Apple Final Cut Express HD User manual

Apple Final Cut Express HD User manual
Final Cut Express HD
User Manual
K Apple Computer, Inc.
© 2006 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Apple logo is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.,
registered in the U.S. and other countries. Use of the
“keyboard” Apple logo (Option-Shift-K) for commercial
purposes without the prior written consent of Apple
may constitute trademark infringement and unfair
competition in violation of federal and state laws.
Apple, the Apple logo, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut,
Final Cut Pro, FireWire, iDVD, iMovie, Mac, Macintosh,
Mac OS, PowerBook, Power Mac, QuickTime, Soundtrack,
TrueType, and Xsan are trademarks of Apple Computer,
Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Cinema Tools, Finder, LiveType, and Pixlet are
trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.
AppleCare is a service mark of Apple Computer, Inc.,
registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Adobe, After Effects, Photoshop, and PostScript are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Adobe Systems
Incorporated in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Helvetica is a registered trademark of Heidelberger
Druckmaschinen AG, available from Linotype Library
GmbH.
OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics,
Inc.
Production stills from the films “Koffee House Mayhem”
and “A Sus Ordenes” provided courtesy of Refuge Films.
“Koffee House Mayhem” © 2005 Jean-Paul Bonjour;
“A Sus Ordenes” © 2005 Eric Escobar.
http://www.refugefilms.com
1
Preface
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Part I
Contents
Final Cut Express HD Documentation and Resources
Getting Started
Onscreen Help
Apple Websites
An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
Chapter 1
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About the Post-Production Workflow
The Industry Workflow
The Post-Production Workflow
Chapter 2
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Video Formats and Timecode
About Nonlinear and Nondestructive Editing
Video Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD
Audio Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD
Video Format Basics
Chapter 3
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Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
The Building Blocks of Projects
Working With Projects
About the Connection Between Clips and Media Files
Filenaming Considerations
Part II
Chapter 4
Learning About the Final Cut Express HD Interface
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Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
Basics of Working in the Final Cut Express HD Interface
Using Keyboard Shortcuts, Buttons, and Shortcut Menus
Customizing the Interface
Undoing and Redoing Changes
Entering Timecode for Navigation Purposes
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Chapter 5
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Browser Basics
How You Use the Browser
Learning About the Browser
Working in the Browser
Using Columns in the Browser
Customizing the Browser Display
Chapter 6
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Viewer Basics
How You Can Use the Viewer
Opening a Clip in the Viewer
Learning About the Viewer
Tabs in the Viewer
Transport (or Playback) Controls
Playhead Controls
Marking Controls
Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus
Recent Clips and Generator Pop-Up Menus
Chapter 7
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Canvas Basics
How You Use the Canvas
Opening, Selecting, and Closing Sequences in the Canvas
Learning About the Canvas
Editing Controls in the Canvas
Transport (or Playback) Controls
Playhead Controls
Marking Controls
Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus
Chapter 8
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Navigating and Using Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas
Navigating in the Viewer and Canvas
Working With Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas
Chapter 9
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Timeline Basics
How You Use the Timeline
Opening and Closing Sequences in the Timeline
Learning About the Timeline
Changing Timeline Display Options
Navigating in the Timeline
Zooming and Scrolling in the Timeline
Contents
Chapter 10
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Part III
Customizing the Interface
Changing Browser and Timeline Text Size
Moving and Resizing Final Cut Express HD Windows
Using Screen Layouts
Working With Shortcut Buttons and Button Bars
Setting Up Your Editing System
Chapter 11
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Connecting Your Equipment
Connecting Your Camcorder
Connecting an External Video Monitor and Audio Speakers
Opening Final Cut Express HD and Choosing Your Initial Settings
What Is FireWire?
What Is Device Control?
Chapter 12
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Determining Your Hard Disk Storage Options
Working With Scratch Disks and Hard Disk Drives
Data Rates and Storage Devices
Determining How Much Space You Need
Choosing a Hard Disk
Types of Hard Disk Drives
Chapter 13
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External Video Monitoring
Using an External Video Monitor While You Edit
Connecting DV/FireWire Devices to an External Monitor
Using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview
About the Display Quality of External Video
Troubleshooting External Video Monitoring Problems
Part IV
Chapter 14
Capturing and Importing
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Capturing Your Footage to Disk
Overview of the Capturing Process
Overview of the Capture Window
Transport Controls
Jog and Shuttle Controls
Marking Controls
Capture Tab
Capture Buttons
Preparing to Capture
Organizing and Labeling Your Tapes
Logging Your Tapes
Contents
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Choosing a Filenaming Scheme
Determining How Much Disk Space You Need
Capturing Individual Clips in the Capture Window
Using Capture Now
Adding Markers to Clips in the Capture Window
Marker Controls in the Capture Window
Setting Markers
Recapturing Clips
Using Capture Project
About the Additional Items Found Dialog
Finding Your Media Files After Capture
Where Are Captured Media Files Stored?
Consolidating Media Files to One Folder
Modifying a Media File’s Reel Name Property
Avoiding Duplicate Timecode Numbers on a Single Tape
Logging Tapes with Duplicate Timecode Numbers
Avoiding Multiple Occurrences of the Same Timecode Number on a Single Tape
Chapter 15
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Importing Media Files Into Your Project
What File Formats Can Be Imported?
Importing Media Files
About Importing Video Files
About Importing Audio Files
Chapter 16
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Working With HDV
About HDV
HDV Formats Supported by Final Cut Express HD
About MPEG-2 Compression
HDV Apple Intermediate Codec Editing Workflow
Connecting an HDV Device to Your Computer
Choosing an Easy Setup
Capturing HDV Video to the Apple Intermediate Codec
Editing Video Using the Apple Intermediate Codec
Outputting HDV to Tape or Exporting to a QuickTime Movie
HDV Format Specifications
Contents
Part V
Organizing Footage and Preparing to Edit
Chapter 17
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Organizing Footage in the Browser
Using Bins to Organize Your Clips
Creating New Bins
Opening Bins in the Browser
Opening Bins in a Separate Window or Tab
Moving Items Between Bins
Sorting Items in the Browser Using Column Headings
Searching for Clips in the Browser
About Search Options
Searching for Items in the Browser
Manipulating Items in the Find Results Window
Chapter 18
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Using Markers
Learning About Markers
Working With Markers
Chapter 19
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Creating Subclips
Learning About Subclips
Manually Breaking Large Clips Into Subclips
Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection
Part VI
Chapter 20
Rough Editing
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Working With Projects, Clips, and Sequences
Working With Projects
Working With Multiple Projects in the Browser
Choosing Whether the Last Previously Opened Project Opens on Launch
Viewing and Changing the Properties of a Project
Backing Up and Restoring Projects
Learning About the Different Types of Clips
Types of Clips
Sequences as Clips
Viewing and Changing the Properties of a Clip
Changing Clip Properties in the Browser
Viewing and Changing Clip Properties in the Item Properties Window
Changing the Properties of Affiliate Clips
Creating and Working With Sequences
Creating and Deleting Sequences
Opening and Closing Sequences
Duplicating a Sequence
Contents
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Copying a Sequence Into Another Project
Nesting a Sequence
Basic Sequence and Timeline Settings
Chapter 21
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The Fundamentals of Adding Clips to a Sequence
Creating a Rough Edit
Basic Steps Involved in a Rough Edit
How Clips Appear in the Timeline
Undoing and Redoing Actions
Overview of Ways to Add Clips to a Sequence
Methods for Adding Clips to Sequences
Determining What Parts of Clips You Want in Your Sequence
Preparing a Sequence Order in the Browser
Sorting to Create a Sequence Order
Visually Storyboarding in the Browser
Chapter 22
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Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences
About In and Out Points
Learning About the Out Point Inclusive Rule
Things to Keep in Mind When Setting an Out Point
Setting Clip In and Out Points in the Viewer
Specifying an Edit Point Using Timecode
Setting In and Out Points to Include a Whole Clip
Reviewing Your Edit Points
Setting Sequence In and Out Points in the Canvas or Timeline
Options for Setting Sequence In and Out Points
Setting Sequence In and Out Points
Setting In and Out Points to Match a Clip or Gap
Setting In and Out Points Based on a Selection in the Timeline
Navigating to In and Out Points
Moving In and Out Points
Clearing In and Out Points
Chapter 23
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Working With Tracks in the Timeline
Adding and Deleting Tracks
Adding Tracks
Deleting Tracks
Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline
Understanding Source and Destination Controls
Setting Destination Tracks
Changing Source and Destination Control Connections
Disconnecting Source and Destination Controls
Resetting Destination Tracks to the Default State
Contents
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Locking Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes
Disabling Tracks to Hide Content During Playback
Customizing Track Display in the Timeline
Resizing Timeline Tracks
Creating a Static Region in the Timeline
Chapter 24
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Drag-to-Timeline Editing
Overview of the Drag-to-Timeline Editing Process
Dragging Clips to the Timeline
Doing Simple Insert and Overwrite Edits in the Timeline
Automatically Adding Tracks to Your Sequence While Dragging
Chapter 25
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Three-Point Editing
Understanding Three-Point Editing
Overview of the Three-Point Editing Process
Different Ways to Do Three-Point Editing
About Edit Types in the Edit Overlay
Performing the Different Types of Edits
Performing an Insert Edit
Performing an Insert With Transition Edit
Performing an Overwrite Edit
Performing an Overwrite With Transition Edit
Performing a Replace Edit
Superimposing Clips
Three-Point Editing Examples
Example: Editing a Specific Clip Into Your Sequence
Example: Editing a Clip Into a Gap in Your Sequence
Example: Backtiming a Clip Into Your Sequence
Example: Editing a Clip With No Specified In or Out Points Into Your Sequence
Chapter 26
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Finding and Selecting Content in the Timeline
Understanding What’s Currently Selected
Identifying Selections in the Timeline
How Selections Are Prioritized in the Timeline
Direct Methods for Selecting Content in a Sequence
An Introduction to the Selection Tools
Selecting Clips
Selecting a Range of Timeline Content
Selecting All Clip Items on a Track
Selecting All Items on All Tracks Forward or Backward
Selecting or Deselecting All Clips in a Sequence
Contents
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Finding and Selecting Based on Search Criteria
Selecting a Vertical Range Between In and Out Points
Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections
Chapter 27
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Arranging Clips in the Timeline
Snapping to Points in the Timeline
Moving Items Within the Timeline
Moving by Dragging
Moving Clips Numerically
Performing Shuffle Edits
Copying and Pasting Clips in the Timeline
Copying Clips by Option-Dragging
Copying, Cutting, and Pasting Clips in the Timeline
Deleting Clips From a Sequence
Deleting With a Lift Edit (Leaving a Gap)
Deleting With a Ripple Edit (Leaving No Gap)
Finding and Closing Gaps
Chapter 28
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Cutting Clips and Adjusting Durations
Performing Basic Cut Edits
Changing the Duration of Clips in the Timeline
Opening Sequence Clips in the Viewer to Change Durations
Chapter 29
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Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync
Linked Sync Relationships Between Video and Audio Clips
When Linked Clips Are Moved Out of Sync
Understanding Sync Relationships Between Multiple Linked Audio Items
Linking and Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items in the Timeline
Linking Video and Audio Clip Items
Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items
Selecting Individual Clip Items While They Are Linked
Getting Clip Items Back in Sync
Moving a Clip Into Sync
Slipping a Clip Item Into Sync
Moving or Slipping All Clip Items Into Sync at Once
Establishing a Different Sync Relationship Between Linked Clip Items
Marking a Clip as In Sync
Learning About Linking Behavior in Audio Channel Pairs
Contents
Chapter 30
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Split Edits
Learning About Split Edits
How Split Edits Look in the Viewer and Canvas
Setting Up Split Edit Points in the Viewer
Setting Up a Split Edit While Playing a Clip
Modifying and Clearing Split Edits
Split Edit Examples
Chapter 31
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Audio Editing Basics
The Goals of Audio Editing
Using Waveform Displays to Help You Edit Audio
Learning About the Audio Controls in the Viewer
Editing Audio in the Viewer
Opening Audio Clips in the Viewer
Viewing Audio Tracks in the Viewer
Zooming In or Out of the Waveform Display Area
Scrolling Through a Zoomed-In Audio Clip
Using the J, K, and L Keys to Hear Subtle Details
Turning Off the Audio Scrubbing Sounds
About Setting Edit Points for Audio
Dragging an Audio Clip to the Canvas, Browser, or Timeline
Trimming Audio Clips in the Viewer
Editing Audio in the Timeline
Timeline Audio Display Options
Zooming In and Out of Waveforms in the Timeline
Moving Audio Items From One Track to Another at the Same Frame
Using Audio Transitions to Smooth Audible Changes
Creating or Separating Stereo Pairs
Working With Audio at the Subframe Level
Subframe Synchronization of Audio and Video
Examples of Ways to Easily Edit Audio
Example: Replacing Unwanted Audio With Room Tone
Example: Fixing Awkward Audio Cuts in the Timeline
Part VII
Chapter 32
Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits
About Trimming With Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Tools
Sliding Clips in the Timeline
Performing Slide Edits by Dragging
Performing Precise Slide Edits Numerically
Slipping Clips in the Timeline
Contents
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Performing a Slip Edit Using the Slip Tool
Performing Precise Slip Edits Numerically
Using the Ripple Tool to Trim an Edit Without Leaving a Gap
Performing Ripple Edits
About Ripple Edits and Sync Relationships of Clip Items on Other Tracks
Doing Ripple Edits on Multiple Tracks at Once
Asymmetrical Trimming With the Ripple Tool
Using the Roll Tool to Change Where a Cut Occurs
Rolling the Position of an Edit Between Two Clips
Chapter 33
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Learning About Trimming Clips
What Is Trimming?
Controls That Affect Trim Edits
Selecting Edits and Clips to Trim
Tools for Selecting Edit Points
Selecting Single Edit Points
Selecting Multiple Edit Points
Trimming Clip In and Out Points
Trimming With the Selection Tool
Extending and Shortening Clips in the Timeline
Trimming Clips in the Viewer
Precision Editing Using Timecode
Understanding Alert Messages When Trimming
Chapter 34
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Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window
Learning About the Trim Edit Window
Opening and Closing the Trim Edit Window
Controls in the Trim Edit Window
Using the Trim Edit Window
Playing Incoming and Outgoing Clips in the Trim Edit Window
Dynamic Trimming
Trimming an Edit in the Trim Edit Window
Reviewing and Playing Back Your Edits in the Trim Edit Window
Slipping a Clip in the Trim Edit Window
Listening to Audio While Trimming
Chapter 35
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Adding Transitions
Learning About Transitions
Common Types of Transitions
Using Transitions in Your Sequences
How Transitions Appear in the Timeline
Having Handles at Edit Points
Aligning a Transition in the Timeline
Contents
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Adding Transitions
Adding Transitions With Clips You Add to the Timeline
Quickly Adding the Default Transition to Clips in Your Sequence
Adding Transitions to Clips in Your Sequence
Moving, Copying, and Deleting Transitions
Moving a Transition to Another Edit Point
Copying and Pasting Transitions
Deleting Transitions
Modifying Transitions in the Timeline
Changing the Duration of a Transition in the Timeline
Changing the Alignment of a Transition in the Timeline
Changing an Edit Point After Adding a Transition
Replacing Transitions
Video Transitions That Come With Final Cut Express HD
Using After Effects Transitions
Chapter 36
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Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
Using the Transition Editor
Applying a Modified Transition Directly to a Sequence in the Timeline
Trimming Transitions and the Surrounding Clips
Previewing and Rendering Transitions
Chapter 37
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Sequence to Sequence Editing
Methods for Editing Clips From One Sequence to Another
Opening More Than One Sequence at a Time
Copying Clips From One Sequence to Another
Nesting Sequences
Editing the Content of One Sequence Into Another Without Nesting It
Chapter 38
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Matching Frames
Working With Sequence Clips in the Viewer
Opening a Sequence Clip in the Viewer
Switching Between the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline
Using the Viewer to Adjust Sequence Clip In and Out Points
Using the Viewer to Adjust Motion and Filter Parameters
Matching Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips
Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Master Clip
Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Media File
Matching a Frame in the Viewer to a Sequence Clip in the Canvas or Timeline
Contents
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Chapter 39
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Part VIII
14
Working With Timecode
About Timecode in Final Cut Express HD
Displaying Timecode Affected by Speed Changes
Clip Time Versus Source Time
Changing Global Timecode Display Options
Audio Mixing
Chapter 40
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Overview of Audio Mixing
Audio Finishing Features in Final Cut Express HD
Overview of Audio Sweetening in Final Cut Express HD
Making the Final Mix
Chapter 41
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Setting Up Audio Equipment
Choosing External Audio Monitoring Components
Choosing an Audio Interface
Choosing Speakers and an Amplifier for Monitoring
Setting Up a Proper Audio Monitoring Environment
Audio Cables, Connectors, and Signal Levels
About Balanced Audio Signals
Microphone, Instrument, and Line Level
Audio Connectors
Configuring External Audio Monitors
Connecting Speakers to Your Editing System
Setting Monitoring Levels and Muting System Sound Effects
Chapter 42
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Audio Fundamentals
What Is Sound?
Fundamentals of a Sound Wave
Frequency Spectrum of Sounds
Measuring Sound Intensity
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Headroom and Distortion
Dynamic Range
Stereo Audio
Digital Audio
Sample Rate
Bit Depth
Contents
Chapter 43
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Audio Levels, Meters, and Output Channels
About Audio Meters
Average and Peak Audio Levels
Average Versus Peak Audio Meters
Analog Versus Digital Meters
About Audio Meters in Final Cut Express HD
Avoiding Audio Clipping
Setting Proper Audio Levels
Setting Levels for Capture
What Reference Level Should You Use for Mixing?
Outputting Bars and Tone at the Head of Your Tape
Stereo Versus Dual Mono Audio
Chapter 44
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Mixing Audio in the Timeline and Viewer
Adjusting Audio Levels in the Timeline
Changing Audio Levels in the Viewer
Panning Audio in the Timeline and Viewer
Panning Audio in the Timeline
Changing the Pan of Audio in the Viewer
Changing Pan for an Entire Clip
Copying, Pasting, and Removing Audio Attributes
Adjusting Clip Levels and Pan Using Keyframes
Tools for Adjusting Keyframes
Creating, Modifying, and Deleting Keyframes in the Viewer
Chapter 45
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Using the Voice Over Tool
About the Voice Over Tool
Setting Up Your Computer to Record Voiceover
Controls in the Voice Over Tool
Defining the Recording Duration and Destination Track
Recording a Voiceover
Chapter 46
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Using Audio Filters
About Audio Filters
Overview of Audio Filters
Equalization (EQ) Filters
Compression
Expansion
Noise Reduction Filters
Echo and Reverb Filters
Contents
15
Chapter 47
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Working With Audio Filters
Applying Filters to an Audio Clip
Modifying and Removing Filters
Making Real-Time Audio Filter Adjustments
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Tips for Better Audio
Learning to Describe Sound Accurately
Efficiently Using the Frequency Spectrum
Tips for Cutting Dialogue
Tips for Cutting Music
Organizing Your Tracks
Part IX
16
Effects
Chapter 48
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Video Filters
Different Ways to Use Filters
Applying a Filter to a Clip
Applying Multiple Filters to Clips
Viewing and Adjusting a Filter’s Parameters
Displaying Filter Bars in the Timeline
Enabling and Rearranging Filters
Copying and Pasting a Clip’s Filters
Removing Filters From Clips
Video Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD
Chapter 49
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Changing Motion Parameters
Creating Motion Effects in the Viewer
Adjusting Parameters in the Motion Tab
Using Cartesian Geometry to Position Clips
Examples Using Motion Settings
Creating Motion Effects in the Canvas
Choosing a Wireframe Mode
Manipulating Images in the Canvas
Zooming In to the Canvas
Using Wireframe Handles to Transform, Scale, and Rotate
Chapter 50
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Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects
Animating Motion Effects Using Keyframes
How Keyframing Works
Determining the Number of Keyframes to Use
Keyframing Tools in Final Cut Express HD
Setting Keyframes
Adjusting and Deleting Keyframes
Contents
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Moving Between Keyframes
Adjusting All Opacity Keyframes of a Clip
Smoothing Keyframes With Bezier Handles
Understanding Bezier Handles and Curves
Smoothing Keyframes
Creating Keyframed Motion Paths in the Canvas
What Are Motion Paths?
Creating Motion Paths
Adding, Moving, and Deleting Keyframes in Motion Paths
Creating Curved Motion Paths Using Bezier Handles
Controlling Speed Along a Motion Path
Moving an Entire Motion Path in the Canvas
Chapter 51
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Reusing Effect and Motion Parameters
Copying and Pasting Specific Clip Attributes
About the Paste Attributes Dialog
Copying and Pasting Clip Attributes
Removing Attributes From a Clip
Applying Filters Across Multiple Tracks at Once
Chapter 52
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Changing Clip Speed
Speed Basics
How Changing Speed Affects a Clip’s Duration
Performing a Fit to Fill Edit
Speed Settings
Frame Blending and Reverse Speed
Making Speed Changes
Chapter 53
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Working With Still Images and Photographs
Using Still Images and Graphics in Your Sequences
Creating Freeze Frame Stills From a Video Clip
Considerations Before Creating and Importing Stills
Changing the Duration of Still Images
Chapter 54
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Compositing and Layering
Introduction to Compositing and Layering
Methods of Compositing
Different Ways to Layer Clips in the Timeline
Adjusting Opacity Levels of Clips
Working With Composite Modes
How Composite Modes Affect Images
Applying Composite Modes to Clips
Composite Modes in Final Cut Express HD
Using Travel Mattes to Hide or Reveal Parts of a Clip
Contents
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Working With Layered Photoshop Files
What Happens When You Import a Multilayered Photoshop File
Using Video and Graphics Clips With Alpha Channels
Types of Alpha Channels Recognized in Final Cut Express HD
Working With Clips That Have Alpha Channels
Importing Clips With Alpha Channels
Changing a Clip’s Alpha Channel Type
Changing Canvas and Viewer Background Colors
Temporarily Excluding Clips From Playback or Output
Temporarily Disabling a Single Clip
Soloing Clips in Multitrack Sequences
Chapter 55
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Keying, Mattes, and Masks
Ways to Layer and Isolate Elements in Clips
What Are Mattes and How Can You Use Them?
What Is Keying and How Can You Use It?
What Are Masks and How Are They Used?
Using Keying to Isolate Foreground Elements
Shooting Footage That Keys Well
Overview of Compositing Using the Chroma Keyer Filter
Working With the Chroma Keyer Filter
Using Mattes to Add or Modify Alpha Channels
Matte Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD
Using Masks to Replace or Modify Alpha Channels
Mask Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD
Chapter 56
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Color Correcting Clips
What Is Color Correction?
Why Color Correct Your Footage?
Color Correction Starts During Your Shoot
Measuring and Evaluating Video
Luma (Luminance)
Chrominance (Chroma)
Whites
Illegal Broadcast Levels
The Color Correction Process
Looking at the Picture
Using the Color Corrector Filter
The Color Corrector Filter
General Controls
Color Balance Controls
The Color Corrector Filter Controls
Hue Matching Controls in the Color Corrector
Contents
Chapter 57
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849
850
851
853
Using Built-in Generated Clips
What Is a Generator Clip?
Different Ways to Use Generators in Your Sequence
Graphical Video and Audio Generators Available in Final Cut Express HD
Creating and Adding Generated Clips to Sequences
Chapter 58
855
855
856
856
857
858
862
Creating Titles
How You Can Use Titles in Your Project
Installing and Choosing Fonts
Making Sure Titles Fit on TV Screens
Text Generators Available in Final Cut Express HD
Creating and Adding a Title Clip
Other Options for Creating and Adding Titles
Part X
Real Time and Rendering
Chapter 59
865
865
866
870
871
871
872
873
873
876
876
Using RT Extreme
Introduction to Real-Time Processing Using RT Extreme
How Many Effects Can Be Played in Real Time?
Available Real-Time Effects
Display Quality and Accuracy of RT Extreme
Using Real-Time Controls in Final Cut Express HD
About Render Status Bars
Identifying Which Effects Can Be Processed in Real Time
Setting Real-Time Playback Options
Real-Time Audio Mixing in Final Cut Express HD
Improving Real Time Audio Performance
Chapter 60
877
877
878
879
879
882
883
883
885
887
888
889
889
890
Rendering
What Is Rendering?
Reasons for Rendering
Render Indicators in Final Cut Express HD
About Render Status Bars in the Timeline
About Item-Level Render Bars
The Rendering Process
Rendering Effects in Sequences
Commands for Rendering Effects
Rendering One or More Sequences
Rendering Part of a Sequence
Rendering Audio Items in a Sequence
Using the Mixdown Command
Temporarily Disabling Rendering
Contents
19
891
892
893
894
895
Part XI
20
Auto-Rendering While You Are Away From Your Computer
Changing Settings in the Render Control Tab
Preserving Render Files
Tips for Avoiding Unnecessary Rendering
Reducing Render Time
Project Management and Settings
Chapter 61
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899
900
901
901
902
Media Management
What Is Media Management?
Reasons to Manage your Media
What You Need to Know to Manage Your Media
Media Management Steps in Final Cut Express HD
Strategies for Media Management
Chapter 62
903
903
903
904
906
907
907
908
909
Backing Up and Restoring Projects
Backing Up and Restoring Projects
Using the Revert Project Command
Using the Autosave Feature
Restoring Autosaved Projects
Opening a Project File After Your Computer Is Unexpectedly Powered Off
Archiving Completed Projects
Creating an Archive of a Finished Project
Updating Projects From Previous Versions of Final Cut Express HD
Chapter 63
911
911
915
916
Elements of a Final Cut Express HD Project
About Clips, Media Files, and Sequences
About Icons and Project Elements in the Browser
Clip Properties
Chapter 64
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921
922
922
923
925
926
928
929
929
Working With Master and Affiliate Clips
Using Master and Affiliate Clips
How Master Clips Connect to Media Files
Identifying Master Clips
Creating Master and Affiliate Clips
Breaking the Relationship Between an Affiliated Clip and Its Master
Independent Clips
Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Modify Master-Affiliate Relationships
Finding a Clip’s Master Clip
Master-Affiliate Relationships With Subclips and Freeze Frames
Contents
930
930
931
931
Master-Affiliate Clip Properties
Master Clip Properties
Affiliate Clip Properties
Media File Properties
Chapter 65
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933
934
935
942
Reconnecting Clips and Offline Media
About the Connections Between Clips and Media Files
How the Connection Between Clips and Media Files Can Be Broken
Reconnecting Clips to Media Files
When Final Cut Express HD Reconnects Your Clips
Chapter 66
945
945
946
950
951
952
952
952
953
953
955
956
957
Choosing Settings and Preferences
Changing User Preferences
General Tab
Editing Tab
Timeline Options Tab
Render Control Tab
Locating and Trashing the Preferences File
Changing System Settings
Scratch Disks Tab
Search Folders Tab
Memory & Cache Tab
Playback Control Tab
External Editors Tab
Part XII
Output
Chapter 67
961
961
962
963
Preparing to Output to Tape
Output Requirements
How to Output to Tape in Final Cut Express HD
Setting Up Your Editing System to Output to Tape
Chapter 68
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966
968
970
Printing To Video and Output From the Timeline
Different Ways You Can Output Video From the Timeline
Printing to Video
Automatically Recording With Print to Video
Using the Print to Video Command
Recording From the Timeline
Outputting to VHS Tape
Contents
21
22
Chapter 69
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971
974
977
Exporting Sequences for DVD
The DVD Creation Process
Adding Chapter and Compression Markers to Your Sequence
Exporting QuickTime Movies for iDVD
Chapter 70
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980
980
980
983
984
989
Learning About QuickTime
What Is QuickTime?
The QuickTime Suite of Software Applications
QuickTime for Media Authoring
The QuickTime Movie File Format
How Final Cut Express HD Uses QuickTime for Import, Export, and Capture
Formats Supported by QuickTime
How Do You Export the Files You Need?
Chapter 71
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991
992
993
Exporting QuickTime Movies
About the Export QuickTime Movie Command
Choosing the Type of QuickTime Movie to Export
Exporting a QuickTime Movie File
Chapter 72
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995
996
997
1005
1007
Exporting QuickTime-Compatible Files
About the Export Using QuickTime Conversion Command
Types of QuickTime-Compatible File Formats
Exporting a QuickTime Movie File for Web Distribution
Exporting a DV Stream
Exporting an AVI File
Chapter 73
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1009
1010
1012
Exporting Still Images and Image Sequences
Determining the Image Format for Still Image Export
Exporting a Single Still Image
Exporting Image Sequences
Chapter 74
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1016
1017
1018
1021
Exporting Audio for Mixing in Other Applications
Ways You Can Finish Your Audio
Organizing Your Audio Clips for Multi-Track Export
Exporting Audio Tracks to Individual Audio Files
Preparing to Export Audio Tracks as Audio Files
Exporting Audio Tracks as Individual Audio Files
Contents
Part XIII
Appendixes
Appendix A
1025
1025
1026
1026
1027
1028
1030
1031
1033
1034
1035
1037
1037
1040
1042
1042
1043
1043
1044
1044
1044
1045
Video Formats
Characteristics of Video Formats
Storage Medium
Tape Size, Cassette Shape, and Tape Coating
Video Standards
Type of Video Signal
Aspect Ratio of the Video Frame
Frame Dimensions, Number of Lines, and Resolution
Pixel Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate
Scanning Method
Color Recording Method
Video Sampling Rate and Color Sampling Ratio
Video Compression
Types of Video Signals and Connectors
Composite
S-Video
Component YUV (Y´CBCR) and Component RGB
FireWire (Also Called IEEE 1394a or i.LINK)
FireWire 800 (Also Called IEEE 1394b)
SCART
A Brief History of Film, Television, and Audio Formats
Appendix B
1047
1047
1048
1049
1050
1052
1052
1055
1056
Frame Rate and Timecode
What Is Frame Rate?
Understanding Flicker and Perceived Frame Rate
Frame Rate Limits: How Many Frames per Second Is Best?
Choosing a Frame Rate
What Is Timecode?
About Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame Timecode
Timecode on Tape
Comparison of Various Timecode Formats
Appendix C
1059
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1063
1064
1064
1066
1067
Working With Anamorphic 16:9 Media
About Anamorphic 16:9 Media
Recording Anamorphic Video
Capturing Anamorphic Media
Viewing and Editing Anamorphic Media
Rendering Items That Contain Anamorphic Media
Exporting Anamorphic Video to a QuickTime Movie
Contents
23
24
Appendix D
1069
1069
1070
1075
Glossary
1077
Index
1107
Solving Common Problems
Resources for Solving Problems
Solutions to Common Problems
Contacting AppleCare Support
Contents
Preface
Final Cut Express HD
Documentation and Resources
You can use Final Cut Express HD to create movies of any
budget, style, and format. Final Cut Express HD comes with
both printed and onscreen documentation to help you
learn how.
This preface provides information on the documentation available for Final Cut Express HD,
as well as information about Final Cut Express HD resources on the web.
Final Cut Express HD comes with several types of documentation to help you learn
more about movie editing and how to use the application:
 Final Cut Express HD Getting Started
 Final Cut Express HD onscreen help
Getting Started
The Final Cut Express HD Getting Started book provides an overview of the application
and explains the basics of editing in Final Cut Express HD. If you are new to
Final Cut Express HD and want to start using the application right away, read this
book first.
Onscreen Help
Onscreen help (available in the Help menu) provides easy access to information while
you’re working in Final Cut Express HD. An onscreen version of the Final Cut Express HD
User Manual is available here, along with other documents in PDF format and links
to websites.
To access onscreen help:
m In Final Cut Express HD, choose an option from the Help menu.
25
Onscreen User Manual
The Final Cut Express HD User Manual provides comprehensive information about
the application.
To access the onscreen user manual:
m In Final Cut Express HD, choose Help > Final Cut Express HD User Manual.
Information About New Features
For information about features that have been added or enhanced since the last version
of Final Cut Express HD, you can read the New Features section of the onscreen help.
To access the New Features document:
m In Final Cut Express HD, choose Help > New Features.
Apple Websites
There are a variety of discussion boards, forums, and educational resources related to
Final Cut Express HD on the web.
Final Cut Express HD Websites
The following websites provide general information, updates, and support information
about Final Cut Express HD, as well as the latest news, resources, and training materials.
For information about Final Cut Express HD, go to:
 http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress
To get more information on third-party resources, such as third-party tools, resources,
and user groups, go to:
 http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/resources.html
For information on the Apple Pro Training Program, go to:
 http://www.apple.com/software/pro/training
To provide comments and feedback to Apple about Final Cut Express HD, go to:
 http://www.apple.com/feedback/finalcutexpress.html
Apple Service and Support Website
The Apple Service and Support website provides software updates and answers to the
most frequently asked questions for all Apple products, including Final Cut Express HD.
You’ll also have access to product specifications, reference documentation, and Apple
and third-party product technical articles:
 http://www.apple.com/support
26
Preface Final Cut Express HD Documentation and Resources
Part I: An Introduction
to Final Cut Express HD
I
Find out how Final Cut Express HD fits into the moviemaking
process and learn about fundamental concepts of digital video
editing and the basic elements of a Final Cut Express HD project.
Chapter 1
About the Post-Production Workflow
Chapter 2
Video Formats and Timecode
Chapter 3
Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
1
About the Post-Production
Workflow
1
No matter what your project, Final Cut Express HD is the
cornerstone of your post-production workflow.
This chapter covers the following:
 The Industry Workflow (p. 29)
 The Post-Production Workflow (p. 30)
The Industry Workflow
Before you start editing, it’s helpful to consider how post-production fits into the
overall moviemaking workflow. Even though no two movie projects follow exactly the
same steps, there is a common workflow that almost every project adheres to. From
conception to completion, the basic steps to complete a film or video project are
described below.
Step 1: Scripting
Scripting is where the movie is conceived and written.
Step 2: Preproduction
This is where budgeting, casting, location scouting, equipment and format selection,
and storyboarding take place.
Step 3: Production
Production is where you create your footage, capturing performances using video or
film cameras, as well as audio recorders. Lighting, cinematography, acting, and
directing all come together to create the elements used to tell your story or deliver
your message. For practical reasons, scenes are usually shot out of order, which means
they have to be properly arranged during editing.
29
Step 4: Post-Production
Post-production is where you organize and assemble your production footage, putting
scenes in proper order, selecting the best takes, and eliminating unnecessary elements.
Production sound is synchronized (with the picture), edited, sometimes rerecorded,
and mixed. Music is composed and added. Footage is color-corrected and special
effects are created. The final movie is output to tape, film, or some other high-quality
media format.
Step 5: Distribution
Distribution is when you release a movie for viewing. This may involve theater
screenings, video and DVD releases, festival submissions, or web delivery.
The Post-Production Workflow
The post-production phase begins with the raw source footage and ends with a
completed movie, ready for making distribution copies. As technology evolves, postproduction continues to proliferate into an increasing variety of jobs and tasks. Where
there was once a single editor who was responsible for the majority of the postproduction process, there may now be a whole special effects team, an audio
department, a colorist (responsible for color correction), and a number of assistant
editors keeping track of all the footage. Final Cut Express HD is at the heart of the postproduction pipeline, allowing you to organize and assemble media from multiple
sources into a finished product.
30
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
I
Here is an overview of the basic Final Cut Express HD post-production workflow. As you
begin your project, remember that there are no hard and fast rules for editing. Different
editors have different working styles and, given the same source material, no two
editors will cut the same finished program. The workflow described here offers just one
example of how you might approach a typical project.
Industry Workflow
Final Cut Express HD
Post-Production Workflow
Scripting
Planning
Preproduction
Setting Up
Production
Logging
and Capturing
Post-Production
Editing
Distribution
Mixing Audio
Adding Effects
Outputting
Chapter 1 About the Post-Production Workflow
31
Step 1: Planning
Planning is where you choose your basic workflow, such as offline and online editing
(for projects with a lot of media) or editing the uncompressed footage (for shorter
projects with quick turnaround times), choose input and output formats, and plan for
equipment requirements (such as hard disk space), timecode and sync requirements,
special effects shots and color correction, audio mixing requirements, and so on.
Planning for post-production primarily means preparing for each of the upcoming
post-production phases: choosing input and output formats; acquiring your original
footage, music, and graphics; deciding on a logging and capturing method; choosing
an editing strategy; and planning the scope of effects you will be adding so you can
determine how much time and support you will need to dedicate to them.
Step 2: Setting up
In this phase, you set up your editing system by installing and connecting the hardware
you need, as well as configuring your software. For example, before logging and
capturing, you need to connect the video and audio from your camcorder or VTR (video
tape recorder) to your computer. You also need to make sure that the correct presets are
chosen within Final Cut Express HD, so that Final Cut Express HD knows what video and
audio formats you are capturing and what kind of device control you’re using. (Device
control allows Final Cut Express HD to remotely control video and audio devices.)
Step 3: Capturing and importing
Once you’ve set up your editing system, you need to sort through your raw footage
and then transfer it to your computer’s hard disk for editing.
Capturing is the process of getting source media from your video camcorder or
deck onto your computer’s hard disk. You can use the device control capabilities
of Final Cut Express HD and your DV camcorder to do this. (Device control allows
Final Cut Express HD to control a DV camcorder through a FireWire connection.)
Final Cut Express HD allows you the flexibility of capturing individual clips or an
entire tape.
You can also import QuickTime, audio, and graphics files, such as a music track from a
CD, a still image, or a layered Photoshop file. You can import files at any time during
your project. For example, if someone is creating an elaborate graphics file for an
opening sequence, you may be in the midst of editing before the finished file is ready
to import.
32
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
I
Step 4: Editing
The editing process involves taking the video and audio you’ve captured, along with
any music or graphics you’ve imported, and arranging these raw materials into a final
edited sequence of clips. Most editors start with a rough cut, where they quickly
arrange all of the clips for a movie in sequence. Once that’s finished, they work on finetuning, subtly adjusting the edit points between clips and refining the pacing of each
cut. Basic audio editing and synchronizing are also part of this process, as well as
adding transitions, such as fades and dissolves.
Often, the type of project you’re working on determines your method of editing. For
example, documentary editing, in which the script often evolves in parallel with the
editing, is quite different from commercial television and film editing, in which there is
already a finished script to provide an order for clips.
Step 5: Mixing audio
Once your movie is edited and the picture is “locked,” meaning the duration of the
movie is fixed and you no longer intend to change any of the edits, you can begin
working more extensively on your audio. This involves:
 Cleaning up the dialogue with more detailed audio editing, balance audio levels,
and equalization
 Adding sound effects, music, and voiceover on additional audio tracks in the sequence
 Mixing the levels of all the different clips together to create a balanced sound mix
You can use Final Cut Express HD for each of these processes. For more information, see
“Overview of Audio Mixing” on page 561.
Note: You can also sweeten your audio with another audio application, perhaps even
at another facility. To export your movie audio, see “Exporting Audio for
Mixing in Other Applications” on page 1015.
Step 6: Adding effects
Creating effects tends to be more time-consuming than cuts-only editing, so it’s good
to focus on basic edits first and work on effects when the timing of your project is
finalized. Effects are any enhancements you want to make to your footage, such as
color correction, special transitions, animation, still or motion graphics, multilayered
images (compositing), and titles. Final Cut Express HD has a wide variety of video and
audio filters, each with parameters that you can keyframe to adjust over time in your
sequence, as described below.
Step 7: Outputting
Once editing is finished, effects are added, and the final audio mix is complete, you can
output your movie to videotape or film. You can also export to a QuickTime format for
web delivery or use in a DVD-authoring application.
Chapter 1 About the Post-Production Workflow
33
2
Video Formats and Timecode
2
Before you begin editing, you need to decide what video
format you will capture, edit, and output. The format you
choose determines your post-production workflow.
This chapter covers the following:
 About Nonlinear and Nondestructive Editing (p. 35)
 Video Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD (p. 36)
 Audio Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD (p. 36)
 Video Format Basics (p. 36)
About Nonlinear and Nondestructive Editing
In the past, video editing was a time-consuming process. With linear editing, video
editors had to edit everything onto a tape sequentially, one shot after another, from
the beginning to the end. If you wanted to insert a series of shots in the middle of your
edit, you had to reedit everything forward from that point.
Final Cut Express HD lets you do nonlinear, nondestructive editing. Unlike traditional
tape-to-tape editing, Final Cut Express HD stores all of your footage on a hard disk,
allowing you to access any frame of your footage instantaneously. Without the
constraints of linear editing, you are free to combine shots in different orders and
change their durations until you arrive at the exact sequence you want. Video and
audio effects, such as scaling, position, rotation, speed changes, and multiple layers can
also be applied and played back in real time. No matter how you process your footage,
the underlying media is never touched. This is known as nondestructive editing, because
all of the changes and effects you apply to your footage never affect the media itself.
35
Video Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD
Long before editing begins, the most basic decision you need to make is which format
to shoot with. The format you choose affects the equipment needed for editorial work,
as well as how the finished product will look.
Final Cut Express HD uses QuickTime technology, allowing you to use almost any digital
video format available. This flexibility ensures that your Final Cut Express HD editing
system always works with the latest video formats.
 DV editing: Final Cut Express HD supports DV video natively, using your computer’s
built-in FireWire port for capture and output. Therefore, your system requires no
additional hardware to edit DV material on your computer. You can capture, edit, and
output the exact same data that is recorded on tape, resulting in no quality loss.
 QuickTime-compatible files: Because Final Cut Express HD uses QuickTime technology,
almost any QuickTime-compatible file format can be imported and exported. This
allows you to import files created in video editing, motion graphics, and photo
editing applications. For a list of all formats that you can import, see “Learning About
QuickTime” on page 979.
Using Multiple Video Formats
You may find it necessary to use source material from a variety of formats in your
project. If so, be aware that in Final Cut Express HD, clips with settings that don’t match
your sequence settings (such as image dimensions or frame rate) need to be rendered
before they can be played back.
Audio Formats Compatible With Final Cut Express HD
You can use a variety of audio with Final Cut Express HD, including audio files captured
from tape, imported from audio CDs, or provided by musicians and sound designers.
For more information, see “About Importing Audio Files” on page 204.
Video Format Basics
Most video formats are described by the following characteristics:
 Standard
 Image dimensions and aspect ratio
 Frame rate
 Scanning method
For a more thorough explanation of video formats, see Appendix A, “Video Formats,” on
page 1025.
36
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
I
Video Standards
A number of video standards have emerged over the years. Standard definition (SD)
video formats have been used for broadcast television from the 1950s to the present.
These include NTSC, PAL, and SECAM, regional video standards, with each used in
certain countries and regions of the world.
 NTSC (National Television Systems Committee): The television and video standard used
in most of the Americas, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.
 PAL (Phase Alternating Line): The television and video standard used in most of
Europe, Brazil, Algeria, and China.
 SECAM: A video standard that is based on PAL and used in countries such as France,
Poland, Haiti, and Vietnam. SECAM is not supported by Final Cut Express HD. However,
editing work is usually done in PAL and converted to SECAM for broadcasting.
Important: When you are specifying your initial settings, make sure you choose an Easy
Setup that corresponds to your country’s video standard. (An Easy Setup is a collection
of settings that determines how Final Cut Express HD works with your editing system.)
For more information, see “Opening Final Cut Express HD and Choosing Your
Initial Settings” on page 146.
Originally, all these formats were analog. Analog video uses a signal that consists of a
constantly varying voltage level, called a waveform, that represents video and audio
information. Analog formats such as VHS must be digitized, or captured, for use by
Final Cut Express HD.
More recently, digital standard definition video formats were introduced, as well as digital
high definition (HD) video formats. Most consumer camcorders today record standard
definition digital video (such as DV) or high definition digital video (such as HDV).
Image Dimensions and Aspect Ratio
The horizontal and vertical pixel dimensions of your format determine the frame size
and aspect ratio. For example, standard definition (SD) NTSC video is 720 pixels wide
and 480 pixels tall. High definition video is either 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080, and is
usually referred to by the vertical dimension and the frame rate (for example 720p60 or
1080i30).
The aspect ratio of a video frame is the width with respect to the height. Standard
definition video has an aspect ratio of 4:3, while high definition uses 16:9.
Note: You may notice that 1280/720 or 1920/1080 is equivalent to 16:9, while 720/480 is
not equivalent to 4:3. This is because standard definition digital video uses pixels that
are rectangular, not square. For more information, see Appendix A, “Video Formats,” on
page 1025.
Chapter 2 Video Formats and Timecode
37
Frame Rate
The frame rate of your video determines how quickly frames are recorded and played
back. The higher the number of frames per second (fps), the less noticeably the image
flickers on screen. There are several common frame rates in use:
 24 fps: Film, certain high definition formats, and certain standard definition formats
use this frame rate. This may also be 23.98 fps for compatibility with NTSC video.
 25 fps: Standard definition PAL
 29.97 fps: Standard definition NTSC
 59.94 fps: 720p high definition video frame rate. This can also be 60 fps.
For more information, see Appendix B, “Frame Rate and Timecode,” on page 1047.
Scanning Method
Video frames are composed of individual lines, scanned from the top of the screen to
the bottom. Lines may be scanned progressively (one line at a time), or interlaced
(every other line during one scan, and then the alternate lines on a subsequent scan).
Standard definition video uses interlaced scanning, while high definition formats may
use either interlaced or progressive scanning. For more information, see Appendix A,
“Video Formats,” on page 1025.
38
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
3
Understanding Projects, Clips,
and Sequences
3
The basic elements in Final Cut Express HD are projects, clips,
and sequences. Once you learn what these are and how you
can use them, you can begin working in Final Cut Express HD.
This chapter covers the following:
 The Building Blocks of Projects (p. 39)
 Working With Projects (p. 43)
 About the Connection Between Clips and Media Files (p. 47)
 Filenaming Considerations (p. 49)
The Building Blocks of Projects
Media files, clips, and sequences are the elements that provide the main foundation for
your work in Final Cut Express HD. You use projects and bins to organize these
elements in your program.
What Are Media Files?
Media files are the raw materials you use to create your movie. A media file is a video,
audio, or graphics file on your hard disk that contains footage captured from videotape
or originally created on your computer. Since media files—especially video files—tend
to be quite large, projects that use a lot of footage require one or more high-capacity
hard disks.
Many media files contain multiple tracks. For example, a typical DV media file has a
video track, audio track, and timecode track. In a Final Cut Express HD sequence, you
can work with each of these media tracks as separate items, either in sync or separately.
Before you can edit in Final Cut Express HD, you need to capture media files from a
video deck or camcorder to your hard disk. For more information about capturing
media files, see “Capturing Your Footage to Disk” on page 171.
39
What Are Clips?
Once you have media files on your hard disk, you need a way of working with them in
Final Cut Express HD. A clip is the most fundamental object in Final Cut Express HD.
Clips represent your media, but they are not the media files themselves. A clip points
to, or connects to, a video, audio, or graphics media file on your hard disk. (For more
information on the relationship between media files and clips, see “About the
Connection Between Clips and Media Files” on page 47.)
Project
Clip
Clip
Clip
Media files on your hard disk
Clips allow you to easily cut, trim, rearrange, and sort your media without manipulating
it directly. You manage and organize your clips in the Browser. The three kinds of clips
you’ll see most often are video, audio, and graphics clips, but there are other kinds of
clips that can be stored within a project, such as a generator clip (a clip whose media is
generated within Final Cut Express HD). You can also subdivide a clip into separate
pieces, called subclips, to further organize your footage.
40
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
I
What Are Sequences?
A sequence is a container for editing clips together in chronological order. The editing
process involves deciding which video and audio clip items to put in your sequence,
what order the clips should go in, and how long each clip should be. Sequences are
created in the Browser. To edit clips into a sequence, you open a sequence from the
Browser into the Timeline.
Project
Sequence
Clip
Clip
Clip
A sequence contains one or more video and audio tracks, which are empty when first
created. When you edit a clip into a sequence, you copy the clip’s individual clip items to
the sequence. For example, if you drag a clip that contains one video and two audio
tracks to the Timeline, a video clip item is placed in a video track in the Timeline, and
two audio clip items are placed in two audio tracks. In a sequence, you can move any
clip item to any track, allowing you to arrange the contents of your media files however
you want.
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
41
What Are Projects?
A project contains all of the clips and sequences you use while editing your movie.
Once you create or open a project, it appears as a tab in the Browser. There’s no limit to
the number of items, including clips and sequences, that can be stored in your project
in the Browser.
A project file acts as a sort of database for tracking the aspects of your edited movie:
 video, audio, and still image clips
 comments, descriptions, and notes for all your clips
 sequences of edited clips
 motion and filter parameters
 audio mixing levels
 bins, or folders within a project in the Browser, for organizing elements, such as clips
and sequences.
Project
Video clip
Audio clip
ABC
Still image
Sequence
To start working in Final Cut Express HD, you must have a project open in the Browser.
For more information, see Chapter 5, “Browser Basics,” on page 65. You can have multiple
projects open at the same time, each represented by its own tab in the Browser.
Note: A project does not contain any media at all, which keeps it small and portable.
Even though project files refer to your media files, the media is not actually stored in
the project. By separating the structure of your project from the associated media, your
project can easily be archived or transferred to another computer, and it can be
opened even if none of the media files can be located. Compared to media files,
project files are relatively small and portable. You can make regular backup copies of
your project without filling your hard disk.
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What Are Bins?
A bin is a folder within a project that can contain clips and sequences, as well as other
items used in your project, such as transitions and effects. You use bins to organize
these elements, sort them, add comments, rename items, and so on. Bins help you to
design a logical structure for your projects, making your clips easier to manage.
Project
Bin 1
Sequence 1
Clip
Clip
Clip
Clip
Clip Clip Clip
Bin 2
Clip
Clip
Clip Clip Clip
Clip
You can create separate bins for organizing clips by movie scene, source tape, or any
other category. You can organize bins hierarchically and open them in their own
windows. You can even put bins inside other bins. There is no limit to the number of
bins you can have in your project, or the number of items you can store in each bin.
Bins exist only in project files. Changes you make to the contents of a bin, such as
deleting, moving, and renaming clips or renaming the bin itself, have no effect on the
original media files stored on your computer’s hard disk. If you delete a clip from a bin,
the clip’s media file is not deleted from the hard disk. Likewise, creating a new bin does
not create a new folder on your hard disk.
Working With Projects
How you use and organize your projects depends on the scope of your movie as well
as your particular organizational style. These factors also affect your decision to use one
or more sequences in your project.
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
43
Organizing Your Projects
Typically, you create a new project file for each movie you work on, regardless of its
duration. For example, if you’re working on a documentary about a bicycle
manufacturing company, you would create a project for it. If you’re also working on an
industrial training video about how to fix bicycles, that would be a second, separate
project. Both projects could conceivably refer to some of the same media, but they are
completely independent structures, each with their own clips, bins, and sequences.
Very large movie projects, such as feature films and documentaries with high shooting
ratios (meaning most of the footage shot during production will not be used in the
final movie), may contain thousands of clips. Although the number of clips and
sequences you can store in a project is theoretically unlimited, Final Cut Express HD
may take longer to search, sort, and update if there are too many clips. If you find that
managing your project is becoming difficult, you can always break one project into
several for the early editing stages.
Using More Than One Sequence in a Project
For some projects, it makes sense to use several different sequences within the project.
You can use sequences in several ways including:
 Sequences as scenes: Break a movie into a series of separate sequences for each scene.
 Sequences as versions: Edit different versions of the same movie, with each as its own
sequence. Examples are a television commercial with several alternative sound mixes,
or a documentary cut to feature film length as well as broadcast television length.
 Sequences for special effects: This allows you to separate elaborate effects shots in
separate sequences so you can render them separately.
Creating and Saving Projects
When you create a new project in Final Cut Express HD, a new blank sequence is
automatically created and named Sequence 1. You can change the sequence name to
better reflect its content or the type of program you’ll be working on. The settings for
the new sequence are determined by your current Easy Setup. (To check your current
Easy Setup, choose Final Cut Express HD > Easy Setup.)
Note: When you open Final Cut Express HD for the first time, there are some initial
settings you must specify before you can create and save projects. For more
information, see “Connecting Your Equipment” on page 145.
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To create a new project:
m Choose File > New Project.
A new, untitled project appears in the Browser with an empty sequence. You can name
the project when you save it.
This is your
new project.
A new sequence is
automatically created
when you create a
new project.
To save a project:
1 Click the project’s tab in the Browser
2 Choose File > Save Project (or press Command-S).
3 If you haven’t named the project yet, a dialog appears. Enter a name and choose a
location for the project, then click Save.
To save all open projects:
m Choose File > Save All (or press Option-S).
If you haven’t named a project yet, a dialog appears where you can enter a name and
choose a location for the project.
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
45
Opening and Closing Projects
You can open and work on more than one project at a time. When you finish working
and quit Final Cut Express HD, a message appears for each open project, asking if you
want to save your changes. The next time you open Final Cut Express HD, all projects that
were open at the end of your last session open automatically. You can have multiple
projects open at the same time, each represented by its own tab in the Browser.
To open a project:
1 Choose File > Open.
2 Locate and select the project file, then click Open.
If you created the project in a previous version of Final Cut Express HD, you’ll be asked
if you want to update your project. For more information, see “Backing Up
and Restoring Projects” on page 903.
To close a project:
1 Click the project’s tab to bring it to the front.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose File > Close Project.
 Control-click the project’s tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu
that appears.
 Press Control-W.
Control-click the tab and
choose Close Tab.
3 If you’ve modified the project and haven’t saved it, a message asks if you want to save
changes to the project. Click Yes to save the project.
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To switch between several open projects:
m In the Browser, click a project’s tab.
To switch between
projects, click a
project’s tab.
To close all open projects:
m Close the Browser.
Any project that has its own window (because you dragged the project’s tab out of the
Browser) remains open.
About the Connection Between Clips and Media Files
Clips are not to be confused with the media files you captured to your computer’s hard
disk. A clip refers to a media file on your computer’s hard disk, but the clip is not the
media file itself. Clips usually reference all of the content within a media file, but you
can also create subclips that reference only part of a media file, or merged clips that
refer to several media files at once.
A Final Cut Express HD clip refers to its media file via the clip property called Source,
which describes the location of the media file in the form of a directory path. For
example, the directory path for a clip’s media file might look like this:
/MyScratchDisk/Capture Scratch/MyProject/MyMediaFile
Note: Every file on your hard disk can be located by its directory path. A directory
path describes where a file is located within the file and folder hierarchy of the
operating system.
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
47
To see a clip’s Source property:
1 Select a clip in the Browser by clicking it.
2 Choose Edit > Item Properties > Format (or press Command-9).
The Item Properties window appears.
3 Look at the directory path in the clip’s Source field.
4 If you can’t see the complete directory path, you can do one of the following:
 Drag the right edge of the column heading to the right to increase the column width.
 Move the pointer over the directory path in the Source field, then wait until a tooltip
appears showing the complete directory path.
Relationship Between Source Tapes, Media Files, and Clips
The relationship between source tapes, media files, and clips is described below.
 Source tape: An original videotape from your production.
 Media file: A QuickTime movie file created by capturing video, audio, and timecode
from the source tape to a computer hard disk. This is a copy of the original footage.
 Clip: An object in a Final Cut Express HD project that represents a media file on the
scratch disk. A clip connects to a media file, but it isn’t the media file itself. If you
delete a clip, the media file remains intact on the scratch disk. If you delete the media
file, the clip remains in the project, but it is no longer connected to its media. You
can create clips by importing or dragging media files to the Final Cut Express HD
Browser.
Reconnecting Clips to Media Files
If you modify, move, or delete your media files on disk, the clips in your project lose the
connection to the media files and they become offline clips. In this case, the word
offline refers to the fact that a clip’s media file has become unavailable.
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An offline clip has a red slash through its icon in the Browser. In the Timeline, an
offline clip appears white (when you play back your sequence in the Canvas, offline clips
display a “Media Offline” message). To view these clips properly in your project, you need
to reconnect the clips to their corresponding media files at their new locations on disk.
This reestablishes the connection between the clips and their media files.
Offline clips
in the Timeline
Offline clips in
the Browser
Final Cut Express HD allows you to reconnect clips to media files in whatever way suits
your project. For example, you can work on one project on two different editing
systems that both contain the same media files. When you transfer the project from
one system to another, you can easily reconnect the project clips to the local media
files. For more information on reconnecting offline clips, see “Reconnecting Clips
and Offline Media” on page 933.
Filenaming Considerations
Proper filenaming is one of the most critical aspects of media and project
management. When you capture your media files, consider how and where your files
may be used in the future. Naming your files simply and consistently makes it easier to
share media among multiple editors, transfer projects to other editing systems, move
files across a network, and properly restore archived projects. The following sections
present several issues to consider when naming project files and media files.
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
49
Avoiding Special Characters
The most conservative filenaming conventions provide the most cross-platform
compatibility. This means that your filenames will work in different operating systems,
such as Windows, Mac OS X and other Unix operating systems, and Mac OS 9. You also
need to consider filenaming when you transfer files via the Internet, where you can never
be certain what computer platform your files may be stored on, even if temporarily.
Most special characters should be avoided. Here are some suggested conservative
filenaming guidelines for maximum cross-platform compatibility:
Avoid
Example characters
Reasons
File separators
: (colon)
/ (forward-slash)
\ (backward-slash)
You cannot use colons (:) in the
names of files and folders
because Mac OS 9 (Classic) uses
this character to separate
directories in pathnames. In
addition, some applications may
not allow you to use slashes (/)
in the names of items.
These characters are directory
separators for Mac OS 9,
Mac OS X, and DOS (Windows)
respectively.
Special characters not included
in your native alphabet
50
¢™
These characters may not be
supported or difficult to work
with when exported to certain
file formats, such as EDL, OMF,
or XML.
Punctuation marks, parentheses, . , [ ] { } ( ) ! ; “ ‘ * ? < > |
quotation marks, brackets, and
operators.
These characters are often used
in scripting and programming
languages.
White space characters such
as spaces, tabs, new lines, and
carriage returns (the last two
are uncommon).
White space is handled
differently in different
programming languages and
operating systems, so certain
processing scripts and
applications may treat your files
differently than expected. The
most conservative filenames
avoid all use of whitespace
characters, and use the
(underscore) _ character instead.
Part I An Introduction to Final Cut Express HD
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Restricting Length of Filenames
Although current file systems such as HFS+ (used by Mac OS X) allow you to create
filenames with a 255-character limit, you may want to limit your filename length if you
intend to transfer your files to other operating systems. Earlier versions of the Mac OS
only allow 31-character filenames, and if you want to include a file extension (such as
.fcp, .mov, or .aif ), you need to shorten your Mac OS 9-compatible filenames to
27 characters.
For EDL files, which may be stored on DOS-compatible disks, you should limit your
filenames to 8-characters plus a 3-character file extension (.EDL).
Using Filename Extensions
Mac OS X and other operating systems can use file extensions when determining
which application to open a file with, or what method of transfer to use for a network
transfer. If you intend to transfer your media or project files to non-Macintosh
computer platforms, you should use standard file extensions for your files. Some
common file extensions include: .mov (QuickTime movie file), .xml (XML file), .zip (ZIP
compressed archive file), .aif (AIFF audio file), .wav (WAVE audio file), .psd (Photoshop
graphics file), .jpg (JPEG graphics file), and .tif (TIFF graphics file).
Adding Times and Dates to Final Cut Express HD Project Names
When you make a backup copy of your project file, adding the date to the project
name helps identify the file among the other saved versions. If you add dates to a
filename, avoid using special characters like the slash (/), since that may be interpreted
by Mac OS X as a file separator.
The Final Cut Express HD autosave feature appends the date and time in the following
format: ProjectName_03-21-04_1744. The filename above is a backup of a project called
ProjectName. The date is March 21, 2005, and it was saved at 5:44 PM. Note that the
name includes no white space. This filenaming convention is simple, consistent, and
easily identifies the order in which the project files were created. (For more information
about this feature, see “Backing Up and Restoring Projects” on page 903.
Using Multiple Hard Disks
If you have multiple hard disks and partitions, or volumes, that have similar names, they
may cause problems during the capture process. Each hard disk should have a name
that doesn’t contain the entire name of another disk or partition.
 Avoid filenames such as: “Media” and “Media 1”
 Create filenames such as: “Zeus” and “Apollo”
Chapter 3 Understanding Projects, Clips, and Sequences
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Part II: Learning About the
Final Cut Express HD Interface
II
Get familiar with the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline,
and learn how to customize the Final Cut Express HD
interface to meet your specific needs.
Chapter 4
Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
Chapter 5
Browser Basics
Chapter 6
Viewer Basics
Chapter 7
Canvas Basics
Chapter 8
Navigating and Using Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas
Chapter 9
Timeline Basics
Chapter 10
Customizing the Interface
4
Overview of the
Final Cut Express HD Interface
4
The Final Cut Express HD interface has four main windows
and a Tool palette.
