Viewing and Adjusting a Filter’s Parameters

After applying filters, you can view and adjust the specific filter settings in the Filters tab.

Viewing a Filter’s Parameters

Once you apply one or more filters to a clip, you must display filter parameters before you can adjust them.

Note: If you want to show or modify parameters for a filter applied to a clip in your sequence, make sure that you open the sequence clip in the Viewer, rather than opening the master clip from the Browser.

To view the filters applied to a clip
Do one of the following:
  • Open a clip in the Viewer, then click the Filters tab.

  • If a sequence clip is already open in the Viewer, click the Filters tab.

  • In the video track of a clip in the Timeline, double-click the filters bar.

The clip is opened in the Viewer with the Filters tab selected.

Note: If a sequence clip is already open in the Viewer with the Filters tab selected and you open another sequence clip, the new clip appears with the Filters tab selected as well.

To reveal parameters for a filter
  • In the Filters tab, click the disclosure triangle next to the parameter.

Controls in the Filters Tab of the Viewer

There are various controls you can use to manipulate filters in Final Cut Pro. Although each filter has its own individual parameters and controls, all filters have some controls in common.

Figure. Viewer window showing the controls in the Filters tab.
  • Filter category bar: Video filters are listed first, then audio filters. (This is for clips with both video and audio items.) Click the video filter category bar or the audio filter category bar to select all the filters in that category.
  • Name bar: Each filter has a name bar that contains a disclosure triangle, Enable/Disable checkbox, and the filter’s name. Drag the name up or down to change a filter’s position in the list. (It’s easier to do this if the filter’s controls are hidden.)
  • Reset button: The Reset button is in the Name bar, under the Nav column. Click to delete all keyframes for the corresponding parameter or parameters and reset those parameters to their default values.
  • Enable/Disable checkbox: Select or deselect to turn on or turn off a filter. When this checkbox is not selected, the filter isn’t applied or rendered.
  • Disclosure triangle: Click to show and hide all of the controls for a filter.
  • Parameter controls: Each filter has its own set of parameter controls.
  • Current Timecode field: This field displays the position of the playhead in the keyframe graph area. When you enter a new timecode value, the playhead moves to that time.
  • Keyframe button: Click to place a keyframe for the corresponding parameter at the playhead location in the keyframe graph, in preparation for creating a dynamic change in an effect.
    Figure. Keyframe button and keyframe navigation buttons.
  • Keyframe navigation buttons: Use to move the playhead from one keyframe to the next on the corresponding overlay, either forward or backward.
  • Keyframe graph area: The keyframe graph area shows all the keyframes and interpolated values associated with parameters currently displayed in the Viewer.
    Figure. Keyframe graph area showing the keyframe graph ruler, filter Start and End points, and a section of a clip not used.
  • Keyframe graph ruler: The keyframe graph ruler corresponds to the duration of the clip or the location of a clip in a sequence:
    • If a clip is opened from the Browser: The keyframe graph ruler shows the duration of the clip itself. The playhead in the Viewer moves independently of the playhead in the Timeline or Canvas.
    • If a clip is opened from a sequence in the Timeline: The keyframe graph ruler shows the section of the Timeline that the clip is edited into. The playhead in the Viewer is locked to the playhead in the Timeline and the Canvas.
  • Filter Start and End points: If a filter is applied to part of a clip, filter Start and End points appear in the clip’s keyframe graph area.
  • Section of clip not currently used: The frames of a clip displayed in the Viewer’s Filters tab that are outside the duration specified by the clip’s In and Out points are darker gray than the part of the clip in use. This helps you know where to apply keyframes.
  • Zoom control: This control lets you zoom into and out of the duration displayed by the ruler in the keyframe graph area, expanding and contracting the keyframe graph ruler as you do so. This also keeps the area of the visible keyframe graph centered as you zoom in or out. For more information, see Zooming In to the Keyframe Graph Area.
    Figure. Zoom control and Zoom slider in the Filters tab.
  • Zoom slider: This slider lets you zoom in to and out of the duration displayed by the keyframe graph ruler by dragging the thumb tabs on either side, adjusting both thumb tabs and leaving the visible area of the keyframe graph centered. Pressing the Shift key and dragging one of the thumb tabs zooms in to or out of the keyframe graph, locking the opposite thumb tab and moving the visible area of the keyframe graph in the direction in which you’re dragging. For more information, see Zooming In to the Keyframe Graph Area.

