Final Cut Pro project templates are a fantastic and often underused resource for editors. With hundreds of stylish and dynamically animated templates available to download, creating trendy montages, opening sequences, and business presentations have never been easier. We will take you through our top 3 template looks, with steps on using these fun FCPX template projects.
Part 1: Create a Photo Montage in FCPX with Motion Array
FCPX project templates can be used across many project types and come in a vast range of styles and designs. There are plenty of reasons to create a photo montage – a family event, product overviews, showreels, etc. We’re going to guide you through creating a holiday photo slideshow from your summer vacation photos in under an hour.
Step 1: Prepare Your Photos
You can use your photos directly in the template, but you will often want to modify the raw media, such as adding a color grade or motion effect. For this step, we will use the incredible 3D Photo Effect, which you can install using the method in Part 1.
- Import your images to your new project.
- In the Generators panel, look for the 3D Photo Effect, and choose the style that best suits your image. You can also use the 3D Photo Animator.
- Drag it to the timeline and trim the length to about 3 seconds.
- Select the clip in the timeline and go to the Inspector.
- Click on the first Media Drop Zone, and in the Media Browser, select your first photo.
- Adjust the size of the photo as required in the Inspector and hit Apply.
- Select the second Media Drop Zone (Depth Mask) and then choose a mask that suits your footage from the Media Browser.
- Adjust the size of the mask media if required, and hit Apply.
- If you are happy with your photo animation, right-click the clip in the timeline and choose New Compound Clip. Name your new comp Photo_FX.
- Delete the compound clip from the timeline, and repeat these steps with every image you want to add movement.
Step 2: Add Your Media
Once all of the photo preparations have been completed, you can move on to editing the template. We’re using the Dynamic Multiframe Opener from Motion Array.
- Search for your template in the relevant panel and add it to your timeline.
- Select the template in the timeline and go to the Inspector.
- Click on the first tab in the Inspector to reveal the Template settings.
- Look through the list until you find the Drop zones labeled Logo.
- Click on the Drop zone box and select your logo file in the Media Browser.
- Adjust the Scale and Position of the logo using the controls alongside the drop zone.
- Next, go to the first Media Drop Zone in the Inspector.
- Click on the Media Drop Zone, then select the compound clip of the photo you want to use from the Project browser.
- In the Media Viewer, check the image and sizing.
- To go to the next Media Drop Zone, just click it in the Inspector. When you have added all your images or want to exit the editor, click Apply.
- Go through and do this for each Media Drop Zone.
Step 3: Add Text and Music
Once all of the drop zones are filled with your images, you can move on to adding the titles and music. We’re going to be using Fly With Butterflies.
- Scrub through the template, pausing on the title elements you want to edit.
- In the Media Viewer, double-click the Text to edit the message. You can also scroll through the Inspector for the template and edit the titles in the text boxes.
- Adjust the font and colors in the Inspector; check the template settings first to see what customizations are built-in, then use the Title Editor tab for any other style choices.
- Continue through the template editing the titles, and you can even use the arrows at the top of the Media Viewer to jump between titles.
- When you’ve got the right look for your template, drag your chosen music track to the timeline below your template.
- Trim the ends of the track, and add a fade to the start and end by pressing Cmd+T.
If you want to create your own holiday slideshow, you can use this Beautiful Slideshow, with emotive stock assets including a Playful Couple Embracing, Couple Taking A Selfie, and Life In A Little City. Why not finish the piece off with the Make it Loud royalty-free music track. All these assets are free to download at Motion Array!
Part 2: Create YouTube Channel Intros in FCPX with Motion Array
Templates are awesome for creating YouTube intros, and you have a cool, trendy opening in under 30 minutes. This time we’re going to show you how to grade your footage with Motion Array’s FCPX Travel LUTs, which as with adding effects, requires a little preparation.
Step 1: Prepare Your Footage
Final Cut Templates will only allow you to add media to the drop zones from the browser, so similarly to using effects on photos, we’re going to use compound clips.
- Add your first video clip to the timeline and trim the clip to the required length.
- In the Effects panel, search for Custom LUT.