This chapter includes:
 Basics of Working in the Final Cut Express HD Interface (p. 55)
 Using Keyboard Shortcuts, Buttons, and Shortcut Menus (p. 57)
 Customizing the Interface (p. 59)
 Undoing and Redoing Changes (p. 63)
 Entering Timecode for Navigation Purposes (p. 64)
Basics of Working in the Final Cut Express HD Interface
There are four main windows in Final Cut Express HD that you use while you are
making your movie. You may want to open Final Cut Express HD so you can view these
windows and familiarize yourself with them.
Note: If you’re opening Final Cut Express HD for the first time, you’re prompted to choose
an Easy Setup (a collection of settings that determines how Final Cut Express HD works
with your editing system) and a scratch disk (the hard disk where you’ll store your
captured media files). For more information about these settings, see “Opening
Final Cut Express HD and Choosing Your Initial Settings” on page 146.
To open Final Cut Express HD:
m In the Finder, double-click the Final Cut Express HD icon in the Applications folder.
You may also choose to add the Final Cut Express HD icon to the Dock for easier access.
For more information, see Mac Help.
You’ll see these windows when you open a sequence with clips already in it. These
windows are covered in more detail in the chapters that follow.
55
Viewer: Used to preview and prepare source
clips for editing, as well as adjust filter and
motion parameters to clips.
Canvas: Allows you
to view your edited
sequence, as well as
perform a variety of
editing functions.
Works in parallel with
the Timeline.
Browser: This is where
you organize the media
in your project.
Audio meters: These
floating meters let you
monitor audio levels.
Timeline: This displays
sequences.
Tool palette: This
contains tools for
selecting, navigating,
performing edits, and
manipulating items.
Before working in a window in Final Cut Express HD, you must make sure it’s the
currently selected (or “active”) window. Otherwise, your actions and commands might
trigger actions in another window.
Important: Menu commands and keyboard shortcuts apply to the active window.
To determine the active window:
m Look for the highlighted title bar.
To make a window active, do one of the following:
m Click anywhere in the window.
m Press one of the following keyboard shortcuts:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Â
Browser: Command-4
Viewer: Command-1
Timeline: Command-3
Canvas: Command-2
Audio meters: Option-4
Note: There is no keyboard shortcut to open the Tool palette.
m Choose Window, then in the submenu, choose the window you want to display.
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Part II Learning About the Final Cut Express HD Interface
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Using Keyboard Shortcuts, Buttons, and Shortcut Menus
Final Cut Express HD offers several methods for performing commands. You can choose
commands from the menu bar at the top of the screen or from contextual shortcut
menus, or you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform many commands. Most people
work fastest using keyboard shortcuts; others prefer to use shortcut menus or the
mouse to access commands in the menu bar. Experiment to find out which method
best suits your editing style.
You can also create shortcut buttons that appear at the top of each window in the
window’s button bar. Learning about these basic interface elements will enable you to
work faster and more efficiently.
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts let you perform commands in Final Cut Express HD using the
keyboard instead of by pointing and clicking. These shortcuts can help you work more
efficiently. For example, to create a new sequence, you’d press Command-N; to zoom in,
you’d press Command-= (equal sign).
Note: The default keyboard shortcuts for tasks are presented throughout this volume,
as well as in menu commands and tooltips. (Tooltips appear when you move the
pointer over a control in Final Cut Express HD and show the name of the control, as
well as the current shortcut key or keys assigned to that control.)
Using Button Bars
You can create shortcut buttons and place them in the button bar along the top of the
main windows in Final Cut Express HD—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, and any
Tool Bench windows. (The Tool Bench is a specialized window containing tabs for
specific tasks, such as the Voice Over tool.) You can then click any of the shortcut
buttons in the button bar to perform commands, instead of entering keyboard
shortcuts or using menus.
Button bar in the
Browser with several
shortcut buttons
Chapter 4 Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
57
For more information on using and customizing button bars, see Chapter 10,
“Customizing the Interface,” on page 135.
Using Shortcut Menus
Shortcut menus (also called contextual menus) are available in nearly every section of
every window and offer a quick way to perform various tasks. The commands available
in a shortcut menu depend on the location of the pointer. For example, a shortcut
menu in the Browser shows options different from those available in a shortcut menu
in the Timeline.
To view and use a shortcut menu:
1 Press the Control key and click an item (this is called Control-clicking), or Control-click
an area in a window in Final Cut Express HD.
2 In the shortcut menu that appears, choose the command you want, then release the
mouse button.
Note: If you have a multibutton mouse, clicking the right mouse button is the same as
Control-clicking by default.
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Learning Commands by Using Tooltips
When you move the pointer over a control in Final Cut Express HD, a small box called a
tooltip appears with a description of the control. Next to the description is the
keyboard shortcut for using the control. You can turn tooltips off and on in the General
tab of the User Preferences window.
This tooltip appears when
the pointer is over the Play
button in the Viewer.
To enable tooltips in Final Cut Express HD:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences.
2 In the General tab, select Show Tooltips.
Customizing the Interface
Final Cut Express HD allows you to customize the interface in several ways. You can
rearrange windows and move them to suit your needs and work style. You can also use
various screen layouts provided by Final Cut Express HD. You can also position the Dock
in the Mac OS X interface so that it takes up less room or is hidden.
Moving and Resizing Windows
All open windows in Final Cut Express HD—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, and
Tool Bench—can be individually moved and resized to suit both your working style
and the task at hand, even across multiple monitors. When all windows are arranged
together on a single monitor, you can drag the border between any aligned group of
adjacent windows to quickly resize all the windows at the same time.
Pointer between
three or more windows
Pointer between
two windows
Chapter 4 Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
59
To resize windows in Final Cut Express HD:
m Drag the border in the desired direction to resize the appropriate windows.
The windows on either side of the border are resized accordingly.
Any border between two windows in Final Cut Express HD can be dragged. When
borders line up, such as the tops of the Browser and Timeline, they act as a single
border—resizing one window resizes the other as well. See “Moving and Resizing
Final Cut Express HD Windows” on page 135 for more information.
Working With Tabs and Tabbed Windows
The Viewer and Browser contain tabs that let you access different functions. The
Browser also contains tabs for open projects. Tabs in the Timeline and Canvas represent
open sequences.
The Viewer contains
tabs that specify
functions within clips.
The Canvas contains
a tab for each open
sequence.
The Browser
contains tabs
for open projects
and effects.
Like the Canvas, the
Timeline contains a tab
for each open sequence.
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II
To make a tab active:
m Click the tab.
To close a tab, do one of the following:
m Control-click the tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu
m Click a tab to make it the frontmost tab, then press Control-W.
You can drag tabs out of their main, or parent, windows so they appear in a separate
window. This is useful when you are working on more than one sequence or project at
a time.
To make a tab appear in its own window:
m Drag the tab out of its parent window (Browser, Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline).
The Effects tab is dragged
out of the Browser and
appears in its own window.
To put a tab back in its original window:
m Drag the tab to the title bar of its parent window.
Drag the tab
to the title bar of the
original window
to put it back.
Chapter 4 Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
61
Moving Windows
There are several ways you can move windows in Final Cut Express HD. You can move a
window by clicking its title bar, and then dragging it to a new position and releasing
the mouse button. You can also hold down the Command and Option keys, and then
click anywhere in a window and drag it to a new position.
Using Different Screen Layouts
Final Cut Express HD comes with a set of predefined screen layouts. These layouts
determine the size and location of the four main windows in Final Cut Express HD (the
Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline), along with the Tool palette and audio meters.
Some screen layouts include additional windows, such as the Tool Bench. Choose a
layout that maximizes your screen space in the best way for your source material,
editing function, screen resolution, and monitor type.
To choose a screen layout:
m Choose Window > Arrange, then choose an option from the submenu.
If none of the existing layouts meet your needs, you can create and save additional
screen layouts that you’ve arranged yourself. See “Customizing Screen Layouts” on
page 138 for more information.
Showing and Positioning the Dock
When you use Final Cut Express HD, your screen space may be limited by the
presence of the Dock. You can make the Dock smaller so it takes up less room on the
screen. You can also hide the Dock, so it only appears when you move the pointer
over its (hidden) position. Another option is to position the Dock somewhere else on
the screen. The default is on the bottom, but you can also choose to place it on the
left or right side of the screen.
Decide how you think you’ll work best, then modify the Dock settings. You can then
rearrange the windows in Final Cut Express HD to accommodate the position of the Dock.
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Part II Learning About the Final Cut Express HD Interface
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To arrange Final Cut Express HD windows and make room for the Dock:
1 If desired, change the position of the Dock.
For specific information on changing the way the Dock looks and works, see Mac Help
(in the Finder, choose Help > Mac Help).
2 In Final Cut Express HD, choose Window > Arrange, then choose your preferred layout
from the submenu.
The windows are rearranged to take into account the position of the Dock.
Undoing and Redoing Changes
You can undo changes you make in your projects, sequences, and clips. This is helpful if
you make a change you don’t like and want to revert to an earlier version. You can also
redo actions that you have undone.
By default, you can undo 10 of your previous changes. You can set Final Cut Express HD
to undo up to 32 changes. The more levels of Undo you select, the more memory is
needed. For more information on modifying the number of changes to undo, see
“Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
To undo a change, do one of the following:
m Press Command-Z.
m Choose Edit > Undo.
To redo a change, do one of the following:
m Press Command-Shift-Z.
m Choose Edit > Redo.
Chapter 4 Overview of the Final Cut Express HD Interface
63
Entering Timecode for Navigation Purposes
Timecode allows you to navigate through your sequences to a specific point in time.
Unlike Final Cut Pro, all clips in Final Cut Express HD start at 00:00:00:00.
Current Timecode field
in the Canvas
When you enter timecode in a field, such as the Current Timecode field in the Viewer,
Canvas, or Timeline, you don’t need to enter all of the separator characters (such as
colons); Final Cut Express HD automatically adds them for you after each set of two digits.
For example, if you enter 00221419, Final Cut Express HD interprets it as 00:22:14:19. This
stands for 22 minutes, 14 seconds, and 19 frames.
If you enter a partial number, Final Cut Express HD interprets it with the rightmost pair
of numbers as frames and puts each successive pair of numbers to the left in the
remaining seconds, minutes, and hours areas. Numbers you omit default to 00.
For example, if you enter 1419, Final Cut Express HD interprets it as 00:00:14:19.
However, if the rightmost pair of numbers is not a valid frame number, then the entire
number entered is interpreted as absolute frames.
For example, suppose the frame rate of your clip is 25 fps. If you enter 124,
Final Cut Express HD interprets this as 01:24 (one second and 24 frames). However, if
you enter 125, or 199, Final Cut Express HD interprets these as 125 frames or 199 frames,
respectively. This is because the frame counter cannot be higher than 24 when you use
25 fps timecode. Since a number like 01:99 is not a valid timecode number, the entire
value is interpreted as absolute frames.
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Part II Learning About the Final Cut Express HD Interface
5
Browser Basics
5
The Browser is where you organize all of the clips in your project.
This chapter covers the following:
 How You Use the Browser (p. 65)
 Learning About the Browser (p. 66)
 Working in the Browser (p. 67)
 Using Columns in the Browser (p. 69)
 Customizing the Browser Display (p. 70)
Note: For information about organizing footage in the Browser, see “Organizing
Footage in the Browser” on page 219.
How You Use the Browser
The Browser is a powerful tool used to organize your project’s clips. In the Browser,
you can sort, rename, and rearrange hundreds of clips in a multitude of ways. You
can also customize how the Browser displays information about clips to suit your
preferred work habits.
You can think of the Browser as a way of viewing and manipulating your clips as if they
were in a database or spreadsheet. Each row represents a clip or sequence, and each
column represents a property field containing information about that clip or sequence.
Note: For more information about the basic organizational elements of
Final Cut Express HD—media files, clips, sequences, bins, and projects—and how
they relate to the Browser, see Chapter 3, “Understanding Projects, Clips, and
Sequences,” on page 39.
65
Learning About the Browser
By default, you view items in the Browser in icon view, which lets you easily see items
by type. For video clips, you see a frame of video to help you distinguish the contents.
Project
Clip
Sequence
Bin
You can also view items in the Browser in different ways. When the Browser displays
items in list view, all items appear in a sorted list.
You can also access
effects through the
Browser.
Columns display clip
properties.
Each tab represents a
project or an open bin.
Bins help you organize
clips in your projects.
Sequence
For more information about viewing items in the Browser in list view or icon view, see
“Customizing the Browser Display” on page 70.
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Working in the Browser
Before you can work in the Browser, it must be the currently selected, or active,
window. Otherwise, any commands or keyboard shortcuts you use may perform the
wrong operations.
To make the Browser window active, do one of the following:
m Click anywhere in the Browser.
m Press Command-4.
Creating Sequences
Before you can begin editing clips into a sequence, you must create a sequence.
To create a new sequence:
1 Click in the Browser to make it the active window.
2 Choose File > New > Sequence (or press Command-N).
If no project is currently open, Final Cut Express HD creates a new untitled project and
creates a new sequence within it.
Selecting Items in the Browser
You can select and modify individual clips, or many clips at once.
To select a single clip:
m Click an item.
To select a group of adjacent clips, do one of the following:
m Select an item, press and hold down the Shift key, then click the last item.
m Drag over multiple clips.
To select multiple, nonadjacent clips:
m Press and hold down the Command key while clicking multiple items.
Navigating Within the Browser Using the Keyboard
You can navigate to items in the Browser in various ways, depending on whether you
are viewing items in list view or icon view (see “Customizing the Browser Display” on
page 70).
To navigate within the Browser, do one of the following:
m Press the Up and Down Arrow keys to move up and down in a list of items in list view
or move vertically between items in icon view.
m Press the Right and Left Arrow keys to move horizontally between items in icon view.
m Press the Tab key to move between items alphabetically.
m Type the first few letters of an item’s name.
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Copying and Deleting Items in the Browser
Copying or duplicating a clip creates an affiliate clip, which is a clip that shares
properties with the original clip, or master clip. For more information about masteraffiliate clip relationships, see “Working With Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
To copy an item, do one of the following:
m Select the item, then hold down the Option key while you drag the item to a new bin
or to the Name column heading.
m Press Option-D to duplicate the selected item.
m Select an item, choose Edit > Copy, then choose Edit > Paste.
To duplicate a master clip, creating a new master clip instead of an affiliate clip:
1 Select a clip in the Browser.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Modify > Duplicate as New Master Clip.
 Control-click the clip, then choose Duplicate as New Master Clip from the shortcut
menu.
To delete a clip, sequence, or bin from a project:
m Select the item, then press Delete.
Note: Deleting a clip from a project does not delete that clip’s media file from your
hard disk, nor does it delete any other affiliated clips, including sequence clips. When
deleting a master clip, however, Final Cut Express HD warns you that affiliated clips will
lose the master clip they refer to. Deleting a master clip turns all affiliated clips into
master clips (in the Browser) or independent clips (in sequences).
Renaming Clips, Sequences, and Bins
You can rename items within Final Cut Express HD. Renaming clips does not change
the names of media files on your disk.
To rename clips, sequences, and bins within Final Cut Express HD:
1 Select the clip, sequence, or bin.
2 Once the item is selected, click the item’s name, type a new name, then press Return
or Enter.
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Renaming a clip automatically renames all affiliated clips in the current project, because
there is only a single Name property shared between a master clip and all of its affiliate
clips. This affects all clips in the Browser and in all sequences within your project. For
more information on master and affiliate clips, see “Working With
Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
Note: Master-affiliate clip relationships exist only within a project, not across
multiple projects.
Using Columns in the Browser
In list view, the Browser’s scrollable columns provide information about your clips and
their associated media files.
The Browser can display many columns of information at once. You can customize the
Browser to display only the columns you want, as well as rearrange columns and change
their width. The Name column cannot be hidden, and always appears at the far left.
Information in Browser columns is based on the following:
 The item properties of a clip
 The clip settings you selected when your clips were logged and captured
 A clip’s media file properties such as image dimensions and frame rate
 The sequence settings of an individual sequence (the selected sequence preset)
You can change properties in some columns directly in the Browser by clicking or
Control-clicking within the column, and then choosing an option from the shortcut
menu. You can also modify these properties in the Item Properties window for a clip.
For more information, see “Working With Projects, Clips, and Sequences” on page 261.
∏
Tip: If a field in the Browser contains more text than fits within the field or column, you
view the complete information by moving the pointer over the field and then waiting
for several seconds. A tooltip appears with the full text of the entry.
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Customizing the Browser Display
There are various ways you can display items in the Browser, depending on your needs
and workstyle. You can display items in list or icon (thumbnail) view, choose columns you
want to show or hide, and choose the frame you see for a clip in icon (thumbnail) view.
Choosing Views in the Browser
You can view items in the Browser in list view or icon view. List view provides detailed
clip information in columns; clips within bins appear hierarchically, allowing you to
reveal or hide the contents of a bin.
If you want to organize your clips visually, you can set the Browser to display your clips
as icons. There are three icon view sizes—small, medium, and large. When you choose
an icon view, items are rearranged in a grid. The large icon view is particularly useful
when using larger (20-inch or greater viewable area) monitors.
Small icon view
Medium icon view
Large icon view
To display Browser items as icons or in a list, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Browser Items, then choose an option from the submenu.
m Control-click in the Name column (or any place in the tab other than an icon), then
choose a view option from the shortcut menu.
m Press Shift-H to toggle through all four views.
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Working With the Browser in List View
When items are displayed as a list, the Browser displays information about the items in
columns. You can customize these columns in several ways. You can:
 Rearrange, resize, hide, and show individual columns
 Sort clips by columns
 View a predefined set of standard columns or a set of columns designed for logging
 Change the Master Comment column headings
 Display, hide, and scrub (move) through thumbnails of clips
To rearrange a column:
m Drag the column heading to the new location.
As you drag a column,
the pointer changes to
a rectangle.
To resize a column:
m Drag the right edge of the column heading to the desired width.
The pointer between two
columns changes to a
Resize pointer, indicating
a column can be resized.
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To hide a column:
m Control-click the column heading, then choose Hide Column from the shortcut menu.
Note: You can’t hide the Name column; it’s always displayed.
To display a hidden column:
m Control-click the column heading to the right of where you want to display the column,
then choose the column you want to display from the shortcut menu.
To display thumbnails:
m Control-click any column heading other than Name, then choose Show Thumbnail from
the shortcut menu.
A thumbnail column appears with images for all video clips.
Thumbnails appear as
small images of your
video clips.
When thumbnails are displayed, the image shown is the first frame of the clip or the In
point of the clip, if one is set. You can scrub through a thumbnail by dragging in the
image, but the frame shown in the Browser always reverts to the In point of the clip.
You can change the starting image (called the poster frame) if you want to display
another frame in the thumbnail. For more information, see “Setting the Poster Frame”
on page 77.
To hide thumbnails:
m Control-click the Thumbnail column heading, then choose Hide Column from the
shortcut menu.
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To scrub, or move, through a thumbnail:
m Drag the thumbnail image in the direction you want to view.
The thumbnail you’re
scrubbing through is
highlighted.
Note: You can also scrub through clips that are displayed in large icon view (see
“Scrubbing Through Clips in Icon View” on page 74).
To change the names of the Master Comment or Comment column headings:
1 Control-click a Comment column heading, then choose Edit Heading from the
shortcut menu.
2 Type a new name in the column’s Name field, then press Return.
Enter the new
column name.
The Master Comment and Comment column headings are the only column headings you
can change. Once you customize the name of a Comment column, it remains changed in
that project file, even if you hide it. New projects you create use the default names.
If you want to change several Comment headings at once, use the Project Properties
window. For more information, see “Working With Projects, Clips, and Sequences” on
page 261.
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Working With the Browser in Icon View
In large, medium, or small icon view, you arrange your clips graphically in the Browser.
Video clips are displayed as a thumbnail of the starting frame of video, audio clips are
displayed as a speaker, and bins are indicated by a folder icon. If a video clip has an
audio track, a small speaker icon appears inside the clip’s thumbnail.
Video clip with audio
Thumbnails of
clips in icon view
Audio clip
You can use different views for open Browser windows and tabs. For example, you can
keep the main tab of your project in the Browser in list view for organizational
purposes, but open bins in their own windows or tabs using large icon view to quickly
identify clips visually.
Scrubbing Through Clips in Icon View
In large icon view, you can scrub through video clips to see their content. You can also
scrub through thumbnails of clips displayed in list view (see “Working With the Browser
in List View” on page 71). However, you don’t have all of the options you have in large
icon view.
Note: You can’t scrub through clips in small icon view.
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To scrub through clips in large icon view:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Scrub Video tool in the Tool palette.
Selection tool
Select the Scrub
Video tool.
Note: When the Scrub Video tool is selected, you can hold down the Shift or Command
key to temporarily make the Selection tool active to select, open, or move clips.
 With the Selection tool selected, press Control-Shift to temporarily make the Scrub
Video tool active.
2 Drag the Scrub Video tool over the thumbnail.
Move right to scrub
forward; move left to
scrub backward.
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Automatically Arranging Clips in Icon View
When you’re in icon view in the Browser, you can organize clip icons however you
want. You can use the Arrange commands to automatically arrange your icons from left
to right, either in alphabetical order or by duration, within the current width of the
Browser or bin window. This is useful if the Browser or a bin window has overlapping
icons or if you find yourself constantly scrolling to see icons.
To arrange items in the Browser into rows in icon view, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Arrange, then select by Name or by Duration.
m Control-click in an empty area of the Browser, then choose Arrange by Name or
Arrange by Duration from the shortcut menu.
Before using the
Arrange command
After using the
Arrange command
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Setting the Poster Frame
The poster frame is the picture that represents a clip in icon view in the Browser. When
you look at clips in the Browser in large icon view or when you show the Thumbnail
column in list view, the icon or thumbnail picture you see reflects either the In point for
that clip (or the first frame of the clip if no In point has been set), or the poster frame
you set for the clip in the Browser.
Poster frames are useful if you want to identify a clip visually in the Browser using a
specific image, and can be especially useful if you’re working with a lot of clips or
subclips with similar imagery. Any frame of a clip can be its poster frame.
To set the poster frame of a clip in the Viewer:
1 Double-click a clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.
2 In the Viewer, navigate to the frame you want to use as the poster frame for the clip.
3 Choose Mark > Set Poster Frame (or press Control-P).
To set the poster frame in the Browser in large icon view:
m Scrub through a clip until you get to the desired frame, press and hold the Control key,
then release the mouse button.
Original poster frame
(before scrubbing)
The poster frame is
now set to the frame
you scrubbed to.
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6
Viewer Basics
6
The Viewer is used for viewing a clip’s media and preparing
clips before editing them into a sequence.
This chapter covers the following:
 How You Can Use the Viewer (p. 79)
 Opening a Clip in the Viewer (p. 80)
 Learning About the Viewer (p. 82)
 Tabs in the Viewer (p. 83)
 Transport (or Playback) Controls (p. 84)
 Playhead Controls (p. 85)
 Marking Controls (p. 87)
 Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus (p. 88)
 Recent Clips and Generator Pop-Up Menus (p. 90)
How You Can Use the Viewer
The Viewer is extremely versatile. You can use the Viewer to:
 Define In and Out edit points for clips before editing them into a sequence
 Adjust audio levels and panning in the Audio tab
 Open clips within sequences to adjust durations, In and Out points, and filter
parameters
Note: Changes you make to a clip opened from a sequence are applied to the clip
only in that sequence. If you make changes to a clip opened from the Browser, the
changes appear only in the clip in the Browser.
 Add filters to clips and adjust filters applied to clips
 Adjust the motion parameters of clips to modify or animate such parameters as scale,
rotation, cropping, and opacity
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 Adjust generator clip controls
Generators are special clips that can be generated by Final Cut Express HD, so they
don’t require source media. Final Cut Express HD has generators that create color
mattes, text of different types, gradients, color bars, and white noise. For more
information, see “Using Built-in Generated Clips” on page 849.
 Open a transition, such as a dissolve or a wipe, from an edited sequence for
detailed editing
For more information, see “Adding Transitions” on page 507.
Before you can work in the Viewer, it must be the currently selected, or active, window.
Otherwise, any commands or keyboard shortcuts you use may perform the wrong
operations. To display the Viewer (if it’s not open already), you must open a clip from
the Browser or the Timeline (see the next section, “Opening a Clip in the Viewer”).
To make the Viewer window active, do one of the following:
m Click the Viewer.
m Press Command-1. (Press this again to close the Viewer.)
m Press Q to switch between the Viewer and the Canvas.
Opening a Clip in the Viewer
The Viewer is where you look at source clips from the Browser before editing them into
a sequence. You can also open clips that are already in a sequence in order to adjust
durations and edit points, or edit filter parameters. There a variety of ways to open clips
in the Viewer. You can choose the method that you find most convenient.
∏
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Tip: You can tell whether a clip in the Viewer has been opened from the Browser or
from a sequence in the Timeline. Sprocket holes appear in the scrubber bar for clips
opened from a sequence. You can also tell the origin of the clip from the name of the
clip in the Viewer title bar.
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To open a clip in the Viewer from the Browser, do one of the following:
m In the Browser, double-click the clip.
m Drag the clip from the Browser to the Viewer.
m In the Browser, select the clip and press Return.
Note: In the Browser, pressing Enter is different from pressing Return. Pressing Enter
allows to you to rename the clip.
m In the Browser, Control-click the clip, then choose Open in Viewer from the shortcut menu.
m In the Browser, select the clip, then choose View > Clip.
m In the Viewer, select a clip name from the Recent Clips pop-up menu in the lower-right
area of the window.
To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Timeline or Canvas, do one of
the following:
m In the Timeline, double-click the clip.
m In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead over the clip, then press Return or Enter.
The clip on the lowest-numbered track with Auto Select enabled is opened in the Viewer.
m In the Timeline, select the clip and press Return or Enter.
m Drag the clip from the Timeline to the Viewer.
Sprocket holes
indicate that this is
a sequence clip
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Learning About the Viewer
The following is a quick summary of the Viewer controls. For a more detailed description
of Viewer controls, see the sections starting with “Tabs in the Viewer” on page 83.
Tabs
Clip name and the
project it’s in.
Current Timecode field
Timecode Duration field
View pop-up menu
Zoom pop-up menu
Image display area
Out point
Playhead
In point
Marker
Scrubber bar
Shuttle control
Jog control
Generator pop-up menu
Marking
controls
Transport
controls
Recent Clips
pop-up menu
 Tabs: There are five tabs that can be shown in the Viewer—Video, Audio, Filters,
Motion, and Controls—each providing certain editing functions. For more details, see
“Tabs in the Viewer” on page 83.
 Image display area: This is the area of the Viewer where you can see the video from
your sequence play back.
 In point and Out point: In and Out points allow you to define a specific portion of a clip
to include in a sequence. A clip In point marks the first frame of a clip to be edited into
a sequence. A clip Out point specifies the last frame of the clip to be used. For more
information, see “Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences” on page 283.
 Playhead: The position of the playhead corresponds to the currently displayed frame.
You can move the playhead to go to different parts of a clip.
 Scrubber bar: The scrubber bar represents the entire duration of a clip. You can click
anywhere in the scrubber bar to automatically move the playhead to that location.
 Transport controls: You use these to play clips and move the playhead within clips
and sequences.
 Jog and shuttle controls: You use the jog and shuttle controls to navigate within your
clip, much like traditional VTR controls.
 Marking controls: You use these to set edit points (In and Out points) and add
markers and keyframes to your clips.
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 Zoom pop-up menu: This lets you enlarge or shrink the image that appears in
the Viewer.
 View pop-up menu: This allows you to control display options such as marker
overlays and title safe guides.
 Generator pop-up menu: You use this to select and open generators in the Viewer for
modifying and editing into your sequence. Generators are special clips that can be
generated by Final Cut Express HD; for example, they can be used to create color
mattes and text of different types.
 Recent Clips pop-up menu: This allows you to open recently used clips in the Viewer
for modifying and editing into your sequence.
 Current Timecode field: This field displays the timecode of the frame at the current
position of the playhead. You can enter timecode numbers here to navigate to a new
position in the clip.
 Timecode Duration field: This field shows the current duration between the clip In
and Out points. You can change the duration here, which automatically adjusts the
the clip Out point.
Tabs in the Viewer
Each tab in the Viewer provides a specific set of editing functions: Video, Audio, Filters,
Motion, and Controls. You can drag tabs out of the Viewer so they appear in a separate
window. This is useful, for example, if you want to adjust filter or generator parameters
while watching the results in the Video tab.
Video Tab
The video tab lets you view a clip’s video media, set In and Out points, and add markers
and keyframes. This tab appears when you open a clip that includes video clip items.
This tab is shown by default (see “Learning About the Viewer” on page 82).
Audio Tabs
Audio tabs display audio waveforms for audio clip items. If your clip has audio items,
each audio item opens in its own Audio tab. (If you open an audio-only clip, you’ll only
see Audio tabs with no accompanying Video tab.)
An audio tab may represent a single (mono) audio item or a stereo pair of audio items.
Stereo audio items appear together in a single tab, while mono audio items appear
separately in individual tabs. Controls in each Audio tab allow you to change the audio
level and the stereo panning parameters, creating keyframes if necessary to adjust
levels over time. You can also use an Audio tab to set In and Out points, markers, and
keyframes for audio clips. To learn more, see “Audio Editing Basics” on page 425.
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Filters Tab
You use this tab to adjust parameters for any video or audio filters you’ve applied to a clip.
You can also set keyframes to adjust filter parameters over time. For more information, see
“Video Filters” on page 663. For audio filters, see “Using Audio Filters” on page 639.
Motion Tab
Every clip with a video clip item, whether it’s a video, still image, or generator clip, has
the same motion parameters: scale, rotation, center, anchor point, and additional
attributes such as crop, distort, opacity, drop shadow, and motion blur. The Motion tab
allows you to adjust these parameters of a clip.
You can create motion effects by setting keyframes for motion parameters over time.
For more information, see “Changing Motion Parameters” on page 689. Also refer to
“Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects” on page 719.
Controls Tab
You use the Controls tab to change the parameters for generator clips, such as the font
and text size in a Text generator, or the size of a Circle Shape generator. The Controls
tab appears only when a generator is open in the Viewer. For additional information,
see “Using Built-in Generated Clips” on page 849.
Transport (or Playback) Controls
Transport controls let you play clips in the Viewer. (The same controls also appear in
the Capture and Edit to Tape windows.) These controls play clips at 100 percent (or 1x)
speed. There are keyboard shortcuts for each control.
Go to Previous Edit
Go to Next Edit
Play Around Current Frame
Play In to Out
Play
 Play (Space bar): Plays your clip from the current location of the playhead. Clicking it
again stops playback.
 Play In to Out (Shift-\): Moves the playhead to the current In point of a clip and plays
forward from that point to the Out point.
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 Play Around Current Frame (\): Plays the selected clip “around” the current playhead
position. When you click this button, the playback begins before the playhead position
based on the value in the Preview Pre-roll field in the Editing tab of the User
Preferences window. Playback continues through the original position of the playhead,
and then continues for the amount of time in the Preview Post-roll field in User
Preferences. When you stop playback, the playhead jumps back to its original position.
For more information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
 Go to Previous Edit (Up Arrow) and Go to Next Edit (Down Arrow): When you have a
Browser clip open in the Viewer, these controls navigate between the In, Out, and
Media Start and End points of the clip. When you have a sequence open, these
buttons let you navigate between sequence edit points; sequence In and Out points
are skipped over.
Playhead Controls
The playhead lets you navigate through and locate different parts of a clip quickly
and easily.
Playhead
Inactive video
Scrubber bar
Jog control
Shuttle control
Playhead and Scrubber Bar
The playhead shows the location of the currently displayed frame within the current
clip. The scrubber bar runs along the entire width of the Viewer, below the video
image. To scrub through a clip, drag the playhead across the scrubber bar. You can also
hold down the Command key to drag the playhead at a slower speed, so you can more
easily locate specific frames. You can click anywhere in the scrubber bar to instantly
move the playhead to that location.
The playhead’s movement in the scrubber bar is affected by whether “snapping” is
turned on. When snapping is on, the playhead “snaps,” or moves directly, to any
markers, In points, or Out points in the scrubber bar when it gets close to them. (To
turn snapping on or off, choose View > Snapping, or press the N key.)
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To move the playhead to the next In or Out point, or Media End:
m Press the Down arrow key.
To move the playhead to the previous In or Out point, or Media Start:
m Press the Up arrow key.
To move the playhead to the beginning of your clip:
m Press Home on your keyboard.
To move the playhead to the end of your clip:
m Press End on your keyboard.
Jog Control
To move forward or backward in your clip very precisely, use the jog control. The jog
control allows you to move the playhead as if you were actually moving it with your
hand, with a one-to-one correspondence between the motion of your mouse and the
playhead’s motion. This control is useful for carefully locating a specific frame (for
instance, if you’re trimming an edit). For more information, see “Jogging Through a Clip
or Sequence” on page 106.
To move the playhead backward, one frame at a time:
m Press the Left Arrow key.
To move the playhead forward, one frame at a time:
m Press the Right Arrow key.
To move the playhead one second at a time:
m Hold down the Shift key and press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key.
Shuttle Control
This control lets you quickly play through clips at different speeds, in fast and slow
motion. It also shifts the pitch of audio as it plays at varying speeds. In slow motion,
this can make it easier to locate specific words and sounds for editing.
Drag the slider to the right to fast-forward and to the left to rewind. Playback speed
varies depending on the distance of the slider from the center of the control. When the
slider is green, playback speed is normal (or 100 percent speed). The further away from
the center you move, the faster the playback speed. The keyboard equivalents of the
shuttle control are the J, K, and L keys. For more information, see “Shuttling Through a
Clip or Sequence” on page 105.
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Marking Controls
Marking controls let you set In and Out points, add markers and keyframes, and
navigate to matching frames in master or affiliate clips (this is called performing a
match frame). There are keyboard shortcuts for each control.
Add Marker
Add Motion Keyframe
Mark Clip
Mark In
Show Match Frame
Mark Out
 Show Match Frame (F): When you click this button, Final Cut Express HD searches the
current sequence for the same frame shown in the Viewer. Specifically,
Final Cut Express HD looks for any sequence clips that are affiliated with the clip in
the Viewer. If the frame shown in the Viewer is used in the current sequence, the
Canvas/Timeline playhead is positioned to that frame. The result is that you see the
same frame in both the Viewer and the Canvas, but the clip you see in the Canvas is
actually an affiliate of the clip in the Viewer. This is useful if you want to see where
you have already used a particular frame in your sequence.
Each time you click the Match Frame button, Final Cut Express HD navigates to the
next occurrence of that frame in the sequence. To make sure you find the first
occurrence of the frame, you can move the Canvas/Timeline playhead to the start of
the sequence.
For a more comprehensive discussion of the Match Frame controls, see “Matching
Frames” on page 551.
 Mark Clip (X): Click to set In and Out points at the boundaries of the clip.
 Add Motion Keyframe (Control-K): Click to add a keyframe to the current clip at the
position of the playhead for clip parameters such as Scale, Rotate, Crop, Distort, and
so on. By default, this button sets keyframes for all clip motion parameters at once.
For more information, see “Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects” on page 719.
 Add Marker (M): Click to add a marker at the current playhead position. While editing
you can use markers to make notes about important points in your sequence, such
as areas to change, potential edit points, or sync points. For more information, see
“Using Markers” on page 235.
Important: If a clip is selected in the Timeline, and the playhead touches that clip, a
marker is added to the sequence clip, not the sequence.
 Mark In (I): Click to set the In point at the current position of the playhead.
 Mark Out (O): Click to set the Out point at the current position of the playhead.
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Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus
The two pop-up menus near the top of the Viewer let you quickly select the magnification
level and a viewing format to control the way media in the Viewer is displayed.
Note: These menus also appear in the Canvas, and the options are the same.
Zoom Pop-Up Menu
Choose a magnification level from this pop-up menu. Your choice affects only the
display size of the image; it doesn’t affect the scaling or frame size of the footage in the
Viewer. You can also change the magnification level from the keyboard by pressing
Command-= (equal sign) to zoom in and Command-– (minus) to zoom out.
Besides simply choosing a magnification level, you can choose one of the following:
 Fit to Window: Increases or decreases the size of your media’s image to match any
size of the Viewer window. You can also do this by clicking the Viewer to make it
active, and then pressing Shift-Z (Zoom to Fit).
Before
After
 Fit All: This is similar to the Fit to Window command, but this command takes into
account clips whose borders extend beyond the current Viewer boundaries.
Before
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Note: When playing back media with the Viewer scaled to 100 percent, both fields of
interlaced video are displayed. If the Viewer is scaled to anything other than 100
percent and you’re displaying a DV clip, only one field is shown during playback or
while scrubbing through the clip. When playing back media captured with a third-party
video interface, some interfaces display both fields regardless of the scale of the Viewer,
which may result in visible artifacts in the picture. These are display artifacts only, and
do not exist in the video signal output to tape.
Important: Clips may not play back smoothly if you zoom in on them so far that part of
the image is obscured, and you see scroll bars to the right and below the Viewer
windows. Other windows blocking the Viewer will also affect playback. Choosing a screen
layout or pressing Shift-Z are easy ways to remedy playback quality in this situation.
View Pop-Up Menu
You can choose various options from this pop-up menu for how you view your clips
and sequences in the Viewer.
View pop-up menu
 Image or Image+Wireframe mode: Image is the default, and simply shows the video
of your clip or sequence as it plays back. Image+Wireframe is useful when you’re
using motion effects or compositing. Each video layer in the Viewer has a bounding
box with handles (or a wireframe) that can be used to adjust that clip’s size, rotation,
and position. For more information on using motion effects, see “Changing Motion
Parameters” on page 689. You can also refer to “Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed
Effects” on page 719. For information on compositing, see “Compositing and
Layering” on page 775.
 Overlays: Final Cut Express HD provides translucent visual cues, called overlays, that
help you easily recognize certain parts of your edit in the Viewer, such as the markers
and In and Out points of clips in your sequence.
Note: To view overlays such as title safe guides, you need to enable this option.
 Title and action safe overlays: These show you the boundaries within which you need
to keep your graphics and text so they’ll appear when the sequence is played back
on television. For more information, see “Creating Titles” on page 855.
None of these view options affect either rendered output or material sent to tape.
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Recent Clips and Generator Pop-Up Menus
The two pop-up menus near the lower-right corner of the Viewer let you quickly
choose source clips and generators.
Generator
pop-up menu
Recent Clips
pop-up menu
Recent Clips Pop-Up Menu
This pop-up menu shows recently used clips. A clip is not added to this list when first
opened in the Viewer, but only when another clip replaces it. The last clip that was
replaced in the Viewer appears at the top of the list. By default, the maximum number
of clips that appear in this list is 10, but you can change this number. For more
information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
The clip replaced most
recently is at the top of
the list.
Generator Pop-Up Menu
Use this pop-up menu to choose a generator clip, such as Bars and Tone, a Color Matte,
Gradients, and Text. A generic version of the generator appears in the Viewer; you can
then customize it using the Controls tab. For more information, see “Using Built-in
Generated Clips” on page 849.
Various generator
effects
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Canvas Basics
7
The Canvas provides an environment for viewing your
edited sequence, and works in tandem with the Timeline
while you edit.
This chapter covers the following:
 How You Use the Canvas (p. 91)
 Opening, Selecting, and Closing Sequences in the Canvas (p. 92)
 Learning About the Canvas (p. 93)
 Editing Controls in the Canvas (p. 94)
 Transport (or Playback) Controls (p. 95)
 Playhead Controls (p. 96)
 Marking Controls (p. 98)
 Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus (p. 99)
How You Use the Canvas
In Final Cut Express HD, the Canvas is the equivalent of a record monitor in a tape-to-tape
editing suite; it displays the video and audio of your edited sequence during playback.
When you open a new sequence, it appears simultaneously in tabs in both the Canvas
and the Timeline. The Canvas playhead mirrors the position of the Timeline playhead,
and the Canvas displays the frame at the playhead’s current position in an open
sequence. If you move the Timeline’s playhead, the frame displayed in the Canvas
changes accordingly. If you make a change in the Canvas, it’s reflected in the Timeline.
The controls in the Canvas are similar to those in the Viewer, but instead of navigating
and playing back individual clips, the controls in the Canvas navigate the entire
sequence currently open in the Timeline.
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Before you can work in the Canvas, it must be the currently selected, or active, window.
Otherwise, any commands or keyboard shortcuts you use may perform the wrong
operations. To display the Canvas, you must open a sequence from the Browser (see the
next section, “Opening, Selecting, and Closing Sequences in the Canvas”).
Note: Most of the commands you use in the Canvas also work in the Timeline.
To make the Canvas window active, do one of the following:
m Click the Canvas.
m Press Command-2.
m Press Q to switch between the Viewer and the Canvas.
Opening, Selecting, and Closing Sequences in the Canvas
Sequences are represented by tabs in the Canvas and Timeline. All controls and
commands in the Canvas affect only the sequence in the foreground.
To open a sequence in the Canvas:
m Double-click a sequence in the Browser.
m Select the sequence in the Browser, then press Return.
m Control-click the sequence in the Browser, then choose Open Timeline from the
shortcut menu.
m Select the sequence in the Browser, then choose View > Sequence in Editor.
If you have more than one sequence open in the Canvas, the tab in front is the
active sequence.
To make a sequence active in the Canvas:
m Click a sequence’s tab to bring it to the front.
To close a sequence in the Canvas, do one of the following:
m Click a sequence’s tab to bring it to the front, then choose File > Close Tab.
m Click a sequence’s tab to bring it to the front, then press Control-W.
m Control-click the tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu.
When you close the tab of a sequence in the Canvas, its corresponding tab in the
Timeline also closes.
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Learning About the Canvas
The following is a summary of the controls in the Canvas.
Tab for the open
sequence
Name of the currently
selected sequence and
the project it’s in
Current Timecode field
Timecode Duration field
Zoom pop-up menu
View pop-up menu
Image display area
Playhead
Out point
In point
Scrubber bar
Jog control
Shuttle control
Transport
controls
Sequence marking
controls
 Tabs: Each tab in the Canvas represents an open sequence. Each tab in the Canvas
has a corresponding tab in the Timeline.
 Image display area: This is the area of the Canvas where you can see the video from
your sequence play back.
 Playhead: The position of the playhead corresponds to the currently displayed frame.
You can move the playhead to go to different parts of a sequence.
 In Point and Out Point: You can set sequence In and sequence Out points in the
Canvas or Timeline. You can use these as placement points to determine where clips
are placed in the Timeline destination tracks when you’re doing three-point editing.
For more information, see “Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences” on page 283.
 Scrubber bar: The scrubber bar represents the entire duration of a sequence. You can
click anywhere in the scrubber bar to automatically move the playhead to that location.
 Transport controls: You use these to play a sequence and to move the playhead
within your sequence. The position of the playhead corresponds to the currently
displayed frame.
 Jog and shuttle controls: These let you navigate more precisely within your sequence.
 Sequence marking controls: These are used to add sequence In and Out points,
markers, and keyframes.
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 Editing controls: The edit buttons and the Edit Overlay allow you to perform different
kinds of edits from the clip in the Viewer to your sequence.
 View pop-up menu: This allows you to control display options such as marker
overlays and title safe guides.
 Zoom pop-up menu: This lets you enlarge or shrink the image that appears in the Canvas.
 Current Timecode field: This field displays the timecode of the frame at the current
position of the playhead. You can enter timecode numbers here to navigate to a new
position in your sequence.
 Timecode Duration field: This field shows the current duration between the sequence
In and Out points. You can change the duration here, which automatically adjusts the
the sequence Out point.
Editing Controls in the Canvas
The Canvas can perform five basic types of edits to place a clip in the Viewer into the
current sequence. The clip is placed in the Timeline according to the In and Out points
set in the clip and the sequence, following the rules of three-point editing. The basic
edit types are:
 Overwrite: Replaces the clip items in the destination sequence track with the clip in
the Viewer.
 Insert: Pushes clip items in the sequence forward to accommodate the clip from the
Viewer.
 Replace: Replaces the clip item beneath the Canvas/Timeline playhead with the clip
in the Viewer, using the playhead position in both windows as a synchronization
point.
 Fit to Fill: Speeds up or slows down the clip in the Viewer to fit between the In and
Out points set in the Canvas and Timeline.
 Superimpose: Edits the clip in the Viewer into a track above the sequence clip that
intersects the playhead.
Variations of overwrite and insert, called overwrite with transition and insert with
transition, add the default transition when you perform the edit. This allows you to
perform transitions such as dissolves in a single move. These edits are covered in much
more detail in “Three-Point Editing” on page 329.
You can use the Canvas editing controls to perform edits. Once you’ve marked a clip in the
Viewer with In and Out points defining how much of that clip you want to use, you can use
the Edit Overlay or the edit buttons at the bottom of the Canvas to perform the edit.
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Edit Overlay
The Edit Overlay appears only when you drag clips from the Browser or Viewer to the
image area of the Canvas. The Edit Overlay appears translucently over the image
currently in the Canvas.
Drag a clip to
the image display area
of the Canvas.
The Edit Overlay
appears with its
seven sections.
There are seven sections in the Edit Overlay. If you simply drag your clip to the image
display area to the left of the Edit Overlay, an overwrite edit is performed. To perform
any of the other edits, drag your clip to the overlay area for the edit you wish to
perform.
You’ll know that the clip you’re dragging is over a specific overlay when a colored
outline appears around the border of the overlay.
Transport (or Playback) Controls
Transport controls let you play sequences in the Canvas, as well as move the playhead
in the Timeline. These controls play clips and sequences at 100 percent (or 1x) speed.
There are keyboard shortcuts for each control.
Go to Previous Edit
Go to Next Edit
Play Around
Current Frame
Play In to Out
Play
 Play (Space bar): Plays your sequence from the current location of the playhead.
Clicking it again stops playback.
 Play In to Out (Shift-\): Moves the playhead to the current In point of a sequence and
plays forward from that point to the Out point.
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 Play Around Current Frame (\): Plays the selected sequence “around” the current
playhead position. When you click this button, playback begins before the playhead
position based on the value in the Preview Pre-roll field in the Editing tab of the User
Preferences window. Playback continues through the original position of the
playhead, and then continues for the amount of time specified in the Preview Postroll field. When you stop playback, the playhead jumps back to its original position.
For more information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
 Go to Previous (Up Arrow) and Go to Next Edit (Down Arrow): These controls are
primarily used for quickly navigating from one edit point to the next in the Canvas.
The Go to Previous and Go to Next Edit buttons move the playhead to the previous
and next edit points in the sequence, relative to the current playhead position. If you
have In and Out points set in your sequence, the Go to Previous and Go to Next Edit
buttons navigate to these points as well.
Note: Similar controls also appear in the Viewer, Capture, and Edit to Tape windows.
Playhead Controls
The playhead lets you navigate through and locate different parts of a sequence
quickly and easily.
Inactive video
Inactive video
Playhead
Shuttle control
Scrubber bar
Jog control
Playhead and Scrubber Bar
The playhead shows the location of the currently displayed frame within the current
sequence. The scrubber bar runs along the entire width of the Canvas, below the video
image. To scrub through a sequence, drag the playhead across the scrubber bar. You
can also hold down the Command key to drag the playhead at a slower speed, so you
can more easily locate specific frames. You can click anywhere in the scrubber bar to
instantly move the playhead to that location.
The playhead’s movement in the scrubber bar is affected by whether “snapping” is
turned on. When snapping is on, the playhead “snaps,” or moves directly, to any
markers, In points, or Out points in the scrubber bar when it gets close to them. (To
turn snapping on or off, choose View > Snapping, or press the N key.)
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To move the playhead to the beginning of your sequence:
m Press Home on your keyboard.
To move the playhead to the end of your sequence:
m Press End on your keyboard.
To move the playhead to the next edit point, do one of the following:
m Choose Mark > Next > Edit.
m Click the Go to Next Edit button.
m Press the Down Arrow key.
m Press Shift-E.
Final Cut Express HD looks for the next edit, In point, or Out point. If overlays are
enabled in the View menu, an L-shaped icon appears in the Canvas, indicating whether
you are on an In or Out point.
To move the playhead to the previous edit point, do one of the following:
m Choose Mark > Previous > Edit.
m Click the Go to Previous Edit button.
m Press the Up Arrow key.
m Press Option-E.
Final Cut Express HD looks for the previous edit, In point, or Out point. If overlays are
enabled in the View menu, an L-shaped icon appears in the Canvas, indicating whether
you are on an In or Out point.
To move the playhead to sequence markers, do one of the following:
m Control-click in the Current Timecode field in either the Timeline or the Canvas, then
choose a marker from the shortcut menu that appears.
m Press Shift-Up Arrow to move to the next marker to the right of the playhead.
m Press Shift-Down Arrow to move to the next marker to the left of the playhead.
The playhead moves to that marker. If overlays are enabled in the View menu, the
marker is displayed in the Canvas. For more information on setting markers in the
Timeline, see “Using Markers” on page 235.
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Jog Control
To move forward or backward in your sequence very precisely, use the jog control. The
jog control allows you to move the playhead in the Canvas as if you were actually
moving it with your hand, with a one-to-one correspondence between the motion of
your mouse and the playhead’s motion. This control is useful for carefully locating a
specific frame (for instance, if you’re trimming an edit).
Shuttle Control
This control lets you quickly play through sequences at different speeds, in fast and
slow motion. It also shifts the pitch of audio as it plays at varying speeds. In slow
motion, this can make it easier to locate specific words and sounds for editing.
Drag the slider to the right to fast-forward and to the left to rewind. Playback speed
varies depending on the distance of the slider from the center of the control. When the
slider is green, playback speed is normal (or 100 percent speed). The further away from
the center you move, the faster the playback speed. The keyboard equivalents of the
shuttle control are the J, K, and L keys. For more information, see “Shuttling Through a
Clip or Sequence” on page 105.
Marking Controls
Marking controls let you set In and Out points, add markers and keyframes, and
navigate to matching frames in master or affiliate clips (this is called performing a
match frame). There are keyboard shortcuts for each control.
Mark Clip
Show Match Frame
Mark In
Mark Out
Add Motion Keyframe
Add Marker
 Mark In (I): Click to set the In point at the current position of the playhead.
 Mark Out (O): Click to set the Out point at the current position of the playhead.
 Add Marker (M): Click to add a marker at the current playhead position. While editing
you can use markers to make notes about important points in your sequence, such
as areas to change, potential edit points, or sync points. Markers can be added to
sequences in the Canvas and Timeline. For more information, see “Using Markers” on
page 235.
Important: If a clip is selected in the Timeline, and the playhead touches that clip, a
marker is added to the sequence clip, not the sequence.
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 Add Motion Keyframe (Control-K): Click to add a keyframe to the current clip at the
position of the playhead. This button adds keyframes for clip parameters such as
Scale, Rotate, Crop, Distort, and so on.
 Show Match Frame (F): When you click this button, the frame you see in the Canvas
appears in the Viewer. Specifically, the master clip for the sequence clip that
intersects the Canvas/Timeline playhead is opened in the Viewer. The Viewer
playhead is set to the frame shown in the Canvas, and the In and Out points for the
sequence clip are set in the master clip in the Viewer. This allows you to easily get
back to the master clip for any affiliate clip, in case you want to use the footage for
another purpose, or if you want to see the original video and audio clip items of the
master clip. For a more comprehensive discussion of the Match Frame controls, see
“Matching Frames” on page 551.
 Mark Clip (X): Click to set In and Out points at the boundaries of the clip that
currently intersects the Canvas/Timeline playhead. The clip on the lowest-numbered
track with Auto Select enabled is used.
Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus
The two pop-up menus near the top of the Canvas let you quickly select the
magnification level and a viewing format to control the way media in the Canvas is
displayed. These menus are also present in the Viewer, and the options are the same.
For details, see “Zoom and View Pop-Up Menus” on page 88.
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8
Navigating and Using Timecode
in the Viewer and Canvas
8
While the Viewer and Canvas serve different purposes,
navigating and working with timecode are nearly the
same in both windows.
This chapter covers the following:
 Navigating in the Viewer and Canvas (p. 101)
 Working With Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas (p. 108)
How the Viewer and Canvas Are Different
Although the Viewer and Canvas windows are very similar in appearance and use
many of the same controls, the video displayed in the Canvas is not the same as that
in the Viewer. In the Viewer, you open and play clips in preparation for editing, while
the Canvas shows video from a sequence in the Timeline. You can think of the Viewer
as the source monitor and the Canvas as the record monitor from a traditional tape-totape editing system.
For information about controls in the Viewer, see Chapter 6, “Viewer Basics,” on
page 79. For information about controls in the Canvas, see Chapter 7, “Canvas Basics,”
on page 91.
Navigating in the Viewer and Canvas
Aside from using the transport controls, there are numerous ways to move around
within clips and sequences in Final Cut Express HD. You can navigate more quickly
using the specialized jog and shuttle controls, moving through your media at slower or
faster speeds. You can also enter absolute or relative timecode values directly into
timecode fields to move the playhead within your clips and sequences. All of these
methods work with external video enabled, and external video output will be
continuously updated.
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Playing Clips and Sequences
You use the transport controls in the Viewer and Canvas to play forward, backward,
between In and Out points, one frame at a time, or loop playback. You can also move
around within clips and sequences by jogging, shuttling, and scrubbing, and by
entering timecode numbers.
To play a clip in the Viewer or a sequence in the Canvas:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Click the Play button.
Press the Space bar.
Press L.
Choose Mark > Play > Forward.
To stop playback, press the Space bar or click the Play button again.
You can navigate backward at 1x (normal) speed, such as if you want to search for
precise locations to set your In and Out points.
To play media in reverse:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Shift-click the Play button.
Press Shift–Space bar.
Press J.
Choose Mark > Play > Play Reverse.
Once you set In and Out points for a clip to define what part you want to use in your
sequence, you may want to review the In and Out points. You can use the Play In to
Out feature so that playback starts precisely at the In point and stops at the Out point,
to make sure that the edit points are exact. This is useful if you’re editing dialogue and
you want to make sure you’re cutting on the proper sound at each of your edit points.
You may also want to use this feature if you’re matching action and want to make sure
you’re starting and ending at the right frames.
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To play a clip or sequence between In and Out points:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
 Click the Play In to Out button.
 Press Shift-\ (backslash).
 Choose Mark > Play > In to Out.
If you want to preview how the cut you’ve made at the Out point will play, you can play
to the Out point. This is useful because it quickly shows you if you’ve left out a frame, or
if you need to shave off more frames. For example, if you’re editing dialogue, you can
make sure you cut out on the very last frame of a pause at the end of an “s” sound,
while leaving out an “i” sound that follows in the actor’s next sentence.
To play a clip from the current position of the playhead to the Out point:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
 Command-click the Play button.
 Press Shift-P.
 Choose Mark > Play > To Out.
You can also play around the current playhead position. This is useful if you want to
watch the outgoing and incoming media around an edit point, perhaps to decide how
you want to trim one side or the other.
To play a clip around the current playhead position:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Play > Around.
 Click Play Around Current Frame.
 Press \ (backslash).
Note: The amount of video played depends on the pre-roll and post-roll settings in the
Editing tab of the User Preferences window. For more information, see “Choosing
Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
You can also play every frame of a clip. This is useful for getting a preview of a clip or
sequence with effects applied, without rendering first. While the clip won’t play back
at 1x (normal) speed (it plays back somewhat more slowly, depending on the number
of effects applied and on the data rate of the clip), every frame plays back, with no
frames dropped.
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To play every frame of a clip:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer or make the Canvas or Timeline active.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Play > Every Frame.
 Press Option-\ (backslash) or Option-P.
Scrubbing, or Moving, Through a Clip or Sequence
The scrubber bar represents the entire duration of the clip that’s open in the Viewer
and the entire duration of a sequence that’s open in the Canvas. Dragging the
playhead in the scrubber bar lets you scrub through your clip or sequence, with a oneto-one correspondence between the movement of your mouse and the playhead’s
movement through the clip or sequence.
This is the fastest way to move through a clip or sequence in order to find the point
you want. How quickly you can move through the clip or sequence depends on the
duration of the clip or sequence. In a short clip or sequence, moving the mouse a given
distance in the scrubber bar will move through less footage than in a clip or sequence
of lengthy duration.
As you scrub through your clip or sequence, audio also plays back more quickly, but it
doesn’t play back smoothly—it will seem to stutter (not speed up) as individual audio
samples are skipped. This is normal. For smooth playback of audio at speeds under 1x,
use the shuttle control instead.
To scrub through a clip or sequence:
m Drag the playhead along the scrubber bar.
To move around, drag the
playhead along the
scrubber bar.
You can also use the scrubber bar to jump to a different part of your clip or sequence
instantly, without playing all the footage between the previous location of the
playhead and the new location.
To jump to a new location in the scrubber bar:
m Click the desired location in the scrubber bar.
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Shuttling Through a Clip or Sequence
While using the scrubber bar is a great way to quickly navigate to different parts of
your clip or sequence, sometimes you want to play through your clip or sequence
smoothly at varying speeds as you make decisions about where to place your edit
points. The shuttle control gives you this kind of smooth control, playing back your
video and audio at various speeds in either direction, much as the shuttle of a video
deck does.
In particular, the shuttle control is useful for playing back at less than 1x speed. As the
audio slows down, it’s sometimes easier to distinguish individual words, and to set your
In and Out points more accurately.
The shuttle control can play your clip or sequence at five speeds in each direction:
1/4x, 1/2x, 1x, 2x, and 4x. The shuttle control snaps to the closest available speed. When
the shuttle control is at 1x speed, or 100 percent, the slider turns green.
To play clips or sequences at varying speeds using the shuttle control:
m Drag the shuttle slider to the left or right.
Dragging to the right moves the clip or sequence forward; dragging to the left moves
the clip or sequence in reverse. The farther you drag the slider from the center, the
faster the clip or sequence plays in that direction.
Drag to the right to
play forward; drag to
the left to play in
reverse.
You can also use the J, K, and L keys on your keyboard to shuttle through your clip.
When you use the keyboard shortcuts, the only speed available under 1x is 1/3x.
However, you can use the keyboard commands to speed playback up to eight times
normal speed, faster than you can play back using the shuttle control.
{ Moves through
reverse speeds
Pause
“ Moves through
forward speeds
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To begin forward playback at normal (1x) speed:
m Press L.
To begin reverse playback at normal (1x) speed:
m Press J.
To pause playback:
m Press K.
To double the current playback speed:
m Press L or J again.
You can play back up to eight times normal speed, switching from 1x to 2x to 4x to 8x
normal speed (pressing either key a total of 4 times).
Pressing the key for playback in the opposite direction halves the playback speed,
slowing playback in that direction down until it reaches 1x playback. Playback then
begins doubling in reverse, starting from 1x.
To immediately reverse the playback direction:
m Press K to pause, then press the key for the direction you want.
To move the playhead one frame at a time:
m Hold down the K key, then press J or L.
To move the playhead at below 1/3x speed:
m Hold down the K key, then press and hold down J or L.
Note: When using keyboard shortcuts for device control, the speed of forward (L) and
reverse (J) may differ depending on your video equipment.
Jogging Through a Clip or Sequence
To move through a clip or sequence more precisely, you can use the jog control. The
jog control offers a one-to-one correspondence between the mouse and the playhead’s
movement, but also provides frame-by-frame accuracy that’s not dependent on the
duration of the clip or sequence. It’s a good tool to use to play through a section of
very slowly, looking for the right frame to cut on.
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To move forward or backward using the jog control:
m Drag the jog control to the left or to the right.
The playhead moves with a one-to-one correspondence to the movement of your
mouse. Moving your mouse slowly moves the playhead slowly, even frame by frame.
Moving the mouse faster moves the playhead faster. If you stop dragging, the playhead
stops instantly.
To move precisely
through a clip, drag
the jog control.
You can also move the playhead one frame at a time or one second at a time, by using
the arrow keys on the keyboard.
To move forward one frame at a time:
m Press the Right Arrow key
To move back one frame at a time:
m Press the Left Arrow key.
To move forward one second at a time:
m Press Shift while you press the Right Arrow key.
To move backward one second at a time:
m Press Shift while you press the Left Arrow key.
Looping Playback
Normally, playback of a clip or sequence starts at the current playhead position and
stops at the end of the clip or sequence. If you enable looped playback, the clip or
sequence plays over and over again until you stop playback.
When looped playback is enabled:
 Using Play In to Out loops playback only between your two edit points.
 Playing in reverse loops playback from the end of your clip to the beginning.
 In all other playback modes, playback always starts over from the beginning of the clip.
Note: When you loop playback, there is a split-second pause at the end of your clip or
sequence before the next loop starts. For this reason, enabling looped playback to loop
a sequence during output to tape from the Canvas might not give you the results you
want. For more information on outputting to tape, see “Printing To Video and Output
From the Timeline” on page 965.
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To enable looped playback:
m Choose View > Loop Playback (or press Control-L).
