete a custom shape or shape style
  • Control-click the custom item, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

To delete a custom folder from a subcategory in the Library stack
  • Control-click the folder in the Library stack, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

    Note: You can also delete the folder from the Finder. The folder is stored in the Users/username/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder.

    Important: Deleting a custom object or folder cannot be undone.

To delete a custom folder from a category in the Library sidebar
  • In the Finder, navigate to the Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Library/ folder, Control-click the folder, then choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.