Uhl's Free Rule of Thirds Overlays for FCPX


When working on projects which were shot on 16:9, but should be finished with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, I always wanted to have a thirds-grid to see where to move the picture horizontally.

I could not find one, so I made one myself.

While doing so, I came up with the idea of doing another one for 16:9 4k - footage which would be finished in 1080p, so you can see the grid when scaling up and moving the picture around. Of course, this can also be used on 1080p - footage in case you want to scale it up.

So in case anyone can use these simple overlays too, here you are.

 

How to use the Cinemascope - Overlay

  1. To use this overlay, you have to work on a project with a custom 1920x817 aspect ratio (or 1920x816, some codecs don't like numbers which aren't divisible by 8, but you won't really see a difference because of that one pixel) to get the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
    When doing so, you won't need a letterbox-overlay and you will be able to export true cinemascope-video without those black bars.
  2. When adding a clip to the timeline, choose "fill" in the Spacial Conform - sector of the Inspector. (Or even better, select all the clips before starting to edit in a cinemascope-timeline and set them all to "fill" at once.)
  3. Add the "Thirds Overlay - Cinemascope" - overlay from the Title - folder on top of the clip.
    (Note: It is in the Title-folder, not the Effects-folder! This works like an adjustment layer.)
  4. Choose the color which is the most visible in front of your clip. You have the options White, Black and Orange.
  5. There is also the option to view the grid intersection points or the grid only, or both at the same time. Colors are changeable seperately.
  6. Change the offset of the clip underneath the overlay by changing the Y-value of it in the inspector.
  7. Don't forget to delete or disable the overlay before exporting.

Click to enlarge


How to use the 16x9 - Overlay

  1. To use this overlay, you have to work on a project with a 16:9 aspect ratio (for example standard 1080x1920 full HD)
  2. Add the "Thirds Overlay - 16x9" - Overlay from the Title - folder on top of a clip.
    (Note: It is in the Title-folder, not the Effects-folder! This works like an adjustment layer.)
  3. Choose the color which is the most visible in front of your clip. You have the options White, Black and Orange.
  4. There is also the option to view the grid intersection points or the grid only, or both at the same time. Colors are changeable seperately.
  5. Scale and move the clip underneath the overlay using the inspector.
  6. Don't forget to delete or disable the overlay before exporting.

Click to enlarge


V2 Update:

  • Added Golden Ratio-boxes
    • Four different positions (Top and Bottom Right and Left)
    • Show boxes in White, Black or Orange
  • Made all lines a tiny bit thinner

    Note: When Golden Ratio is active, all controls for the Thirds are turned off and vice versa, so if something doesn't work, please make sure you activated the right one.

To update to Version 2, just put the "Uhl's RoT Overlays v2" folder into the "Titles" folder, where the old version is located and delete the old "Uhl's RoT Overlays" folder from there.


How to Install

  1. Downoad and unzip the "Uhl's RoT Overlays v2" - folder and read the "read me" in this folder.
  2. Open a new finder-window
  3. Press "shift-cmd-G" and type in "~/movies/Motion Templates". If you do not have the "Motion Templates" folder yet, create it in your "movies" folder.
  4. Move the entire "Uhl's RoT Overlays v2" folder into the "Titles" folder inside the "Motion Templates" folder. Again, If you do not have this folder, just create a new one.

I hope you find these overlays useful.
If you have any problems or suggestions, please contact me here or via facebook.
Thanks!