Creating a Flipping Tile Transition in Motion 5 for Final Cut Pro X

Post by Hiromi Matsumoto

One of our clients wanted a transition for a marketing video that mimics the tile animation in their mobile app. There are a few options to accomplish this. FCPx ships with a few similar transitions like “Mosaic”, but they don’t offer granular control over the grid configuration, or the direction of the animation. There are also paid third party plugins, but they don’t seem to have been updated to work within FCPx. So here’s one possible 10 minute solution:

Open Motion 5 and from the project browser, open a new blank Final Cut Transition template. Within the template, you’ll notice a group with two layers is created for you automatically. The top layer (“Transition A”) represents the clip you’ll be transitioning from, and “Transition B” represents the clip you’ll be transitioning to. Since we want our transition to start revealing the underlying layer right away, drag each transition so that they cover the entire timeline.

Next, using the shape tool, create the shape you want to tile. In my case this is just a square. The position of the shape doesn’t matter, since it will only be used as a reference.

Once you have your shape selected, click the “Create Replicator” button with the atom-like icon on the right side. This automatically creates a 5 x 5 grid of our select shape. Drag and position the grid container to fill the screen. With the replicator layer selected, open the Inspector in the upper left. Set the number of columns and rows to produce a full grid. Below the “Replicator Controls”, the “Cell Controls” modify the shapes properties. Bump up the shape’s “Scale” until there are no gaps in the grid. Because we want the tile to “flip” in 3D space, check the “3D” box within Replicator Controls. From there you can specify the “Origin” of the animation (Lower Left, Upper Right… etc) as well as the “Build Style” (Across, By Row, By Column… etc)

Nothing moves yet. So to make it animate, select the shape layer and click on the “Behaviors” button with the gear icon and select “Replicators » Sequence Replicator”. In the “Behaviors” tab on the left, we can add parameters that will make our grid animate. Since we want to “flip” the tiles, pull open the “Add” menu and select “Rotation”. Expand the rotation dialogue and change the Y axis to 90 degrees. Then add an opacity parameter and set it to 0%. As you scrub the playhead thru the timeline, you’ll see that we told Motion to rotate each of our tiles in turn and animate the opacity to 0% at the end of each rotation. To spread the animation out more evenly, modify the “Spread” slider and set easing to taste under the “Traversal” dialogue.

Now we want to get this animated grid to affect the transition layers underneath. Right-click “Transition A” and select “Add Image Mask”. Drag the Replicator layer onto the blank image mask and Motion will hide the replicator layer and use it as a reference for the transition layer.

At this point, the transition is done. However, if you want to be able to modify parameters from within FCPx, select “Publish” from the pull down menu next to each parameter you want to be able to modify. Save the project, and the transition will show up automatically in FCPx.

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One Response to Creating a Flipping Tile Transition in Motion 5 for Final Cut Pro X

  1. Dylan says:

    Thanks for taking the time to walk through this process. I’ve recently started to dig into replicators myself and they are powerful.

    I built a block with clone layers and it was cumbersome. When I built the same block with replicators it was quick and the code footprint was considerably smaller!

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