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Adding Animated Elements in FCPX With Coremelt SliceX & TrackX

Adding Animated Elements in FCPX With Coremelt SliceX & TrackX

SliceX and TrackX are often used to composite a tracked still image onto footage, such as a television or mobile screen insert, or to add a logo to a vehicle or building.  You can also, of course, composite animated motion graphics into a real background to create some nice effects.

Before we get into that, just a reminder that we give away a free motion template every week, make sure you take a look.

On to the tutorial, Jake Carvey demonstrates a simple process for producing a cute composite shot of an animated background clip into real footage with Coremelt SliceX and TrackX for FCPX. 

The basic elements are a handheld 4k video clip, an animated background clip created in Apple Motion 5, and some cute cartoon cats.




In this tutorial we are going to create a cute composite shot, using Coremelt SliceX and TrackX for FCPX, an animated background clip, and some cute cartoon cats.

Our goal is to create a tracked mask to cut out the window, and show through to a cartoon background. We will also track in a couple of animated details to the interior of the room.  

My source footage was shot in 4k clip at 60 frames per second to provide maximum flexibility in the edit.

I previously stabilized the footage using Lock & Load, speed ramped it using the built in retiming tools in Final Cut Pro Ten and rendered it as a 1080p 24 frames per second Master Clip. 


When shooting, we were careful to ensure that no objects cross over the side and bottom edges of the window frame. This helps ensure a much cleaner, simpler and more accurate track. 

If you have clear windows, and lots of contrasty detail outside, it can be helpful to tape some white fabric, tissue or paper on the window to block out that detail so it doesn’t confuse the tracking, and perhaps even add some colored “X’s” with tape.

Create a new project with the main clip. 

Drag your background image or clip onto the timeline beneath it.

Find a spot in the main clip where as much of the window as possible is in the frame. Set a marker on the timeline to easily identify this spot.

From the Effects panel, add the SliceX > Shape Mask Layer effect to the clip, and draw a U-SHAPE which includes detail up with the edges of the frame and extends above out-of-frame to where the top of the window would be.

In the Shape Mask Layer panel choose “Invert Shape” to show the interior and mask out the window.

Now track forwards and then backwards. 

Now that the track is done, we can adjust the mask shape

You will notice the background doesn’t follow the camera movement during playback - don’t worry we will fix that soon. Delete the background layer for now.


Now that we have our main camera move setup, it is simple to add in more details as wanted. 

Locate the clip of the animated cat, and choose Create Compound Clip. Drag the compound clip to the timeline above your main clip. Double click to open the Compound Clip timeline. Duplicate the looping cat clip to ensure it can cover your entire main timeline.

Add Generators > C2 TrackX > Simple Tracker above your main layer.

Choose a spot in the timeline where the sign just to the left of the window, is fully in frame. 

Draw a shape around it and track backwards and forwards. 

Click the Insert Layer area in the Simple Tracker properties panel, select your new Compound Clip, and choose Apply Clip. Ensure Transform is set to “Position and Scale”, and Offset Type is set to “Relative To Track”.

Adjust the X, Y and Scale offsets to line up the cat.

When tracking backwards, you may find that the track stops with a warning message before the sign object has completely exited the frame. We can quickly and simply address this by readjusting the tracking shape (being careful to adjust ONLY the shape points) and continuing to track backwards.

Duplicate the SimpleTrack layer and move it BELOW the Main Clip.

Click the Insert Layer thumbnail and replace the cat with your cartoon background clip. Adjust the Scale and Position Offsets to display properly during playback.

To finish the camera zooming through the window, select the Main Clip and the Simple Tracker Clip with the cat, and choose “New Compound Clip” - call it “Main Compound Clip”.

Now set a couple of position and scale keyframes on the new Main Compound Clip to match the beginning of the camera move, and tweak until it looks good.

You can also now try using another Simple Tracker or DriveX effect to track the laptop screen or add a cartoon flower pot to the table. Or maybe a even LOT more cats…. 


Using only a handheld camera and a couple of Coremelt plugins, you can easily add your own cartoon environments to your real life scenes. 

Download the free trial of these Coremelt plugins today. 

The  project source files can also be downloaded at the link below for you to try out on your own.



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