iSilhouette V1.0

Create pretty silhouettes around objects

* compatible with Final Cut Pro 2-7 and Final Cut Express.

General Information

iSilhouette is a video filter that colorizes the silhouette of an object. You can define up to 4 colors that iSilhouette will add up and use for the creation of a shape. The shape and the surrounding areas will be colorized by two defineable colors. Additionally the borders of the shape can be colorized.


Browser and Timeline

The plugin iSilhouette is a video-filter. After the installation you should find the filter within the Effects-tab as seen to the right. Depending on which plugins you also have installed, the window to the right might look a little different from yours. The interesting lines are the dark lines.

A filter applies a 'special effect' to a clip. What it does depends on which filter you have applied.
iSilhouette creates a silhouette around shapes depending on chosen colors. To apply the filter just drag and drop iSilhouette onto the desired clip.

If you have enabled the filter-indicator (red arrow) you can see a green line under the clip. This line indicates that you have successfully applied the filter to the clip.

Double-click the clip on the timeline to load it into the viewer. Click on the "Filters"-tab. There you can find the filter iSilhouette. Now you can make the necessary changes to your personal needs.

The red line above the filter shows which part is not rendered yet. Select the clip in the timeline once and press Apple-R to render this part.


The controls of iSilhouette are divided in several sections. Make the necessary changes here and don't hesitate to experiment with the controls. Nothing can go wrong. Of course the controls are completely keyframeable.

General Settings

Select what you want to see in the canvas. This control does not have any effect on the final render.


Preview the final rendered result in the canvas.


The source footage will be seen in the canvas.

Source / iSilhouette / Picked Colors

This option shows the final rendered result, the source footage as well as all selected colors in the canvas.

Invert selection
With this checkbox you can swap the foreground color with the background color.

Color Foreground
Color Background

Choose the foreground color and the background color.

With this slider you can soften the generated shape.

Expand or contract the shape with this slider.

If needed you can add a anti-alias filter with this slider.


This section is used to add a colorized border around the shape.

Color Outline
Select the color of the border with this control.

This slider controls the softness of the border as well as it's size.

Here you can control the opacity of the border.

Color 1-4

With the controls of this section you can define the colors that will be used for the creation of the shape. Color 1 is always activated. If you like you can also use Color 2, 3 and 4. Each of these colors can be activated individually. The shape that will be created by those colors add up to the shape created by Color 1.

This selects the color-tolerance for the creation of the shape.

Original footage Low tolerance High tolerance

Select if you want to pick a color manually or if you want to use the Color-Picker. By using the Color-Picker iSilhouette uses the color of the footage chosen by the Color-Picker control. Then the Color-Picker calculates the average color from the given area and uses it for the creation of the shape.

Average Area
This slider is only active if you have selected the Color-Picker. With this slider you can control the size of the area where the Color-Picker should pick it's color from.

The Keyframe-system

iSilhouette comes as a Final Cut Pro version and as a Final Cut Express version. The Final Cut Express version includes Keyframe-system from CHV.

brings back real (!) keyframes for Final Cut Express!

All plugins of CHV that are equipped with the Keyframe-system are providing you with real keyframes.

Keyframes make it possible to make effects change over time. Originally Final Cut Express does not support keyframes and therefore all plugins without the Keyframe-system are doomed to be motionless. With the Keyframe-system of CHV this problem is cleared away and it provides you with the most important difference compared to Final Cut Pro: Keyframes!

The whole objective of the Keyframe-system is to provide users of Final Cut Express with the ability to make applied filters change over time. If you want to make an effect get stronger, or you want to move a garbage matte, or you want to make a color change for the duration of your clip, you need to tell the filter when this should happen. This is usually done by creating a keyframe, which stores the selected value of the corresponding control. Final Cut Pro does have an internal keyframe functionality, Final Cut Express does not support keyframes.

Due to the fact that Final Cut Express itself does not provide keyframes for video filters and generators, all plugins for Final Cut Express must be equipped with the Keyframe-system of CHV.

The "missing" keyframe functions had to be rebuild within the filters itself. A filter equipped with the keyframe-system carries additional controls at the top of each filter-control tab. The only purpose for these controls is to create new keyframes and to modify them afterwards, if needed.

