Animate a mask

As with many effects and titles in Final Cut Pro, you can animate simple and complex masks using keyframes.

For more information about animating effects using keyframes, see Video animation overview.

Animate a simple or complex mask

  1. Add a simple mask effect or a Draw Mask effect to a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the clip and position the playhead in the Timeline where you want the animation to begin.

  3. To open the Video inspector, click the Inspector button in the toolbar (shown below), and click the Video button at the top of the pane that appears.

    Inspector button in toolbar

    The mask controls appear in the Effects section of the Video inspector.

  4. To create the starting shape of your animated mask, do one of the following:

    • Adjust the onscreen controls in the Viewer.

    • Adjust the mask controls in the Video inspector.

  5. To add keyframes for the starting shape of your animated mask, do one of the following in the Video inspector:

    • To add a keyframe for a single parameter: Move the pointer over the area to the right of the parameter you want to animate, and click the Keyframe button that appears.

      Shape Mask controls in the Effects list of the Video inspector
    • To add a keyframe to every mask effect parameter: Move the pointer over the far-right side of the effect heading, click the down arrow that appears, and choose Add from the pop-up menu.

      Pop-up menu with options to add or delete keyframes

    After you add a keyframe, the Keyframe button changes to yellow, indicating that the playhead is positioned on this keyframe.

  6. In the Timeline, move the playhead to the next point where you want to define the mask shape, and repeat steps 4 and 5.

    Final Cut Pro adds a keyframe for the parameters you adjusted, and the Keyframe button changes to yellow.

    When you move the playhead in the Timeline, arrows appear next to the Keyframe button in the Video inspector to indicate which side of the playhead has keyframes. To go to the previous keyframe, click the left arrow. To go to the next keyframe, click the right arrow.

    Keyframe controls in the Shape Mask section of the Video inspector
  7. Continue adjusting the mask shape and adding keyframes as needed.

    To see the effect of your animation, play the clip.

If you’re animating a Draw Mask, you can keyframe its control points numerically in the Video inspector. To reveal these parameters, click the Control Points disclosure triangle at the bottom of the Draw Mask section of the Video inspector. For more information, see Mask controls.

Control Points section in Draw Mask section of the Video inspector