Working with Master Templates

Here is the basic workflow for using master templates in Final Cut Pro.

  1. Stage 1: Previewing Master Templates

    See Previewing Master Templates for information on previewing the currently installed master templates in the Master Template Browser.

  2. Stage 2: Adding Master Templates to a Sequence

    See Adding Master Templates to a Sequence for information on the different ways you can add master templates to your sequence.

  3. Stage 3: Customizing Template Clip Parameters in the Viewer

    See Customizing Template Clip Parameters in the Viewer for information on customizing a template clip after it has been added to your sequence.

Previewing Master Templates

You can preview the currently installed master templates in the Master Template Browser.

To open the Master Template Browser
  • Choose Sequence > Add Master Template.

The Master Template Browser allows you to view preview movies of the available master templates on your system.

Figure. Master Template Browser showing themes and sample templates.

In the Theme list, you can select a theme to display related master templates. You can also restrict which templates are displayed by choosing a video format such as NTSC, PAL, or HD from the Show pop-up menu. Click a template in the Master Template area to view it in the preview area. The template’s resolution, duration, and frame rate are displayed below the template preview area.

Important: When a Motion template file is saved in Motion, the video standard assigned to the template is a metadata tag but does not ensure that the resolution and frame rate correspond. Make sure that the template you choose has the resolution and frame rate you want.

To close the Master Template Browser
  • Click Cancel or press Esc.

Adding Master Templates to a Sequence

You can add master templates to your sequence from four different locations within Final Cut Pro. Try out the following methods to see which one works best for you.

  • Master Template Browser: Choose Sequence > Add Master Template to open the Master Template Browser. From this window, you can perform an overwrite, insert, or superimpose edit to edit a master template directly into your sequence. This method provides the most options for editing a template into your sequence and allows you to see a preview of all the installed templates.
  • Master Templates bin in the Effects tab of the Browser: Double-click a master template to open it in the Viewer, or drag a master template to the current sequence in the Canvas or Timeline. This is the quickest way to add multiple master templates to your sequence, in one drag-and-drop operation.
  • Generator pop-up menu in the Viewer: In the Viewer, choose Master Template from the Generator pop-up menu, then choose a template from the submenu. This method opens a master template in the Viewer, which you can then edit into your sequence.
  • Master Templates submenu within the Effects menu: Choose Effects > Master Templates, then choose a master template from the submenu. This method opens a master template in the Viewer, and you can then edit the template into your sequence.
To edit a master template from the Master Template Browser into your sequence
  1. In the Timeline, prepare your sequence for the type of edit you want to perform.

    For example, set In and Out points and choose a destination video track. For more information about basic video editing, see The Fundamentals of Adding Clips to a Sequence.

  2. Make sure the Canvas or Timeline is the active window.

  3. Choose Sequence > Add Master Template.

    The Master Template Browser appears.

  4. In the Theme list, click the theme you want to display.

  5. If you want, you can also restrict which templates are displayed in the current theme by choosing a video format from the Show pop-up menu:

    • All: Shows all templates in the theme, regardless of video standard.
    • NTSC: Displays only NTSC templates (29.97 fps, 720 x 480 or 720 x 486).
    • PAL: Displays only PAL templates (25 fps, 720 x 576).
    • HD: Displays only HD templates (1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720).
    • Other: Displays templates that do not match NTSC, PAL, or HD standards.
  6. In the Master Template area, select a master template to preview it in the preview area.

  7. To edit the selected master template into your sequence, click one of the following:

    • Overwrite: A template clip is added to your sequence with an overwrite edit. The template clip is placed at the current In point on the current destination video track.
    • Insert: A template clip is added to your sequence with an insert edit. The template clip is placed at the current In point on the current destination video track.
    • Superimpose: A template clip is added to your sequence above the current destination video track, and the template clip placement is based on the current In and Out points or playhead position.

      For more information about overwrite, insert, and superimpose edits, see Three-Point Editing.

After the template clip is placed in your sequence, it is automatically opened in the Viewer with the Controls tab active. You can now customize the template clip parameters in the Viewer.

Customizing Template Clip Parameters in the Viewer

After editing a template clip into your sequence, you can customize its parameters. Much like generator clip parameters, the customizable parameters for a template clip are displayed in the Controls tab of the Viewer.

The following template clip parameters can be customized in Final Cut Pro:

  • Text

  • Text size

  • Text tracking

  • Still images or moving footage

  • Position of still images and moving footage

The timing of a template clip can be adjusted by applying speed changes. For more information, see Changing Clip Speed.

To open the Controls tab for a template clip in a sequence
  1. In the Timeline, move the playhead over the template clip item you want to modify.

    Note: This step is not necessary, but it allows you to view changes to your template in the Canvas while you work in the Viewer.

  2. Double-click the template clip item to open it in the Viewer.

  3. In the Viewer, click the Controls tab.

    Tip: Holding down the Command and Option keys after you begin dragging a master template from the Viewer to the Timeline or Canvas causes the newly created template clip to open automatically in the Viewer with the Controls tab active. This allows you to immediately customize the template clip parameters after the clip is edited into your sequence. This shortcut also works for generator clips. Holding down the Command and Option keys before dragging in a window causes the whole window to move with the pointer. To avoid this when working with master templates, make sure to start dragging a master template first and then hold down Command and Option.

Modifying Text

You can change text in a template clip by entering text in any available text parameters.

Note: When you create a Motion template file that uses more than one font or font style within a Motion track, the fonts appear as expected in Final Cut Pro. However, if you make changes to the text within a Final Cut Pro template clip, the text is limited to a single font and font style.

Modifying Video and Still-Image Content

You can replace video footage or a still image in a template clip by dragging a clip from the Browser to a clip well in the Controls tab of the Viewer. The template clip uses the dragged clip’s In and Out points, so you can determine where a clip begins by setting its In point before dragging it to the clip well.

To replace video footage or a still image in a template clip
  1. Open a clip in the Viewer that you want to use as a source clip in the template clip, then set clip In and Out points if necessary.

  2. Double-click a template clip to open it in the Viewer, then click the Controls tab.

  3. Drag the source clip from the Browser or Timeline to a clip well in the Controls tab of the Viewer.

    Important: A clip well only uses a clip’s original media file. Any filters, motion parameters, or speed changes applied to a clip are ignored when it is dragged to a clip well. Only clips that refer to a single media file can be used; merged files and multiclips are not supported.

Modifying Speed and Template Clip Timing

For simple timing adjustments, you can apply speed changes to a template clip just as you would to any other clip item. For more information, see Changing Clip Speed.

For complex timing adjustments in your template animation, you can open and modify the template file in Motion. However, if you only want to affect the motion of a specific template clip (as opposed to all occurrences of a master template), you should use the Open Copy in Editor command. For more information, see Modifying Master Templates.