Generating a Gradient

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the November, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

This technique started with a note from Patrick Bronte:

I am currently working my way through your training series – FCP 6 Essential Editing. Thank you so much for putting together such an easy to follow set of tutorials. Without it I would still be searching for someone to teach me.


One quick question – how do you generate the gradient to apply to an overlay? I am following the tutorial – Composite Mode – Enhancing Landscapes.

Larry replies: The process of creating a gradient is easy. However, the menu is almost impossible to find:

1. In the Video tab of the Viewer, go to the lower right corner and click the small menu with the letter A on it. (This is called the Generator menu.)



2. Select Render > Gradient.



3. Click the Controls tab in the Viewer and change the gradient type as necessary. For example, to have the gradient shade from black to white from top to bottom, select Horizontal from Bottom to Top.


At this point, your gradient is now a clip in the Viewer that you can manipulate like any other clip.

Extra credit

* You can also access this same menu from the Effects tab in the Browser.



* The duration of a generated clip is determined by the setting in Final Cut Pro > User Preferences > Editing tab — Still/Freeze Duration.



* If you want a gradient using colors other than black and white, change your selection in the Generator menu to Render > Custom Gradient.


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