Final Cut: Modify the Print to Video slate and countdown clips

In which I list the location of the FxScript code that implements Final Cut Pro slates, countdowns and more.

Although many people have moved over to file-based content delivery, some still need to output to tape from Final Cut Pro 6 and 7. When you use Print to Video, you can choose to display a slate showing the name of the sequence to come and a built-in countdown.

If you have the developer tools installed on your mac (an optional install found on the OS X install DVD), you can modify the way the slate information and countdown look. They are implemented using FxScript, Final Cut’s plugin scripting language.

1. Control- (or Right-) click Final Cut Pro [6 or 7]
2. Choose ‘Show Package Contents’ from the pop-up menu
3. Navigate to Contents:Resources:English.lproj
4. Double-click ‘Localized.plist’
5. In The Property List Editor (from the developer tools install) open Root:STRL:8501 for the slate, Root:STRL:8502 for the countdown.


Here you can see the script specifies Italic text, chooses a size (relative to the sequence size), selects a colour to draw the type with, and draws ‘FinalCutPro’ to the top and bottom of the screen.

If you want to risk changing the script here, it will probably modify the countdown shown when printing to tape. It is probably a good idea not to add any items in either list, but as FxScript allows multiple commands on a line (separated by ;s), you have have space to insert your alternate code.

8505 – What to display when a clip is unrendered
8508 – What to display when a clip is offline

1 comment
  1. Dax said:

    I knew there had to be a way to do this! Lots of people have asked about this in various message boards. The standard advice is always to Print to Tape, recapture, and modify the file, but that’s cumbersome and doesn’t solve the problem of replacing the default text. I tried looking through the package contents myself, but I never would have found this on my own.

    Thanks for an elegant solution.

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