Welcome to a Pro Lectric lesson from Pixel Film Studios. Pro Lectric allows Final Cut Pro X users to add electricity and lightning effects to a scene.

From futuristic ray guns to light swords, Pro Lectric can make electricity effects both fun and easy in Final Cut Pro X.

For this example, we will show you how to create a basic lightning storm.

Let’s begin by selecting a clip or image in the FCPX media library and dragging it to the timeline. In this example, we are going to use a still-image of a city and set it to a duration of 5 seconds.

Let’s make some lightning hit the top of the tallest building. Scan through the presets of Pro Letric and select a generator that best matches the look we want.

Drag the generator above your clip on the Final Cut Pro X timeline. Then, use the blade tool to cut the generator to the length of the clip.

Next, go to the “Video” tab of the FCPX Inspector window. Scroll down until you come across the blend mode drop down menu.

Change the blend mode to “Add.”

Now, we will need to decide on the lightning’s path.

Click and drag the on-screen controls in the FCPX Viewer window to adjust the start and end position of the lightning.

For this example, we will want the lightning to start slightly off the top of the screen and to end at the top of the tallest building.

Now that the lightning is set in its desired location, it’s time to customize the look of it.

Adjust the source and outer colors of the electricity to match the environment the best you can.

Then use the Main and Secondary branch settings to manipulate the spread and structure of your lightning.

Finally, adjust the Glow parameters to control the opacity, softness, and brightness of the falloff.

Next we will need to change the duration of the lightning so that it strikes in a realistic way.

First, turn up the delay slider in the Inspector window. to slow down the refresh rate of the lighting.

Then use the blade tool to create a few 3 frame lightning strikes. Select the sections of the generator in-between your strikes and delete them from the timeline.

If you want, you can change the start point of each strike to come from different area of the sky.
Now for some Final Touches.

To help composite the lightning seamlessly into the scene….. We will want to create a light flash every time the lightning strikes.

Use the blade tool to cut and isolate the city picture underneath each lightning strike.

Then select the isolated sections of the picture and go to the color board in the FCPX Inspector window. Select the exposure tab. Use the white puck to increase the brightness of your scene.

Now, to further blend the lightning into the environment….. let’s compound your clip with all of the electricity generators used in the scene.

Select everything you stacked in the timeline, then hold control and click on one of the clips. Now select New Compound Clip in the pop-up.

Then, apply one of the ProRain effects to the clip, to help create the weather for our thunder storm.

Next, add a color grade to the compound clip, this will make the lightning and buildings feel like apart of the same environment. For this example. we will use a Pixel Film Studios “ProHue” filter.

Lastly, let’s complete the atmosphere of the scene by adding some thunder and lightning audio from the Final Cut Pro Sound Effects Library.

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