PhotoMotion and PhotoMotion Producer FAQ

What is the PhotoMotion?

PhotoMotion is a plug-in for Final Cut Pro and Express that create professional pan and zoom animations from still images. This is often referred to as the "Ken Burns effect".

Can't a pan and zoom already be done in Final Cut? What are the advantages of using PhotoMotion?

You can create a pan and zoom in Final Cut using the Motion tab and keyframes. But this method is time consuming and requires quite a bit of work, especially when repeating for several images. PhotoMotion streamlines the process in several ways:

  • No need to "prep" images for size or aspect ratio before importing
  • Graphical interface to visually set scale, position and rotation
  • No need for keyframes- so changing the duration or adding transitions doe not alter the motion
  • Ease in and out control - very difficult or impossible with standard Final Cut controls

With PhotoMotion, a pan and zoom animation can be created many times faster, with higher quality results than possible with the keyframe controls in Final Cut.

What is PhotoMotion Producer?

PhotoMotion Producer is the companion plug-in to PhotoMotion that is used to create slide shows very quickly. This plug-in uses Final Cut Pro's XML capabilities to create a new sequence of PhotoMotion clips. This sequence is fully editable . Watch this movie for more information. The PhotoMotion Producer plug-in is included with the PhotoMotion plug-in package at no additional cost. This plug-in requires Final Cut Pro 6 or later to operate.

What are the system requirements? Does PhotoMotion work with Final Cut Express?

The SlickFX plug-ins require:
• Final Cut Prot 6, Final Cut Pro 7 or later (Final Cut Studio 2 or 3)
• Final Cut Express 4 or later
• Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 or later

PhotoMotion uses the FxPlug architecture from Apple and works with Final Cut Express 4 or later. The Producer plug-in does not load if running Final Cut Express, and does not cause any conflicts.

Click here to get updates for Snow Leopard and FCP 7.

Is a demo version of PhotoMotion available?

Yes, you can get a demo version of PhotoMotion and Producer here. This demo version inserts a watermark over the PhotoMotion clip, but otherwise is fully functional.

Is PhotoMotion a filter or generator?

PhotoMotion is a generator - it creates a new clip the appears on the Final Cut timeline. This method creates the highest quality pan and zoom animation using the full resolution of the source image. So look for it in the list of Generators in Final Cut.

How do I change the duration of a PhotoMotion clip?

A PhotoMotion clip works as a standard Final Cut generator. By default, Final Cut makes all generators to be 10 seconds long. To change the duration, adjust the time in the Viewer window (upper left corner). Or move the handles of the clip on the timeline. Changing the duration does not alter the start and end points, so you do not need to re-adjust any keyframes.

Why does the PhotoMotion animation appear to "jump" a bit after I add a transition?

PhotoMotion is a generator and creates a smooth animation for the entire clip. But if you do a final render and then add a transition, this changes the duration of the PhotoMotion clip. With a longer duration, the animation changes slightly (gets "stretched out" by half of the duration of the transition). Final Cut only knows to render the new portion of the clip, but that portion is based on a different time scale than the rest of the clip - thus the animation appears to "jump".

The solution is to re-render the entire PhotoMotion clip. This is done by opening up the PhotoMotion configuration window for the clip, and then closing this window. A shortcut is to Option-click on the small thumbnail just below the Configuration button in the Viewer window (Controls tab). Now when you re-render the PhotoMotion clip and transition everything will look nice and smooth.

After I upgraded to Final Cut Pro 7 I get a "PhotoMotion can not render" error message.

You need to get the latest update for PhotoMotion. You can get the free update here.

What is the format a new sequence created by PhotoMotion Producer?

The new sequence is the format specified in the Easy Setup settings. It is the same as if you created a new sequence.

How fast PhotoMotion render?

PhotoMotion uses optimization techniques and the graphics card for fast hardware accelerated rendering. Actual render time depends on several factors - type of project, zoom factor, size of image. Out internal testing shows DV projects rendering faster than real time, and HD projects at about 1.5 - 2X real time on an early Mac Pro system (2 X 2.66 GHz dual Xeon).

How much does PhotoMotion cost? How can I pay?

The introductory price is $99 for the package of the PhotoMotion and PhotoMotion Producer plug-ins. A CD version is also available for $5 more. You can order online here. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Or pay through PayPal if you prefer.

Need some help learning/using Final Cut?

Check out this page with some useful links to various Final Cut Resources.

Other Questions?

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