Creating Map Motion in Final Cut Pro

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Enhancing Map Images

A common feature in documentary or news production is to show a map to give spatial context to where an event is occurring. This way the audience can have a general idea as to where everything is going on in relation to them. A simple map is often boring and hard to interpret when on the screen, which is why they often have a small portion of the image specific to the location lift up off of the map. This way you can see the town or area out of the map individually as it lifts off. This is a nice technique and can be done relatively easily in Final Cut Pro.

Alterations and Cropping

First you take the image of the map and alter it so it is the size you would like it to start on the screen. From here you copy it and then lay the exact same image on the track on top of it. In this way the same altered image of the map is laying on top of itself. You take the second one and you find the exact part of the map that you would like the audience to focus on. This can be something like a town, with the indicative icon and name, or something else. You go into the motion tap and then the Crop options. You begin cropping on all sides of it until you get it down to just a small portion of the map with your focus in it. The best way to do this correctly is to take the top layer map and separate it from the rest of the sequence and alter it so you can see exactly how much you are cutting off. At the bottom of the crop options you have Edge Feather, which you should turn up to about halfway.

Apply Photo Motion

From here you would approach it the same way as you would with photo motion. In the motion tab select a point at which you would like it to begin popping out of the background map. Set it to increase in size, and to move more toward the center of the image. Now that part of the map will grow and move to the middle to take more attention.

Darken the Base Image

While it does this you want the background map image to become less noticeable, so having it darken would be good. You are going to apply the Brightness and Contrast filter to the bottom map image and then set a starting point at the beginning of the image track for brightness only. You will not be using the contrast tool for this. Now go to the end of the track in the viewer window and set a marker point at the end of the image track. When here lower the brightness to the point that you would like it to be at the end of the display. Once you do this the image will gradually get brighter, while the image on top stays the same light level but pushes out a select section.

Easy and Useful

This sounds complicated, but once you realize it is just using photo motion of the same image on top of itself you will begin to get the hang of. This can be used for a variety of photo situations, not just maps. If you have a part of a photo that you do not think the audience will pick up on when viewing you can try this, and it is especially effective for showing photos used in various criminal and research investigations. Try it out as just another way to creatively alter otherwise bland informational images.

This post is part of the series: Final Cut Pro

Learn different tools in Final Cut Pro with this tutorial series.

  1. The History of Final Cut Pro
  2. Final Cut Pro Certification
  3. How to Use “Photo Motion” in Final Cut Pro - Part 1
  4. How to Use “Photo Motion” in Final Cut Pro - Part 2
  5. How to Do Color Correction in Final Cut Pro
  6. How To Change Video Clip Speeds in Final Cut Pro
  7. How to Make Video Clips Black and White in Final Cut Pro
  8. How to Do Video Transitions in Final Cut Pro
  9. How to “Nest” Items in Final Cut Pro
  10. How to Import and Capture Video in Final Cut Pro
  11. Keeping Your Final Cut Pro Project Organized
  12. Video Editing - How to Crop Images in Final Cut Pro
  13. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro
  14. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro - Part 2 of 3
  15. Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Final Cut Pro - Part 3 of 3
  16. Using Markers in Final Cut Pro
  17. Labeling Clips in Final Cut Pro
  18. Adding Zoom to Video in Final Cut Pro
  19. Creating Map Motion in Final Cut Pro
  20. Printing to Video in Final Cut Pro
  21. How to Make Scrolling Credits in Final Cut Pro
  22. Keyboard Remapping in Final Cut Pro
  23. Quick Organizational Tips for Final Cut Pro
  24. Learning How to Use Final Cut Pro