How To Apply Final Cut Pro Filters

One reason to use Final Cut Pro or a similar pro-level video editing app is to have access to a wide variety of interesting and useful filters. I'll show you how to apply a basic filter and how to make adjustments. We'll look at how to make your video look like an animation, apply a style and use effects like old film and rain.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: How To Apply Final Cut Pro Filters.

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So one of the reasons people go with a pro app like Final Cut Pro is to get access to filters. Filters you usually don't have in the simpler apps like iMovie. Final Cut Pro has a ton of video filters that you can apply.

So here I have a simple clip here as an example. I already have it added to the timeline. Now to get to the filters I want to open the Effects browser. There's this button right here or I can use Command 5 to open it up. I have Categories on the left. All is selected here under Video. So I see all of the video filters. I'm going to go and just dig down into one category. So I'll do Comic Looks. In order to preview it all I need to do is click the selected. This won't apply it here. You can see the video is still the same. But if I have it selected and then I move my cursor over the preview area here you can see it applies it to the main preview at the top.

So now I can see what this looks like. So I can select this one here and then when I move my cursor over that I can scrub back and forth over the video. So when you select one you can simply double click and it will apply it or I can drag and drop it. So I can drag and drop over here and add it. Now it's added. Now I can see here in my information area I have, under Effects, Comic Basic. If you don't see it, you know, you have to switch between the different modes here. I switch to the main one and now I see Effects, Comic Basic. I can temporarily switch it off and put it back on. So I can have a bunch of effects and apply them and switch them on or off.

Now each effect is going to have a different group of settings. You can customize the effect which is great because that means that not everybody that uses Comic Basic is going to end up with the same look in their video. You can go and make adjustments. The adjustments will make your video a little more unique but also might better fit the video you've got because your video contrast and subject matter and everything is going to be a little bit different. So different settings here may work better for you. So after you make adjustments you've got it here and you continue to build your movie and have this cool effect applied to this particular clip.

Let's look for another filter. I'll remove this one, remove this effect here. I'll look under let's say Looks. This thing about Looks are that it applies a bunch of different colors and contrast effects and things like that to apply one of many different type of looks to the video. You can see, just as I move the cursor over here, how the previews look. The cool thing about doing something like this, let me just apply this one, is it could really help bring different video clips together. So you might have shot two clips at different times with different cameras and a different amount of light and all of that. So sometimes it can be a bit jarring and look like it's totally different stuff every time you go from one clip to the other. But if you apply a similar look to each one then it kind of ties together your entire film.

So you see this a lot, actually, in movies and TV shows where if you switch channels and you go from one to the other you'll see that everything has kind of a certain look to it in a certain movie. Maybe a certain hue. Maybe a certain amount of contrast to the thing. So you have the ability to go with these and of course you've got settings for each one of these as well. So you can make them you own.

Now you can do a lot more than just that. So, for instance, let's go to Stylize. There's a bunch of different stuff in here. For instance you can start here with Aged Film and it looks like old movie film. So we apply this here we can see we have lots of effects we can change. So, for instance, if we wanted to make it jittery or we wanted to have it go in and out of focus a little bit or change the brightness a little bit. Things that you might see on old films including even the number of scratches that are visible. So this is kind of a neat effect.

There are other things in here as well. Let me Undo so we get rid of that filter. So we can go and look and there's a Camcorder effect that not only makes it look like it's shot in the camcorder but actually applies, kind of, this mask to it here so you can see there's like a little bit of text on it, and a little cassette thing and a battery thing. You can even change the battery level there. The number of scan lines. You can really make something look like it was shot with a camcorder. Cool effect and there are other things like it as well.

For instance you could go to something like there's Film Grain, there's Halftone, there's Hand Held which will make things a little shaky, there's the ability to pixelate everything. You can even add Rain. So with Rain you can adjust lots of things like the density of the rain and the amount. Even the angle of the rain. So a lot of cool stuff that you can do with filters to make you video interesting and unique.

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