If it’s already enabled, you’ll see a checkmark next to the command in the menu.
To disable looped playback:
m Choose View > Loop Playback (or press Control-L) again, so that the checkmark next to
the menu item disappears
Working With Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas
Two fields display timecode in the Viewer and Canvas: Timecode Duration and
Current Timecode.
Timecode Duration field
in the Canvas
Current Timecode field
in the Canvas
 Timecode Duration field: This field shows the current duration between the clip In
and Out points. You can change the duration here, which automatically adjusts the
the clip Out point.
 Current Timecode field: This field displays the timecode of the frame at the current
position of the playhead. You can enter absolute or relative timecode numbers here
to navigate to a new position in the clip.
Note: Clicking the icon to the left of each field highlights the entire field so you can
enter new numbers.
Navigating With Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas
You can move the playhead around in a clip or sequence by entering a new timecode
number in the Current Timecode field.
 To move to a particular frame in your clip or sequence, enter a complete (or
absolute) timecode number.
 To move the playhead forward or backward a precise number of hours, minutes,
seconds, and frames from the current position, you enter a relative number.
 To move the playhead relative to its current position, type a minus (–) or a plus (+)
and the timecode value outside the Current Timecode field.
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To avoid typing zeroes when moving by larger amounts, type a period instead.
 To move to timecode 00:00:03:00, type “3.” (3 and a period). The period is
automatically interpreted by Final Cut Express HD as 00 in the frames field.
 To move to 00:03:00:00 from the previous position, type “3..” (3 and two periods).
These periods insert 00 into both the frames and seconds fields.
 Type 3... to move to 03:00:00:00.
Note: You can also enter values in the Timecode Duration field to adjust the duration
of a clip.
To move the playhead in a clip or sequence by entering a value in the Current
Timecode field:
1 Do one of the following:
 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer.
 Make the Canvas active.
2 Click the Current Timecode field (or the icon to the left of it) to highlight the field.
3 Enter a new timecode value, then press Return.
Instead of moving the playhead to an absolute timecode number, you can move it
relative to its current position by pressing the + and – keys. For example, to move the
playhead 15 frames forward from the current position, type “+15”. To move the playhead
1 minute and 20 frames back from the current position, type “–01.20” (the period
automatically adds 00 to the seconds field).
To move the playhead forward relative to its current position:
m Enter + (plus), then a timecode value.
To move the playhead back:
m Enter – (minus), then a timecode value.
For example, if you type +1612, the playhead moves ahead 16 seconds and 12 frames.
To move the playhead back by 16 seconds and 12 frames, you would type –1612. To
move back 5 minutes, 20 seconds, and 10 frames, you would type –52010.
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To move the playhead typing outside the Current Timecode field:
1 Do one of the following:
 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer.
 Make the Canvas active.
2 Type a new timecode value, then press Return.
Even though the Current Timecode field isn’t selected, the timecode value you type
appears in this field. The playhead moves to the location of the new timecode value,
and the new timecode value is shown in the Current Timecode field.
For more information about timecode, see “Working With Timecode” on page 557.
Dragging Timecode Values
You can drag timecode values from one timecode field to another, or from columns in
the Browser to timecode fields in the Capture window.
To drag a timecode value from one field to another:
m Hold down the Option key while you drag a timecode value from a timecode field or
column in the Browser to any other timecode field.
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Timeline Basics
9
The Timeline shows a graphical representation of your
edited sequence, with all of that sequence’s clips laid out
in chronological order.
This chapter covers the following:
 How You Use the Timeline (p. 111)
 Opening and Closing Sequences in the Timeline (p. 113)
 Learning About the Timeline (p. 114)
 Changing Timeline Display Options (p. 123)
 Navigating in the Timeline (p. 127)
 Zooming and Scrolling in the Timeline (p. 128)
How You Use the Timeline
The Timeline and the Canvas display two different views of the same sequence. The
Timeline shows the chronological arrangement of clips and layered video and audio
clip items, while the Canvas provides a single view that allows you to watch your
sequence just as it will appear on a movie or television screen.
The Timeline, like the Canvas, contains tabs for all open sequences. Each sequence in
the Timeline is organized into separate video and audio tracks, which contain clip items
you’ve edited into the sequence from the Browser. Using the Timeline, you can quickly
navigate through an entire edited sequence, adding, overwriting, rearranging, and
removing clip items.
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This shows several items in the Timeline.
In Point
Playhead
Out Point
Sequence tab
Current Timecode field
This shows the same items as they appear in the Canvas.
Sequence tab
Current Timecode field
Playhead
In point
Out point
Since the playhead in the Timeline mirrors the playhead in the Canvas, you can use
the navigation, marking, and editing controls in the Canvas to navigate in the
Timeline, and vice versa.
To make the Timeline window active, do one of the following:
m Click in the Timeline window.
m Press Command-3.
Note: To work in the Timeline, the first thing you have to do is open a sequence. If you
don’t have any sequences in your project, you need to create one. For more
information, see “Working With Projects, Clips, and Sequences” on page 261.
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Opening and Closing Sequences in the Timeline
In the Timeline and Canvas, tabs represent sequences. Opening a sequence opens the
Timeline and the Canvas windows simultaneously (if they’re not open already). If the
Timeline and Canvas are already open, a newly opened sequence appears in its own
tab on top of any other sequence tabs.
To open a sequence in the Timeline and Canvas, do one of the following:
m Double-click a sequence in the Browser.
m Select the sequence in the Browser, then press Return.
m Control-click the sequence in the Browser, then choose Open Timeline from the
shortcut menu.
m Select the sequence in the Browser, then choose View > Sequence in Editor.
The sequence opens in the Timeline and Canvas windows.
To select a sequence in the Timeline:
m Click the sequence’s tab.
To close a sequence in the Timeline, do one of the following:
m With the sequence’s tab selected in the Timeline, choose File > Close Tab.
m Control-click the sequence’s tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu.
m Press Control-W.
When you close a sequence’s tab in the Timeline, the corresponding tab in the Canvas
closes, and vice versa. Closing the Canvas window closes the Timeline window.
However, closing the Timeline window by pressing Command-W does not close the
Canvas window.
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Learning About the Timeline
You can view the content of your sequences in many different ways in the Timeline.
Track height, clip opacity and audio level overlays, keyframes, and many other
sequence properties can be displayed and edited in the Timeline. Each sequence has its
own unique display settings; changing the zoom setting or audio controls in one
sequence doesn’t affect another.
Editing controls
Each tab represents
a sequence.
Audio controls
Vertical multitrack
controls
Keyframe and
track controls
Horizontal Time
controls
Sequence Tabs in the Timeline
Each tab in the Timeline represents a sequence. You can have multiple sequences open
simultaneously, each with its own tab. Controls in Final Cut Express HD affect only the
sequence whose tab is in front. Clicking another sequence’s tab brings it to the front,
along with that sequence’s tab in the Canvas.
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Editing Controls
The Timeline editing controls determine which tracks are selected and enabled for
editing and playback.
Destination control
Lock Track control
Auto Select control
Source control
Track Visibility control
Locked tracks are
cross-hatched.
 Source and Destination controls: These allow you to connect (or patch) clip items of
the source clip in the Viewer to tracks in the Timeline. These controls are primarily
used in three-point editing to determine which source clip items tracks are edited
into your sequence, and where they are placed.
The number of available Source controls corresponds to the number of clip items of
the source clip currently open in the Viewer. For example, a typical DV clip has one
video track and two audio tracks. In this case, one video and two audio Source
controls appear in the Timeline. If, instead, you open a clip in the Viewer that has one
video item and four audio items, then one video and four audio Source controls
appear in the Timeline. For more information, see “Three-Point Editing” on page 329.
 Track Visibility control: Determines whether the contents of a track are displayed and
rendered in your sequence. When a track is disabled, it appears darkened in the
Timeline, but its contents remain in your sequence and can still be edited. When you
play back your sequence, disabled tracks don’t appear in the Canvas or on an
external monitor, nor will they be rendered or output to tape with that sequence.
Note: Render files for a track are deleted if the track is disabled. You can have
Final Cut Express HD display a warning before this occurs by selecting the “Warn if
visibility change deletes render file” option in the Editing tab of the User Preferences
window. For more information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on
page 945.
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 Lock Track control: Prevents a track’s contents from being moved or changed in any
way. Overlays in locked tracks can also be protected by deselecting the “Pen tools
can edit locked item overlays” option in the Editing tab of the User Preferences
window. Locked tracks are cross-hatched all the way across the Timeline. Tracks can
be locked and unlocked at any time. For more information, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945.
 Auto Select control: Enabling the Auto Select controls of specific tracks in the
Timeline limits which tracks are affected by various functions such as copying,
pasting, deleting, the Match Frame command and so on.
Note: You can think of In and Out points as limiting your edits in the horizontal
(time) dimension and Auto Select as limiting your edits in the vertical dimension.
Vertical Multitrack Controls
 Tracks: The main portion of the Timeline is divided into audio and video tracks, with a
divider between the two regions. You can drag the divider up or down to allocate more
room to either the video or audio half of the Timeline. Audio tracks 1 and 2 are just
underneath the divider, and all additional audio tracks continue downward. Video track 1
is just above the divider, and all additional video tracks continue upward. For more
information, see “Working With Tracks in the Timeline” on page 305.
You can change the default number of video and audio tracks in the Timeline
Options tab of the User Preferences window. For more information, see “Choosing
Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
More tracks can be added at any time. Additional audio tracks can be used for adding
music or sound effects, or for organizational purposes. Additional video tracks can be
used for superimposing clips and compositing layers of video clips together.
Video tracks
Thumb tab
Divider
Vertical scroll bar
Audio tracks
The unused area provides
space to accommodate
new tracks.
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 Unused area: This is the area either above or below the outermost video and audio
tracks in your sequence. Ordinarily, this area is blank, but if you drag clips directly
into this gray area, new tracks are created to accommodate them.
 Vertical scroll bars and thumb tabs: If you have more tracks than can be displayed in
the Timeline window at one time, the scroll bars let you scroll through your video
and audio tracks separately. The thumb tabs between the audio and video track
regions can be used to define a static area that contains separate groups of audio or
video tracks with their own scroll bars.
This can come in handy when you have considerably more audio tracks than video.
You can use the thumb tabs between your audio and video scroll bars to allocate
more space to your audio tracks and less for video. For more information about
creating a static area, see “Working With Tracks in the Timeline” on page 305.
Horizontal Time Controls
 Ruler: The ruler along the top of the Timeline represents the total duration of your
edited sequence, from the first frame to the last. The ruler can be used for reference,
to see the timecode corresponding to the location of clips in the Timeline. You can
also click or drag the playhead in the ruler, which works exactly like the scrubber bar
in the Canvas.
Sequences can be a maximum of 12 hours.
Playhead
Ruler
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 Playhead: The playhead displays the current frame location in a sequence. You can
also use the playhead to navigate through your sequence in the Timeline. For more
information, see “Navigating in the Timeline” on page 127.
 Current Timecode field: Indicates the timecode position of the playhead. Typing a new
timecode number moves the playhead (as in the Viewer and Canvas).
Current Timecode field
 Zoom control: Lets you zoom in and out of the contents of your sequence in the
Timeline. Zooming in shows more detail in the ruler, and the duration between the
numbers in the ruler shrinks. Zooming out shows less detail in the ruler, but allows
you to see more of the total duration of your sequence in the Timeline. If the
playhead is visible, it stays centered when you use the Zoom control to zoom in on
the Timeline. If the playhead is not visible, the Zoom control centers the current
contents of the Timeline window instead.
Zoom control
Using the zoom keyboard shortcuts produces slightly different results. Pressing
Option-= (equal sign) or Option-– (minus) zooms in or out of the contents of the
Timeline no matter which window in Final Cut Express HD is currently active. If one
or more clips are selected, they will be the center of the zoom. Otherwise, zooming
centers on the current position of the playhead.
Note: If you want to zoom in and out around the current playhead, make sure no
clips are selected in the Timeline.
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 Zoom slider: Like the Zoom control, the Zoom slider allows you to zoom in and out
of a sequence in the Timeline. Dragging the thumb tabs on either side of the slider
adjusts both thumb tabs and leaves the visible area of the Timeline centered.
Drag the slider to scroll
through your sequence.
Pressing the Shift key and dragging one of the thumb tabs locks the opposite thumb
tab and moves the visible area of the Timeline in the direction you’re dragging. The light
gray indicators inside the scroll bar indicate one-minute increments in your sequence,
and widen or narrow depending on how far into your sequence you’ve zoomed.
Once you’ve zoomed in to your sequence, you can scroll along the entire duration of
the sequence by dragging the center of the zoom slider.
Timeline Display Controls
There are several controls in the Timeline that can change how items in the Timeline
are displayed. For more information on these controls, see “Changing Timeline Display
Options” on page 123.
Track Layout
pop-up menu
Clip Keyframes control
Clip Overlays
control
Track Height
controls
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Audio Controls
 Audio Controls button: Click to display the mute and solo buttons to the left of each
audio track in the Timeline. By default, these controls are hidden.
Solo control
Mute control
Audio Controls button
 Mute and solo controls: Use to enable and disable audio playback on individual tracks
for monitoring purposes.
 Mute: Click to turn off audio playback for that track. The mute button affects
monitoring during playback only. Muting a track does not delete panning or audio
level keyframes for the clip items in that track, nor does it prevent fader automation.
 Solo: Click to listen only to an individual track. When you solo a track, all others are
muted except other tracks already soloed. For example, if you click the solo button
on track A1, and it’s the only track with solo selected, all other audio tracks are
muted. If you enable the solo button on multiple tracks, all tracks with solo
enabled play back, while all other tracks are muted.
Note: Mute and solo controls only affect playback in the Timeline. They do not suspend
audio output during Print to Tape or Edit to Tape operations, or when exporting to a
movie or audio file.
Other Miscellaneous Controls
Snapping button
Linked Selection
button
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 Snapping button: Click to turn snapping on and off. This button appears in the
Timeline button bar by default. When snapping is on, the playhead “snaps to” key
areas in the Timeline, such as the boundaries of other clip items, sequence markers,
and sequence In and Out points. This can be extremely useful when you need to
quickly line up two clips without gaps in between, or to quickly move the playhead
to a marker in preparation for an edit. You can also turn snapping on and off by
choosing View > Snapping (or by pressing N).
 Linked Selection button: Click this to turn linked selection on and off. With linked
selection on, clicking a video or audio clip item selects all other items linked to that
item. If linked selection is off, only the clip item you click is selected, even if it is
linked to other items. This is useful for editing the audio In or Out point of a clip
separately from the video, such as when doing a split edit. You can also turn linked
selection on and off by choosing Edit > Linked Selection (or by pressing Shift-L). For
more information, see “Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync” on page 397.
 Link indicators (within clip items): The names of linked video and audio clip items are
underlined. As long as linked selection is on, when one linked item is selected,
moved, or trimmed, all other items linked to it are affected identically.
 Speed indicator (within clip items): If the speed of a clip has been changed, either by
using a fit to fill edit or using the Speed command in the Modify menu, its change of
speed will be shown in parentheses after the name of the clip in the Timeline.
 Stereo pair indicators (within clip items): Two pairs of triangles indicate that two audio
clip items are linked as a stereo pair. If you select an audio clip item that is part of a
stereo pair, the other clip item in the pair is also selected. This is useful when you are
working with stereo audio clips such as music or sound effects. For more
information, see “Audio Editing Basics” on page 425.
Speed change
is shown as a
percentage.
Stereo pair indicator
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Real-Time Effects and the Render Status Bar
 Real-Time Effects (RT) pop-up menu: Allows you to adjust the playback quality of realtime effects in Final Cut Express HD. Using the options in this menu, you can decide
which is more important to you—visual playback quality, or maximizing the available
effects that can be played back in real time. For more information on the options in
the Real-Time Effects pop-up menu, see “Using RT Extreme” on page 865.
Real-Time Effects (RT)
pop-up menu
 Render status bar: This bar at the top of the Timeline indicates which parts of the
sequence have been rendered at the current render quality. The top line is for video,
the bottom for audio.
 Video render bar (upper region): Indicates the presence and render status of video
effects items.
 Audio render bar (lower region): Indicates the presence and render status of audio
effects items.
The upper area indicates
the render status of
video items.
The lower area indicates
the render status of
audio items.
Colors in the render bar above items indicate whether the items need to be
rendered. Items that don’t need to be rendered have dark gray bars above them. For
more information, see “Using RT Extreme” on page 865. You can also refer to
“Rendering” on page 877.
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 Clip item render bars: Audio clip items can be rendered individually. Clip items in the
Timeline display individual render bars in the following cases:
 Audio clip items that require sample rate conversion: For example, audio clips that
were captured at 44.1 kHz but have been edited into a sequence set to 48 kHz.
 Audio clip items with filters applied: Applying one or more filters causes an audio
clip to display a render bar within the clip item itself.
For more information about clip item render bars, see “Rendering” on page 877.
Sequence Clips in the Timeline
Clip items in a sequence are often called sequence clips, with the item’s name displayed at
the head of the clip. If the clip item is long enough, the name is also displayed at the end.
You can choose whether video clip items in the Timeline display thumbnails, and
whether audio clip items display audio waveforms. These options are available in the
Timeline options tab of the Sequence Settings window (for more information, see
“Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
Clip items can be linked so that they can be selected and edited together. This allows
you to keep clip items that came from the same Browser clip together, such as a video
clip item and a stereo pair of audio clip items. When you select a linked clip item, all the
other linked clip items are selected as well (unless the Linked Selection button is
disabled). For more information about working with linked items, see “Linking and
Editing Video and Audio in Sync” on page 397.
Changing Timeline Display Options
The default Timeline display options for new sequences are defined in the Timeline
Options tab of the User Preferences window. (For more information, see “Choosing
Settings and Preferences” on page 945.)
You can change Timeline display options for existing sequences in several places:
 Timeline Options tab of the Sequence Settings window: This tab shows all the options
available for displaying items in the Timeline. For more information, see the next
section, “About Timeline Display Options in the Sequence Settings Window.”
 Timeline display controls: These controls include the Clip Keyframes, Clip Overlays,
and Track Height controls. For more information, see “About Timeline Display
Controls in the Timeline” on page 126.
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 Track layout pop-up menu: You can use this pop-up menu to change some Timeline
display options, as well as save, choose, or restore custom track layouts. For more
information, see “Timeline Display Options Available From the Track Layout
Pop-Up Menu” on page 126.
Click here to view the
Track Layout pop-up
menu.
About Timeline Display Options in the Sequence Settings Window
You can access almost all of the Timeline display options in the Timeline Options tab of
the Sequence Settings window. Exceptions and alternate ways of accessing the same
options are noted when possible.
To change Timeline display options in the Sequence Settings window:
m Select a sequence in the Browser or Timeline, choose Sequence > Sequence Settings,
then click the Timeline Options tab.
General Options
These are basic display options you can change at any time. Several options, such as
the default number of video and audio tracks, are only available in the Timeline
Options tab of the User Preferences window, because these options only affect default
settings for new sequences.
 Track Size: Choose a track size to set the vertical height of tracks in the Timeline. (You
can also use the Track Height controls in the Timeline.)
 Default Number of Video and Audio Tracks: You can only specify the default number of
video and audio tracks you want new sequences to have. This option is only available
in the Timeline Options tab of the User Preferences window.
 Thumbnail Display:
 Name: Displays only the name of the clip without thumbnail images.
 Name Plus Thumbnail: Displays the video frame at the In point of the clip and the
clip name.
 Filmstrip: Displays as many thumbnail images as possible for the current zoom
level of the Timeline.
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Track Display
 Show Keyframe Overlays: Select this option to display opacity overlays (thin black lines)
over your video tracks, and audio level overlays (thin red lines) over any clips in the
audio tracks of the Timeline. These lines indicate video transparency or audio levels. For
more information, see “Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects” on page 719.
You can also use the Clip Overlays control in the Timeline to show or hide overlays.
 Show Audio Waveforms: Select this option to display audio waveforms superimposed
over audio clips in the Timeline. You can also toggle audio waveforms by pressing
Option-Command-W. This option is also available in the Track Layout pop-up menu
in the Timeline.
Audio waveform
Without audio
waveform
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About Timeline Display Controls in the Timeline
Several controls in the Timeline allow you to change the display of certain items in
the Timeline.
Clip Overlays control
Track Height controls
 Clip Overlays control: Click this control to display opacity overlays (thin black lines)
over your video tracks, and audio level overlays (thin red lines) over any clips in the
audio tracks of the Timeline. These lines indicate video transparency or audio levels.
 Track Height control: Use this control to switch between four track display sizes—
Reduced, Small, Medium, and Large. The current setting is highlighted in blue and
has a small dot in the center. Choosing a track height with this control resets all
tracks to the new size, overriding any custom track heights previously selected. To
preserve the relative heights of individually sized tracks while resizing all tracks, hold
down the Option key while choosing a new height with this control.
Note: When the track size is set to Reduced, neither audio waveforms nor thumbnails
are displayed.
Timeline Display Options Available From the Track Layout
Pop-Up Menu
You can use the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline to change some Timeline
display options, including:
 Track height
 Video filmstrips
 Audio waveforms
To change Timeline display options using the Track Layout pop-up menu:
m Click the triangle to the right of the Track Height control, then choose an option from
the pop-up menu.
Click here to view the Track
Layout pop-up menu.
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Navigating in the Timeline
There are several ways you can navigate through your sequence in the Timeline:
 Move the playhead by clicking or dragging in the ruler at the top of the Timeline window.
Note: The playhead in the Timeline is locked to the playhead in the Canvas, and both
windows mirror each other. The Canvas displays the frame currently at the position of
the playhead in the Timeline, whether it’s playing or stopped.
 Enter a new absolute or relative timecode value in the Current Timecode field.
 Use the same shortcuts you’d use in the Canvas to navigate through and play your
edited sequence. For more information, see “Navigating in the Viewer and Canvas”
on page 101.
Positioning the Playhead Using the Ruler
Moving the playhead in the Timeline ruler works in the same way as moving the
playhead in the scrubber bar in the Canvas or Viewer.
To scrub through a sequence in the Timeline:
m Drag the playhead in the Timeline ruler.
Playhead
To jump to a specific location in the Timeline:
m Click the desired location in the Timeline ruler. (You can do this while your sequence is
stopped or playing.)
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Using Timecode to Navigate in the Timeline
The Current Timecode field shows the current position of the playhead. If you enter a
new timecode number, the playhead moves to that position. You can enter either
absolute or relative timecode numbers in this field. (For information on where this field
is located in the Timeline, see “Horizontal Time Controls” on page 117.)
To move the playhead to a specific location:
1 Make the Timeline or Canvas active.
If you’re in the Timeline, make sure that all clips are deselected; otherwise, you will
move the selected clip to a new location. (Pressing Command-D deselects all clips.)
2 Do one of the following:
 Enter a new timecode number, then press Return to move to the frame that
corresponds to the timecode number you entered.
 Enter + (plus) or – (minus) and a relative timecode number, then press Return to
move forward or backward that number of frames from the current position of
the playhead.
You do not have to select the Current Timecode field to enter a new timecode number.
If the Timeline window is active, the playhead will move to the new timecode location
in both the Timeline and Canvas, and the Current Timecode field of the Canvas will
mirror that of the Timeline.
Zooming and Scrolling in the Timeline
Being able to navigate quickly to any point in your sequence is critical to efficient
editing and storytelling, and the ability to jump to any point in the Timeline instantly is
one of the main benefits of a nonlinear editing environment. There are lots of ways to
navigate through the Timeline. Learning keyboard shortcuts can save you time.
Zooming In and Out of the Timeline
There are several ways to set the zoom level you want:
 Zoom slider
 Zoom control
 Zoom tools from the Tool palette
 Menu commands
 Keyboard shortcuts
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To zoom in and out of the Timeline using the Zoom slider, do one of the following:
m Drag the thumb tabs on either side of the Zoom slider to adjust both ends of your view
at the same time. If the playhead is visible, it stays centered during the zoom. If the
playhead is not visible, the visible area of the Timeline stays centered.
m Hold down the Shift key while you drag one of the thumb tabs (on either side of the
Zoom slider) to zoom in or out of your sequence from the selected end of the Zoom
slider, while keeping the other thumb tab locked in place. This also moves the visible
area of the Timeline in the direction you’re dragging as you zoom.
Click in the space
around the slider to
scroll one length of the
Timeline window.
Scroll arrows
Playhead indicator
Zoom slider
Thumb tab
Once you’ve zoomed so far in to your sequence that you can’t see either the beginning
or ending clips in the sequence, you can use the Zoom slider as a scroll bar, to
smoothly move forward or backward to a specific section of your sequence.
To zoom in and out of the Timeline using the Zoom control:
m Click or drag the Zoom control to view the Timeline at a different time scale while
keeping either the playhead or the current area of the Timeline centered. Clicking to
the right of the control zooms out to show more of your sequence; clicking to the left
zooms in to show more detail.
Drag the Zoom control
to change the Timeline
to a different time scale.
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To zoom in and out of the Timeline using the Zoom tools:
1 Select the Zoom In or Zoom Out tool in the Tool palette.
2 Do one of the following:
 Click in the Timeline.
 Drag to select a region to zoom in on or out of.
As you drag, the box (or “marquee”) snaps to areas that correspond to the percentage
of zoom in the Timeline.
Clicking or dragging repeatedly increases the zoom factor. When the Timeline is
zoomed in or out to the maximum level possible, the + and – signs on the zoom tools
disappear.
Note: When the Zoom In or Zoom Out tool is selected, pressing the Option key
temporarily changes it to the opposite tool.
Drag the Zoom In
tool to expand the
sequence.
This shows the above
sequence zoomed in,
so you can see more
details within the
sequence.
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To zoom in and out of the Timeline using menu commands or keyboard shortcuts:
1 With either the Canvas or the Timeline selected, move the playhead to the position in
the Timeline where you want zooming to be centered, or select one or more clips in
the Timeline that you want to center on as you zoom in or out.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose View > Zoom In, or press Option-= (equal sign).
Pressing Option-= (equal sign) repeatedly shows more and more detail, down to the
individual frames of your sequence.
 Choose View > Zoom Out, or press Option-– (minus).
This reduces the amount of detail but shows more of your edited sequence until the
entire sequence fits into the Timeline. You can zoom out further to reduce the scale
of your sequence in the Timeline and show more empty area to the right of it.
Before zooming in
The playhead remains
in the same position.
After zooming in
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To fit the entire contents of the Timeline into the available window size:
m Press Shift-Z.
The zoom factor changes so that the entire sequence fits into the available window size.
To fit a selected area of the Timeline into the available window size:
1 Using the Selection, Group Selection, or Range Selection tool, select one or more items
in the Timeline.
2 Press Option-Shift-Z.
The zoom factor of the Timeline changes so that the selected items fit into the
available window size.
Scrolling Horizontally Through a Zoomed-In Timeline
It’s easy to zoom far enough into your sequence that you are only seeing a small
fraction of the whole Timeline. To see another portion of your sequence, you can drag
the playhead in the Canvas to move to a new location in the Timeline. If you want to
see another portion of your sequence in the Timeline without moving the playhead,
use the Zoom slider.
The area of the horizontal scroll bar encompasses the total duration of your sequence
in the Timeline. Gray lines indicate one-minute increments, while a purple line indicates
the current position of the playhead.
One-minute increment
Position of playhead
To scroll horizontally through your edited sequence, do one of the following:
m Drag the center of the Zoom slider to the left or right. The displayed area of the
Timeline moves smoothly in the direction you drag.
m Click the scroll arrows at either end of the scroll bar to move the displayed area in the
Timeline to the left or right.
m Click the scroll bar to the left or right of the Zoom slider to move the displayed area of
the Timeline by one length of the Zoom slider’s current scale.
m Press Shift–Page Up or Shift–Page Down to scroll left or right one length of the Timeline.
Note: If you are using a PowerBook, press Function-Shift-Up Arrow or Function-Shift-Down
Arrow key. The Function key is labeled “fn”.
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Scrolling Vertically Through Multiple Tracks
The tracks in the Timeline are divided by default into two regions, one for audio and one
for video tracks. A divider between the two regions can be dragged up or down to resize
the regions, giving more space to either the video or audio tracks in your Timeline.
Scroll bar
Divider
Scroll bar
If you have more tracks than can be seen in the Timeline, scroll bars for the appropriate
region appear on the right side, so you can view the tracks in each region separately.
For example, you may have more audio tracks than video tracks in a documentary
piece with sophisticated sound design, or you may have more video tracks than audio
tracks in a music video with a lot of layering and motion graphics work.
To scroll vertically through the audio and video tracks in your sequence, do one
of the following:
m Drag the slider for the region in which you wish to scroll.
m The displayed area of the Timeline moves smoothly up or down in the direction you drag.
m Click the scroll arrows to move the displayed area of the Timeline up or down.
m Click the scroll bar above or below the slider to move up or down by one length of the
slider’s current scale.
m Press Page Up or Page Down.
To resize the audio and video regions:
m Drag the divider between the two regions up or down.
For more information about the static area that contains separate groups of audio or
video tracks with their own scroll bars, see “Navigating and Using Timecode in the
Viewer and Canvas” on page 101.
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10
Customizing the Interface
10
Final Cut Express HD lets you customize the way you work
with windows, rearranging them and creating new layouts.
You can also set up custom keyboard shortcuts and use
shortcut buttons to work more efficiently.
This chapter covers the following:
 Changing Browser and Timeline Text Size (p. 135)
 Moving and Resizing Final Cut Express HD Windows (p. 135)
 Using Screen Layouts (p. 137)
 Working With Shortcut Buttons and Button Bars (p. 139)
Changing Browser and Timeline Text Size
If you have difficulty reading the names of clips in the Browser or Timeline, you can
adjust the size of the text.
To change the text size in the Browser and Timeline, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Text Size, and then select from the available text size options.
m Control-click on an empty area in the Browser, then choose View > Text size from the
contextual menu. Select one of the available text size options.
Moving and Resizing Final Cut Express HD Windows
All open windows in Final Cut Express HD—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and
Timeline—can be individually moved and resized to suit both your working style and
the task at hand, even across multiple monitors.
135
Note: You can also resize and move the Tool Bench window, a window used for
specialized functions such as recording voiceovers.
Default Two Up layout
For example, you may want to increase the height of the Timeline while simultaneously
shrinking the size of the Viewer and Canvas to work on a sophisticated multitrack
sequence. You could also enlarge the Browser while shrinking the Timeline to perform
multicolumn searches for clips in the Browser as you edit.
Layout after making the
Browser and Timeline
larger and the Viewer
and Canvas smaller
When you’re viewing windows arranged together on a single monitor, you can drag the
border between any aligned group of adjacent windows to quickly resize all the
windows at the same time.
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To resize multiple windows at the same time:
1 Move the pointer over the border between the windows you want to resize.
The pointer changes to the Resize Window pointer.
Pointer between
three or more windows
Pointer between
two windows
2 Drag the border in the desired direction to resize the appropriate windows.
The windows on either side of the border are resized accordingly.
Any border between two windows in Final Cut Express HD can be dragged. When
borders line up, such as the tops of the Browser and Timeline, they act as a single
border—resizing one window resizes the other as well.
Using Screen Layouts
Final Cut Express HD comes with a set of predefined screen layouts. These layouts
determine the size and location of the four main windows in Final Cut Express HD (the
Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline), along with the Tool palette and audio meters.
Some screen layouts include additional windows, such as the Tool Bench.
Keep in mind the following about screen layouts:
 The available layouts depend on the resolution of your display.
 All layouts adjust automatically to the position of the Dock. If you change the
position of the Dock, reselect your screen layout to reposition the windows so they
aren’t covering the Dock.
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Choosing a Screen Layout
Choose a layout that maximizes your screen real estate in the best way for your source
material, editing function, screen resolution, and monitor type. For example, if you’re
doing voiceover recording, you may want to choose the Voice Over Recording layout.
To choose a screen layout:
m Choose Window > Arrange, then choose an option from the submenu.
Customizing Screen Layouts
If none of the existing layouts meet your needs, you can create one or two layouts by
using the Custom Layout 1 and Custom Layout 2 commands in the Arrange menu.
Creating Custom Layouts
Two custom layouts are presented at the top of the Arrange menu and cannot be renamed.
To create a custom layout:
1 Choose Apple > System Preferences, click Displays, then set the desired resolution of
your computer monitor.
The resolution you choose will become the minimum resolution for that particular
screen layout.
2 In Final Cut Express HD, arrange any combination of the four main windows, custom Tool
Bench windows with tool tabs, the Tool palette, and audio meters as you want them.
3 Hold down the Option key and choose Window > Arrange, then choose one of the Set
Custom Layout options.
To use a custom layout:
m Choose Window > Arrange, then choose Custom Layout 1 or Custom Layout 2.
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Working With Shortcut Buttons and Button Bars
Shortcut buttons can be created and placed at the top of the main windows in
Final Cut Express HD—the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, Timeline, and any Tool Bench
windows. You can then click any of these shortcut buttons in this “button bar” to
perform commands, instead of entering the key combination or using menus.
Shortcut buttons added
to the Browser
Some windows, such as the Timeline and Tool Bench, include some buttons in their
button bar by default. You can delete these buttons, if you like (see “Removing Shortcut
Buttons” on page 141).
Shortcut buttons display the icon of the command they perform, providing you with a
visual cue to their function. In addition, when you move the pointer over a shortcut
button, a tooltip for the specified command appears.
Icon for a shortcut
button
Tooltip for a shortcut
button
Note: Shortcut buttons are automatically saved when you quit Final Cut Express HD.
They are not saved per project.
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Adding Shortcut Buttons to a Button Bar
Button bars that you set up are automatically saved when you quit the application and
restored when you open it again. You can rearrange, copy, and drag shortcut buttons
to further customize the button bar in each window.
Note: You can add any number of shortcut buttons to the button bar; however, excess
buttons may not be visible within the window.
To create a shortcut button in the button bar of a window:
1 Make sure the window you want to add the shortcut button to is displayed. If you’re
adding a shortcut button to the Tool Bench window, make sure the tab of the feature
you want is in front.
2 Choose Tools > Button List.
The Button List window appears.
3 Drag an icon from the Button List window to the window where you want the shortcut
button to appear.
A shortcut button with an icon for the specified operation now appears in the window.
As more shortcut buttons are added to the button bar, tabs in the window move to
accommodate them.
Note: You may need to resize the window to view all shortcut buttons and tabs. If the
buttons in a button bar exceed the width of the window, a dot appears on the left
edge of the button bar, indicating there are more buttons that cannot be seen. To see
the additional buttons, you need to widen the window.
To use shortcut buttons to perform commands:
m Click the shortcut button in the button bar of the desired window.
The window containing the shortcut button does not have to be active.
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Rearranging, Moving, and Copying Shortcut Buttons
New shortcut buttons are placed to the left or right of existing buttons. You can move
and copy shortcut buttons within a window and to different windows. You can also add
“spacers” between shortcut buttons to organize them in the button bar.
To rearrange shortcut buttons in a button bar:
m In the button bar, drag shortcut buttons where you want them to appear.
To add a spacer to a button bar:
m Control-click the button bar, then choose Add Spacer from the shortcut menu.
Spacer added
between buttons
To move spacers in a button bar:
m Drag the spacer where you want it to appear in the button bar.
To remove a space in a button bar:
m Drag the spacer out of the window.
To move shortcut buttons to a different window:
m Drag the shortcut button from one window to another window.
To copy a shortcut button to a different window:
m Press and hold down the Option key, then drag the shortcut button from one window
to another.
Changing Shortcut Button Colors
You can change the color of individual buttons in a button bar.
To change the color of a shortcut button:
m Control-click any shortcut button in the button bar, choose Color from the shortcut
menu, then choose a color from the submenu.
Available colors are: Plain, Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue and Purple. The default color is
Plain (gray).
Removing Shortcut Buttons
You can remove one or all shortcut buttons from a button bar at any time.
To remove a shortcut button from a button bar, do one of the following:
m Drag the shortcut button you want to delete out of the window.
m Control-click the shortcut button, choose Remove from the shortcut menu, then
choose Button from the submenu.
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To remove all shortcut buttons from a button bar:
m Control-click any shortcut button in the button bar, choose Remove from the shortcut
menu, then choose All from the submenu.
Note: In the case of the Timeline, which contains default shortcut buttons, choose
Remove > All / Restore Defaults from the submenu.
Saving and Using Custom Shortcut Button Bars
You can manually save the shortcut button bars that you set up in the Viewer, Canvas,
Browser, and Timeline. This is useful if you are working with others on a project and
want to use your shortcut button configuration. You can also load and use shortcut
button bars that others have created.
Important: Button bars that you set up in Tool Bench windows are saved with custom
window layouts you create.
To save a shortcut button bar:
1 Control-click any shortcut button in the button bar, then choose Save All Button Bars
from the shortcut menu.
2 In the Save dialog, enter a new name for the button bar and choose where to save it.
The default name is Custom Button Bars. The default location where these files are
stored is: [Home]/Library/Preferences/Final Cut Express HD User Data/Button Bars.
3 If a file with the specified name already exists in that location, a message appears
asking if you want to replace the file. If so, click Replace; otherwise, click Cancel and
rename the file, then click Save.
To load a custom shortcut button bar:
1 Copy the button bar file to your computer.
The default location where these files are stored is: [Home]/Library/Preferences/
Final Cut Express HD User Data/Button Bars.
2 Control-click anywhere in the button bar of any window, then choose Load All Button
Bars from the shortcut menu.
3 In the Choose a File dialog, navigate to the location where the shortcut button bar is
stored, then click Choose.
The default location where these files are stored is: [Home]/Library/Preferences/
Final Cut Express HD User Data/Button Bars.
The shortcut button bar appears at the top of the selected window.
Note: When you restore a button bar or use a saved shortcut button bar, all existing
shortcut buttons in all windows are replaced by those you are loading.
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Part III: Setting Up Your
Editing System
III
Design the editing system that’s right for you. Read this
section to learn how to set up your system, specify initial
settings, and connect video, audio, and storage devices.
Chapter 11
Connecting Your Equipment
Chapter 12
Determining Your Hard Disk Storage Options
Chapter 13
External Video Monitoring
11
Connecting Your Equipment
11
Setting up Final Cut Express HD to capture DV video is as
simple as connecting your camcorder to your computer with
a FireWire cable.
This chapter covers the following:
 Connecting Your Camcorder (p. 145)
 Connecting an External Video Monitor and Audio Speakers (p. 146)
 Opening Final Cut Express HD and Choosing Your Initial Settings (p. 146)
 What Is FireWire? (p. 150)
 What Is Device Control? (p. 151)
Connecting Your Camcorder
The following illustration demonstrates how to connect your DV camcorder to the
FireWire port on your computer, so that you can capture video (transfer the video from
your camcorder to your computer) and output your program back to DV tape. For more
information on FireWire, see “What Is FireWire?” on page 150.
6-pin connector
to computer
H
DV camcorder
in VTR mode
FireWire
Computer
4-pin connector
to camcorder
145
To connect your DV camcorder or VTR to your computer:
1 Connect the 4-pin connector on one end of your FireWire cable to the 4-pin FireWire
port on your camcorder.
Important: Some DV decks may use a 6-pin FireWire connector instead of a 4-pin
connector. Make sure you use a FireWire cable that matches the connector on your
video device.
2 Connect the 6-pin connector on the other end of your FireWire cable to a FireWire 400
port on your computer.
3 Turn on your VTR or camcorder, and switch it to VCR (or VTR) mode.
Connecting an External Video Monitor and Audio Speakers
Final Cut Express HD doesn’t require separate video and audio monitoring devices, but
these are important during your final editing to make sure you have the highest quality
picture and sound possible.
USB or FireWire
Audio
Audio interface
FireWire
Computer
Video
DV VTR
Standard definition
monitor
Amplified speakers
If you want to incorporate external video and audio monitoring, see Chapter 13, “External
Video Monitoring,” on page 161 and “Setting Up Audio Equipment” on page 567.
Opening Final Cut Express HD and Choosing Your Initial Settings
The first time you open Final Cut Express HD after installing the software, you’re
prompted to choose an Easy Setup (a collection of settings that determines how
Final Cut Express HD works with your editing system) and a scratch disk (the hard disk
where you’ll store your captured media files).
What Is an Easy Setup?
An Easy Setup contains a capture, sequence, and device control preset and external
video and audio settings. You can quickly set up your editing system to work with
different video formats by choosing an Easy Setup.
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Choosing an Easy Setup
Final Cut Express HD comes with several predefined Easy Setups based on the most
common video formats and devices, such as DV-NTSC and DV-PAL. The Easy Setup you
choose applies to all new projects and sequences until you choose another Easy Setup.
If you always use the same type of camcorder or video deck, you may never have to
change your Easy Setup. If you do change your camcorder or video deck or the format
you are working with, it’s simple to change your Easy Setup.
To choose an Easy Setup:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > Easy Setup.
If this is the first time you’ve opened Final Cut Express HD, this window appears
automatically after opening the application.
2 Choose an Easy Setup from the Setup For pop-up menu.
To show all Easy Setups that are currently available, select Show All.
Choose an Easy Setup
from the Setup For
pop-up menu.
Select Show All to see a
complete list of available
Easy Setups.
A summary of your
selected Easy Setup
appears below the
pop-up menu.
Note: To use remote device control via FireWire (so Final Cut Express HD can control
your camcorder or deck), make sure you choose a device control preset that uses
FireWire. Both DV-NTSC and DV-PAL use a FireWire device control preset.
3 When you’re ready, click Setup.
The selected Easy Setup applies to all new projects and sequences. Settings for existing
sequences do not change.
Important: If your VTR is not currently connected, you may see a warning because
Final Cut Express HD does not detect the external video or audio device that the A/V
device settings expect. If you see this warning, make sure your device is connected and
turned on, then click Check Again. If you want to troubleshoot the connection to the
device later, you can ignore the warning by clicking Continue.
If this is the first time you’re setting up Final Cut Express HD, you’ll now need to specify
your scratch disk.
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Specifying Scratch Disks for Capturing Video and Storing Render Files
A scratch disk is a hard disk, internal or external to your computer, where
Final Cut Express HD stores captured digital video and audio, as well as rendered media
files created during editing. (Rendering is the process of creating temporary video and
audio render files for portions of your sequence that Final Cut Express HD cannot play
in real time.) By default, Final Cut Express HD uses the hard disk on which the
application is installed.
You use the Scratch Disks tab in the System Settings window to choose where you
want to save the video and audio files that you capture, and the render and cache files
that Final Cut Express HD creates. You can also specify other settings related to the size
of captured and exported files and the minimum space allowed on scratch disks.
Important: Final Cut Express HD lets you specify up to 12 scratch disks at one time.
Make sure you choose the proper scratch disks before you begin capturing media.
Final Cut Express HD always uses the disk with the most space first. When that disk is
full, Final Cut Express HD uses the disk with the next most available space, and then the
next one, and so on, until all disks are full.
To specify one or more scratch disks and associated settings:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > System Settings, then click the Scratch Disks tab.
If this is the first time you’ve opened Final Cut Express HD, this window appears
automatically after you’ve chosen an Easy Setup.
2 To specify a disk or a folder on a hard disk as a scratch disk:
a Click Set.
b In the dialog that appears, locate and select the disk you want to use.
Only connected external disks or installed internal disks are listed. If your hard disk
doesn’t appear, make sure it’s connected properly and that it’s correctly initialized
and mounted. For more information, see the documentation that came with your
computer, your hard disk, or your disk-formatting software.
c Click Select (the button includes the name of the disk you selected).
The specified disk is listed next to the Set button, along with the amount of
available disk space.
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3 To set locations for the waveform and thumbnail cache files and the Autosave Vault folder:
a Click Set next to the appropriate item.
b In the dialog that appears, locate and find the disk you want to use.
c Click Select (the button includes the name of the disk you selected).
The specified disk is listed next to the Set button, along with the amount of available
disk space. The amount of space that the caches use is determined by the Thumbnail
Cache setting in the Memory & Cache tab of the System Settings window. For more
information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945. For information
about the Autosave feature, see“Backing Up and Restoring Projects” on page 903.
4 Specify additional settings for capturing and exporting files.
 Minimum Allowable Free Space On Scratch Disks: Enter a value to set the minimum space
you want to keep available on a scratch disk. If you have limited scratch disk space, you
may want to set this to the amount of disk space you want available for render files. If
you use most of your disk space for captured clips, you may run out of space when
rendering transitions and clips with filters or motion parameters applied to them.
 Limit Capture/Export File Segment Size To: If you’re capturing or exporting clips that
may be used on other systems with a file size limitation, you may want to select this
option. Any files that are larger than the limit entered here (which defaults to 2 GB)
are written as separate files, in which the end of one file contains a reference to the
next (so the first file appears to be a continuous file).
 Limit Capture Now To: This option limits the duration of media files captured using
the Capture Now command. This can be useful if you want to capture an entire tape
without monitoring the entire process. For example, you can set the limit to
64 minutes, begin the Capture Now process, then leave and return several hours
later. Instead of capturing until your scratch disk is filled, Final Cut Express HD stops
capturing after 64 minutes.
To remove a scratch disk:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > System Settings, then click the Scratch Disks tab.
2 Click Clear next to the scratch disk you no longer want to use.
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When Scratch Disks Become Unavailable
Scratch disks you’ve set might become unavailable. This can happen for a number of
reasons. They might be turned off, disconnected, or temporarily unmounted. If the
scratch disk folder you selected has been moved, deleted, or renamed,
Final Cut Express HD might not be able to find the scratch disk.
The next time you open Final Cut Express HD, if the scratch disk can’t be found, a dialog
appears with three options:
 Quit: Lets you quit without changing the scratch disk preferences.
 Set Scratch Disks: Opens the Scratch Disks tab in the System Settings window so that
you can change the current set of scratch disks. Any disks that are missing are
removed from this list. You must choose at least one scratch disk to continue.
 Check Again: Allows you to reconnect or start up your scratch disk, wait for it to
mount, and then proceed as usual.
Assigning Search Folders for Reconnecting Media Files
After you have selected which volumes and folders you want to use to capture media,
you may want to assign these same locations as search folders for the Reconnect Files
dialog. This allows Final Cut Express HD to limit its search for media files if they become
offline. For more information about assigning search folders, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945. For more information about the Reconnect Files dialog,
see “Reconnecting Clips and Offline Media” on page 933.
What Is FireWire?
FireWire (also called IEEE 1394a or i.LINK) is the consumer and professional standard for
DV-format digital video. DV devices typically use FireWire 400 connectors. There are
two kinds of FireWire 400 connectors: a 4-pin connector (typically used to connect to
video equipment such as camcorders or decks) and a 6-pin connector (used to connect
to computer equipment). However, some newer video equipment uses the 6-pin
connector and some video cards use the 4-pin connector. See your equipment’s
documentation for more information.
A single FireWire connection is actually a two-way data connection, so Final Cut Express HD
and a DV device can communicate remote control information using FireWire. For more
information about FireWire technology, go to the Apple FireWire website at
http://www.apple.com/firewire.
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The Differences Between Apple FireWire and FireWire Basic
Video devices vary greatly in their functionality and adherence to FireWire
specifications for device control (the technology that allows Final Cut Express HD
to control your DV camcorder or deck via FireWire). For this reason, there are two
versions of the FireWire protocol you can use for device control and capture in
Final Cut Express HD:
 Apple FireWire: This is the default.
 Apple FireWire Basic: This is a simplified device control protocol for camcorders and
decks that aren’t fully compatible with Apple FireWire. Using this protocol doesn’t
affect the quality of captured video or audio.
It may not be obvious which camcorders support the complete FireWire device
control protocol and which only understand FireWire Basic. If you’re unsure, try the
standard FireWire preset first (NTSC or PAL FireWire). If you’re not able to remotely
control your camcorder or VTR using Final Cut Express HD, choose an Easy Setup that
uses the FireWire Basic version of device control.
What Is Device Control?
Device control enables communication between your VTR or camcorder and
Final Cut Express HD, allowing you to remotely control your video deck for capturing and
output. A device control preset contains settings that define how Final Cut Express HD
communicates with a particular camcorder or VTR. For this reason, the correct preset
needs to be chosen before Final Cut Express HD can control your camera or VTR during
video capture and output.
If you have a video source without device control (and therefore without timecode),
such as VHS, 8 mm videotape, or even live video from a camcorder, then you must
capture video manually. Use the DV-NTSC or -PAL DV Converter Easy Setups to capture
from a device without device control.
Choosing a Device Control Preset
To remotely control your camcorder or VTR, you need to select a device control preset
that matches the device. Final Cut Express HD has only one device control preset
selected at a time. Since an Easy Setup contains a device control preset, you can
change the device control preset by changing the Easy Setup.
To confirm the communication between your VTR and Final Cut Express HD:
1 Choose File > Capture.
The Capture window appears.
2 Press the Play button on your VTR.
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If the proper connections are made from the VTR to the computer, the VTR begins
playing, and you see the following in the Capture window:
 Video appears in the video preview area.
 The status message “VTR OK” appears below the video preview area.
 The transport controls (play, rewind, fast-forward, and so on) appear below the video.
Understanding Device Control Status Messages
At the bottom of the Capture window, the device status area shows the readiness of
camcorders and decks being controlled by Final Cut Express HD.
Device status
The device status area can display any of these messages:
 VTR OK: This indicates that your equipment is connected and working properly.
 No Communication: This indicates that Final Cut Express HD has not established
communication with the deck or camcorder (much like a modem that is unable to
connect to a server on the Internet). If your VTR or camcorder has no ability to be
remotely controlled, this status is expected. However, if you have a devicecontrollable camcorder or deck and you see this status, check to make sure you’re
using the right FireWire or serial control cables and that they’re connected properly.
Also make sure your device is turned on.
 VTR in Local: Your device is set to work only with its built-in playback buttons. Set the
switch on your camcorder or deck from Local to Remote and you’ll be able to
remotely control the device from Final Cut Express HD.
 To control your deck with Final Cut Express HD: Set the switch to Remote.
 To use the transport buttons on your deck to control the deck: Set the switch to Local.
 Not Threaded: This indicates that you have a camcorder or deck connected to your
computer, but there’s no tape in the deck or the tape is still loading.
 Tape Trouble: This indicates that your tape may be jamming. It’s important to
immediately stop playback and remove your tape from the deck, if possible. If you
can’t eject your tape, take your camcorder or deck to a qualified technician. For more
information, see the documentation that came with your video equipment.
 No Communication: This appears if you turned off device control or selected NonControllable Device in the device control preset for your camera or deck.
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12
Determining Your Hard Disk
Storage Options
12
To make the most of your Final Cut Express HD editing
system, you need to make appropriate choices about hard
disk selection and maintenance.
This chapter covers the following:
 Working With Scratch Disks and Hard Disk Drives (p. 153)
 Data Rates and Storage Devices (p. 153)
 Determining How Much Space You Need (p. 154)
 Choosing a Hard Disk (p. 156)
 Types of Hard Disk Drives (p. 157)
Working With Scratch Disks and Hard Disk Drives
By default, Final Cut Express HD uses the hard disk on which the application is installed
as your scratch disk to store captured and render files. Ideally, you should use a hard
disk other than your main system disk as your scratch disk. Depending on how much
space you need for your media, you can have up to 12 scratch disks in your
Final Cut Express HD editing system.
Important: If you have multiple hard disks and partitions, make sure they do not have
similar names, or you could encounter problems during capture. For more information,
see “Using Multiple Hard Disks” on page 51.
Data Rates and Storage Devices
The data rate of the video you capture depends on the format of the source video and
the codec you use for capture. The data rate for DV and HDV is 3.6 MB/sec.: Whatever
disk drive technology you decide to use, your storage disk’s sustained transfer speed
must be fast enough to keep up with the data rate.
153
If your hard disk or its connection to your computer does not support the data rate of
your video format, you need to consider three factors:
 Sustained transfer speed is a measurement of how fast data can be written to a disk
in MB/sec.
 Seek time is a measurement of how quickly data stored on the disk can be accessed
in milliseconds (ms). Low seek times are important when playing back an edited
sequence of clips, because the disk must spend a lot of time searching for the next
clip to play.
 A faster spindle speed increases a disk’s sustained transfer rate (typical multimedia
disks run at 7200 revolutions per minute, or rpm). However, the faster a hard disk
runs the more it heats up, so ventilation is important when you install disks internally
or in external enclosures.
Note: Removable media drives such as Jaz, Zip, and CD-RW drives are not suitable for
video capture and playback because of their low data transfer rates.
Determining How Much Space You Need
The amount of disk space you need depends on the specifications of the video format
you are using for editing and how much source footage you have.
Know Your Shooting Ratio
Remember that when you start editing a movie, you need to capture much more
media than you will use in the final movie. The ratio between the amount of footage
you begin with and the final duration of the movie is called the shooting ratio. When
you are estimating how much disk space you need for a project, calculate it based on
the total amount of media you plan to capture and use during editing, not the
intended duration of the final movie.
Planning for Additional Media Files
In addition to space for captured files and project files, you need extra space for render
files, graphics, movie files created in other applications (such as animations), additional
audio files, and so on. A loose rule of thumb to determine how much space you need is
to multiply the amount of space needed for your finished program by five.
Ultimately, the amount of extra space you reserve depends on how much additional
media you create during editing. For example, if you use hardly any effects, additional
render files may not be a factor. If you are using only a few graphics files and little
additional audio, these may not be a concern, either.
Keep in mind that although real-time effects don’t require additional drive space for
rendering, you still need to render the effects at high quality for final output, so at that
point you need enough drive space for render files.
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Calculating Hard Disk Space Requirements
You can use the table below to estimate how much disk space you need for your project.
Video data transfer rates
30 sec.
1 min.
5 min.
10 min.
30 min.
60 min.
3.6 MB/sec.
DV-format video
or HDV (1080i)
108 MB
216 MB
1.08 GB
2.16 GB
6.5 GB
13 GB
Example Calculation for Disk Space Requirements
Suppose you want to create a music video that’s approximately four minutes long
using DV video for capture, editing, and output. Consider a shooting ratio of 15:1,
meaning you shot 15 times more footage than you will use in the final movie.
Total duration of media captured to disk:
 15 x 4 minutes = 60 minutes
Data rate requirements for DV media:
 3.6 MB/sec. video data rate x 60 seconds = 216 MB/min.
Calculated disk space requirements for media:
 60 minutes x 216 MB/min. = 12960 MB
 12,960 MB ÷1024 MB per GB = 12.66 GB
Multiply final movie length by a safety margin of 5 for extra files:
 4 minutes x 216 MB/min. = 864 MB x 5 = 4320 MB
 4320 MB ÷ 1024 MB per GB = 4.22 GB
Total disk space requirements:
 12.66 GB + 4.22 GB = 16.88 GB
Round your calculation up to 17 GB to be safe. This is the amount of disk space you’ll
need for this one project. If you plan to work on multiple projects at the same time,
estimate the amount for each project and add these numbers together.
Note: These calculations are also important when planning how to archive your
projects when they are finished, though many people choose to archive only the
project file and not back up their media files (since the original footage is stored on
tape, you can always recapture the footage if necessary).
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Choosing a Hard Disk
The disk that contains your computer’s operating system is called the startup disk or
boot disk. In addition to the operating system, the startup disk also stores your
applications (such as Final Cut Express HD), your application preferences, system
settings, and other documents. Since the files on the startup disk are your most critical
data, maintaining the startup disk is vital.
Since digital media (especially high data rate video) makes your disks work harder, you
should use dedicated disks for capturing and playing back your digital video and other
media files. Consider your media disks as storage units that work long, hard hours,
while your startup disk keeps your system properly organized. If a disk is going to
malfunction, it’s better if your critical data is separate from your replaceable media files.
Depending on what kind of computer you are using, you may be able to use internal
and external hard disks to store your media files. Each has benefits and drawbacks:
Internal Disks
 May be less expensive because they don’t have external cases or require their own
power supplies.
 Are inside your computer, causing less noise.
 Are limited by the expansion capabilities of your computer and the heat buildup
they cause.
External Disks
 Let you easily switch between projects by switching disks connected to the computer.
 Let you move a project quickly from one computer system to another in a
different location.
 May be more expensive because of external cases and power supplies.
 May be noisy.
Warning: Heat buildup in your computer can result in dropped frames during capture
and playback, and can ultimately cause the failure of one or more disk drives. Consult
the documentation that came with your computer for information about the
maximum number of internal drives that can be installed.
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Types of Hard Disk Drives
There are several disk drive technologies you can choose. The type appropriate for your
needs depends on the format and data rate of the video you’re capturing. Each disk
drive technology has benefits and limitations. The main choices currently available are:
 ATA
 FireWire
 SCSI
 RAID
ATA Disk Drives
There are two kinds of ATA disks:
 Parallel (Ultra) ATA disks: These are found in Power Mac G4 and older Power Mac G3
computers.
 Serial ATA disks: These come with Power Mac G5 computers.
ATA disks do not offer as high a level of performance as LVD or Ultra160 SCSI disks. If
you plan to use Ultra ATA disks, make sure that:
 The sustained transfer speed is 8 MB/sec. or faster.
 The average seek time is below 9 ms.
 The spindle speed is at least 5400 rpm, although 7200 rpm is better.
Parallel (Ultra) ATA Disks
Many editors use parallel ATA (PATA) disks (also called Ultra DMA, Ultra EIDE, and
ATA-33/66/100/133) with DV equipment. Parallel ATA disks are disks that you install
internally. Since imported DV material has a fixed data rate of approximately 3.6 MB/
sec., high-performance parallel ATA disks typically can capture and output these
streams without difficulty. The numbers following the ATA designation indicate the
maximum data transfer rate possible for the ATA interface, not the disk drive itself. For
example, an ATA-100 interface can theoretically handle 100 MB/sec., but most disk
drives do not spin fast enough to reach this limit.
Parallel ATA disks use 40- or 80-pin–wide ribbon cables to transfer multiple bits of data
simultaneously (in parallel), they have a cable length limit of 18 inches, and they require
5 volts of power. Depending on your computer, there may be one or more parallel ATA
(or IDE) controller chips on the motherboard. Each parallel ATA channel on a computer
motherboard supports two channels, so you can connect two disk drives. However,
when both disk drives are connected, they must share the data bandwidth of the
connection, so the data rate can potentially be reduced.
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Serial ATA Disks
Serial ATA (SATA) disks are newer than parallel ATA disk drives. The disk drive
mechanisms may be similar, but the interface is significantly different. The serial ATA
interface has the following characteristics:
 Serial data transfer (one bit at a time)
 150 MB/sec. theoretical data throughput limit
 7-pin data connection, with cable limit of 1 meter
 Operates with 250 mV
 Only one disk drive allowed per serial ATA controller chip on a computer
motherboard, so disk drives do not have to share data bandwidth
FireWire Disk Drives
While not recommended for all systems, FireWire disk drives can be effectively used to
capture and edit projects using low data rate video clips, such as those captured using
the DV codec. However, most FireWire disk drives lack the performance of internal Ultra
ATA disk drives, or of internal or external SCSI disk drives. For example, a FireWire disk
drive may not be able to support real-time playback with as many simultaneous audio
and video tracks as an internal Ultra ATA disk drive can. This can also affect the number
of simultaneous real-time effects that can be played back.
Important Information About FireWire Drives
 FireWire disk drives are not recommended for capturing high data rate material such
as uncompressed standard definition or high definition video.
 Certain DV camcorders cannot be connected to a computer while a FireWire disk
drive is connected simultaneously. In many cases, you can improve performance by
installing a separate FireWire PCI card to connect your FireWire drive.
 You may be able to improve performance by reducing the real-time video playback
data rate and the number of real-time audio tracks in the General tab of the User
Preferences window.
 You should never disconnect a FireWire disk drive prior to unmounting it from
the desktop.
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SCSI Disk Drives
SCSI disk drives are among the fastest drives available. SCSI (Small Computer Systems
Interface) technology has been implemented in various ways over the years, with each
successive generation achieving better performance. Currently, the two fastest SCSI
standards for video capture and playback are:
 Ultra2 LVD (Low Voltage Differential) SCSI: Ultra2 LVD SCSI disk drives offer fast enough
performance to capture and output video at high data rates when a single disk is
formatted as a single volume (as opposed to formatting several disks together as a
disk array).
 Ultra320 and Ultra160 SCSI: These are faster than Ultra2 LVD SCSI disks.
SCSI disks can be installed internally or connected externally. Many users prefer external
SCSI disk drives because they’re easier to move and they stay cooler. If your computer
didn’t come with a preinstalled Ultra2 LVD, Ultra160, or Ultra320 SCSI disk drive, you need
to install a SCSI card in a PCI slot so you can connect a SCSI disk drive externally.
A SCSI card allows you to connect up to 15 SCSI disk drives in a daisy chain, with each
disk drive connected to the one before it and the last terminated. (Some SCSI cards
support more than one channel; multiple-channel cards support 15 SCSI disks per
channel.) Use high-quality, shielded cables to prevent data errors. These cables should
be as short as possible (3 feet or less); longer cables can cause problems. You must use
an active terminator on the last disk for reliable performance.
