Tip #641: The Secret is Blend Modes

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #641: The Secret is Blend Modes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The secret is blend modes and a compound clip.

Text, filed with a video, placed over a second video, with a drop shadow applied.

Topic $TipTopic

Here’s a straight-forward technique to put video inside a text clip, then key the results over a second video clip. And, for extra credit, I’ll show you how to add a drop shadow.

This is a three-layer effect using blend modes and a compound clip.


  • On the Primary Storyline, put the background. The blue clip, in my screen shot.
  • On the layer above that, put the video you want to place inside the text. The glowing orange in my example.
  • On the layer above that, on the top layer, put the text.
  • Select the Primary Storyline clip and type V to make it invisible.


  • Select the text clip.
  • Go to the Video Inspector and set the blend mode for the text clip to Stencil Alpha.

The text is now filled with the image on Layer 2


  • Select the background clip and type V to make it visible again.
  • Select the text clip and the video on layer 2.
  • Go to New > Compound Clip.
  • Accept the default name and click OK.

The filled text now appears over the background on the Primary Storyline.



  • Select the compound clip.
  • Go to Effects > Stylize and apply a drop shadow to the compound clip.
  • Adjust until it looks good to you.

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2 replies
  1. John Cogdell
    John Cogdell says:

    Thank you Larry! Tried it and it worked perfectly, just as you described. I’m enjoying all your Inside Tips, especially those for Final Cut Pro X.


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