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Apple Motion 5Apple Motion 5 template too new for Final Cut Pro?Wednesday, December 15 2021

When collaborating with other editors, sometimes there can be problems getting their title, effect, transition or generator plugins working on your system.

It can be because your version of Final Cut Pro is older than the version of Apple Motion 5 that was used to to make the plugins used in the timeline. Here’s how to modify these newer templates so they can work on an older version of Final Cut.

There are many reasons why you might not be using the newest version of Final Cut Pro. You might not want to update your Mac to the newest version of macOS; the newest version of Final Cut might not run on the version of macOS you have installed.

Motion 5 can’t save its documents so as to be compatible with older versions of Motion or Final Cut. Fortunately Motion stores its documents in XML format (known as OZML) that can be opened, edited and saved using any text editing application.

This means you can fix the problem of Motion templates newer than your version of Final Cut by making a simple change to the text in the template.

This method is useful if you are building Apple Motion 5 plugins for a client whose Macs are using an older version of Final Cut.

Motion 5.6 templates start with this text:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE ozxmlscene>
<ozml version="5.13">


If you want those templates to work in Final Cut Pro 10.4.10 (for those who want their Mac to remain running macOS Mojave 10.14), you need to use a text editor – such as TextEdit – to change the first few lines so it looks as if it was saved by the version of Motion available when Final Cut 10.4.10 was introduced: 5.4.7.

As well as knowing that you need to change the displayversion from 5.6 to 5.4.7, you also need to know which version of OZML that Motion 5.4.7 used. It was 5.11. So, in this case, you would change the ozml version to “5.11”:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE ozxmlscene>
<ozml version="5.11">


Note that this only works if the template doesn’t use features added in a Motion 5 update after the version of Final Cut Pro you are using. For example, Motion 5.6 introduced the ‘Neon’ filter. If the template you want to work with uses this filter, changing the text won’t work with versions of Final Cut introduced before Motion 5.6 – versions older than 10.6.

So which numbers for ozml version and displayversion work with the version of Final Cut you have?

You can find out in this table that you can read on

Use the second column to look up the version of Final Cut Pro you want the template to work with. Use the fourth and fifth columns to see which values of ozml version and displayversion to use.

Free web service to ‘backdate’ Motion templates

As well as a post on this subject, fcpxtemplates has generously made a Motion Template Backdater web service that can make the required text change to Motion templates. Upload the title (.moti), transition (.motr), effect (.moef) or generator (.motn) and pick which version you want to backdate the template to from the popup menu.

Increasing the audience for your Motion templates

You can edit the plugin so it looks like it was generated using an older version of Motion than the one associated with the Final Cut Pro you have if you want to make sure people on older versions of Final Cut will be able to use your template.

So, if your template doesn’t use features introduced to Motion since version 10.4 of Final Cut, you can use these first few lines:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE ozxmlscene>
<ozml version="5.9">


The “Curly double quotes” gotcha

Make sure that ozml version number is in neutral double quote marks…

" "

…not ‘curly’ double quote marks…

“ ”

…a change which Apple’s TextEdit application will sometimes automatically make.

Either go to TextEdit Preferences and uncheck ‘Smart quotes’ or copy one of these lines depending on which version of Final Cut you are using:

<ozml version="5.9">

<ozml version="5.10">

<ozml version="5.11">

<ozml version="5.13">


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Apple Motion 5From Office Hours: Apple Motion 5 feature requestsTuesday, December 14 2021

This excerpt from Office Hours is a short discussion about Apple Motion 5. I asked Alex Lindsay what features he would like to see in Motion that would appeal to those running live streaming events ([1:25:28] into this YouTube video).

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Apple Motion 5Apple Motion 5 for Mac feature updates since October 2016Monday, December 13 2021

Here is a rundown of the new features added to Apple Motion 5 for Mac since 2016.

For details on stability improvements and issue fixes, visit Apple’s Motion release notes.

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BlogStay in your creative flow with ‘Reading is Fundamental!’Tuesday, December 7 2021

Reading is Fundamental! is an application by Intelligent Assistance that adds a versatile document viewer to the Final Cut Pro user interface.

Sometimes a new project or an edit task uses a brief made up of different kinds of documents. Plain text emails, spreadsheets, presentations. With current Macs it is possible to have the apps that can show these documents open at the same time as Final Cut, but having to continually switch between different applications with different user interfaces can put me off my creative flow.

The Reading is Fundamental! window can hold multiple documents of different types which you can switch between using left and right arrows at the top of the window.

Once you run the application on the same Mac as Final Cut Pro, it adds a button to the Final Cut toolbar so you can bring up its window with a click. Once you have positioned the window to your satisfaction, you can use the Window > Workspaces > Save Workspace As… command to recall its position relative to the other panels of the Final Cut UI.

