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Indiana Jones Map Effect with Final Cut Express

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You can make a map just like the one in Raiders of the Lost Ark – if you’ve got Final Cut Express. It’s pretty easy, but it probably won’t look like something out of Industrial Light and Magic.

Indiana Jones Map EffectHowever – you could always reduce the opacity of your map and lay it over tracks of whatever your real video covers. The reduction in opacity will go a long way toward hiding any defects in your effect.

Murphy created his map file in Photoshop and drew a red line from a starting city to a destination city. The red line goes on its own layer. Then the two layers are exported as png files. Final Cut Express will accept the transparency of your red line file.

Put the red line file on a track above the map file in FCE. Then you can use key frames to have the line file start with one edge cropped out of view. Set another keyframe later on the time line bringing the edge back to its original position. Final Cut Express will slowly move the edge during playback, revealing your red line. Confused? Watch the screencast.

Most effects can’t be keyframed in Final Cut Express. Toys like that are reserved for Final Cut Pro. But the items on your motion tab can be keyframed, which facilitates some fun stuff. If you don’t have Final Cut Express check out the Amazon discount. If you qualify for academic pricing you can get it for even less.

Check out this screencast to see how to make fake twins using Final Cut Express.

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