Tip #890: Better Effect Previews

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #890: Better Effect Previews

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Option-dragging previews adjusting the principal parameter before applying an effect.

Hovering over a Gaussian Blur effect.

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Final Cut Pro X allows you to preview effects two different ways before you apply them to a clip. One you probably know, the other you probably don’t.

To preview any effect in the Effects Browser:

  • Select a clip in the timeline.
  • Hover the cursor over an effect in the Effects Browser.
  • The timeline clip will appear in the Viewer as though the effect was applied.
  • Next, press the Option key while hovering. This previews the effect AND changes the principal parameter for the effect as you drag; from not applied on the left to fully applied on the right.

NOTE: Try this using Blur > Gaussian to quickly see how this works.

This is a great way to see what an effect will look like, even after tweaking, before applying it.


To apply an effect, either:

  • Drag the effect on top of a timeline clip
  • Select one or more clips in the timeline and double-click an effect in the Effects Browser

To remove all effects from a clip, select the clip and choose Edit > Remove Effects.

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