Final Cut Pro X: Best practices for creating layered graphics files
Follow these best practices when creating layered graphics files for use in Final Cut Pro X.
The ability to import and edit layered graphics files was introduced in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3. Layered graphics files, such as Adobe Photoshop (PSD) files, can be edited so that each layer appears as a connected clip in the Timeline.
Notes on creating optimal layered graphics files for use in Final Cut Pro X:
- Create them in 8-bit RGB Color mode.
- If appropriate, create layered graphics files at a frame size compatible with the television or film pixel dimensions you use for your projects. Most versions of Photoshop have presets for common video and film pixel dimensions.
- If you use any Photoshop adjustment layers, you should flatten them prior to importing the file into Final Cut Pro X. You may want to save a copy of your file with Photoshop adjustments flattened for use in Final Cut Pro X and also keep a master version of the file with the Photoshop adjustment layers unchanged to allow you to make changes as necessary.
- Final Cut Pro X supports blend modes, but not all blend modes available in Photoshop have equivalents in Final Cut Pro X. For the best results, consider using Photoshop blend modes that have equivalents in Final Cut Pro X. For information on viewing the blend mode settings available in Final Cut Pro X see: Use Compositing settings.
- Final Cut Pro X supports enabled and disabled layers in Photoshop files. Verify that the layers you want visible in Final Cut Pro X are enabled in the Photoshop file. If you find that layers of the Photoshop file in Final Cut Pro X need to be disabled or enabled, select the layer and press the V key to enable or disable the layer.
- Final Cut Pro X supports embedded Color Profiles. If applicable, save the layered graphics file with the desired Color Profile. To see if a graphics file has an embedded color profile you can select the graphics file and choose Go to Inspector from the Window menu. Click the Info button at the top of the pane. Then, choose Extended View from the Metadata pop-up menu and look for the color profile metadata field.
- In regards to color modes:
- Layered graphics files you create in 16-bit Color mode will import flattened. Create them in 8-bit RGB Color mode to maintain the layers.
- Layered graphics files you create in 32-bit Color mode will not import. Create them in 8-bit RGB Color mode to successfully import them and maintain the layers.
- Layered graphics files you create in CMYK Color, Lab Color, Bitmap, or other color modes are not supported. Only RGB Color mode is supported.
Modifying the default duration of a layered graphics file
The default duration for a layered graphics file is 1 minute. If you need the duration of a layered graphics file to be longer, change the duration by following these steps:
- Select the layered graphics file in the Event Browser.
- Control-click the layered graphics file and choose Open in Timeline from the menu. The layered graphics file will open in the timeline displaying the individual layers.
- Choose Select All from the Edit menu to select all layers.
- Choose Change Duration from the Modify menu. Durations under 24 hours will work.
- The timecode entry field appears in the Dashboard.
- Type the desired duration for the selected layered graphics file and press Enter.
Resizing layered graphics files in Final Cut Pro X
You can resize layered graphics files as necessary in Final Cut Pro X. Select the layered graphics file and choose Go to Inspector from the Window menu. Click the Video button at the top of the pane. Then, you can change the Spatial Conform setting (Fit, Fill, or None) and resize, move, rotate, or reposition the graphics file or individual layers using the built-in Transform effect.