animate "complex" stuff in FCPX - is it even possible?
I was trying to animate something like an advanced slide show (still images) that also contained some video footage inside. After 4 days I gave up and switched to Premiere, I was happy and finished the project from scratch within 2 days.
I will explain what I did and what I was trying to achieve because I HOPE you will tell me what I did wrong / how I could have tackled it WAY better in FCPX.
This is NOT a FCPX bashing thread. I want to educate myself here and I hope that I can learn from your knowledge. Please let us focus on FCPX so please no advise on using AE or Motion instead because I’ve managed to do it all in Premiere and yes I know Premiere isn’t FCPX. Maybe there are some great FCPX plug ins that I am unaware which would have made life way easier.
First of all there is no ease in or ease out or any kind of keyframe interpolation inside FPCX. So I am not able to animate the position of pictures „flying in“ any advanced/nice looking way. No bezier handles…all I have is „smooth“ and linear. Is there any work around?
I’ve used that 3d tilt and rotate effect Premiere has a lot for my images (you know rotating a flat plane). I’ve got a motion template for a 3d rotation like FCP 7 used to have. VERY NICE. Almost what I want. Now my problem is: The picture gets cut off once its outside of it’s own bounding box or whatever you want to call it (imagine the picture is 800 x 800 pixels, you have a 800 x 800 pixels framing/box around it. If you rotate it on any axis and it moves outside of that bounding box it will get cut there like a mask).
There is a logo/corner bug at the top left corner. Now here is what I did in Premiere: Added that logo to the top most layer and dragged it out for minutes and then I’ve left it there and I could always see it and see how it works with the rest of the film (plus if I had a client next to me he would start crying why the logo is suddenly gone if it wasn’t there). Now here are the options I have in FCPX (I might be mistaken. I hope so. This applies for the entire thread that I hope I am wrong):
1)The logo is a connected clip and I will drag it out like I did in Premiere. Now if I add any footage it will be on top of my logo so I will constantly have to put the logo ON TOP if I add anything new.
2)Add the logo on top once the film is done (which a client sitting next to me wouldn’t understand and isn’t that nice because I would like to see the logo the entire time while working on the film)
I had text slide in with a directional blur (not sure if that’s the name in Premiere). The directional blur in FCPX is very weak. I just want to see stripes going in one direction for a moment. FCPX’s amount 32 isn’t enough and I do not want to drag 100x Directional blur on top of my text. Maybe I can build a proper directional blur inside Motion (where would I start? What would I use?)
First I animated polaroids flying into the scene each with a drop zone inside Motion. I’ve build a generator for FCPX and I was happy. Then there were a lot of changes: Animate this picture like that and this should come from that side… I had to go back to Motion, do the changes, export it again (maybe under a new name because the old one wasn’t that bad), put it into FCPX and then add each picture to the drop zone again just to find out they want more changes…
So I’ve build the polaroid fly in animation in Premiere. I’ve made 1 polaroid a nest which looked like this:
Track 3: polaroid graphic
Track 2: Solid which worked as a layer mask
Track 1: Actual picture/footage which would get masked by Track 2
How do I even create a layer mask inside FCPX?
Now all I had to do was duplicate my nest and replace the footage.
After that I animated all my pictures flying in from different sides. I put the nest and each polaroid nest inside a folder. At a later point in time I needed another polaroid fly in animation. So I just duplicated my polaroid folder and all I had to do was change the footage again and maybe alter the positions from where the graphics fly into the scene. Can this fast and simple workflow be applied to FCPX as well? Duplicate folder which duplicates all the content and then I can just quickly alter all this?
Thanks a lot for reading this and your patience. I held back posting this for weeks and altered this post countless of times. This is meant to be a civilised and friendly discussion. If you interpret anything I say as harsh I'd like to apologise in advance because it is NOT meant this way (I want to use FCPX instead of switching back to Premiere).
Could you post a "finished animation" of what you accomplished in Premiere? In a few places I'm not quite sure I understand how the animation is supposed to look so explaining how it's done in FCPX might not yield the correct results, or might not illustrate the problem you were having.
I'd also like to see a visual example of this problem:
[Michael Paul] "(imagine the picture is 800 x 800 pixels, you have a 800 x 800 pixels framing/box around it. If you rotate it on any axis and it moves outside of that bounding box it will get cut there like a mask)"
Regarding what I CAN answer, it sounds like most of what you wanted to do can be accomplished inside FCPX. Keep in mind that Motion was designed to essentially be a 'plug-in' maker for FCPX, giving you the ability to do advance animation and such by creating templates which can be manipulated in FCPX. So, for some animations that could be created fairly easily in Premiere with it's 3D effect, might require some knowledge of Motion to pull off exactly. Or at least a plugin leveraging Motion.
The bug issue you're having is based on the FCPX assumption that when you drop footage into your timeline as a connected clip, you want to be able to see it. Therefore, it shows up above any connected clips that are currently there. FCPX doesn't know that the bug is transparent and not affecting the view of clips beneath it. You have two options to get the result you want:
1) drag clips from the browser into the timeline instead of using the connected clip shortcut (Q). By dragging, you can bypass the natural tendency to put connected clips above.
2) Assign a role for your bug. Then use the new roles-based lanes to keep the bug at the top while you add new footage into the timeline.
[Michael Paul] "First of all there is no ease in or ease out or any kind of keyframe interpolation inside FPCX."
There are ease in and ease out controls. Set your position keyframes and then hit SHIFT+T to activate the transform tool. this will show you the path of your animation and the keyframes directly in the canvas. Click on a keyframe and you'll see the bezier handles allowing you to add curves and easing to your animation. Play with the distance of the handles from the keyframe to adjust velocity of easing.
[Michael Paul] "The directional blur in FCPX is very weak. I just want to see stripes going in one direction for a moment. FCPX’s amount 32 isn’t enough"
This is one of those things about FCPX that can be confusing if you're not familiar with it. The slider for the directional blur only goes up to 32, but if you click and drag in the value instead, you can adjust it to whatever works for you.
For the animation questions, I could use some more info on how it's supposed to look.
The "easing" controls in FCPX are at best poor. FCP Legacy had the same problem...easing was for sh*t.
I find it hard to believe that this problem was left in the software and not fixed.