Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Forum
Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Andrew Gregg on Dec 31, 2007 at 3:51:13 am

Hey guys,

I've been attempting to do transitions similar to the ones used in Pan's Labyrinth, where the camera tracks around a dark object, such as a tree or the backside of a mirror, and by the time it comes around the other side of the original object, it's transitioned to a new tree or mirror and we're in a new shot seamlessly. This can be done rather crudely with a simple wipe. I was wondering if there was a better way to do them, a way that would work with uneven surfaces such as gnarled tress. Would this be better done in a program like shake or flame, or is it possible with FCP?


Andrew Gregg
LiveABC Productions
Taipei, Taiwan

Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Shane Ross on Dec 31, 2007 at 5:01:57 am

Garbage Matte. I do these sort of things all the time, when I can...I love the effect. I haven't seen Pan's Labrynth, so I cannot be sure what I mean is what you mean.

Typically if I have someone or something crossing in front of the camera, I'll use that object as a wipe to a new shot. A truck driving by, someone crossing in front of the frame. I layer the shots and use the Garbage Matte (8-point...I did use Animatte in Avid, but there isn't one for FCP...sigh) and keyframe the transition frame by frame.

Man, I should do a tutorial on this. It is really fun.


Littlefrog Post


Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Uli Plank on Dec 31, 2007 at 8:34:08 am

Hi Shane,

you should see Pan's Labyrinth, it's a great movie. One of the very few where I've seen CGI used in a deeply touching, human context and not as a thunderstorm of effects just to impress the audience.

That said, I like this kind of natural object transitions as well. If you need more control over mattes in FCP, have a look at these plug-ins, they include better masking:

I tend to use a compositing program for such work, but with these Plug-ins FCP should be up to the job.



Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by David McGiffert on Dec 31, 2007 at 5:48:53 pm


Agreed, it would make an interesting tutorial.
I, for one, would love to learn about it.

I have your DVD on getting organized in FCP.
It has really helped on a documentary I'm shooting
and editing...

Happy New Year,


Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Rafael Amador on Dec 31, 2007 at 10:36:34 am

I made some incredible "liquid" masks with the RotoShape in Shake. The edge control let you do amazing things. Really easy and fast to animate. Then I brought the masks to FC.
And the best 2008 for all of you.

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM

Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Chris Borjis on Dec 31, 2007 at 5:04:58 pm

I'm a big fan of naturally occuring use for transitions as well.

Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by aaron zander on Jan 1, 2008 at 3:31:29 am

masks are good, but it really is alot about what you are shooting.

Pre planning for this helps a lot, and you can cheat a lot too. Dolly past a flag, or start from behind one, it lets you fudge your masking, and if your focus is several feet off, ad the flag is right there, it creats a soft black edge

Re: Pan's Labyrinth Style Transitions
by Andrew Gregg on Jan 2, 2008 at 5:35:54 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I'll let you know what it looks like, and what technique I used, when I get to the editing. The shoot's mid January.

Thanks again.