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Morphing FX


Deform stills and video with Motion 2, 3, 4 and Motion 5

General Info

FxPlug Plugin DeformDeform is a part of the plugin package Morphing FX. Deform makes it possible to distort stills and video clips quick and easily by taking full advantage of Final Cut Studio's new FxPlug plugin interface structure.

The advantages of the FxPlug plugin package Morphing FX:

  • Realtime! The plugins of the plugin package Morphing FX are fully capable of running in realtime without the need for long render sessions. Even on an older Powerbook Deform continues to run with full speed.
  • Now you can grab the points of the grids directly in the canvas without the need to activate them at first in the canvas.
  • Transparency now is fully supported. Now you are able to distort images and logos with an active alpha-channel.

FxPlug Plugin Deform


FxPlug Plugin DeformThe interface of Deform has been dramatically reduced to only those controls you need to do a deformation effect.

The workflow is now also much quicker and makes it possible to distort your video in a very short time period.

The function of Deform is described below by showing the complete workflow.

This manual describes the workflow for Motion 2.


FxPlug Plugin DeformPlace the clip you want to distort into the Media tab.

At first we have to put the desired clip into the Media tab. For this example we will use an image of a womans face.

FxPlug Plugin DeformDrag and drop the clip into the Layers tab.

Motion will automatically create a layer and places the video clip into it.

FxPlug Plugin DeformApply the Deform filter

Open the Library and take a look into the Filters. There you will find a folder named CHV Morphing FX. Open it and you will see two plugins: Morph and Deform. Now drag and drop Deform from the Library directly onto the image in the Layers tab.

Open the Inspector tab. There you will see the control parameters of Deform in the Filters tab.

FxPlug Plugin DeformChoose the Gridsize

Depending on the complexity of the scene you have to select a grid with more or less points. Our image in this example is quite simple. For our demonstration we choose gridsize of 6x6 points.

Work in the Canvas

Now let's take a look at the canvas. You will see the following:

FxPlug Plugin Deform

The layer we are working on has now been stretched to (a little more than) twice the regular size and therefore overlaps the canvas. The original image will always be on the left side. At the right side you will see the deformed image. Directly after the filter has been applied both images look exactly the same as no deformation process has been done yet.

Drag the image layer with the mouse to the right, so we can see the whole left image in the canvas.

Note: Take care that you don't accidently drag a point instead of the video layer.

FxPlug Plugin Deform

If you use a video clip instead of an image: Move the playhead to the first frame of the video and also activate the red Record button in order to keyframe all points automatically.

Move the Points

Now it's time to move some points. All points can directly be moved in the canvas with the mouse. At the original image all of the points you want to distort need to be marked. If you want to distort the nose of the face you have to set a point onto the nose. If the eyes should to be distorted put a point at both eyes. It is not necessary to mark everything. Only put the points at those places you really want to distort.

In this example we want to distort her face and especially her eyes, nose and mouth. So let's mark them with some points. It is also good to mark other things like the outline of the head in order to get better control over the areas that need to te distorted and those areas that should stay intact.

FxPlug Plugin Deform

Now we drag the image layer over to the left and take a look at what we got so far:

FxPlug Plugin Deform

The image already looks distorted. This is because the distortion grid (which is what we see on the right side of the layer) has not been changed so far.

FxPlug Plugin DeformIn order to do our own distortion the source grid (which we have set on the left side of the canvas) needs to be copied to the distortion grid. To do this we only need to click the Copy Source Grid to checkbox once.

FxPlug Plugin Deform

By clicking the Copy Source Grid to checkbox once the source grid will be copied to the distortion grid. If both grids are the same the image appears undistorted.

Now we can do the deformation. Grab the points and drag them around. Here is what you can do:

FxPlug Plugin Deform

As we can see we are now able to distort the marked points directly.

Create a Transition

FxPlug Plugin DeformA transition from an undistorted image to a distorted image can be created by using the Progress slider. Simply move the slider and you can see the transition in realtime without the need to render.

FxPlug Plugin Deform

Final Result

FxPlug Plugin DeformMake sure to switch off the Show Grid checkbox for the final render process to avoid that the gridlines will be seen in the rendered video.

FxPlug Plugin DeformNote: With the Show Source checkbox you can hide the source image on the left side of the image layer. This is needed if further distortion takes place by the Properties tab (Rotatin, Scaling, Shear and more).
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