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Hey what’s up everybody. My name is Jasper Thayer I’m an Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro and developer of FinalCutProX.net
In this lesson I’ll show you how to setup rough cuts of your edits and start placing clips on your storyline to begin editing. We’re gonna have a lot of fun in this lesson.
So now I have all of my media imported into my events. In the last lesson I showed you how to apply keywords and smart collections so that you can organize your media.
Now I want to show you how to work with clips so that you can view and select areas you’d like to edit together in your storyline.
You can mouse over the clips to skim through the clip. While you skim through the clip a vertical red line appears at the cursor position. This line is the skimmer. You can click on a clip to place a playhead. This will help you out if you want to temporally reference a part of a clip while you’re previewing it.
Whenever you’re working with clips in the event browser, remember that the skimmer always takes precedence over the playhead. If you mouse away from a clip and there’s a playhead on one part of the clip, and a skimmer on another part of the clip, then when you press the space bar to play the clip it will play from the skimmer position and the playhead will now relocate to the currently-playing position.
But if you move your cursor outside of the browser area then the skimmer will disappear. Now if you press the space bar to play the clip it will play from the playhead position, since the skimmer is not longer on a clip…
You can preview the clip in the viewer.
Let’s take a look at the Viewer options for a minute.
In the top-right corner there’s a disclosure triangle I can click to resize the viewer. Next to that there’s a switch icon I can click to adjust the viewer settings. There’s options that let me show viewer scopes and multi cam angles. I can also choose different playback settings. Here I can choose to playback clips in the viewer with better quality, or better performance.
I can also choose whether to use my regular media, or my proxy media.
In the earlier lesson I didn’t choose to create proxy media in FCPX. So you can see if I choose the option to use proxy media from the viewer settings then all the clips would show as missing data. I’ll go back to using the original media.
You can choose to view clips by channels and you can choose to see the title and action safe areas of your video.
Now this button up here will display the entire Final Cut Pro application in full screen mode. This button down here will automatically play whatever clip is at the current playhead position in full screen mode. Press escape to go back to regular screen mode and press space bar to pause the clip.
Now I want to talk about these buttons down here really quick. These buttons allow you to turn skimming on and off. The button on the left will turn both video AND audio skimming off so that you can mouse over clips without show ing a preview of the clip while you mouse over it. The other button will turn off audio skimming so that you can still preview the video of clips as you mouse over them, but the audio will be muted on the clips as you skim over them. I’ll turn off audio skimming for now so the audio doesn’t distract you as I skim over a clip while I’m narrating this tutorial.
Now this other button on the right will toggle snapping on or off. You can also press “N” on your keyboard to toggle snapping on or off. It’s a little easier to show you how snapping works than it is to explain. So let me show you with a clip in the browser. With snapping enabled, I’ll skim over a clip and press I to set an in point. Now let me skim to another area on this clip and press O to set an out point. You can see now that because snapping is enabled as I skim over the clip the skimmer “snaps” to the in and out points when I skim near them.
When I turn snapping off I can work with more control in regards to where I want to position items.
Snapping works in lots of different ways in FCP. Snapping doesn’t just affect the skimmer when you skim near in and out points on a clip. Snapping also applies to clips dragged on the storyline or when you transform items in the viewer. Just remember that if you’re in a situation where you’re trying to get more control on something you’re working with and snapping is enabled it may be easier to turn snapping off to gain unrestricted control over the element you’re working on.
Speaking of transforming items in the viewer.
This button in the bottom left corner of the viewer allows you to enable the transform, crop and distort tools so you can apply these effects to selected clips in the storyline. I’ll talk more about working with these tools in another lesson.
For now, let’s focus on getting some of our first rough cuts edited.
Now I could just jam over here really quick and set in and out points on some clips and drag them to the story line and start editing, but I really want to take some time here for a moment and explain the different ways that you can work with clips in the Viewer and Browser so that you have a better understanding of how to use FCP.
We’ll move back over to the Browser and look at some of these clips. When I’m editing a project I usually switch back and forth between the list view and the filmstrip view. You can click on the buttons down here to switch between the list view and filmstrip view, but I like to use the keyboard shortcuts Command-Option-1 to go to the filmstrip view and Command-Option-2 to go to the List view.
When I have skimming turned on I also like to go to the View menu and select the option to “Show Skimmer Info”
When I enable this option I can see information about the clip, like the clip’s name and the current timecode at the skimmer position, as I skim over the clip.
I can toggle the skimmer info on or off by pressing control Y on my keyboard. I like to keep the skimmer info on because it’s just another tool that helps me edit faster. As I skim a clip, my eyes reference the timecode of the clip from the skimmer info because it’s closer than looking at the timecode all the way down in the middle of the dashboard.
I want to talk about timecode for a minute here. In the earlier lesson I told you how I brought my clips from my GoPro camera into Compressor and then selected in and out points to only select the parts of media I wanted to use, and then I transcoded my media to ProRes 422 using Compressor. That’s just fine, there’s nothing wrong with those clips. The only thing is that the timecode is not affected by those clips when they were transcoded.
It’s easier to show you from the list view. I’ll press Command-Option-2 to view clips from the List view.
Here you can see that all of my clips have a start time of 0 except for one clip in the Beverly Hills Event and one clip in the Hollywood event. These are the two clips from an earlier lesson where I trimmed them up in Compressor and transcoded them to ProRes 422 before I imported them into FCP.
You can see here that the “start” timecode is 7 minutes and 14 seconds on this clip in the Hollywood event. This is a clip from an earlier lesson where I’m riding my motorcycle in Hollywood and I only wanted to use a small part of the clip. So I brought the clip into Compressor and set and in point there at 7 minutes, 14 seconds before I transcoded the clip to Pro Res 422 and then I only imported this 36 second clip into FCP.
