FCP X 10.4: Position Text in 3D Space

One of the unheralded features in 10.4 is the ability to precisely control the position of text in 3D space.

This builds on the position controls available to all clips using the Transform settings, but applies only to text.

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To access these controls, select the text clip in the Timeline, open the Inspector, click the Text icon at the top, then scroll down to the bottom of the Basic controls.

There are three axis:

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Changing a Position setting moves the object within the frame. In the past, we used the Transform settings to do this. While we can still use Transform, the settings in the Text menu give us more options.

(Click to see larger image.)

Changing the Z position creates the same look as adjusting Scale in transform. In FCP X, stacking order in the Timeline determines foreground and background, clips on higher layers are in the foreground, regardless of how you change the Z position.

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The settings I enjoy playing with the most are Rotation. Nothing says “perspective” than a title receding into the background.

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Changing Scale allows us to stretch the text assymetrically. Here, for example, I’ve stretched it to emphasize the depth (X) and make it taller (Y).


(Click to see larger image.)

All these settings work the same for 3D text.


The only controls missing from these new position features are the ability to animate text position using keyframes. To animate text we would either need to use keyframes in the Transform menu, which are much more limited, or create the text effect in Motion, which gives us even more extensive animation controls.

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2 Responses to FCP X 10.4: Position Text in 3D Space

  1. sebastian says:

    hello Larry,
    I entered a video project to edit the online version, the library had 500 GB, so we decided before the start, exported an XML to worx4 x, reduced the library to 20 Gb, then made many corrections and now I am ready to do it online, changing the low quality video of the getty images for the same in 4k, but! Here is the challenge … The worx4 has changed all the names of the clips like: 453672.mp4 = 453672 copy 1.mp4
    So now I don´t know if I will re-link the files… What you think ?? Thanks in advance

    • Larry says:


      It may work. Obviously, try it and see.

      However, if the proxy files have a different frame size, frame rate or timecode, the relinking won’t work.


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