About Motion Template Files and Master Templates

Both Motion and Final Cut Pro support Motion template files, but each application uses them in different ways:

Master templates allow you to add professional motion graphics and titles to your sequence, even if you’ve never used Motion before. For example: You want to create an animated opening title for your Final Cut Pro sequence. A graphic designer can create the opening in Motion and save it as a Motion template file. In Final Cut Pro, you can use the Motion template file as a master template and edit it into your sequence. You can change the title of your movie as often as you like by modifying the template clip’s text parameter while retaining the animated parameters provided by the graphic designer.

But that’s just the beginning. The real power of master templates becomes clear when you have lots of titles or graphics in your sequence that need the same motion graphics treatment. For example: You are working on a documentary that has dozens of lower third titles, each requiring the same animated text and background treatment. In this case, a graphic designer can create a single Motion template file for all of your lower third titles. In Final Cut Pro, the Motion template file becomes a master template that you can use to create multiple template clips in your sequence, each with its own custom text.

But there’s still more. What if you or your graphic designer wants to alter the animation for the lower third titles after you have edited them into your sequence? Because you used the same master template for each lower third, each template clip is connected to the same Motion template file. The designer can change the Motion template file, and all the template clips in your sequence are updated immediately.

Terminology for Master Templates

The following definitions provide some shorthand for discussing the behavior of sequences containing clips derived from master templates:

  • Motion template file: A template file created and saved in Motion. This term refers to the template file stored on disk.
  • Master template: A Motion template file as it appears in Final Cut Pro. You can view master templates in the Viewer and edit them into a sequence, creating copies called template clips.
  • Template clip: An instance of a master template edited into a sequence or copied into the Browser. Just as normal Final Cut Pro clips refer to QuickTime media files on disk, a template clip refers to a Motion template file on disk. When a Motion template file is changed and saved in Motion, any template clips that refer to the template file are updated.
  • Template parameters: Special template clip parameters that you can customize directly in Final Cut Pro using the Controls tab of the Viewer. For example, you can modify text or video content in a template clip.