FCP X: Rename or Delete Custom Generators

Posted on by Larry

When you use Motion 5 to create new generators for Final Cut Pro X, they show up automatically in the Generator Browser of Final Cut. This is great, but Dave was wondering how to rename or delete these?

Great question!

While we can’t delete generators, or any other effects supplied by Apple, we can delete custom generators, or other effects, that we created for ourselves.

However, the process isn’t obvious, so here’s how.


This first step isn’t necessary, but to give me something to rename, I decided to create a custom generator first.  In Motion, I created a new project as an FCP X Generator. At which point, I created this effect. (I wish! Motion had more backgrounds that were dark.)

So, to make this background darker:

Opacity darkens everything. Gamma darkens, or lightens, the mid-tone gray-scale values, which can make for a more vibrant image.

I then added the text, which can be changed in Final Cut, just because I could.

I saved the file and created a new category to put my custom generators in. Because I created this in Motion as an FCP X Generator, Motion saved it automatically in the right spot for Final Cut; the Generators Browser.

NOTE: There is no limit to the number of custom categories we can create.


When we open Final Cut and check the Generators Browser, there’s the file.


But, while right-clicking the generator and selecting Open in Motion will allow us to make changes to the file, it won’t allow us to rename or delete the file.

To do that, we need to quit Final Cut Pro X.

NOTE: In many cases, renaming a generator does not require quitting Final Cut. But I’ve found that renaming and deleting is more reliable when Final Cut is not running.


After quitting Final Cut, go to the Finder. Type Cmd+H to open the Home directory.


Open the Movies folder, then open Motion Templates > Generators.

Inside that folder, you’ll find a folder for every category you created (in my example, this folder is called “Larry”). Inside the Category folder, you’ll find a folder for each generator.


To rename the generator, rename BOTH the containing folder and the generator file itself; that’s the file with a .motn extension.

NOTE: If you only rename the folder or the file, FCP won’t be able to find them.


When you restart Final Cut, the generator displays the new name.


To delete a generator, again, quit FCP X.

Then, navigate to the [ Home Directory ] > Movies > Motion Templates > Generators and delete the folder containing the generator you want to remove.

In my example, I would delete the folder originally named “Exciting Generator.”




If you end up with multiple generators in Final Cut, its because you forgot to quit the application before renaming or deleting the generator. Quit Final Cut, then, when you restart, the Generators Browser will reset with the correct files and names.

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4 Responses to FCP X: Rename or Delete Custom Generators

  1. David Cooke says:

    Perfect article at the perfect time. Needed to “delete” a generator that mistakenly I had meant to be published and placed inside the “Titles” under the FCP X Effects.

  2. John Crote says:

    Great piece of advise Thank you.
    When doing this will there be a missing (red) file with old name.
    If so are we able to get rid of that warning.
    Sorry but I am a very tidy person and would not like to have things
    Like that cluttering up my work spaces.
    Thank You again John Crote

    • Larry says:


      Yes, you’ll get a red flag because an effect is missing.

      Go to the Video Inspector to remove any deleted/missing effects.


  3. Brandon VanBeek says:

    I would add that you can use this same procedure not only for generators (.motn), but also for renaming/deleting titles (.moti), effects (.moef), and transitions (.motr). A huge warning though. If you rename any of the above it will break the link to any uses of them in your project. I wish there was a way to relink motion files similarly to relinking media (File > Relink Files …). Since I don’t know of a way to relink, I avoid renaming because it will break all the links in my older projects.

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