Support Page for Borders by SquidFX

If you don’t see your question answered here please contact technical support from the help menu in the FxFactory app – instructions on how to do that are here. If you have a question regarding Borders and you don’t have FxFactory installed you can email their support directly: support@noiseindustries.com

1. Using AutoFit to avoid border overlap

2. Build In and Build Out

3. Applying multiple Border Effects to Clips

4. Copying a Border Effect and pasting it to another clip

5. Duplicating a Border Effect in the Inspector

6. Adding a border to a clip with the Ken Burns effect

7. Adding a Border to a Cropped Clip

8. Using the Custom Crop feature

9. What if you can’t see the on-screen-controls for Custom Crop?

10. What if the border looks blurry?


1. Using AutoFit to avoid border overlap

The AutoFit options shrink your clip. That way, the border doesn’t overlap your footage. You can find them in the Inspector in the parameter labeled “Fit Method”.

They each work a bit differently. The easiest thing to do is try them and find one that works for your situation. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

AutoFit 1

Best for full frame clips – Minimizes (but does not eliminate) border overlap – Shrinks the clip as much as it can while preserving both the overall clip dimensions as well as the border’s uniform width

AutoFit 2 

Alternative option for full-frame clips – Eliminates border overlap – Produces a border of non-uniform width in order to maintain the overall dimensions of the original clip

AutoFit 3

Best option for smaller video clips and images that don’t take up the full frame – Eliminates border overlap – Changes overall dimensions of the original clip – Produces a border of uniform width

If you’re wondering why the overall dimensions would need to change at all, then here you go: A non-square clip surrounded by a border of uniform width will have a different overall aspect ratio than the same clip without the border. Sometimes it’s important to maintain the clip’s original aspect and dimensions… other times, not so much. That’s why we created three AutoFit options.

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2. Build In and Build Out

Minimum Duration:

These options add 2 seconds of animation each, so If you check both then your clip needs to be at least 4 seconds long.

Delaying the Border Build In:

The Build In animation is like a transition between the naked clip and the bordered clip. Sometimes it helps to show the clip for a few seconds before the border is added.

For example, say you have a 12 second clip on your timeline and you want the Border Effect to animate in after a few seconds. Cut your clip on the Timeline with the Blade tool 3 seconds in. Apply the Border Effect to the second section and toggle on the Build In option in the Inspector.

If the cut between the two sections of the clip is not in the right place you can use the Trim tool to slide the edit point.

Changing the speed of the Build animation:

If your clip is a still image you can use the retime tool to speed up (or slow down) the build animation. This technique is not recommended for video clips.

First turn your clip into a compound clip (option + G). Then show the Retime Editor on the timeline (command + R) for the compound clip.

Then you can make speed changes by dragging the Retime handles above the compound clip.

One more thing:

We think Build In and Build Out animations look snazzy when you have one of the AutoFit options selected. Just saying…

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3. Applying multiple Border Effects to clips

We didn’t design the Borders with this functionality in mind, but multiple Border Effects look great sometimes. It takes trial and error to dial in the look you want.

It helps to have the Inspector window open when you do this. The Border Effect at the top of the Inspector list is applied first. The second Border Effect applies itself to the clip and the first border together. As a single unit.

Once you create a multi-effect border that you like, you can copy and paste it onto other clips with the Paste Attributes command – see (4) below.

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4. Copying a Border Effect and pasting it to another clip

Select the clip with the Border Effect you want to copy on the Timeline and press copy (command + C). Then select the target clip and and press Paste Attributes (command + shift + V). Toggle ‘on’ the checkbox of the Border Effect you want to paste from the list in the left column of the Paste Attributes window and then click Paste.

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5. Duplicating a Border Effect in the Inspector

There is no “Duplicate Effect” command within the Inspector, but there is a simple way to do it with Paste Attributes. Copy the clip on the Timeline. Then, while the clip is still selected Pate Attributes (command + shift + V) onto itself. Toggle ‘on’ the checkbox of the Border Effect you want to duplicate from the list in the left column of the Paste Attributes window and click Paste.

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6. Adding a border to a clip with the Ken Burns effect

The following instructions assume you want the border to stay stationary while the clip zooms inside it:

1. Apply the Ken Burns effect to your clip.

2. Check the Transform section of the Inspector and make sure everything is set to the defaults (0 and 100% values). If there’s anything out of the ordinary click the reset button (the curved arrow) located to the right of the word “Transform”.

