Identifying and Organizing Video Effects

Effects in Final Cut Pro are organized into categories in the Effects tab of the Browser and the Effects menu. These categories help you quickly find the effects you are looking for. Final Cut Pro also includes a method for limiting which effects are displayed in the application.

Viewing Preferred Effects

There are many FxPlug effects that are equivalent (or nearly equivalent) to FXScript effects. Generally, the names and controls of equivalent FxPlug and FXScript effects are identical or vary only subtly. To keep track of FxPlug and FXScript effects in Final Cut Pro, you can specify which effects are displayed in both the Effects tab and the Effects menu by indicating that they are preferred effects. For example, Final Cut Pro includes a Gaussian Blur FXScript filter and a Gaussian Blur FxPlug filter. By turning on the Preferred property for only one of these filters, you can control which Gaussian Blur plug-in is displayed in the Effects tab and the Effects menu.

Note: Preferred effects are not the same as favorite effects. Preferred effects simply indicate which plug-ins you want to display in the Effects tab; favorite effects are saved instances of effects with particular settings you use frequently.

The Effects tab displays three columns for identifying and keeping track of effects.

  • Effect Class: Shows the kind of plug-in installed. When this property is empty, the effect is an FXScript plug-in. If the effect is an FxPlug plug-in, the word “FxPlug” is displayed.
  • Preferred: Shows whether an effect is preferred or not. You can turn this property on and off by clicking in the column next to the effect. You can also turn this property on or off for multiple effects by selecting them, Control-clicking in the Preferred column next to any of the selected effects, and then choosing Yes or No from the shortcut menu.
  • Description: Shows a brief description of the effect (if it contains one). FxPlug plug-ins contain descriptions, but FXScript plug-ins do not.
To choose which effects are displayed in the Effects tab and the Effects menu
  1. Choose Window > Effects (or press Command-5) to open the Effects tab.

  2. If you wish, click in the Preferred column next to any effects you want to display.

  3. Choose Effects > Effect Availability, or Control-click in an empty area of the Effects tab, then choose one of the following menu items from the shortcut menu.

    • Only Recommended Effects: Shows a list of effects recommended by Apple, minimizing duplicate FXScript and FxPlug filters. In most cases, the FXScript plug-in is recommended.
    • Only My Preferred Effects: Shows only effects whose Preferred property is turned on. You can use this option to display a customized list of your installed plug-ins.
    • All Effects: Shows all installed plug-ins.

You can also add buttons to the Browser button bar to show recommended effects, preferred effects, or all effects. Note that these three buttons work together as a single unit and you can select only one button at a time. You can open the Button List window by choosing Tools > Button List.

Note: Preferred effect settings are not affected if you delete your Final Cut Pro preferences file.

Identifying Video Filters in the Viewer

You can identify FxPlug plug-ins in the Filters tab of the Viewer by moving the pointer over the filter name and then waiting until a tooltip appears. FxPlug plug-ins are identified with the word “FxPlug” after the filter name.

Identifying Video Effects in the Find Results Window

If you use the Find command to search for effects, keep in mind that the Find Results window does not display the Effect Class column, which helps to distinguish between FXScript and FxPlug plug-ins. If you see duplicate filters in the Find Results window after using the Find command, you can identify each effect by selecting it in the Find Results window and then clicking Show in Browser. Final Cut Pro displays the selected filter in the Effects tab, where you can identify the effect by looking in the Effect Class column.