A free Final Cut Pro X timecode effect that counts 35mm 4-perf film clips in feet and frames.

Use this effect when handing your edit over to sound, negative cutting and subtitling collaborators who use feet and frame counts.

Uploaded Friday 11 October 2013


This free plugin is for Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 and newer (if your version is older, visit this post at blog.alex4d.com).


Most productions will use this in 23.976 fps projects. It also works at 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 frames per second. You can choose screen location, colour and background colour. You can also have a prefix text label in a typeface of your choice.

This plugin was created in response from a request by Mike Matzdorff:

could you build a generator that would give me both a timecode burn in and a footage and frames counter?

I’m looking for one for a movie I’m working on, it’s the first FCPx studio picture and I’m trying to help out our sound guys. the timecode start should be user definable feet and frames should be like 35mm 4 perf (16 frames per foot)

The footage in the video is from “Where Does a Window Cleaner Get His Water?” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2771166 edited by Paul Monaghan



The effect cannot read the timecode or frame count of the clip it is applied to, or the project it is displayed in. Use the Start Feet and Start Frames to choose where the effect counts from. This effect is designed to be used on film reels lasting up to 24 minutes long, so the timecode doesn’t count past 24 minutes. It does have an extra digit so footage count can start at 10,000, or 20,000 etc. Including a decimal value in the footage will be included in the start offset: i.e. 11.5 and 2 frames will start the timecode at 00011’+10 – 11.5 (11 feet 8 frames + 2 frames).

Final Cut Pro X plugins made using Apple Motion 5 like this one have no way of determining the frame rate of the clip they are applied to or project they are used in, so use Frame Rate to set the correct frames per second.

Position the timecode using the values of the Position parameters. There is an on-screen control that you can also drag. The position on-screen control is displayed when the clip and the effect is selected on the timeline. If this is distracting, uncheck the Show Position Control and deselect the clip. When you next select the clip, the on-screen control will not be visible.

Use the Colour and Size controls to set the colour and size of the count and its text label prefix. In the demo video above, I entered the clip name when applying the effect to each clip on the timeline.

You can add a text prefix that appears before the count, and choose its typeface. If you double-click the prefix, you can enter text diractly onto the clip. When selected you can also move the text label relative to the feet and frame count.

You can also set the colour and transparency of the background to the timecode and its text label prefix.

As well as applying this effect to individual clips, you can also apply it to a time range of a project using an adjustment layer. Adjustment layers (named after a similar kind of layer in Adobe After Effects) are used to applying colour, transform and other effects to multiple clips at once.


Dragging the ‘Alex4D Adjustment Layer’ above a series of clips on the timeline has no initial effect. If you then apply the ‘Alex4D Timecode 35mm 4-perf’ effect to the adjustment layer, the timecode is overlayed across all the clips. Any scale, rotation and position transformations, any colour corrections and any other effects applied to the adjustment layer will also apply all the layers below.

Download the free Alex4D Timecode 35mm 4-perf effect plugin for Final Cut Pro X

Click to download the installers:


These plugins are free to download and use, but if you’d like to show your appreciation for my work, please donate here:

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Once installed, you’ll find the ‘Alex4D Timecode 35mm 4-perf’ effect in the Alex4D section of the effects browser:


The ‘Alex4D Adjustment Layer’ will install into Alex4D section of the Titles browser.

If when you try to run the installer you get a message stating it can’t be opened “because it was not downloaded from the Mac App Store” – your Mac OS X security preferences are protecting you. To change them, or work around this, visit this post at blog.alex4d.com.

If when you apply this plugin, your Final Cut viewer turns blue, your version of Final Cut Pro X is older than 10.0.6, if you sign into the Mac App Store with the Apple ID that bought your copy, you can download the free update. If you can’t do this, there is a workaround at this post at blog.alex4d.com.