The 10.0.6 update to Final Cut Pro removed a control from the Letterbox effect. You cannot control the vertical offset of the underlying clip.
Here’s a Final Cut Pro X effect based on by Alex4D Widescreen Matte adjustment layer that brings back this control and more.
Here are the controls:
As well as the standard aspect ratios, there are many more to choose from:
Note that if you choose a ‘lower’ aspect ratio than the aspect ratio of the clip you are apply this effect to, 4:3 applied to a 16:9 clip for example, you won’t immediately see pillarbox areas on the side of the clip. This is because I’ve setup this effect to work with clips of any aspect ratio – useful for letterboxing graphics and non 16:9 clips. To see any pillarboxing, use the Letterbox Size control to reduce the size of the letterbox.
Using the on-screen control or the Clip Position parameters, you can reposition the clip within the letterbox. You can animate these values using keyframes if needed.
You can also scale up the clip and choose the ‘strength’ of the letterbox, which helps show what is is being hidden by the letterbox:
Clip Position X: 0.11, Clip Position Y: -0.05, Clip Scale: 115%, Letterbox Strength: 60
You can also control the position and scale of the letterbox, as well as whether it is landscape or portrait:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Portrait, Letterbox X: -13.24, Letterbox Y: 3.43, Letterbox Size: 86
1. Letterbox: Alpha 1. Letterbox: Colour
Download this disk image:
It includes an installation script for Spherico’s Motion Template Tool application, if you don’t have it on your Mac, download it. It is a freeware/donationware tool that simplifies effects installation for Final Cut Pro X users. MTT installs effects for Final Cut Pro X in the correct folders, creating them if need be. You don’t need to have Motion 5 or MTT installed for these effects to work.
Once you have MTT installed on your computer, double-click the ‘Install Alex4D Letterbox 1.0.mtt’ file.
If you don’t want to use the Motion Template Tool, install these effects in Home / Movies / Motion Templates / Effects / Alex4D:
Once it is installed, you can find it in the Alex4D section of the effects browser:
Check out my other free effects and articles on my Final Cut Pro X home page.