Final Cut Pro X has some very nice, very easy to use video effects built in, such as Bleach Bypass, Aged Paper, etc. And when these don’t prove enough theres also Motion waiting in the wings to provide even more spectacular options. Assuming that you have purchased Motion 5 anyway.
Here's another simple way to generate an effect directly in FCP X. We're going to look at putting a border around an inset clip.
The effect we're going to create.
In the Timeline, place the playhead at the position where you want the Inset Video to start from.
The Playhead Start.
Here we are going to place a 5 second clip with a border.
With the Playhead placed in the timeline, open the Generators Browser.
Choose Textures > Metal for this effect, to create an industrial look and feel. With the Metal Texture selected press Q to connect the Texture to the Primary Storyline, at the playhead position.
Select the connected clip in the timeline and press Command - 4 to open the inspector window.
Chose Generator and change the Type to Copper, and set the Tint Color value to Red .19 Green .02 and Blue to .05 also set the Tint Amount value to .4.
You will also see that by default the Generated Clip is 10 seconds long, we can change that.
Keep the Generated clip selected in the Timeline and press Control - D to change the Dashboard to Duration mode.
Tip: You can also double click the Dashboard Timecode display while the clip is selected.
Type 5. (period) and press Return to set the duration of the selected Metal clip to 5 seconds exactly.
With the newly trimmed clip still selected, click on the Apply Transformation Effect to Selected Clip button to bring up the re-size, Rotate and Position handles in the Viewer (something akin to Wireframe in FCP7).
Use the Handles to re-size and position the generated clip as appropriate.
Click Done in the Viewer to apply.
In the Event Browser select a clip to be edited as a video inset. Set an in point. Double click on the Dashboards Timecode and type the duration an 5. to set a 5 second duration.
It's important that the video clip you are about to inset starts at the same frame as the Metal Generator clip. Press the Up arrow until the playhead sits at frame 1 of the Connected Copper clip.
A 5 second clip.
First select the connected clip in the timeline and press Q to create another clip connection. This time between the copper clip and this new 5 second clip. It should look like this.
Playhead at start
The new clip is still full screen, it needs to match the Copper background we made, for now. This is a really easy step.
In the timeline select the Copper Metal clip and choose Edit > Copy. This copies everything, including transformations from the Copper Metal clip.
Select the connected video clip and choose Edit > Paste Effects to paste all the transformation data to this clip. The two clips will match.
The result so far.
The clips are the exact same size, which doesn’t work for the effect. Select the clip containing footage and in the inspector window reduce the Scale parameter about another 15%, this will make it scale down towards the centre.
Reduce the scale.
This reveals the copper border around the clip.
The copper border revealed.
Still with the smaller clip selected we can add more effects to the clip to soften the edge of the clip. Press Command - 5 to open the Effects Browser.
The Effects Browser.
Choose Distortion > Crop and Feather
Double click on the Crop and feather effect to add it to the selected clip and in the inspector the Crop and Feather parameters appear.
Inspector, Crop & Feather.
Set the Feather value to -105.0 to match mine, or whatever suits your clips. This softens the outline between the Clip and the Copper Border, which I will admit is purely an aesthetic addition to this effect, but it can look nice. You can always switch it off later if you choose.
TIP: If you need to move the inset clip, because they are connected only move the Copper Metal clip. Its connected video clip will move with it. Do not attempt to move the secondary connected video clip on its own .
Only being able to move the clips by grabbing just the one clip is a little unrefined. Also the Timeline is getting bigger than is required because of all the storylines appearing.
The tall Timeline.
Select both the Copper Metal and the Inset Video clips in the timeline and choose File > New Compound Clip or press Option - G. The 2 clips will be nested into a compound clip.
The compound clip is a far more efficient way to now control and modify the border and clip it surrounds.
Pick the Compound clip up and drag it along to another part of the timeline. As it's a compound the whole lot moves at once. Try pressing < or > to nudge the compound frame by frame.
So easy right?
The compound clip is still editable. Not unlike the way Double Clicking on a nested clip in older versions of Final Cut would open the nested clips in a new sequence. Double Clicking on the compound clip will reveal a new timeline containing the 2 clips.
Select the Copper Metal clip and in the Inspector, under the Generator view, change the type back to Grate.
The metal border changes, try some of the other types to see what you prefer. Once your done click on the Back arrow in the timeline to close the Compound Clips timeline return to the Project Timeline.
Inspector back to grate.
And there you have it, the final effect. Though it's not really an effect as such, it works visually and hasn’t involved using Motion at all. Though I must say for the price you might want to consider Motion, where things like Drop Shadows would be available also if you really want to push your visuals that is.