How to Use Final Cut Pro Effects (Plus 16 Freshly New Templates)

Final Cut Pro December 15, 2019 5 min read

Final Cut Pro X’s built-in effects library is a large and versatile toolbox, allowing you to modify your footage in all sorts of ways. The process for adding effects to your video project is straightforward, and the Effects Browser makes it easy to search and preview effects before adding them to your composition.

Today, you’ll learn how to add a built-in effect to your video and list some stellar options for downloading additional effects and plugins. Let’s get started!

Part 1: How to Use Final Cut Pro X Effects

You can use effects to fix problems with your footage or to add imagination to your videos. Once you’ve got the next three steps down pat, take a little time to check out everything available to you in the Effects Browser

Step 1: Load Your Footage into the Timeline

If you’re just getting started, you may need to create a new Project and Event. Projects are where you edit your video, and Events are like folders for organizing your footage. 

  1. If you haven’t already, open your Library and create an Event and Project.
  2. Import your footage into the Event
  3. Drag your footage into the Timeline. 

Step 2: Open the Effects Browser and Select Your Effect

The Effects Browser is where you can search and preview any effect you’d like to add to your project. It’s divided into Audio & Video effects.

  1. Click on the Effects Browser icon to open it up. 
  2. Browse the effects and find one you’d like to use, or type its name in the Search Bar.
  3. To preview an effect, drag your cursor along the effect’s thumbnail. A preview will be shown in the Viewer.

Step 3: Add Your Effect and Adjust its Properties

Adding an effect in Final Cut Pro X is as easy as dragging and dropping. Most effects have properties that can be customized in the Inspector.

  1. Click the thumbnail of the effect you’d like to use and drag it onto your clip in the Timeline.
  2. To adjust the properties, select that clip in the Timeline and open the Inspector
  3. In the Video tab of the Inspector, under Effects, you can see your effect and its adjustable properties.
  4. Make any adjustments you’d like to achieve your desired effect. 

As you can see, adding effects to your footage in Final Cut Pro X is pretty simple. You can also combine multiple effects by repeating steps two and three above. With hundreds of effects to choose from, you can accomplish a lot using just the built-in effects library. 

If you want to enhance your production abilities even further, we’ve compiled a list of third party effects plugins that can help you achieve some amazing results!

Part 2: 2020’s Top 15 Final Cut Pro Effects Templates

The following are some of our favorite resources for downloadable effects. Installing these plugins will transform your Final Cut Pro X into an even more powerful video editing tool. 

1. VHS Effects

If you’re looking for a retro, grainy look for your videos as if the audience is watching a VHS tape, check out this Final Cut Pro X template. Simply download it and drop any of the ten effects onto your footage to create an instant vintage effect. Give your videos a sense of nostalgia!

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2. Pro Camera

Not happy with the camera moves in your shot? No problem. Download the Pro Camera effect for Final Cut Pro and give yourself instant camera moves in post. Pan, tilt and move your images in a 3D space to give it an extra layer of depth, and take full control of your footage.

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3. VHS Effects

Bring some nostalgia to your videos with the VHS Effects for Final Cut Pro. There are ten unique VHS effects in this pack to give your footage a worn-out, faded tape feel. Send your videos to the past in minutes with this easy drag and drop effect.

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4. Grid Layouts – Split Screen

The animated split-screen effect in this pack is an awesome way to showcase your videos and stills in one place together. 15 grid layouts and five animation styles give you the ability to customize how your footage appears on the screen and interacts with each other. The 4K resolution means you can use it in nearly all of your projects.

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5. Camera Shake Effects

There are nine camera shake effects to choose from in this pack. Apply it to both footage and text to create instant camera shake and give your footage a handheld aesthetic. Perfect for anything you want to feel real and grounded.

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6. HUD Elements Pack

Add some sci-fi infused computer displays with this awesome futuristic HUD effect for Final Cut Pro. There are 20 animated elements to choose from in this pack and would be perfect for a futuristic short film or any ultramodern video content.

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7. Hit Presets

Short, sharp camera shakes to add some dynamism to your videos or to use as transitions between scenes. These work great for any videos you want to liven up, whether they are presentations or promo films.

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8. Urban Style

Grungy, edgy and lots of attitude – these urban style effects add a very cool graphical layer to your videos. There are 13 video and 18 text holders that can easily be edited and customized. No plugins required, just download them and jump right in.

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9. History Quotes

This is a beautiful, dramatic slideshow filled with character and cool ink effects with a historical theme. Centered quotes make the text the focus, but there’s a lot of other detail going on here to hold the audience’s attention. 

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10. Urban Retro

Film grain, scratches, slick animated transitions, this effect has everything. Give your footage a cool retro vibe and customize the text. Great for music videos and presentations.

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11. Modern Promo 

There’s a lot of fun stuff to play within this Final Cut Pro template. Perfect for fashion films and promos, there are 17 shots and 16 text placeholders all animated in a fresh, modern style. No plugins needed, just download the project and swap out the placeholder media.

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12. Bright Shake Transitions

The dynamic transitions in this pack warp the frame with a cool light effect, letting you to jump from scene to scene in a modern, exciting way. There are nine unique transitions to use in any of your projects, and these transitions will work in any kind of content.

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13. Trendy Backgrounds

This Final Cut Pro package contains eight animated backgrounds for you to use in any kind of project. Whether you’re making something corporate or a YouTube video for fun, there’s plenty you can work with here.

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14. Starfield

These stunning cinematic space shots are perfect for any luxury or science-themed videos. There are ten text placeholders in this incredible template, so just download it, replace the text, and make your videos stellar quality.

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15. Flip Transitions

Get from one scene to the next using these super fun and energetic flip transitions. If you’re making a corporate promo or a travel video, you can use these transitions in no time at all even without any previous animation knowledge.

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13. Stop Motion Grunge

Give your footage an edgy, grimy look with plenty of grain and film scratches. This modern template gives your video a raw, energetic atmosphere, great for sports promos and urban music videos.

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Final Cut Pro X’s library of built-in effects is extensive and easy to use. Plus, the huge variety of available third-party plugins means you can upgrade FCPX to include anything you could ever need for your video projects. Whether you’re just trying to fix some poor lighting or add cinematic filters to your project, Final Cut Pro effects are powerful and easy to use.