How to Create and Use Shape Transitions in Final Cut Pro (with Video)

Final Cut Pro 28/06/2022 4 min read

Shape Transitions are a fun and stylish way of moving your viewer through your footage. Adding a bright, bold shape transition will make your videos pop, whether you’re making dull business presentations or energetic events videos. Today, we’ll show you how to create shape transitions from scratch in Final Cut Pro.

How to Create Basic Shape Transitions from Scratch in Final Cut Pro

Creating Transitions in Final Cut Pro can be as complicated as you want to make it. Today, we’ll show you the basic steps to creating a colorful shape Transition using the Draw Mask Effect.

  1. Edit your footage in the timeline and find the point where you want to add a transition.
  2. In the Generators folder, find the Custom Background matte; add it to your timeline above where the 2 clips meet and trim it to the length of your transition.
  3. In the Effects Controls, change the color of the matte to suit your needs.
  4. In the Effect Panel, search for Draw Mask and add it to the clip; your cursor will turn to the Pen tool.
  5. In the viewer, click on the screen to create points, making the main shape of your transition; you can also drag to add Handles, creating curved lines. Your shape should nearly fill the screen.
  6. With your Playhead at the join between the 2 clips, select the Transition Layer and go to the Effects Controls Panel.
  7. Under the Draw Mask settings, drop down the Control Points menu and create a keyframe by selecting the diamond shape.
  8. With your playhead at the beginning of the transition, select the Draw Mask effect in the Control Panel.
  9. On the screen, move the Shape Mask off-screen in one direction and adjust each point slightly as you do.
  10. Moving your playhead to the last frame of the transition, move the Shape Mask points off-screen in the other direction,
  11. Play through the animation, adjusting and adding keyframes as needed.
  12. When you are happy with your basic movement, hold Alt on your keyboard and drag the transition upwards to create a copy.
  13. In the Control Panel, change the color of the bottom transition layer.
  14. Drag the bottom transition layer backward a few frames, so it starts a moment before the duplicate.
  15. Duplicate the transition layer as often as you want, adjusting the color each time; stagger the start of each layer to create thin or thick strokes to your shape.
  16. When you are happy with the look, select all of your transitional layers and right-click > New Compound Clip; name the comp and hit Ok.
  17. Play through the transition, stop when the screen is filled with your shapes and press M on your keyboard to create a marker.
  18. Align the marker with the join between your clips to ensure the transition fits perfectly.

14 Incredible Shape Transition Plugins for Final Cut Pro

1. Trendy Shape Transitions

The Trendy Shape Transitions pack includes 16 stunning gradient-style designs with swift-moving shape elements. The shapes include squares, dots, and curved lines, a fantastic set for creating slideshows and typography videos.

Download Trendy Shape Transitions Now

2. Colorful Shape Transitions

The Colorful Shape Transition pack offers a unique warped Venetian Blinds style effect with a subtle gradient color palette. The square pattern designs wipe swiftly across the screen, taking you from clip to clip.

Download Colorful Shape Transitions Now

3. Quick Shape Transitions

The Quick Shape Transitions pack includes 7 beautiful, vibrant designs, ideal for showreels and presentations. Each transition uses a different shape window to swap your clips with bright, colorful graphic backgrounds. 

Download Quick Shape Transitions Now

4. Trendy Shape Transitions V2

The Trendy Shape Transitions V2 pack includes 14 fun and stylish transitional effects with a bold color design. Each element fills the screen as it animates horizontally, vertically, or using Scale properties.

Download Trendy Shape Transitions V2 Now

5. Line Shape Transitions

The Line Shape Transitions pack is a stylish and modern set of 10 wipe transitions, ideal for business presentations and slideshows. Each animation dissects the screen into panels before swiftly sliding away to reveal your next clip.

Download Line Shape Transitions Now

6. Elastic Shape Transitions

The Elastic Shape Transitions pack will bounce and stretch your viewer from clip to clip with a fun and elegant design. Each transitional animation is enhanced with a color stroke, ideal for branded content.

Download Elastic Shape Transitions Now

7. Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear is a bumper pack of fantastic designs, including 17 Simple shift and opening transitions, 10 Text transitions, 4 Split Screen transitions, and 12 Split Screen effects. These high-tech and dynamic transitions are sure to grab your viewers’ attention.

Download Crystal Clear Now

8. Shape Transitions

The Shape Transitions pack includes simple wipe and slide designs featuring fun, bold color panels. The vivid design makes for easy branding and allows you to add a bright pop of color to your slideshows and presentations.

Download Shape Transitions Now

9. Transform Square Transitions

The Transform Square Transitions set includes 18 designs featuring flickering square panels. The wave of graphic elements floods the screen creating a colorful patchwork of opaque squares, hiding and then revealing your clips.

Download Transform Square Transitions Now

10. Shapes Transitions

The Shapes Transitions pack offers a beautiful graphic flourish to your projects, with color control for easy branding. Each wipe includes dynamically animated shape elements for a clean, modern look.

Download Shapes Transitions Now

11.  Text Shape Transitions

The Text Shape Transitions pack includes 12 bold transitional effects with a full-screen title flourish. Each transition uses a simple diagonal or shape wipe, pausing briefly on title cards with fun gradient backgrounds and graphical flourishes.

Download Text Shape Transitions Now

12. Elegant Shape Transitions

The Elegant Shape Transition pack features stunning shape wipes with a unique glass panel design. The beautiful transitions are highlighted with colorful gradient outlines and magnified panels for a smooth and trendy feel.

Download Elegant Shape Transitions Now

13. Abstract Shape Transitions

The Abstract Shape Transition pack includes 13 cool and trendy designs with a bright and bold color palette. Ideal for your digital content and vlogs, these simple but stylish transitions are sure to catch your viewer’s eye.

Download Abstract Shape Transitions Now 

14. Vertical Screen Shape Transitions

The Vertical Screen Shape Transitions pack is ideal for your Instagram Stories videos and includes 20 beautiful shape effects. Each transition is accompanied by a colorful stroke element using a mix of Venetian Blind and Wipe effects.

Download Vertical Screen Shape Transitions Now

Creating Shape Transitions from scratch in Final Cut Pro can be a little time-consuming, but with some patience, you can create incredible, eye-catching transitional effects. If you don’t have the time to create your own, Motion Array has a vast collection of Transitions available to download. If you’re looking for more cool tricks to use in Final Cut Pro, check out this handy guide to Distortion.