FCP X: Test an Effect FAST!

Posted on by Larry

Here are two very fast ways to test the look of an effect in Final Cut Pro X without first applying it to a clip in the Timeline.


Hover your cursor over the effect you are considering in the Effects Browser. After waiting a few seconds for the effect to load, you’ll see what the effect looks like when applied to the currently selected clip, WITHOUT actually applying it to the clip.

This is a very nice way to check out how an effect looks.


But… the double-secret way to test an effect is to press the Option key while hovering over the same effect in the Effects Browser. Now as you slowly drag from left to right, you’ll see the principal setting for that effect slowly increase. This second method allows you to see whether adjusting the settings will improve the effect.

This second option works best for Blurs and Looks and doesn’t work at all for some effects that have multiple controls, such as keying.

Still, this technique is always worth a try because previewing is faster than adding the effect to a clip then modifying it.

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4 Responses to FCP X: Test an Effect FAST!

  1. That is a very nifty and thoughtful programming touch made for speedy previews. I like it. And Larry, don’t be so hard on yourself because you missed one newsletter because you were on the road working. We forgive you. We won’t forget about you. Promise.

  2. Larry,

    I always thought that Method 1 was cool, but now it is probably old hat to most of us. Method 2 however, is VERY COOL! How did you figure that out?

    In playing with it it looks like it does not work as often on 3rd party effects as it does with the built in FCP effects. I will be using this in the future – Thanks again and have a great trip home!


  3. Dr. Somanna says:

    Hello Larry!

    Am really amazed at your enormous outputs! God has blessed you greatly to be a blessing to others, and I happen to be one of the many to have been blessed by you! Thanks for all your work and a special thanks for this ‘effective tip’ of using the option key while skimming over the effect for a better assessment.

  4. Larry,
    We appreciate every single way you help us…..and when you help us. Everyone should understand that you are learning more about FCPX . This is a fast moving business. And we thank you for everything you do for us. EAR

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