Creating custom text effects might give you the implication that you need to download custom plugins to templates. In most cases this isn’t the case. With a bit of creativity you can create your own custom text effects. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how you can great a simple neon text effect using Final Cut Pro X.

Select Your Footage

For this tutorial, we will be using a city scene set at night. This Neo text effect real lends itself to a scene like this. I found my footage on the video stock site Pexels Video but you can use any video clip you like.

Drag your footage into the timeline and, if needed, cut it down to a manageable length. Next, add a basic text layer and type in whatever you want your verbiage to be. In the Text Inspector, scroll down to the Glow panel. Here is where you can change the glow color, the blur and the radius. Depending on the size fo your text, I would recommend the Blur be set to 100 and you can play with the Radius to give the desired glow effect. You will also need to change the color of your text to match whatever glow color you prefer. In this tutorial, we will keep it simple and just use white.

Zoom in to the footage in your timeline and select the Blade tool by pressing the shortcut key “B” on your keyboard. Now, starting at the beginning of your text layer, press the right arrow key on your keyboard to advance the cursor one frame. Cut the layer using the blade tool. Repeat this process 4-6 times depending on how much you want your text effect to flicker.

Once this is done, go back to the beginning of your segmented text layer and highlight each alternating clip. Once they are highlighted, press the “V” key on your keyboard. This will hide the clips when you playback your footage. Now you have your flickering neon text effect.

One thing I recommend to sell this effect more, is to add a bit of sound design, i.e. a neon text sound effect. You can download these effects from a variety of places such as StoryBlocks or SoundStripe or even YouTube. Simple add the sound effect to your timeline and position it to where the flickering sound matches with the flickering effect.

That is it! You just made a neon text effect from scratch!