Creating an Animated DOPESICK Date Effect in Final Cut Pro X

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Tips and Tutorials

Today I will show you how to create a cool animated date effect in Final Cut Pro X, inspired by the series “Dopesick” on Disney+. This effect is a fantastic way to navigate through different time periods in a story, providing a clear and visually appealing timeline for viewers. Let’s dive into how you can recreate this effect using only the basic titles and effects available in Final Cut Pro X.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the DOPESICK Date Effect

1. Preparing the Background

  • Choose Your Footage: Start with some moody stock footage or any clip that suits your project’s theme.
  • Import to Final Cut Pro X: Place your selected footage on the timeline.

2. Adding and Formatting the Date Text

  • Insert a Basic Title: Go to the titles panel and add a basic title to your timeline.
  • Input the Dates: Start with a year (e.g., 1998) and add subsequent years, spacing them evenly.
  • Select a Typeface: Choose a font that matches the style of your project. For this tutorial, I used Proxima Nova.

3. Animating the Date Transition

  • Set the Start and End Points: Position the first date in the middle of the screen and keyframe it. Repeat for the last date.
  • Create a Slow Animation: Adjust the keyframes to create a slow transition of the dates across the screen.

4. Speed Ramping for Effect

  • Apply Speed Ramping: Use the Shift+B command to add speed ramps at the start and end of the animation.
  • Adjust the Speed: Collapse the middle section of the clip to increase the speed of the transition.

5. Refining the Transition

  • Shorten the Clip: Adjust the length of the compound clip to match the desired timing of the effect.
  • Fade In and Out: Use the Command+T shortcut to add a default fade transition at the beginning and end of the clip.

6. Focusing on the Central Date

  • Apply a Vignette Mask: Add a vignette mask to the text compound clip.
  • Adjust the Mask: Position the vignette to highlight only the central date, creating a feathered edge as dates transition in and out.


This quick exploration into recreating the DOPESICK date effect in Final Cut Pro X shows how simple it is to create a dynamic and visually appealing timeline effect. It’s a great tool for storytelling, especially when dealing with multiple time periods. Remember, you can always refine the speed ramps, transitions, and typeface to better suit your specific project.

I hope this tutorial was helpful. If you haven’t watched “Dopesick,” I highly recommend it for its compelling storytelling and visual style. 

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