Time-lapse with 12MP images to 2K in Final Cut Pro X (tip)

Final Cut Pro X is great for doing time-lapse video. You just import your images in Final Cut Pro X, drag them to the timeline and set their duration to something you like. Create a compound clip and you can even apply all your plug-in effects to the clip.

With 12 megapixel 4:3 aspect ratio photos, you can go much bigger than 1080p video if you like. I tried 2K and it worked brilliantly. Here’s what I did in order not to be slowed down to a snail pace because of the 2K overhead. Applying effects in 1080p mode is faster than in 2K mode, and some effects may not render in the background when you are in 2K mode either.

I first imported my JPEGs in a project set to 1080p. With Option-G I created a compound clip from the images on the timeline.

I then applied all my effects until I was happy with the result. Now I went back to the project properties (Command-J) and changed the project properties to 2K.

screenshot of Project properties

Now I wanted to get rid of the black bars left and right of the clip, so I went over to the Transform effect and set Scale to 135% and the position of the clip on the Y-axis to 75px (this might differ from clip to clip, and it will depend on what you want to focus on). The clip is now slightly bigger than the 2K viewport, but there’s no loss of quality as your images are still 12 megapixels in size.

Of course, if your camera supports a 16:9 aspect ratio, it’s better to put it in that mode and import photos without the ugly bars to start with.