One of the less-talked about, but really useful features in the 10.2 update to Final Cut Pro X is the ability to create custom effects presets. A single preset can contain settings for multiple effects; all instantly accessible.
CREATE AN EFFECTS PRESET
To create an effects preset, first apply all the effects that you want to save into a single preset to a single clip.
NOTE: If you want to create one set of effects for a foreground clip and a second set of effects for a background clip, you would create two separate effects presets.
When you create an effects preset, it doesn’t really matter what clips you use to create it – because all the preset remembers are the effects, not the clip the effects are applied to. For this reason, I’m using generators in this article to illustrate the process.
Here, for example, I’ve applied these effects to the foreground clip (Clouds):
To create the preset, click Save Effects Preset at the bottom right of the Video tab of the Inspector.
The Save Video Effects Preset dialog opens with any effects applied from the Effects Browser listed at the top and any changed Inspector settings checked.
NOTE: You can also create Audio Effects Presets in the Audio tab of the Inspector. The process is the same.
If you want to save all these settings into the preset, you don’t need to change anything. If you only want to apply some, uncheck any effect or setting you don’t want saved into the preset.
I like having all my presets stored in the same category. This is purely personal choice. You can create as many categories as makes sense for your project. Keep in mind that categories can be accessed from any project or library. You are saving presets for your Final Cut system, not for a single project or library.
In this example, I clicked the Category popup menu, chose New Category, then named the category into which I want to store all my custom presets.
NOTE: You can use any category name you want. You can also create as many categories as you like.
Click Save, in the lower right of the dialog, to save your new custom preset.
NOTE: The two options in Keyframe Timing are not relevant unless keyframes are present.
WORKING WITH KEYFRAMES
Keyframes present a special case, when creating an effects preset. If keyframes exist for any effect or Inspector setting, gold diamonds are displayed in the Keyframe column.
At this point, the two Keyframe Timing options at the bottom of the dialog are relevant. For the purpose of this example, assume that I have a set of keyframes creating a 2-second effect which is applied to a 4-second clip.
Any settings which don’t have keyframes are not affected by these two options.
APPLYING A PRESET
Once a preset is created, applying it is the same as any other effect.
Select the Category into which you saved the preset, then drag that preset on top of whatever clip you want to apply it to.
Poof! Instantly re-created effect.
DELETE AN EFFECTS PRESET
Deleting a preset isn’t difficult, but it isn’t obvious.
Right-click the preset you want to delete in the Effects Browser and choose Reveal in Finder.
This opens a Finder window into an otherwise hidden folder inside the user’s Library. Drag the preset you want to remove to the Trash.
When you click back to FCP X, the preset will be gone.
NOTE: Be careful deciding what to delete. While you can immediately undo a mistake, once you empty the trash, that preset is gone.
If you are constantly using the same effects and effects settings over and over, presets can save you a lot of time. Keep in mind that presets act just like effects; they are stored with other FCP X effects and not part of a single library or project.
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