Its floating window means I can position it wherever I want – so that both the document I need to see and the Final Cut tools I need to work with are visible at the same time.

I especially like using my trackpad to scroll the Reading is Fundamental! window, moving over and scrolling the Final Cut timeline and immediately returning to the Reading is Fundamental! window to scroll again – without tapping to select anything.

It can display:

  • PDF
  • Word (.doc, .docx),
  • Pages
  • Excel (.xls and xlsx)
  • Numbers
  • Comma Separated Values (CSV)
  • Keynote
  • PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx)
  • Plain Text
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf and .rtfd)

…and if you need to edit any of the documents it is showing, it can open it in the default app for the document type.

Editors know that staying in ‘the flow’ is vital. Reading is Fundamental! helps Final Cut users cruise through creative flows or glide through repetitive processes.

It requires macOS 10.15 Catalina and is available from the Mac App Store.

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BlogOffice Hours: The media and digital event communityFriday, December 3 2021

Office Hours is a daily conversation on streaming events, technology and the future of media. It is currently streamed on YouTube, but you’ll have a better experience on Zoom. Sign up to get the Zoom link.

Office Hours was started by Alex Lindsay in March 2020. He currently takes part nearly every day.

Every day between 15:00 and 16:00 UTC/GMT (7am PT, 10am ET, 16:00 CET) you can ask your questions about building online events of any size – from your community group to keynotes for millions of people to experience at the same time.

Questions range from technology to design to planning the flow of events. Including

  • Audio and video hardware – microphones, cameras, switchers, playout devices etc.
  • Software and services – such as OBS, Dante, AWS, MixEffect Pro, Unreal, Apple Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro
  • Structuring events
  • Onboarding interviewees, hosts and panellists to live events and to video productions
  • Working with clients

…most topics relevant to anyone making digital media of all kinds.

Instead of using YouTube or Zoom for chat and asking questions, Office Hours uses Mukana – a custom web application. If you register, you’ll be sent your link to Mukana, where you can catch up on the current conversation or vote on other people’s questions.

Once you’ve got used to asking questions, if you have good sound and video, you are welcome to join the panel and answer other people’s questions. The daily Zoom meeting starts one hour before the Q&A hour with general conversation.

If you want to join the panel to answer questions, put up your digital hand in Zoom before 14:40 UTC/GMT (6:40am PT, 9:40am ET, 15:40 CET). If you do, you’ll be able to access a Mukana view designed for panelists and be part of the Office Hours microphone check – to make sure that all the panellist audio quality and levels are good enough to stream and record.

Note that you might hear those who are attending who aren’t on the panel as being referred to as producers. This is because their questions drive Office Hours. So, if you are in the panel in the hour before the questions and answers begin and you don’t want to answer questions, moving out of the panel is referred to as “being promoted to being a producer.”

As a panellist you can also volunteer to read out audience questions or switch the show for YouTube using a web interface.

Second hours

On weekdays, the Q&A hour is followed by second hour when a specific topic is gone into in more detail. Starting at 16:00 UTC/GMT (8am PT, 11am ET, 17:00 CET).

Usually ‘second hours’ include guests who are able to kick off the conversation. Recent topics:

Both the Q&A hours and second hours on Office Hours are live streamed on YouTube.


Office Hours happens every day, but the weekend experience is different.

On Saturdays the Q&A hour is followed by an education two hours where people working in education at all levels can have a conversation about how technology can support the current practice and future of learning. So that conversation can flow more freely, these two hours are not streamed on YouTube or recorded.

On Saturdays and Sundays there are also a variety of Office Hour events – currently Saturday includes ‘The Belfast Method’ at 20:00 UTC/GMT (Noon PT, 3pm ET, 19:00 CET) – where OH attendees have the opportunity to control and run a live event from anywhere in the world.

On Sundays the Q&A hour is followed by a general discussion hour – for more informal conversation, so these two hours are not streamed on YouTube or recorded.

Beyond the Office Hours streamed conversation

To get the full experience…

Join the Office Hours Discord – the link is posted in Mukana (the OH chat and questions system) at 14:40 UTC/GMT (6:40am PT, 9:40am ET, 15:40 CET) – it will work for 30 minutes after it is posted.

Spend time in After Hours – a Zoom meeting that lasts for the other 21 hours of every day when Office Hours isn’t on. Here is where registered Office Hours users can ask questions of who happens to be around and other can share their screen or cameras as they work on solving problems. You’ll be sent joining instructions for After Hours when you register for Office Hours.


Find out more about Office Hours at




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Apple Motion 5Apple Motion 5: November 2021 tutorial roundupWednesday, December 1 2021

Here’s a roundup of what happened in the world of Motion 5 – Apple’s $50 real-time motion graphics application – during November 2021:

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