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Recently, we used the Spotlight Effect in order to direct the viewer's attention to a specific part of a video frame.  Today, we'll take a look at how to use the Vector Shape Generator in Final Cut Pro to also bring the viewer's attention to an object by using an animated graphic. 

Step by step after the jump...

The Vector Shape Tool is a relatively simple tool used to create various shapes and outlines that would otherwise require other third-party applications to create.  To access the Vector Shape Tool, click on the Generators drop down menu located in the lower right corner of the Viewer; choose Boris > Vector Shape.  Make sure the playhead is parked anywhere over the clip in the Timeline, and Superimpose from the canvas overlays.  This places the graphic in the V2 track directly above the image on V1.  Double-click the vector shape clip in the Timeline to load it into the Viewer.

boris_vectorshape1.pngvector_controls.pngNow click on the Controls Tab; you have 2 basic shapes to work with, rectangles and ovals.  You can adjust the basic shapes by dragging the sliders on the left, right, top, & bottom.  For this example, I've chosen Oval from the Shape drop down menu.  Add a border by checking the Border On checkbox; If you want to change the border color, click on the Color picker to change it; you can also control how thick you want your border as well as how much transparency you want applied by dragging on the Width and Opacity sliders respectively.

In order for the picture to show through, you will need to turn off the white fill by scrolling down to the Shape Fill section and uncheck the Fill On checkbox. To change the position of the circle, go down to Transformations and click on the target crosshair button once then click in the Canvas and drag to move your circle.

vector_controls5.pngTo animate the border, go to the Border 1 section and set keyframes for the Border Begin parameter; with the playhead at the beginning of the clip, set a keyframe.  Drag the slider all the way to 100.  Hold down your Shift key and tap the right arrow key twice to move the playhead two seconds later.  Drag the Border Begin slider back to 0.  Now playback to watch the animation!  If the animation is too fast or too slow, you can increase or decrease the speed by dragging the second keyframe closer or farther away from the first keyframe.

So as you can see, the Vector Shape Generator is pretty easy to use and it could certainly save you time than to have opening a third-party application to create a simple on-screen graphic.  For more tips and tricks, try out one of our 5 day Final Cut Pro classes, and you'll be amazed at what you can learn!


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Importing AVCHD Video into Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Flipper Plug-in for Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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