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Today we're going to create a "spotlight" over a particular portion of an image in Final Cut Pro.  Have you ever noticed like in documentaries where they're trying to call your attention to someone in particular in the video?  Here's an example of what I'm talking about:



slug.pngThis technique uses a mask to put the "spotlight" on one of your subjects.  Assuming you already have your image in the Timeline, select the in point where you want the spotlight effect to appear on the screen.  Go to the Generators Menu in your Viewer and choose Slug.  Press the F12 key to Superimpose the slug on the V2 track.  Continue to the step by step after the jump...



From the Effects Menu, choose Video Filters > Matte > Mask Shape.
 effects_mask_shape.pngfilters_tab.pngDouble-click the slug to load it into the Viewer and click on the Filters Tab.  Check the box marked Invert and from the Shape dropdown menu choose Oval; adjust the horizontal and vertical scale sliders until you reach the size and shape you want.  Now click on the Center button and position your mouse cursor in the Canvas, so you can drag around to reposition your mask over your subject.
 

Now click the Motion Tab, and click on Opacity to adjust the slider to where you've achievedMotion_tab.png the level of contrast you're looking for.  A good rule of thumb is to keep it around 50%, but you'll want to play with it to get the look you want.

To soften up the edges of your oval, go to the Effects Menu again and choose Video Filters > Matte >Mask Feather.  Click on the Filters Tab and adjust the level of softening of the mask.

mask_feather.png 
Be sure to check out this tutorial to learn how to track your subject when it's moving.

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about.this

Using Apple Motion audio Parameter Behaviors was the previous entry in this blog.

Importing AVCHD Video into Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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