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Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only

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Steve Schoenbaum
Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 19, 2015 at 7:06:50 pm

I have several layers stacked: background on bottom, then text that appears at the top of the frame, then a compound clip of 3 stills that will compose along the bottom section of the frame. If I have the text come in first and then apply a slide effect to the compound clip to have those pics slide in from the left, that slide effect is applied to the layers below...which I don't want. How can you apply an effect so that it works only on the top layer?

Thanks!

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Jacob Brown
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 19, 2015 at 7:59:16 pm

create a compound clip of the top layer after you apply the effect. (or apply the effect within the timeline of the clip instead of your main timeline)


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John Rofrano
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 2:11:31 pm

[Steve Schoenbaum] "background on bottom, then text that appears at the top of the frame, then a compound clip of 3 stills that will compose along the bottom section of the frame."
It sounds like you have a compound clip above the background on the primary storyline but below a title above. If you add the slide to the compound clip, I don't see how it could affect anything below it since it'a already a compound clip.

Perhaps a screen shot of your timeline would help us understand what you have done and where you may have gone wrong because what you are explaining should work as you intended.



~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 4:45:41 pm

Thank you for your response. I have uploaded two images (I think!). The first one shows my time line with the playhead in a specific place and the viewer. The timeline has two bottom background layers which are moving over top of each other. Above that is the Activate text generator followed by a still frame grab so that the end text holds while I, ideally, use the swish pan effect to bring on a compound clip of 3 stills under the text.

The second image shows the playhead advanced to the middle of the swish effect and shows it effecting not only the compound clip to which it's attached, but the layers below...which I did not want.




FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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John Rofrano
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 7:04:37 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Dec 20, 2015 at 7:10:52 pm

[Steve Schoenbaum] "while I, ideally, use the swish pan effect to bring on a compound clip of 3 stills under the text."
The first problem is that the compound clip is above your text not below it. If you want the compound clip to be UNDER the text then you must move it BELOW the text. FCP X sees the video clips from the top down. So higher level clips will be above lower level clips in the video.
[Steve Schoenbaum] "The second image shows the playhead advanced to the middle of the swish effect and shows it effecting not only the compound clip to which it's attached, but the layers below...which I did not want."
Then don't use a swish pan. A swish pan simulates a rapid camera pan in which everything gets blurred in the direction of the pan movement.

The nature of a transition is that it has the potential to affect both the incoming clip (the compound clip) and the outgoing clip (the lower level clips). A swish pan blurs both the incoming and outgoing clips just like a Push would move both the incoming and outgoing clips while a Wipe, by it's very nature, will wipe the incoming clip over the outgoing clip but leave the outgoing clip untouched. It's just a matter of understanding how transitions are composted with other clips below them and choosing one that is appropriate for what you want to achieve. Swish pan is not going to do what you want.

If you want your compound clip to move in with a directional blur but not affect underlying clips. you may have to create that in Motion based on a Push transition with a Direction Blur where the outgoing clip is stationary and export it as an FCP X preset.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 7:51:27 pm

Thanks, John...but...I understand that higher clips are on top of the layers below them, but, regardless, I only want to effect one layer. For instance, if I have a background and want to put a still image over that background but I apply a flip transition to bring it on, the background will also flip. I can't put the background on top of the still. Perhaps I'm using this wrong, but my assumption was that you could use any transition to bring on a clip in another layer (like the flip) not just as a transition between clips.

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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John Rofrano
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 8:16:54 pm

[Steve Schoenbaum] "I only want to effect one layer. For instance, if I have a background and want to put a still image over that background but I apply a flip transition to bring it on, the background will also flip."
That's because the Flip transitions flips the incoming clip with the outgoing clip. You need to find a transition that doesn't affect the outgoing clip.

