Morphing FX


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

General Info

Morph is a part of the plugin package Morphing FX. Morph makes it possible to morph 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 Morph 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 morph images and logos with an active alpha-channel.

FxPlug Plugin Morph


FxPlug Plugin MorphThe interface of Morph has been dramatically reduced to only those controls you need to do a morph effect.

The workflow is now also much quicker and makes it possible to create a great morph in a very short time period.

The function of Morph is described by showing the complete workflow for a morph transition between a swan and a seagull.

This manual describes the workflow for Motion.


FxPlug Plugin MorphPlace the clips into the Media tab.

At first we have to put the desired clips into the Media tab. Our morph effect will start with a swan and end with a seagull. Both clips are now in the Media tab.

FxPlug Plugin MorphDrag and drop the Source clip into the Layers tab.

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

FxPlug Plugin MorphApply the Morph 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 Morph from the Library directly onto the Swan video in the Layers tab (as seen to the right).

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

FxPlug Plugin MorphApply the Destination video

Drag and drop the destination video from the Media tab directly onto the image well Destination as seen to the right.

Note: If the Media tab is still within the same window as the Inspector tab, you might want to drag the Media tab at first out of the Inspector window.

Now you have to click the Morph effect in the Layers tab again, as Motion sets the focus on the applied destination video.

FxPlug Plugin MorphChoose the Gridsize

Depending on the complexity of the scene you have to select a grid with more or less points. Our swan/seagull video is not too complex. For our demonstration we choose gridsize of 7x7 points.

Work in the Canvas

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

FxPlug Plugin Morph

The layer we are working on has now been stretched to (a little more than) twice the regular size and therefore overlaps the canvas. To the left you see the Swan video. To the right you see the Seagull video. Both videos have a 7x7 grid applied to it.

At first we start with the swan video. Drag the video layer with the mouse in the canvas to the right, so we can see the full Swan video. Our next step is to animate the grids.

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

FxPlug Plugin Morph

Move the playhead to the first frame of the video. As we want to edit a video the red Record button should also be activated 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. Move the points in such a manner that they surround the shape of the object the you want to morph. When you're done with the left (Source) video, move the video layer over to the left, so you can see the right (Destination) video. Surround the shape of the object you want to morph in the same way as the Source video.

Make sure that you use the "same" points for the Destination video. Therefore the grid is colored the same way for the Source and Destination video.

A good working grid for both videos should look like this:

FxPlug Plugin Morph

Take a look at the Result

FxPlug Plugin MorphSwitch the Mode popup menu to Render Final. Now drag the video layer to the center of the canvas, so you can see the full video.

FxPlug Plugin MorphBefore you play with the Progress slider make sure that you switch of the Record button in the timeline window. Now you can use the Progress slider to see the morph between the two videos. If you see any inconsistencies, just set Mode back to Setup Grids and make the necessary changes.

FxPlug Plugin Morph

Mode set to Render Final - Progress set to 0.5
The crosshairs are only visible in the canvas and not in the rendered video!

Note: The mode Render Final will show the points of both grids in the canvas. Please don't manipulate the points in this mode as you will mess up your grids. Use the mode Setup Grids to do the proper setup.


To create an animation you only have to animate and keyframe the points for the duration of the video. A good method (depending on the video) is to do a full setup for the first and the last frame of the video and then tweak everything in between. Tweaking is quite simple as you only have to move the playhead in the time line slowly forward and move the points in the canvas to make them follow their respective position. You don't have to keyframe each and every frame. Only keyframe where the grids needs to be moved.

Final Result

FxPlug Plugin MorphAt last you have to keyframe the Progress slider. A setting of 0 shows the Source video. A setting of 1 shows the Destination video. Everything in between these two limits creates the actual morph.

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