On Creative Cow today, someone was asking about blend modes and story lines. Well actually it was they had a connected clip with a blend mode then added a transition and BAM the blend mode no longer worked. Well I’ve run into this before and never thought to say anything about it because well it makes sense why this happens. Once you add a transition the connected clip converts to a Secondary Story Line, and you can not use Blend Modes between Story Lines. This was really obvious with Final Cut Pro 10.0, you had to convert your connected clips to a secondary Story Line manually to add a transition, ok thats great but with the first update 10.0.1 you now can just drag a transition to a connected clip. The thing is when you add a transition to a connected clip it is automatically converting that connected clip to a Storyline we just no longer have to manually do it ourselves. So a trick I found that has worked for me if I need to use a transition, is take what ever clips you want to use with a transition (it doesn’t matter what type of transition) and create a compound clip with those clips, then add your transitions. But do not add a transition to nothing, it will create the transition going from black to your clip, put in a slug (or gap) beforehand (use “option+w’ it inserts a gap) then you can back out of your compound clip and choose a blend mode and your transitions still works. Basically by creating a compound clip of your connected clips you are moving them to the Primary Story line of that compound clip. Now you can add all the transitions you want, move back out of the compound clip and in your main timeline the compound clip is not a Story Line that does not take blend modes but a connected clip and you can then add whatever blend mode you want. Now this is a long work around if you are simply trying to add a cross dissolve in but if you were using more complex transitions like lens flares or my flip transition with a blend mode this works.
So Apparently you can just Right Clip on a transition and change it so it doesn’t render on black.
That means you do not need to add a gap (you still can, but why) inside your compound clip, just make sure your right click and tell it not to render on black.
I created a cheat sheet so you can see how it is supposed to be set up.