Rigging Motion 5 Effects: Accurate Slider Snapshot Positions

While creating my next Motion 5 template for use in Final Cut Pro X, I came across a small problem. I’d rigged various behaviours to a single slider. Sliders default to having two snapshot positions: at 0 and 100.

I wanted to add a snapshot to the slider at exactly 50. You add snapshots to sliders by double-clicking below the slider. You then can position the snapshots by dragging them left and right until they are at the slider position you want.

Unfortunately you can’t drag as precisely as you might like. It helps if you drag the edge of the inspector pane to make it much wider – you get more control that way. Here’s what I ended up with:
Screenshot of a rigged slider showing a snapshot not positioned at exactly 50

My solution was to edit the Motion template directly. As they are stored as XML files, I opened my transition in TextEdit, and searched for ‘Snapshot’ until I found the section of the file that referred to the three snapshots on a slider:

Click to see more of the text at this point of the file.

I modified the position of the middle snapshot to 0.5, and the default setting for the slider to 0.5. With the range I’d chosen for the slider, that translates to a value of 50:

When I opened the file back up in Motion 5, the slider snapshot looked like this:

Check out my free effects and articles on my Final Cut Pro X home page.

  1. Very clever stuff Alex!
    I’ve been expanding the inspector pane to the max several times to get a position at 50%. Had to drag it off even so many times to get it right. This is much easier. You mentioned also setting the default value at 0.5 in the XML. Does this mean that the slider will jump back to 50% when you reset the effect in FCPX?
    That would come in handy, because at the moment you can only set your values to where you want them and then save the effect in Motion. These values are then carried over to FCPX when you apply the effect, but when you reset the effect in FCPX the values reset to 0% or 100%, but never again to the values you dialed in when you designed the effect.
    I think your blog, the Cow forum, fcp.co and Mark Spencers’ training on Rigging in Motion (which got me started in the first place) are great resources for when you want to dig deeper in FCPX and Motion 5. I’ve been working on an effect this week with pop-ups, checkboxes and sliders which I will publish shortly and I really learned a lot from guys like you.
    So, a big thank you!

    Robbert-Jan van der Does

  2. Hi,
    I’m looking to map the slider on 8 values (entire one, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) : how can I do that ?
    (to explain, I set a template with a summary, and I want to put a slider to choose the nimber of chapter in the summary, between 1 and 8 (and then the slider hide/unhide the 8 text objects with the opacity parameter linked to the slider).
    Thanks for your help.

    • Alex said:

      Sadly you can’t restrict a slider to whole numbers. The only way to start what you are doing is to create a popup widget instead and add five snapshots to the default three.

  3. Thanks Alex, I came to the same conclusion, but I hope a smart guy like you could figure out a better way 😉

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