By default, when you create or modify any Final Cut Pro effect, transition, title, or generator in Motion, that file is stored in the Motion Templates folder located in your Movies folder inside your Home Directory.
This is fine when you and your library are working alone. But, what happens when you need to share your library – or more accurately, the projects stored in that library – with another editor?
In that case, you not only need to share the library, but you also need to remember all the custom effects you’ve created and where they are stored. Then, you need to copy them from your Movies folder, send them to the other editor and make sure they store them in the right place.
As you can imagine, there are LOTS of ways this can screw up.
In a recent upgrade, Apple added a new option which makes this whole transfer process a lot easier: We can now store all these custom effects in the Library itself. However, there seems to be a “gotcha,” so read this to learn more.
Here’s how this works.
NOTE: This technique only applies to effects created in Motion. 3rd-party effects are not tracked by FCP X and must be moved / shared manually. Keep in mind, also, that the license agreement between you and the developer may not allow sharing.
SET LIBRARY PROPERTIES
Select the Library into which you want to move custom effects in the Library List. Then, in Inspector > Storage Locations click the Modify Settings button.
Change the Motion Content pop-up menu to In Library. This tells Final Cut to store all custom content inside the Library file.
Then, click OK.
All new custom effects should now be stored in the Library.
MOVING EXISTING EFFECTS
However, if you already HAVE custom effects, you now need to move them from your home directory into the Library. To do this:
The first four times I did this, following the instructions in the Help files, the process didn’t work. What DID work was:
These extra steps may not be necessary for you, but they were for me.
For some reason, FCP X did not accept the changed location until I consolidated it first.
To create a new library that contains all these custom elements for your editing partner, select the project in the Browser, then choose File > Copy Project to Library > New Library.
MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS THERE
Apple’s Help files state:
“If you add custom Motion content—effects, transitions, titles, or generators—to your project and store it in the library, the items may not appear in the Final Cut Pro media browsers (the browser, the Effects browser, and the Transitions browser).
“By default, the media browsers are set to show the effects, transitions, titles, and generators that came with Final Cut Pro, and any custom Motion content that is stored in the Motion Templates folder located in your Movies folder. However, you can use the Filter pop-up menu to show Motion content stored in a particular library.”
To do this:
Installed [items]: This displays the content that came with Final Cut Pro, and any Motion content that is stored in the Motion Templates folder located in your Movies folder. This is the default setting.
[Library name]: Selecting a specific library displays any custom Motion content stored in that library.
All the generators that were part of my original project were successfully moved to the new library. However, they were not removed from the Motion Templates folder in my Home Directory.
Just to verify, I opened the Library bundle and, in the Motion Templates folder, there were all the custom generators that were a part of this Project.
The only time you need to worry about this – or change the default settings – is when you are sharing Library files between different computers AND you’ve created custom effects for that project.
While I wish this feature was a bit more reliable, once you verify that the files were moved successfully by looking at the menu option at the top of the Titles, Generators, Transition or Effects browsers, storing custom effects in the Library reduces the hassle of moving Libraries between computers.
Remember, also, that this setting will vary by library. When you create a new Library, the default setting of where to store effects points back to the Motion Templates folder of your Home directory. To store effects in the Library itself, you’ll need to change this for each new library you create.
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