Creating a Swipe Reveal Effect in Final Cut Pro X Without Plugins

by | Feb 6, 2022 | Tips and Tutorials

I’m excited to share with you a simple yet effective technique for creating a swipe reveal effect in Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), without the need for any additional plugins. This effect is perfect for showcasing before-and-after transformations, whether it’s for LUTs, presets, home renovations, or any other visual comparison. Let’s dive into how you can achieve this effect with just the basic tools in FCPX.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Swipe Reveal Effect

1. Preparing Your Clips

  • Start with Your Clip: Begin by placing your chosen clip on the timeline.
  • Duplicate the Clip: Hold the ‘Option’ key, click, and drag to duplicate the clip, placing it directly above the original.

2. Applying the Effect to the Top Clip

  • Add a Custom LUT: Drag the ‘Custom LUT’ effect onto the top clip.
  • Choose a LUT: Select a LUT that offers a distinct visual difference from the original clip. This will be your ‘after’ effect, with the original clip serving as the ‘before’.

3. Creating the Transition Effect

  • Use a Draw Mask: Apply a ‘Draw Mask’ to the top clip.
  • Control Points and Keyframes: Draw a rectangle slightly off-screen and set keyframes for the control points at the start and end of your desired transition.

4. Animating the Swipe

  • Animating the Mask: Move the playhead to where you want the swipe transition to end. Then, select and drag the control points across the clip to reveal the ‘after’ effect.
  • Keyframe Animation: As you move the control points, Final Cut Pro X automatically adds keyframes, creating the swipe animation.

5. Adding a Divider Line (Optional)

  • Use a Basic Shape: Drag a ‘Basic Shape’ from the generators onto the timeline above your clips.
  • Customize the Shape: Select ‘Rectangle’, turn off the fill, and set the outline color to white. Adjust the scale and position so that the line is just outside the left of the frame.
  • Keyframe the Shape’s Position: Match the movement of the white line with the swipe transition using keyframes.


Creating a swipe reveal effect in FCPX is straightforward and doesn’t require any external plugins. With basic masking and keyframing techniques, you can easily produce a professional-looking before-and-after slider. This effect is versatile and can be adapted for various directions and styles, giving you complete creative control.

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