An additional timeline is displayed within the canvas to have full control over the created keyframes.

Create Keyframes
Use this checkbox to enable/disable the keyframe-creation.

If this checkbox is enabled, all changes of the controls will create a keyframe. The value of the corresponding control will be stored within the keyframe.

If this checkbox is disabled the controls of the below sections will behave as if there is no keyframe-system applied, but only if no keyframes have been created yet for the specific control. Already created keyframes will still be active.

Lets take a look at the canvas:

The clip that actually should be seen in the canvas will be scaled down a little to make room for the additional information.

To the right of the clip a list of keyframed controls can be seen. This list describes how many keyframes have been set for each control. Controls without a keyframe will not be listed.

At the bottom we see the newly created timeline. The timeline consists of the same graphical elements we already know from the original timeline of Final Cut Express.

The yellow arrow and the vertical line represent the playhead on the timeline. Also note that the gray box at the yellow marker always is 1 frame in length.

The green line gives a graphical representation of the value of the currently selected control and how it changes for the duration of the clip. To information to the right within the timeline (here: 1 fra) tell you the timespan between two gray lines.

Within the timeline the currently selected control will be shown, its value and the upper and lower limits.

This is how the timeline within the canvas looks before a keyframe has been created. Before a keyframe is created the green line will go straight from the left to the right within the timeline at the current value of the selected control.

After changing a slider a keyframe will be created instantly. The black diamond represents the keyframed value. When the playhead is positioned right on a keyframe it will change its color to red. In this case, as we have just created a new keyframe and the playhead changes directly to the red color.

Now we move the playhead in the timeline to a later position. The keyframe-playhead in the canvas also changes its position and the just created keyframe moves to the left. Now the playhead is black, because it is not directly on a keyframe anymore.

If we change the currently selected control again, the new value will also be keyframed and the playhead changes again to a red color.

If you just want to edit the value of a previously created keyframe, you have to move the playhead in the timeline to the needed keyframe at first. The playhead in the canvas will change to red. Then change the value of the selected control.

Select what you want to see in the canvas.

Show Timeline with keyframes
This selection shows the keyframe-timeline within the canvas.

Show Final
Only the final rendered result will be seen in the canvas. But even though you don't see the keyframes in the canvas anymore, they will still be active and they will be created if you change any parameters.

With this popup you can select the control you want to see and edit. It also shows a list of the controls that can be keyframed.

You can create and modify keyframes of the following four control types:





Delete current Keyframe!
With this checkbox you can delete a previous created keyframe.

To do this you have to move your playhead to the keyframe you want to delete. Note that your playhead turns red when you hit a keyframe directly.

Now click the checkbox:

...and the keyframe is gone. Only the currently displayed keyframe will be deleted.

Note: It does not matter if the checkbox was checked or unchecked before deletion. The keyframe-system only looks at the changing status of the checkbox.

Toggle Smooth/Corner!
Use this checkbox to add bezier-handles to the keyframes. As described within the "Delete current Keyframe!" section, you have to move your playhead at first onto the keyframe you want to edit. Each time you click the Toggle-checkbox you can add or delete bezier-handles to the left and/or right side of the keyframe.

This procedure enables you to create these four interpolation methods:

Linear interpolation
Ease-in and Ease-out

Use this option to make the movements of the keyframed controls smooth and soft. You can even create bezier-handles for points and color-controls and make the movement of a point and a color change smoothly within you animation. This is also an advantage compared to Final Cut Pro's integrated keyframe routine, because Final Cut Pro itself can not create bezier-handles for keyframed colors.

Zoom Timeline
The last control of the keyframe system consists of a zoom slider. This slider controls the zoom of the keyframe-timeline within the canvas.

The bright area represents the currently selected clip. The playhead in the canvas is always in the center of the keyframe-timeline.

If you have are any questions or requests please use our contact-form. 2002-2017 by CHV-Electronics Inc., Christoph Vonrhein. All rights reserved.
Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, Mac, Mac OS X, Quicktime, Motion, Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Express are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Apple Computer.