Learn Eye-Catching Sliding Photo & Video Effects in Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro October 26, 2021 4 min read

When creating photomontages and slideshows, it can often be challenging to find new and exciting ways to animate your content. The sliding photo effect is a fantastic way of showing off your work with just a few keyframes. Whatsmore, other native effects can be used to add flair and style to your composition. We will take you through how to create a stunning sliding photo effect in Final Cut Pro.

Part 1: Learn a Simple Sliding Photo & Video Effect in Final Cut Pro

One of the best things about the sliding photo effect is you can create it in any editing software. Today we’re using Final Cut Pro, but you can replicate this effect using similar keyframing methods.

Step 1: Create the Scroll

The first step is to add the movement to each photo. This can take a while, depending on the number of images you want to include.

  1. Import your photos to your library and create a new project of the size you require.
  2. Drag your images to the timeline and line them up, ensuring they are all the same length.
  3. Go to your first image, adjust the Size and Position so it fills the screen and sits as far on the left as possible for your picture.
  4. In the Inspector, create a keyframe for Position.
  5. Go to the end of the photo and change the position to sit as far to the right as possible.
  6. Select the clip on the timeline, then click on the Transform option at the bottom of the media viewer. The position path will show on the screen.
  7. Select each of the keyframes in the media viewer and choose Linear from the pop-up menu.
  8. Check you are happy with the movement, then right-click > New Compound Clip.
  9. Give the compound clip a name and hit OK.
  10. Follow these steps with the remaining photos until all have movement.

Step 2: Add the Double Transition

You can create some fantastic effects by simply dragging any transition to your photo clips. Have a look through the FCPX transitions library and see what works. However, we’re going to add an extra step and show you the double transition technique, which works particularly well with slide transitions.

  1. Go through your clips and trim about 8 frames off the start and end of each.
  2. Go to the end of your first photo, and using your arrow keys, move backward about 12 frames.
  3. To access the Blade tool, press B on the keyboard and create a cut in your photo compound clip.
  4. Go to the Transitions panel and search for Slide.
  5. Drag the transition to the cut you have just created. Adjust the transition duration so it only fills half of the 20 frame section.
  6. Grab the same transition from the panel and drop it on the join between the photos. You may get a message telling you there are not enough frames for the transition and then click Create Transition.
  7. Select each transition in the timeline, and in the Inspector, change the direction to the same movement as your keyframes, and change the Type to Push In.

Part 2: Final Cut Pro X Whip Slide Effect

The Whip Slide effect is an innovative and stylish way of introducing a shot. This technique works best with video clips with a focus point in the foreground and an interesting background.

  1. Edit your video clips in the timeline, and choose the point where you want to create a whip slide transition.
  2. Placing the playhead on the first frame of the clip you are transitioning to, go to Edit > Add Freeze Frame (or press Alt+F).
  3. Adjust the freeze frame to 12 frames and place it over the end of the preceding clip so it sits neatly against the second.
  4. Hold Alt on the keyboard and drag the freeze frame up to create a copy. Then place this on top of your first freeze frame.
  5. Select the bottom of the 2 and press V to make the layer invisible.
  6. Go to the Effects panel and search for Draw Mask
  7. Add the effect to the top of your freeze frame layers.
  8. In the Inspector, grab the Pen tool and create a mask around the foreground element you want to cut out. The more precise you are, the better your transition will look.
  9. When you are happy with the mask, select the bottom freeze frame and hit V to make it visible.
  10. With your playhead on the first frame of the frozen images.
  11. Select the bottom freeze frame and adjust the Position setting so that it sits offscreen in the direction you want it to transition on from.
  12. Select the top freeze frame and adjust the Position setting to sit offscreen in the opposite direction as the bottom layer.
  13. Create a Position keyframe for each of the 2 clips.
  14. Move the playhead so it’s at the end of the clips, and adjust the Position setting back to 0.

Part 3: Create the Masked Slide Effect

The masked slide effect is very similar to the Whip Slide effect, only rather than a cut out coming in over the original image, the image is separated and comes together to create a whole. The Masked Slide effect works best with videos that have a clear horizon or dividing line.

  1. Position the playhead so it’s over the first frame of your second clip, and create a freeze frame.
  2. Place the freeze frame over the end of the preceding clip, and adjust to 12 frames in length.
  3. Search the Effects panel for Draw Mask and add it to the freeze frame.
  4. Use the Pen tool to draw a mask around the bottom section of your frozen frame.
  5. Hold Alt and drag the freeze frame up to create a duplicate.
  6. Select the top freeze frame, and in the Inspector, choose Invert Mask. You should now see your complete shot split over 2 layers.
  7. Place your playhead on the first frame and position each layer off-screen in opposite directions. 
  8. Create a Position keyframe for each layer in the Inspector.
  9. Move to the end of the clip and adjust the Position back to 0.

Slideshows can be a lot of fun to create and are a fantastic way of showing off your images and video clips. Slide and Whip effects are just a couple of the techniques you can use to add production value to your projects. If you don’t have the time to create a slideshow from scratch, check out these 22 slideshow templates for Final Cut Pro.