Note: Active terminators have an indicator light that goes on when the SCSI chain
is powered.
SCSI
card
SCSI cable
SCSI cable
SCSI cable
SCSI terminator
Computer
All devices on a SCSI chain run at the speed of the slowest device. To achieve a high
level of performance, connect only Ultra2 or faster SCSI disk drives to your SCSI
interface card. Otherwise, you may impede performance and get dropped frames
during capture or playback.
Note: Many kinds of SCSI devices are slower than Ultra2, including scanners and
removable storage media. You should not connect such devices to your highperformance SCSI interface.
Chapter 12 Determining Your Hard Disk Storage Options
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Using a RAID or Disk Array
You can improve the transfer speed of individual disks by configuring multiple disk
drives in a disk array. In a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), multiple SCSI,
ATA, or FireWire disk drives are grouped together via hardware or software and treated
as a single data storage unit. This allows you to record data to multiple drives in
parallel, increasing access time significantly. You can also partition the array into
multiple volumes.
Creating a disk array is only necessary if high performance is required to capture and
play back your video at the required data rate without dropping frames.
If you require rock-solid data integrity, consider purchasing a RAID, or Redundant Array
of Independent Disks. Many RAIDs record the same data on more than one disk, so that
if a drive fails, the same data can still be retrieved from another disk. There are many
RAID variations available, but one that offers high performance for both digital video
capture and data redundancy is RAID level 3. Because they use specialized hardware,
RAID level 3 systems can be more expensive, but they should be considered whenever
the safety of your media is more important than the cost of your disks.
When you create or purchase a disk array, there are two important considerations:
 Compatibility: Make sure the software you use to create the array is compatible with
Final Cut Express HD. For more information, go to the Final Cut Express HD website at
http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress.
 Ventilation: If you’re creating an array yourself with an off-the-shelf drive enclosure,
make sure to allow for good ventilation. Disk arrays store information on several disks
simultaneously. If one of your disk drives fails, information on all the disks is lost. One
of the most common reasons a disk drive breaks down is overheating, so make sure
that your disks stay cool.
Important: Check the manufacturer’s specifications before buying disks to make sure
the disks offer the level of performance you need.
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13
External Video Monitoring
13
It’s best to preview your video on an external video monitor
to accurately see how your final program will look.
This chapter covers the following:
 Using an External Video Monitor While You Edit (p. 161)
 Connecting DV/FireWire Devices to an External Monitor (p. 162)
 Using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview (p. 163)
 Troubleshooting Digital Cinema Desktop Preview (p. 166)
 About the Display Quality of External Video (p. 167)
 Troubleshooting External Video Monitoring Problems (p. 167)
Using an External Video Monitor While You Edit
If you’re outputting to videotape for television broadcast, it’s a good idea to preview
your video on an NTSC or PAL video monitor while you edit. Color is represented
differently on computer and video monitors, and computer displays always show your
video progressively scanned, even though NTSC and PAL video are interlaced. You can
connect an external video monitor via FireWire, through a camcorder, deck, or DV-toanalog converter.
Note: You can enable the Digital Cinema Desktop Preview option on your computer
display to preview your video, but this won’t show proper broadcast colors or interlaced
video. For more information, see “Using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview” on page 163.
161
Consumer Video Monitors Versus Broadcast Monitors
Throughout the Final Cut Express HD User Manual, a distinction is made between
“video monitors” and “broadcast monitors.” This is to differentiate between cases
when any video monitor will do, and when only a high-quality broadcast monitor is
appropriate for a given task.
In most cases, when you want to simply monitor your video signal as it will look to
the audience, any standard NTSC or PAL video monitor is appropriate, and there are
many inexpensive models to choose from. When performing critical tasks such as
color correction, however, you should use a high-resolution broadcast monitor that
can be properly calibrated to display your signal consistently and accurately.
Broadcast monitors offer manual control over every aspect of the video signal being
displayed, including brightness, chroma, phase, and contrast. Additionally, broadcast
monitors can often display different parts of the signal using modes such as blue only
(only the blue gun traces the screen; the green and red guns are turned off ),
underscan, and H/V delay. Without these controls to accurately calibrate your
broadcast monitor’s display with the signal being output from your computer, you
run the risk of making bad color correction decisions based on an inaccurate view of
your program’s picture.
Connecting DV/FireWire Devices to an External Monitor
A FireWire DV setup is one of the most common Final Cut Express HD configurations.
A DV device (either a camcorder, VTR, or FireWire-to-analog converter box) converts DV
signals to analog video and audio signals that are then sent to a video monitor (and to
self-powered speakers for audio monitoring). If you have a home stereo system, you
can also connect the audio output of the DV device to any available channels on the
home stereo system.
Audio
FireWire
DV camcorder
in VTR mode
Composite
or S-video
Computer
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Part III Setting Up Your Editing System
Standard definition
monitor
Amplified speakers
III
To connect an external NTSC or PAL monitor to your edit system to monitor
DV video while you edit:
1 Connect a FireWire cable between a FireWire port on your computer and the FireWire
port on your DV device.
2 Connect the analog video outputs of the DV device to an external video monitor.
Depending on the device, the video output may be a composite or S-video signal,
using either an RCA, BNC, or S-video connector.
Using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview
The Digital Cinema Desktop Preview feature allows you to preview your video using
any available computer display connected to an AGP graphics card. (Displays
connected to a PCI graphics card cannot be used by Digital Cinema Desktop.) If you
have two computer displays, one can be used to view the Final Cut Express HD
interface and the Finder while the other can be used as a dedicated video monitor. For
Final Cut Express HD PowerBook systems and other single display systems, you can
switch between the user interface and the Digital Cinema Desktop Preview display.
USB or
FireWire
Audio interface
Amplified speakers
Graphics
card
Display
(Final Cut Express HD)
Computer
Display
(Digital Cinema Desktop)
Important: If you are doing critical online editing or color correction, you should use an
external CRT broadcast monitor that supports the format you are editing (NTSC, PAL,
HD, and so on), especially when your final output is interlaced video.
Chapter 13 External Video Monitoring
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About Digital Cinema Desktop Preview Options
You choose the Digital Cinema Desktop Preview options in the Playback Output Video
pop-up menu in the A/V Devices tab of the Audio/Video Settings window.
There are several settings you can choose:
 Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Main
 Digital Cinema Desktop Preview
 Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Full-Screen
Note: The Main option is available on single-display systems, but the remaining options
are available only if you have two or more displays connected to AGP graphics cards.
Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Main
Video is shown on the main computer display (that normally shows the menu bar for
applications). This option is available at all times, regardless of how many monitors you
have connected. Video presented on the main display is always shown in full-screen
mode and scaled to fit the display in at least one dimension. If the aspect ratio of the
video signal and the computer display do not match, the video on the display is
letterboxed (black on top and bottom) or pillarboxed (black on sides) as necessary. This
is identical to full-screen mode on a second monitor.
 Pro: You can use this format on single-display systems, such as a PowerBook
editing system.
 Con: The normal computer interface is covered by the Digital Cinema Desktop
Preview display, so you can’t see Final Cut Express HD when you choose to view
full-screen video this way.
Digital Cinema Desktop Preview
The video is shown at its normal scale (there is a 1:1 relationship between pixels in your
video and pixels on the display). However, if the video pixel dimensions are larger than
the dimensions of the display, the video is scaled to fit on the display.
 Pro: The video always maintains proper aspect ratio and does not exhibit scaling
artifacts due to magnification.
 Con: Some formats, especially SD formats, may look very small when displayed on
large computer displays.
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Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - Full-Screen
The video is scaled to maximize its size on the display. If the aspect ratio of the video
signal and the computer display do not match, the video on the display is letterboxed
(black on top and bottom) or pillarboxed (black on sides) as necessary. For example,
16 x 9 video shown on a 4 x 3 display is scaled until the width of the video matches the
width of the display, and the top and bottom are letterboxed.
 Pro: This format gives you the biggest picture possible and maintains the proper
aspect ratio.
 Con: Scaling artifacts may be noticeable when viewed up close.
Using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview to Monitor Your Video
Unlike using a third-party video interface (or DV via FireWire), directly monitoring video
on a computer display does not introduce video latency (inherent processing delays).
Therefore, Final Cut Express HD ignores the frame delay offset setting when you
preview your video on a computer display connected to an AGP graphics card.
∏
Tip: Regular editing commands still work when full-screen video is presented on the main
display. This means you can still set In and Out points, use the J, K, and L keys for playback,
and so on. For a list of shortcut keys, see the Final Cut Express HD Quick Reference.
To turn on Digital Cinema Desktop Preview:
m Choose View > Video Out, then choose one of the available Digital Cinema Desktop
Preview choices.
Important: Command-F12 is the default keyboard shortcut for turning external video
monitoring on and off. When full-screen video is presented on the main display, the
menu bar cannot be seen, so you need to use this keyboard shortcut.
It’s important to know how to turn off the Digital Cinema Desktop Preview option,
especially when you are using full-screen mode on the main display.
To turn off Digital Cinema Desktop Preview, do one of the following:
m Press Command-F12.
m Press the Escape key.
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Troubleshooting Digital Cinema Desktop Preview
If you experience trouble when using Digital Cinema Desktop Preview, review the following:
 In Mac OS X System Preferences, the screen saver should be turned off (set the Start
screen saver slider to Never in the Screen Saver tab of the Desktop & Screen Saver pane).
 Digital Cinema Desktop Preview only works with AGP graphics cards. For triple
monitor configurations, you should use a PCI graphics card for your computer
display, and an AGP graphics card for any monitors you intend to use for Digital
Cinema Desktop Preview.
 Due to the refresh rate of LCD computer monitors, 1080i60 and 720p60 material may
exhibit temporal artifacts during playback.
 Interlaced media is scanned progressively at the frame rate instead of the field rate,
Therefore, when viewing formats such as 1080i60 or standard definition NTSC or PAL,
both fields are scanned simultaneously, which may result in interlacing artifacts.
 If you need to change your display resolution, do so prior to launching
Final Cut Express HD.
 LCD Cinema Displays have a longer decay period between each frame when
compared to lines being scanned on a CRT. At times, the same video image may be
visible on screen for a period of up to four to seven frames.
 Turning on Digital Cinema Desktop playback can reduce the number of real-time
effects available in your sequence. However, the real-time status of these effects is
not updated in the Effects menu or the Effects tab in the Browser).
 Refrain from clicking on the monitor upon initially enabling Digital Cinema Desktop
Preview (especially in Single User mode).
 Exposé is not supported with Digital Cinema Desktop Preview.
 Graphics files with a resolution of 1920x1200 and larger may not display properly.
 Digital Cinema Desktop Preview must be disabled when performing a Print to
Video operation.
 If you do not have a second display connected to your computer, Digital Cinema Desktop
Preview – Full Screen or Digital Cinema Desktop Preview options are not available.
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About the Display Quality of External Video
The display quality of your video depends on several factors:
 Whether you have effects applied to your clips.
 Whether your clip or sequence settings match the video output device.
 The video and frame rate options selected in the Real-Time Effects (RT) pop-up menu
in the Timeline or in the Playback Control tab of the System Settings window.
The external video signal is displayed at the quality selected in the RT pop-up menu
and Playback Control tab of the System Settings window. For more information, see
“Using RT Extreme” on page 865.
Troubleshooting External Video Monitoring Problems
If you experience problems while viewing your sequence, there are a few things you
can try.
To quickly choose a different video interface for external monitoring, do one
of the following:
m Choose View > Video Out, then choose an output option.
If you cannot see external video on your monitor, try the following:
m Choose View > Video Out > Refresh Video Devices to update the list of connected devices.
Note: This is especially useful if you just connected an audio or video device without
quitting Final Cut Express HD.
m If you are using FireWire and DV, check the FireWire connection between your
computer and VTR (or other FireWire DV device) and the cables between the DV device
and the external monitor.
m Make sure output connectors are always connected to inputs, and vice versa.
m If your monitor has multiple inputs, make sure the proper input is selected on the front
panel of the monitor or in the monitor’s onscreen menu.
m If you are using a FireWire DV camcorder to convert DV to analog video, make sure the
camcorder is in VCR (or VTR) mode and that it is turned on.
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Part IV: Capturing and Importing
IV
Learn how to capture video and audio files to your hard disk
and import media into your Final Cut Express HD project.
Chapter 14
Capturing Your Footage to Disk
Chapter 15
Importing Media Files Into Your Project
Chapter 16
Working With HDV
14
Capturing Your Footage to Disk
14
Capturing is the process of transferring footage from your
original tapes to media files on the computer hard disk.
This chapter covers the following:
 Overview of the Capturing Process (p. 171)
 Overview of the Capture Window (p. 172)
 Preparing to Capture (p. 178)
 Capturing Individual Clips in the Capture Window (p. 181)
 Using Capture Now (p. 185)
 Adding Markers to Clips in the Capture Window (p. 187)
 Recapturing Clips (p. 189)
 Finding Your Media Files After Capture (p. 192)
 Modifying a Media File’s Reel Name Property (p. 194)
 Avoiding Duplicate Timecode Numbers on a Single Tape (p. 195)
Overview of the Capturing Process
The goal of the capturing process is to organize your original footage and transfer it to
your computer hard disk so you can edit it. The entire capturing process encompasses
several overlapping phases.
Organizing Your Tapes
Before you capture footage, it’s important to organize and label your tapes so you can
tell Final Cut Express HD where your footage comes from. This is important in case you
need to capture the same footage again later. For more information, see “Organizing
and Labeling Your Tapes” on page 178.
171
Logging
Logging is the process of transcribing the content of your videotapes. The purpose of
logging tapes is to break down the content of your tapes into distinct, manageable
clips, making your footage easier to locate and transfer to your hard disk.
In Final Cut Express HD, you can add logging information to a clip in the Capture
window, or you can enter logging information in Browser columns after you capture.
Capturing
Capturing is the process of copying digital media, such as DV video, from your source
tapes to media files on your computer hard disk. In Final Cut Express HD, there are two
approaches to capturing:
 Capture individual clips: Using this method, you watch your tape in the Capture
window, define a clip by setting In and Out points, and then capture the media for the
clip. For details, see “Capturing Individual Clips in the Capture Window” on page 181.
 Capture entire tapes: You can capture an entire tape to a single media file on disk,
and then create subclips to define more manageable regions for organizing and
editing. For details, see “Using Capture Now” on page 185.
Important: For information about capturing HDV video, see “Working With HDV” on
page 207.
Adding Markers
You can specify notable frames or ranges of frames within clips by adding named
markers. You can add markers in the Capture window or, after capturing, in the Viewer.
For more information, see “Adding Markers to Clips in the Capture Window” on
page 187 and “Using Markers” on page 235.
Making Subclips
Subclips allow you to work with lengthy media files (for example, a single media file
captured from an entire tape) as though it were broken into many smaller files. For
more information, see “Creating Subclips” on page 251.
Overview of the Capture Window
When you want to transfer footage from your tapes to your Final Cut Express HD
system, you use the Capture window. The Capture window provides controls for
controlling a VTR or camcorder, previewing video from tape, setting In and Out points,
adding descriptive information to clips, and capturing media to your disk.
Note: Before you can use the Capture window, make sure your camcorder or VTR is
properly connected and that you’ve chosen an appropriate Easy Setup. For more
information, see “Connecting Your Equipment” on page 145.
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To open the Capture window:
m Choose File > Capture (or press Command-8).
Available disk
space and time
Current Timecode field
Timecode Duration field
Preview area
Capture tab
Device status
Capture buttons
 Preview area: This area (at the left of the window) is where you view video as you
log and capture it, and contains transport and marking controls and timecode
fields. If your DV camcorder or deck is not on or there is no tape inserted, you’ll see
color bars or black.
 Available hard disk space and time: At the top of the window, Final Cut Express HD
displays the amount of available space on the current scratch disk and the amount of
capture time available. The time available depends on the data rate of the video
format of your current Easy Setup
 Timecode Duration field: Displays the duration of the section of tape you’ve marked
for capture, based on the In and Out points you set.
 Current Timecode field: Displays the timecode number of the currently displayed
frame of your source tape. You can enter timecode directly in this field to navigate to
that timecode point on your tape.
 Device status: If your DV camcorder is properly connected to your computer, this
message says “VTR OK.” If the message says “No Communication”,
Final Cut Express HD isn’t communicating properly with your DV camcorder. For
more information, see “Understanding Device Control Status Messages” on page 152.
∏
Tip: You can drag timecode values to the Capture window timecode fields from other
timecode fields in Final Cut Express HD, such as Browser columns. Hold down the
Option key while you drag a timecode value from a column in the Browser to either the
Timecode Duration or the Current Timecode field.
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Transport Controls
If you have device control, use these controls to control your camcorder or deck. The
transport controls are similar to those in the Viewer and Canvas, except that they
control playback of a videotape instead of a media file. For more information, see
“Navigating in the Viewer and Canvas” on page 101.
Rewind
Fast Forward
Play Around
Current Frame
Play In to Out
Stop
Play
Jog and Shuttle Controls
Jog and shuttle controls, similar to those in the Viewer and Canvas, are also available
for navigating through the tape. For more information, see “Navigating in the Viewer
and Canvas” on page 101.
Shuttle control
Jog control
In the Capture window, you can use the J, K, and L keys for jogging and shuttling, just
as you can in the Viewer and Canvas. For more information about using the J, K, and L
keys to navigate through your clip, see “Shuttling Through a Clip or Sequence” on
page 105 and “Jogging Through a Clip or Sequence” on page 106.
Note: Tape playback is not as responsive as playback from media files on your hard disk. It
takes a few seconds for a tape to cue to the proper frames or change playback direction.
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Marking Controls
Use these controls to set In and Out points for a clip on tape.
Clip In Point
Timecode field
Clip Out Point
Timecode field
Go to In Point
Go to Out Point
Mark In
Â
Â
Â
Â
Â
Â
Mark Out
Mark In (I): This sets the In point for a clip on tape.
Clip In Point Timecode field: Shows the timecode value of the currently set In point.
Go to In Point: This causes the connected VTR to cue to the currently set In point.
Mark Out (O): This sets the Out point for a clip on tape.
Clip Out Point Timecode field: Shows the timecode value of the currently set Out point.
Go to Out Point: This causes the connected camcorder or VTR to cue to the currently
set Out point.
Capture Tab
The Capture tab is where you enter all of the descriptive information about a clip before
you capture it. Entering descriptive information about a clip is also known as logging.
Capture Bin Controls
Use the Capture Bin controls to choose where clips are stored when you capture them.
The Capture Bin button
contains the name of the
currently selected
capture bin.
Up
New Bin
 Capture Bin: This button contains the name of the bin in your project where logged
clips for captured media are stored. There can be only one capture bin at a time, no
matter how many projects are open. When you click this button, the bin opens in its
own window; if the bin is already open, that window moves to the front.
 Up: Click to move the capture bin up a level from the currently selected bin. For
example, you could switch from a bin to the bin that contains it. If the current
capture bin is at the highest level, clicking this button assigns the project itself as the
capture bin.
 New Bin: Click this to create a new bin inside the currently selected bin, and set it as
the capture bin.
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Logging Fields
You can use the logging fields to add descriptive information and notes to each clip
that you capture.
Slate button to
increment last number
or letter in field
Checkboxes for
including information
in Name field
 Reel: The reel name corresponds to the actual tape that the source media is on. All
clips require a reel name. Make sure you enter the proper reel name before you
capture. The reel name is necessary any time you need to go back to your original
tapes. The safest reel names are simple, three-digit numbers, such as 001, 244, 999,
and so on.
 Slate: Click this to increment the last number or letter in the field. If the current
field doesn’t end with a number, a “1” is appended. If the field ends with a space
and a single character (such as “A”), the character is incremented alphabetically
(in this case, to “B”).
 Name: This field is generated automatically from the Description, Scene, Shot/Take,
and Angle fields, but only the fields whose checkboxes are selected contribute to the
clip name. Underscores in the clip name separate the content of each included field.
For example, the clip name “Man Talking 3_23_2” is generated from the Description
“Man Talking,” the Scene “3,” the Shot/Take “23,” and the Angle “2.”
 Checkboxes: Select the checkbox next to any of the Description, Scene, Shot/Take,
and Angle fields you want to include in the name of the clip.
 Slate: Click the Slate button next to a field to increment the last number or letter
in the field. If the current field doesn’t end with a number, a “1” is appended. If the
field ends with a space and a single character (such as “A”), the character is
incremented alphabetically (in this case, to “B”).
 Notes: You can use this field to enter any remarks or descriptive information about
the clip before you capture it.
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Using Slate Buttons
Clicking a Slate button increments the last number or letter in the corresponding
field. You can also clear a field by Option-clicking the corresponding Slate button:
 To clear the Description along with the Shot/Take and Angle fields: Option-click the
Slate button next to the Description field.
 To clear only the Shot/Take field: Option-click the Slate button next to the Shot/Take
field.
 To reset the Shot/Take and Angle fields to “01”, do one of the following:
 Click the Slate button next to the Scene field.
 Option-click the Slate button next to the Scene field.
This clears the Scene field in addition to resetting the Shot/Take and Angle fields.
Marker Controls
As you log, you can set markers within clips to note significant parts for future reference.
Set Marker In
Set Marker Out
Marker In Point
Timecode field
Marker list (after clicking
the Set Marker button)
Marker Out Point
Timecode field
 Disclosure triangle: Click this to view or hide the marker list and controls.
 Marker: Enter a name or comments to go with the marker in this field. The marker
name remains until you change it.
 Set Marker: Once you’ve set the marker In and Out points, click this button to create
a new marker.
 Set Marker In: Click this button to set a marker In point, or enter a timecode value in
this timecode field.
 Set Marker Out: Click this button to set a marker Out point, or enter a timecode value
in this timecode field.
 Update: Use this if you want to make changes to a marker. Click to select the marker
in the list, make your changes, then click the Update button. The marker in the list
then displays the new information.
 Marker list: Displays all markers and associated information for the current clip.
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Capture Buttons
You can use one of the buttons in the Capture window when you’re ready to capture
your media.
 Capture Clip: Captures the media between the current In and Out point and logs a
corresponding clip in the current capture bin.
 Capture Now: Instead of using In and Out points, Capture Now immediately captures
the current video and audio input signal to a media file until you press the Escape
key. You can use this to capture an entire tape as a single media file or to capture
arbitrary sections of tape. When capturing is complete, a corresponding clip is placed
in the capture bin of your project.
 Capture Project: Recaptures all currently selected clips in your project.
Preparing to Capture
Before you capture your footage to disk, you should organize your original source
tapes, decide what you want to capture, and make sure you have enough disk space to
store your footage.
Organizing and Labeling Your Tapes
Because production schedules can be hectic, tapes are sometimes labeled improperly
when shooting is finished. Before you can capture your footage to disk, make sure each
tape is properly labeled with a unique reel name. If for any reason you ever leave the
Final Cut Express HD editing environment to work on another system, simpler reel
names will cause less confusion.
Choosing Reel Names for Tapes
You should label your tapes as concisely as possible while still being descriptive. In
addition, you should assign a unique three-digit reel number to each tape. This has
become a standard reel-naming approach because early electronic editing systems were
limited to three-digit reel numbers. Using this approach, you can quickly glance at the
descriptive name to figure out what’s on the tape and you can use the three-digit reel
number to tell Final Cut Express HD what tape is currently in your camcorder or VTR.
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Additional Tape Label Information
For some projects, the following label information may also be helpful:
 Location and date
 Project name
 Number of audio channels and microphone setup
 Total running time (TRT)
 Camcorder model used
Logging Your Tapes
Before you capture footage from your tapes, you should familiarize yourself with their
content. One way to become acquainted with your footage is to log it, breaking your
tapes down into a list of named clips defined by timecode In and Out points.
Traditionally, the logging process consisted of the following steps:
 Play a tape.
 While watching the tape, determine points on the tape where you want to define a clip.
 Write the reel name (tape name), timecode In and Out points, and description of the clip.
You can log this information on paper or in a database or spreadsheet program. However,
because logging tapes before they are captured can be tedious, some editors skip this step
and capture entire tapes, breaking the footage into subclips within Final Cut Express HD
later. This process is sometimes referred to as logging after capturing.
Aside from the practical matters of selecting which footage to capture to disk, there are
many editorial benefits to reviewing your footage in this way:
 The first time you watch the footage is the first and only time you can watch it
objectively. Your gut reactions are important to note at this time. They serve as
valuable reminders of what a first-time viewer may think of the footage long after
you have seen the same shots over and over again.
 The better you know your footage, the more options you have when you’re stuck in
an editorial corner.
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Choosing a Filenaming Scheme
Before you start capturing clips, think about the filenaming scheme you want to use for
your project. It’s easier to edit when you have an organized naming system, especially if
there are several people working on a project at one time. This will help you avoid
duplicate clip names.
Using descriptive names makes organizing and editing your footage a lot easier.
However, very detailed names can cause trouble too. For example, Final Cut Express HD
can handle long clip names, but other systems often can’t. Also, certain punctuation
and special characters, such as slash (/) and colon (:) are illegal in Mac OS X. Try to aim
for filenames consisting of fewer than 31 characters that only use alphanumeric (A–Z,
0–9) characters. For more information, see “Filenaming Considerations” on page 49.
Determining How Much Disk Space You Need
Before you begin capturing, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough disk space
on your computer. The amount of disk space you need depends on the quality at
which you capture your video and the length of your finished projects. Use the table
below to estimate how much space you need.
DV data transfer rate
30 sec.
1 min.
5 min.
10 min.
30 min.
60 min.
3.6 MB/sec.,
DV-format video
108 MB
216 MB
1.08 GB
2.16 GB
6.5 GB
13 GB
Apple Intermediate Codec1 210 MB
HDV 720p30
420 MB
2.05 GB
4.10 GB
12.30 GB
24.61 GB
Apple Intermediate Codec1 360 MB
HDV 1080i501
720 MB
3.52 GB
7.03 GB
21.11 GB
42.19 GB
Apple Intermediate Codec1 420 MB
HDV 1080i60
840 MB
4.10 GB
8.20 GB
24.61 GB
49.22 GB
1 Data
rates for the Apple Intermediate Codec are variable; these figures are approximate and may vary according to
the complexity of your footage. Images with a lot of detail have a higher data rate, while images with less detail
have a lower data rate.
In addition to space for media files, you need extra space for render files, graphics files,
and so on. A rule of thumb to determine how much space you need is to multiply the
amount of space needed for your finished program by five.
For example, if you want to create a music video that’s approximately four minutes
long using DV video:
 3.6 MB/sec. video data rate x 60 seconds = 216 MB/min. x 4 minutes = 864 MB
needed for project files.
 864 MB x 5 = 4320 MB needed for project, render, cache, and other files.
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Round off 4320 MB to 4.5 GB to be on the safe side. This is the amount of disk space
you’ll need to allow just for this one project. If you plan to work on multiple projects at
the same time, estimate the amount for each project and add these numbers together.
To check the available hard disk space:
m Choose File > Capture (or press Command-8).
At the top of the Capture window, Final Cut Express HD displays the amount of
available space on the current scratch disk. If you need to specify another scratch disk,
see “Determining Your Hard Disk Storage Options” on page 153.
If you are batch capturing clips, make sure you have enough disk space for the selected
clips you want to capture.
Important: For best performance, use a nonstartup disk for capture, render, and final
output to tape, and try to anticipate how much disk space you need before you
begin capturing.
Capturing Individual Clips in the Capture Window
With this approach to capturing, you capture small sections of tape, one at a time. If
you want to meticulously define each clip before you capture it, you can set In and Out
points and add any logging information in the Capture window, and then press the
Capture Clip button. If you just want to capture a section of tape but you aren’t worried
about precise start and end times, you can use the Capture Now button instead. For
more information, see “Using Capture Now” on page 185.
Some editors prefer to capture clips one at a time because this method avoids any
pitfalls that may occur with automated capturing. If your tapes have a lot of
unexpected timecode breaks, or if you simply want to capture one or two clips from a
tape, you may want to use this method.
To capture individual clips:
1 Choose a scratch disk in the Scratch Disks tab of System Settings.
For more information, see “Specifying Scratch Disks for Capturing Video
and Storing Render Files” on page 148.
2 Make sure your video device is connected and that you have chosen an Easy Setup that
matches the format of your tape.
For more information, see “Choosing an Easy Setup” on page 147.
3 Create or open a project to store your captured clips.
For more information, see “Creating and Saving Projects” on page 44.
4 Choose File > Capture (or press Command-8).
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5 Create or specify a capture bin to store your captured clips:
 To create a new capture bin: Click the New Bin button in the Capture window.
 To set an existing bin in the Browser as the current capture bin: In the Browser, select
the bin you want to use as your capture bin, Control-click the bin, then choose Set
Capture Bin from the shortcut menu.
The slate icon appears
next to the current
capture bin.
A slate icon appears next to the bin in the Browser to indicate that it is the current
capture bin.
6 Put a tape in your camcorder or VTR.
Before you put the tape in the deck, make sure you check the name of the tape so you
can enter the proper reel name in the Capture window. As soon as you put a new tape
into your VTR or camcorder, Final Cut Express HD asks you to enter a new reel name.
Always double-check that you have entered the proper reel name or you will have
problems if you ever need to recapture your footage. For tips about how to name your
reels and label your tapes, see “Organizing and Labeling Your Tapes” on page 178.
7 In the Reel field, enter the name of the tape by doing one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Enter the name or number of the tape, then press Enter.
Control-click the field to choose from a list of recent reel names.
Option-click the Slate button to clear the contents.
Click the Slate button to increment the letter or number at the end of the name.
Enter the source
tape name here.
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8 Navigate to the first frame of the clip you want to capture by doing one of the following:
 Use the transport controls.
 Enter a timecode value in the Current Timecode field.
Enter the In point
timecode here.
Enter the Out point
timecode here.
For more information about controls in the Capture window, see “Overview of the
Capture Window” on page 172.
9 To set the In point for the clip, do one of the following:
 Click the Mark In button.
 Press I.
10 Find the last frame of the clip you want to capture by doing one of the following:
 Use the transport controls.
 Enter a timecode value in the Current Timecode field.
11 To set the Out point for the clip, do one of the following:
 Click the Mark Out button.
 Press O.
When you set an In or Out point, you may be off by a few frames. You can adjust the
clip In and Out points using timecode.
12 To adjust clip In and Out points using timecode, do one of the following:
 Enter a timecode number for the In or Out point.
 Click in the Clip In or Out point timecode field, then type + (plus sign) or – (minus sign)
followed by the number of frames or seconds you want to adjust the In or Out point.
For example, you could adjust the In point to be 10 frames earlier by clicking in the Clip
In Point Timecode field and then typing –10.
Important: You should avoid capturing a clip if you see timecode breaks (where
timecode numbers skip or disappear) between the clip In and Out points (for example,
if the timecode starts over at 00:00:00:00 in the middle of the tape). For more
information, see “Avoiding Duplicate Timecode Numbers on a Single Tape” on
page 195.
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13 Enter naming information for the clip by doing the following:
a Enter a brief description in the Description field (click the Slate button to increment
this field by 1).
Note: After you capture an individual clip, the last number in the Description field is
automatically incremented.
b Enter a scene number in the Scene field (click the Slate button to increment this
field by 1).
c Enter numbers for the shot and take in the Shot/Take field (click the Slate button to
automatically increment the field by 1).
d Enter a number for the angle (click the Slate button to automatically increment the
field by 1).
The text in the Name field in the Capture window is generated automatically from the
Description, Scene, Shot/Take, and Angle fields. However, only the fields whose
checkboxes are selected contribute to the clip name. Underscores in the clip name
separate the content of each included field. For example, the clip name “Man Talking
3_23_4” is generated from the Description “Man Talking”, the Scene “3”, the Shot/Take
“23,” and the Angle “4”.
Automatic Filenaming During Capture
If you want, you can deselect the checkboxes next to the logging fields in the
Capture window. In this case, the Name field remains empty, so Final Cut Express HD
names your media file for you. Final Cut Express HD automatically names media files
and their corresponding clips using the following convention: Untitled, Untitled1,
Untitled2, and so on.
If you’re capturing a clip and the currently specified name is already taken by a clip in
the current Scratch Disk folder, the letter or number at the end of the name is
incremented. For example, if you capture a clip named Office Clips1 and there’s
already a clip in that project’s Scratch Disk folder with the same name, the name is
changed to Office Clips2. If there is already a media file called Office Clips A, the
current media file is called Office Clips B.
Alphabetical incrementing occurs if the last letter is preceded by a separating
character such as a space, underscore, or dash. For example, ClipName-A is
incremented to ClipName-B, but ClipNameA is incremented to ClipNameA1. If the last
letter in the clip name is preceded by a number, both the number and letter are
incremented. For example, ClipName-2Z is followed by ClipName-3A.
Use this feature cautiously, or you’ll end up with a scratch disk full of files named Untitled.
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14 Select the checkboxes next to the fields you want to include in the name of the clip—
Description, Scene, Shot/Take, and Angle.
Select the checkboxes
for the fields that you
want to include in the
Name field.
Fields that contribute to
the Name field
15 If you wish, you can select the Prompt checkbox to confirm the clip name after you
click the Capture Clip button.
This gives you one last chance to verify the clip and media filename and allows you to
name it something unrelated to the Description, Scene, Shot/Take, and Angle fields.
16 Click the Capture Clip button.
Final Cut Express HD rewinds the tape, captures the media file, and creates a
corresponding clip in the current capture bin.
Using Capture Now
This method is popular because hard disk space is no longer prohibitively expensive.
Instead of meticulously setting In and Out points for each clip you want to capture, you
can simply play your tape and click the Capture Now button. You can also use Capture
Now to capture entire tapes to disk. After you capture, you can then virtually break the
media file into smaller, more manageable pieces called subclips.
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Here are some reasons to use Capture Now:
 Capturing entire tapes causes less wear on the tapes because you only have to play
them back once, straight through, to transfer media files to the hard disk.
 Navigating through media on your hard disk is much faster than navigating
through media on tape, so creating virtual subclips from your media file after you
capture is faster than setting precise In and Out points on tape before you capture.
Adding logging information to clips in the Browser may also be faster than in the
Capture window.
 For footage without timecode and VTRs that don’t support device control, such as
VHS footage or a DV camcorder in camera mode, you have to use Capture Now.
Note: Many of the steps for using Capture Now are identical to those for capturing
individual clips. For a more detailed explanation, you can familiarize yourself with the
steps involved by referring to “Capturing Individual Clips in the Capture Window” on
page 181.
To capture a clip or an entire tape using Capture Now:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > System Settings.
2 In the Scratch Disks tab of System Settings, do the following:
 Choose a scratch disk.
 Select the “Limit Capture Now To” checkbox.
 Enter a number of minutes for the maximum duration of your tape. To be safe, you
can add an extra minute or two.
For more information, see “Specifying Scratch Disks for Capturing Video
and Storing Render Files” on page 148.
3 Make sure your video device is connected and that you have chosen an Easy Setup that
matches the format of your tape.
4 Create or open a project to store your captured clips.
5 Choose File > Capture (or press Command-8).
6 Create or specify a capture bin to store your captured clips.
7 Put a tape in your camcorder or VTR.
8 In the Reel field, enter the name of the tape.
9 Enter naming information for the clip by adding text to the Description, Scene, Shot/
Take, and Angle fields.
10 Select the checkboxes next to the fields you want to include in the name of the clip—
Description, Scene, Shot/Take, and Angle.
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11 Do one of the following:
 If you are capturing an entire tape: Rewind the tape to the beginning by doing one of
the following:
 Press the Rewind button on your VTR or camcorder.
 Click the Rewind button in the Capture window.
 If you are capturing a portion of a tape: Rewind the tape to a point slightly before the
point where you want to begin capturing.
12 When you’re ready to begin capturing, do one of the following:
 Click the Play button.
 Press the Space bar.
The tape begins playing.
13 Click the Capture Now button.
Final Cut Express HD begins capturing your media file to your scratch disk. The Media
Start time of the resulting media file is the timecode number for the first frame
Final Cut Express HD detects after you click the Capture Now button.
14 Press Esc (the Escape key) to stop capturing.
If you don’t press the Escape key, Final Cut Express HD automatically stops when:
 The end of the tape has been reached.
 The maximum amount of time in the Limit Capture Now To field has been reached.
Final Cut Express HD stops capturing the media file and creates a corresponding clip in
the current capture bin. The Media End time of the media file is the timecode number
for the last frame Final Cut Express HD detects after you press the Escape key.
Adding Markers to Clips in the Capture Window
While you enter information about a clip in the Capture window, you can set markers
on frames (or regions of frames) that you think are significant enough to remember
later. Markers can be used for several purposes.
 Reference: Each marker can contain a name and associated note to help you identify
the content or other noteworthy information.
 Navigation: You can move the playhead from marker to marker in the Viewer and
the Timeline to quickly go to specific parts of a clip.
 Creation of subclips: You can also set markers to automatically create subclips later in
the Browser. For more information see “Creating Subclips” on page 251.
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Marker Controls in the Capture Window
Click the disclosure triangle next to Markers to see the marker controls.
Set Marker In
Set Marker Out
Marker In Point Timecode
field
Marker list (after clicking
the Set Marker button)
Marker Out Point
Timecode field
For more details about the marker controls, see “Marker Controls” on page 177.
Setting Markers
You can set as many markers as you like. Markers appear in a list and can be edited and
deleted.
To add markers to a clip in the Capture window:
1 Click the disclosure triangle next to Markers to see the marker controls.
2 Enter a name for the marker in the Marker field.
3 Find the frame where you want to set a marker In point by doing one of the following:
 Use the transport controls.
 Enter a timecode number in the Marker In Point Timecode field.
4 Click the Set Marker In button.
5 Find the frame where you want to set a marker Out point, by doing one of the
following:
 Use the transport controls.
 Enter a timecode in the Marker Out Point Timecode field.
6 Click the Set Marker Out button.
7 Click the Set Marker button.
When you capture the clip, all the marker information in this section is included
with the clip.
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Recapturing Clips
The Capture Project feature allows you to capture multiple clips at once. This process is
also known as batch capturing. This is useful when:
 One or more of your clips’ media files have gone offline because they were deleted
or modified.
 You opened an archived project that no longer has any associated media files. This
often happens because media files are usually too large to justify backing up.
Fortunately, because you can batch capture clips, you can get away with backing up
only the project file and recapturing when necessary.
Using Capture Project
The Capture Project button captures the media files for whatever clips, bins, or
sequences you have selected in the Browser. If nothing is selected, the clips in the
currently assigned capture bin are batch captured.
To capture multiple clips selected in the Browser:
1 Do one of the following:
 If the Capture window is open, click the Capture Project button in the lower-right
corner.
 Choose File > Capture Project (or press Control-C).
 Control-click any of the selected items in the Browser, then choose Capture Project
from the shortcut menu.
The Capture Project dialog appears.
Choose the kind of clips
you want to capture from
this pop-up menu.
Select the desired options.
Select your capture settings.
Summary of capture settings
These calculations are
based on the capture
settings you specify.
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2 In the Capture Project dialog, specify your settings, then click OK.
a In the Capture pop-up menu, choose whether you want to capture the currently
selected clips or all the clips in the current capture bin.
b If you want to capture clips with their original settings, select the Use Logged Clip
Settings checkbox.
If you want to capture clips using the capture preset shown in the Capture Preset
pop-up menu, deselect the Use Logged Clip Settings checkbox, then choose a
capture preset from the Capture Preset pop-up menu.
c If you want to include additional footage on the heads and tails of your media files,
select the Add Handles checkbox and enter a duration.
d If the Use Logged Clip Settings checkbox is not selected, choose a capture preset
from the Capture Preset pop-up menu.
Important: When you finish specifying your settings, check the total disk space needed
at the bottom of the Capture Project dialog and make sure your scratch disk has
enough space. If you need to specify additional scratch disks, see “Specifying Scratch
Disks for Capturing Video and Storing Render Files” on page 148.
3 When you’re ready to capture, click OK.
4 If the Additional Items Found dialog appears, choose an option.
For more information, see “About the Additional Items Found Dialog” on page 191.
You are prompted with a list of all the reels needed for capture.
5 Select a reel in the list, then click Continue.
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6 Insert the selected reel into your camcorder or VTR.
Make sure that your equipment is properly connected and turned on. For more
information, see “Connecting Your Camcorder” on page 145.
7 Final Cut Express HD captures all the clips on that reel and then prompts you to select
another, until all the clips in the batch have been captured.
Warning: If you’re capturing clips that have been captured once already, you can’t
recapture them at a frame rate that differs from the frame rate at which they were
originally captured. For example, if you capture a clip at 25 frames per second (fps),
delete the clip’s media file to make it an offline clip, and then recapture it, you must
recapture the clip at 25 fps.
To stop a capture at any time, do one of the following:
m Press Esc.
m Press and release the mouse button.
About the Additional Items Found Dialog
When you start capturing, Final Cut Express HD verifies the master clip status and
relationship of all selected clips. If any selected clips are independent (meaning they have
no master clips or are not master clips themselves), Final Cut Express HD checks all
currently opened projects to see if there are any other clips outside your current selection
that refer to the same media files. This includes clips in other open projects, and clips in
the same project that refer to the same media files but are not in your current selection. If
additional clips are found, the Additional Items Found dialog appears.
Choose one of the following options:
 Add: Click this so Final Cut Express HD automatically adds additional clips outside
the selection to your current project capture. After capture, those clips refer to the
new media files.
 Continue: Click this to ignore the additional clips in other open projects (and thus
not reconnect them to the newly captured media files). The clips
Final Cut Express HD found are ignored and the captured project is restricted to the
clips you originally selected.
 Abort: Final Cut Express HD stops the capture process.
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Finding Your Media Files After Capture
The most common question editors have after capturing is: Where did my media files
go? Knowing the directory in which Final Cut Express HD stores captured media files,
and being able to quickly navigate the Mac OS X file hierarchy, are two of the most
important aspects of being a successful editor.
Where Are Captured Media Files Stored?
To determine where your media files are stored, you should first check the Scratch
Disks tab in the System Settings window. In the Scratch Disks tab, the folder with the
Video Capture column selected is the folder in which Final Cut Express HD captures
media. However, Final Cut Express HD does not store media files directly in that folder.
Instead, each time you choose a new folder for video capture, Final Cut Express HD
creates several folders within that folder:
 Capture Scratch
 Render Files
 Audio Render Files
Final Cut Express HD uses the Capture Scratch folder to store captured media files.
However, it is still one level deeper in the hierarchy than you may expect. Within the
Capture Scratch folder, Final Cut Express HD creates a folder named after the project
that contains the currently selected capture bin.
For example, suppose you chose a scratch disk named “Media.” If you are currently
capturing clips for a project named “Hard to Trace,” your captured media files are
stored here:
/Volumes/Media/Capture Scratch/Hard to Trace/
Note: Since you can select up to 12 scratch disk folder locations, you may have to look
in several locations before you can find the disk that contains your media. However,
this is an issue only if you have the Video Capture checkbox enabled for more than one
scratch disk folder in the Scratch Disks tab in the System Settings window.
To summarize, captured media files aren’t really stored directly in the folder you choose
as a scratch disk folder. Instead, they are stored two levels deeper, in folders
called: Capture Scratch/[Project Name]/.
Important: A very common mistake is to select a folder named Capture Scratch in the
Scratch Disks tab. On the surface, that seems like the right thing to do, but make sure
you don’t. Instead of selecting a Capture Scratch folder, select the parent folder of the
Capture Scratch folder. Never select the Capture Scratch folder itself; if you do, your
media files will be stored in the following hierarchy: [Disk Name]/Capture Scratch/
Capture Scratch/[Project Name]/.
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The fastest way to find a media file is to use the corresponding clip in the Browser.
To reveal a clip’s media file in the Finder:
1 Select a clip in the Browser or Timeline
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose View > Reveal in Finder.
 Control-click on the clip and choose Reveal in Finder from the shortcut menu.
Consolidating Media Files to One Folder
If you save a project with a new name part-way through the capture process, media files
captured after the project is renamed are stored in a new folder. For example, suppose
you originally captured some clips in a project called “Hard to Trace,” but at some point
you renamed your project “Hard to Trace Version 2” and then resumed capturing clips. In
this case, clips captured before the project name change are stored here:
/Volumes/Media/Capture Scratch/Hard to Trace/
and clips captured after the name change are stored here:
/Volumes/Media/Capture Scratch/Hard to Trace Version 2/
This can make it difficult to manage your project, especially if you want to copy the
project file and all its corresponding media files to another system. To avoid these
problems, it’s important to pay attention to where your media is stored during capture.
If you want all your media files to reside in one folder, you need to avoid changing the
name of your project. However, it’s common for editors to change project names as
they save versions of their work. At some point, it’s likely that you are going to capture
a media file to a folder where you don’t want it.
To consolidate media files into a single folder immediately after capture:
1 In the Browser, select a clip that corresponds to one of the media files you just captured.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose View > Reveal in Finder.
 Control-click the clip and choose Reveal in Finder from the shortcut menu.
A Finder window opens with the media file selected.
3 Click the Final Cut Express HD icon in the Dock to switch back to Final Cut Express HD.
4 In the Browser, if it isn’t selected already, select the same clip that corresponds to the
media file you just highlighted in the Finder.
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5 Press Delete.
This removes the clip from your project but the media file is still on the disk.
Important: Because you deleted the clip, any comments or notes applied to the clip
are now gone.
6 Switch back to the Finder and move the media file to the folder where you want to
keep all the media files associated with your project.
7 Drag the media file from its new folder in the Finder to the Browser in
Final Cut Express HD.
You now have the same clip as before, but it points to its media file in the proper location.
If your clip has comments and notes that you don’t want to lose by deleting the clip,
you can ignore the step where you delete the clip from the Browser. In this case,
Final Cut Express HD warns you that the clip’s media file has gone “offline” when you
return to the application. You can choose to reconnect the clip’s media file, which is
now in the proper location, using the Reconnect window. For more information, see
“Reconnecting Clips and Offline Media” on page 933.
Modifying a Media File’s Reel Name Property
Most clip properties such as scene information and comments are stored in clips, not in
media files. However, clips don’t contain the reel name property—media files do. If you
accidentally assigned the wrong reel name while capturing, you can modify the reel
name property in the media file itself.
Final Cut Express HD allows you to modify the reel name property directly in the
Browser. Because you are modifying a property of a media file, Final Cut Express HD
warns you before changing the reel name property of the media file.
To modify a single clip and media file’s reel name property:
1 Make sure the Reel column is visible in the Browser.
For more information, see “Organizing Footage in the Browser” on page 219.
2 Select the clip whose Reel property you want to change.
3 Click in the Reel property field, enter a new name, then press Enter.
A dialog appears warning you that you are about to modify the Reel property of the
media file.
4 Click OK.
The media file’s Reel property is modified, and the clip now displays the new Reel property.
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To modify the reel name properties for multiple clips and media files:
1 Make sure the Reel column is visible in the Browser.
For more information, see “Organizing Footage in the Browser” on page 219.
2 Select the clips whose Reel property you want to change.
3 Control-click in any of the Reel property fields of the selected clips, then choose a
name from the shortcut menu that appears.
A dialog appears warning you that you are about to modify the Reel property of the
media file.
4 Click OK.
The Reel property is modified for all the selected media files, and the clips now display
the new Reel property.
Avoiding Duplicate Timecode Numbers on a Single Tape
If you aren’t careful during production, you can end up with duplicate timecode numbers
on your tape. Each time the camcorder is turned off and on again, the camcorder may
reset the timecode counter to zero. This is especially true when working with consumer
camcorders. For logging, capturing, and media management, a tape with the same
timecode number in two or more locations is very difficult to work with.
If someone asks you to capture media from timecode 00:00:00:00 to 00:01:00:00 on reel
1, you assume that you should capture the first minute of the tape. But if the
camcorder was turned off and back on at some point during the shoot, the timecode
counter may have reset somewhere in the middle of the tape. This tape has two
occurrences of timecode 00:00:00:00, so which occurrence should you capture?
Worse, during logging and capturing, neither Final Cut Express HD nor the VTR will
necessarily navigate to the proper timecode 00:00:00:00, because there are two. Device
control uses timecode for positioning information, and always assumes that timecode
numbers increase as the tape progresses. If the timecode starts over somewhere in the
middle of the tape, you have to manually navigate to the correct area of the tape.
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Logging Tapes with Duplicate Timecode Numbers
If you have to log tapes that have duplicate timecode numbers, make sure that you
account for any timecode breaks by assigning separate reel numbers for each section
of tape where the timecode reset to 00:00:00:00.
For example, suppose you have a DV tape with footage from 00:00:00:00 to 00:30:00:00,
followed by a timecode break. You could name the first half of the tape reel 4-A, and
the second half of the tape (which goes from 00:30:00:00 through the end of the tape
reel), 4-B. Clips from both reel 4-A and 4-B actually come from one physical tape
labeled reel 4, but for ease of media management and clip recapturing, it helps to have
a unique reel number for each section of continuous timecode, so you are never
confused about where on the tape a particular timecode number is located.
Avoiding Multiple Occurrences of the Same Timecode
Number on a Single Tape
Duplicate timecode numbers on a single tape can be one of the most frustrating
experiences during logging and capturing. Make sure the camera operator is aware of
these pitfalls before shooting, especially when using a consumer camcorder.
Note: A camcorder may automatically shut off after sitting idle for several minutes to
conserve battery power. One solution is to use AC power with the camcorder, though
this isn’t always practical.
Here are some techniques for avoiding reset timecode counters when shooting with
consumer DV camcorders:
 Prerecord a video signal (preferably black) on each tape before production to create a
continuous timecode signal on the entire tape.
This is called blacking a tape. You can do this in any camcorder by pressing Record
with the lens cap on and the microphone disconnected (to avoid recording any
audio signals). The more professional solution is to use a DV deck and its internal
black generator. Some DV decks also allow you to choose what timecode number
your tape starts with.
 Dub your tapes so that you copy the video and audio information, but not the timecode.
The dubbed tapes become your new source tapes, and you can capture from these.
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 During production, pay attention to the position of your tape.
Camcorders attempt to create continuous timecode by quickly reading the last
timecode number written on tape. The process of generating new timecode based
on the last stored timecode number is referred to as jam syncing timecode. However,
if the camcorder doesn’t see a timecode or video signal on the tape (for example, at
the beginning of a blank tape), the timecode counter is reset to zero.
DV camcorders tend to be fairly good at finding the last timecode number on tape as
long as the camcorder has not been turned off. If the camcorder is turned off, the best
solution is to rewind the tape by a second or two so that the camcorder can jam sync
the timecode already written on tape when you start recording again. In theory, this
technique can remedy most potential timecode problems. In practice, however, it can
be difficult to always remember to rewind, or you may rewind too far and then spend
time cueing your tape to make sure you don’t record over part of the previous shot.
One helpful tip when using this technique is to record several additional seconds
well past the end of each shot. If your camcorder is turned off and on, you can
rewind a few seconds into the previous shot without worrying that you are going to
record over important footage.
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15
Importing Media Files
Into Your Project
15
Final Cut Express HD can import almost any media file that
QuickTime recognizes, allowing you to integrate different
formats within a single project.
This chapter covers the following:
 What File Formats Can Be Imported? (p. 199)
 Importing Media Files (p. 200)
 About Importing Video Files (p. 203)
 About Importing Audio Files (p. 204)
What File Formats Can Be Imported?
Importing files into Final Cut Express HD for use in your sequences is fairly
straightforward. You can import various kinds of files, including video, audio, still
images and graphics, and numbered image sequences.
You can import any files that are recognized by QuickTime, including:
 Video files: QuickTime Movie, AVI, and Macromedia Flash (video only—you won’t be
able to play any audio portions).
For details about these formats, see “Learning About QuickTime” on page 979.
 Audio files: AIFF/AIFC, Audio CD Data (.cdda), Sound Designer II, System 7 Sound,
uLaw (AU), WAVE, and MPEG-4.
For details about these formats, see “About Importing Audio Files” on page 204.
 Graphics and still images: BMP, FlashPix, GIF, JPEG/JFIF, MacPaint (PNTG), Photoshop
(layered), PICS, PICT, PNG, QuickTime Image File, SGI, TARGA (TGA), and TIFF.
For more information, see “Working With Still Images and Photographs” on page 759.
199
How Is Importing Different From Capturing?
Importing is different from capturing in the following ways:
 Capturing: When you capture, you transfer and often convert footage from an
external video or audio device to your scratch disk.
 Importing: You import files when they are already stored on your scratch disk.
Importing media files creates clips in your project; these clips refer back to the
media files on disk.
Since capturing creates media files, you can always import captured media files into
your project at any time.
Importing Media Files
You can import single files, a folder, or a group of folders. If you import a group of
folders that contain folders inside one another, Final Cut Express HD imports all files in
each folder and subfolder that are in formats it recognizes; incompatible file types are
ignored.
Folders imported into your project appear as bins in the Browser. If you import a group of
folders, Final Cut Express HD creates bins and organizes the files in the same hierarchy as on
your hard disk. However, unlike with clips and media files, there is no further relationship
between bins and folders after you import. Changing the name or location of a bin in your
project has no effect on the folders in the Finder, and vice versa.
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To import a file or folder:
1 In the Browser, select a project or bin where you want to store your imported clips.
 To import files or folders into the main, or root, level of a project, click that
project’s tab.
 To import files into a bin within a project, double-click the bin. The bin opens in a
separate window.
For more information, see “Organizing Footage in the Browser” on page 219.
To import files at the
main level, click a
project’s tab.
To place imported
files into a bin, first open
the bin by doubleclicking it.
2 Do one of the following:
 Drag one or more files or folders from the Finder to a project tab or bin in the
Browser. This is a fast and easy way to import many files.
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 Choose File > Import, then choose File or Folder from the submenu. (To import a file,
you can also press Command-I.) Select one or more files or folders in the dialog, then
click Choose.
Select the file (or folder)
you want to import, then
click Choose.
 Control-click in the Browser or a bin’s window, then choose Import File or Import
Folder from the shortcut menu. Select a file or folder in the dialog, then click Choose.
 You can also drag the files or folders from your desktop to the Timeline of a
sequence.
Clips you drag directly
to the Timeline are
independent (they have
no master clips in the
Browser).
Important: Dragging media files directly to a sequence in the Timeline creates
independent clips, which have no master clips in the Browser. This can make media
management more difficult later. For more information about master-affiliate clip
relationships, see “Working With Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
3 Save your project.
For more information, see “Creating and Saving Projects” on page 44.
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Tips When Importing
When you import media files, keep the following in mind:
 If you want to import media files from removable storage media, such as a CD, do
not import the files directly. Instead, copy the files to the folder on your scratch disk
where your other project media is stored. Clips that refer to removable media
become offline when you eject the disc.
 When importing QuickTime reference movies, the only file that will be recognized
by Final Cut Express HD is the main file that contains the references (to the other
associated files). You may see error messages, such as “file unknown,” if you try to
import these referenced files.
 While not necessary, it’s a good idea to keep all of the media files used for any
given project together, for organizational purposes. When you back up or archive
your project file, you’ll also want to back up or archive any graphics, audio, or
QuickTime files that weren’t captured from tape, so they don’t get lost.
 You can use clips compressed with different codecs in your sequence, but only clips
with settings that match your sequence play back without rendering or using realtime processing. Unless it’s necessary to combine clips with different codecs in your
sequence, you will get the best editing performance by using clips with settings
that match your sequence.
About Importing Video Files
You can import any QuickTime-compatible media files into Final Cut Express HD, but to
avoid rendering, your media files need to match your sequence settings. For example, if
you create a motion graphics title sequence in another application and then export to
a QuickTime movie for use in Final Cut Express HD, make sure you export using the
same settings as the sequence into which you plan to edit the title sequence.
Before you export a movie file for use in your Final Cut Express HD sequence, make
sure you choose settings that match the sequence.
Sequence preset
Image dimensions
Frame rate
Codec
DV NTSC
720 x 480
29.97 fps
DV/DVCPRO NTSC
DV PAL
720 x 576
25 fps
DV PAL
HDV 1080i60
1440 x 1080
29.97 fps
Apple Intermediate Codec
HDV 1080i50
1440 x 1080
25 fps
Apple Intermediate Codec
HDV 720p30
1280 x 720
29.97 fps
Apple Intermediate Codec
If you are importing video that contains audio, make sure that the audio sample rate
and bit depth of your media file match your sequence settings. For more information,
see “Choosing Audio File Sample Rate and Bit Depth” on page 204.
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To import a QuickTime movie file into Final Cut Express HD, follow the steps in
“Importing Media Files” on page 200.
If any of the settings in your imported QuickTime file don’t match your sequence
settings, a red video render bar appears in the Timeline when you add that clip to the
sequence. You can check the settings of the clip by choosing
Edit > Item Properties > Format.
About Importing Audio Files
Final Cut Express HD allows you to import audio files from other music and sound
editing applications, as well as audio from audio CDs.
When you import audio files into Final Cut Express HD, you need to make sure that
their settings match your sequence settings. If your audio clips’ settings don’t match
the sequence settings, you can still edit with them, but Final Cut Express HD does realtime conversion which reduces overall playback performance. This chapter discusses
the types of audio file formats you can import, as well as methods for converting audio
files so they match your sequence settings.
For more information about digital audio, see “Audio Fundamentals” on page 579.
What Kinds of Audio File Formats Can Be Imported?
Final Cut Express HD allows you to directly import any audio format compatible with
QuickTime. However, only uncompressed file formats such as AIFF and WAVE can be
used for editing. Final Cut Express HD supports AIFF, WAVE, Sound Designer II, and
single-track or multitrack QuickTime movies. Natively, Final Cut Express HD captures to
QuickTime movie files with one or more audio tracks.
Choosing Audio File Sample Rate and Bit Depth
The audio settings of your sequence are determined by the Easy Setup or sequence
preset you choose. Final Cut Express HD supports two audio settings:
 32 kHz/12-bit: Consumer mini-DV camcorders can record four channels of audio
using these settings. This is not recommended for most productions.
 48 kHz/16-bit: DV, HDV, and DVD all use these audio settings.
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Other common audio sample rates are:
 44.1 kHz/16-bit: Audio CDs and consumer DAT recorders use these audio settings.
 48 kHz/20-bit: Some professional video devices record natively in this format.
 96 kHz/24-bit: These settings are becoming increasingly popular for professional
sound and music production, although most video formats still record with 48 kHz.
For more information, see “Audio Fundamentals” on page 579.
Mixing Sample Rates and Using Real-Time Sample Rate Conversion
Ideally, the sample rate and bit depth of your audio files should match that of your
sequence settings. When you play a sequence in Final Cut Express HD, any audio files
with sample rates that don’t match your sequence sample rate are converted in real
time. This is known as sample rate conversion, and it requires additional processing
power. Clip items that require real-time sample rate conversion appear with a green
render bar within the clip item. For more information, see “Importing Media Files
Into Your Project” on page 199.
Even though Final Cut Express HD can perform real-time sample rate conversion,
conversions can reduce your audio mixing and effects performance. The quality of this
conversion is controlled by the Audio Playback Quality setting in the General tab of the
User Preferences window. Higher-quality conversions reduce the number of audio
tracks that Final Cut Express HD can mix together in real time.
If the sample rates of all the audio in your sequence match, sample rate conversion is
not necessary and the number of audio tracks that can play in real time increases. If
you are working with someone who is creating music or audio files specifically for your
project, you can request audio files at the settings you need to match your sequence.
However, If your audio clips don’t match your sequence settings, you can improve
audio playback performance by converting your audio files to the sample rate and bit
depth of your sequence.
Converting Audio Clips to Match Sequence Settings
If you are working with preexisting audio material, such as music from audio CDs, you
need to convert the audio files so they match your sequence settings. For example, if
you plan to use a lot of sound effects or music from audio CDs (which have a sample
rate of 44.1 kHz) in a DV sequence with a sample rate of 48 kHz, it’s a good idea to
convert your audio files to a sample rate of 48 kHz.
Most professional video formats, including DV, have a sample rate of 48 kHz and a bit
depth of 16 (this is often abbreviated as 48 kHz/16-bit). Since these settings are so
common for video post-production, they are used for most sequences in
Final Cut Express HD.
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Important: DV sequences sometimes use 32 kHz/12-bit settings, but these settings are
not recommended. As long as you don’t record your DV footage using 32 kHz/12-bit,
you should not use these settings for your sequence.
Audio files can be converted using the Export Using QuickTime Conversion command.
To convert a CD audio file so it matches your sequence settings:
1 Select a sequence, then choose Sequence > Settings.
2 Check the sample rate of the sequence by Control-clicking the sequence in the Browser
and choosing Item Properties from the shortcut menu.
For DV sequences, the sample rate is usually 48 kHz.
