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How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?

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Rob Rees
How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?
on Jun 15, 2018 at 12:25:31 pm

I'm letterboxing some 4K footage using the Letterbox effect in FCP X, then outputting to 1080p . All working fine, except on clips where I have zoomed in to the clip using the scale function of the built-in Transform effect. Depending on how much I have zoomed in the letterbox effect disappears. It looks as if the video clip is letterboxed first, then zoomed in. I have tried to change the order that effects are applied by dragging the Letterbox effect below the Transform effect, but FCP won't allow me to do that. Any suggestions for how to change this?

Apologies if this is an idiot newbie question, my only defence is that I'm an idiot newbie to using FCP.


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Jared Ewing
Re: How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?
on Jun 15, 2018 at 4:02:37 pm

After using the transform effect, I right click on the clip and turn it into a compound clip. Then apply the letterbox filter to the compound clip.

If anyone else has an alternative or better option, please let us know.


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Rob Rees
Re: How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?
on Jun 15, 2018 at 8:18:22 pm

Many thanks, that does the trick although a little convoluted for what seems like it should be a straightforward task. Thanks for you help.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?
on Jun 15, 2018 at 9:34:37 pm

An alternative is to apply the letterbox effect to the entire project using an adjustment layer (empty text clip above the entire project) then you can adjust the clips below the text layer any way you want without affecting the Letterboxing.

Another way would be to create a new letterbox effect in Motion that includes a zoom control as well as the horizontal/vertical shift. I haven’t tried but you could probably just duplicate the existing effect by opening it in Motion then adding the extra control to it.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Brett Sherman
Re: How do I zoom a clip, using the built-in transform effect, then add a letterbox effect?
on Jun 20, 2018 at 12:18:59 pm

I have a simple "Position and Scale" Motion Template I made. You could apply that, then apply the letterbox effect on top. The reason the regular transforms don't work is that they are applied at the end of the chain. Having a Motion Template allows you to set the order of effects.


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