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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #60

Marble Backgrounds By Stephen Schleicher

We hit the big 6-0!  With Motion generators available in Final Cut Pro 5.1.2, a whole new world of motion effects and graphic creation are at the finger tips of editors around the world.  In this Final Cut Pro Quick Tip, Ill show you how to create a marble background using some of the new filters and effects that are available with Final Cut Pro 5.1.2.

Step 1:   From the Generator menu, select Render>Clouds.

Step 2:  Add the Cloud clip to the Timeline, double click on the clip to load it into the Viewer, then switch to the Controls Tab.


Step 3:  In the Gradient control, click on the Reverse Gradient button. 

Step 4:  Change the Method to Turbulent.  This creates a more drastic transition in the cloud texture that is perfect for a marble texture.

Step 5:  Change the Black swatch to a very dark brown, as close to black as possible.  This will be the inner vein color.  Click the gradient strip near the black swatch to create a new gradient color.   Make this color a dark brown as well, but distinguishable from the end first color.  Finally, change the white swatch to a medium gray, then drag the swatch about a quarter of the way to the left.

NOTE:  Right click the swatch to access the color palette.

Actually, you can use any color combo you (or your client) desire.  When tweaked, the gradient should be similar to the following image.

Step 6:  Change the Scale amount to 15.  Lowering the Scale amount will increase the number of veins.

Step 7:  Finally, change the Layer Strength amounts:
First Layer Strength - .15
Second Layer Strength - .3
Third Layer Strength - .5
Fourth Layer Strength - .6

The Layer Strength determines how tight or loose the fractal pattern becomes.

You should end up with something that looks like this

Step 8:  If you scrub through the clip, youll notice the pattern moves, which is not good when you are trying to create a static background.  To fix this, change the Speed Amount to zero (0).

Step 9:  With the basic pattern set, there are a few additional tweaks you can do to improve the end result.  The first is to soften the overall pattern.  To do this, apply the Gaussian Blur effect to the clip.

I used a Radius of 10 for this look.

Step 10:  Highly polished marble has a shine to it that makes the surface pop.  A Lens Flare filter will work for that.

Here are the settings I used.

Ill leave it to you to discover the color combination that works for you.

In a few simple steps, you can turn a dull background into a dynamic one that sets your text off from others.

For a complete listing of all 60 of my Final Cut Pro Quick Tips, visit www.stephenschleicher.com


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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at schleicher@mindspring.com

Related Keywords:marble, final cut pro, final cut pro quick tip, background, motion graphics, motion, generators

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