3 Select an audio clip in the Browser that you want to convert to a new sample rate.
4 Choose File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion.
5 Choose AIFF from the Format pop-up menu.
6 Click Options.
7 In the Sound section of the Movie Settings dialog, click Settings.
8 In the Rate pop-up menu, choose the sample rate of your sequence, then click OK.
Make sure the size is kept at 16-bit.
9 Click OK.
10 Choose a name and location for the new file, then click Save.
Once the conversion is complete, you need to import the new media file into
Final Cut Express HD.
11 In the Finder, navigate to the location of your newly converted audio media file, then
select the file and drag it into your project in the Final Cut Express HD Browser.
You may want to delete the old clip in your project so you aren’t confused by two clips
with the same name.
Using Audio CD Tracks in Your Project
Mac OS X interprets tracks on standard audio CDs as individual AIFF files. These files can be
copied directly from a CD to your hard disk and then imported into Final Cut Express HD
without any conversion.
Files copies from an audio CD have a sample rate of 44.1 kHz and sample size (bit
depth) of 16 bits. If you’re working with a DV sequence, you can convert the sample
rate using Final Cut Express HD. For more information, see “Converting Audio Clips to
Match Sequence Settings” on page 205.
Important: Do not import clips from a CD or DVD directly into Final Cut Express HD.
These clips will go offline as soon as you eject the disc from the drive. Make sure you
copy the files to your hard disk before importing them.
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Working With HDV
16
Final Cut Express HD supports capturing, editing, and output
of HDV media using the Apple Intermediate Codec.
This chapter covers the following:
 About HDV (p. 207)
 HDV Apple Intermediate Codec Editing Workflow (p. 210)
 HDV Format Specifications (p. 214)
About HDV
HDV is a new high definition video format created by a consortium of manufacturers
including Sony, Canon, Sharp, and JVC. HDV allows you to record an hour of high
definition video with a consumer-priced handheld camcorder on standard mini-DV
videocassettes. You can connect an HDV camcorder to your computer via FireWire, so
you can capture and output much as you would with a DV device.
HDV uses MPEG-2 compression to achieve a maximum video data rate of 25 Mbps,
which is the same data rate as DV. This means you can fit the same amount of video on
your scratch disks as you can when using DV.
Although the HDV workflow is nearly identical to a typical DV workflow, a few additional
steps are required. This chapter describes the unique features of Final Cut Express HD that
allow you to capture, edit, and output HDV video in its native format.
207
HDV Formats Supported by Final Cut Express HD
Within the HDV specification, several resolutions and frame rates are defined. HDV
formats are usually distinguished by the number of lines per frame (the height of the
image), the scanning method (progressive or interlaced), and the frame or field rate.
For example, 1080i60 describes a format with 1080 lines, interlaced scanning, and
60 fields per second.
Final Cut Express HD supports the following HDV formats:
Format
Easy Setup
Dimensions
Video Data Rate
1080i60
HDV - 1080i60
1920 x 1080
25 Mbps
1080i50
HDV - 1080i50
1920 x 1080
25 Mbps
720p30
HDV - 720p30
1280 x 720
18.3 Mbps
Standard Definition Recording With an HDV Camcorder
In addition to recording high definition video, most HDV camcorders can also record
standard definition DV video. You can capture, edit, and output this DV video just as
you would any other DV video.
Important: You should avoid recording DV and HDV video on the same tape. This can
cause problems during capture and playback.
An additional format defined within the HDV specifications, known as SD, is available
on some JVC camcorders. Final Cut Express HD does not support this format.
About MPEG-2 Compression
High definition video requires significantly more data than standard definition video. A
single HD video frame can require up to six times more data than an SD frame. To
record such large images with such a low data rate, HDV uses MPEG-2 compression.
MPEG compression reduces the data rate by removing redundant visual information,
both on a per-frame basis and also across multiple frames.
Spatial (Intraframe) Compression
Within a single frame, areas of similar color and texture can be coded with fewer bits than
the original, thus reducing the data rate with a minimal loss in noticeable visual quality.
JPEG compression works in a similar way to compress still images. Intraframe compression
is used to create standalone video frames called I-frames (short for intraframe).
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Temporal (Interframe) Compression
Instead of storing complete frames, temporal compression stores only what has
changed from one frame to the next, which dramatically reduces the amount of data
that needs to be stored while still achieving high-quality images. Video is stored in
three types of frames: a standalone I-frame that contains a complete image, and then
predictive P-frames and B-frames that store subsequent changes in the image. Every
half second or so, a new I-frame is introduced to provide a complete image on which
the P- and B-frames are based. Together, a group of I-, P-, and B-frames is called a group
of pictures, or GOP. HDV uses a long-GOP pattern, which means that there are several
P- or B- frames for each I-frame.
More About Long-GOP Video
The term “long” refers to the fact that P- and B-frames are used between I-frame
intervals. At the other end of the spectrum, the opposite of “long-GOP MPEG-2” is
I-frame–only MPEG-2, in which only I-frames are used. Formats such as IMX use
I-frame–only MPEG-2, which reduces temporal artifacts and improves editing
performance. However, I-frame–only formats have a significantly higher data rate
because each frame must store enough data to be completely self-contained.
Therefore, while the decoding demands on your computer are decreased, there is a
greater demand for scratch disk speed and capacity.
For example, suppose you record some typical “talking head” footage, such as an
interview in which a seated person moves very little throughout the shot. Most of the
person’s body stays still, so most of the visual information is stored in an I-frame; the
subsequent P- and B-frames store only the changes from one frame to the next.
Because P- and B-frames depend on other frames to create a meaningful image, your
computer spends more processing power decoding HDV frames for display than it does
when displaying intraframe-only formats such as DV, uncompressed video, or the Apple
Intermediate Codec.
Editing HDV Using Apple Intermediate Codec
Instead of working with native MPEG-2 HDV video, you can transcode your HDV video
to the Apple Intermediate Codec during capture. The Apple Intermediate Codec is a
high-quality video codec optimized for playback performance and quality. Although
the data rate of the Apple Intermediate Codec is three to four times higher than the
data rate of the native MPEG-2 HDV, the processing requirements to play back your
video are less. Unlike MPEG-2 HDV, the Apple Intermediate Codec does not use
temporal compression, so every frame can be decoded and displayed immediately,
without first decoding other frames.
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HDV Apple Intermediate Codec Editing Workflow
When you edit using footage encoded with the Apple Intermediate Codec, you don’t need
to worry about making cuts on GOP patterns or re-encoding. You can edit just as you
would with any other I-frame–only encoded footage, such as DV or uncompressed video.
The main drawbacks to using the Apple Intermediate Codec for editing HDV footage
are that the required disk space is significantly larger and conforming your media for
output back to tape can be very time-consuming.
Step 1: Connect your HDV camcorder to your computer via FireWire
Step 2: Choose the appropriate Apple Intermediate Codec HDV Easy Setup
Step 3: Capture your footage to disk
Step 4: Edit your HDV clips into a sequence
Step 5: Re-encode and output back to tape, or export to a QuickTime movie
Connecting an HDV Device to Your Computer
Once you have HDV footage on tape, you can connect your camcorder or VTR to your
computer to capture.
To connect your HDV camcorder or VTR to your computer:
1 Turn on your VTR or camcorder and switch it to VCR (or VTR) mode.
Note: On some camcorders, this mode may be labeled “Play.”
2 Connect the 4-pin connector on one end of your FireWire cable to the 4-pin FireWire
port on your camcorder.
3 Connect the 6-pin connector on the other end of your FireWire cable to a FireWire 400
port on your computer.
4 Make sure your camcorder is in HDV mode, not DV mode.
For more information, see the documentation that came with your HDV device.
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IV
6-pin connector
to computer
H
HDV camcorder
in VTR mode
FireWire
Computer
4-pin connector
to camcorder
Choosing an Easy Setup
Final Cut Express HD includes Easy Setups for capturing and editing HDV transcoded to
the Apple Intermediate Codec.
To choose the HDV Apple Intermediate Codec Easy Setup:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > Easy Setup.
2 Choose the appropriate HDV Apple Intermediate Codec Easy Setup from the Setup For
pop-up menu.
3 Click OK.
Capturing HDV Video to the Apple Intermediate Codec
Capturing HDV video is very similar to capturing DV video using the Capture Now
feature. The main differences are:
 The Capture window is not used.
 Capturing HDV video may not take place in real time because transcoding HDV
frames into the Apple Intermediate Codec requires special processing steps.
To capture HDV footage to the Apple Intermediate Codec:
1 Click in the Browser to make it active, then choose File > New Bin.
2 Control-click the bin, then choose Set Logging Bin from the shortcut menu.
Your captured clips will be placed in this bin.
3 Name the bin, then press Enter.
4 Choose File > Capture (or press Command-8).
A Capture dialog appears instead of the Capture window.
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5 In the Capture dialog, enter a name for the clip, then click Capture.
The capture preview window appears and the camcorder begins playing back video
from its current position. The status area of the capture preview window displays the
percentage of real time in which the video is being encoded from HDV to the
Apple Intermediate Codec.
6 Press the Esc (Escape) key to stop capturing.
The video playback on the camcorder stops immediately. The capture preview window
may lag behind, displaying where the video is in the encoding process. As these frames
are processed, the status area of the capture preview window displays the percentage
of frames left to process.
Note: Pressing the Esc key a second time stops the encoding process and cancels
the capture.
After the capture preview window closes, the captured clip appears in your Logging Bin.
Capturing Footage With Scene Breaks
When you capture HDV footage using the Apple Intermediate Codec,
Final Cut Express HD detects any scene or timecode breaks on the tape introduced
during shooting. At each scene or timecode break, a new clip is created during capture.
When capture is completed, these clips appear in the Logging Bin, and the
corresponding media files are placed on your hard disk.
For example, suppose you begin capturing a clip named “Cafe Entrance.” When a scene
or timecode break is detected, Final Cut Express HD stops writing the first media file an
begins writing a new file named “Cafe Entrance-1.” Subsequent breaks create media
files and clips named “Cafe Entrance-2,” “Cafe Entrance-3,” and so on.
Editing Video Using the Apple Intermediate Codec
Editing HDV video in the Apple Intermediate Codec is the same as editing other
formats in Final Cut Express HD. However, you need to make sure your scratch disk
supports the data rate of the Apple Intermediate Codec. For more information about
HDV data rates, see “HDV Format Specifications” on page 214.
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IV
Outputting HDV to Tape or Exporting to a QuickTime Movie
After you finish editing, you can output your movie to videotape using your camcorder,
or export your sequence to a QuickTime movie. If you want to output your movie back
to tape, Final Cut Express HD needs to re-encode (or conform) the movie into MPEG-2
data before outputting. Depending on the length of your sequence, this process can be
fairly time-consuming, because every frame in your sequence must be re-encoded.
To output Apple Intermediate Codec HDV video to videotape:
1 Make sure your HDV camcorder is properly connected to your computer and turned on
before you open Final Cut Express HD.
2 Insert a DV tape into the HDV camcorder.
3 Click anywhere in the Timeline or Canvas to make it the active window.
4 Choose File > Print to Video (or press Control-M).
The Print to Video dialog appears.
5 If you want Final Cut Express HD to start recording automatically, select the
Automatically Start Recording checkbox.
6 Select any Leader or Trailer elements you want to include on your tape, as well as start,
end, and looping options.
A progress bar shows the progress of encoding from the Apple Intermediate Codec back
to MPEG-2 HDV and gives you a time estimate for when the encoding process will finish.
A dialog appears instructing you to press the record button on the camcorder.
7 Press the record button on your camcorder, then click OK.
If you selected the Automatically Start Recording option, the camcorder automatically
begins recording your program to tape.
The camcorder stops after the program is recorded to tape.
To export your sequence to a QuickTime movie:
1 Open your Final Cut Express HD sequence in the Timeline.
2 Choose File > Export > QuickTime Movie.
The Save dialog appears.
3 Enter a name and choose a location for the movie.
4 At the bottom of the dialog, make sure the Make Movie Self-Contained checkbox is
not selected.
5 If you need DVD chapter markers from your Final Cut Express HD project to be
exported to the QuickTime movie, choose DVD Studio Pro Markers from the Markers
pop-up menu.
6 Click Save.
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You can also use the Export Using Compressor command to create a high-quality
MPEG-2 file for use in DVD Studio Pro. For more information, see the Compressor and
DVD Studio Pro documentation.
HDV Format Specifications
Storage Medium
HDV is recorded on standard mini-DV videocassette tapes.
Video Standards
The HDV standards were jointly created by a consortium of manufacturers including Sony,
Canon, Sharp, and JVC. HDV supports both 1080i and 720p high definition standards.
Aspect Ratio
HDV has an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Frame Dimensions, Number of Lines, and Resolution
The HDV format supports two HD video resolutions:
 1080i60/50: 1440 pixels per line,1080 lines (displayed with an aspect ratio of 16:9, or
1920 x 1080); interlaced
 720p30: 1280 pixels per line, 720 lines; progressive scan
The native and displayed pixel dimensions are shown below.
1920 x 1080
1440 x 1080
1080i60/50
1280 x 720
720p30
Frame Rate
Final Cut Express HD supports the following HDV frame rates:
 NTSC-related frame rate: 29.97 fps (this includes 1080i60 and 720p30)
 PAL-related frame rate: 25 fps (1080i50)
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Scanning Methods
HDV can record either interlaced or progressive scan images, depending on the frame
size and format.
 1080i: Interlaced
 720p: Progressive
Color Recording Method
HDV records a 4:2:0 component (Y´CBCR) digital video signal. Each sample (pixel) has a
resolution of 8 bits.
Data Rate
The following table lists the data rates for HDV transcoded to the Apple Intermediate
Codec. DV data rates are included for comparison.
Format
Native frame size
Data rate
DV NTSC
720 x 480
3.6 MB/sec.
(equivalent to 12 GB/hr.)
DV PAL
720 x 576
3.6 MB/sec.
(equivalent to 12 GB/hr.)
Apple Intermediate Codec1
HDV 720p30
1280 x 720
7 MB/sec.
(equivalent to 25 GB/hr.)
Apple Intermediate Codec1
HDV 1080i50
1440 x 1080
12 MB/sec.
(equivalent to 42 GB/hr.)
Apple Intermediate Codec
HDV 1080i601
1440 x 1080
14 MB/sec.
(equivalent to 49 GB/hr.)
1 Data
rates for the Apple Intermediate Codec are variable; these figures are approximate and may vary according to
the complexity of your footage. Images with a lot of detail have a higher data rate, while images with less detail
have a lower data rate.
Note: Although audio is compressed on an HDV tape, Final Cut Express HD converts
this signal to an uncompressed format during capture. This means that the overall HDV
data rate on tape differs from the captured date rate.
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Video Compression
HDV uses MPEG-2 compression with a constant bit rate (CBR). I-, P-, and B-frames are
used, creating a long-GOP (group of pictures) pattern.
MPEG-2 video and audio are composed of a hierarchy of data streams:
 Elementary stream: This can be a video, audio, subtitle, or other basic media stream.
Formats like HDV contain both video and audio elementary streams.
 Transport stream: A transport stream encapsulates elementary streams for real-time
distribution, such as television or Internet broadcast.
 Program stream: A program stream also encapsulates elementary streams for stored
media such as DVD or computer media files.
HDV devices store and transmit elementary video and audio streams in an MPEG-2
transport stream. When you capture HDV video, Final Cut Express HD automatically
extracts the elementary video and audio streams from the transport stream and stores
the data in tracks in a QuickTime media file.
Audio
HDV uses two audio tracks with a sample rate of 48 kHz and 16-bit resolution per sample.
The audio is encoded using the MPEG-1 Layer 2 format with a data rate of 384 kbps.
Timecode
The timecode format of an HDV camcorder matches the frame rate of the video format.
For example, 1080i50 footage uses 25 fps timecode.
Important: Some HDV camcorders do not record timecode, so you won’t be able to
precisely recapture any clips if you delete the corresponding media files.
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Part V: Organizing Footage
and Preparing to Edit
V
Organizing your footage before you edit makes editing
go more smoothly. Read this section to learn how to
organize clips, create subclips, and add markers to clips
and sequences.
Chapter 17
Organizing Footage in the Browser
Chapter 18
Using Markers
Chapter 19
Creating Subclips
17
Organizing Footage
in the Browser
17
After capturing media to your scratch disks, you can import
clips into a project in the Browser and then organize them
to save time during editing. You can also search for clips
in various ways.
This chapter covers the following:
 Using Bins to Organize Your Clips (p. 219)
 Sorting Items in the Browser Using Column Headings (p. 227)
 Searching for Clips in the Browser (p. 228)
Using Bins to Organize Your Clips
You can organize the clips and sequences in a project into bins, which are similar to
folders. This creates a logical structure for your projects, making your source clips easier
to manage.
Bins help you organize
clips in your projects.
219
Bins are unique to project files. Although they behave similarly to folders on your hard
disk, bins are not actually connected to folders on your hard disk in any way. Changes
you make to the contents of a bin, such as deleting, moving, and renaming clips or
renaming the bin itself, have no effect on the original files or folders on disk where the
media files are stored. If you delete a clip from a bin, its associated media file is not
deleted from your scratch disk. Likewise, creating a new bin does not create a new
folder on your disk.
Creating New Bins
You can create separate bins for different stages of your project or for different types of
footage. For example, you can create bins for each location the footage was shot in, or
you can create bins to separate your audio, video, and still image clips. You can
organize bins hierarchically and open them in their own windows. You can even put
bins inside other bins.
To add a new bin to a project:
1 In the Browser, click the project tab where you want to add a bin.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose File > New > Bin.
 Control-click in the Name column, then choose New Bin from the shortcut menu.
 Press Command-B.
3 Enter a name for the new bin.
Enter a name for the bin.
You can also create bins by dragging a folder from your hard disk to the Browser.
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To create a bin by dragging a folder from your hard disk:
1 In the Finder, select the folder you want to be a bin.
2 Drag the folder from the Finder to the Browser.
As soon as you release the folder over the Browser, a bin with the same name as the
folder is created in your project.
Note: Dragging folders and files from the Finder to the Browser creates bin and clip
objects in your project file. However, unlike clips, which refer to media files on disk, bins
do not refer to actual folders on disk.
Opening Bins in the Browser
There are several ways you can open a bin.
To open bins in icon or list view, do one of the following:
m Select the bin, then press Return or Enter.
m Double-click a bin.
To reveal bin contents in list view, do one of the following:
m Press the Right Arrow key. Press the Right Arrow key again to select the first item in a
bin. (Press the Left Arrow key to close a bin.)
m Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the bin you want to open. Click it again to
close the bin.
Click the triangle to
show the contents
of a bin.
You must select a bin to navigate within it.
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Opening Bins in a Separate Window or Tab
To preserve space on the screen or to avoid scrolling in the Browser, it’s useful to open
a bin in its own window or tab.
To open a bin in its own window:
m Double-click the bin.
The bin appears in
its own window.
The icon for this bin in
the Browser indicates
that the bin is open in its
own window.
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To close a bin that’s open in its own window, do one of the following:
m Control-click the bin’s tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu.
m Make sure the bin is the active window, then press Control-W.
m Click the close button of the bin window.
For easy access to a bin, you can create a tab for it in the Browser.
To open a bin as a new tab in the Browser:
m Press and hold the Option key while double-clicking a bin in the Browser.
If multiple Browser windows are open, the tab is created in the Browser window that
contains the bin.
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To turn a bin in its own window into a tab in the Browser:
1 Double-click a bin to open it in its own window.
2 Drag the bin’s tab from the bin window to the top of any column heading in the Browser.
Drag the bin’s tab above
any column heading in
the Browser.
The bin now has its own
tab in the Browser.
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To close a bin’s tab, do one of the following:
m Control-click the tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu.
m Make sure the bin is the active (frontmost) tab, then press Control-W.
m Drag the bin’s tab out of the Browser, then click the close button to close the bin’s window.
Moving Items Between Bins
As you work on your project, you often reorganize clips and move them into different
bins. Moving clips within bins has no effect on the original files or folders on disk where
the media files are stored.
To move items between bins in list view, do one of the following:
m Select the desired items, then drag them to a bin. (The bin can be open or closed.)
...to this bin.
This clip is moved...
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m If the bin in which you want to move items has its own window, drag items to that
bin’s window.
You can also move
items into separate
bin windows.
To move an item to the top level of a project:
m Drag the item to the Name column heading.
Note: If you move items between projects, the items are copied, not moved. There is
no relationship between items in different projects.
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Sorting Items in the Browser Using Column Headings
Clicking column headings in the Browser allows you to sort items by any property
displayed in list view, such as Name, Reel, Note, and so on. By default, items are sorted
by Name. In addition to the primary sorting property, secondary, tertiary, and further
sorting refinements can be made by Shift-clicking a column heading.
To sort items in the Browser:
1 Make sure you are in list view by Control-clicking in the Browser and selecting View as
List from the shortcut menu.
2 Click a column heading to sort by it.
The heading of the primary sort column contains an arrow whose direction indicates
the sort order—down for ascending (0–9, A–Z) and up for descending (Z–A, 9–0).
3 To switch between descending and ascending sort order, click the column heading.
4 To sort by secondary columns, Shift-click an additional column heading.
A light gray arrow indicates
a secondary sort column
and the sort order.
Items are further sorted
using a secondary
sort column.
5 To switch between descending and ascending sort order in the secondary columns,
click the arrow.
If you inadvertently select the wrong secondary column or too many secondary
columns, you can clear all secondary sort columns by choosing a new primary sort
column, and then selecting any secondary sort columns.
6 To sort by tertiary columns, you can Shift-click another column heading.
You can continue to refine your sort by Shift-clicking additional column headings.
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Searching for Clips in the Browser
Final Cut Express HD provides a number of options for searching for clips in the
Browser. You can also reveal a clip’s media file in the Finder.
About Search Options
You can use the Find command to search for items in a project by any property or
combination of properties. You can also limit your search to only the current project, or
you can search every open project. If you are looking for clips you haven’t included in
any of your sequences, you can limit your search to “unused media”. Or you may want
to only search for clips that are included in your sequences. Search results appear in a
separate window, called Find Results.
You can search by single item properties—the most obvious being searches by clip
name—or by several properties at once, such as clip name, reel, and comments.
∏
Tip: Searching is a good way to find all of the unused clips in your project.
To open the Find window:
m Make sure the Browser is the active window, then do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Find.
 Press Command-F.
Search scope
Click here to specify
more search options.
Search criteria
Additional search criteria
after clicking the
More button
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Options for Defining the Scope of a Search
When you are searching for clips, you may sometimes want to search within a single
bin, while other times you may need to search every open project. The Find window
allows you to define the scope of your search and specify search criteria.
 Search: Choose an option from this pop-up menu to specify which open projects or
folders you want to search—All Open Projects, the current open project, the Effects
tab, or a single bin.
Note: You can only search a single bin if the bin is the frontmost window. Since the
Find Results window is considered a bin, you can also limit your search within the
Find Results window if it is the active window.
 For: Choose an option from the pop-up menu to limit your search.
 All Media: Includes all clips in your project, regardless of whether or not they are
used in a sequence.
 Used or Unused: These two options refer to whether or not clips are used within
sequences in your project. You can also search within specific sequences.
Final Cut Express HD considers a clip’s media file to be used if it is in a sequence. If
you have used a clip in a sequence, the assumption is that you intend to output
the portion of media file it refers to in your final edit. Any clip not used in a
sequence is considered unused.
 Results: Choose how you want the search results to be shown.
 Replace Find Results: Choose this to clear and replace any previous find results with
new find results.
 Add to Find Results: Choose this to append the results of the current search to the
contents of the Find Results window. This allows you to do several searches and
accrue the results in a single window.
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Options for Defining the Criteria of a Search
 More: Click this to refine your search by adding more criteria.
 Less: Click this to remove the last search criteria item.
 Match: You can narrow or broaden your search by using multiple criteria. Choose an
option from the pop-up menu.
 All: Finds clips that match all criteria.
 Any: Finds clips that match any single criterion.
Note: If you are familiar with other database searches, “All” refers to a Boolean “and”
search, and “any” refers to a Boolean “or” search.
 Omit: Select this option to exclude clips that meet this criteria in your search.
 Property name pop-up menu: This pop-up menu allows you to choose a specific
Browser column or item property to search in.
 Matching pop-up menu: Choose a matching option to further refine how your criteria
is used: Starts with, Contains, Equals, Ends with, Less Than, or Greater Than.
For example, you may have some clip names that end with “birds,” while others begin
with “birds.” To find only the clips whose names end with “birds,” choose Ends with.
 Matching criteria: Enter your specific search criteria. If you are searching for clips that
contain the name “wide shot”, enter “wide shot” here.
Search Commands
 Find Next: Click this to search for the next item that matches your search criteria.
Once an item is found, it is selected in the currently open Browser. Press Command-G
to continue the search in your currently selected bin or project.
 Find All: Click this to search for all items that match your search criteria. This places all
found items into a window called Find Results.
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Searching for Items in the Browser
You can search in all open projects or restrict your search to a single project, or tab, in
the Browser. You can search for one item at a time, or multiple items at once.
To search for a single item in the Browser:
1 Make the Browser active, then choose Edit > Find (or Press Command-F).
2 Select your search options, then enter your search criteria.
For more information, see “About Search Options” on page 228.
Then click here.
Specify your
search criteria.
The above example shows a search for clips used in sequences selected in the Browser
that have the word “Copy” in their names. (If a clip has been edited into a sequence, its
media file is being used.)
3 Click Find Next.
The found item is highlighted in the Browser.
4 Press Command-G to search for the next item in the Browser that meets the search criteria.
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Searching for Multiple Items in the Browser
You can also do a search to find multiple clips at once.
To search for multiple items in the Browser:
1 Make the Browser active, then choose Edit > Find (or Press Command-F).
2 Select your search options, then enter your search criteria.
For more information, see “About Search Options” on page 228.
Specify your
search criteria.
Then click here.
3 Click Find All.
A list of found items is displayed in the Find Results window.
If necessary, you can restrict a search to the elements of the Find Results window. For
more information, see “Manipulating Items in the Find Results Window” on page 233.
Searching for Unused Clips in Your Project
You can search for unused clips in your project.
To search for unused clips:
1 Do one of the following:
 Open your project.
 Make sure your project is the frontmost tab in the Browser.
2 Choose Edit > Find (or Press Command-F).
3 Choose your project from the Search pop-up menu.
4 Choose Unused Media from the For pop-up menu and deselect the “in selected
sequences” checkbox to the right of the menu.
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5 Click Find All.
A list of unused clips is
displayed in the Find
Results window.
Manipulating Items in the Find Results Window
When you do a search for multiple items, Final Cut Express HD displays the list of found
items in the Find Results window. The items displayed in the Find Results window are
literally identical to the items in the Browser. They are not copies of found clips, but the
clips themselves, shown in a new context. Selecting an item in the Find Results window
also selects the item in the Browser.
By narrowing down all of the clips in your project to the results of your search, you can
conveniently do things like:
 Find all the clips that start with “Eiffel” and “Paris,” and then select all the found clips
in the Find Results window and drag them into a new bin in the Browser.
 Find all the clips from reel 002 and reel 002A, and then select the clips in the Find
Results window and drag them to a bin in the Browser labeled “002.”
 Find all the clips with the Good property unselected (in other words, bad takes),
select the found clips in the Find Results window, and then remove those clips from
the project.
The Find Results window works in much the same way as the Browser, and you can do
many of the same operations:
 Delete found items from a project.
 Move or copy found items to another location in the Browser.
 Sort and display found items.
 Edit found items into a sequence.
 Perform additional searches and combine the results.
 Modify information in Browser columns for found clips.
For example, you can find all clips not used in your sequences (unused media) and set
the Good column to No for all clips in the Find Results window.
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To modify an item property for a group of found clips:
1 Perform a Find All search.
See “Searching for Items in the Browser” on page 231.
2 In the Find Results window, press Command-A to select all items in the window.
3 Control-click in the column for the item property you want to modify, then choose a
new option from the shortcut menu.
To see where found items are in the Browser:
m Select the desired items in the Find Results window, then click Show in Browser.
To delete found items:
m Select the desired items in the Find Results window, then click Remove from Project.
Note: As with deleting any clips in the Browser, the media on your scratch disk is not
deleted. Only the clips in the project file are removed. Removing multiple clips from a
project via the Find Results window can be undone.
To search for items within the Find Results window:
1 With the Find Results window active, choose Edit > Find (or press Command-F).
2 Enter your search criteria, then select search options.
For more information, see “About Search Options” on page 228.
3 Choose Add to Find Results from the Results pop-up menu.
4 Click Find All.
The new results of your search replace the previous content in the Find Results window.
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18
Using Markers
18
Markers are reference points you can place within clips or
sequences to identify specific frames. You can use them for a
variety of purposes, and export them with your finished movie.
This chapter covers the following:
 Learning About Markers (p. 235)
 Working With Markers (p. 238)
Learning About Markers
Markers are visible points on clips and sequences that can be used for commenting,
synchronizing, editing, adding DVD chapter and compression markers, and even
making subclips. By default, markers exist only on the frame where they were created,
but you can also create markers that have a duration.
What Can You Do With Markers?
Markers let you perform a wide variety of tasks:
 Mark several possible In or Out points for future use.
 Quickly move the playhead to a marker in a clip or sequence.
 Mark a range in a clip that you may want to use as a subclip.
 Align a clip marker to a marker in an edited sequence to match a visual or audio cue.
 Align a filter or motion keyframe to a marker for future reference.
 Align other clip markers, clip boundaries, or transition boundaries to a marker in
the Timeline.
 Add visual notes about clips that will help you identify sections while editing.
 Divide clips into subclips using the Make Subclip command.
235
You can also include markers in QuickTime movies you export. You can:
 Export chapter markers for use with QuickTime and DVD-authoring applications.
 Export compression markers for use with video compression applications.
 Export scoring markers for use with supported music and audio applications.
Differences Between Sequence and Clip Markers
You can add markers to both clips and sequences. There are differences between clip
markers and sequence markers that could affect your work. Make sure you understand
how you want to use markers in your project before you add them.
You add markers to a clip when you want to remember and mark important moments
in a shot. You can also use them to separate a long piece of footage into several
subclips by adding markers and then making them into subclips (see “Turning Markers
Into Subclips” on page 254).
Markers can be added to sequences for a variety of reasons. You can mark specific
points, such as audio cues, in your sequence for reference while editing. This includes
musical beats to sync clips to. For example, if you are editing a music video, you can
add a music clip to the Timeline, click Play, and then press the M key to the beat of the
music, adding markers for each beat. Once the markers are in place, you can go back
and snap clips to the markers you created. You can nudge your clips a few frames
forward or backward if your markers are not perfectly on the beat.
You can also use markers to snap the playhead or clips to a specific point when
performing an edit. Another way to use markers in a sequence is for creating points
to navigate between. You can also use markers to add review comments and notes to
a sequence, so that another person on the moviemaking team can then read these
comments in the sequence at the appropriate place. Another important reason to
add markers to sequences is so you can add MPEG compression markers and DVD
chapter markers.
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Markers in clips and sequences are visually different.
 Clip markers appear on individual clips in the Viewer and Timeline and are colored
pink. You can add these markers in the Viewer or in the Timeline.
 Sequence markers appear both in the Timeline ruler and in the Canvas scrubber bar
and are colored green. You can add these markers in the Canvas or in the Timeline.
Green sequence markers
Pink clip markers
Types of Markers
There are several kinds of markers that you can add in Final Cut Express HD:
 Note marker: This is the default marker that is created when you add a marker to a
clip or sequence.
 Chapter marker: These markers are automatically translated into DVD chapter
markers in applications such as DVD Studio Pro. A chapter marker is distinguished by
the text <CHAPTER> appearing in the Comment field of its Edit Marker window.
 Compression marker: You should add compression markers when there is an abrupt
change from one frame to the next, such as before and after each transition, and at
each cut in your sequence. These markers can help to compress that section more
smoothly. A compression marker is distinguished by the text <COMPRESSION>
appearing in the Comment field of its Edit Marker window in Final Cut Express HD.
When you export your movie to an MPEG format, such as MPEG-2 for DVD,
Final Cut Express HD automatically adds an MPEG I-frame where these compression
markers are located for better-quality encoding. I-frames, also known as reference or
key frames, contain the complete image of the current frame, without reference to
frames that precede or follow it.
For more information, see “Exporting Sequences for DVD” on page 971.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
237
 Scoring marker: These markers are used for marking important visual cues to sync
music to. They are visible when you open an exported QuickTime movie in
Soundtrack. A scoring marker is distinguished by the text <SCORING> appearing in
the Comment field of its Edit Marker window.
When you export a QuickTime movie with markers, some types of markers appear as
chapters in the Chapter pop-up menu in QuickTime Player. You can select a chapter to
jump to a specific part of your QuickTime movie.
Working With Markers
You can create markers, add comments to them, and delete them at any point while
you edit. You can also change the duration of markers.
Viewing Markers in the Viewer or Canvas
Marker icons appear in the scrubber bar, as well as in overlays over the video image
whenever the playhead is positioned at a marker. For more information, see “Viewer
Basics” on page 79. You can also refer to “Canvas Basics” on page 91.
Viewing Markers in the Browser
When you add a marker to a clip that you’ve opened from the Browser, that marker is
displayed in the Browser in list view.
To view a clip’s markers in the Browser:
m Click the disclosure triangle next to a clip containing markers.
Clip markers are displayed hierarchically within the clip. You can change the name of a
marker in the Browser, and you can also create subclips from markers. For more
information about working with subclips, see Chapter 19, “Creating Subclips,” on
page 251.
Adding Markers in Clips and Sequences
You can add markers, name them, and attach comments to them. Both the name and
the comments appear as overlays in the Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline whenever the
frame containing the marker is displayed. You can also specify the kind of marker to
add—notes (default), chapter, compression, or scoring. Audio peak and long frame
markers can only be added by using the Mark Audio Peaks and Mark Long Frames
commands, respectively. For details, see “Types of Markers” on page 237.
Markers can be set while a clip or sequence is playing or while the playhead is stopped.
There is also no limit to the number of markers you can use in a clip or sequence.
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By default, Final Cut Express HD creates a Note marker. The first marker you add is
named Marker 1, the second Marker 2, and so on. The default names indicate the order
in which you’ve added them to a clip, not the chronological order in which they appear
in a clip or sequence. You can rename markers to indicate the location they mark. For
more information, see “Renaming Markers, Adding Comments, and Changing
the Kind of Marker” on page 244.
Quickly Adding Markers
If you want to quickly add markers to clips or sequences, and you don’t care about the
names, you can follow these instructions. By default, Note markers are created and
each is automatically named by Final Cut Express HD. If you prefer to add all of the
information for a marker when you create the marker, see “Adding Markers Along With
Detailed Information About Them” on page 241.
To quickly add a marker to a clip in the Viewer:
1 Open the clip in the Viewer.
2 Play the clip or sequence.
3 When the playhead reaches the point you want to mark, do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Choose Mark > Markers > Add.
Press M.
Press ` (the accent key).
Click the Add Marker button.
Add Marker button
A clip marker appears, colored pink.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
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To quickly add a marker to a sequence clip in the Timeline:
1 In the Timeline, do one of the following:
 Select the clip to which you want to add a marker, then position the playhead where
you want to place the marker.
 Double-click the clip to which you want to add the marker, then in the Viewer,
position the playhead where you want to place the marker in the clip.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Add.
 Press M.
 Press ` (the accent key).
 In the Canvas, click the Add Marker button.
A clip marker appears, colored pink.
Note: You can only add markers to sequence clips in the Timeline if the clip is selected
and the playhead intersects the clip. If the playhead doesn’t intersect the selected
sequence clip, or if no sequence clip is selected, any markers you add are added to the
sequence (appearing in the Timeline ruler).
To quickly add a marker to a sequence:
1 In the Timeline, position the playhead where you want to place the marker in
the sequence.
Make sure no clips are selected. If the playhead is over a selected clip in the Timeline,
markers are added to the selected clip instead of to the sequence.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Choose Mark > Markers > Add.
Press M.
Press ` (the accent key).
In the Canvas, click the Add Marker button.
A sequence marker appears, colored green, in the Timeline ruler.
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Adding Markers Along With Detailed Information About Them
If you like, you can name a marker, add comments, and choose the kind of marker
when you first create it.
To add a marker to a clip and enter information for it:
1 Do one of the following:
 To add a marker to a clip in the Viewer: Open a Browser or sequence clip in the Viewer.
 To add a marker to a clip in the Timeline: Select the sequence clip to which you want
to add a marker, then position the playhead where you want to place the marker.
2 Navigate to the frame where you want to add a marker, then do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Choose Mark > Markers > Add.
Press M.
Press ` (the accent key).
Click the Add Marker button in the Viewer or Canvas.
3 Press M or ` (the accent key), or click the Add Marker button again, to open the Edit
Marker window.
4 In the Edit Marker window, do any of the following, then click OK.
 In the Name field, rename the marker.
 In the Comment field, add any information you want to include with the marker.
 Click a button to specify the kind of marker this is. The appropriate code is
automatically added to the Comment field.
Enter the desired
name here.
Add any comments
in this field.
If you want, click
a button to choose
the kind of marker.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
241
Adding Chapter, Compression, and Scoring Markers
Chapter, compression, and scoring markers can be used by external applications such
as Compressor, DVD Studio Pro, iDVD, Soundtrack, and QuickTime Player. The Edit
Marker dialog lets you specify a marker as chapter, compression, or scoring. To add a
chapter, compression, or scoring marker to a sequence, follow the instructions above in
“Adding Markers Along With Detailed Information About Them” on page 241.
Important: Since the chapter, compression, and scoring markers are only used for
sequences, when you export, make sure that these markers have been added to the
sequence itself in the Canvas or in the Timeline ruler, and not to individual clips.
Deleting Markers in Clips and Sequences
You can delete markers at any time. Once they are deleted, they no longer appear in
the Browser, Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline. You can also keep a marker while removing
chapter, compression, or scoring annotations.
To delete specific markers in a clip in the Browser:
1 Click the disclosure triangle next to a clip containing markers.
2 Select the markers you want to delete.
3 Do one of the following:
 Press Delete.
 Choose Edit > Clear.
To delete specific markers in a clip in the Viewer or Timeline:
1 Move the playhead to the marker you want to delete.
∏
Tip: You can easily navigate to the previous or next marker by choosing
Mark > Previous > Marker or Mark > Next > Marker.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
In the Viewer or Canvas, Option-click the Add Marker button.
Choose Mark > Markers > Delete.
Press Command-` (the accent key).
Press M or ` (the accent key) to open the Edit Marker window, then click Delete.
To delete all markers in a clip in the Viewer or Timeline:
1 Open the clip in the Viewer.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Delete All.
 Press Control-` (the accent key).
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To delete specific markers in a sequence:
1 In the Canvas or Timeline, move the playhead to the sequence marker you want to delete.
Note: Make sure no items are selected in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
In the Canvas, Option-click the Add Marker button.
Choose Mark > Markers > Delete.
Press Command-` (the accent key).
Press M or ` (the accent key) to open the Edit Marker window, then click Delete.
To delete all markers in a sequence:
1 Make the Canvas or Timeline active.
Note: Make sure no items are selected in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Delete All.
 Press Control-` (the accent key).
To keep a marker but remove chapter, compression, or scoring annotations:
1 In the Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline, move the playhead to the marker whose annotations
you want to remove.
2 Press M or ` (the accent key) to open the Edit Marker window.
3 In the Comment field, delete the appropriate marker annotation text, then click OK.
 To remove a chapter marker, delete the text <CHAPTER>.
 To remove a compression marker, delete the text <COMPRESSION>.
 To remove a scoring marker, delete the text <SCORING>.
Navigating With Markers
You can navigate through your clip or sequence using the markers you’ve set. This is
useful when you want to quickly navigate to specific points in a clip or in the Timeline.
For example, you can place markers in the Timeline to mark two different frames for
matching during color correction, or you may place markers to quickly jump to
different scenes in a sequence.
To move the playhead to a marker in the Viewer or Canvas, do one of the following:
m Drag the playhead to the marker in the scrubber bar.
If snapping is turned on, the playhead snaps to the position of a nearby marker. When
the playhead is over a marker in the Viewer or Canvas, the marker turns yellow.
m Control-click in the Current Timecode field, then choose a marker from the shortcut menu.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
243
To move the playhead to a clip or sequence marker in the Timeline, do one of
the following:
m Drag the playhead to a sequence marker in the ruler.
If snapping is turned on, the playhead snaps to the position of a nearby marker.
m Control-click the Timeline ruler, then choose a marker from the list of sequence and clip
markers in the shortcut menu.
To move to the next marker (to the right), do one of the following:
m Choose Mark > Next > Marker.
m Press Shift-M.
m Press Shift–Down Arrow.
To move to the previous marker (to the left), do one of the following:
m Choose Mark > Previous > Marker.
m Press Option-M.
m Press Shift–Up Arrow.
Renaming Markers, Adding Comments, and Changing
the Kind of Marker
After you add a marker, you can rename it, add information in the comment field, or
change the kind of marker.
To rename a marker, add comments to a marker, or change the kind of marker:
1 Stop playback if playback is in progress.
2 Move the playhead to the marker (see “Navigating With Markers” on page 243).
3 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Edit.
 In the Browser, Control-click the marker, then choose Edit Marker from the
shortcut menu.
 Press M.
 Press ` (the accent key).
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V
4 In the Edit Marker dialog, do any of the following, then click OK.
 In the Name field, rename the marker.
 In the Comment field, add any information you want to include with the marker.
 Click a button to specify the kind of marker.
Enter a name for
the marker here.
Add any comments
in this field.
If you want, click
a button to choose
the kind of marker.
Moving a Marker
You can move a marker within a clip by repositioning the playhead or by entering a
different starting timecode value. Using the playhead, you can only move a marker
forward, not backward. If you want to move a marker backward or move a marker in a
sequence, you must enter a new starting timecode value in the Edit Marker dialog.
To move a marker in a clip forward by repositioning the playhead:
1 In the Viewer or Timeline, move the playhead to the location where you want to move
the marker.
You can only move a
marker forward, not
backward.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Reposition.
 Press Shift-` (the accent key).
Final Cut Express HD moves the marker that is immediately to the left of the playhead’s
current position. Even if there are multiple markers, only the one immediately to the
left of the playhead is moved.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
245
To move a marker in a clip by entering a new timecode value:
1 In the Viewer, do one of the following:
 Move the playhead to the marker, then do one of the following:
 Press M.
 Click the Add Marker button.
 Choose Mark > Markers > Edit.
 Press Option-Command-M to edit the nearest marker to the left.
2 In the Edit Marker dialog, enter a new start time in the Start field, then click OK.
Enter the new time here.
To move a marker in a sequence by entering a new timecode value:
1 In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead to the marker.
2 Do one of the following:
 Press M.
 Click the Add Marker button.
 Choose Mark > Markers > Edit.
3 In the Edit Marker dialog, enter a new start time in the Start field, then click OK.
Aligning Items in the Timeline by Their Markers
You can move a clip item in the Timeline by dragging one of its markers. When you do
this with snapping turned on, the marker becomes the clip item’s snap point. So while
you’re dragging a clip item by one of its markers, its In and Out points won’t snap to
anything. This allows you to quickly align markers in sequence clips to each other, or to
markers in your sequence.
For example, suppose you have a sequence that contains a shot of a person dropping a
glass and an audio clip of jarring music. You can easily align these elements to a specific
point in your sequence by adding markers at the relevant points in your sequence clips,
and then dragging each sequence clip by the marker with snapping turned on.
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To align markers in sequence clip items to a sequence marker:
1 Add markers to important frames of individual video and audio clip items in your sequence.
2 Add a marker to the place in your sequence where you want to align your clip items.
3 Make sure snapping is enabled by doing one of the following:
 Click the Snapping button in the Timeline.
 Press N.
Snapping button
Add a sequence marker
for aligning the
sequence clip items.
Add a marker to the
video clip item.
Add markers to the
audio clip items.
4 Drag the video clip item by its marker until it snaps to the sequence marker.
5 Drag the audio clip item by its marker until it snaps to the sequence marker.
6 The video and audio clip item markers are now aligned with the sequence marker.
The video and audio clip
item markers are aligned
with the sequence marker.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
247
Extending a Marker’s Duration
When you create a marker in Final Cut Express HD, it is simply a marker that ‘s associated
with a particular frame; it doesn’t have a duration. If you want, you can extend the
duration of a marker so that it spans multiple frames. Markers with duration can be used
to precisely define subclips in a clip. You can also use them to mark an entire area of a clip
or sequence with notes, such as for color correction or audio mixing.
To extend a marker’s duration to the playhead’s location:
1 Position the playhead ahead (to the right) of the marker.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Extend.
 Press Option-` (the accent key).
An extended duration marker appears in the scrubber bar; it looks like a marker icon
with a bar that extends along the scrubber bar.
Extended marker
To extend a marker’s duration by entering a timecode value:
1 Move the playhead to the marker.
2 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Press M.
Click the Add Marker button.
Choose Mark > Markers > Edit.
Press Option-Command-M to edit the marker to the left.
3 In the Edit Marker dialog, enter a duration value.
Enter the desired
marker duration here.
An extended duration marker appears in the scrubber bar.
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To shorten a marker that has a duration:
1 Position the playhead within the duration of the marker.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Markers > Extend.
 Press Option-` (accent key).
The marker is shortened to the location of the playhead.
Editing Markers Into Sequences
You can edit markers into your sequence as if they were clips. However, a marker edited
directly from the Browser into a sequence becomes an independent clip, with no
affiliation to the clip from which it came. In most cases, you should avoid this, because
it can make media management more difficult later.
For more control over markers that you want to use for editing, you should use the
Make Subclips command to turn markers inside of a clip into new subclips. For more
information, see Chapter 19, “Creating Subclips,” on page 251.
Exporting Markers With Your QuickTime Movies
Final Cut Express HD allows you to export markers in a clip or a sequence as text tracks
in QuickTime movies that you create. These markers can be used by the QuickTime
Player in a variety of different ways, and can be used for authoring in DVD Studio Pro,
iDVD, and other applications, such as Soundtrack.
For information about exporting QuickTime movies with DVD Studio Pro, compression,
and chapter markers, see “Exporting QuickTime Movies” on page 991. You can also refer
to “Exporting Sequences for DVD” on page 971.
Chapter 18 Using Markers
249
19
Creating Subclips
19
Lengthy media files can be unwieldy for editing. If you
capture an entire tape as a single media file, you can break
the clip into shorter subclips. You can also break the media
file into smaller media files.
This chapter covers the following:
 Learning About Subclips (p. 251)
 Manually Breaking Large Clips Into Subclips (p. 254)
 Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection (p. 257)
Learning About Subclips
For organizational purposes, you can break up a single large clip into several subclips.
Subclips are defined by In and Out points or markers set in the original clip prior to the
creation of subclips. New subclips automatically become their own master clips, with
no affiliation to the clip from which they were created.
Clip
Subclip
Subclips allow you to work more easily with lengthy media by breaking up a single clip
into many smaller pieces. For example, you can open a 20-minute clip comprising
15 different shots in the Viewer and divide it into 15 subclips, one for each shot.
251
Final Cut Express HD places new subclips in the same Browser bin as the original clip
they came from, automatically appending the word “Subclip” to the name and
numbering each successive subclip you create from a particular clip. For example, if the
original clip is named “Debra enters cafe,” the first subclip is named “Debra enters cafe
Subclip,” the second is “Debra enters cafe Subclip 2,” and so on. When a new subclip is
first created, its name is highlighted and ready to be changed.
You can rename subclips, move them into different bins, and organize them in any way
you choose. After you’ve created your subclips, you can open them in the Viewer and
set new edit points, just as you can with any other clip. The original clip remains in the
Browser, but is completely independent of your subclips. Any changes you make to a
subclip are not applied to the original clip.
To create a subclip:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer.
2 Set In and Out points.
3 Do one of the following:
 Choose Modify > Make Subclip.
 Press Command-U.
Sometimes, you may be looking for a particular frame in a subclip, and realize that
although those frames existed in the original clip, they were left out when you created
the subclip.
If you’ve opened a subclip to a certain frame in the Viewer, but you’d rather find the
same frame in the original media file (perhaps to pick an In or Out point outside the
subclip limits), you can easily swap the two in the Viewer.
To open the original media file from which a subclip came:
1 Open the subclip in the Viewer.
2 Find the frame you want to match.
3 Do one of the following:
 Choose View > Match Frame > Source File.
 Press Option-Command-F.
Final Cut Express HD opens the subclip’s entire media file as an independent clip in the
Viewer. The playhead is located on the same frame in the new clip as in the original
subclip. To make the independent clip in the Viewer into a master clip for editing, drag
the clip from the Viewer to the Browser.
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Removing Subclip Limits
A subclip, just like a clip, refers to a media file on your scratch disk. The difference
between a clip and a subclip is that a subclip imposes artificial limits (called subclip
limits) to make the subclip appear shorter in Final Cut Express HD than the actual
media file. A subclip refers to only a portion of a media file, while a clip refers to the
whole media file.
If you compare a clip and a subclip that both refer to the same media file, the only
significant difference between them is that their Media Start and Media End properties
are different. The subclip’s Media Start time may be later than the clip’s Media Start time,
or its Media End time may be earlier than the clip’s Media End time. Often, both are true.
A subclip’s artificially imposed subclip limits can be removed at any time. The subclip
becomes a normal clip that refers to the entire duration of the media file (from Media
Start to Media End).
To extend the Media Start and End points of a subclip to those of the original
media file:
1 Open the subclip in the Viewer.
2 Choose Modify > Remove Subclip Limits.
The subclip becomes a normal clip, and now references the entire source media file.
The subclip in the Browser no longer has a subclip icon, but instead a normal clip icon.
Important: When you remove a subclip’s limits, all affiliated subclips also become
normal clips.
Master-Affiliate Clip Relationships
When you create a new subclip, it has master clip status. When you edit the subclip
into a sequence, an affiliate subclip is created. This behavior is identical to the behavior
of all other clips with master-affiliate relationships.
You don’t need to worry about master-affiliate relationships too much while you are
editing. These issues only become important when you are managing your media files
toward the end of a project, or when transferring your project and media files to
another editing system. For more information, see “Working With
Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
Chapter 19 Creating Subclips
253
Manually Breaking Large Clips Into Subclips
There are a few ways you can create subclips in Final Cut Express HD:
 Create markers in a clip, and then turn them into subclips.
 Create subclips manually, one at a time, by setting In and Out points in the original
clip and choosing Modify > Make Subclip.
Turning Markers Into Subclips
Once a clip has markers, you can easily turn the markers into subclips. Subclips are
defined from one marker to the next. If there is only one marker, the Out point of the
subclip is determined by the clip Out point. If you double-click a marker in the Browser,
it opens a subclip in the Viewer. For more information, see Chapter 18, “Using Markers,”
on page 235.
To turn a clip’s markers into subclips:
1 Click a clip’s disclosure triangle in the Browser to reveal its markers.
2 Select the markers in the clip by dragging across all of them at once, or by clicking the
first marker and then shift-clicking the last marker.
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3 Do one of the following:
 Drag the markers outside of the clip and into the Browser.
 Choose Modify > Make Subclip.
∏
Tip: If you are having a hard time dragging the markers out of the clip, try dragging
the markers to the Name column heading in the Browser. When you see the Name
column highlight with a rectangle, release the mouse button.
All of the material
between the markers you
selected should now
appear as subclips.
Subclips, identified by special subclip icons, are created. If you dragged the markers out
of the clip, the markers in the clip are removed. If you chose Modify > Make Subclip,
the markers remain in the clip after the subclips are created.
∏
Tip: Subclips are named based on the marker name. To create more meaningful
subclip names, change the marker names in the Browser before creating subclips.
How Markers Determine Subclip Durations
When you drag markers out of a clip, a subclip is created for each marker. The duration
of a subclip is determined from one marker to the next. For example, a clip with four
markers produces four subclips. The last subclip created from a marker always contains
the Media End point of the clip from which it was derived.
Subclip 1
Subclip 2
Subclip 3
Subclip 4
Media End
Chapter 19 Creating Subclips
255
The duration of a subclip can also be defined by a marker with extended duration. For
more information about creating markers with duration, see “Extending a Marker’s
Duration” on page 248.
Subclips defined by
marker boundaries
Subclips defined by markers
with extended duration
Original clip
Original clip
Marker with
duration of 0:00
Marker with
extended duration
Creating Subclips Manually
If you have long clips, you can also break them into subclips manually to help you
manage your footage.
To manually break a clip into subclips:
1 Open the clip in the Viewer.
2 Set In and Out points corresponding to the subclip you want to create.
3 Choose Modify > Make Subclip (or press Command-U).
A subclip appears in the Browser.
Editing With Subclips
You can edit with subclips in the same way as with any other clips. You can even add
markers to subclips and create subclips from those. This is no different than creating
subclips from clips.
Final Cut Express HD also allows you to edit directly with markers, turning them into
subclips when you release them in the Timeline. However, it’s usually best to not do
this. A marker is never a master clip, so subclips created by dragging a marker into a
sequence are independent clips. If you want to edit with subclips, you should convert
markers into subclips first. This maintains a master-affiliate relationship between the
affiliate subclips in a sequence and the master subclip in the Browser, which makes
media management easier.
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Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection
DV formats allow you to create subclips automatically from start/stop metadata that is
embedded in video frames each time you stop and start the camcorder. This DV start/
stop metadata is captured and stored in the media file. Final Cut Express HD can identify
the location of each start/stop marker (sometimes referred to as an embedded flag) to
automatically place markers in a clip. These markers can then be used to create subclips.
Note: DV start/stop metadata is not timecode. It is independent time-of-day metadata
recorded within the video data of your footage. When the time-of-day information
jumps dramatically from one shot to the next, Final Cut Express HD recognizes that the
shot has changed and can place a marker at that point in the clip.
To break a long DV clip into subclips based on starts and stops:
1 Capture a long clip from a DV tape containing several starts and stops.
2 Do one of the following:
 Select the clip in the Browser.
 Open the clip in the Viewer.
3 With the Viewer active, choose Mark > DV Start/Stop Detect.
Note: If you have any exceptionally long clips, you can break these up further by
adding a few more markers manually. For more information, see “Using Markers” on
page 235.
4 Switch the Browser to list view and locate the clip you were working on in the Viewer.
For more information, see “Choosing Views in the Browser” on page 70.
5 Click the disclosure triangle to view the clip’s markers.
Markers for a clip
If you want to give any of the markers a more descriptive name, simply click the marker
in the Browser, then click the marker’s name to select it. You can now change the name.
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6 Drag in the Browser to select all the markers.
7 Choose Modify > Make Subclip.
Note: If you gave your markers new names, your subclips will use them.
All of the material
between the markers
you selected should now
appear as subclips.
The subclips appear in addition to the original clip with the markers. You can rename the
subclips, if you want. You can review the subclips, deleting any clips you might not need.
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Part VI: Rough Editing
VI
Learn the basics of adding, arranging, and synchronizing clips
in a sequence to create a rough edit of your movie.
Chapter 20
Working With Projects, Clips, and Sequences
Chapter 21
The Fundamentals of Adding Clips to a Sequence
Chapter 22
Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences
Chapter 23
Working With Tracks in the Timeline
Chapter 24
Drag-to-Timeline Editing
Chapter 25
Three-Point Editing
Chapter 26
Finding and Selecting Content in the Timeline
Chapter 27
Arranging Clips in the Timeline
Chapter 28
Cutting Clips and Adjusting Durations
Chapter 29
Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync
Chapter 30
Split Edits
Chapter 31
Audio Editing Basics
20
Working With Projects, Clips,
and Sequences
20
A project file contains everything you need to make your
completed movie: clips, bins to organize clips, and
sequences to arrange your clips into a finished movie.
This chapter covers the following:
 Working With Projects (p. 262)
 Learning About the Different Types of Clips (p. 265)
 Viewing and Changing the Properties of a Clip (p. 266)
 Creating and Working With Sequences (p. 270)
Specifying Preferences Before You Start Editing
You may want to set the following general preferences before you start editing in
Final Cut Express HD. The following preferences are found in the General tab of the
User Preferences window. To view them, choose Final Cut Express HD > User
Preferences, then click the General tab. (For a complete description of preferences,
see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.)
 Levels of Undo: This specifies the number of actions that can be undone (up to 32).
The default is 10. The more levels of Undo you specify, the more memory is required.
 Prompt for settings on New Sequence: By default, this option is disabled and new
sequences use the sequence settings specified in the current Easy Setup. If you
enable this option, when you create a new sequence, a message asks you to
choose a sequence preset.
 Autosave Vault: Several autosave options let Final Cut Express HD automatically
save backup copies of your opened projects at regular intervals while you work.
(Your original project files aren’t touched until you use the Save command.) You
can specify how often to save, along with the number of backup copies saved for
each project. For more information, see “Backing Up and Restoring Projects” on
page 903.
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Working With Projects
Before you can even capture media, import clips into your project, and edit the clips
into one or more sequences, you need a project in which to do all of this.
Note: Creating, opening, and closing projects is described in “Understanding Projects,
Clips, and Sequences” on page 39.
Working With Multiple Projects in the Browser
You can have multiple projects open in Final Cut Express HD at the same time. Each
project opens in a separate tab in the Browser.
Important: Master-affiliate clip relationships don’t span multiple projects, so clips and
sequences dragged or pasted from other projects lose their master-affiliate relationships.
Choosing Whether the Last Previously Opened Project Opens
on Launch
By default, Final Cut Express HD opens the last previously open project file (or files)
when opened. You can select whether Final Cut Express HD opens with the last open
project or an empty project.
To start with a default, empty project instead of the last previously open project file:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences, then click the General tab.
2 Deselect the “Open last project on application launch” checkbox.
For more information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
Viewing and Changing the Properties of a Project
Each project has a set of properties, including global timecode display options and
custom Master Comment column names. You can change these properties at any time.
To view or change the properties of a project:
1 Click the project’s tab in the Browser, then choose Edit > Project Properties.
2 Choose or enter your options, then click OK.
 Time Display: Choose a global time display option for all clips in your project.
Options include timecode and frames.
 Reset Time Display checkbox: This is a global checkbox that updates the time display
option for all clips in your project. If this option is selected, all clips in your project are
updated to the timecode display option you chose in the Time Display pop-up menu.
This overrides custom time display options in individual clips in your project.
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 Time Mode pop-up menu: Choose whether all clips in the active project are displayed
in source time or clip time.
 Comment Column Headings: This allows you to customize the four Master Comment
property names in the active project. For example, you can change
“Master Comment 1” to “Director’s Notes”.
For more information, see Chapter 39, “Working With Timecode,” on page 557.
To choose new project properties each time you create a new project:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences (or press Option-Q).
2 Select the “Prompt for settings on New Project” option.
Backing Up and Restoring Projects
Regularly backing up your project file is an important part of the editing process. If
your media files are lost, they can easily be recaptured, but losing a project file could
mean re-creating hundreds of edit decisions made over weeks or months.
You should back up your projects on a regular schedule, regardless of what phase of
the project you are in. You can back up hourly, daily, or even weekly, depending on the
scope and pace of your project. It’s also a good idea to back up at important project
milestones, such as a completed rough edit or just before sending your project out for
the final sound mix.
What Is Contained in a Project File
Project files contain the following items and information:
 Clips, including notes, comments, and other descriptive clip properties
 Bins
 Sequences
 Effects and keyframe parameters applied to clips
Note: A project file does not contain media files, including any QuickTime, audio, or
graphics files.
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Returning to Saved Projects
Two commands in the File menu can be used to open previously saved files—Revert
Project and Restore Project.
 Revert Project: This command lets you return to a previous version of a project that
you saved, not one that Final Cut Express HD autosaved. For more information, see
the next section, “Using the Revert Project Command.”
 Restore Project: This command lets you choose from all of the available autosaved
versions of the currently selected project, based on the time and date they were
created. For more information about the autosave feature, see “Backing Up
and Restoring Projects” on page 903.
Using the Revert Project Command
Sometimes you may make a series of changes to a project on a trial basis. What if you
don’t like those changes and want to start over with your project the way it was the
last time you saved it? You can use the Revert Project command to immediately return
to the previously saved version of a project.
To revert to the previously saved version of a project:
1 Click a project’s tab in the Browser or Timeline to make it active.
2 Choose File > Revert Project.
3 In the dialog that appears, click OK.
Automatically Saving Projects With Autosave
While you’re working, you may find it necessary to go back to an earlier version of a
project you edited: perhaps you tried an alternate cut that didn’t work, or maybe
you’re experiencing problems with your computer. The autosave feature in
Final Cut Express HD gives you the option to step back to previous stages of your
project, which can save you valuable time (not to mention unnecessary headaches).