3. Turn the clip into a Compound Clip (option + G).

4. Apply the Border Effect to the compound group.

Feel free to change the scale and position of the compound group if you don’t want it to take up the full frame.

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7. Adding a border to a Cropped clip

You will need to turn the clip into a Compound Clip (command + G) before you add the Border Effect. This only works when the cropped clip takes up the full frame.

If your cropped clip does not take up the full frame then you need to use the Custom Crop function in the Border Effect (see below) instead of the FCP crop tool.

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8. Using the Custom Crop feature

Final Cut Pro has a perfectly good crop tool. Unfortunately, it applies the crop after all the effects have been added. That means if you use a Border Effect on a clip that is subsequently cropped by FCP you won’t see the border. It will be cropped away.

Fortunately, the Border Effects come with a Custom Crop function that crops the clip and adds a border in a single step:

If you’ve already tried to crop your clip with the FCP Crop Tool you’ll need to start by getting rid of that crop. In the Inspector click the reset button (the curved arrow) located to the right of the word “Crop”.

Locate the drop-down button in the Border Effect called Fit Method and set that to Custom Crop. The default Custom Crop shape is (almost always) square.

Select the handles of the on-screen-controls to change the width and height of the crop. You can also drag the inner section of the on-screen-controls to slide the clip around within the crop.

The cropped and bordered clip defaults to the center of the frame. You can position the clip and border as a single unit with the regular FCP transform tools, in the same way you would position any clip.

The scale of the cropped and bordered clip is determined by normal Final Cut Pro scale parameter.

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9. What if you can’t see the on-screen-controls for Custom Crop?

The clip must be selected on the timeline. The Playhead must be over the clip, and stopped. You may also need to click on the name of the Border Effect in the Inspector. If all else fails delete the effect and add it again. If you’re still not seeing the on-screen-controls try restarting Final Cut Pro.

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10. What if the border looks blurry?

Make sure the clip’s scale is no higher than 100%

It helps to understand that parameters in the Inspector (such as the Scale parameter) transform the clip after effects have been added.

When you increase the clip scale beyond 100 percent everything will get blurrier. This includes the Border Effect. Because the border has very sharp lines the blurriness may be more apparent on the border than it is on your footage.

Also, if the clip is smaller than the project try setting the clip’s Spatial Conform parameter to None. 

The Spatial Conform parameter might be increasing the scale of a clip if it is set to Fit or Fill, even when the Scale parameter reads 100%. This happens when a clip is smaller than the project.

For example: Spatial Conform is set to “fit” on an image that is 540 pixels tall – in a 1080p project that image would be twice it’s actual size.

If you are purposefully using Spatial Conform to scale up a small clip then skip down to: “Can you scale up a small clip (and lose some resolution) while maintaining a crisp border?”

Very wide images with blurry borders? 

If you have an image that is considerably wider than it is tall (and the above suggestions don’t help) you may be experiencing an issue with the way FCP performs aliasing. We have noticed this happening when the height of a very wide image is under 250px tall. Try scaling up your images in a photo app like Photoshop. Re-save the image with a minimum height of 500px.  Bring the re-saved image back into FCP. Then use the Scale parameter to get the size of your image back down to normal. Apply the Border Effect and that should help.

Can you scale up a small clip (and lose some resolution) while maintaining a crisp border?

Yes, you can – but the method depends on whether you want the clip to take up the full project dimensions or not – see (a) and (b) below.

(a) Scaling a clip beyond 100% so that it takes up the full frame:

First get the clip positioned and scaled how you want. You can use Position, Scale, Crop, Ken Burns or Spatial Conform (set to Fill).

Then turn the clip into a Compound Clip and apply the Border Effect to the Compound Clip.

The border will take up the full dimensions of your project and it won’t be blurry, even if your clip has been scaled beyond 100%.

(b) Scaling a small clip beyond 100% but still smaller than the full frame:

If your clip is a small still image (such as a photo from the internet) the easiest option is to scale up the image in a photo editing app such as Adobe Photoshop. When you resize the image you’ll want to make it at least as big as your project… for most of our customers 1080 pixels high is a safe bet. Re-save that image and bring it back in FCP.

If your clip is a small video (maybe some old SD footage?) follow the directions from (a) above. The result will be a border that is applied to the full frame of your project… but not touching your clip. Next, change the effect’s Fit Method parameter to Custom Crop. Then you can use the on-screen-controls to manually conform the border dimensions around the scaled up clip.

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