To rotate a video in Final Cut Pro, start by understanding and adjusting the Transform effect, which allows you to resize, move, and rotate an image. Use the onscreen controls for quick tweaks or the Inspector for more precise adjustments. Be mindful of black corners that can appear when rotating a video clip and adjust the Position and Scale controls to fill the frame. If you want to animate your rotation, use keyframes to lock your video into place at specific points in time. With these steps, you can effectively rotate videos and add a professional touch to your edits.
Being able to quickly and effectively rotate a video in Final Cut Pro is a skill that can save you a lot of time and effort. Whether you're dealing with footage that was filmed sideways on a smartphone or you're looking to create a spinning effect for storytelling purposes, Final Cut Pro offers multiple tools to get the job done.
The Transform effect is a built-in feature in Final Cut Pro that allows you to resize, move, and rotate an image. It's commonly used on a clip placed over a primary storyline clip, which then becomes the background of the resized clip. It's also often used to zoom in on a clip, allowing you to reframe a shot if needed.
To access the Transform controls, select a clip in the Final Cut Pro timeline and position the playhead over the clip in the timeline so that the clip’s video is displayed in the viewer. Click the pop-up menu in the lower-left corner of the viewer and choose Transform (or press Shift-T). The Transform onscreen controls will appear in the viewer.
The Transform effect can be adjusted using the onscreen controls. For instance, the blue handles at each corner allow you to adjust the image’s size while maintaining its current aspect ratio. The blue handle extending from the center circle can be dragged to rotate the image. For finer precision when rotating the image, drag the rotation handle farther away from the anchor point in the center.
You can also use the Transform controls in the Video inspector. Here, you can move the image left and right (X) and up and down (Y) using the Position X and Y controls. The Rotation control allows you to rotate the image around its anchor point, and the Scale control lets you change the image’s size.
Onscreen controls are great for tweaking and turning to “feel” out the best rotation for your video. They can be accessed just below the Viewer, which is where you’ll be making your adjustments. If you prefer a more precise control, like achieving a direct 90-degree angle rotation, consider using the Inspector to adjust your video’s rotation.
In the Inspector, you can input the exact angle you’d like to rotate, so it’s better for precise adjustments. Familiarizing yourself with the Inspector will also allow you to adjust the Anchor so you can change what central point your video is spinning around.
If you rotate a video clip, you’ll likely leave some black space around the edges of the Viewer. You can fix this with a few simple adjustments in the Inspector or the Viewer. In the Inspector, use the Position control to change the X and Y attributes and move your video so it fills up the screen. You may need to increase the size of your footage by increasing the Scale control. Keep adjusting the Position and Scale controls until your image fills the frame with no black edges around the side.
All of the above methods will allow you to turn and adjust your video so that it’s properly oriented for the duration of the clip. If you’d like to actually make the video spin, you can accomplish that simply using keyframes. Move the Playhead to the place in your Timeline where you’d like to start the spin movement. In the Inspector, click the diamond to the right of the Position, Rotation, & Scale controls. This will create a keyframe for each of those controls, “locking” your video into place at that point in time.
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