The autosave feature periodically saves a copy of each open project in a folder called
the Autosave Vault. Your original project file is not touched until you use the Save
command. You can change the location of the Autosave Vault in the Scratch Disks tab
of the System Settings window. The Restore Project command allows you to choose
from all of the available autosaved versions of the currently active project, based on the
time and date they were created.
For detailed information about using the autosave feature, see “Backing Up
and Restoring Projects” on page 903.
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Learning About the Different Types of Clips
There are several kinds of clips in Final Cut Express HD. Some clip types, such as still
images and audio, are obviously different than others because of their unique icons.
However, some clip types are almost identical and yet behave differently depending on
where they are located (such as Browser clips versus sequence clips).
Types of Clips
The following terms describe the various clips you work with in Final Cut Express HD:
 Video clip: A clip containing a video item. This kind of clip may also contain audio items.
 Audio clip: A clip containing only audio items.
 Sequence clip: A clip that has been edited into a sequence. Clips in a sequence are
made of individual video and audio clip items, which may or may not be linked
together while you edit. When a sequence clip is opened in the Viewer, the scrubber
bar displays sprocket holes so you know you are working on a clip from a sequence.
 Clip item: Clips edited into a sequence are distributed to individual tracks as clip
items. For example, when you edit a clip with one video and two audio items into
the Timeline, the sequence contains one video clip item and two audio clip items,
each on a separate track. Since these clip items came from the same clip in the
Browser, they are automatically linked together. Linking clip items together keeps
them in sync while you edit.
 Master clip: When you log, capture, or import a media file into Final Cut Express HD, a
master clip is created. Master clips exist exclusively in the Browser, and they are used
to manage and reconnect multiple instances of the same footage used throughout
your project. Master clips have a number of clip properties that are shared among
any copies (referred to as affiliates) of the clip. This allows you to reconnect or change
the properties of many affiliate clips at once by changing the properties in the
master clip or just one of the affiliate clips. For more information, see “Working With
Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
 Affiliate clip: Any clip derived from a master clip in the Browser. Each time you edit a
clip into a sequence, Final Cut Express HD creates a new instance of that clip, called
an affiliate clip because it shares properties with its master clip. This new sequence
clip gets most of its properties from the master clip.
 Subclip: A clip created to represent a limited portion of a media file. By artificially
limiting the duration of a media file, a subclip allows you to work with smaller
sections of a media file. These subclip limits can be removed at any time so you can
work with the whole clip. For example, if an original media file is 10 minutes long, the
Browser clip is also 10 minutes long. You can make a 1-minute subclip and work with
the subclip as if the media were only 1 minute long. For more information, see
Chapter 19, “Creating Subclips,” on page 251.
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About Offline Clips
If a media file is modified, moved, or deleted, the Final Cut Express HD clip that
connects to that media file can no longer find it. In this case, the clip’s media file is said
to be offline. The clip itself is described as an offline clip.
An offline clip has a red slash through its icon in the Browser or its file in the Timeline.
To view an offline clip properly in your project, you must capture the clip again or, if the
clip’s media file is already on your disk, reconnect the clip to the corresponding source
file at the new location on disk.
For information on reconnecting offline clips, see “Reconnecting Clips
and Offline Media” on page 933.
A clip is considered offline when:
 The clip’s Source property is incorrect (when there is no media file at the file path in the
Source property). This happens when a media file is modified, moved, or deleted, the
modification date of the media file is changed, or the scratch disk becomes unavailable.
 The clip’s Source property is empty. You can intentionally make clips offline by choosing
Modify > Make Offline, or you can create a new offline clip by choosing File > New >
Offline Clip. Final Cut Express HD doesn’t warn you about offline clips whose Source
property is empty, because there is no media file path to check.
Sequences as Clips
Sequences are special containers for clips arranged in chronological order. However, in
some cases, sequences can also be treated as clips. For example, you can check the
Item Properties of a sequence just as you can for a clip, and information about the
sequence shows up in the Item Property columns in the Browser. You can also edit
sequences into other sequences. This is called nesting a sequence. For more
information, see “Nesting Sequences” on page 544.
Viewing and Changing the Properties of a Clip
Each item in the Browser, such as a clip, has a set of properties. You can view all the
properties of a clip in the Item Properties window as well as in columns in the Browser.
Some properties can be changed directly in the columns of the Browser; others can be
changed in the Item Properties window.
Certain properties, such as frame size or video rate, are determined by a clip’s media file
and cannot be changed without using the Media Manager.
For a detailed table that describes all clip properties, see “Elements of a
Final Cut Express HD Project” on page 911.
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Changing Clip Properties in the Browser
Being able to change clip properties directly in the Browser columns is very convenient.
You don’t need to open any additional dialogs or windows unless you have a specific
reason for doing so. For example, you can clear the In or Out point of a clip, or enter a
comment in one of the Master Comment columns.
It’s just as easy to change the properties for multiple clips as it is for a single clip,
although some clip properties can only be changed one clip at a time. If you want to
quickly change many properties of a single clip, it may be easier to use the Item
Properties window.
For more information, see “Viewing and Changing Clip Properties
in the Item Properties Window” on page 268.
To change a clip’s property in a Browser column, do one of the following:
m Select a clip, click a column, then enter the new information in the text field.
If a text field doesn’t appear when you click or Control-click a column, the property
cannot be changed directly in the Browser. You may be able to change the property in
the Item Properties window, or it may be a property you can’t modify.
Once you’ve selected one text field in a column of the Browser that can be edited, you
can press Tab to automatically select that clip’s next editable property.
m Control-click a column for the clip or sequence you want to change, then choose an
option or setting from the shortcut menu.
You can select multiple clips and change them all at once. Some columns that allow
you to do this are the Good, Description, Pixel Aspect, Reel, and Anamorphic columns.
To change the properties of multiple clips in a Browser column:
1 Select the desired clips.
For more information, see “Browser Basics” on page 65.
2 Control-click the column of one of the selected clips, then choose a new setting or
option from the shortcut menu.
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Viewing and Changing Clip Properties
in the Item Properties Window
If you find yourself constantly scrolling through the Browser to find particular clip
properties, you can save yourself some time by viewing the clip’s properties in the Item
Properties window instead.
Viewing and Modifying Clip Properties
The Item Properties window displays a detailed view of each clip’s properties in a
consistent, organized way.
To view and modify clip properties:
1 Select a clip in the Browser or Timeline, or double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Item Properties.
 Control-click a clip in the Browser, then choose Item Properties from the shortcut menu.
 Press Command-9.
3 In the Item Properties window, click a tab to see and modify a clip’s properties.
For detailed information about item properties, see “Elements of a Final Cut Express HD
Project” on page 911.
Finding a Clip’s Media File
With the exception of internally generated clips (such as slugs or color bars), all clips
have a media file path in their Source property.
To identify the media file to which a clip refers:
1 Select a clip in the Browser, then choose Edit > Item Properties.
The Item Properties window appears, displaying all of the properties of the clip. The
clip’s Source property contains a file path to the clip’s media file. In some cases, the
entire path may be truncated to fit within the limits of the window.
2 Click Cancel, press Command-. (period), or press Escape to close the Item Properties
window without making any changes.
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Changing the Properties of Affiliate Clips
Because master clips and their affiliate clips share certain properties, you need only
change the property of one of the master or affiliate clips to change that property in all
of them. For instance, if you want to change a clip’s name, it doesn’t matter whether
you change the name in the master clip or any of its affiliate clips. Since they all share
the same name property, all the clips will have the new name.
Changes to the following clip properties are applied to all affiliated clips:
 Name
 Reel
 Good
 Notes
 Anamorphic
 Capture
 Offline
 Scene
 Shot/Take
 Angle
 Master Comments 1–4
Most properties are shared between master and affiliate clips, but there are a few
exceptions. For example, In and Out points are unique to each master and affiliate clip,
so trimming one clip doesn’t affect the duration of all the other affiliated clips.
Clip properties that are not shared between all affiliated clips are:
 Comment A–B
 In
 Out
 Duration
 Aux TC 1–2
 Description
 Composite
 Reverse Alpha
 Thumbnail
For more information about clip properties, see “Elements of a Final Cut Express HD
Project” on page 911.
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Creating and Working With Sequences
A sequence is a container for editing clips together in chronological order. A sequence
contains one or more video and audio tracks, which are empty when first created.
Creating and Deleting Sequences
Before you can edit content together in Final Cut Express HD, you need to create a
sequence to edit it into. You can create as many new sequences as you want in a
project. If you want to delete a sequence from your project, it’s easy to do.
To create a new sequence in the current project:
1 Do one of the following:
 Choose File > New > Sequence.
 Control-click in the Viewer, then choose New Sequence from the shortcut menu.
 Press Command-N.
A new sequence appears with the name highlighted, so you can change its name
right away.
2 Enter a name for the sequence, then press Enter or Return.
To have Final Cut Express HD prompt you for a sequence preset each time you create
a new sequence:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences, then click the General tab.
2 Select the “Prompt for settings on New Sequence” option.
For more information about sequence presets, see “Elements of a Final Cut Express HD
Project” on page 911.
To determine the default number of tracks for new sequences:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences, then click the Timeline Options tab.
2 Under “Default Number of Tracks,” enter the default number of video and audio tracks
you want created.
To delete a sequence from the current project:
1 Select the sequence you want to delete in the Browser.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Clear.
 Press the Delete key.
Note: Deleting a sequence from your project does not affect the media files on disk.
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Opening and Closing Sequences
You can only edit clips into a sequence when it is open in the Timeline or Canvas. When
you open a sequence, the Timeline and the Canvas open together, if they’re not open
already. If the Timeline and Canvas are already open, a newly opened sequence
appears in its own tab in front of any other sequence tabs.
To open a sequence, do one of the following:
m Double-click a sequence in the Browser.
m Select the sequence in the Browser, then press Return.
m Control-click the sequence, then choose Open Timeline from the shortcut menu.
m Select the sequence, then choose View > Sequence in Editor.
The sequence is displayed in the Timeline and Canvas windows.
You can also treat sequences like clips and open them in the Viewer. You can mark
them with In and Out points and edit them into other sequences, or output them to
tape using the Edit to Tape command. For information on editing sequences into other
sequences, see Chapter 37, “Sequence to Sequence Editing,” on page 539.
To open a sequence in the Viewer:
1 Select the sequence in the Browser.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose View > Sequence.
 Drag the sequence icon from the Browser to the Viewer.
To open a sequence in a new Viewer window:
1 Select the sequence in the Browser.
2 Choose View > Sequence in New Window.
To close a sequence in the Timeline and Canvas, do one of the following:
m With the sequence tab active in the Timeline or the Canvas, choose File > Close Tab.
m Control-click a tab in the Timeline or Canvas, then choose Close Tab from the
shortcut menu.
m Press Control-W.
When you close the tab of a sequence in the Timeline, its tab in the Canvas
automatically closes, and vice versa.
Note: If you close the Canvas by pressing Command-W, the Timeline also closes.
However, if you close the Timeline by pressing Command-W, the Canvas stays open.
This allows you to edit using only the Viewer and the Canvas, since some editors prefer
to edit with the Timeline closed.
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Duplicating a Sequence
If you want to test changes to your edited sequence that are more extensive than a few
levels of Undo will permit, or if you want to create several versions of your program for
a client to review, you can duplicate your current sequence and make changes to the
duplicate. Changes you make to a duplicate of a sequence do not affect the original in
any way. You can make as many duplicate sequences as you like, renaming them in the
Browser for reference and reediting them as extensively as you want.
To duplicate a sequence:
1 Select the sequence in the Browser.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Duplicate.
 Control-click the sequence, then choose Duplicate from the shortcut menu.
 Press Option-D.
3 In the Browser, enter a new name for the duplicated sequence.
Sequences are independent of each other, so changes you make to the copied
sequence do not affect the original sequence or its rendered files.
Note: When you duplicate a sequence, all clips in the new sequence are affiliated with
the same master clips as the clips in the original version of the sequence.
Copying a Sequence Into Another Project
If you have more than one project file open in the Browser, you can copy a sequence
from one project and paste it into another project.
To copy a sequence from one project into another:
1 Select the sequence in the Browser.
2 Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
3 Open a new project and select its tab in the Browser.
4 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
Important: When you copy a sequence from one project into another, the clips inside
the copied sequence become independent, and are not affiliated with any master clips.
For more information about master-affiliate clip relationships, see “Elements of a
Final Cut Express HD Project” on page 911.
You can also copy a sequence into another project window by dragging.
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To copy a sequence from one project to another by dragging:
1 Open the second project.
This project appears as another tab in the Browser.
2 Tear away the second project tab in the Browser to make it its own window.
3 Drag the sequence from the Browser in the second project window to the Browser in
the first project.
The copied sequence appears in your first project.
To create master clips for a sequence pasted into a project:
1 Select the sequence in the Browser.
2 Choose Tools > Create Master Clips.
A bin is created called “Master Clips for Sequence Name”, named after the sequence.
Master clips are created for any independent clips in the sequence, and the
independent clips become affiliate clips of the new master clips. If master clips already
exist for all clips in the sequence, no bin or master clips are created.
Nesting a Sequence
In Final Cut Express HD, you can treat sequences as clips and edit them into other
sequences. This is called nesting a sequence, because you put one sequence inside of
another. Nesting sequences is a common practice when you work on small,
independent sequences for a while and then you want to quickly attach them together
in another, master sequence. Nesting sequences does create some processing
overhead, and can make media management more complicated.
For more information, see “Nesting Sequences” on page 544.
Basic Sequence and Timeline Settings
Before you began capturing, you most likely chose an Easy Setup that established your
basic sequence settings and Timeline display options. An Easy Setup is a preset group
of capture, sequence, external playback, and output settings for a particular video or
audio format. Each Easy Setup represents a simple workflow that maintains that same
video format throughout capturing, editing, and output. If one of the available Easy
Setups describes your workflow, you should have no need to adjust your sequence and
Timeline settings.
However, some people require an output format that doesn’t match their media files,
such as when capturing DV footage but needing a Digital Betacam master. In these
cases, output your tape to DV, then go to a video facility to have your master DV tape
dubbed to Digital Betacam.
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When Rendering Is Required
Rendering slows down the creative editing process, so people try to avoid it at all costs. If
you’ve ever seen a red bar appear in the Timeline as soon as you add a clip to a sequence,
it’s probably because the clip settings and the sequence settings don’t match.
Final Cut Express HD assumes your sequence settings match your intended output
format, such as NTSC DV tape or a 320 x 240 Sorenson movie for the web. Whatever the
format, any media from clips with settings different from the sequence settings, such as
different image dimensions, must be conformed to match the sequence settings. Clips
with settings that don’t match the sequence settings may require rendering.
The capture and sequence settings that must match your output format settings include:
 Image dimensions
 Compressor (codec)
 Frame rate
 Field dominance
 Audio sample rate
 Audio bit depth
Note: Even when Final Cut Express HD renders a clip’s media file to match a sequence,
the original media files are left untouched. Separate render files are created. This is part of
the philosophy of nondestructive editing—your original media files are never processed.
∏
Tip: Don’t add clips with settings that don’t match the sequence, unless you have a
good reason. Otherwise, they’ll need to be rendered to match the sequence.
Viewing an Existing Sequence’s Settings
All sequences have settings as soon as they are created. When you first create a sequence,
its settings are determined by the sequence preset of your currently selected Easy Setup.
To view sequence settings:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select a sequence in the Browser.
 Open a sequence into the Timeline.
2 Choose Sequence > Settings.
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The Fundamentals
of Adding Clips to a Sequence
21
Once your clips are captured and organized to your
satisfaction in the Browser, you can begin moving your
content into a sequence.
This chapter covers the following:
 Creating a Rough Edit (p. 275)
 Overview of Ways to Add Clips to a Sequence (p. 278)
 Preparing a Sequence Order in the Browser (p. 280)
Creating a Rough Edit
During the rough editing phase of your project, the overarching structure of your
movie begins to take shape. A rough edit is like an outline of your finished movie, and
many details remain to be worked out. At this point, you arrange, copy, delete, and
work with large groups of clips at once. You may even be missing footage still, but you
can use placeholder clips, such as slug or text, to note areas that need work.
Basic Steps Involved in a Rough Edit
Basic rough assembly and editing involve the following steps:
Step 1: Add clips to the sequence
Final Cut Express HD allows you to add clips to your sequence in several ways. The
simplest method is to select clips in the Browser or Viewer and drag them to the
Timeline. You can also add clips to a sequence in a more precise way, setting In and Out
points in both your source clip and destination sequence, and then dragging the clip to
the Canvas. This is called three-point editing.
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Step 2: Arrange content
This is where you assemble the clips in the Timeline into the order you want by
selecting, moving, copying, cutting, pasting, and deleting.
Step 3: Make rough adjustments to clips in the Timeline
In the process of assembling the rough edit, you typically find you want to change the
duration of some clips, trim the heads or tails of some clips, or divide clips into smaller
pieces and reposition them.
How Clips Appear in the Timeline
Before you begin editing and arranging clips in a sequence in the Timeline, it’s a good
idea to look at how clips are represented when they’re first edited into a sequence.
When you edit a clip into the Timeline, an affiliated copy of that clip is placed in your
sequence. The clip in the Timeline looks like this:
Video clip item
Audio clip items
An underline indicates
items that are linked.
In the example above, a clip containing one video item and two audio items was
added to the sequence. Each of these items is called a clip item.
The video clip item is placed in track V1 of the Timeline, and the two audio clip items
are placed in tracks A1 and A2, respectively. Each of these items is named after the
master clip in the Browser from which it came. All three clip items are linked together,
which is indicated by the line under each clip item name. Linking clip items together
keeps the items in sync with each other.
Since the audio and video items of each edited clip are linked, selecting the video clip
item also selects the audio clip items, and edits you make to one are automatically
made to the others. For example, if you move a video clip item from track V1 to track
V2, the audio clip items move from tracks A1 and A2 to tracks A3 and A4.
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Video clip item on V1
Audio clip items on
A1 and A2
When you move a video
clip item to a new
track...
...the audio clip items
move as well because
they are linked.
The video clip item is
now on V2.
Linked audio clip items
are on A3 and A4.
Video and audio clip items can be linked or unlinked at any time. For more information,
see Chapter 29, “Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync,” on page 397.
Chapter 21 The Fundamentals of Adding Clips to a Sequence
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Undoing and Redoing Actions
As you begin to edit in Final Cut Express HD, rest easy with the knowledge that you can
undo actions you take in your projects, sequences, and clips, including editing clips
into sequences. The Undo command is helpful if you make a change you don’t like, or
make a mistake and want to revert to an earlier version. You can also redo actions that
you have undone.
By default, you can undo 10 of your previous actions before quitting Final Cut Express HD.
You can set Final Cut Express HD to undo up to 32 actions in the General tab of the User
Preferences window. The more levels of Undo you select, the more memory is needed to
save all of your changes. For more information on modifying the number of changes to
undo, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
To undo a change, do one of the following:
m Press Command-Z.
m Choose Edit > Undo.
To redo a change, do one of the following:
m Press Shift-Command-Z.
m Choose Edit > Redo.
Overview of Ways to Add Clips to a Sequence
When you edit, there are two basic ways to add clips to your sequence. Once you
determine how you want to add clips, you can specify what part of each clip you want to
add. You can also add entire clips or groups of clips to your sequence for your rough edit.
Methods for Adding Clips to Sequences
There are two basic approaches to placing clips into a sequence—drag-to-Timeline
editing and three-point editing. Three-point editing can be more precise than dragging
clips directly to the Timeline, but it requires a few additional steps. In the earliest stages
of editing, you may prefer the expediency of the drag-to-Timeline method.
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Drag-to-Timeline Editing
The faster, less precise way of editing content into a sequence is to drag a source clip
from the Browser or the Viewer directly to tracks in the Timeline. This simple method is
discussed more in Chapter 24, “Drag-to-Timeline Editing,” on page 321.
Drag a source clip from
the Viewer...
...to a track in the
Timeline.
Three-Point Editing
In three-point editing, you set In and Out points in both a source clip and a sequence
to determine the duration and placement of an edit. You also choose the destination
sequence tracks in which your source clip is placed. Three-point editing gets its name
from the fact that Final Cut Express HD needs no more than three In and Out points in
the source clip and the destination sequence to perform the edit. Either the source clip
or the sequence has both In and Out points set, while the other only has an In or an
Out point set. The fourth edit point is inferred from the duration of the edit.
For example, if you set In and Out points in a source clip and an In point in a sequence,
the Out point in the sequence is determined by the duration of the source clip. In this
case, the sequence In point determines where the source clip is placed, and the source
clip determines the duration of the edit.
(3) Sequence
In point
(4) Sequence Out
point (inferred)
(1 and 2) Source clip
In and Out points
Chapter 21 The Fundamentals of Adding Clips to a Sequence
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However, if you set In and Out points in a sequence and an In point in your source clip,
the Out point of the source clip is determined by the duration between the sequence
In and Out points. In this case, the sequence In and Out points limit how much of the
source clip is placed in the sequence.
(1 and 2)
Sequence In and
Out points
(3) Clip In point
(4) Clip Out
point (inferred)
For more details about three-point editing, see Chapter 25, “Three-Point Editing,” on
page 329.
Determining What Parts of Clips You Want in Your Sequence
To specify what part of a clip you want in your sequence, you open it in the Viewer and set
In and Out points. The In point is the first frame of the clip you want to use in a sequence,
and the Out point is the last frame. For information about setting In and Out points for
clips, see Chapter 22, “Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences,” on page 283.
If you like, you can also add an entire clip to your sequence, without setting In or Out
points for it. For information, see “Dragging Clips to the Timeline” on page 322.
Instead of adding clips to your sequence one at a time, you can organize a group of
clips in the Browser and drag all of them to your sequence at the same time. For
information about adding groups of clips directly to your sequence, see the next
section, “Preparing a Sequence Order in the Browser.”
Preparing a Sequence Order in the Browser
You can sort clips or visually arrange them (using icon view) in the Browser and then
drag the sorted group of clips to the Canvas or Timeline to instantly edit them into
your sequence in the arranged order. It’s not necessary to arrange a sequence order of
clips in the Browser before moving them into a sequence, but the techniques
described here can save you some time.
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Sorting to Create a Sequence Order
The ability to sort by column information in the Browser (in list view) can help you quickly
organize clips into the order in which you want them to appear in your sequence.
For example, if you entered scene and shot numbers when you logged your shots, you
can sort by these two columns, and then select all of these shots to edit into your
sequence in the correct order. Or, if you want to edit your footage into a sequence in
the chronological order in which scenes were shot, you can sort by the Reel and Media
Start columns, and then drag a group of clips into your sequence.
For more information on sorting, see “Sorting Items in the Browser Using Column
Headings” on page 227.
Visually Storyboarding in the Browser
If you display your clips in icon view in the Browser, you see a thumbnail of each clip,
which provides a quick visual way to arrange the icons of your clips into a storyboard
for your sequence. If you then drag all of the arranged clips to the Canvas or Timeline,
the clips are laid out in your sequence according to their position in the Browser. You
can then adjust, or fine-tune, the content of each clip in the Timeline.
For example, a group that’s arranged like this:
1
2
4
5
3
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Goes into your sequence like this:
1
2
3
4
5
To create a storyboard in the Browser:
1 Control-click in the Browser, then choose View as Large Icons from the shortcut menu.
2 Drag the clips into the order in which you want them to appear, keeping the rows of
clips relatively straight, so that Final Cut Express HD can properly determine their order.
∏
Tip: To ensure clips are placed in the Timeline in the proper order, place each
subsequent clip several pixels lower and to the right of the previous clip.
Arrange the clips in
the order you want,
from left to right and
top to bottom.
Note: If you don’t want to use the entire duration of each clip, you can set In and Out
points for each clip to specify the part you want to use (see “Setting Clip In and Out
Points in the Viewer” on page 286).
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22
Setting Edit Points
for Clips and Sequences
22
To specify where a clip should be placed in your sequence,
and to select a section of a clip for editing, copying, pasting,
or any other operation, you set In and Out points.
This chapter covers the following:
 About In and Out Points (p. 283)
 Setting Clip In and Out Points in the Viewer (p. 286)
 Setting Sequence In and Out Points in the Canvas or Timeline (p. 290)
 Navigating to In and Out Points (p. 300)
 Moving In and Out Points (p. 301)
 Clearing In and Out Points (p. 303)
About In and Out Points
In and Out points allow you to define a specific portion of a clip or sequence for
editing, deletion, copying, pasting, and so on. A clip In point marks the first frame of a
clip to be edited into a sequence. A clip Out point specifies the last frame of the clip to
be used. The areas beyond the In and Out point boundaries are called handles. Handles
are additional media that you are not using for the edit, but which may be necessary
when extra media is required, such as when you add a transition to the head or tail of a
clip in your sequence. You set In and Out points for clips in the Viewer.
You can also set sequence In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline. You can use
these as placement points to determine where clips are placed in the Timeline when
you’re doing three-point editing.
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Learning About the Out Point Inclusive Rule
Before you begin to set In and Out points, it’s important to understand the “Out point
inclusive” rule that Final Cut Express HD follows, so you can avoid an unexpected extra
frame at your Out point.
Out point inclusive means that when you set an Out point at the position of the playhead,
the frame that the playhead is on is included in your edit. This rule means that whenever
you set In and Out points, the minimum duration set is always one frame long. For
example, if you place the playhead on a specific frame, and then set both an In point and
an Out point, the In point is placed at the beginning of the frame and the Out point is
placed at the end, resulting in a one-frame duration. If this rule did not exist, it would be
possible to create edits with zero duration, which would be useless.
To see exactly how the Out point inclusive rule works:
1 Double-click a sequence in the Browser to open it in the Timeline.
2 Choose Mark > Mark In (or press I) to set an In point in the sequence.
3 Move the playhead several seconds later in the Timeline.
4 Press Command-= (equal sign) to zoom in closely to the location of the playhead.
You can see that the ruler is highlighted directly after the playhead. The duration of this
highlighted area is one frame.
5 Choose Mark > Mark Out (or press O) to set an Out point in the sequence.
The Out point is placed at the end of the duration of the frame. This is because the Out
point includes the duration of the frame on which the playhead is currently positioned.
In point
284
The Out point includes
the duration of the frame.
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Things to Keep in Mind When Setting an Out Point
When you want to mark the duration of a clip in a sequence, you need to remember to
set the Out point one frame earlier than you might expect, or you may also include the
first frame of the next clip. This often happens when you have snapping turned on and
you snap to clip start and end points to set In and Out points.
The Out point includes
the first frame of the
adjacent clip.
For example, suppose a clip in the Timeline is a shot of a playground and the next clip
is a shot of a classroom. When you move the playhead to snap to the end of the
playground clip, you see the first frame of the classroom clip in the Canvas. If you then
set an Out point and copy and paste the playground clip, you see one classroom frame
at the end of the pasted content. You probably didn’t intend to include the first frame
of the classroom shot, but it was included because of the Out point inclusive rule.
Chapter 22 Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences
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To avoid accidentally selecting the first frame of the next clip, do one of
the following:
m Press the Back Arrow key once before setting the Out point, so that you set it on the
last frame of the clip you want to select. When you do this, the last frame of that clip is
included with the Out point.
The Out point ends at
the last frame of the clip.
m Make the Canvas active, then choose View > Show Overlays. Make sure you set an Out
point when you see the overlay that indicates the end of the clip, not the start of the
next clip.
m Use the Mark > Mark Clip feature (described in “Setting In and Out Points to Match a
Clip or Gap” on page 297) to place In and Out points directly on the first and last
frames of the clip.
Setting Clip In and Out Points in the Viewer
When you set In and Out points for a clip in the Viewer, only the frames from the In
point to the Out point will be edited into your sequence. If you haven’t explicitly set
an In or Out point, Final Cut Express HD uses the Media Start and the Media End
points, respectively.
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To set an In or Out point for a clip in the Viewer:
1 Double-click the clip to open it in the Viewer.
2 Move the playhead to the location in the clip where you want to place the In or Out point.
3 Do one of the following:
 Press I to set an In point or press O to set an Out point.
 Click the Mark In or Mark Out button.
Mark In button (I)
Mark Out button (O)
 Control-click in the scrubber bar, then choose Mark In or Mark Out from the
shortcut menu.
 Choose Mark > Mark In, or choose Mark > Mark Out.
For many editors, it’s much more intuitive to set the start (In) and end (Out) points of a
clip while the clip is actually playing. This way you can set the In or Out point immediately
when you hear or see the frame you want. With Final Cut Express HD, this is easy to do.
To set an In or Out point while playing a clip:
1 Position the playhead at the beginning of the clip.
2 Press the Space bar or click the Play button to start playing a clip in the Viewer.
3 Do one of the following:
 Press I once to set an In point or press O once to set an Out point.
 Press and hold the I or O key.
The In or Out point is set at the location of the playhead when you release the key.
 Click the Mark In or Mark Out button once.
 Click and hold the Mark In or Mark Out button.
The In or Out point is set at the location of the playhead when you release the button.
Chapter 22 Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences
287
Specifying an Edit Point Using Timecode
After setting an In point, if you want a clip to have a specific duration, you can quickly
define an Out point relative to your In point.
To set an In or Out point for a clip in the Browser using timecode:
1 Select the clip in the Browser.
2 Click the In or Out point column of the clip in the Browser, then enter a new
timecode number.
∏
Tip: You can also make relative adjustments by adding or subtracting timecode from
an existing In or Out point. For example, you can make a clip’s Out point 1 second
earlier by clicking the clip’s Out point field in the Browser, entering –1:00, and then
pressing Enter.
To set an Out point by changing the duration of a clip:
1 Double-click the clip to open it in the Viewer.
2 Use one of the methods in the previous task to set an In point.
Note: If no In point is set, the Out point is set relative to the very beginning (Media
Start) of the clip.
3 Select the Timecode Duration field and enter the desired duration.
Final Cut Express HD sets the location of the Out point by adding the duration you
entered to the timecode value of the In point.
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Setting In and Out Points to Include a Whole Clip
If you decide that you want to set In and Out points at the very beginning and end of
your clip (the default), it’s easy to do.
To set In and Out points at the clip Media Start and Media End (the beginning and
end of the clip):
1 Open a clip in the Viewer.
2 Do one of the following:
 Click the Mark Clip button.
Mark Clip button
 Choose Mark > Mark Clip.
 Press X.
Reviewing Your Edit Points
When you’ve set the In and Out points you think you want to use, check your edit points
to make sure that you’ve included all the frames you need for the clip you’re editing.
To view your clip from its In point to its Out point, do one of the following:
m Click the Play In to Out button.
m Press Shift-\ (backslash).
m Choose Mark > Play > In to Out.
To view your clip from the position of the playhead to the clip’s Out point:
1 Position the playhead where you want to start viewing your clip.
2 Choose Mark > Play > To Out (or press Shift-P).
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To get a quick sense of what material is around a specific point in your clip, you can use
the Play Around Current Frame option. This plays a section of your clip from before the
current frame (based on a pre-roll setting) through the amount of time specified by the
post-roll setting. (The preview pre-roll and post-roll settings are in the General tab of
the User Preferences window. To change these settings, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945.)
To view your clip around the position of the playhead:
1 Position the playhead where you want to view your clip.
2 Do one of the following:
 Click the Play Around Current Frame button.
 Choose Mark > Play > Around.
 Press \ (backslash).
Setting Sequence In and Out Points
in the Canvas or Timeline
Once you’ve set In and Out points for a clip in the Viewer, you need to specify an In or
Out point in your sequence before you can complete a three-point edit. (As mentioned
earlier, for faster editing, you can simply drag a clip to the Timeline without setting any
In or Out points.)
Setting In and Out points for a sequence in the Timeline is similar to setting In and Out
points for a clip in the Viewer. You can set In and Out points while the sequence is
playing or when it’s stopped. Sometimes it’s easier to set In and Out points while your
program is playing, so you can set an edit point immediately when you hear or see the
frame you want.
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Options for Setting Sequence In and Out Points
You have several options when setting sequence In and Out points. Each choice has
certain ramifications, so make sure you understand the outcome when setting your In
and Out points.
 Setting no In or Out points: When no edit points are set, the playhead position is
considered the In point. The clip is placed at the playhead position in the Timeline.
 Setting only an In point: When an In point is set, that point determines where the
source clip’s In point is placed in your sequence. The sequence Out point is calculated
based on the Out point of the source clip.
 Setting only an Out point: When an Out point is set, that point determines where the
source clip’s Out point is placed in your sequence. The In point is determined by one
of the following:
 Sequence playhead: If the position of the playhead is before the sequence Out
point, the playhead is considered to be the sequence In point of the edit.
 Clip In point: If the sequence playhead is after the sequence Out point, the
sequence In point is determined by the source clip In point.
 Sequence start: If the position of the playhead is after the sequence Out point, and
neither the source clip nor the sequence have In points, the start of the sequence
determines the sequence In point of the edit.
 Setting both In and Out points: If both points are set in the sequence, the edit is
restricted to the duration between the sequence In and Out points, regardless of the
duration set in the source clip.
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291
When No Sequence In or Out Points Are Set
If you don’t set any In or Out points in the Canvas or Timeline, Final Cut Express HD
uses the playhead as an In point to determine the outcome of your edit.
The position of the playhead
determines the In point if you
haven’t set any edit points in
the Canvas or Timeline.
The new clip starts
where the playhead
was prior to the edit.
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After the edit, the
playhead moves to
the end of the clip.
VI
When You Set One Sequence In or Out Point
If you set only one In or Out point, that point determines where the clip being edited
into your sequence will start or end:
 If you set a sequence In point, the In point of the source clip is placed at the sequence
In point, and the clip extends from the In point to the right for the duration of the
source clip.
In point
The new clip begins at
the In point that you set.
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 If you set a sequence Out point, the Out point of the source clip is placed at the
sequence Out point, and the clip is “backtimed” for the duration of the source clip,
extending from the Out point to the left.
Out point
The new clip ends at the
Out point that you set.
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When You Set Both Sequence In and Out Points
Setting both sequence In and Out points limits the duration of your edit to the
duration between these two points. How the source clip lines up within this duration
depends on which clip In and Out points have been set in the Viewer:
 If you set an In point for the source clip, the clip’s In point lines up with the In point in
your sequence, and the clip extends to the right for the duration defined by the
sequence In and Out points.
In and Out points are
set in the Timeline.
The new clip’s duration is
defined by the sequence In
and Out points you set.
 If you set only an Out point for the source clip, the clip’s Out point lines up with the Out
point in the sequence, and the edit will be backtimed for the duration defined by the
sequence In and Out points.
 If you set both In and Out points for the source clip, the sequence In and Out points
take precedence. Final Cut Express HD lines up the source clip’s In point with the
sequence In point in the Timeline, and the source clip’s Out point is ignored.
Note: If your source clip is not as long as the duration between the sequence In and
Out points, then you’ll get an “Insufficient content for edit” message.
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Setting Sequence In and Out Points
You can set sequence In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline. The In and Out
points in the Canvas are the same as the ones in the Timeline—they refer to the same
timecode values and affect the same part of your sequence. If you set In and Out points
in the Timeline, they also appear in the Canvas, and vice versa.
To set In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline:
1 Make the Canvas or the Timeline active by doing one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Click in the appropriate window.
Press Command-2 to make the Canvas active.
Press Command-3 to make the Timeline active.
Press Q to switch between the Viewer and the Canvas.
2 Move the playhead to the point in your sequence where you want to place the In or
Out point.
3 Do one of the following:
 Press I to set an In point or press O to set an Out point.
 Click the Mark In or Mark Out button.
Mark In button
Mark Out button
 Control-click in the scrubber bar of the Canvas (or the ruler of the Timeline), then
choose Mark In or Mark Out from the shortcut menu.
 Choose Mark > Mark In.
 Choose Mark > Mark Out.
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Setting In and Out Points to Match a Clip or Gap
When you want to replace one clip with another using exactly the same location and
duration in the Timeline, you can set both In and Out points simultaneously. This also
comes in handy if you want to quickly set In and Out points to fit the boundaries of a
gap in your sequence.
To set In and Out points at the beginning and end of a clip or gap in the Timeline:
1 Place the Timeline playhead over a clip (or gap) in your sequence.
Move the playhead
over the clip.
Note: Make sure the clip items beneath the playhead are on the destination tracks. For
more information, see “Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline” on page 309.
2 Select the Auto Select control for the track (or tracks) containing the clip or gap you
want to mark.
Auto Select is enabled for
these three tracks.
Note: If the clip items of the Auto Select–enabled video and audio tracks have different
durations, video clip items take precedence over audio clip items. Also, clip items take
precedence over gaps. For more information about Auto Select controls, see “Using
Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections” on page 370.
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3 Do one of the following to set In and Out points:
 Press X.
 Click the Mark Clip button in the Canvas.
 Choose Mark > Mark Clip.
In and Out points are set at the boundaries of the clip or gap.
In and Out points are set
at the clip’s boundaries.
.
Setting In and Out Points Based on a Selection in the Timeline
You can use the Final Cut Express HD selection tools to select a group of whole or
partial clips in the Timeline, and then use the duration of the selection to set In and
Out points using the Mark Selection command. For more information, see “Direct
Methods for Selecting Content in a Sequence” on page 357.
Note: If you do not have contiguous items selected in the Timeline, this command sets
your In and Out points using the selected clips farthest to the left and farthest to the
right as the outer boundaries.
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To set In and Out points based on the current selection in the Timeline:
1 Select clip items in the Timeline.
You can select part of a clip, several clips, or parts of several clips using the Selection,
Group Selection, or Range Selection tools. For more information on how to use these
tools, see Chapter 26, “Finding and Selecting Content in the Timeline,” on page 355.
If you want to set only video or only audio In and Out points, select only video or audio
items in the Timeline. You can also select a combination of video and audio clip items to
set split In and Out points. For more information, see Chapter 30, “Split Edits,” on page 415.
Select the desired clips
or sections.
Note: Make sure the selected clip items are on the destination tracks. For more
information, see “Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline” on page 309.
2 Do one of the following:
 Press Shift-A.
 Choose Mark > Mark Selection.
In and Out points are
set for your selection.
Both In and Out points will be set using the boundaries of your selection. If the
durations of the audio and video items you select are different, you’ll see split In and
Out markers. For more information, see Chapter 30, “Split Edits,” on page 415.
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Navigating to In and Out Points
Often, you’ll want to position the playhead at the beginning or end of a specific clip, marker,
or edit point in your sequence, in preparation for the next edit. Final Cut Express HD makes
it easy to jump quickly between all of the edit points in your sequence.
To move the playhead to the next edit point in your sequence, do one of
the following:
m In the Canvas, click the Go to Next Edit button.
m Press the Down Arrow key.
m Choose Mark > Next > Edit (or press Shift-E).
To move the playhead to the previous edit point in your sequence, do one of
the following:
m In the Canvas, click the Go to Previous Edit button.
m Press the Up Arrow key.
m Choose Mark > Previous > Edit (or press Option-E).
You can move the playhead directly to an In or Out point. This can be useful if you
need to make a slight adjustment to your In or Out point. Move the playhead to the
edit point, then move it by the necessary frames and set the In or Out point again at
the correct location.
To move the playhead to the current In point in your sequence:
m Choose Mark > Go To > In Point (or press Shift-I).
To move the playhead to the current Out point in your sequence, do one of
the following:
m Shift-click the Mark Out button in the Canvas.
m Choose Mark > Go To > Out Point (or press Shift-O).
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Moving In and Out Points
You can always change clip In and Out points by simply setting new ones. Here are a
few other options for changing In and Out points.
To change the location of the In or Out point, do one of the following:
m Drag In or Out point markers to the left or right.
m To change the Out point, enter a new timecode number in the Timecode Duration
field. Final Cut Express HD calculates the new location of the Out point by adding the
duration you entered to the timecode value of the In point. If no In point is set, the Out
point will be set relative to the beginning (Media Start) of the clip.
Timecode Duration field
m Click the clip in the Browser, then select either the In, Out, or Duration timecode
numbers and enter new ones.
In the Browser, enter
the relevant timecode
number.
You can also change the location of both In and Out points at the same time. The
duration of the marked media doesn’t change, just the location of the In and Out
points. This is commonly referred to as slipping an edit. You can slip edit points in both
the Viewer and the Canvas or Timeline.
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To slip both the In and Out points together, do one of the following:
m Hold down the Shift key, then drag the In or Out point left or right in the scrubber bar.
Note: The cursor must be directly over the In or Out point, or the slip edit won’t work
and you will simply move the playhead.
Hold down the Shift key, then
drag the In point or Out point
to a new location.
m Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette, then drag a sequence clip in the Timeline to the
left or right.
Slip tool
For more information, see “Slipping Clips in the Timeline” on page 457.
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Clearing In and Out Points
If you want to eliminate one or both edit points to start over again, there are several
ways you can do so.
To clear an In point, do one of the following:
m Press Option-I.
m Option-click the Mark In button.
m Control-click in the scrubber bar, then choose Clear In from the shortcut menu.
m In the Viewer or Canvas, drag an In point vertically off the scrubber bar, either up or down.
To clear an Out point, do one of the following:
m Press Option-O.
m Option-click the Mark Out button.
m Control-click in the scrubber bar, then choose Clear Out from the shortcut menu.
m In the Viewer or Canvas, drag an Out point vertically off the scrubber bar, either up or down.
To clear both In and Out points at the same time, do one of the following:
m Press Option-X.
m Option-click the Mark Clip button.
m Control-click in the scrubber bar, then choose Clear In and Out from the shortcut menu.
Note: If you set an In point later than an Out point, the Out point is automatically
removed. If you set an Out point earlier than an In point, the In point is
automatically removed.
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23
Working With Tracks
in the Timeline
23
In the Timeline, you view your clips horizontally (in
chronological order) and also vertically (stacked in multiple
tracks). You can add, delete, and lock tracks, and you can
customize how tracks are displayed.
This chapter covers the following:
 Adding and Deleting Tracks (p. 305)
 Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline (p. 309)
 Locking Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes (p. 314)
 Disabling Tracks to Hide Content During Playback (p. 315)
 Customizing Track Display in the Timeline (p. 316)
Note: For information about navigating and zooming within the Timeline, see
“Timeline Basics” on page 111.
Adding and Deleting Tracks
In Final Cut Express HD, sequences can have up to 99 video and 99 audio tracks. Tracks
contain clip items, which are the individual media items that make up a clip. When you
edit, you arrange individual or linked clip items in a sequence.
305
Adding Tracks
You can add tracks to a sequence at any time. You can add tracks one at a time, or you
can add multiple video and audio tracks at once.
To quickly add a track to a sequence, do one of the following:
m Drag a clip to the unused area above the top video track or below the bottom audio
track. Final Cut Express HD adds new tracks to accommodate any audio or video this
new clip contains.
Drag a clip to the unused
area above the top
video track.
m Control-click anywhere in the area above the top video track or below the bottom
audio track, then choose Add Track from the shortcut menu.
Control-click in the area
above the top video
track, then choose
Add Track.
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To add multiple tracks to a sequence:
1 Choose Sequence > Insert Tracks.
2 In the Insert Tracks dialog, select your options, then click OK.
Enter the number
of tracks to add.
Select the types of tracks
you want to add.
Specify where you want
to add the tracks.
 Track type: Select the appropriate checkbox to add audio and/or video tracks.
 Number of tracks: Enter the desired number of tracks for either video or audio. A
sequence can have a total of 99 video tracks and 99 audio tracks.
 Specify a location:
 Before Base Track: This inserts the desired number of tracks before the first track in
the Timeline. Existing tracks and their clips will be moved up. For example, if one
video track is added before the base track of a sequence with two existing video
tracks, V1 and V2, these tracks along with their clips will be moved to V2 and V3.
Track V1 is the new, empty track.
 After Last Track: This inserts the desired number of tracks after the last track in the
Timeline. If your last track is V2, and you add three video tracks, tracks V3, V4, and
V5 are created.
When you add a single video track before a track that contains clip items, those video
clip items move up one track, but any audio items linked to them do not. This results in
an offset between the track number of that clip’s video and the track numbers of that
clip’s audio, but the clip’s audio and video are still linked and in sync.
When you add a single
video track, other video
tracks move up...
...but the audio tracks
do not.
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Deleting Tracks
You can delete tracks from a sequence at any time. You can delete tracks one at a time,
or you can delete multiple video and audio tracks at once. If you delete tracks that
contain linked clip items, only the items on the deleted track are deleted; the linked
items remain. For example, if you delete a video track, video clip items on that track are
deleted, but the linked audio clip items remain in their tracks.
Note: If you delete the wrong track, you can use the Undo command to restore it.
To quickly delete a single track in a sequence:
m Control-click anywhere in the track header (the area to the left of each track), then
choose Delete Track from the shortcut menu.
You can also delete several empty tracks from a sequence in the Timeline.
To delete multiple empty tracks from a sequence:
1 Choose Sequence > Delete Tracks.
2 Select your options for deleting tracks, then click OK.
Options appear
only after you select
the type of track you
want to delete.
 Track type: Select the appropriate checkbox to delete audio and/or video tracks.
 Tracks to delete: Specify the type of track you want to delete.
 All Empty Tracks: Select this option to delete all tracks in your sequence in the
Timeline that don’t contain clip items.
 All Empty Tracks at End of Sequence: Select this option to delete all empty video
tracks above and all empty audio tracks below the outermost tracks that contain
clip items.
After tracks are deleted, all remaining tracks in the sequence are renumbered.
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Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline
When you edit a source clip into a sequence, you need to specify the sequence tracks
where your source clip items are placed. You use the Source and Destination controls in
the Timeline to specify which sequence tracks receive clip items from the source clip.
Source and Destination controls are most often used when you perform three-point
edits, but they can also affect some aspects of drag-to-Timeline editing. For more
information, see Chapter 25, “Three-Point Editing,” on page 329.
Understanding Source and Destination Controls
The number of available Source controls corresponds to the number of clip items in the
source clip currently open in the Viewer. For example, a typical clip has one video clip
item and two audio clip items. In this case, one video and two audio Source controls
appear in the Timeline. If, instead, you open a clip in the Viewer that has one video item
and four audio items, one video and four audio Source controls appear in the Timeline.
Destination control
Source control
A maximum of one video and
twenty-four audio Source controls
appear in the Timeline, depending
on the number of clip items
currently open in the Viewer.
Timeline patch panel
Every track in your sequence has a Destination control. By assigning source clip items
to destination tracks using these controls, you determine which items from your source
clip go into which tracks when edits are performed.
Important: If you copy and paste clips, the paste destination is determined by Auto
Select controls, not Source and Destination controls. For more information, see “Using
Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections” on page 370.
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Setting Destination Tracks
To control which sequence track a source clip item is placed in, you connect the
Source control to the corresponding Destination control. There are several different
ways to do this.
Important: While editing, make sure that Source controls are connected to the
Destination controls for the correct tracks. If you don’t, individual video or audio items
in your source clip will end up in the wrong tracks in the Timeline.
V1, A1, and A2
are selected as
destination tracks.
To assign a source clip item to a destination track in the Timeline, do one of
the following:
m Drag a Source control so that it connects to a Destination control.
m Control-click a Source control, then choose a new destination track from the shortcut menu.
m Control-click a Destination control, then select a Source control to assign to it.
m Click a Destination control; the nearest Source control above is assigned to it.
To assign the v1 Source control to a destination video track:
m Press F6 and the number of the video track you want to assign as the destination track
(this works for tracks 1 through 9).
To assign the a1 Source control to a destination audio track:
m Press F7 and the number of the audio track you want to assign as the destination track
(this works for tracks 1 through 9).
To assign the a2 Source control to a destination audio track:
m Press F8 and the number of the audio track you want to assign as the destination track
(this works for tracks 1 through 9).
For example, to assign the a2 source clip item to sequence track A4, press F8 and
then press 4.
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Changing Source and Destination Control Connections
You can change source and destination track assignments in the Timeline in several ways.
To change Source and Destination control connections, do one of the following:
m Click a Destination control. The first Source control above that track moves to that track.
m Option-click a Destination control. The first Source control beneath that track moves to
that track.
m Drag one Source control on top of another to switch their connections.
For example, suppose Source control a1 is connected to Destination control A1, and
Source control a2 is connected to Destination control A2. If you drag the a2 Source
control onto the a1 Source control, the connections are reversed (a1 is connected to
A2, and a2 is connected to A1).
m Control-click a Source control, then choose a track from the shortcut menu.
m Control-click a Destination control, then choose a Source control from the shortcut menu.
Disconnecting Source and Destination Controls
You can prevent specific video or audio source clip items from being edited into your
sequence by disconnecting Source and Destination controls. For example, if you
disconnect the video Source control prior to making an edit, only the audio source clip
items are edited into the Timeline.
For example, suppose you want to edit the video clip item in the Viewer into your
sequence, but you don’t want the audio clip items. You can simply disconnect all of the
audio Source controls in the Timeline, leaving only the video Source and Destination
controls connected. Performing an overwrite edit adds the video portion of the
selected clip to your sequence, ignoring the source clip audio.
Source clip item v1 is
connected to destination
video track V1.
Audio Source controls are
disconnected from the
Destination controls.
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Disconnected Source controls remain disconnected even when you open a new clip in
the Viewer. This is true even if the clip has a different number of video and audio clip
items than the previously opened clip.
To disconnect Source and Destination controls in the Timeline, do one of
the following:
m Click the Source or Destination control to break the track assignment.
Connected Source and
Destination controls
Disconnected
Source and Destination
controls
m Press Shift-F6 to deselect the current video destination track.
m Press Shift-F7 to deselect the current audio channel 1 destination track.
m Press Shift-F8 to deselect the current audio channel 2 destination track.
Note: You can also lock any track you don’t want source clip items edited into by
clicking that track’s Lock Track control, located in the track header. If a track is locked, it
is ignored as a destination track. (For more information see “Locking Tracks to Prevent
Edits or Changes” on page 314.)
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Resetting Destination Tracks to the Default State
You can reset Source or Destination controls to their default state at any time. All
available Source controls are reconnected to the accompanying Destination controls.
For example, the a1 Source control is reconnected to the A1 Destination control, the a2
Source control is reconnected to the A2 Destination control, and so on.
To reset the destination track assignments to their default state:
m Control-click in the Timeline patch panel, then choose Reset Panel from the shortcut menu.
Exceptions to Normal Use of Source and Destination Controls
There are several exceptions to the way you normally use Source and Destination
controls to specify destination tracks for source clip items.
When Dragging Clips Directly to the Timeline
If you drag a clip from the Browser or Viewer directly into a specific track in the
Timeline, it is placed on that track even if that track is not a destination track.
However, the currently selected destination tracks modify this operation in two ways:
 If the video Source and Destination controls are disconnected and you drag a clip to an
audio track, no video is edited into your sequence, and vice versa.
 If you connect nonadjacent Source controls, the source clip items are edited into the
sequence using the track separation defined by the Source controls. For example, if
A1 and A3 are the current audio destination tracks, a clip that you drag to your
sequence will always have one empty track between the two source audio clip
items, and will keep that one-track offset no matter which audio tracks you drag
the items into.
When Using the Superimpose Edit
If you edit a clip into your sequence using a superimpose edit, it is edited into the
track above the currently selected destination track. Any clips that are already there
are moved up to a new track, creating one or more additional tracks if necessary.
(Superimpose edits are explained in Chapter 25, “Three-Point Editing,” on page 329.)
When Recording With the Voice Over Tool
The Voice Over tool records audio to the track connected to Source control a2. For
more information, see “Using the Voice Over Tool” on page 623.
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Locking Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes
If you want to set one or more tracks as temporarily “off limits” to edits or changes, you
can lock them using the Lock Track control in each track’s header. While a locked track
can be specified as a destination track, no media will be edited into a locked track. Clip
items on locked tracks cannot be moved, edited, deleted, or modified in any way.
However, they can still be selected, along with any linked items in other tracks. Locked
tracks appear cross-hatched in the Timeline.
To lock a single track:
m Click the Lock Track control to the left of the track.
The icon changes to a closed lock, and a crosshatch pattern is displayed on the track.
No edits will be placed on the locked track until you unlock it.
To lock a video track using keyboard shortcuts:
m Press F4 and the number of the track you want to lock (for tracks 1 through 9).
To lock an audio track using keyboard shortcuts:
m Press F5 and the number of the track you want to lock (for tracks 1 through 9).
The control changes to
the locked position. Click
the control again to
unlock the track.
The track is
cross-hatched to
indicate it’s locked.
To lock all video tracks in a sequence:
m Press Shift-F4.
To lock all audio tracks in a sequence:
m Press Shift-F5.
To lock all other audio or video tracks except the selected track:
m Press Option while clicking the Lock Track control for the desired track.
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Disabling Tracks to Hide Content During Playback
You can disable entire tracks to hide their contents during playback. The clips on a
disabled track are not visible or audible when you play it, nor will they render or be
output to tape.
You can still edit items on disabled tracks; they just won’t appear in the Canvas during
playback. A track can be enabled or disabled at any time. This does not permanently
affect either your sequence or the clips edited into it.
There are several reasons you may want to disable a track:
 A track contains audio that you want to temporarily turn off, while you focus on
other parts of your audio mix.
 A track contains an alternate edit of clips in your sequence that you haven’t yet
committed to using. By editing this alternate sequence into a spare video track, you
can enable and disable it as necessary, to quickly switch between two different
arrangements of clips.
 A track contains effects that you want to temporarily disable, such as superimposed
subtitles. By disabling this track, you can avoid rendering the effects before playing
back your sequence, yet you can still keep them in the Timeline.
You can also enable a single track by disabling all of the other tracks in the sequence.
To disable a track:
m Click the Track Visibility control of the track you want to disable.
Note: If your sequence has clip items that have been rendered, a dialog appears saying
that the render files will be deleted. If you don’t need the render files, click Continue.
For more information about rendering, see “Rendering” on page 877.
The disabled track is
dimmed and will not
appear (or be heard)
when the sequence is
played back.
Click the Track Visibility
control to disable a track.
To enable a single video or audio track while disabling all others:
m Press Option while clicking the Track Visibility control for that track.
All other video tracks or all other audio tracks except for the one you clicked are disabled.
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Customizing Track Display in the Timeline
You can modify the way tracks are displayed in the Timeline in several ways:
 Tracks in the Timeline can be resized, either individually or collectively. For more
information, see the next section, “Resizing Timeline Tracks.”
 Clip items on video tracks can be displayed with name only, name and thumbnail
frame, or filmstrip. All video tracks in the sequence share the same display settings. If
you display the Timeline in Reduced track size view, you can’t see thumbnails. For
more information, see “Timeline Basics” on page 111.
 Audio tracks can be displayed in the Timeline with or without waveforms.
 You can show or hide the keyframe area of each track, adding additional space
below each video and audio track in which to view and edit keyframes for effects
that are applied to your clips. For more information on using the keyframe area in
the Timeline, see “Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects” on page 719.
For more information about customizing Timeline display options, see “Timeline Basics”
on page 111.
Resizing Timeline Tracks
You can change the size of tracks in the Timeline, either by dragging a track’s boundary
in the Timeline patch panel, or by using the Track Height control.
Resizing Tracks by Dragging
You can resize individual tracks directly in the Timeline.
To resize a single track in the Timeline:
m If it’s a video track: Drag the upper boundary of the track in the Timeline patch panel.
m If it’s an audio track: Drag the lower boundary of the track in the Timeline patch panel.
Timeline patch panel
Drag a boundary
to resize a track.
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To resize all video or all audio tracks at once:
m Hold down the Option key, then drag a track boundary to resize it. If you drag a video
track boundary, all video tracks in the Timeline are resized by the same amount. If you
drag an audio track boundary, all audio tracks are resized by the same amount.
To resize both video and audio tracks at once:
m Hold down the Shift key, then drag any track boundary to resize it. All tracks in the
Timeline are resized by the same amount.
Resizing All Tracks Using the Track Height Control
When you use the Track Height control to resize tracks, you resize all tracks together. By
default, the Track Height control sets all tracks in the Timeline to the same size.
To resize all tracks using the Track Height control, do one of the following:
m Click the icon in the Track Height control that corresponds to the track size you want to use.
The selected track height is highlighted blue.
Track Height control
m Control-click the Track Height control, then choose the track size you want from the
shortcut menu.
In a sequence that has individually customized track heights, all custom track heights
are resized to the new height.
You can also preserve relative track sizes.
To resize all tracks relative to their individual sizes:
m Hold down the Option key, then click the icon in the Track Height control that
corresponds to the track size you want to use.
Resizing All Tracks Using the Track Layout Pop-Up Menu
You can also use the Track Layout pop-up menu (to the right of the Track Height
control) to choose Reduced, Small, Medium, or Large track heights.
To resize all tracks using the Track Layout pop-up menu:
m Click the disclosure triangle to the right of the Track Height control, then choose the
track size you want.
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Creating a Static Region in the Timeline
If you are working with more tracks than you can see on the screen at once, and you
spend a lot of time scrolling through multiple tracks in the Timeline, you may find it
useful to create a static region in the middle of the Timeline for tracks that you always
want to see. This region can contain video tracks, audio tracks, or both. Creating a static
region results in three total regions in the Timeline: a top, scrollable region for your
excess video tracks, a middle static region, and a bottom, scrollable region for your
excess audio tracks. You can’t scroll up or down in the static region, but it can be
resized to accommodate more or fewer tracks.
For example, if you’re working on the audio of a project with sync sound dialogue in
audio tracks 1 and 2, and multiple tracks of music, sound effects, and audio ambience
in the tracks below that, you can define a static region containing just tracks 1 and 2,
leaving the rest of your audio tracks in a lower, scrollable region. This way, your
dialogue tracks will always be visible. You can scroll up and down through your other
audio tracks, editing and making various adjustments while using the audio tracks in
the static region as a reference point.
To create a static region for video and audio tracks:
1 Drag the upper thumb tab in the vertical scroll bar up to create a static area for as
many video tracks as you want to keep in the middle.
2 Drag the lower thumb tab in the vertical scroll bar down to create a static area for as
many audio tracks as you want to keep in the middle.
Drag the upper thumb
tab up to include video
tracks in the static area.
Slider
Static area
Drag the lower thumb
tab down to include
audio tracks in the
static area.
When you have a static region in the Timeline, there are two dividers: one between the
top scrollable region and the static region, and one between the static region and the
bottom scrollable region. Each divider has its own thumb tab.
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To resize a static region in the Timeline:
m Drag the dividers or thumb tabs to include tracks in (or exclude tracks from) the static
region. As the static region gets larger or smaller, the size of the other regions is
adjusted accordingly.
To move the static region up or down in the Timeline:
m Drag the center slider in the static region’s scroll bar to move the entire region,
automatically resizing the scrollable regions above and below the static region.
Drag the center slider
to move the static region.
To eliminate tracks from the static region, do one of the following:
m To eliminate video tracks from the static region: Drag the upper thumb tab of the static
region down so that it overlaps the lower one, then release the mouse button.
m To eliminate audio tracks from the static region: Drag the lower thumb tab of the static
region up so that it overlaps the upper one, then release the mouse button.
To eliminate audio tracks,
drag this thumb tab up.
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24
Drag-to-Timeline Editing
24
Drag-to-Timeline editing is a quick, intuitive way to move
clips from the Browser or Viewer into your sequence.
This chapter covers the following:
 Overview of the Drag-to-Timeline Editing Process (p. 321)
 Dragging Clips to the Timeline (p. 322)
 Doing Simple Insert and Overwrite Edits in the Timeline (p. 323)
 Automatically Adding Tracks to Your Sequence While Dragging (p. 326)
Overview of the Drag-to-Timeline Editing Process
Drag-to-Timeline editing is as simple as dragging a clip from the Browser or Viewer and
placing it where you want in the Timeline. Sequence In and Out points, as well as
Source and Destination controls, are generally disregarded when you drag clips to your
sequence, making it faster and easier to place clips where you want in the Timeline.
Note: There are some situations in which Source and Destination controls affect which
clip items are dragged to the Timeline. See “Exceptions to Normal Use of Source and
Destination Controls” on page 313 for details.
Drag-to-Timeline editing is most useful during the early rough editing phase, when you
are adding clips more freely to the Timeline. However, once you have an established
structure to your sequence, dragging clips to the Timeline may lack the precision you
need to fine-tune your edits.
321
In drag-to-Timeline editing, only two steps are involved:
Step 1: Set clip In and Out points in the Viewer
Here you specify which part of a clip you want to place in your sequence. You do this
by opening the clip in the Viewer and setting the In and Out points (where the clip
should start and end when placed in a sequence).
If you want to place a whole clip or group of clips in the Timeline, you can skip this
step. For information on arranging a group of clips, see “Preparing a Sequence Order in
the Browser” on page 280.
Step 2: Drag the clip to the Timeline
Drag one or more clips from the Browser or the Viewer to the Timeline.
Dragging Clips to the Timeline
An easy way to edit clips into your sequence is to drag them from the Browser or
Viewer to an open sequence in the Timeline.
To add part of a clip to a sequence:
1 Double-click a clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.
2 Specify In and Out points for the clip.
For more information, see “Setting Clip In and Out Points in the Viewer” on page 286.
