Creating Hero Titles in Final Cut Pro X Part 1

Do you want to make amazing professional looking 3D titles for your projects? On this week’s episode of Final Cut Pro in Under 5 Minutes, Steve will show you how to quickly make network worthy titles for all of your projects.

Welcome to Final Cut Pro X in under 5 minutes. I’m Steve from This week I want to show you how you can build a network quality 3D title open using just the tools and media content within Final Cut Pro X. Let me play you the finished title opening.
Because of the number of steps involved, I’m breaking this tutorial into 2 parts in order to keep the lesson under 5 minutes. This week I’ll show you how to build the background, then next week I’ll cover how to create the 3D title fly-throughs.
Press Command-N to create a new Project. Select the Generators Browser and locate the animated Clouds background. Select it and press E to add it to the Timeline. Choose a format, resolution and frame rate. Keep in mind whatever you choose here will need to match the video properties of the project you ultimately plan on cutting it into – I’ll leave these at their current settings and press Return.
The clip is currently over a minute and a half long and we’re going to need to speed it up. If you try to select a speed option from the retiming menu, you’ll notice that the options are unavailable. This is because Generators cannot be retimed unless you turn them into a Compound Clip first. Select the generator and press Option-G. Name the compound clip – Cloud Fly-Through or something similar. Press Return.
From the Retime Menu, choose > Custom. In the Rate field, enter 4000 percent. Also make sure you select “Ripple” otherwise, Final Cut will place a big Gap Clip at the end of your timeline which you’ll have to remove. This will save you from having to do that. Press Return.
I’ll zoom into the clip and play it back. The speed feels right, but the clip is 2 and a half seconds and I need a background loop that’s closer to 10 seconds. Before we create the loop, let’s fix the exposure and color on the clip. Press Command-6 to open the color board.
In the Exposure pane, reduce the Midtones to -30 and the Shadows to -15. In the Saturation pane bump up the saturation to 20 for both the midtones and highlights.
To create the loop, select the end of the clip and press Command-T to add a 1 second cross dissolve. Select the transition and press Control-D then enter 12 to reduce the transition duration by half. Select the clip and press Command-C to copy it. Move the playhead to the end of the clip and press Command-V to paste. Final Cut Pro intelligently adds handle frames at the tail and head of each clip in order to create the transition.
Now just rinse and repeat 3 more times until your timeline looks like this. We now have a repeating dissolve loop that’s slightly over 10 seconds for our opening titles. There’s one more thing we can do to make this effect look even better.
Move your playhead to the end of the timeline and press O to set a range for the entire sequence. In the generators browser, select Nova and press Q to connect it above the clouds while matching the duration of the selection range. Skimming over the effect, the Nova creates a nice solar flare, but it’s too intense and needs to be blended more organically with the clouds.
In the Inspector, set the blend mode to Hard Light, then click the Generator button. Set Life to 7 and the Hue to 327. I”m going for a more early morning feel, but play with the Hue to achieve different looks. The sun flare is still a bit too intense, so I’ll reduce the opacity to 90%. Perfect. We now have our cloud background from which to build our Hero 3D title open. And I’ll show you how to do that next week.