Adjusting Parameters in the Motion Tab

Motion parameters are located in the Motion tab of the Viewer. When you first edit a clip into your sequence (assuming you didn’t change any of its motion parameters in the Viewer), it has certain default parameter settings:

Working with Motion Parameters

You can use the Motion tab to view and change motion parameters for a selected clip.

To view the motion parameters for a clip
  • Open a clip in the Viewer, then click the Motion tab.

The parameters in the Motion tab are divided into seven attribute sets. Each attribute has its own visual and numeric parameter controls.

Figure. Motion tab showing parameters for the Basic Motion attribute.
To reveal parameter controls for a motion attribute
  • In the Motion tab, click the disclosure triangle next to the attribute.

Drop Shadow and Motion Blur must be enabled before you can adjust their parameters.

To enable the Drop Shadow or Motion Blur attribute
  • Select the checkbox next to Drop Shadow or Motion Blur.

Figure. Motion tab showing the Drop Shadow parameters and the Motion Blur parameters.
To adjust motion parameters
Do one of the following:
  • Drag the slider.

  • Enter a new value in the number field, then press Return.

  • Drag the corresponding overlay in the keyframe graph.

    • For settings with an Angle control: Drag the hand on the dial. The black hand indicates the current angle of the clip; the small red hand indicates the total rotations forward or backward.
    • For settings that use x and y coordinates: Enter new coordinates in the number fields to the right, then press Return. Some coordinate settings also have a point control; select the control, then position the crosshair pointer at the appropriate point in the Canvas and click.

Tip: Any motion, audio, or filter parameter can be adjusted in the keyframe graph area of the Timeline. For more information, see Adjusting and Deleting Keyframes.

For more information about adjusting keyframe graphs in the Timeline, see Working with the Timeline Keyframe Editor.

Controls in the Motion Tab

The following section describes the attributes and related parameters in the Motion tab of the Viewer.

Figure. Motion tab showing parameters for the Basic Motion attribute.

Keyboard Modifiers for Controls in the Motion Tab

You can use the following keyboard modifiers when using slider controls:

  • To adjust the value by two decimal places of accuracy: Hold down the Shift key.
  • To slow down a slider’s movement and select a more precise value: Hold down the Command key.

You can use the following keyboard modifiers when using an Angle control (a dial):

  • To constrain the dial to 45-degree increments: Hold down the Shift key.
  • To slow down a dial’s movement and select a more precise value: Hold down the Command key.
  • To reset the parameter value to 0: Drag out of the dial.

Basic Motion Parameters

The Basic Motion parameters allow you to add motion to a clip—changing the scale, rotating a clip, moving the center point, and setting an anchor point.

Figure. Motion tab showing parameters for the Basic Motion attribute.
  • Scale: Changes the overall size of a clip without changing its proportions.
  • Rotation: Rotates a clip around its center axis without changing its shape. Clips can be rotated plus or minus 24 rotations.
  • Center: Specifies the center point of the clip, allowing you to move a clip somewhere else in the frame. The Center parameter actually refers to the location of the clip’s anchor point in the Canvas.
  • Anchor Point: Specifies the point that is used to center a clip’s position and rotation. A clip’s anchor point does not have to be at its center.

Crop Parameters

Change a clip’s Crop parameters to crop a clip and feather or soften the edges so that they blend into the background when compositing.

  • Left, Right, Top, Bottom: Crops the clip from the specified side. You can crop the top, left, right, and bottom of a clip independently. Values in the number fields represent pixels.
  • Edge Feather: Applies a soft border with its outer edge at the crop line. The higher you set the Edge Feather parameter value, the farther into your clip the feathering effect goes.

Distort Parameters

Change a clip’s Distort parameters to alter the rectangular shape of a clip or to give it a different aspect ratio.

  • Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Right, Lower Left: You can change the shape of a clip by moving each of four corner points independently of one another. The corner points defining the relative distortion of a clip are offset relative to the center of the clip.
  • Aspect Ratio: Allows you to squeeze a clip horizontally or vertically to change the ratio of its width to its height. This parameter never increases a clip’s size. You can enter values between –10,000 and 10,000 in the number field.

Opacity Parameter

Change a clip’s opacity to make it appear solid or with a relative transparency against a background image.

  • Opacity: Increases or decreases the transparency of a clip.

Drop Shadow Parameters

This attribute places a drop shadow behind a clip.

  • Offset: Determines how far away from the clip the drop shadow falls.
  • Angle: Determines which angle the drop shadow falls toward.
  • Color: There are several controls you can use to determine the color of the drop shadow.
    • Disclosure triangle: Click to display sliders and number fields corresponding to the hue, saturation, and brightness (H, S, and B) of the chosen color for the drop shadow.
    • Eyedropper: Lets you quickly select a color that’s in an image in the Viewer or the Canvas. Select 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 determine 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.
  • Softness: Blurs the drop shadow around its edges.
  • Opacity: Sets the transparency of the drop shadow.

Motion Blur Parameters

Motion blur affects any clip that has motion, whether it’s a moving subject in a video clip or keyframed motion effects that you’ve created.

Motion Blur allows you to create or exaggerate motion blur in ordinary video clips. For example, if you apply motion blur to a clip in which someone is standing still and waving an arm, the arm becomes blurred, while the rest of the image remains sharp. This happens even though the arm waving is not a keyframed motion effect. Motion Blur also lets you add motion blur to video clips that have none, such as computer animation that was rendered without it.

Motion Blur can also add blur to layered clips that are moving because of keyframed motion effects, such as animated motion along a path, rotation, changes in scale, or distortion. This way, animated motion within Final Cut Pro can be given a more natural look, as if the moving clips were actually recorded with a camera.

The amount of blur that appears in either case depends on the speed of the moving subject. The faster the subject moves, the more blurred it becomes, similar to a motion picture film or video image. The amount of blur that is added can be modified using two parameters.

  • % Blur: Affects the smoothness of the motion blur. A value of 1000 percent blurs motion over 10 frames; a value of 100 percent blurs motion in one frame.

  • Samples: Determines the detail of the applied motion blur, which is dependent upon the speed of the motion effects applied to a clip. Additional samples appear as additional layers of blurring. To change the number of samples, choose a number from the Samples pop-up menu.

Tip: You can also use Motion Blur to soften the strobing effect that may appear in clips with extremely slow motion applied to them.

Speed Parameters

The Speed parameters allow you to alter the speed of a clip to create fast- or slow-motion effects. You can apply constant speed changes or speed changes over time. You can also reverse the speed of a clip, making it play backward. For a detailed description of the Speed parameters in the Motion tab, see Using the Speed Parameter in the Motion Tab. For more general information about the Speed feature in Final Cut Pro, see Changing Clip Speed.

Using the Paste Attributes Command

As you composite multiple clips together in Final Cut Pro, it’s important to take advantage of whatever shortcuts you can to eliminate steps and save time.

The Paste Attributes command in the Edit menu (with the keyboard shortcut Option-V) is a valuable tool for selectively copying attributes from one clip to another without having to open clips in the Viewer. It also eliminates the need to repeat steps when applying identical effects to multiple clips. For detailed information about this command, see Copying and Pasting Specific Clip Attributes.

Note: The examples in Examples Using Motion Settings show how you can use the Paste Attributes command when compositing clips and creating motion effects.