3 Drag the clip from the Viewer to your sequence in the Timeline.
To add an entire clip to a sequence:
1 Double-click a clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.
2 Choose Mark > Clear In and Out (or press Option-X) to delete the clip’s In and Out points.
3 Drag the clip from the Browser to your sequence in the Timeline.
If you’ve arranged clips in the Browser according to the order you want them to appear
in your sequence (creating a storyboard), you can drag all of them to the Timeline to
quickly create a rough edit. If you want, you can also specify In and Out points for each
clip in your storyboard, and then drag them to your sequence.
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To edit multiple clips into a sequence at the same time:
1 Select the group of clips you want to edit into your sequence by dragging a box
around them in the Browser.
Drag to select the clips you
want to edit into your
sequence.
For more information, see “Preparing a Sequence Order in the Browser” on page 280.
2 Drag the group of clips directly into your sequence in the Timeline.
The clips appear in your sequence according to how they’re organized in the Browser.
Doing Simple Insert and Overwrite Edits in the Timeline
When you drag clips to the Timeline, you can perform insert or overwrite edits. (For
more information about insert and overwrite edits, see “Performing the Different Types
of Edits” on page 333.) Each track in the Timeline is divided into two areas by a thin
gray line. The region of the track you drag the clip into determines whether an insert or
overwrite edit is performed.
Insert edit area
(upper third)
Overwrite edit area
(lower two-thirds)
As you move the pointer from one region of the track to the other, it changes to
indicate the type of edit—a right arrow for an insert edit and a down arrow for an
overwrite edit.
Note: If you are dragging clips from the Browser, the corresponding edit button is also
highlighted in the Canvas window.
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To drag a clip from the Video tab in the Viewer, click anywhere in the video picture in
the Viewer and drag. To drag a clip from the Audio tab in the Viewer, click the drag
hand and then drag.
Drag hand
As you drag your clip into the Timeline, a two-up display appears in the Canvas to show
you the sequence In and Out points for the edit you’re performing. What appears in
this display depends on the kind of edit.
 If you’re performing an overwrite edit, the two-up display shows the frame before the
clip being edited in (on the left) and the frame immediately after it (on the right).
Clip names appear at the top of the display, and each frame’s source timecode
number appears at the bottom.
The last sequence
frame before your
incoming clip
The first sequence
frame after your
incoming clip
 If you’re performing an insert edit, the two-up display shows two adjacent frames,
because the source clip you are inserting splits the underlying clip at the point where
you insert it.
 If you’re editing a clip into an empty area of the Timeline, both of the frames in the
two-up display are black, no matter what kind of edit you’re performing.
Note: If the Caps Lock key is engaged, the two-up display is disabled.
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To do an insert edit:
m Drag the clip to the upper third of a track in the Timeline.
Drag a clip to the upper
third of a track to do an
insert edit.
To do an overwrite edit:
m Drag the clip to the lower two-thirds of a track in the Timeline.
Drag a clip to the lower
two-thirds of a track to
do an overwrite edit.
Note: If you drag a sequence clip to another location within the sequence, an
overwrite edit is performed by default. To perform an insert edit instead, hold down
the Option key after you begin dragging the clip.
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Automatically Adding Tracks to Your Sequence While Dragging
You can drag a source clip to the unused space above or below the current tracks to
create a new track for that clip. If you drag your clip above the tracks already in the
Timeline, you’ll create a new video track. If you drag your clips below the tracks in the
Timeline, you’ll create a new audio track.
Clips with both audio and video clip items create both kinds of tracks by default, unless
either the video or audio Source and Destination controls are disconnected.
Dragging a clip
to the unused space
above the highest
track creates a new
video track.
After edit
When you drag a source clip to a track in the Timeline, all the clip’s items are linked. The
track you drag a clip to always receives a clip item, regardless of whether its Source and
Destination controls are connected. However, additional clip items are only placed on
tracks whose Source and Destination controls are connected.
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For example, suppose you have a clip that contains a video clip item and two audio clip
items. If you drag that clip to a video track in the Timeline, the video clip item is placed in
the video track, even if the Source and Destination controls for the video track are
disconnected. Each audio clip item is placed in the corresponding Timeline audio tracks,
but only if the Source and Destination controls of those audio tracks are connected.
Video Source and
Destination controls are
disconnected.
Dragging a clip to this
track edits in both audio
and video.
Audio Source and
Destination controls are
connected.
If you connect nonadjacent Source and Destination controls, the source clip items are
edited into the sequence using the track separation defined by the Source controls. For
example, if audio tracks A1 and A3 are the current audio destination tracks, a clip that
you drag to the Timeline will always have one empty track between the two source
audio clip items, and will keep that one-track offset no matter which audio tracks you
place the items into.
For more information about Source and Destination controls, see “Exceptions to
Normal Use of Source and Destination Controls” on page 313.
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25
Three-Point Editing
25
When you’re adding content to a sequence with three-point
editing, you only need to set three edit points to tell
Final Cut Express HD what content should go where
in the Timeline.
This chapter covers the following:
 Understanding Three-Point Editing (p. 329)
 About Edit Types in the Edit Overlay (p. 332)
 Performing the Different Types of Edits (p. 333)
 Three-Point Editing Examples (p. 348)
Understanding Three-Point Editing
Unlike drag-to-Timeline editing, three-point editing allows you to use both source clip
and sequence In and Out points to specify the duration of a source clip and where it
should be placed in a sequence. In most cases, only three edit points are necessary, and
the fourth edit point is inferred automatically by Final Cut Express HD.
Overview of the Three-Point Editing Process
To edit content into a sequence using three-point editing, you first set edit points in
your source clip and sequence, and then you perform the edit. Three-point editing gets
its name from the fact that Final Cut Express HD needs no more than three In and Out
points (in the Viewer and in the Timeline or Canvas) to determine what part of the
source clip to place in a sequence. The result of the edit is dependent on which three
points are set in the clip and in the sequence.
Note: If you set fewer than three edit points, Final Cut Express HD infers In or Out points
using the playhead in the sequence and the Media Start or End times in the source clip.
329
Basic three-point editing follows several main steps:
Step 1: Set clip In and Out points in the Viewer
Specify which part of a source clip you want to place in your sequence. You do this by
opening it in the Viewer and setting the In and Out points (where the clip should start
and end). If you only set an In point, the Out point will be determined by the sequence
In and Out points or the Media End time of the clip.
Step 2: Set sequence In and Out points in the Timeline or Canvas
Specify where you want the clip to appear in your sequence by setting In and Out
points in the Canvas or Timeline. If the sequence has both In and Out points set, these
determine the edit duration, regardless of the duration set in the source clip. If no In or
Out points are set, the playhead is assumed to be the In point of the edit.
For information about setting In and Out points, see the sections that follow and
Chapter 22, “Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences,” on page 283.
Step 3: Specify destination tracks
Choose the tracks in the Timeline where the video and audio items from your source
clip should appear.
Step 4: Add the clip to the Timeline
Edit the clip into the Timeline by dragging it to the Edit Overlay in the Canvas, clicking
a Canvas edit button, or using a keyboard shortcut.
Important: Sequence In and Out points always take precedence over source clip In and
Out points. This means that if you set both In and Out points in a sequence, the
duration of the edit is determined by the In and Out points of the sequence, regardless
of the In and Out points of the source clip. This allows you to restrict the portion of
your sequence affected by your edit.
Different Ways to Do Three-Point Editing
There are two basic methods for three-point editing into a sequence: dragging a clip to
the Edit Overlay in the Canvas or using keyboard shortcuts. For information on the seven
types of edits you can perform, see “About Edit Types in the Edit Overlay” on page 332.
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Dragging to the Edit Overlay in the Canvas
When you drag a clip from the Browser or Viewer to the image area of the Canvas, the
Edit Overlay appears. The overlay appears translucently over the image, with seven
sections corresponding to seven types of edits you can perform. Drag to a section to
perform the corresponding edit.
Note: If you don’t drag directly to one of the overlay choices, the default edit is Overwrite,
meaning the clip overwrites anything located at its destination in the Timeline.
Drag a clip to a section
of the Edit Overlay.
Edit Overlay with its
seven sections
When you drag a clip to a specific section of the overlay, that section is outlined in its
own color. If you drag your clip to the area to the left of the Edit Overlay, an overwrite
edit is performed by default.
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
With a clip open in the Viewer, you can also use keyboard shortcuts to perform each of
the seven types of edits. All of the keyboard shortcuts use the function keys along the
top of the keyboard. (If you forget a keyboard shortcut, position your pointer over one
of the edit buttons and pause for a moment. A tooltip appears with that button’s
function, as well as its keyboard shortcut.)
 F9: Insert edit
 Shift-F9: Insert with transition edit
 F10: Overwrite edit
 Shift-F10: Overwrite with transition edit
 F11: Replace edit
 Shift-F11: Fit to fill edit
 F12: Superimpose edit
Important: Some Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts may conflict with your
Final Cut Express HD keyboard shortcuts. For more information, see “Customizing the
Interface” on page 135.
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About Edit Types in the Edit Overlay
There are seven choices for placing clips into your sequence for three-point edits. The
two basic edits are overwrite and insert; the other options are variations on inserting or
overwriting. You choose an edit based on how you want your source clip to fit into
your sequence, including what you want to happen to any clips that are already there.
Most of these choices are covered in more detail in the following pages. A quick
summary follows:
 Insert: When you edit a clip into your sequence using an insert edit, all sequence
clips in all unlocked tracks are cut at the In point of your edit and pushed forward in
your edited sequence by the duration of your source clip.
 Insert with transition: This is the same as an insert edit, except that the default
transition is used at the In point of the edit to transition between the previous clip
and your source clip. When you first install Final Cut Express HD, the default video
transition is a 1-second cross dissolve. You can change it to anything you want,
however, using the Set Default Transition command in the Effects menu.
 Overwrite: When you edit a clip into your sequence using an overwrite edit, any
portions of clips that are already in the destination tracks are replaced by the source clip.
 Overwrite with transition: This is the same as an overwrite edit, except that the
default transition is used at the In point of the edit to transition between the
previous clip and your source clip.
 Replace: A replace edit replaces a clip in your sequence with the source clip, aligning
the frame at the Viewer playhead location with the frame at the Canvas/Timeline
playhead location. This type of edit does not use In and Out points in the same way
as insert and overwrite edits. For more information, see “Performing a Replace Edit”
on page 339.
 Fit to fill: This edit type changes the speed of your source clip so that its duration
matches the duration determined either by sequence In and Out points, or by the
duration of the clip in the Timeline that intersects the playhead. Unlike other edit
types, this type requires you to select four In and Out points instead of three. See
“Changing Clip Speed” on page 751.
 Superimpose: The video and audio of your source clip are automatically edited into
tracks above and below the currently selected video and audio destination tracks,
using either specified sequence In and Out points in the Timeline, or the duration of
the clip in the destination track that intersects the playhead. You can use this edit to
quickly add a video clip above another for subtitles, compositing, and so on. For
more information, see “Superimposing Clips” on page 346.
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Performing the Different Types of Edits
The following section tells you how to perform the most common types of edits for
adding content to a sequence. These procedures assume that you’ve already set In and
Out points and destination tracks in the Timeline. For more information, see
Chapter 22, “Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences,” on page 283 and “Specifying
Destination Tracks in the Timeline” on page 309.
Performing an Insert Edit
An insert edit places the source clip into your sequence so that all items after the
insertion point in your sequence are moved forward (or rippled) in the Timeline, to
make room for the clip being added. No clips are removed from your sequence.
You can perform an insert edit with one or more clips. If you perform an insert edit in
the middle of an existing sequence clip, that clip is cut at the insertion point and the
second half is pushed, along with the rest of the footage to the right of the insertion
point, to the end of the newly inserted clip. Even if your destination track is empty, clips
on all other unlocked tracks are moved forward in time, from the insertion point to the
right. Insert edits cause clips in your sequence to be rippled forward.
Before edit
D
After edit
A
B
A
D
C
B
C
By definition, an insert edit makes your sequence longer because the duration of the
inserted clip is added to the sequence. Typically, you use insert edits when you want to
add a new shot in the beginning or the middle of your sequence. You can also use an
insert edit to interrupt the action in an existing clip with the action in the newly
inserted clip. The action in the original clip then resumes after the inserted clip.
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To perform an insert edit:
m Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:
 Drag a clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Insert section of the Edit Overlay in the
Canvas.
 Press F9.
Insert section of
the Edit Overlay
in the Canvas
After the edit, all clips on all unlocked tracks (including nondestination tracks) are
moved forward in time, from the playhead position to the right, to make room for the
clip or clips being inserted.
Before an insert edit
After an insert edit
New clip is inserted.
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Performing an Insert With Transition Edit
The insert with transition edit is a quick way to do an insert edit that includes the
default transition between your new source clip and the clip before it in your edited
sequence. When you first install Final Cut Express HD, the default transition is a
1-second cross dissolve.
An insert with transition edit is exactly the same as an ordinary insert edit, but it places
the default transition into your sequence, centered on the edit point.
Before edit
D
After edit
A
A
B
C
D
B
C
Important: When you perform an insert with transition edit, make sure that there is
enough media at the beginning of the new clip and at the end of the previously edited
clip to create the transition. Each source clip must have enough unused frames outside
the defined edit points to equal half the duration of the default transition.
∏
Tip: You can also perform an insert with transition edit with multiple clips. If there are
no other clips in your sequence at the In point, the first clip will make a default
transition from black. Each successive clip will then use the default transition into the
next one until all the clips you selected are laid out in a row.
To perform an insert with transition edit:
m Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Insert with Transition section of the
Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press Shift-F9.
Insert with Transition
section of the Edit
Overlay in the Canvas
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The source clip is inserted into the sequence with the default transition.
Before an insert with
transition edit
After an insert with
transition edit
New clip is inserted
with transition
Performing an Overwrite Edit
Since this is the most commonly used edit type, it occupies the biggest overlay area in
the Canvas. If you drag a clip into any part of the Canvas to the left of the Edit Overlay,
an overwrite edit is performed.
With this type of edit, the source clip overwrites any clip items starting at the sequence
In point for the duration of the source clip. No clip items are rippled forward, so the
duration of your sequence remains the same. You can perform an overwrite edit with
one or more source clips.
Before edit
D
After edit
A
B
C
A
D
C
For example, suppose you have a sequence clip of a comedian making a joke, but
there’s a long pause after the joke while the comedian stands there waiting for a
reaction. You can overwrite the pause using a source clip of an audience laughing. To
do this, you position the playhead at the frame right after the comedian finishes telling
the joke, and then perform an overwrite edit. The pause is covered by the clip of the
audience laughing.
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To perform an overwrite edit:
m Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Overwrite section of the Edit Overlay
in the Canvas.
 Press F10.
Overwrite section of
the Edit Overlay
in the Canvas
The clip overwrites all items on the destination tracks from the playhead position
through the duration of your edit. No items are moved.
Before an
overwrite edit
After an
overwrite edit
New clip overwrites
existing clips.
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Performing an Overwrite With Transition Edit
The overwrite with transition edit is a quick way to do an overwrite edit that includes a
transition between your new source clip and the clip before it in your edited sequence.
When you first install Final Cut Express HD, the default transition is a 1-second dissolve.
An overwrite with transition edit is exactly the same as an ordinary overwrite edit, but
it places the default transition into your sequence, centered on the edit point.
Before edit
D
After edit
A
A
B
C
D
C
Important: When you perform an overwrite with transition edit, make sure that there is
enough media at the beginning of the new clip and at the end of the previously edited
clip to create the transition. Each source clip must have enough unused frames outside
the defined edit points to equal half the duration of the default transition.
∏
Tip: You can also perform an overwrite with transition edit with multiple clips. Each
clip will use the default transition into the next one until all the clips you selected are
laid out in a row.
To perform an overwrite with transition edit:
m Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Overwrite with Transition section of the Edit
Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press Shift-F10.
Overwrite with Transition
section of the Edit
Overlay in the Canvas
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The clip overwrites other items on the destination tracks for the duration of the edit,
and uses the default transition.
Before an overwrite
with transition edit
After an overwrite
with transition edit
New clip with transition
overwrites existing clips
Performing a Replace Edit
A replace edit is a specialized form of overwrite edit. A replace edit places the frame at
the current Viewer playhead position at the Canvas/Timeline playhead location in your
sequence. You can use a replace edit to:
 Edit a clip into your sequence so that the current frame in the Viewer is placed at the
current playhead location in your sequence
 Quickly replace an entire shot that’s already in your edited sequence
 Resynchronize a video or audio clip item with an unlinked clip item in an adjacent track
For example, if you have two clips, each of which shows a different camera angle of the
same action, you may decide you want to replace the shot currently used in the
Timeline with the other angle. You can place both the Viewer and Timeline playheads
on frames where the action matches in each shot, and then replace the sequence clip
with the clip from the Viewer.
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Replace edits follow a few special rules:
 Replace edits use the current playhead positions in the Timeline and the Viewer to
place the source clip in the Timeline.
 Replace edits never use clip In and Out points specified in the Viewer. If these points
have been set, they will be ignored.
 By default, a replace edit uses the duration of the sequence clip intersected by the
Timeline playhead. However, if you set sequence In and Out points, the resulting
sequence clip duration is determined by these points.
Note: If you do set In and Out points in the Timeline, they will be used even if they
span multiple clips, as long as there’s enough media on either side of the playhead in
your source clip.
In and Out points
spanning multiple clips
 A replace edit places the source clip into your sequence so that the frame at the
position of the playhead in the Viewer is located at the Canvas/Timeline playhead
position. Therefore, it’s important that you have enough media in your source clip to
the left and right of the playhead in the Viewer to accommodate the space you’ll be
filling in the Timeline. If you don’t, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.
 If you perform a replace edit by dragging a clip directly from the Browser,
Final Cut Express HD uses the location of the Viewer playhead from the last time that
clip was open in the Viewer. If the clip is newly imported and has never been opened
in the Viewer, Final Cut Express HD uses that clip’s starting frame, since that is the
default starting position for a clip.
 You can only perform a replace edit with one clip at a time. If you select multiple
clips, only the first one will be used.
The most basic use of the replace edit is to quickly and easily replace a clip in your
edited sequence with a source clip synchronized around a similar action.
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To replace an entire clip in the Timeline with a clip synchronized to a point
in the sequence:
1 In the Timeline, move the playhead to a frame you want to match with a source clip.
For example, if both the sequence and source clip are shots of a person jumping, you
could move the Canvas/Timeline playhead to the first frame where the person’s feet
leave the ground.
2 Make sure that the correct Source and Destination controls are connected in the
Timeline for the clip you want to replace.
3 Double-click the replacement source clip to open it in the Viewer, then move the
Viewer playhead to the frame you want to match in the Timeline. Do not set any edit
points for the clip in the Viewer.
For example, if both the sequence and source clip are shots of a person jumping, you
could move the Viewer playhead to the first frame where the person’s feet leave the
ground. This frame will be placed at the location of the playhead in the Timeline.
4 Do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press F11.
Replace section
of the Edit Overlay
in the Canvas
Important: Make sure that the clip in the Viewer contains enough media on either side
of the playhead to fill the duration of the clip you want to replace in the Timeline. If it’s
not, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.
Another common use of the replace edit is to line up a frame in a clip that’s already in
your edited sequence with an audio cue in an adjacent clip. For example, if you have a
video clip of a man dancing and an audio clip in another track of music, you can use a
replace edit to place a different portion of the same video clip into your sequence at
the same location, aligning a frame showing a particular movement of his foot with a
particular beat of the music.
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To use a replace edit to resync a video clip to an audio clip in another track:
1 In the Timeline, choose Mark > Clear In and Out (or press Option-X) to delete any
sequence In and Out points.
2 In the Timeline, find the audio cue you want to sync your video clip to, and position the
playhead there.
3 Make sure that the Source and Destination controls in the Timeline are set to the tracks
containing your video clip, and not your audio clip.
The video track should
be the only destination
track set.
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4 Without moving the Timeline playhead, press the F key to perform a match
frame operation.
This opens the master clip that the video clip in your sequence came from in the
Viewer, placing the playhead in the Viewer over the same frame that was under the
playhead in the Timeline. For more information on match frame editing, see “Matching
Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips” on page 554.
5 Move the playhead in the Viewer to the new frame that you want to align with the
audio cue that you selected in the Timeline.
6 Now that the Timeline playhead is lined up with the audio cue in your sequence and
the Viewer playhead is lined up with a video frame that you want to sync to it, perform
the edit by doing one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press F11.
The original video clip item in your sequence is replaced with a new copy of the clip,
which is synchronized with your audio cue.
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Important: Make sure that the clip in the Viewer contains enough media on either side
of the playhead to fill the duration of the clip you want to replace in the Timeline. If it’s
not, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.
If you set In and Out points in a sequence, a replace edit can overwrite more than one
clip at a time. A replace edit still works the same way: the Timeline and Viewer
playheads are used as the matching points for the edit.
To use a replace edit with sequence In and Out points:
1 In the Canvas or the Timeline, set In and Out points for the section of your sequence
you want to replace.
In and Out points define the
area you want to replace.
2 Move the playhead to the frame that you want the source clip to line up with.
This frame can be at any point between the In and Out points.
3 Make sure that the tracks containing the items you want to replace are set as
destination tracks.
4 Double-click the clip you want to use to replace the selected area (to open it in the
Viewer), then move the playhead to the frame you want to line up with the playhead in
the Timeline.
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5 Do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press F11.
The selected area in the sequence is replaced by the source clip. Final Cut Express HD
automatically calculates the clip duration.
Before a replace edit
After a replace edit
New clip replaces the
selected area of the
sequence.
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Superimposing Clips
In some cases, you may want to place one clip directly above another clip in a different
track. This is called a superimpose edit. You can use a superimpose edit to quickly stack
a source clip on top of a clip already in your sequence. If there isn’t an available track in
your sequence, Final Cut Express HD creates a new one for the source clip.
Superimpose edits obey the standard rules of three-point editing, except that if no In
or Out points have been specified in the Canvas or Timeline, the position of the
playhead in the Timeline is not used as a default In point. Instead, the clip that
intersects the position of the playhead in the current destination track provides the In
and Out points for the source clip (as it does when you use the Mark Clip command).
You can set the In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline so that the superimpose
edit spans multiple clips, as long as there’s enough media in your source clip to cover
the specified area.
If you perform several superimpose edits in the same location, each new source clip is
edited into the video track directly above the current destination track, and all other
previously superimposed video clips are moved up one track to make room. If your
superimposed clip contains audio, the source audio is placed on new audio tracks
immediately below any occupied audio destination tracks already in your sequence.
Likewise, if you perform a superimpose edit with several source clips at once, all of
those clips are stacked on top of one another. The first clip in your selected group is on
top, with each successive clip appearing underneath.
Before edit
D
A
B
C
D
After edit
A
B
C
To perform a superimpose edit:
1 Do one of the following:
 Position the Timeline playhead over a clip above which you want to superimpose
your source clip. The beginning and end of this clip are used as edit points for your
source clip.
 Set sequence In and Out points.
2 Set an In point in the Viewer to define the starting point of the source clip you want to
edit into your sequence.
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3 Do one of the following:
 Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Superimpose section of the Edit Overlay in the
Canvas.
 Press F12.
Superimpose section
of the Edit Overlay
in the Canvas
The clip in the Viewer is placed in the track above the destination track, starting at the
beginning of the clip that intersects the Timeline playhead, or at the sequence In point.
If there is no track above the destination track, one is created.
Before a
superimpose edit
After a
superimpose edit
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Three-Point Editing Examples
There are a few key things to keep in mind when you are doing three-point editing:
Edit points set
Results
 Clip In and Out points
 Sequence In point
The In point of the source clip is placed at the sequence In point, and
the duration of the edit is determined by the clip In and Out points.
 Clip In point
 Sequence In and Out points
The In point of the source clip is placed at the In point in the
sequence, and the duration of the edit is determined by the
sequence In and Out points.
 Clip In and Out points
 Sequence Out point
The Out point of the source clip is placed at the Out point of the
sequence, and the duration of the edit is determined by the clip In
and Out points.
This is known as “backtiming” an edit. You can use this method
when you want to make sure a particular frame of a clip ends at a
specific point in a sequence. For example, you can use this method
to make sure the last frame of a clip ends on a musical beat in the
Timeline.
 Clip Out point
 Sequence In and Out points
The Out point of the source clip is placed at the Out point of the
sequence, and the duration of the edit is determined by the
sequence In and Out points.
If there is no sequence In point, the Timeline playhead is used as
the In point.
The following are a few examples of how three-point editing works.
Example: Editing a Specific Clip Into Your Sequence
The simplest way to perform an edit is to specify In and Out points for a clip in the
Viewer, and then specify the destination In point in your sequence by positioning the
playhead in the Canvas or Timeline:
1 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer. (This is your source clip.)
2 Specify In and Out points for your source clip in the Viewer.
In point
348
Out point
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3 In the Canvas or Timeline, move the playhead to the location in your sequence where
you want the clip to start (the sequence In point).
Move the playhead to the
location in the sequence where
you want the clip to start.
4 Now, if you do an overwrite edit, you’ll see that the duration of your clip, defined by the
In and Out points in the Viewer, has been edited into the sequence.
The new clip starts
where the playhead was.
As you can see, defining only three points—the clip In and Out points in the Viewer and
the sequence In point in the Timeline—gives you total control of the edit that’s performed.
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Example: Editing a Clip Into a Gap in Your Sequence
You can also do the reverse of the previous editing example. Suppose you have a gap
in your edited sequence and you want to fill it with a new clip. You know where you
want the source clip to start, and you don’t particularly care where it ends. You can
specify an In point in the Viewer, and specify In and Out points in the Timeline to
coincide with the gap:
1 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer. (This is your source clip.)
2 Specify an In point for the source clip in the Viewer.
In point
3 In the Timeline, move the playhead to the middle of the gap you want to fill.
Move the playhead
into the gap.
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4 Choose Mark > Mark Clip (or press X) to set In and Out points around the gap.
Note: You must select the Auto Select controls for the tracks containing the gap. For
more information, see “Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections” on page 370.
In and Out points
5 If you do an overwrite edit, you’ll see that your clip, defined by the In and Out points in
your sequence, has been edited into the sequence.
The new clip fills
the gap.
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Example: Backtiming a Clip Into Your Sequence
Instead of editing a clip into your sequence using clip In and Out points in the Viewer
and a sequence In point in the Canvas or Timeline, you can edit clips using only an Out
point in the Canvas or Timeline. This is called backtiming a clip. You can use this method
when you want to make sure a particular frame of a clip ends at a specific point in a
sequence. In the resulting edit, your source clip’s Out point is placed at the Out point
you set in your sequence, and the rest of the clip appears in your sequence before this
point, to the left:
1 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer. (This is your source clip.)
2 Specify In and Out points for the source clip in the Viewer.
Out point
In point
3 In the Timeline, move the playhead to the point in your edited sequence where you
want your clip to end, and set an Out point.
Set an edit point at the
location where you want
the clip to end.
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4 If you do an overwrite edit, you’ll see that your clip has been edited into the sequence
so that the Out point of your clip lines up with the Out point you specified in the
Timeline. The rest of your clip has overwritten any material to the left of the Out point
for the duration defined by the In and Out points set in the Viewer.
The new clip lines up
with the Out point you
specified in the Timeline.
Example: Editing a Clip With No Specified In or Out Points
Into Your Sequence
If you don’t specify In or Out points for a clip in the Viewer prior to editing,
Final Cut Express HD edits in the entire clip, either to the position of the playhead or to
an edit point specified in the Canvas or Timeline:
1 Double-click a clip to open it in the Viewer, but don’t set In or Out points.
No In or Out
points are set.
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2 In the Timeline, move the playhead to the location in your sequence where you want
the clip to start (the sequence In point).
Move the playhead to the
location where you want
the new clip to begin.
3 Now, if you do an overwrite edit, you’ll see that the entire clip in the Viewer has been
edited into the sequence. Since you used an overwrite edit, any clip items that were
already in those tracks in the sequence have been overwritten by the source clip.
The new clip begins
where the playhead
was located.
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The playhead moves to
the end of the new clip.
26
Finding and Selecting Content
in the Timeline
26
When you want to arrange, copy, delete, or otherwise
manipulate items in a sequence, the first thing you need
to do is select them.
This chapter covers the following:
 Understanding What’s Currently Selected (p. 355)
 Direct Methods for Selecting Content in a Sequence (p. 357)
 Finding and Selecting Based on Search Criteria (p. 367)
 Selecting a Vertical Range Between In and Out Points (p. 369)
 Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections (p. 370)
Understanding What’s Currently Selected
Most commands in Final Cut Express HD require a selection. Even when you have not
explicitly selected items in the Timeline, Final Cut Express HD often has a default
selection, such as the clip currently beneath the Timeline playhead. In addition to
learning different methods for selecting items in a sequence, it’s important to
understand which clips Final Cut Express HD considers to be selected when you
haven’t made an explicit selection.
355
Identifying Selections in the Timeline
When you click a clip in the Timeline, it’s highlighted to indicate it’s selected.
The selected clip is
highlighted.
Even if there are no clips highlighted, Final Cut Express HD usually considers something
in the Timeline to be selected. This occurs in two situations:
 If no clips are highlighted and there are no In or Out points set, clips under the
current position of the playhead are considered selected for many commands. For
example, if you choose a filter from the Effects menu, it is applied to any clips under
the playhead, even if nothing in the Timeline appears to be selected. This makes
editing faster because you don’t always need to explicitly select a clip to affect it.
 If sequence In and Out points are set and no clips are selected, any content between
the In and Out points is selected on all tracks with Auto Select enabled. The selected
area is highlighted.
Auto Select is turned on
for these two tracks.
The highlight indicates
what is selected.
Auto Select controls are further explained in “Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for
Selections” on page 370.
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How Selections Are Prioritized in the Timeline
With the exception of editing clips into a sequence, operations in the Timeline are
prioritized in the following way:
 If clips are selected, any operations you perform affect those clips.
 If no clips are selected, content between In and Out points on tracks with Auto Select
enabled is considered selected.
 If no In and Out points are set, the clips under the playhead on tracks with Auto
Select enabled are considered selected for many commands.
Note: Some commands operate on the topmost video clip items, regardless of which
tracks’ Auto Select controls are enabled. The topmost clip items are the ones you see
in the Canvas, and so those are often the items you want to operate on.
For example, if sequence In and Out points are set and a clip is selected, the next
operation is performed on the selected clip rather than the content between the In
and Out points. If you deselect the clip, the portions of clips between the In and Out
points on tracks with Auto Select enabled are affected. For more information, see
“Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections” on page 370.
Direct Methods for Selecting Content in a Sequence
As with many applications, the most basic way to select items in the Timeline is to click
them. There are different selection tools designed to help you make such selections as
easily as possible when working with a lot of material in a sequence.
The following can be selected in the Timeline:
 Clip items: Any audio, video, or graphics clip item. This includes multiple items or a
range of items.
 A range of content: A range of content (for example, parts of clips) instead of a whole
clip or group of clips.
 Transitions: Transitions such as dissolves or wipes that occur between two items in
the Timeline. You can select these in order to trim or delete them.
 Edits: The point where two items meet can be selected for further editing. This
includes the point where a clip item meets a gap.
 Gaps: The space between two clip items on the same track can be selected in order
to close it or fill it with media.
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The following cannot be selected in the Timeline:
 Filter and motion bars and their keyframes: You can double-click a bar directly in the
Timeline to view filter or motion details in the Viewer. Even though you can’t select
the keyframes, you can move them by dragging them.
 Tracks: Tracks themselves can’t be selected, although the contents of tracks can be
selected using the track selection tools.
An Introduction to the Selection Tools
Several tools in the Tool palette can be used to select items.
Note: Remember that if you select an item that’s linked to another item, the linked
item is selected as well, unless you disable the Linked Selection option. (See “Linking
and Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items in the Timeline” on page 402.)
To select a tool:
1 Move the pointer over a tool in the Tool palette, then press and hold down the
mouse button.
All of the related tools appear.
2 Move the pointer to the tool you want to select, then release the mouse button.
The selected tool becomes the current tool in the Tool palette for that group of tools.
Click to select
the desired tool.
The selected tool becomes
the default shown in the
Tool palette.
These are the selection tools, in order of appearance:
 Selection: Selects individual items, such as a clip, transition, edit point, or keyframe,
or multiple items if they’re linked. The functions of this tool can be modified in a
variety of ways using keyboard shortcuts. This is the default tool.
Selection
 Edit Selection: Selects an edit point between clips. You can select edits on as many
tracks as you want, but you can only select one edit per track. When you double-click
an edit, the Trim Edit window appears so you can precisely modify several edit points
simultaneously. (For more information on using the Trim Edit window, see
Chapter 34, “Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window,” on page 493.)
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 Group Selection: Selects multiple contiguous items. This tool automatically selects an
entire item in the Timeline even if you only drag over a part of it. Any other items
linked to it are selected as well. Use this tool to select several clips in their entirety.
 Range Selection: Selects a range of multiple contiguous items. This tool does not
automatically select an entire item, but only the part of the item that you drag
across. Use this tool to select only a part of a clip, or to create a selection that
includes portions of several clips.
Edit
Selection
Group
Selection
Range
Selection
 Select Track Forward: Selects all the items in a track after the selection point you click.
Selected items are ready for any group operation, such as moving or deleting. Items
linked to selected items in this track are selected also.
 Select Track Backward: Selects all the contents of the track before the selection point.
 Select Track: Selects the entire contents of a single track, as well as any items linked
to those items.
 Select All Tracks Forward: Selects all the contents of all tracks after the selection point.
 Select All Tracks Backward: Selects all the contents of all tracks before the selection point.
Select Track
Select Track Backward
Select Track
Forward
Select All Tracks
Forward
Select All Tracks
Backward
Note: When using the Slip or Slide tool, you can temporarily turn the Slip or Slide tool
into the Selection tool by pressing the Command key for a noncontiguous selection or
the Shift key for a contiguous selection.
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Selecting Clips
Selecting individual clips is as straightforward as clicking, as long you are clicking with
the right tool. Also included here are the tricks you need to know for selecting multiple
contiguous and noncontiguous clips quickly.
∏
Tip: When clip items are linked, but you need to select just an individual clip item, you
can temporarily prevent linked items from being selected together by pressing the
Option key while selecting. (The link status returns to the enabled state when you
release the Option key.)
Selecting an Individual Clip
This is the simplest kind of selection you can make in the Timeline.
To select an individual clip:
1 Do one of the following:
 Click the Selection tool in the Tool palette.
 Press A.
2 In the Timeline, click anywhere in a clip.
If the Canvas is set to display overlays, a cyan blue border appears around the video
image to indicate that the clip beneath the playhead is selected. (To set the Canvas to
display overlays, choose View > Show Overlays, so there is a checkmark next to it.)
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Selecting a Group of Clips by Dragging
Sometimes the fastest way to select a group of contiguous clips is to drag a box
around them.
To select multiple whole clips by dragging:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Group Selection tool in the Tool palette.
 Press the G key two times, so the Group Selection tool is displayed in the Tool palette.
 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press A).
2 Drag a box around all of the desired clips to select them. Any clip you touch will be
included, even if you don’t drag across the entire clip.
Drag to select the
desired clips.
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Selecting Multiple Clips
The Shift and Command keys allow you to select multiple clip items in the Timeline,
either contiguous or noncontiguous.
To select multiple noncontiguous clip items:
m Hold down the Command key while selecting the desired clip items using either the
Selection tool or the Group Selection tool.
You can also Command-click a specific item again to deselect it.
Noncontiguous
selection
To select multiple contiguous clip items with the Selection tool:
m Select a clip item, then hold down the Shift key and select another clip item farther
down on the Timeline. All of the clip items between the two are selected.
 If you select two clip items on the same track, only the items on that track (and items
linked to items on that track) are selected.
 If you select a clip item on one track and another clip item on a different track, all clip
items between those two tracks are selected as well.
You can also select a range of contiguous clip items, and then select additional
noncontiguous clip items using a combination of the instructions above.
Deselecting an Item in a Multiple Selection
Sometimes after selecting a number of clips, you want to deselect one or two of them.
For example, if you want to select all clip items on track V1 except one in the middle, it
is often easier to select all the clip items and then deselect the clip item in the middle.
To deselect an individual clip item within a selection:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette.
 Press A.
2 Command-click the item you want to deselect.
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Selecting a Range of Timeline Content
When you want to copy, cut, or move an area of content that is not specified by clip
boundaries, you can either select the area with the Range Selection tool, or use In and
Out points to make a vertical selection across tracks. For more information about using
In and Out points to select a range of content, see “Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks
for Selections” on page 370.
To select a portion of a clip item:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Range Selection tool in the Tool palette.
Range
Selection
 Press the G key three times, so the Range Selection tool is displayed in the Tool palette.
2 Click a clip item where you want to start your selection, drag to the right until you reach
the end of the portion of the clip you want to select, then release the mouse button.
Drag with the Range
Selection tool to select
an entire clip and part of
a second clip.
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Selecting All Clip Items on a Track
Sometimes you may find that you want to select all of the clip items on a track in order
to drag them to close a gap or to create space to accommodate new clip items in your
sequence. After selecting a track’s contents, you can perform different operations on all
the track’s items at once, such as moving, copying, or deleting them.
The track selection tools provide many additional ways of selecting some or all of the
content of one or more tracks in your sequence.
Note: When selecting the contents of a track, remember that linked items on other
tracks will also be selected if linked selection is enabled. If you don’t want to select
linked audio or video clip items, disable linked selection first. (See “Linking and
Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items in the Timeline” on page 402.)
To select all the clip items on a single track:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Select Track tool in the Tool palette.
 Press the T key three times, so the Select Track tool is selected in the Tool palette.
2 Click anywhere in the track. All clips in the track are selected, as well as any items linked
to those clips.
All clips in V1
are selected.
You can also select all items before or after a specified clip item. For example, if you
want to select all clip items in track V1 except for the first item, you can use the Select
Track Forward tool.
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To select all clip items after a specified item on a single track:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Select Track Forward tool in the Tool palette.
 Press the T key once, so the Select Track Forward tool is selected in the Tool palette.
2 Click a clip item in the Timeline.
The item you click and all items after it are selected.
To select all clip items before a specified item on a single track:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Select Track Backward tool in the Tool palette.
 Press the T key twice, so the Select Track Backward tool is selected in the Tool palette.
2 Click a clip item in the Timeline.
The item you click and all items before it are selected.
∏
Tip: You can temporarily disable linked selection by holding down the Option key
while clicking a clip item.
Selecting All Items on All Tracks Forward or Backward
When there are many clips in a sequence, it’s difficult to see and select many of them at
once, especially if you don’t want to zoom in and out frequently. The Select All Tracks
Forward and Select All Tracks Backward tools let you simply select all clip items before
or after a selected clip.
To select all clip items on all tracks before or after a selected clip:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Select All Tracks Forward or Select All Tracks Backward tool in the Tool
palette.
 Press the T key four times to select the Select All Tracks Forward tool, or press the
T key five times to select the Select All Tracks Backward tool.
Select All Tracks Forward
Select All Tracks
Backward
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2 Click the first clip item on any track that you want to include in the selection.
All clip items in all tracks from the point you click onward (either forward or backward)
are selected, as well as any items linked to those items. You can select entire clip items
only; you can’t select a portion of a clip item.
If you click here, all clip
items on all tracks to the
right are selected.
If you click here, all clip
items on all tracks to the
left are selected.
Once you’ve selected a large group of clip items, you can always deselect individual
clip items by Command-clicking them with the Selection tool.
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Selecting or Deselecting All Clips in a Sequence
To move or delete all clip items, you can select them all at once. To make sure no clip
items are selected anywhere in the Timeline, you can deselect all of them.
To select every clip item in the Timeline:
1 Click in the Timeline to make it active (or press Command-3).
2 Choose Edit > Select All (or press Command-A).
To deselect every clip item in the Timeline:
1 Click in the Timeline to make it active (or press Command-3).
2 Choose Edit > Deselect All (or press Shift-Command-A).
Finding and Selecting Based on Search Criteria
In a large sequence you may want to locate a clip in the Timeline with a particular
name, timecode number, or marker text, but it would take a lot of effort to find it by
visually scrolling and scanning. Final Cut Express HD can search your sequence for you
and select clips that meet your criteria. You can search for individual items that meet
the criteria, or select all matching items at once.
To search for clip names, marker names, marker comments, or timecode numbers
in a sequence:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following:
 To search for individual occurrences of an item starting at the beginning of a sequence,
press Home to position the playhead at the start of the sequence.
Note: On a PowerBook, hold down the Function (Fn) and Left Arrow keys to position
the playhead at the start of the sequence.
 To search for individual occurrences of an item after a certain point in the Timeline,
position the playhead where you want to start the search.
 To find an item everywhere it appears in the sequence, place the playhead anywhere in
the Timeline; in this case, you use the Find All option, so it doesn’t matter where the
playhead is positioned.
 To search a selected portion of a sequence, set sequence In and Out points (see step 6).
3 Choose Edit > Find (or press Command-F).
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4 Enter the text or timecode number you want to search for.
Enter the desired
text here.
Choose additional
search options.
5 Choose the type of item to search for from the Search pop-up menu.
 Names/Markers: Search for the text in clip names, marker names, and marker
comments.
 Timecode: Search for any source or auxiliary timecode in a clip.
6 Choose which tracks to search from the Where pop-up menu.
 All Tracks: Search all tracks in the sequence.
 Auto Select Tracks: Search only tracks with Auto Select enabled.
 From In to Out: Search between the sequence In and Out points on all tracks.
7 To search, do one of the following:
 Click Find to find the item.
Final Cut Express HD finds the first item that matches the selected criteria from the
current position of the playhead to the end of the sequence. It does not find clips that
begin before the position of the playhead, nor does it wrap around to the beginning
of the sequence. If a clip name is matched, the clip is selected.
 Click Find All to find all clip items that match the search criteria.
All clip items that are found are selected in the Timeline. When a marker is found, the
playhead is positioned at the nearest marker after the playhead.
To cycle through items in the Timeline that match the search criteria:
m Follow the steps above, then choose Edit > Find Next (or press Command-G or F3).
To search for an item backward from the position of the playhead:
m Follow the steps above, then press Shift-F3.
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Selecting a Vertical Range Between In and Out Points
When you want to copy, move, or cut a selection of content that ranges vertically
across multiple tracks, a quick method is to select it by setting In and Out points.
To select clip items between sequence In and Out points:
1 Set In and Out points in either the Canvas or the Timeline.
2 In the Timeline, enable the Auto Select controls for tracks that contain clip items you
want to select.
For more information, see the next section, “Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for
Selections.”
3 Choose Mark > Select In to Out (or press Option-A) to select your clips.
Only the parts of clip items between the In and Out points in tracks with Auto Select
enabled are selected.
Final Cut Express HD also allows you to create In and Out points from the current
Timeline selection. For more information, see “Setting In and Out Points Based on a
Selection in the Timeline” on page 298.
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Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections
Auto Select controls determine which tracks are affected by an operation. When
sequence In and Out points are defined, operations such as the Copy and Lift
commands are limited to the regions of Auto Select–enabled tracks between the
Timeline In and Out points. You can intentionally disable Auto Select controls for tracks
that you don’t want to operate on.
As you can see in the picture below, tracks A1 and A2 are not highlighted because Auto
Select is not enabled for those tracks.
In and Out points
Auto Select is enabled for
these two tracks.
The Auto Select controls provide precise control over which part of the Timeline you
cut, copy, or delete from. Suppose you have a sequence with one video and two audio
tracks. By disabling Auto Select on audio tracks A1 and A2, you can select items on
track V1 by setting In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline. Items in the audio
tracks are not selected.
Before deleting
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If you press the Delete key, only the items on track V1 are deleted.
After deleting; only
the selected region
is deleted.
To enable or disable Auto Select on a track:
m Click the Auto Select control for the track.
Auto Select control
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To enable Auto Select on one track while simultaneously disabling Auto Select on all
other tracks:
m Option-click the Auto Select control on the track you want single out for Auto Select. (If
Auto Select is off for all tracks, you need to Option-click the control twice.)
If you Option-click the Auto Select control on a video track, Auto Select is disabled on
all other video tracks in the sequence. If you Option-click the Auto Select control on an
audio track, Auto Select is disabled on all other audio tracks in the sequence. Optionclicking allows you to quickly target a single track for editing operations.
Option-click the control
for the track you want
to single out for
Auto Select.
To explicitly select a region between Timeline In and Out points:
1 Enable the Auto Select controls for tracks you want to select from, and disable the Auto
Select controls for tracks you want to exclude from your selection.
2 Set In and Out points in the Timeline.
3 Choose Mark > In to Out (or press Option-A).
The region of clips between the In and Out points on tracks with Auto Select enabled
is selected.
In some instances, the Auto Select controls are ignored:
 If no Auto Select controls are enabled, nothing in the Timeline is automatically
highlighted, and only selected clips will be operated upon (just as in earlier versions
of Final Cut Express HD).
 If you use the Selection, Range Selection, or Edit Selection tool to select clips in the
Timeline, these selections are prioritized over the region between sequence In and
Out points on tracks with Auto Select enabled.
 If you use a command that only applies to the topmost visible video clip item (such as
when performing match frame operations), the clip item seen in the Canvas is
affected by your command, not the clip on the lowest-numbered track with Auto
Select enabled.
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Arranging Clips in the Timeline
27
After initial content has been added to the Timeline, the next
part of the rough editing phase is assembling clips into the
order in which you want them to appear.
This chapter covers the following:
 Snapping to Points in the Timeline (p. 373)
 Moving Items Within the Timeline (p. 375)
 Copying and Pasting Clips in the Timeline (p. 380)
 Deleting Clips From a Sequence (p. 385)
 Finding and Closing Gaps (p. 387)
Note: For information about navigating and zooming in the Timeline, see “Timeline
Basics” on page 111. For more information about working in the Timeline, including adding
and deleting tracks, see Chapter 23, “Working With Tracks in the Timeline,” on page 305.
Snapping to Points in the Timeline
The Timeline is where you arrange clip items, scene by scene and shot by shot. The
snapping feature helps you line up large groups of clips without accidentally creating
gaps. To arrange content, you need to know how to move, copy, cut, paste, and delete
within a sequence.
The snapping behavior makes it easier and quicker to do things like line up a video and
audio clip item on two tracks, or align the playhead to a particular marker. When
snapping is turned on, items you move in the Timeline, including the playhead and
selected clips, appear to jump, or “snap,” directly to certain points in the Timeline.
373
Several elements trigger snapping in the Timeline:
 Clip boundaries
 The playhead
 Markers
 Keyframes
 In and Out points
When you drag the playhead or a selected clip item in the Timeline, it “snaps” to these
elements when it encounters them.
A small pair of arrows appears
above or below the edit, marker, or
keyframe to indicate that the
playhead has snapped to this item.
While snapping is extremely useful, it can also be a hindrance if you’re trying to move a
clip only a few frames among a series of markers and clip boundaries, and you don’t
want it to snap to any of these points. Fortunately, you can turn snapping on or off at
any time, even while you’re dragging a clip.
To turn snapping on or off, do one of the following:
m Press N (you can do this even while you’re dragging).
m Choose View > Snapping. (A checkmark indicates snapping is on.)
m Click the Snapping button in the Timeline.
If the Snapping button is not in the Timeline button bar, you can add it. For more
information about customizing button bars, see “Customizing the Interface” on page 135.
Snapping affects the functions of many of the editing tools in Final Cut Express HD, such
as the Ripple and Roll tools, as well as the playhead in both the Viewer and the Canvas.
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Moving Items Within the Timeline
Composing a sequence usually involves plenty of arranging and rearranging of content
in the Timeline. There are a couple of ways to move clips around in the Timeline:
 The fast, visual way is to drag the clips.
 For precise, timecode-based movement, you can select the clips and enter timecode
values in the Current Timecode field.
Moving by Dragging
When dragging a clip to a new location, you can do either an overwrite or insert edit,
depending on your use of a keyboard modifier.
To move a clip to a new position by dragging (and do an overwrite edit):
1 In the Timeline, drag the clip to the desired location. (The pointer looks like a down arrow.)
2 Release the mouse button.
The arrow pointing down
indicates that an
overwrite edit will be
performed.
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To move a clip to a new position by dragging (and do an insert edit):
1 In the Timeline, drag the clip to the desired location.
2 Press and hold down the Option key (after you’ve started dragging the clip).
The pointer looks like a right arrow.
3 Release the mouse button.
The arrow pointing right
indicates that an insert
edit will be performed.
To move a clip to another track while keeping its horizontal position in a sequence
the same:
1 In the Timeline, select the clip you want to move.
2 Press the Shift key while dragging it vertically to the new track.
The clip will be at the same timecode location, but on another track.
Moving Clips Numerically
When you want to move clip items precisely, you can move them by entering positive
or negative timecode values.
To move an item by entering a timecode value:
1 In the Timeline, select the clip item or items you want to move.
2 Type a relative timecode value for where you want the clip to be positioned.
For example, type +48 (or simply 48) to move the item 48 frames forward. To move 48
frames backward in time, type –48. When you type a number, a Move field appears
above the track. You can also type a regular timecode value to move the clip to that
location in the Timeline.
Note: Don’t click in the Current Timecode field before you do this, or you’ll move the
playhead instead.
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The number
of frames moved
Clip items to be moved
3 Press Return.
The clip moves to the new location if there aren’t any other clip items in the way. If
there are, you’ll see a “Clip Collision” message indicating which track had a clip that
interfered with your edit.
Clip Collision message
For more information about editing numerically using timecode, see Chapter 32,
“Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits,” on page 453 and Chapter 34, “Trimming
Clips Using the Trim Edit Window,” on page 493.
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Using the Command Key to Drag More Slowly
When you’re dragging clips, edit points, or keyframes, usually the default one-to-one
correspondence between the motion of your mouse and the motion of the item
you’re dragging works just fine. However, you can drag even more precisely by
pressing the Command key to slow, or “gear down,” the dragging speed after you’ve
started dragging.
For example, holding down the Command key after you’ve started dragging a clip
causes the motion of that clip in the Timeline to be much slower and more precise.
This can be helpful if the Timeline is zoomed out so that individual clips look small.
It’s also useful if you want to make very small changes to an edit point, a keyframe
parameter, a volume level, or anything else.
You can use the Command key to modify nearly any dragging operation in
Final Cut Express HD.
Performing Shuffle Edits
A shuffle edit (sometimes referred to as a swap edit) allows you to move a clip item to a
different position in a track without leaving a gap. When you perform a shuffle edit,
you insert a clip item from one position in your sequence to another, and all clip items
before or after the clip insertion point are rippled so that the gap left by the moved clip
is filled. Shuffle edits do not affect the length of the clips or the overall duration of your
sequence, and clips on other tracks are not affected.
Before edit
A
B
After edit
A
D
C
B
D
C
Shuffle edits may only be performed with one clip item at a time, and they can’t be
performed on clip items with transitions applied.
∏
378
Tip: You may want to turn snapping on to make it easier to align the clips you are
moving (see “Snapping to Points in the Timeline” on page 373).
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To shuffle a clip item from one position to another:
1 Select a clip item you want to move in the Timeline with the Selection tool.
Before
2 Drag the selected clip item to the beginning of the clip item you want to insert the
dragged clip item in front of.
If you have trouble aligning it with the edit point, press the N key to turn snapping on.
3 While continuing to hold down the mouse button, press the Option key.
The pointer turns into the Shuffle Edit pointer. The direction of the small arrow in the
Shuffle Edit pointer indicates which direction clip items will be rippled around the
insertion point of the moved item.
 If the small arrow points right, all clip items to the right of the insertion point are
rippled to the right, filling the gap where the moved clip item was previously located.
 If the small arrow points left, all clip items to the left of the insertion point are rippled
to the left, filling the gap where the moved clip item was previously located.
The cursor changes to the
Shuffle Edit pointer. In
this case, the small arrow
points to the right, so all
clip items to the right of
the insertion point are
rippled to the right.
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4 Release the mouse button to place the selected clip at the insertion point.
After
Clip D moves here.
Clips A, B, and C move
right and fill the gap left
by Clip D.
Important: Shuffle edits are only possible if you move a clip item beyond the
boundaries of its original position. If you don’t move a clip item far enough, pressing
the Option key while you drag the clip item allows you to perform an insert edit, but
not a shuffle edit.
Copying and Pasting Clips in the Timeline
You can use the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands (or their keyboard equivalents) to
arrange clips in a sequence. You can also copy clips by Option-dragging.
Copying Clips by Option-Dragging
Copying by Option-dragging provides a fast, visual way to duplicate a clip in a new
location. There is no need to position the playhead.
To copy a clip into another location in the Timeline by dragging:
1 In the Timeline, select a clip item.
2 Hold down the Option key and drag the clip item to the new location in the Timeline.
You can also make duplicates of sequence clips by dragging them from the Timeline to
the Browser. These copies are affiliate clips that include any changes you’ve made to
the clips in the sequence.
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Modifying Selections and Commands Using the Option Key
When you’re working with clips in the Timeline, you can use the Option key to do one
of three things:
 Hold down the Option key while you select a clip to temporarily turn off linked
selection (if it’s on) or turn it on (if it’s off ).
 Hold down the Option key after an item is selected, then drag the item from its
original position to make a duplicate of that item.
 Hold down the Option key after you’ve started dragging a clip and hold it down as
you release the mouse button to perform an insert or shuffle edit (depending on
where you drag the clip in the Timeline). For more information, see “Moving Items
Within the Timeline” on page 375.
Note: If you use the Option key to modify a command and don’t see the results you
wanted, you probably held down the Option key too long or at the wrong time.
In some cases, you need to remember to release the Option key once you have
achieved the result you want. For example, you may hold down the Option key while
dragging a clip to duplicate it. Once you begin dragging the clip, however,
Final Cut Express HD already intends to duplicate the clip, and now the Option key
tells Final Cut Express HD to perform an insert edit. If you prefer to do an overwrite
edit, you need to release the Option key.
Another situation is when you intend to duplicate a clip by pressing the Option key,
but you instead turn off linked selection and only select one clip item. To avoid this,
you need to select the clip first, release the mouse button, and then press the Option
key before dragging it to duplicate it.
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Copying, Cutting, and Pasting Clips in the Timeline
When you copy and paste clip items from tracks in the Timeline, Final Cut Express HD
pastes those clip items into the same tracks they were copied from unless you specify
different tracks with Auto Select controls. If no Auto Select controls are selected
between the time you copy and paste the clip items, the items are placed on the same
tracks from which they were copied.
To copy (or cut) and paste clip items within the same Timeline tracks:
1 Select one or more clip items in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following, depending on what you want:
 Copy the clip items by pressing Command-C.
 Cut the clip items by pressing Command-X.
3 Position the playhead where you want the paste to occur.
4 Paste the clip items at the playhead location by pressing Command-V.
Copied clip items
382
Pasted clip items
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To copy (or cut) and paste clip items from one Timeline track to another:
1 Select one or more clip items in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following, depending on what you want:
 Copy the clip items by pressing Command-C.
 Cut the clip items by pressing Command-X.
3 Option-click the Auto Select control for the track you want to paste clip items into. (If
no Auto Select Controls are enabled, Option-click twice.)
4 Position the playhead where you want the paste to occur.
5 Paste the clip items by pressing Command-V.
The copied clip items are pasted to the tracks with Auto Select enabled, except where
no Auto Select change was made. Where no Auto Select change was made after
copying, the clip items are pasted to the original tracks. See the picture below for an
example of these results.
The V2 Auto Select
control is enabled
after copying a clip item.
The video clip item is
pasted to the track with
Auto Select enabled.
The audio clip items are
pasted to the original
tracks.
No audio Auto Select
controls are changed
after copying a clip item.
∏
Tip: Because you can’t Option-click a pair of audio tracks at once, Option-click the
lowest-numbered audio track you want to paste into.
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Example: Copying and Pasting Audio and Video Clip Items
to Different Tracks in the Timeline
To copy and paste clip items from tracks V3, A5, and A6 to tracks V2, A2, and A3, you
would do the following:
1 Select the clip items on V3, A5, and A6.
2 Copy the clip items by pressing Command-C.
3 Position the playhead where you want to paste the items.
4 Option-click the track V2 Auto Select control.
The video clip item will now be pasted into track V2.
5 Option-click the track A2 Auto Select control to set the lowest-numbered audio paste
destination track.
The lowest-numbered audio track for pasting is now set to A2.
6 Paste the clip items by pressing Command-V.
Track V2 becomes
the pasting destination
after Auto Select is
enabled.
Track A2 becomes the
pasting destination
after Auto Select is
enabled.
Note: Track Source and Destination controls have no effect on copying and pasting.
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Deleting Clips From a Sequence
As you edit, you can delete items from your sequence at any time, provided that the
track you want to remove them from is not locked.
There are two ways to delete items from a sequence:
 Lift edit: Leaves a gap in the sequence.
 Ripple edit: Closes the gap from the deletion by moving all subsequent clips to the left.
Important: Removing clips from a sequence does not delete the original master clips
from the Browser, nor does it delete source media files from your hard disk.
Deleting With a Lift Edit (Leaving a Gap)
Deleting with a lift edit (also called a lift delete) removes any selected items from the
sequence and leaves a gap. This is useful if you have a series of clips already edited into
your sequence and you don’t want to move them (for example, if they’re all
synchronized to a piece of music). If you want to remove one or more clips from the
middle of such a sequence, the lift delete is the best way to do so.
Selected clip
Before edit
A
After edit
A
B
C
C
Gap
To remove a clip item and leave a gap:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the clip item or range of items you want to remove using one of the
selection tools.
 Set In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline, then make sure the Timeline is active.
2 Enable Auto Select for the tracks you want to affect.
Only clip items on tracks with Auto Select enabled will be deleted.
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3 Do one of the following:
 Choose Sequence > Lift.
 Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X) to cut the material, if you want to paste it
somewhere else.
 Press Delete.
Selected clip items
After a lift edit, a gap is
left in the sequence.
Deleting With a Ripple Edit (Leaving No Gap)
Deleting with a ripple edit (also called a ripple delete) removes selected items from the
sequence and closes the resulting gap by moving all subsequent items on unlocked
tracks to the left. A ripple delete is useful if you want to remove one or more clip items
from your sequence but you don’t want to leave a gap. For example, if you’re assembling
a rough cut, and you decide that there’s a clip you don’t need in the middle, performing a
ripple delete will remove it and move all subsequent clips in your sequence to the left to
fill the gap. Performing a ripple delete is the opposite of performing an insert edit.
386
Before edit
A
B
After edit
A
C
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D
D
VI
To delete a clip item and close the gap left behind:
1 Select the item or range of items you want to remove.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Sequence > Ripple Delete.
 Control-click the selected clip item or items, then choose Ripple Delete from the
shortcut menu.
 Press Shift-Delete.
 Press Shift-X to cut the material, if you want to paste it somewhere else.
Selected clip items
After the ripple delete, the
clip items are removed, with
no gap remaining.
Finding and Closing Gaps
As you edit, cut, paste, and move items around in Final Cut Express HD, empty spaces
(called gaps) may be left between clips in your sequence. Sometimes they are extremely
small (one or two frames), which makes them difficult to see in the Timeline. When a
sequence with gaps plays back in the Canvas, however, even tiny gaps are apparent as
flashes of black, so you don’t want to unintentionally leave them in the sequence.
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There are two types of gaps:
 Track gaps: These are empty spaces between two clips in the same track.
 Gaps: These are track gaps that occur in every single track of your sequence.
Gap
Track gap
To find gaps in a sequence:
1 Move the playhead to the beginning of the sequence to start looking from the
beginning. Otherwise, you can look for gaps to the right or left of the playhead’s
current position.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Next, then choose Gap from the submenu (or press Shift-G).
 Choose Mark > Previous, then choose Gap from the submenu (or press Option-G).
The playhead moves to the beginning of the first gap found to the right or left of
the playhead.
To find track gaps in a sequence:
1 Decide which track to search and make it the destination track.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Next, then choose Track Gap from the submenu.
 Choose Mark > Previous, then choose Track Gap from the submenu.
The playhead moves to the beginning of the first track gap found.
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To close a gap, do one of the following:
m Position the playhead anywhere within the gap, then choose Sequence > Close Gap (or
press Control-G).
m Control-click anywhere within a gap, then choose Close Gap from the shortcut menu.
m Select the gap by clicking it, then press Delete.
All clips to the right of the gap move left to close the gap.
Because this command shifts all clips to the right of the gap to the left, the command is
not available if a clip on another track overlaps this gap. (This would change the
relationship of the overlapping clip to the rest of your sequence, or change the
audio-video sync if it’s an audio clip underneath a video clip.)
If you don’t care about the sync relationship between the rest of your sequence and
the overlapping clip, you can lock tracks containing overlapping clips and then use any
of the above commands to close the track gap.
