Neat Blog

Applying effects to several clips in Final Cut

The next video editing software that we decided to cover in our series of articles on applying effects to multiple clips in Final Cut Pro. We are going to use Neat Video as an example effect, but the same procedures apply to other effects. Knowing these tricks can potentially help you to save lots of time in editing. In our previous articles, we revealed how to do that in Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.

When working on a project where you need to apply the same effect or effects to a set of similar clips, you want to do that quickly yet correctly. There are several slow and quick ways to have it done. Choosing the right way may depend on a specific set of clips. In the case of applying Neat Video, a lot depends on the noise content of those clips. If you have several clips shot in similar conditions, by the same video camera with the same settings, then the noise in those clips is most likely the same. So if you can quickly add Neat Video with exactly the same noise profile and filter settings to each of those clips, then you can save time on building a noise profile and adjusting the filter settings for each clip individually. Obviously, this will only work well if those clips show the same noise. Otherwise, you would still need to treat them individually for the best noise reduction results.

Copy and paste effect

The general idea is to add Neat Video (or other effects) to one clip, configure the filter (build a noise profile and adjust filter settings) for that clip, and then copy and paste the effect from that clip to other clips that need the same noise reduction. Final Cut Pro offers two ways to copy effects between clips:

Paste Attributes:

This FCP command lets you copy selected clip attributes to another clip and provides more control over individual effects, settings, and keyframes. For example, you can copy video crop settings, audio settings, transitions, or keyframe adjustments.

Once you have added and adjusted Neat Video in one clip, right-click that clip and choose Copy (Cmd+C), then go to the FCP menu Edit > Paste Attributes (Shift+Cmd+V).  In the pop-up window, select the effects you would like to copy and the clips you want them to be applied to.


Paste Effects:

This command copies all of a clip’s effects to another clip and is the fastest way to copy effects and attributes.

Once you have added and adjusted Neat Video in one clip, right-click the clip and choose Copy (Cmd+C), then select other clips that should have the same effects and adjustments applied to and, finally, go to the FCP menu Edit > Paste Effects (Alt+Cmd+V).

Compound clip

Compound clip works similarly to Adobe’s nested sequence in Premiere Pro or pre-composed sequence in After Effects. You use a compound clip to group the clips you want to make changes to and work with them as a whole. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Select the clips you want to apply Neat Video to and create a compound based on them:
    use the menu File > New > Compound Clip … (or keys “Option + G”) or right-click and select New Compound Clip.
  2. Put the compound clip into the timeline.
  3. Apply Neat Video to the compound clip in the timeline, build noise profile and adjust filter settings. Then add other effects.

Adjustment layer

Adjustment layers are not quite native for Final Cut, but you can have them working either by creating one yourself or downloading one that was produced by someone else. We used one available on

Install Motion, if you have not done that before, and run it for the first time to complete the integration process. Then download the adjustment layer (there are many web-sites where you can find them, we tested this one:, unzip @FinalCutProHelp folder and copy it to the Adjustment Layer folder (Movies > Motion Templates > Titles > Custom > Adjustment Layer). Then open FCP, go to Titles > Custom > Adjustment Layer and drag it on the timeline, adjust the length. Apply Neat Video and other effects to that Adjustment Layer. The clips that are located below will be affected by all of the effects applied to the Adjustment Layer.

Save and apply effect preset

  1. In the Final Cut Pro timeline, select a clip that has Neat Video applied and configured, then open the color correction in the Video inspector.
  2. Click the Save Effects Preset button in the lower-right corner of the Video inspector.
  3. In the window that appears, adjust the settings for the preset:
    • Name: Type a name for the preset.
    • Category: Choose the Effects Browser category your preset will appear in.
    • Attributes: Make sure the checkboxes for the attributes you want to include in the preset are selected.
  4. Click Save.

You can then apply a Neat Video preset as you would apply any other clip effect from the Effects Browser.

  1. Select clips in the Final Cut Pro timeline, then click the Effects button in the top-right corner of the timeline (or press Command-5).

  2. In the Effects browser, select the Neat Video preset that you saved previously.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Drag the preset to the timeline clips you want to apply it to.
    • Double-click the preset thumbnail to apply the preset to the selected clips.

The preset’s adjustments are applied to the selection. After the preset has been applied, you can modify its settings using the Color inspector.