Creating Hero Titles in Final Cut Pro X Part 2

In part two of a two-part series, Steve will show you how to create animated 3D title fly-thoughs using a free 3D title plugin from Ripple Training.

Welcome to Final Cut Pro X in under 5 minutes. I’m Steve from Last week we created a looping cloud animation to be used as a backdrop for our 3D Super Hero text. This week, I’m going to show you how to create incredible looking 3D titles that fly toward the screen.
If you select the titles browser, you’ll notice there is a category built-in 3D animation presets. While these are great for simple 3D animations, they are somewhat limited in terms of what you can achieve with them. For example, you cannot animate the 3D title in Z space, which is what’s required to create our 3D fly-though.
If you click the link below, you can check out our free Ripple 3D Animation presets which, after installing, will give you a ton of animation options not available using the built-in presets. Assuming you took my advice and installed the plugin, they will appear in the Ripple 3D animations category of the Titles browser.
Move the playhead to 10 frames in the Timeline and press I to set an in point. Press Control-D, then enter 3 period and press return. Select the Ripple Super Fade preset and press Q to connect it above the background. Double-click the text and type out your title…For fly-throughs I find that shorter titles work better than longer ones. . In the Text inspector, change the font to Comic Strip or something similar.
Click the Title button to reveal all the animation parameters. Our preset has an animated build in and build out. We want the text to automatically fade in, but the default duration is too long. Set it to 5. Since the plan is to animate the title toward us and ultimately off the screen there’s no reasons to include a build out, so turn it off.
Scroll down to Position and spill open the parameters. Set the Z value to -50. This places the title further away from us. Press Shift-I to move the playhead to the beginning of the title then set a position keyframes for X, Y and Z. Now press Shift-O to move the playhead to the end of the title.
Crank up the Z value to move the text toward the camera (though technically there is no camera). One thing I should point out; It’s always better to animate though a gap in the letters rather than animating right into the side of the text. Otherwise you’ll see weird visual artifacts. A way around this is to adjust the Y and Z values to ensure the movement maintains a trajectory thought an open space. Keep dragging until you no longer see the text.
Now it’s time to skin the text. In the text inspector, set the depth to 40 to give the title more weight. Because the sun flare is behind the text, choose Backlit from the lighting style popup. Scroll down to the materials section and change it to Multiple. We’re gong to apply different materials to the various facets of the text. The facets we’re going to work with are front, front edge and side. Since the text is always facing the camera, we don’t need to worry about the back facets.
Click on the front facet and choose > Paint > Car Paint. Reveal the Paint layer, click the color picker, and sample a dark purple color from the sky. To instantly apply the color changes we made to the Side, click the link button. One of the things that really sells a 3D title is the environmental reflections in the letters.
Enter 88 for shininess. Move the playhead so you can better see the the reflection in the lower half of the letters. Now for pure sexiness. Click on Paint job, then choose > Metal. You get a completely different look. Let’s take a look at Velvet look. And Let’s try > Dark. Ahh, that’s the ticket. This one change makes the entire title look like it’s a reflecting the warm tones of the surrounding clouds.
For a bit more reflectivity, change the finish to Polish. If you want less reflectivity, choose > Enamel. There are so many options, it’s mind-boggling what you can create with only a few simple controls. Let’s add one more touch to really make this title pop. Select Front edge, click the color swatch and sample a pink tone in the sky.
The last step is to copy the tile and paste it a few more time. You’ll only need to change the text and adjust the ending position keyframes to ensure the motion goes though an open space in the letters. Finally, add some sound effects and music and you’re done. If you like this tutorial, be sure to check out our in-depth 3D titles and masks tutorial available at