Final Cut Pro Tip #052 – Syncing Templates

Final-CutFinal Cut Pro X has given created a very powerful way to create templates using Motion. The drawback, however, is that it’s not easy to move the templates from computer to computer when working on more than one system. Luckily todays world is filled with many cloud syncing options for us to take advantage of.

For this example I’ll refer to Dropbox, however the principle is the same, and can be used with the could syncing service of your choosing.

When you create a new template using Motion, it’s available in Final Cut Pro. You can easily access the templates, and even right click to edit them in Motion. By default these templates are created in the user’s directory under Movies > Motion Templates.

~/Movies/Motion Templates

NOTE: While this folder appears as Motion Templates it is actually called Motion Templates.localized, and this is a very important distinction.

To get started creating the sync, first locate this Motion Templates folder in the finder. Then compress it to a .ZIP file by right clicking and selecting Compress “Motion Templates”. This will create a .ZIP file and act as a backup.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 7.48.30 AM

Now take the original Motion Templates folder and copy or move it to the location on the cloud sync folder where you want to keep it stored. I create a folder on my Dropbox called “Edit Sync” for easy reference. Once the file has been copied or moved make sure the original is no longer in the Movies folder. Only the .ZIP files you created should remain. This is because we are going to link the folder we just moved.

While we might think using an alias would work in this situation, it will not. We will have to use what is called a symbolic link. To create one we’ll need to launch the terminal. Terminal can be found under Applications > Utilities.

Once the Terminal is open you will need to change the directory. You can do this 2 ways, drag the Movies folder right onto the terminal window or copy and paste the in the following command.

cd ~/Movies/

Next you will need to find the location of your cloud sync folder. The easiest way to do this is by opening the folder in finder. Next type the following command into terminal ln -s followed by a space. If you are using the “Edit Sync” folder option drag that folder into the terminal behind the ln -s command you just typed. The command should look some thing like the following (although depending on where your cloud sync folder is this could be very different).

ln -s ~/Dropbox/Edit\ Sync/Motion\ Templates.localized

Now that you have the command entered into terminal press the return key. This should create the link. Now open the Movies folder ~/Movies/ and see if the link was created. You should see the Motion Templates.localized folder with an arrow that looks like it’s an alias. If you open it, it should take you directly to your cloud sync folder.

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Now you can use the linking steps on the other edit systems you would like to sync the templates between. While the location of the cloud sync folder does not have to be in the same location on each edit system, Dropbox (or whatever cloud sync service) you use will have to be installed and syncing.

And that’s how you can simply sync the Motion Templates you create between different edit systems.