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Best Of: Better 3D controls in FCP X with Simple 3D Effect by Ripple Training

Posted by Iain Anderson on

The guys behind Ripple Training are old hands — they’ve written manuals and created video training for Apple themselves, and know FCP X and Motion backwards. They’ve also helped the community out by providing a number of free (and paid) plugins to fill gaps in FCP X’s functionality.

One area which FCP X doesn’t give you all the power you’d like is in transforms — you can move and rotate in 2D, but not in 3D as you can in Motion. This effect plugs the hole. To get started, head here and follow the link to the Ripple Training site. On that page, pop in your details to receive a link to their installer, click to download it, and run the “RT Simple 3D Installer” from your Downloads folder.

In FCP X, you’ll see a category of effects called simply “RT”. In there, find Simple 3D, and drag it onto a clip. Looking in the Inspector reveals a Simple 3D effect, with controls that look similar to Transform’s controls — but there’s a key difference. The disclosure triangles next to Position, Rotation, Scale and Anchor Point can all be expanded by clicking them, revealing X, Y and Z sliders for everything. Drag sideways on any number to change it, Option-drag to change more slowly, or Shift-drag to change more quickly.

By stacking several clips on top of one another and applying Simple 3D to each one, you can now compose anything you like in full 3D space. The only limitation is that the stacking order is governed by vertical position in the timeline, and not by position in Z-space, but if that’s an issue, use Motion. This is a very handy plug-in, and like any effect, it’s keyframeable too. Enjoy.

Iain Anderson is an Apple Certified Trainer, videographer, editor, animator, writer, designer and occasional coder based in Brisbane, Australia.

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  • Great help, thank you

    Kevin on

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