- Drag, then drop the Custom LUT effect to your clip and select it in the timeline.
- In the Inspector, choose Import LUT from the drop-down menu, locate your effect, and hit OK.
- Once you’re happy with how the clip looks, right-click it in the timeline and choose Compound, name the compound clip a similar name to your photo, with _LUT after it.
- Delete the compound clip from the timeline and repeat the process with your other video clips.
Step 2: Add Videos to Template
Templates allow you to add video clips or photos to your templates, and fortunately, the method is nearly the same.
- Add your template to the timeline, select it and go to the Inspector.
- Click on the first Media Drop zone, and look in the Media Browser for your video clip.
- In the Media Browser, scrub through the clip until you reach the point you want to start using it in the template. If you have trimmed the video precisely, you can choose the clip’s start.
- Select the clip, so the red line falls at the start point. In the Media Viewer, watch the footage to make sure you’ve chosen the correct part of the clip.
- Once you’re happy with the selection, hit Apply.
- Repeat these steps until all of the Media Drop zones are filled.
Step 3: Add Text and Sound Effects
Once you’re happy with the look for your template, you can start concentrating on how it sounds. Sound effects are ideal for use in YouTube intros and can help reinforce your titles.
- Play through the project and pause when you see a title you want to edit.
- Double click on the Media Viewer to edit the text.
- You can adjust the font and colors in the Inspector. Some templates will allow you to change the colors in the Template settings tab. For others, you will need to edit it in the Title tab. Always check the Template settings first.
- Move forward through the template editing the titles. You can use the arrows on the top of the Media Viewer to jump between titles.
- When you are happy with the look and messaging of your template, begin to add your sound effect.
- Drag the sound effect from the Media Browser to your timeline and position it carefully to fit with movement in your video.
- To cut the sound effect, press B on your keyboard to access the Blade tool.
- Make cuts in your track, then press A to return to the Arrow tool.
If you’re looking to create your own Youtube intros, you can’t go wrong with the Glitch Sport, Silhouette Openings or Logo Reveal Pack, especially when combined with The Future Bass royalty-free music track. Again, all of them are free to download at Motion Array.
Part 3: Top Pro Tips for Using FCPX Templates
One of the best things about FCPX templates is the structured design gives you focus and direction. The drag and drop functionality of Final Cut means that even the most hesitant of beginners can create some extraordinary compositions pretty quickly. Check out our top tips for creating awesome template-based projects.
No Filming Required
If you’re just starting your editing journey, you might want to practice, build your skills and create a portfolio before offering your services. Templates are a brilliant way to start, and with Motion Array’s extensive stock footage, effect presets, and music options, you can create an entire project from downloadable assets.
Match the Template to the Subject
There are many templates available, and the first step is to make sure the template fits the subject matter of your video. A template might look cool or fun to use, but if it doesn’t match what the video is about, your audience will be confused.
Add Your Brand
A lot of templates come with logo dropzones so that you can add your branding at the end of your video, but your brand should be seen throughout. Think about the colors and fonts you choose, as well as the music style, and match it to your brand.
Stand Out Messaging
Title boxes in FCP Templates are often limited to match the animation used. While you can extend the title box or decrease the font size to fit in more text, you should minimize the written information on the screen. Think of short, bold titles that tell your story.
Music for Emotion
Music is a must-have for slideshow-style videos, and fortunately, Motion Array has an extensive selection to choose from with something for every type of project. Your music choice will add emotion to your video, so make sure your music choice fits with the style and design of your video, as well as your brand and message.
Tell a Story
Telling a story in your videos doesn’t need to be complicated or in-depth. Before you start your editing, plan out your structure and the order of your media. Create an order to your content that the viewer can follow with a beginning, middle, and end.
Using Final Cut Pro Templates does have limitations, but they can also allow you to produce advanced-looking content quickly. If you’re just starting, using templates can allow you to build a range of skills and examples while gaining valuable experience. And with sites like Motion Array, you can get all the assets you need to create a complete video project. Learn more about installing Final Cut Pro templates with our handy tutorial.