Support Page for Retro TV
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 Retro TV and you don’t have FxFactory installed you can email their support directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. A brief introduction to Retro TV
There are Retro TV categories in the Titles browser, the Effects browser, and the Generators browser.
The Titles browser contains the 5 TV sets. The Titles browser also contains the Title Filters that are intended to be combined with the TV sets for an added level of realism.
The Effects browser has Retro TV effects that can be applied directly to clips to suggest a broadcast look without the TVs. These include looks like Bad Reception and builds like TV Turn Off.
The Generators browser has background images that were designed to compliment the TVs. These background images are also accessible from within the inspector for each TV. They are additionally included as stand-alone generators so you can use them in your projects, independently of the TVs. The Generators browser also has 2 static generators and a vintage TV Test Pattern. These can be used as backgrounds, or in combination with the TV Titles, as an alternative to a video clip.
2. Using the Televisions
The Retro TV Televisions are found in the Titles Browser. Each TV has 4 presets – a long shot, a medium shot, an extreme close-up and a lower third option.
Drag a TV from the Titles Browser and place it above any clip on the timeline. The clip will now appear on the TV screen.
Extend or shorten the duration of the TV Title to match the clip below it. Extend the TV Title across multiple clips to create a slideshow.
There are many inspector options for each TV. To access these options make sure the TV is selected on the Timeline, then click the ‘Title’ tab at the top of the Inspector.
When the ‘Build On’ and ‘Build Off’ options are both turned on in the Inspector the minimum duration for the TV Title is 4 seconds.
3. Combining the Title Filters with the TVs
Retro TV comes with 4 Title Filters that can be combined with the TVs for an added level of realism. They are found in the Titles browser, beneath the TV presets.
Place the Title Filters between your clip and the TV track. You can set their in and out points independent of the TV duration. One exception to this statement is the ‘Retro TV Zoomer’ filter which should have the same out point as your clip and the TV Title.
There are customizable parameters available for each of the Title Filters in the Inspector.
4. Using Retro TV Zoomer
Retro TV Zoomer is a Title Filter found in the Titles browser in the Retro TV category. It is used to zoom in or zoom out of a clip, and can be used in combination with the TVs, or on a video clip, independent of the TVs.
It is similar to the Ken Burns effect found in Final Cut Pro but it has an interface many users will find easier to use as well as the ability to scale clips with a smooth start and finish.
Start by setting the scale of your clip to the initial size you want it before any zooming begins. When using one of the Retro TVs you can set this initial scale with the on-screen-control feature. If you are intending to zoom out, make sure the initial size of your clip is large enough to let you shrink the clip without it getting too small to fill the entire TV screen.
Drag Retro TV Zoomer from the Titles browser to a track directly above your clip. If you are using one of the Retro TVs then the Retro TV Zoomer filter should be located between the clip and the TV track.
Set the in point of Retro TV Zoomer to the time when you want the zoom action to begin. Then set the out point of Retro TV Zoomer to match the out point of your clip.
When Retro TV Zoomer is selected on the timeline you can customize its parameters in the Inspector, which are found in the ‘Title’ tab. Most of these are self explanatory, but we will highlight a few below:
- Zoom Center – This option is present in the Inspector but is much easier to use with the on-screen-controls. For optimal use, park the playhead at the in-point of the Retro TV Zoomer filter. Drag the on-screen-control widget to the location where you want the zooming behavior to scale from. Another way to explain this function is that this point will remain stable while the rest of the clip zooms around it.
- Ease In & Out – When this checkbox is toggled on the scaling animation starts and finishes with a smooth finish. Typically you would want to uncheck this option when you are creating a zoom with a duration that matches the entire duration of your clip.
- Crop to Original Size – This option is useful when you are zooming in a clip on your timeline (without a TV) that does not fill the entire screen. As the clip zooms it will be contained to the its initial dimensions. This option has no effect when zooming out of a clip.
5. Using Retro TV effects on clips, without the TVs
Retro TV comes with effects that can be applied directly to clips to suggest a broadcast look without the TVs. These are found in the Effects browser.
These effects are named ‘Part 1’, ‘Part 2’ & ‘Part 3’ because that is the suggested order to apply them to your clip. In reality, you can apply them in any order you wish and there is no reason you need to use all of the 3 parts on your clip.
Similarly it is suggested that you apply the TV Switch On and TV Turn Off effects after applying the other effects.
All the effects can be customized in the Inspector with parameters found in the ‘Video’ tab.
You can experiment with combining the Retro TV Title Filters with a clip that has Retro TV Effects applied. This is not their intended use, but some of the results are good.
6. Make a TV with words on the screen
To recreate this look, start with a text based title from FCP. We used the ‘Fade’ title which you can find in the ‘Build In/Out’ category. Set the font, size, color and other parameters how you want them to appear.
Select the television set you want to use from the Retro TV category of the Titles browser. Place it on the timeline top of the text title.
You may also want to use some of the Title Filters (such as ‘Retro TV Bad Reception’) between the text title and the TV title.
‘Retro TV Bad Reception’ has a checkbox in the Inspector named ‘Maintain Alpha’. By default this box is unchecked and the filter will apply snow and scan lines on the entire screen. If you toggle the checkbox on then the ‘Bad Reception’ look will only apply to the text of the title.
7. Displaying multiple TVs at the same time
The easiest way to display multiple TVs is to export them and bring them back into Final Cut Pro as a video clip.
Start with a clean timeline in a new project, or in a new compound clip. Set up the first TV with the clip you wish to use and all the parameters set up how you want them to appear.
(If you already have one of the TVs all set up on your timeline then combine the TV and the video clip into a new compound clip. The open up the compound clip.)
Make sure the Background parameter in the Inspector is set to ‘none’.
Then export the clip as a video file. When you export the clip use the Apple ProRes 4444 codec so that you create an alpha channel instead of a solid background.
Now you can import the video file back into your main FCP project. Repeat the process for any additional TVs you want to use at the same time and position them on the screen as you want them to appear. You can also position the TVs prior to export as a video clip, which is sometimes useful if you are using the ‘Slide On’ build behaviors.
This method is the best we have found yet. You might be tempted to achieve the same goal using compound clips that are not exported and re-imported. Unfortunately, when you try to reposition compound-clips-that-contain-titles-that-contain-video the video slides around and crops in a confusing way. This may be a FCP bug or an intended action, it’s really hard to say.