Using Filter Controls

Each filter has its own graphical (visual) and numeric controls, including sliders, point and Angle controls, color controls, and clip wells. Some filters, such as the Color Corrector 3-way and Chroma Keyer, have alternative visual controls that you can use to modify their effects. The parameters set by visual controls are mirrored in the numeric controls and vice versa. These filters are discussed in detail in separate chapters. For more information, see Color Correction Filters and Overview of Compositing Using the Chroma Keyer Filter.


By default, sliders show only whole integer values.

Figure. Filters tab showing a typical slider and the numeric value of a slider setting.
To adjust the corresponding value to within two decimal places of precision
  • Hold down the Shift key while dragging a slider.

To gear down a slider, allowing you to make more precise changes to the parameter
  • Hold down the Command key while dragging a slider.

Logarithmic Sliders

As you move the handle on a logarithmic slider, the rate of change increases faster in one part of the slider than in other parts. The tick marks for logarithmic sliders are unevenly spaced; where they’re closer together, the change in the parameter’s value occurs more slowly. Final Cut Pro uses two types of logarithmic sliders:

  • Logarithmic slider: This slider has tick marks closer together only on one end, indicating that the rate of change increases faster at the other end.
  • Double-sided logarithmic slider: This type of slider has tick marks closer together in the center, indicating that the rate of change increases more slowly at the center and more quickly at the ends.
    Figure. Filters tab showing a logarithmic slider and a double-sided logarithmic slider.

Logarithmic sliders are useful for parameters that have a huge range of possible values, with a particular range at the top or at the bottom being more useful than the others.

Point Control

Point controls are used to specify locations in the Canvas.

To define a new location with x and y coordinates
  1. In the Filters tab of the Viewer, click the point control.

    Figure. Filters tab showing a point control and values for the x and y coordinates.
  2. Move the pointer to the Canvas.

    The pointer changes to the crosshair pointer in the Canvas.

  3. Click anywhere in the Canvas to position a coordinate at that location.

    Tip: You can also drag in the Canvas and then release the mouse button when the pointer is at the appropriate location. If you drag instead of clicking, the values update as the crosshair moves.

For more information about positioning clips in the Canvas, see Using Cartesian Geometry to Position Clips.

Angle Control

This control specifies angles and rotations. The longer, black hand of the dial indicates the angle. The smaller, red hand indicates how many total rotations forward or backward are specified.

Figure. Filters tab showing an Angle control.
To constrain the dial to 45-degree increments
  • Press the Shift key while you adjust the Angle control.

To gear down the dial’s movement for a more precise value
  • Press the Command key while adjusting the control.

To reset the dial to its previous setting while adjusting a parameter
  • Drag the pointer all the way out of the effect parameter.

Color Controls

The color controls give you several ways to select a color value.

Figure. Filters tab showing color controls.
  • Disclosure triangle: Click to display sliders and number fields corresponding to the hue, saturation, and brightness of the range of colors available.
  • Eyedropper: This tool lets you quickly select a color that’s in an image in the Viewer or Canvas. Click the eyedropper, then click an image in the Viewer or the Canvas to pick up that color.
  • Hue direction control: If you’re keyframing changes in color, click this control to indicate the direction on the color wheel Final Cut Pro uses to interpolate the color change.
  • Color picker: Click to choose a color using the standard color picker.
  • Hue, saturation, and brightness controls (H, S, and B): Hue determines which color is chosen; saturation determines how vivid the color is. If saturation is 0, the resulting color is always white. Brightness determines how bright or dark the color is. If brightness is 0, the resulting color is black; if brightness is 100, the color is the lightest possible value.

Clip Well

Some filters, such as the Bumpmap filter, contain a clip well that allows you to use video from any clip in your project as a parameter for the filter.

Figure. Filters tab showing a clip well.
To use a clip as a parameter in a filter
  • Drag any clip from your project to the clip well in the Filters tab.

    Tip: Final Cut Pro generators can be dragged to clip wells the same as other clips.

To clear a clip that’s currently attached to a clip well
  • Control-click the clip well, then choose Clear from the shortcut menu.