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FCP and Motion together with text

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finbar taub
FCP and Motion together with text
on Apr 4, 2012 at 8:57:56 pm

so, ive been editing in FCP and then using text i create in motion in my FCP projects. I do this because I can make some really nice looking text in motion, and I dont like the text options in FCP. The motion text I create does not have behaviors or anything fancy - just text on a transparent backround. Im thinking though that my workflow is likely less than adequate, and I was wondering if there is an easier and quicker way of going about it.

So ill be editing in FCP, and when I want some sweet text, ill get into motion, create the text, name it and save it to the drive my FCP stuff is in. Then back in FCP ill grab the motion file I just created from finder, drag it into FCP and thats about it. But then each time I need some text thats different, I have to do the whole process again - sometimes just re-opening a similar text in motion and going from there. Also, if I have a motion text in FCP I know I can right click it and choose "open in editior" - but that just brings it up in motion and I have to go through the whole process again.

Another quick note - when I do create the motion text and drop it into FCP, I will then do a "shift N" to make an image of it, and then delete the original, as I find the image doesn't use much brain power from my MAC, and it doesn't even need to render it anymore. So am i asking for trouble by doing this? Should I always use the Motion file and not an image copy?

I dont have photoshop, by the way, so thats not an option.

thanks so much in advance for any responses - sorry the post is so long!

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Jeff Meyer
Re: FCP and Motion together with text
on Apr 4, 2012 at 10:40:14 pm

Motion does have a more robust text engine, so it's a good step to be heading there. There are a few things that might help you out.

If you want to have a Motion file on your timeline:
You can pull up a slug in the viewer and drop that on the timeline and trim it to length. After that, right-click on the slug and send to -> Motion. By doing it this way the Motion file is created for you and has the correct length and project settings. No guess work this way.
Personally I find having .motn files on the timeline leads to instability, so I export a ProRes4444 out of Motion and then reconnect the slug-turned-Motion-file to the corresponding QT movie. Final Cut will want to render, but with a decent hard drive you should be able to play it in Unlimited RT mode. Check the RT dropdown on the upper-left of the timeline for Unlimited RT. If it isn't an option your sequence settings are non-standard.

If you want a still image on your timeline:
The slug method may still be what you want to get into Motion, but from there you can select File -> Export and change the export type to Current Frame. From there export a PNG or a TIFF file. This isn't dramatically different than what you're doing, but I prefer to have files for the items on my timeline rather than a freeze frame trapped inside of the FCP project.

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