Learn More Contact Now

Creating a Motion Path in Final Cut Pro 6

You can easily manipulate a clip's motion path in the Viewer Window to achieve some impressive animated effects such as the Animated Filmstrip. This tutorial will only focus on creating a motion path for a single clip, but aftewards, if you feel comfortable with this is lesson, you should really try creating an Animated Film Strip.

1 Open up the clip that you wish to use in the Viewer Window by double clicking it in the Timeline.

2 Go to the View menu in the Canvas Window and choose Image and Wireframe.


3 You will be able to see the effect more clearly if you deacrease the scale of the clip, so go to the Motion tab in the Viewer Window and set the scale to 50.


4 Place the playhead in the Timeline at the first frame of the clip that you are animating, so that you can see it in the Canvas Window. Make sure Snapping is turned on in the Timeline

5 Make sure your selection arrow tool is active by clicking on it in the tool palette or by pressing A on your keyboard.

6 While holding down the shift key, click and drag the clip from its center towards the left side of the Canvas Window so that it is halfway off screen. Holding down the shift key constrains the movement of the clip, keeping it in a straight line as you drag.


7 While in the Motion tab, you will need to expand the window pane by dragging its bottom right corner to the right. Position the Window so that it is not covering up the Canvas Window.


8 The timeline idicator within the Motion Window will be parked over the first frame of the clip that is in the Timeline area. You should see a slightly highlighted range in the keyframe area representing the clip on which you are performing the animation.


9 Locate the center parameter within the Motion tab and click on the Keyframe Button to insert a keyframe for your current clip position. You will see that two keyframes are placed at the location of indicator bar in the Motion tab.


10 This step is a little confusing and I will explain why in just a moment. Move the timline indicator in the Motion tab and snap it to the end of the highlighted range representing the clip and press the back arrow key on your keyboard once to move the indicator backward one frame.


The white barrier in the keyframe area representing the end of the clip that we are working on is actually the first frame of the proceeding clip, this is why we had to move the indicator back one frame.

11 Go to the Canvas Window and Shift-drag the clip to the right of the screen. You will then see a motion path, representing the path that the clip will move along.


12 Play the clip from the beginning in either the timeline or the Canvas to review the effect.

Receive FREE Tutorials by email:


    Avid Media Composer Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $50.00
  • 84 Media Composer Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll for 10% off!
    Final cut Pro X Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $20.00
  • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll


Saving Color Correction Parameters in Avid Xpress Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Using Markers To Save Time In Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.