Create New Versions of Motion Templates

When you plan on making significant changes to a Motion Template, such as removing existing parameters or adding many new parameters, it is necessary to create an entirely new version of the effect and leave the old one in the product to preserve compatibility with existing projects.1)

What can we do about those old versions crowding and polluting the effects browser? Can the old versions be hidden without compromising project compatibility?

An elegant solution to this problem is finally available with the release of Final Cut Pro 10.2 and Motion 5.2. Motion Templates can be declared obsolete. To do this:

  1. Select the template you no longer wish to advertise in the effects browser.
  2. Enable the checkbox titled “This version is obsolete”.
  3. Restart Final Cut Pro2).

Doing the above will satisfy both these important goals:

  1. Existing projects will continue to work since Final Cut Pro can still find and load any old versions of your effect.
  2. The effects browser will only display the newest version of an effect. Anything marked “obsolete” is not displayed in the effects browser.

Having established that it is important to leave existing templates intact inside the FxTemplates project, you do not have to start working on a new version of those templates from scratch either. You can revise the above workflow as follows:

  1. Select the template you wish to update.
  2. Select the Duplicate command under the Edit menu to make a copy.
  3. Select the old template, and make it obsolete by turning on the checkbox titled “This version is obsolete”.
  4. Begin editing the new template.

What about previous versions of Final Cut Pro?

The instructions given above assume that you are shipping products for Final Cut Pro 10.2 (or later). The issue of developing Motion Templates so that they work with specific versions of Final Cut Pro is a different, and unrelated one.

So is it possible to hide obsolete templates in versions of Final Cut Pro prior to 10.2? Unfortunately not. The feature was introduced with OZML 5.7, a version of the Motion XML specification that will only be recognized by Final Cut Pro 10.2 (or later).

If you make significant changes to an effect and ship it with a new version of your product, it may crash Final Cut Pro and cause project corruption as soon as users install the update.
If Final Cut Pro does not pick up the change immediately, restart the application again and/or clean the Motion Templates through the FxFactory preferences