So it’s good to know that if you trim up a clip in Compressor and transcode the clip to Pro Res 422 then that new, trimmed up, transcoded Pro Res 422 clip will retain the original timecode.
When I trimmed up my clips I wanted to start a NEW timecode on the new, transcoded clips.
If you wanted to reset the timecode of your clips you can transcode them to Pro Res 422 through MPEG stream clip which will reset the timecode back to 0 on the “start” of the clip. That’s what I did with all these other clips to get them to have a start time of 0. I set the start time to 0 on all these other clips to try and create a “clean slate” so to say.
I want to make it clear to understand that these are all new clips that were imported, even these other clips I have that have start times other than 0.
But when you’re working with clips and you start marking segments as rejected or other parts of a clip as a favorite or a keyword or whatever then you start “filtering” those tagged parts of your clips then it becomes easy to lose track of your clip.
OK let’s start trimming some fat off some clips and I’ll show you a couple more tricks I use to stay organized. and THEN I’ll start putting them on the storyline.
I’ll go to this Marilyn Monroe clip and skim to 2 seconds and press i on the keyboard to set an in point and then skim to 13 seconds and press O on the keyboard to set an out point. I’ll have a selection that is 11 seconds long. I’ll press F to mark this selection as a favorite. I won’t use the beginning or end of this shot so I’ll select those parts and press delete to mark those segments as rejected.
I’ll go through different clips I’m gonna use and do the same thing. Pretty much just mark the parts I’m not going to use as rejected. The parts I’m marking here are still part of ONE clip. I’m just doing this so I can hide the rejected parts later on when I’m looking for clips in the Browser.
When I transcoded my clips and set in and out points before I imported my clips into FCP I brought in a little extra footage on the beginning and the end of the clips so that I could have a little bit of a “handle” on each of the clips so that I can use that “handle” as extra footage that overlaps another clips when you apply a transition effect to a clip.
I am basically just marking my clip’s “handles” as rejected so that I can just see the money shots in my browser instead of seeing parts where I’m trying to setup and frame my shot or whatever.
Now I’ll go up to the menu in the top-left and choose to hide rejected.
Now what? Let’s start dragging some of these money shots to the timeline!
Let’s start with a Hollywood clip. I’ll drag a clip to the main storyline.
Then I’ll drag this audio clip I plan to use as the soundtrack onto the main storyline. I’ll tell you why I placed a video clip first and then the audio track like I did.
The reason I placed the video clip first is so that FCP would be able to determine the frame rate and dimensions of the project based on the first clip I placed into the storyline. If I placed the audio clip first then a pop up would appear asking me to choose the setup for the project. So I drag the clip on first so that the project is setup based on the clip settings.
Now if I were working with slow motion footage like 60 frame per second or 120 frames per second then I would setup the project settings first and choose a frame rate of 24 frames per second or 30 frames per second and then retime the video to get a good slow motion effect.
I’ll talk more about retiming later on but it’s good to know for now that if you do want to use high frame rate footage in FCP to get a super slow motion effect then you’ll want to manually setup the frame rate of the project to be 24 fps or 30 fps in FCP.
Anyway, like I said earlier, I plan to use this audio clip here as the soundtrack on the main story line. The reason I want to edit this way is because this video is basically going to be a “music video” so I want to be able to move video clips around the beats of the music. IT’s easiest to have the audio track on the main storyline and then connect video clips to the main audio track to edit my music video.
I’ll drag this video clip I first placed on the storyline so that the clip is above the audio clip on the storyline. As I drag the video clip up then the audio clip will slide to the beginning of the project. This is the behavior of the FCP magnetic timeline.
In the next lesson I’ll talk more about working with clips on the Storyline, but I want to show you a couple more things when you’re viewing clips.
If you have two monitors then you can set the viewer to the second monitor. OR you can set the browser to display on your second monitor. Let me show you how to set it up. I actually have two monitors connected to my Mac Pro right now.
If I wanted to have my viewer in full screen on the second display then I’ll go to the Window menu and choose the option to “Show Viewers on Second Display”
Now the Viewer is located on the second display, which gives me more screen real estate to work with clips in my Library.
If I want to revert to the original layout then I can go to the Window menu and choose the option to “Revert To Original Layout”
OK let me show you some other graphical indicators that are displayed for clips and what the graphics mean.
First off when you view clips in filmstrip view and you stretch out the duration then the clip might carry over to the next row. When this happens you can see where the beginning of a clip is by a rounded gap between the clips that looks like this:
When clips are carried over to the next row then the clip will have a serrated edge to it that looks like this:
That means that the same clip continues on the next row.
Let’s go over what each line on a clip means. A line can appear to an entire clip or a segment of a clip.
A blue line means a keyword is applied
A purple line means an analysis has been applied to the clip during import.
An orange line means the clip is “Used” in the storyline.
A red line means the clip is rejected and a green line means the clip is marked as a favorite.
Now let me show you one more thing:
When you skim to the beginning of a clip then a filmstrip graphic will appear on the left side of the clip in the viewer.
When you skim to the end of a clip then a film strip will appear on the right side of the clip in the viewer.
These graphics will not appear on the clips in the viewer unless your skimmer or playhead are on the very first or last frame of the clip.
I don’t know about you, but I can not wait to get my hands dirty and start dropping some clips into the storyline and get this project started!
The next lesson is where the real fun begins!
Jasper Thayer is the developer of FinalCutProX.net
He has over 15 Apple Pro Certifications for video editing and special effects including Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro X and Apple Certified Trainer for Motion 5. Jasper is also an AWS Certified Developer and AWS Certified Solutions Architect.
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