Creating Insets With Borders in Final Cut Pro X

Have you ever had trouble adding a border to a inset image, only to find out that the border tool doesn’t work with your image?

In this episode of Final Cut Pro X in Under 5 Minutes, Steve will show you a great trick for creating borders that will really make your inset images pop.

Welcome to Final Cut Pro X in under 5 minutes. I’m Steve from This week I have a great tip for you – this one was suggested by one of our long-time subscribers, Peter Hertzman from Palo Alto California.
In this timeline, I have a inset image that I’ve cropped, scaled and positioned next to my interview subject.
I want to add a border to give the image more contrast from the background. Seems easy enough; I just drop the Simple border effect on the inset clip and….fail… the simple border does not work on images that are cropped. What is one to do?
I’ll undo that last step. First, you’ll need to change the anchor point of the clip. With your playhead parked over the clip and the active clip indicator (aka, the little white ball) over the clip you want to affect, press Command-4 to open the Inspector. Click the Transform button to reveal the transform controls in the Viewer.
Currently, the anchor point is sitting on the right edge of the cropped image and it needs to be in the center of the clip. Using the X-value scrubber for Anchor Point, I’ll drag downward until the anchor point target is centered, then I’ll reposition the image where I ultimately want it.
Next, option-drag upward on the clip to copy it above itself. Select either the top or bottom clip and press Command-C to copy it’s attributes. Select the Generators browser, and choose the Solids category. Drag the Custom generator on top of the lower clip and choose > Replace from Start.
Select the Generator, then press Command-Shift-V to call up the Paste Attributes window. Place a check next to Position, Scale, Anchor and Crop, then click Paste. With the clip still selected, in the Inspector, increase the scale to reveal the edges of the generator, which for all intents and purposes, looks and behaves just like a border.
To change the border color, click the Generator button, and choose a color from the color picker. Let’s take this effect one step further by adding a drop shadow.
Select both the inset clip and the background clip in the timeline and press Option-G to create a compound clip. Name it > Inset with Border and press Return. Select the Effects Browser, then enter Shadow in the search field. Drag the drop shadow on top of the compound clip. Use the parameter controls in the Inspector to adjust the drop shadow to your liking.
To create fades on the entire composite, press Control-V to reveal the animation controls, double-click the opacity bar, then drag out fades at the head and tail of the clip and your done…
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