FCP X Effects Question

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Beach Guy, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Beach Guy macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    I teach 4th grade, and each year my class writes and films an original movie. We share it with everyone the last week of school. It is an amazing and rewarding process. This year, we have a character that has magical powers. We'd like to have a character "shoot" an effect out of their fingers or hand. I've found gun muzzle flashes to purchase for a special effect. However, I'm really looking for something more like a lightning bolt or laser beam that a character could shoot out of their fingers. Any guidance would be extremely helpful. I'm using FCP X for the first time this year. I'm a recent Apple convert...Thanks! I've learned a lot from this forum.
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    You can more or the less easily create that stuff from scratch in Motion. You'd have to spring the 50 bucks though.
    There's a load of tutorials about things like laser beams, laser swords and lightnings (IIRC, there's even lightning in the library that you can adjust to taste) on YouTube.
  3. Beach Guy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Thanks! I just purchased it...now I'm gonna have to learn how to use it! You Tube is the first place I'll go. Anyone know of any other good quality tutorials to get me started? I appreciate it!
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Since your not going for big budget effects e.g. Trapcode and After Effects, try the old school which is still practised these days.
    Draw it or find a reference and get it into Photoshop.
    Then save with alpha channel and have fun with a few frames ala stop motion like.
    Think Star Wars battle between The Lord Sith vs Vader ;)

    Trust me, your kids will love that more so than "push button for effect" :)

    P.s. other term similar is Rotoscoping.
  6. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    That sounds like a great idea! I became interested and subsequently involved in production after a similar project in College. How I wish I would have had the opportunity in 4th grade :D

    I don't have any advice, just wanted to chime in and say you're doing it right, Mr. Beach guy.
  7. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    If you can get an educational discount for Adobe After Effects, it has a built-in effect called Advanced Lightning, which is very easy to use.

    Here is a tutorial showing how to make someone shoot lightning out of their hands.

  8. Beach Guy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Thanks very much for everything. I've been looking at tutorials for Motion...gonna give that a try! After Effect looks absolutely amazing. I might try AE in the future. Some of those You Tube videos are really cool.

    Boe11, thanks for those kind words! The kids in my class love this type of project. When I run into former students, it's always the first thing they talk about!

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