This Is Why Apple Rebooted FCP

I don’t know how this works in FCP X, because you don’t change to a new NLE in the middle of a huge project, but the Boris FX 3D Text plugin Apple licensed to do titles with fine-tuned controls and effects, such as drop shadows, drives me totally bonkers. It’s a tyrant that doesn’t play well with others and forces me into hacky workarounds to perform what should be relatively simple tasks.

Example: I want to cross-dissolve between two screens worth of credits[1], so I should be able to just drop in a cross-dissolve transition from FCP’s extensive library of effects. But because I have credits for two different characters on the screen, I used two different instances of the Boris plugin, and when I drop in the dissolve, only one of them dissolves. The other vanishes immediately when the transition starts, while its counterpart on the next screen remains absent until the transition has finished.

Positing that this might be due to a bug in the alpha channel implementation, I tried cropping each slide to exclude the expanse of empty space surrounding each title, but to no avail. Instead, I just now finished keyframing every clip individually to change the opacity from 0 to 100 (or vice-versa) over the course of 24 frames, which took far longer.

Also, I’m pretty sure the render time increases over using FCP’s software-optimized transitions. So I’m writing this during the 25-minute wait it takes to render out 2 minutes worth of still images with text over them.


  1. That’s right, in this movie I have static, screen-based credits instead of scrolling ones  ↩