Go down the Text Transitions category and drop the Text Flip into your still image. Does that do what you want?
[Steve Schoenbaum] "my assumption was that you could use any transition to bring on a clip in another layer (like the flip) not just as a transition between clips."
Yes, but it still needs an outgoing clip to composite with and if you don't give it one... it will use the clip below. What you must keep in mind is that a transition can affect both clips and there is nothing you can do about it except use ones that don't affect both clips if you don't want the incoming and outgoing clips affected. All of the transitions in the Text Transitions category do not affect the outgoing clip.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Ronny Courtens
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 9:30:09 pm

Some Motion template transitions indeed affect all underlaying clips. Very useful if you want to apply a same transition to multiple clips or titles at once, but very annoying if you only want to apply the transtion to one single clip without affecting the underlying clips.

If you have Motion 5 you can actually modify the template so it only affects the clip you apply it to. In the case of the Flip transition you just need to R-click the template in the Browser and choose Open a Copy in Motion. In Motion you then disable the Background layer and the Transition A layer, you save the modified template using a new name and your modified templae will instantly appear in the FCP X Transitions browser. A very powerful feature that is unique to FCP X.

If you don't have Motion and you want a Flip transition that only affects the clip to which is applied and not the underlying ones, I will be glad to make you one and post it here.

- Ronny


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 9:37:24 pm

Thank you, Ronny - a very kind offer, but the flip effect was just an example. If I'm not mistaken, this was easily done in FCP 7. I have many instances when I want to apply effects to different layers so that there's multiple movement. Can't believe I have to do this work around for each one each time.

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Ivo Fuentes
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Jun 13, 2016 at 3:59:03 am

Thanks for the tip Ronny!

I was having the same problem as the original thread.. a quick forum search, and stubbled on your comment.
Tried it and worked.

Awesome!


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 9:32:59 pm

Ok, I'm clearly doing something wrong. Let's make this simple: I have a bottom layer which is a static background of a graphic. Above it I have a basic text clip. I have another basic clip on the same level and they're touching. I put a flip transition between the two text clips. What happens is that the background layer below is also impacted by that effect. Is that right? I can't put an effect on one layer only? I'm feeling really dense.

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 9:58:27 pm

Steve, you are absolutely not dense. Some transitions inside FCP X have been created exactly to affect multiple stacked clips at once. The Flip transition is an example of this. The beauty of FCP X/Motion is that you can modify any transition that has been built as a Motion template so it behaves exactly as you wish. This actually takes less than 10 seconds to do. That's why Motion 5 is an indispensible companion to FCP X if you want to Customize your transitions and effects.

- Ronny


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 20, 2015 at 11:00:43 pm

Ronny - you were, of course, spot on. Except it took me about 12 seconds to change my first one. Maybe the next time it will take 10! That's a big help- but I do wish I could do that in the inspector in FCP X. Thanks!!

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 21, 2015 at 8:21:12 am

Hi Steve,

I totally agree there should be a way to change this within the FCP X interface. And actually it is possible to include this option when publishing a template. So we might see some changes in this regard in the future.

On the other hand I think it is good to make people aware of the powerful options we have in Motion 5 to customize and change FCP X effects, titles and transitions. Everyone of us has different requirements and it is impossible to include all possible options in a template without making it overly complex and slow. So I am glad you have discovered how easy it is to make a template work exactly as you want with very little effort. I hope this will encourage you to delve deeper in the neary unlimited possibilties Motion 5 offers when combined with FCP X.

Happy holidays!

- Ronny


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John Rofrano
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 21, 2015 at 1:14:14 pm

[Ronny Courtens] "On the other hand I think it is good to make people aware of the powerful options we have in Motion 5 to customize and change FCP X effects, titles and transitions. "
+1

This is the most amazing feature of FCP X for me. The fact that I can modify existing transitions, effects, titles, etc. in Motion and save them as templates in FCP X just blows my mind. This is an incredible time saver once you set things up the way you want. More people should understand this workflow because it's unique to FCP X and Motion and saves an enormous amount of time when editing. For example, I have a set of custom Lower Thirds that I created and you just drag and drop and change the text and you're done. It's amazing.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bret Williams
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:10:05 am

The slide transition should work just as you want as long as you choose the slide transition, and then choose slide in or slide out in the inspector. The other options (push or swap) will grab the whole background.


