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How to sync FCPX effects across multiple machines


How do you keep all your custom Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 effects synchronised across multiple machines? Turner Hall sent us this handy tip.

Keeping resources across all machines can be a nightmare, so how can you make sure that your FCPX and Motion installs have the same effects loaded?

We came across this problem with Motion3 when we tried to 'force' the template storage for all machines on an Xsan to point to the same folder. It didn't work and Apple didn't have a solution for it either.

A few years and a few versions on, the same problem exists and it's only going to get worse with the ease that editors can now create Motion effects for FCPX. We've heard of people using Dropbox to distribute projects, but we hadn't heard of SugarSync until Turner sent us a link to his blog.

"As a Motion & FCP X user, I wanted to be able to have my effects be the same on both machines without having to always be transferring them. I did some tests and developed a solution and developed a tutorial demonstrating how to sync effects across multiple machines. The solution requires a free 5 GB SugarSync account and basically the sugar sync app works in the background to constantly merge the Motion Templates folders on any machine you'd like to set it up on."

We haven't tried it out but it sounds a pretty ingenious solution, you obviously have to be connected to the internet though!

It will be interesting to see if the release of Lion with its built in Xsan features might solve this problem, Alex Gollner has already dug up collaborative editing potential within FCPX.

Gets a SugarSync account.

Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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