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This chapter is from the book

Applying Superimpose Effects

FCP's Superimpose is the same as Avid's in that it involves two clips, one on top of the other, in the Timeline. In Avid, the Superimpose effect is added to the top clip, and keyframes can be set to alter opacity. In FCP, you can set opacity keyframes directly on the clip in the Timeline. Note that FCP also has a Superimpose function, but it appears as an edit type, not an effect.

Figure 31 Avid Superimpose effect.

Opacity Adjustments

FCP makes changing the opacity of a clip simple and direct. As with audio volume overlay in audio clips, there is an opacity overlay line in all video clips. The same overlay icon that revealed the audio level lines also reveals the video opacity line. Click it to turn on the video overlay line.

Figure 32 FCP opacity keyframes in the Timeline to fade up and fade down.


To change opacity:

  • Drag down on the overlay line. A percentage amount appears, indicating the opacity percentage for the entire clip.

To create opacity keyframes:

  • Use the main Pen tool (or OPTION+click) to set keyframes on the opacity line. Drag a keyframe down to decrease the opacity.

To make a superimpose edit:

  1. Place the playhead where you want the clip to go.

  2. Mark the edit points in the Viewer.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer into the Canvas Edit Overlay and drop the clip onto the Superimpose option.

      Figure 33 FCP Superimpose option in Edit Overlay.


    • Drop the clip onto the Superimpose edit button (hover over Replace edit to reveal Superimpose) on the Canvas.

    • Press F12.

Once a clip is superimposed over another, you can set opacity keyframes on the upper clip to create your effect, as described earlier.

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