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 22, 2015 at 10:00:07 pm

Bret - then the question is: some transitions will work on the top layer only while others will effect all layers below? Why some and not others? How can you tell? What layer would one look to add or subtract in Motion to make a transition or effect work only on the layer you assign it to? So many questions...

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Bret Williams
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 22, 2015 at 10:18:18 pm

Some do, some don't. That's all. They could have published them all with a checkbox but they didn't. Apple knows best. Haven't you figured that out by now? They could've fix this 4 years ago but they never will.

But, usually, they make sense. Like the slide effect. If you use it as a slide, it doesn't affect the background. If you choose push or swap, it affects the background. Background being all other layers.

Some effects don't affect the background, BUT need an A and a B. If you only give it the A or B (depending if it's transitioning in or out, then it'll grab the background and get really wonky.

MOST are of the A/B type and won't grab the background unless you try to use them only on an A or B.

I use slide all the time because it has built in motion blur and easing. Exactly what you want for a lot of motion graphics flying in. It doesn't grab the background or require two (AB) sources.

BTW- if duplicating and creating your own versions without the background grab, it's always a good idea to save them under a new folder and theme. Because you'll need to back them all up and if they're all over the place it becomes a pain. Put them all in your own custom named category and it's easier when you're reinstalling after a clean El Capitan install for example.


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 22, 2015 at 10:26:31 pm

Thanks again, Bret. Trying to remember back...feel like in FCP7 I could apply any effect or transition to a specific layer and it would only effect that layer. You could copy and paste that effect/ transition to other layers if you wanted, but you had a choice and the control.

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Bret Williams
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 23, 2015 at 12:11:05 am

I'd say you are correct. But I tell you, when you want to push 10 layers off the screen at once and you only have to apply the slide push transition to the top layer, it's pretty useful.

I think there were a few transitions that were screwy in legacy and grabbed the background, but either most or all did not. And if it was an A/B and you didn't provide and A or B, then it just transitioned an empty layer that was invisible. Certainly didn't grab the background.


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Don Smith
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 27, 2015 at 10:33:32 am

Got tired of reading through all the replies so let me (hopefully) simplify what you're dealing with although someone may have already said this: Some text objects are made with a Title Background. The Title Background takes on anything below it. It's how we make an Adjustment Layer so anything we do to the Title Background affects anything visual below it. Put the title into a Compound Clip then anything you do to it will be constrained within the CC and not affect what's below.

NewsVideo.com


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 27, 2015 at 4:46:57 pm

I guess what irks me is that beyond text, some some transition effects grab all layers below and some don't. If I have compound clip of, let's say a group of stills, layered over a couple of layers of background and I want to transition only that compound clip off with a flip effect or a reflection effect, it does not simply work on the compound clip but all layers. It forces me to find something else instead of what I want. Why isn't that control there? I understand some editors want all effects to apply to all layers but that's not always what we want and we don't have the choice. Needless to say I could be missing something here. Some have also mentioned that effects can be modified to do what you want in Motion, but I don't see an answer to this in Motion.

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Don Smith
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 27, 2015 at 5:04:19 pm

Right click on the title effect to open it in motion. De-select the Title Background and save a copy. If the effect allows u to edit it u can defeat affecting all layers like this.

NewsVideo.com


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Steve Schoenbaum
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 27, 2015 at 7:13:55 pm

Thanks, Don. You know, I tried that before and it didn't work but just realized that I also needed to de-select the transition out. Anyway, thanks and. although I'd like this choice to be embedded in the inspector in FC, I feel like I've gained a small measure of control back from Apple (even if it is on their terms!).

FCP X 10.2.2
MacBook Pro 10.10.5


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Don Smith
Re: Apply an Effect to Top Layer Only
on Dec 27, 2015 at 7:32:29 pm

It maybe possible to Rig the Title Background and Publish a control to make the Title Background active or inactive but I haven't tried to do that. I might experiment with that.

NewsVideo.com


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