Screenshot from Final Cut Pro showing a warning in the viewer that the current title isn’t compatible with the version of Final Cut.

Apple Motion 5 template too new for Final Cut Pro?

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">


14th December 2021

From Office Hours: Apple Motion 5 feature requests

20th December 2021

Keep old Final Cut Pro templates for old timelines without allowing them in new timelines