To close a track gap without affecting any other tracks in the sequence:
1 Click the Lock Track control of any tracks with clips that overlap the gap you’re trying
to close.
2 Close the gap by doing one of the following:
 Position the playhead anywhere within the gap, then choose Sequence > Close Gap
(or press Control-G).
 Control-click anywhere within the gap, then choose Close Gap from the shortcut menu.
 Select the gap by clicking it, then press Delete.
To close a track gap using the Select Track Forward tool:
1 Make sure snapping is turned on.
For more information, see “Snapping to Points in the Timeline” on page 373.
2 Select the Select Track Forward tool in the Tool palette.
3 Click the first clip to the right of the track gap.
All clips to the right are selected.
4 Drag the selected clips to the left until they close the gap and snap into place beside
the earlier clip.
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To determine the duration of a track gap in the Timeline:
1 Option-click the Auto Select control for the track with the gap.
2 Position the playhead in the gap.
3 Do one of the following:
 Choose Mark > Mark Clip.
 Click the Mark Clip button in the Canvas.
 Press X.
In and Out points set
based on track gap on V1.
Auto Select control
enabled
The track gap’s duration appears in the Timecode Duration field in the Canvas.
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Cutting Clips
and Adjusting Durations
28
Once you’ve assembled clips in your sequence, you can easily
cut them and adjust their durations.
This chapter covers the following:
 Performing Basic Cut Edits (p. 391)
 Changing the Duration of Clips in the Timeline (p. 395)
 Opening Sequence Clips in the Viewer to Change Durations (p. 396)
Performing Basic Cut Edits
The most basic edit is a straight cut, like the ones performed with a razor blade on a piece
of film. Basic cuts are described in this section, to help you in the rough editing process.
Cutting Clips in the Timeline
Each time you cut a clip in your sequence, it is split into two clips. You can make cuts
with the Razor Blade tool, or you can make cuts during playback by pressing Control-V.
Razor Blade All tool
Razor Blade tool
391
 Razor Blade: Adds an edit point to a sequence clip by cutting a single clip item, along
with any clip items linked to it in the Timeline, into two pieces. This edit point is
added at the frame of the clip item in the Timeline that you click.
This can be useful for quickly rearranging pieces of your sequence, for deleting a
section of a clip, for applying an effect to a specific part of a clip, or for moving a
piece of a clip to the same location on another track
Before
The Razor Blade tool lets
you cut a clip item into
two pieces.
After
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 Razor Blade All: Cuts all clip items on all tracks at the point where you click in
the Timeline.
Before
After
The Razor Blade All
tool lets you cut clips
across all tracks.
Using the Add Edit Command to Cut Clips
The Add Edit command in the Sequence menu (Control-V) is similar to the Razor Blade
All tool, cutting all clip items in the Timeline at the current position of the playhead.
However, only clip items on tracks with Auto Select enabled are cut.
It can be very handy to use the keyboard shortcut for the Add Edit command during
playback of your sequence, so that you can make cuts as the playhead moves along the
Timeline. Each time you add an edit during playback, a red marker appears at the
position of the cut you just made. When playback stops, each of these markers is
replaced by a cut.
To cut all clip items at the playhead position:
m Choose Sequence > Add Edit (or press Control-V).
Note: Only clip items on tracks with Auto Select enabled are cut.
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Joining Through Edits (Splicing Cut Clips Back Together)
Whenever you cut a clip item with the razor blade tool, the clip item is split into two
pieces separated by a through edit. You can’t see a through edit when you play back
your sequence in the Canvas because the frames on either side of the edit are from a
continuous section of a media file. You can join through edits at any time, splicing the
separated clip items back into a single clip item.
Joining the two items of a through edit reduces the number of edits in your sequence.
When you join two items of a through edit that have different properties (such as
different filters, different opacity or audio levels, or different composite modes), the
newly joined clip uses the properties of the item on the left only.
To remove a through edit, do one of the following:
m Select a through edit in the Timeline, then press Delete.
m Control-click a through edit in the Timeline, then choose Join Through Edit from the
shortcut menu.
The clip items on either side of the through edit become a single clip item.
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Changing the Duration of Clips in the Timeline
Clips are represented in the Timeline as horizontal bars within tracks. The length of the
bar represents the clip item’s duration. The beginning and end of the bar represent the
clip’s In and Out points. You can drag the beginning or end of the clip to change the
clip’s duration, right in the Timeline. As you move your pointer over a clip, the pointer
changes from an arrow (around the center of the clip) to a Resize pointer (at either the
beginning or the end of the clip).
Resize pointer at
beginning of clip
Dragging the beginning
or end of a clip changes
the clip duration.
Box shows the changed
length of the clip and the
new duration of the clip.
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Opening Sequence Clips in the Viewer to Change Durations
You can open a sequence clip in the Viewer to adjust its duration. Any changes you
make to that clip in the Viewer modify the clip in the edited sequence. How these
changes occur also depends on the editing tool that’s selected.
To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Timeline for further editing, do one
of the following:
m Double-click the sequence clip in the Timeline.
m Select the sequence clip, then choose View > Clip (or press Return).
m Position the playhead at the In point of the clip in the Timeline (using the Up or Down
Arrow key) or anywhere within the clip in the Timeline, then press the Return key. The
clip on the lowest-numbered Auto Select–enabled track opens in the Viewer, and the
Viewer playhead is at the same frame as the one under the Timeline playhead.
The video and audio tabs that appear in the Viewer depend on whether the clip item
you open from the Timeline is linked to other clip items, and whether linked selection
is turned on.
 If a clip item is linked to other clip items and linked selection is turned on, all items
associated with the one you’ve opened in the Viewer are also opened. Video and
audio clip items open in their own Viewer tabs.
 If linked selection is off, or items in the Timeline aren’t linked, only the item you
selected will be opened in a tab in the Viewer.
When a sequence clip opens in the Viewer, the tab that appears in front depends on
what you clicked in the Timeline.
 If you double-clicked a video clip item, the video tab will be in front in the Viewer.
 If you double-clicked an audio clip item, the audio tab will be in front in the Viewer.
 If you double-clicked either the filter bar or the motion bar in the keyframes area of
an item in the Timeline, the corresponding Filters or Motion tab will be in front in the
Viewer. For more information, see “Changing Motion Parameters” on page 689. You
can also refer to “Video Filters” on page 663.
 If you had a sequence clip already open in the Viewer with the Filters tab in front,
another sequence clip opened in the Viewer appears with its Filters tab in front as well.
Changes made to a sequence clip apply only to that clip, and do not affect the master
clip in the Browser. You can verify that a clip opened in the Viewer is a sequence clip
instead of a Browser clip by checking that the scrubber bar displays sprocket holes, and
that the name of the clip in the Viewer has “from Sequence Name” appended to it
(where “Sequence Name” is the name of the sequence where the clip is located).
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Linking and Editing
Video and Audio in Sync
29
Final Cut Express HD allows you to adjust the synchronization
relationship between video and audio items in a clip. Linked
clip items can be temporarily or permanently unlinked,
resynchronized, and relinked.
This chapter covers the following:
 Linked Sync Relationships Between Video and Audio Clips (p. 397)
 Linking and Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items in the Timeline (p. 402)
 Selecting Individual Clip Items While They Are Linked (p. 405)
 Getting Clip Items Back in Sync (p. 406)
 Establishing a Different Sync Relationship Between Linked Clip Items (p. 411)
 Learning About Linking Behavior in Audio Channel Pairs (p. 413)
Linked Sync Relationships Between Video and Audio Clips
Linking helps you keep video and audio clip items in sync. Clip items from the same
media file are automatically linked to each other in the Timeline. You can also link
unrelated clip items together.
Final Cut Express HD keeps track of the sync relationship between video and audio clip
items of all QuickTime media files that you’ve captured or imported into your project,
as well as the sync between merged clips.
397
When video and audio clip items are linked in the Timeline:
 The names of the linked clip items are underlined to indicate that they’re linked.
The underlined clip name
indicates the link between
audio and video items.
 As long as linked selection is on in the Timeline (the Linked Selection button in the
upper-right corner is green), clicking one clip item selects it and all the items
linked to it.
Click the Linked
Selection button to
turn linked selection
on and off.
When Linked Clips Are Moved Out of Sync
When you move clip items in the Timeline, Final Cut Express HD checks to see if the
relationship between linked items is still correct. If the relationship does not match,
Final Cut Express HD displays out-of-sync indicators in the Timeline. Out-of-sync
indicators show the offset between the linked clip items.
Out-of-sync indicator
Even when clip items are unlinked, Final Cut Express HD keeps track of the relationship
between clip items that come from the same media file. This means that you can move
those items out of sync at any time, without worrying that you won’t be able to
resynchronize them later if you change your mind.
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An out-of-sync indicator appears whenever the following conditions occur:
 Audio and video clip items from the same media file are out of sync. Because they
come from the same media file, these items always show out-of-sync indicators, even
if they are not currently linked.
 Audio and video clip items belonging to a merged clip have been moved out of sync.
Because they come from different media files, these items only show out-of-sync
indicators if they are linked.
 Audio and video clip items have been linked together in the Timeline, and then
moved out of sync.
Audio and video clip items that have a sync relationship must be vertically overlapping
in the Timeline for out-of-sync indicators to appear when the items are moved out of
sync. No indicator appears if linked audio and video clip items are so far apart that they
no longer overlap.
Audio moved away
from video clip
If you move these items back together so that they overlap, the indicators appear again.
Audio moved back
under video clip
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This also works with multiple instances of clips from the same media file on disk. For
example, suppose you have three items in your sequence, all from different parts of the
same media file.
If you move the audio item to the left, so that it overlaps the first video item, out-of-sync
indicators appear. The same happens if you move the audio item to the right.
What if you move all three items so that they overlap, but all are out of sync with one
another? The first two items show out-of-sync indicators relative to one another, and
the third item shows an out-of-sync indicator relative to the item it overlaps.
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Understanding Sync Relationships Between Multiple
Linked Audio Items
Up to 24 audio items can be linked to a single video item in the Timeline. As a result,
some complex sync relationships may result if you slip more than one of a clip’s audio
items (for information on slip edits, see “Slipping Clips in the Timeline” on page 457).
These are easily managed using the same out-of-sync indicators described earlier.
When you link multiple items together in the Timeline, the video item is considered the
anchor item to which the sync of all other linked audio items is compared. If you’re
linking audio clip items without a video item, then the topmost audio item in the
Timeline acts as the anchor item.
In the following example, three stereo pairs of audio items are linked to a single video item.
Moving a single pair of items out of sync results in a single out-of-sync duration, with outof-sync indicators with positive and negative durations in both the video and audio items.
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If you then move a second pair of audio items out of sync by a different amount, each
audio item that is out of sync from the anchor item has an out-of-sync indicator noting
its individual offset from the anchor item—in this example, the video item. The anchor
item displays a mixed-sync indicator with no duration. This tells you that multiple linked
items are out of sync by varying amounts.
A mixed-sync indicator
Out-of-sync indicators
Linking and Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items
in the Timeline
You can link additional clip items to already linked items, or remove items and then
relink the remaining items.
Linking Video and Audio Clip Items
When you link clip items, a sync relationship is established between those items,
according to their position in the Timeline. All linked clip items are marked in sync, and
this new sync relationship is tracked.
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To link unrelated clip items in the Timeline:
1 Arrange audio and video clip items in their respective tracks so that they line up the
way you want them to.
Video and audio clip
items are not linked
together.
2 Select up to one video clip item and up to 24 audio items on different tracks in
the Timeline.
Select video and
audio clip item that
you want to link.
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403
3 Choose Modify > Link (or press Command-L).
Note: When you open linked items in the Viewer, each linked mono audio clip item or
stereo pair of clip items appears in an Audio tab in the Viewer.
Names of linked clip
items are underlined in
the Timeline.
∏
Tip: Dragging linked clip items from the Timeline into the Browser creates a single
merged clip containing those items. This makes managing your media and keeping it
in sync much easier, especially if you want to use it in other sequences.
Unlinking Video and Audio Clip Items
When you don’t want audio and video clip items to be linked in the Timeline, you can
unlink them.
To break the link between clip items:
1 Select one or more linked items in the Timeline.
2 Choose Modify > Link (or press Command-L).
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Selecting Individual Clip Items While They Are Linked
Even when clip items are linked together, you may want to perform an action on only a
video or audio clip item. For example, you may want to copy just the audio, or delete
just the video. The Linked Selection option tells Final Cut Express HD whether linked
items are selected together, or if clip items can be individually selected even when they
are linked to other items.
The Linked Selection button
is gray, indicating linked
selection is turned off.
With linked selection
turned off, clicking a clip’s
video item selects only
that item.
You can turn linked selection on or off at any time.
To turn linked selection on or off, do one of the following:
m Press Shift-L.
m Click the Linked Selection button in the upper-right corner of the Timeline.
Even if linked selection is on, you can temporarily disable it by holding down the
Option key while you select or edit a clip item. For example, if linked selection is turned
on, but you press the Option key while you click the video item of a linked clip, only
the video is selected.
To temporarily turn linked selection off while working in the Timeline, do one of
the following:
m Hold down the Option key while selecting individual clip items.
m Hold down the Option key while using the Slip, Slide, Ripple, Roll, and other tools.
When linked selection is off, holding down the Option key temporarily enables it.
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Getting Clip Items Back in Sync
There are three ways to get clip items with out-of-sync indicators back into sync:
 Move the clip item back into sync with the Move into Sync command in the out-of-sync
indicator shortcut menu. This moves the clip item’s position in the Timeline, if possible.
 Slip the clip item back into sync with the Slip into Sync command in the out-of-sync
indicator shortcut menu. This slips the clip item’s In and Out points simultaneously,
leaving the clip position the same in the Timeline. For more information, see
“Slipping Clips in the Timeline” on page 457.
 Redefine the sync relationship between the clip items so that the current relationship
is considered to be in sync. You do this by choosing Modify > Mark in Sync.
Moving a Clip Into Sync
Moving an out-of-sync clip item back into sync means repositioning the item in the
sequence so that it’s once again in sync with the video or audio anchor item to which
it’s linked. You can only move a selected item into sync if there’s enough room on the
track in which it appears. If another clip is in the way, the selected item moves as far as
it can and then a message says “Unable to put item in sync. Another item is in the way.”
To move a linked clip item into sync, do one of the following:
m In the Timeline, Control-click the clip item’s out-of-sync indicator, then choose Move
into Sync from the shortcut menu.
m Select the clip item that is out of sync, then type the negative timecode offset value
that appears in the out-of-sync indicator and press Return.
For example, if a clip item’s out-of-sync indicator displays “4:12”, select the clip item and
enter “–4:12”, then press Return.
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If the item is an anchor item (either the sole video item among linked items, or the
topmost audio item if there is no video item), it moves into sync with the topmost
out-of-sync audio item in the group, starting on track A1 and going down. Otherwise,
the selected item moves into sync with the anchor item to which it’s linked.
Before syncing
Control-click the out-of-sync
indicator and choose Move
into Sync.
After syncing
The anchor item is moved into
sync with the topmost audio
item to which it’s linked.
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Slipping a Clip Item Into Sync
This operation leaves the out-of-sync clip item in the same position in your sequence, but
slips the In and Out points within that item so that the item is in sync with the
corresponding audio or video anchor item to which it’s linked. This works in the same way
as the Slip tool. For more information, see “Slipping Clips in the Timeline” on page 457.
To slip an out-of-sync clip item into sync using the out-of-sync indicator shortcut menu:
m In the Timeline, Control-click the out-of-sync indicator on a clip item, then choose Slip
into Sync from the shortcut menu.
If the item is an anchor item, it slips into sync with the topmost out-of-sync audio item
in the group, starting on track A1 and going down. Otherwise, the selected item slips
into sync with the anchor item to which it’s linked.
Before syncing
After syncing
The anchor item is slipped into
sync with the topmost audio
item to which it’s linked.
To slip an out-of-sync clip item into sync using the Slip tool:
1 Select the Slip tool from the Tool palette (or press S).
2 If Linked Selection is on in the Timeline, click the Linked Selection button to turn it off.
3 Select the clip item you want to slip into sync.
You can temporarily turn the Slip tool into the Selection tool by holding down the
Command key.
4 Type the negative timecode offset value that appears in the out-of-sync indicator and
press Return. For example, if a clip item’s out-of-sync indicator displays “4:12”, select the
clip item and enter “–4:12”, then press Return.
If the clip item is an anchor item, the audio item is slipped into sync with it.
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Moving or Slipping All Clip Items Into Sync at Once
In cases where multiple audio items are out of sync by varying amounts from an
anchor video or audio item, you have an additional option available to manage the
sync relationships of all linked items at once.
To move all out-of-sync clip items into sync with the anchor item:
1 In the Timeline, Control-click the out-of-sync indicator on the anchor clip item—either
the sole video item in a group of linked items, or the topmost audio item if there is no
video item among the linked items.
2 Choose Move Others into Sync from the shortcut menu.
Before syncing
After syncing
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To slip all out-of-sync clip items into sync with the anchor item:
1 In the Timeline, Control-click the out-of-sync indicator on the anchor clip item—either
the sole video item in a group of linked items, or the topmost audio item if there is no
video item among the linked items.
Before syncing
2 Choose Slip Others into Sync from the shortcut menu.
After syncing
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Establishing a Different Sync Relationship
Between Linked Clip Items
There are many reasons you might deliberately edit the video and audio items of a clip
to be out of sync with one another:
 Aligning the visuals of an actor reacting to a voice
 Reediting an actor’s audio from one take to match the visuals of a different take
 Changing the sync of ambient sound behind an image without critical audiovisual
sync points (such as dialogue)
 Performing sophisticated audio edits to sweeten an actor’s dialogue
Marking a Clip as In Sync
If you’ve moved a selected clip item out of sync deliberately and you want to permanently
change that item’s sync relationship to its corresponding linked audio or video items in the
sequence, you can use the Mark in Sync command. Final Cut Express HD marks the items’
current relationship in your sequence as being in sync.
If you move one of these items out of sync again, the out-of-sync indicator shows the
number of frames to resync to the new sync point.
Note: Using Mark in Sync does not affect the original master clip in the Browser, nor does
it affect your media file on disk. It only affects the selected clip items in the Timeline.
To mark out-of-sync clip items as in sync:
1 In the Timeline, select the items that you want to mark as in sync (one video and up to
24 audio items may be marked as in sync).
Out-of-sync indicator.
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2 Choose Modify > Mark in Sync.
The items are now marked as in sync, although their positions in the Timeline
haven’t changed.
The out-of-sync
indicators disappear.
If you select just the audio and move it out of sync, out-of-sync indicators appear.
The out-of-sync indicators
show the new offset, not
the original offset.
The Mark in Sync command permanently affects the sync relationship of the selected clip
items in your sequence. Once you’ve modified the sync relationship of clip items, the only
way to restore the original sync relationship is to manually move the clip items into the
old sync relationship and use the Mark in Sync command again, or to delete the clip
items and reedit a new instance of that clip into your sequence from the Browser.
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Learning About Linking Behavior in Audio Channel Pairs
In addition to linking video or audio clip items together, you can also link pairs of audio
items together in stereo pairs. Stereo linking is a specific kind of audio item linking,
limited to two parallel audio clip items in the Timeline.
Stereo pairs allow you to control audio levels, pan settings, and effects for two audio
items at once. Any modifications made to one item in the pair affect the other item. This
is convenient when you are working with audio such as music, stereo sound effects, or
any other audio recorded in stereo. One item of a stereo pair cannot be selected
separately, even if you turn off linked selection using the Linked Selection button.
For more information about stereo audio, see “Audio Fundamentals” on page 579.
If a clip contains two mono audio channels:
 In the Timeline, each mono audio item is treated like any other linked item. Clicking
one item selects both items with linked selection on; with linked selection turned off,
you can select one at a time.
 In the Viewer, each mono channel has its own tab, named Mono (a1) and Mono
(a2), Mono (a3) and Mono (a4), and so on, depending on how many channels the
clip has. Levels, pan settings, and filters applied to one mono channel are not
applied to the other.
If a clip contains a stereo pair of audio channels:
 In the Timeline, the pair is treated as a single linked item. Stereo pair items are always
the same length, and they cannot be modified or selected independently. If you
select a stereo pair of audio items in the Timeline, you must select both together,
even if linked selection is turned off.
 In the Viewer, the stereo pair appears in a single tab, called Stereo (a1a2). If multiple
stereo pairs are linked together, the numbers used by each successive stereo pair
increase, for example, Stereo (a3a4), Stereo (a5a6), and so on. The waveforms of both
audio channels are displayed in this one tab, and any levels or effects applied to one
track are automatically applied to the other.
Details on creating or separating stereo pairs are given in Chapter 31, “Audio Editing
Basics,” on page 425.
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30
Split Edits
30
When video and audio are cut at the same time, the edit is
usually more noticeable. Split edits help to “soften” edits by
creating continuous audio beneath video edit points.
This chapter includes:
 Learning About Split Edits (p. 415)
 How Split Edits Look in the Viewer and Canvas (p. 416)
 Setting Up Split Edit Points in the Viewer (p. 417)
 Setting Up a Split Edit While Playing a Clip (p. 418)
 Modifying and Clearing Split Edits (p. 419)
 Split Edit Examples (p. 421)
Learning About Split Edits
Final Cut Express HD allows you to set separate video and audio In and Out points.
These edits are known as split edits. Split edits are useful for conversation scenes, where
the video and audio of two actors overlap. You can also use split edits to introduce the
sound of a new scene before cutting to the video.
For example, suppose you are editing a sequence in which a man and a woman are
talking to each other. It’s common during a conversation scene to cut to the video of
one person listening while the audio from the other person continues. You use a split
edit to achieve this effect. This is how you would achieve the effect:
 Cut to the video and audio of the man talking.
 In the middle of the man talking, overwrite the video of the man talking with the
video of the woman listening, while the audio of the man talking continues.
 Once the man finishes talking, cut to the audio of the woman, now talking.
415
The resulting edit would look something like this:
Video edit point
Video track
Audio tracks
Audio edit point
Split edits can be used in many different situations—in dialogue scenes, like the one
described above, when cutting to illustrative B-roll footage during an interview, or
when transitioning from one scene to another.
How Split Edits Look in the Viewer and Canvas
The scrubber bar in both the Viewer and the Canvas is divided in half by a light gray
line. The upper half of the scrubber bar contains the video In and Out points, and the
lower half contains the audio In and Out points.
When you set simple In and Out points, each pair of audio and video In and Out points
joins to form small, inward-pointing triangles.
Out point
In point
When you set video edit points that are different from the audio edit points, as you do
for a split edit, the upper half of each triangle marks a video In or Out point, and the
lower half marks the separate audio edit point, like this:
Video In
point
Audio In
point
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Area of video
included in edit
Area of audio
included in edit
Video Out
point
Audio Out
point
VI
As with other types of edits, the Viewer scrubber bar shows edit points in your clip,
while the Canvas scrubber bar shows edit points in your sequence. The light area
between each set of edit points in the Viewer indicates which parts of the audio and
video clip items in your source clip will be cut into your sequence. The light area
between each set of edit points in the Canvas indicates where the audio and video clip
items will appear in your sequence.
Setting Up Split Edit Points in the Viewer
There are several ways you can create a split edit:
 Set separate video and audio edit points for the clip in the Viewer before you edit the
clip into the Timeline.
 Edit your clips into the Timeline with standard In and Out points, and then trim the
video or audio clip items independently by disabling linked selection. The Roll tool is
the most common tool for adjusting an edit point in the Timeline. For more
information, see Chapter 33, “Learning About Trimming Clips,” on page 477.
It is more common to edit clips into a sequence and then create split edits in the Timeline,
but there may be times when you want to set split edit points in the Viewer as well.
To set up a split edit in the Viewer:
1 Double-click a clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.
2 Move the playhead to the location in your clip where you want to set the video In or
Out point (separate from the audio).
3 To set a video In or Out point, do one of the following:
 Press Control-I to set a video In point, or press Control-O to set a video Out point.
 Control-click in the scrubber bar, choose Mark Split from the shortcut menu, then
choose either Video In or Video Out from the submenu.
 Choose Mark > Mark Split, then choose either Video In or Video Out from the submenu.
4 Now move the playhead to the location in your clip where you want to set your audio
In or Out point.
5 To set an audio In or Out point, do one of the following:
 Press Option-Command-I to set an audio In point, or press Option-Command-O to
set an audio Out point.
 Control-click in the scrubber bar, choose Mark Split from the shortcut menu, then
choose either Audio In or Audio Out from the submenu.
 Choose Mark > Mark Split, then choose either Audio In or Audio Out from the submenu.
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The resulting combination of video and audio edit points in your scrubber bar should
look something like this:
Once you’ve set your split edit points, you can perform your edit by using an overwrite
edit or dragging directly into the Timeline.
Setting Up a Split Edit While Playing a Clip
You can mix and match simple edit points with split edit points, depending on what
kind of edit you want to do. In fact, it’s very common to first set a simple edit point, and
then change it to a split edit while your clip is still playing.
To change a simple edit to a split edit while playing a clip:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer.
2 Play your clip.
3 At the frame where you want either your video or audio to start, press I to set an In point.
4 As your clip continues playing, do one of the following:
 To set a split video In point later than the audio In point, press Control-I.
 To set a split audio In point later than the video In point, press Option-Command-I.
5 As your clip continues playing, set an Out point at the desired location by pressing the
O key.
6 If you want to set an additional split edit at the end of your clip, let playback continue
and do one of the following:
 To set a split video Out point, press Control-O.
 To set a split audio Out point, press Option-Command-O.
7 Stop playback by pressing the Space bar.
Once you’ve set your split edit points, you can perform an overwrite edit or drag the
clip directly into the Timeline.
You can also set split edit points in the Timeline using the same keyboard shortcuts.
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Modifying and Clearing Split Edits
If you’ve set up a split edit, but you want to adjust or remove any of the edit points, you
have a number of options.
To move either the In or the Out points of a split edit at the same time:
m Drag either the video or audio In or Out points to a new position.
By default, the video or audio edit points move together.
To move either an audio or video split edit point individually:
m Option-drag just the split edit point you want to move.
That edit point moves independently of the others.
As you drag, a small box
displays the timecode
number you are moving
the edit point to.
To move all split edit points at once, do one of the following:
m Shift-drag any of the edit points.
m Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette, then drag any of the edit points.
Slip tool
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The positions of the different edit points you’ve selected don’t change relative to one
another, but the selected area of your clip or sequence does. As it changes, you’ll see
the first selected frame of video updated in the Viewer, and the last frame of video
updated in the Canvas.
The Viewer displays the
updated frame of the In
point with the new
timecode value.
The Canvas displays
the frame of the new
Out point.
If you make the changes in the Timeline, you’ll see a two-up display in the Canvas,
showing the updated frames.
Two-up display
in the Canvas
To remove one or more split edit points, do one of the following:
m To clear both of your split In points, press Option-I.
m To clear both of your split Out points, press Option-O.
m Choose Mark > Clear Split, then choose the edit points you want to remove from
the submenu.
m Drag a split edit point up or down out of the scrubber bar until it disappears, then
release the mouse button.
m Control-click the split edit point, choose Clear Split from the shortcut menu, then
choose the edit point you want to remove from the submenu.
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Split Edit Examples
The result of your split edit depends on the edit points you set. This section provides
several examples of the combination of simple edit points and split edit points you
might set up, along with their results.
Example: Split Edit in the Viewer and a Simple Edit Point in the Canvas
If you set up a split edit in the Viewer and set a simple In point in the Canvas or
Timeline (or if you simply use the position of the Canvas/Timeline playhead),
Final Cut Express HD lines up the earliest audio or video split edit point set in the
Viewer (whichever appears first) with the In point you’ve set in the Canvas or Timeline.
1 Set up a split edit in the Viewer, with the audio In point preceding the video In point.
2 Set an Out point in the clip in the Viewer.
The resulting edit points
look like this.
3 Position the playhead in the Canvas or Timeline at the place where you want the audio
of your source clip to start, or set a simple In point.
In point
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4 Drag the clip in the Viewer to the Overwrite section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
The resulting edit looks like this:
The audio precedes the video and begins at the sequence In point.
Example: Split Edit in the Viewer and a Single Split Edit Point
in the Canvas
If you set up a split edit in the Viewer and set a single split edit point in the Canvas or
Timeline, Final Cut Express HD matches the appropriate split edit point in the Timeline
to the corresponding audio or video split edit point in the Viewer; audio to audio, or
video to video. The other, overlapping media extends before or after this edit point as
necessary. This method can be used to backtime a split edit, as well.
1 Set up a split edit in the Viewer, with the audio In point preceding the video In point.
2 Set an Out point in your clip in the Viewer.
3 Set a single split video In point in the Canvas or Timeline at the place where you want
the video of your source clip to start.
Split video In point
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4 Drag the clip in the Viewer to the Overwrite section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
The resulting edit looks like this:
Video begins at the
In point you set.
Audio precedes the video.
Example: Simple Edit in the Viewer and a Split Edit in the Canvas
If you set simple edit points in the Viewer and a split edit in the Canvas or Timeline,
Final Cut Express HD lines up the In point of the clip in the Viewer with the
corresponding split audio or split video In point that you set in the Canvas or Timeline.
This method can be used to backtime a split edit, as well.
1 Set an In point in your clip in the Viewer.
2 Set an Out point in your clip in the Viewer.
3 Set up a split edit in the Canvas or Timeline at the place where you want your source
clip to appear.
Split edit with audio
preceding video
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4 Drag the clip in the Viewer to the Overwrite section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.
The resulting edit looks like this:
Video begins at the
split video In point.
Audio precedes the
video, and begins at
the split audio In point.
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Audio Editing Basics
31
Good audio edits are usually subtle and go unnoticed by the
listening audience. After you assemble your video and audio,
you can edit your audio independently in the Timeline.
This chapter covers the following:
 The Goals of Audio Editing (p. 425)
 Using Waveform Displays to Help You Edit Audio (p. 427)
 Learning About the Audio Controls in the Viewer (p. 428)
 Editing Audio in the Viewer (p. 431)
 Editing Audio in the Timeline (p. 438)
 Creating or Separating Stereo Pairs (p. 442)
 Working With Audio at the Subframe Level (p. 444)
 Examples of Ways to Easily Edit Audio (p. 446)
Note: For details about audio mixing, see “Overview of Audio Mixing” on page 561.
The Goals of Audio Editing
Most viewers are quite good at distinguishing audio changes from one clip to the next,
as well as incorrect audio-video synchronization. As you work on refining the audio in
your project, your edits will focus on eliminating these major distractions to the
audience. In particular, keep in mind three important goals:
Make sure your audio edit points aren’t noticeable.
Editing audio clips in a sequence mainly involves finding good edit points that sound
natural. Audio edit points are often more effective when they are offset from the
corresponding video edits. Although you may set your initial audio and video edit
points in the same place to create a quick rough cut, editing your audio more finely
may involve changing many of your edit points to split edits. Some of those split edits
may have only a few frames offset between the audio and video edit points, but those
frames will turn an otherwise obvious cut into a much smoother transition.
425
Besides making clean-sounding cuts, there are other reasons to edit the audio in your
sequence separately from the video. You can edit mistakes in dialogue, adjust the sync
of off-camera or rerecorded dialogue, or even replace the entire audio of a clip with
another take of the same audio.
For more information, see “Split Edits” on page 415.
Make sure that your video and audio clips are in sync.
As you edit your audio, you may sometimes find it necessary to adjust the sync
relationship between video and audio clip items. Audiences are quick to notice when
audio is out of sync with the picture, so you need to be extra cautious when you’re
editing. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you’re finding an audio-video sync issue
distracting, your audience probably will too. In this case, you should make adjustments.
Final Cut Express HD keeps track of the sync between video and audio clip items when
they come from the same source media file, or when they have been intentionally
linked together. Red out-of-sync indicators on clip items show you exactly how far the
items are out of sync. You can establish new sync relationships by selecting the clip
items and choosing Modify > Mark in Sync.
For more information about establishing sync between video and audio clip items, see
Chapter 29, “Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync,” on page 397.
Minimize differences in tone and quality between audio clips in the same scene.
All audio has some kind of background noise, often referred to as ambience or room
tone. Sometimes you’ll find that the audio from the different shots you’re using in the
same sequence has differences in the background ambience. For example, if you shoot
a conversation in a city park, and the shoot lasts all day, you may notice that some
shots have more traffic noise in the background because of rush hour. Assuming you
don’t want to rerecord the dialogue for the whole scene, you’ll need to edit more “rush
hour” background noise into the clips that don’t have any so that all the clips sound
the same within the same two-minute scene. Otherwise, the traffic noise in the
background will pop in and out from one shot to the next, which will call attention to
your edits and distract the viewer. Usually, the shot with the highest ambient
background noise level dictates the ambient noise level for the entire scene.
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Using Waveform Displays to Help You Edit Audio
As you work in Final Cut Express HD, waveform displays can be very useful for
navigating through parts of your audio and seeing at a glance how the levels in a track
indicate things like the words and pauses in dialogue and the beats in a piece of music.
Waveforms are displayed in the audio tabs of the Viewer.
Waveforms for a stereo
pair of audio items
You can also view waveforms in the Timeline, but you need to explicitly turn them on
(see “Displaying Waveforms in the Timeline” on page 438).
Viewing waveforms should not take precedence over listening to audio tracks during
playback. When you’re making editorial decisions, the waveform display is no substitute
for your own ear.
For example, even though a particular frame of a waveform may look like a good place
to cut into a drumbeat or a spoken word, the only way you’ll know for sure is to play
through the clip and listen carefully. Setting your edit points even a few frames too
early or too late can make a big difference, and it’s time-consuming to zoom in and out
of a waveform display repeatedly to see a high level of detail.
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Use the J, K, and L keys to shuttle through your clips, and learn to listen for the edit
points you want. Once you have set In and Out points, you can use the Play In to Out
(Shift-\) and Play to Out (Shift-P) commands to preview your edits. As you do this, you’ll
find yourself trimming one or two frames at a time and then setting new edit points,
repeating the process until you’ve found the perfect audio editing points.
Learning About the Audio Controls in the Viewer
When you click an audio tab in the Viewer, the controls at the bottom of the window
are the same as those in the Video tab. These controls allow you to navigate through
your clip, set In and Out points and markers, create split edits, and so on. The In and
Out points that you see in an audio tab are the same as the In and Out points shown in
the Video tab. Similarly, the two timecode fields in the top area of the window are the
same as those in the Video tab. For more information on those controls and fields, see
“Viewer Basics” on page 79.
Reset button
Level slider adjusts
volume.
Drag hand
Ruler
Pan slider adjusts stereo
sound placement.
Waveform display area
Pan overlay line
Level overlay line
Zoom slider
Zoom control
The following controls are found only in audio tabs:
 Waveform display area: Displays a graphical representation of the audio clip, showing
the sample values of your audio over time. If you zoom in on the waveform display, you
can see progressively more detail in your waveform. Clicking anywhere in the waveform
area moves the playhead to that frame, and dragging scrubs through the clip.
 Pan overlay line: Drag this line up or down to change the pan for this clip. If you add
keyframes to the overlay, you can create changes in pan over time.
 Level overlay line: Drag this line up or down to change the sound level. If you add
keyframes to the overlay, you can create changes in level over time.
 Level slider: This slider adjusts the amplitude, or volume, of the currently selected
audio clip between +12 and –inf dB. As you drag the slider, the number in the dB
field and the level overlay line are both updated.
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You can also adjust the volume by typing a number in the dB field to the right of the
Level slider. The number you enter can include a decimal value, such as 6.23.
If there are no level keyframes in the current clip, adjusting the Level slider affects the
level of the entire clip. If there are level keyframes, using this slider will either:
 Adjust the level of a keyframe at the current position of the playhead.
 Add a new keyframe to the level overlay and adjust it to the new level.
A change in level between any two keyframes appears as a slope on the level overlay
line in the Audio tab of the Viewer. Changes to the level overlay in the Viewer are
mirrored by the level overlay on that clip in the Timeline.
∏
Tip: Hold down the Command key while dragging the Level slider to adjust the audio
level with more precision.
 Pan slider: This slider works in two ways, depending on what kind of audio you’ve
opened in the Viewer:
 If the clip items in the audio tab are a stereo pair, this slider simultaneously adjusts
the left and right stereo placement of both tracks. The default setting of –1 sends
the left track to the left channel output and the right track to the right channel
output. A setting of 0 outputs the left and right tracks equally to both speakers,
essentially creating a mono mix. A setting of +1 swaps the channels, outputting
the left track to the right output channel and the right track to the left output
channel.
 If the clip items in an audio tab are single, mono tracks, this slider lets you pan the
audio track in the current audio tab between the left and right output channels.
As with the Level slider, if there are no pan keyframes in the current clip, adjusting
the Pan slider affects the pan of the entire clip. If there are pan keyframes, using this
slider will either:
 Adjust the pan of a keyframe at the current position of the playhead.
 Add a new keyframe to the pan overlay and adjust it between the left and right
output channels.
A change in pan settings between any two keyframes appears as a slope on the pan
overlay in the audio tab of the Viewer.
 Reset button: This button deletes all marked keyframes on both the level overlay and the
pan overlay of the currently selected audio track, and resets the level and pan values to
their original captured states (0 dB for the audio level, and –1 for the pan level).
 Drag hand: Use this to drag the current audio clip to the Canvas, the Timeline, or the
Browser. This control is necessary because clicking the waveform itself moves the
playhead to the frame on which you clicked.
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 Ruler: When you’re looking at the contents of an audio tab in the Viewer, you’ll see
two playheads, both of which are locked together. The normal Viewer playhead is
located in the scrubber bar below the waveform display area, but there’s also a
second playhead within the waveform display area.
The ruler above the waveform display area shows the currently displayed range of
your clip. If you zoom all the way out (press Shift-Z), this ruler shows the clip from its
start point to its end point, and the movement of the Viewer playhead in the
scrubber bar matches that of the playhead in the waveform display area.
The playhead in the waveform display area lets you move around in an audio clip
with more precision, using the waveform itself for reference as you perform edits or
set keyframes for level and pan (down to 1/100th of a frame, if necessary). Clicking
anywhere on the ruler or in the waveform display area moves the playhead to that
frame in your audio clip. You can also drag the playhead to scrub through the clip, or
shuttle through the clip using the shuttle control or the J, K, and L keys. If you hold
down the Shift key while dragging the playhead in the waveform display area, you
can move the playhead in increments of 1/100th of a frame, which lets you trim edits
at a subframe level.
The playhead in the scrubber bar works the same way it does in the Video tab of the
Viewer. The whole length of the scrubber bar represents the entire length of the
audio clip opened in the Viewer, and clicking or dragging the playhead in the
scrubber bar immediately takes you to that part of your clip.
The markers and In and Out points for your clip also appear in the ruler.
 Zoom control: Using this control, you can expand or contract the ruler, decreasing or
increasing the amount of the clip’s waveform that is displayed.
 Zoom slider: This slider lets you zoom in and out of the waveform displayed by
dragging the thumb tabs on either side, which adjusts both thumb tabs and leaves the
visible area of the keyframe graph centered. Pressing the Shift key and dragging one of
the thumb tabs zooms in or out of the waveform, locking the opposite thumb tab and
moving the visible area of the waveform in the direction in which you’re dragging.
More detailed instructions on using these controls and adjusting levels and pan are
described in “Mixing Audio in the Timeline and Viewer” on page 601.
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Editing Audio in the Viewer
You can use the Viewer’s audio tabs to edit the audio of a clip opened from the Browser
or Timeline. The audio tabs let you view audio waveforms, set In and Out points,
markers, and keyframes, and change volume levels and stereo pan settings.
Opening Audio Clips in the Viewer
Many clips contain both video and audio items. To look at an audio clip item, you need
to open the clip in the Viewer and then click one of the audio tabs.
To open an audio clip from the Browser:
1 Do one of the following:
 Drag the clip to the Viewer.
 Double-click the clip in the Browser.
 Select the clip and press the Return key.
2 If the clip contains both video and audio items, click one of the audio tabs (labeled
Mono or Stereo, as described next) in the Viewer to see the waveform display.
To open an audio clip item from the Timeline:
1 Do one of the following:
 Double-click an audio clip item in your sequence.
If the audio clip item is linked to other items, all of the clip items are opened in the
Viewer in separate tabs. If the audio clip item is part of a stereo pair, the stereo clip
item appears in a Stereo tab in the Viewer. Otherwise, it appears in a Mono tab.
 Drag a clip item from your sequence to the Viewer.
 Move the Canvas or Timeline playhead over the clip item you want to open, then
press the Return key.
Note: Make sure the track that contains the clip item is the lowest-numbered track
with Auto Select enabled.
2 If the clip contains both video and audio items, click one of the audio tabs (labeled
Mono or Stereo, as described next) in the Viewer to see the waveform display.
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Viewing Audio Tracks in the Viewer
Clips with multiple audio items have a separate tab for each mono audio item or pair of
stereo audio items in the clip.
The way audio clips appear in the Viewer depends on whether they’re mono or stereo.
 If audio clip items are mono, they’re represented by individual mono tabs in the
Viewer, called Mono (a1), Mono (a2), and so on. Each mono tab displays the
waveform for one clip item, and levels applied to one are completely independent of
any other. Mono clip items are also referred to as discrete audio.
Discrete mono audio is useful when you recorded to separate channels with
independent microphones. (For example, separate lavalier and boom microphones
are often used during interviews to capture the same voice two different ways—
providing a backup audio track in case one microphone records poorly.) Using
discrete audio allows you to adjust levels and pan settings independently for each
audio clip item. You can also trim the In and Out points of each audio item separately
in the Timeline.
 If two audio clip items are linked as a stereo pair, they’re represented in a single Stereo
tab that contains the waveforms of that pair’s left and right audio channels. Level
changes applied to one item are automatically applied to the other. Editing audio as
a stereo pair is useful for intrinsically stereo material, such as music mixed in stereo
and built-in stereo camcorder audio.
Zooming In or Out of the Waveform Display Area
Navigating through audio clips in the Viewer is largely the same as navigating through
video clips in the Video tab. There are some additional features, however, that you
should be aware of.
When you navigate through a clip in the Video tab of the Viewer, you only see the
frame at the location of the playhead. Zooming in to this frame enlarges the visual
image, but doesn’t change your position in time. Waveforms in an audio tab work
differently. Since they represent your entire audio clip, you can navigate through a
waveform as you would a clip in the Timeline. As you move through the waveform,
you’ll notice that the playhead in the scrubber bar under the waveform display area
moves in conjunction with the playhead in the waveform area.
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The scrubber bar in the Viewer always represents the entire duration of the clip in the
Viewer. The ruler above the waveform display area, on the other hand, is not so
constrained. Using the Zoom control and the Zoom slider at the bottom of the
waveform display area, you can zoom in and out of the waveform display area in the
Viewer. This expands and contracts the audio ruler, allowing you to see more or less
detail in an audio clip’s waveform. While the smallest unit you can see in the video track
of a clip is a single frame, you can see a clip’s audio waveform in increments as small as
1/100th of a frame.
Note: While this section covers how to zoom in the audio tabs of the Viewer, you can
also use these instructions to zoom in and out of waveform displays of sequence clips
in the Timeline.
Zoom control
Zoom slider
To zoom in and out of the audio waveform using the Zoom control:
m Click or drag the Zoom control to zoom in or out while keeping the material in the
waveform display area centered.
Clicking to the right of the control zooms out to show more of the duration of your
clip; clicking to the left zooms in to show more detail.
To zoom in and out of the audio waveform using the Zoom slider, do one of
the following:
m Drag the thumb tabs on either side of the Zoom slider to adjust both ends of your view
at the same time.
If the playhead is visible, it stays centered during the zoom. If the playhead is not
visible, the visible area of the Timeline stays centered.
m Hold down the Shift key while you drag one of the thumb tabs from the selected end
of the Zoom slider, while keeping the other thumb tab locked in place.
Zooming in and out of an audio clip’s waveform using menu commands or keyboard
shortcuts keeps the visible area of the waveform display area centered as you zoom.
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To zoom in and out of the audio waveform using keyboard shortcuts or
menu commands:
1 Move the playhead to the position in the waveform display area where you want
zooming to be centered.
2 Do one of the following:
 To zoom in: Choose View > Zoom In, or press Command-= (equal sign).
Pressing Command-+ (plus) repeatedly shows more and more detail, down to the
individual frames of your audio clip.
 To zoom out: Choose View > Zoom Out, or press Command-– (minus).
Zooming out reduces the amount of detail and shows more of the audio clip’s
waveform. When the entire clip fits in the waveform display area, zooming out stops.
Scrolling Through a Zoomed-In Audio Clip
If you zoom in to the waveform display area, you won’t be able to see all of the
displayed waveform at once. There are three ways you can navigate through a
zoomed-in audio clip:
 If you play back your audio clip and then stop playback, the waveform display area
shows the section of your audio clip that the playhead moved to.
 If you click or drag in the Viewer’s scrubber bar, the playhead and view inside the
waveform display area match the position where you clicked or dragged.
 If you want to move to another portion of the audio clip without moving the
playhead, use the Zoom slider.
The length of the scroll bar under the waveform display area represents the total
duration of your audio clip.
Note: While this section covers how to scroll through waveform displays in the audio
tabs of the Viewer, you can also use these instructions for scrolling through waveform
displays of sequence clips in the Timeline.
To scroll horizontally through a zoomed-in clip in the Viewer, do one of the following:
m Drag the Zoom slider left or right.
The displayed area of the audio waveform moves in the direction you drag.
m Click the scroll arrows at either end of the scroll bar to move the displayed area of the
audio waveform incrementally to the left or right.
m Click inside the scroll bar to the left or right of the Zoom slider to move the displayed
area of the audio waveform by one length of the Zoom slider’s current scale.
m Press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to move the visible area of the audio waveform
between the beginning, In point, Out point, and end of your clip.
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Using the J, K, and L Keys to Hear Subtle Details
When an audio clip is displayed in the Viewer, you hear a fragmented version of the
sound as you drag the playhead (or scrub through the clip). You can drag the playhead
in the ruler above the waveform in the Viewer or in the waveform display area to scrub
through the clip. This can be extremely useful for quickly navigating through a clip, but
will probably not be very helpful for making detailed audio edits.
To hear audio more clearly as you move through it at different speeds, use the J, K, and
L keys to play your clip in the Viewer. Unlike the scrubber bar, which skips samples to
give the illusion of faster playback at the cost of stuttery-sounding audio, the J, K, and L
keys actually shift the pitch of the audio you’re playing back, enabling you to hear all
the subtle details of the audio at various speeds, both slower and faster than real time.
To learn more about using the J, K, and L keys for scrubbing, see “Navigating and Using
Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas” on page 101.
Turning Off the Audio Scrubbing Sounds
As you’re editing audio, you may find the sound of scrubbing through audio distracting
when you move the playhead from one location to another. You can turn off audio
scrubbing in the Viewer so that you don’t hear any sound as you scrub through a clip.
Note: This control affects audio scrubbing in the Canvas and Timeline, as well as in
the Viewer.
To turn audio scrubbing off, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Audio Scrubbing, so that there’s no checkmark next to it.
m Press Shift-S.
About Setting Edit Points for Audio
You set edit points in the audio tabs of the Viewer in the same way that you set edit
points in the Viewer’s Video tab. Whether your clips have been opened from the
Browser in preparation for editing into a sequence, or opened from a sequence in the
Timeline for trimming, edit points work the same way.
Sometimes you want to set the In and Out points of your audio at different spots from
those of your video, such as when you cut away from a visual of someone talking to
show something else while the talking voice continues on the audio track. This is called
a split edit (for more information, see Chapter 30, “Split Edits,” on page 415).
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Dragging an Audio Clip to the Canvas, Browser, or Timeline
To move an audio clip from the Viewer to the Canvas, Timeline, or Browser, use the drag
hand at the top of the audio tab. (Clicking the waveform itself moves the playhead to
the frame you clicked, and does not select the clip for dragging.)
Use the drag hand to
move an audio file.
Trimming Audio Clips in the Viewer
You can trim an audio clip to be shorter or longer. Trimming generally refers to
precision adjustments, anywhere from one frame to several seconds. For more about
techniques for trimming clips in your sequence, see Chapter 33, “Learning About
Trimming Clips,” on page 477.
Note: If you want to open a sequence audio clip item in the Viewer, independently of its
linked video clip item, you need to make sure that linked selection is turned off. For more
information, see Chapter 29, “Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync,” on page 397.
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To trim a sequence audio clip item in the Viewer:
1 Disable linked selection by doing one of the following:
 If linked selection is on, click the Linked Selection button (or press Shift-L) to turn it off.
 Hold down the Option key and click the audio item.
Linked Selection
button
Audio selected
independently of video
2 Drag the audio item from the sequence to the Viewer.
The audio item opens in the Viewer by itself.
You can also double-click the audio clip item to open it in the Viewer, but you may
need to hold down the Option key to make sure that only the audio clip item is
selected when you double-click.
The link between the audio and video in your clip has not been broken, but you can
now trim the audio independently of the video to which it’s linked.
3 Select the Selection, Ripple, or Roll tool by clicking in the Tool palette, or by using the
appropriate keyboard shortcut.
4 Set new In and Out points as you would for any other clip.
Changes you make to sequence clips in the Viewer are mirrored in the Timeline.
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Editing Audio in the Timeline
After editing a number of clips into a sequence, you can further trim the audio clips
directly in the Timeline. While you can trim audio more precisely in the Viewer,
trimming the audio in the Timeline has other advantages:
 You can see the audio item you’re trimming in relation to the rest of the clips in
your sequence.
 You can work with multiple clips in your sequence, rather than just one.
Timeline Audio Display Options
To help you work with audio clips in the Timeline more efficiently, you can customize
the appearance of audio clips in the Timeline. There are a few ways you can control
how audio is displayed in the Timeline. For example, you may want to see audio
waveforms in the Timeline, or you may want the audio tracks to appear larger so that
you can see more detail, especially for working with audio keyframes.
Displaying Waveforms in the Timeline
Final Cut Express HD allows you to turn on and off audio waveform display in the Timeline.
To turn on audio waveform display in the Timeline, do one of the following:
m Choose Sequence > Settings, click the Timeline Options tab, then select Show
Audio Waveforms.
m Choose Show Audio Waveforms from the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline.
Click here to access
the Track Layout
pop-up menu.
m Press Option-Command-W.
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Turning off audio waveforms speeds up the time it takes to redraw the clips in the
Timeline, which can improve performance, especially when you are not focused on
audio editing. You can turn audio waveforms on and off at any time by pressing
Option-Command-W.
Waveform on
Waveform off
Displaying Overlays and Adjusting the Track Height
If you want to display waveforms in the Timeline, you may want to show audio level
overlays and adjust the track height.
Clip Overlays
control
Track Height
control
 Clip Overlays control: You can display or hide clip overlays at any time by clicking the
Clip Overlays control at the bottom of the Timeline window. Audio level overlays
appear as thin pink lines that indicate the sound level of each audio clip item. Any
keyframes added to the levels will appear as handles directly on top of the overlay.
For more information on adjusting audio levels using overlays, see “Mixing Audio
in the Timeline and Viewer” on page 601.
 Track Height control: You can click the Track Height control to switch between four
track display sizes—Reduced, Small, Medium, and Large. The current setting is
highlighted in blue and has a small dot in the center.
Note: When the track size is set to Reduced, thumbnails and audio waveforms are
not displayed.
For more information about Timeline display options, see “Timeline Basics” on page 111.
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Zooming In and Out of Waveforms in the Timeline
There are several ways you can zoom in and out of waveform displays in the Timeline.
Make sure you have waveform displays turned on (see “Displaying Waveforms in the
Timeline” on page 438).
You can also use the Zoom control and Zoom slider in the Timeline. These controls
work the same way they do in the audio tabs of the Viewer. For information on using
these controls, see “Zooming In or Out of the Waveform Display Area” on page 432.
To zoom in and out of the Timeline using the zoom tools:
1 Select the Zoom In or Zoom Out tool in the Tool palette (or press Z).
2 Do one of the following:
 Click in the waveform area of a track in the Timeline.
 Drag to select a region to zoom in or out on.
Clicking or dragging repeatedly increases or decreases the zoom factor, depending on
which tool is selected. When the Timeline is zoomed in or out to the maximum level
possible, the + (plus) and – (minus) signs on the zoom tools disappear.
∏
Tip: Pressing the Option key with either the Zoom In or the Zoom Out tool selected
temporarily changes it to the opposite tool.
Before zooming in
Zoom In tool
After zooming in
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Moving Audio Items From One Track to Another
at the Same Frame
From time to time, you’ll want to move an audio clip up or down to an adjacent track, but
keep its In and Out points at the same location in your sequence. You might do this to:
 Move a sound effect to another track to make room for another clip
 Organize the audio clips you’ve edited into your sequence into separate dialogue,
music, and effects tracks
 Place one actor’s dialogue on one track and another actor’s dialogue on another track
To move a clip to an adjacent track without changing its position in the Timeline:
1 Press and hold down the mouse button over the clip in the Timeline.
2 Press and hold down the Shift key.
3 Drag the clip up or down to an adjacent track.
Note: As you move the clip up and down into other tracks in the Timeline, you’ll notice
that it’s constrained from moving forward or backward in your sequence. It can only
move up and down. This works for both audio and video clips.
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Using Audio Transitions to Smooth Audible Changes
Sometimes, a cut in the audio will be quite noticeable despite your best efforts to find
just the right frame on which to place the edit. In these cases, you can apply a cross fade
to the edit point to try to smooth out the transition from one audio clip to the next.
Final Cut Express HD comes with two audio transitions: a +3 dB cross fade (the default)
and a 0 dB cross fade. Each cross fade results in a different audio level change as the
transition plays. Your choice of cross fades depends on the clips you’re transitioning
between. Try one, then try the other to see which sounds better. For information on
applying transitions, see Chapter 35, “Adding Transitions,” on page 507.
Creating or Separating Stereo Pairs
Although stereo pairs are meant to be used for intrinsically stereo audio like music or
stereo sound effects, any two clips of audio in the Timeline can be made into a stereo pair
or separated into two mono clips. This operation can only be performed in the Timeline.
Note: Stereo pair linking is not the same as clip item linking. It is not necessary to break
the link between clips prior to disabling stereo pairing.
To create a stereo pair:
1 Select a pair of mono audio clip items in the Timeline. (Use the Command key to select
the second item, if necessary.) If you click one item of a linked pair, the other item is
also selected.
2 Choose Modify > Stereo Pair (or press Option-L).
The stereo pair indicators appear on the selected clip items in the Timeline.
Mono clip items
(unlinked)
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Mono clip items (linked).
Underlines indicate
linking.
Stereo pair. Green arrows
indicate stereo pair;
underlines indicate linking.
VI
If the clip items you want to make into a stereo pair have different durations, the clip
items are trimmed to the region where they both overlap. The levels, pan settings, and
filters that were applied to the top clip are applied to both, and the clip attributes from
the bottom clip are ignored.
Before
Volume level overlays
Two clips that are not a
stereo pair; length and
volume levels differ.
Volume level overlay (the
same on both tracks)
After
Stereo pair indicators
Only overlapping parts of
the clips remain, and the
volume is copied from the
top clip to the bottom clip.
To separate a stereo pair:
1 Select a stereo clip item.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Modify > Stereo Pair, so that the menu item is unchecked.
 Press Option-L.
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Working With Audio at the Subframe Level
While the smallest unit of video is a single frame, the smallest adjustable unit of audio
in Final Cut Express HD is 1/100th of a frame. Audio level and pan keyframes, as well as
the sync between the video and audio tracks of a clip, can be set with an accuracy of 1/
100th of a frame.
Viewing an Audio Clip at Single-Frame Resolution
When you’re editing an audio clip in the Viewer, you can zoom in so far that the
playhead is the width of a single video frame on the waveform. You can use this singleframe view, along with the subframe scrubbing function in Final Cut Express HD, to
match the beats of musical clips you edit together; or you can use it to set subframe
keyframes to eliminate pops or clicks that occur at the audio edit points you’ve chosen.
If you do not hear audio from the monitoring speakers while scrubbing, you may need
to turn up the volume, or you may have audio turned off (see “Turning Off the Audio
Scrubbing Sounds” on page 435).
Subframe Synchronization of Audio and Video
When you’re synchronizing audio and video, audio that’s as little as 300 samples off
perfect sync can be noticeable. For this reason, Final Cut Express HD allows you to
resynchronize your audio in increments of 1/100th of a frame. There are several cases in
which this will come in handy:
 When editing music clips together, it’s essential that you edit them together precisely
on the beat. Even a subtle offset can upset the rhythm.
 Video and audio that were recorded from separate sources and resynchronized on
tape may be subtly out of sync.
 Audio that was recorded with a microphone far away from the audio source might
have an offset between the video and audio, since sound moves through the air
more slowly than images.
To navigate through a clip by subframe units:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer.
2 Hold down the Shift key while dragging the playhead within the duration of a single
video frame.
This allows you to move the playhead in increments of 1/100th of a frame. When you
set a new edit point in the clip, the clip’s audio item slips a fraction of a frame,
establishing a new sync relationship between the video and audio items.
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To slip an audio clip item by subframe units:
1 Open a clip with both video and audio items in the Viewer, then click the audio tab.
2 Move the playhead to the In or Out point of the clip, then press Command-= (equal
sign) to zoom in on the audio waveform as far as possible.
A wide playhead bar in
the Viewer represents
one video frame at full
magnification.
3 Press the Shift key and position the playhead within the frame to a new point with
better sync.
4 Click the Mark In or Mark Out button.
Final Cut Express HD slips the audio item in the clip by the offset from the subframe
position of the playhead to the boundary of the previous whole frame.
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Examples of Ways to Easily Edit Audio
As you work with audio, you may find it helpful to read through these two examples of
ways you can fix audio issues using Final Cut Express HD.
Example: Replacing Unwanted Audio With Room Tone
As you edit dialogue, you’ll often need to cut out pieces of audio that you don’t want in
the sequence. For example, the director may have given directions in between an
actor’s lines, or the sound recordist might have bumped into something while shooting
on location for a documentary. As long as there’s no dialogue happening at the same
time, it’s pretty easy to cut out unwanted sounds. If you simply delete the sound,
however, you’ll be left with a gap in your audio that sounds artificial. Since there’s
always a low level of background noise, known as room tone, in any recording, a
moment of complete silence is jarring.
In order to edit out unwanted sections of audio without creating obvious gaps, it’s
common practice to record a certain amount of room tone during a shoot. The
recordist simply has everyone stand quietly for thirty seconds or so, and records the
ambient sound of the room. If you’ve recorded some room tone during your shoot, you
can capture it so that, as you edit, you have a long piece of “silence” that you can edit in
whenever you need to cover a gap in the location audio.
If, for some reason, room tone was not captured for a particular scene, but you have a
gap you need to fill, you can try to copy a section from another clip in the same scene
that has a pause in the dialogue, and paste it to fill the gap. If you have no pauses that
are long enough to cover your gap, you can try to copy and paste a short pause
multiple times. But there’s a chance that it will end up sounding like a loop, which will
be too noticeable. In this case, you can use the following method to obtain a long
section of room tone from a short copied pause in the dialogue.
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To create a section of room tone from a short pause:
1 Find the longest pause you can in the dialogue clip with the gap you need to fill, then
copy the section that contains the pause. If you’re in the Timeline, you can use the
Range Selection tool.
The long pause in your
clip is selected.
2 Create a new sequence, name it “Room Tone,” and paste the audio pause into it twice.
Paste the pause section
you just copied twice
into a new sequence.
3 Select the clip containing the second pause, then choose Modify > Speed.
4 In the Speed dialog, click the Reverse checkbox to select it.
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5 Play the resulting clips.
The looping sound should be gone, but if you hear a clicking at the edit point between
the two clips, you may have to add a cross fade transition between them to smooth
this out. For more information, see Chapter 35, “Adding Transitions,” on page 507.
If the looping effect is not obvious, you may want to skip the speed reversal step. You
may also need a longer section of ambient tone, or several different sections.
Experiment to see what works best.
6 Cut and paste as many pairs of these clips as you need to fill the necessary duration,
adding cross fades between each pair.
7 Render the Room Tone sequence, then edit the sequence into the gap in your program,
just as you would a clip.
Edit the Room Tone
sequence into your existing
sequence to fill the gap.
To replace an unwanted section of an audio clip with room tone:
1 Make the tracks that contain the unwanted audio the audio destination tracks, then
disconnect the video destination track.
2 Play your clip using the J, K, and L keys, and set In and Out points right before and after
the section of audio you want to replace.
In and Out points are set to
mark the section you want to
replace with room tone.
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3 Move the Canvas or Timeline playhead to the In point.
4 Drag your Room Tone sequence into the Viewer, and move the Viewer playhead to the
start of the section of room tone you want to use.
5 Set an In point in the Viewer.
6 Edit the room tone into your sequence by doing one of the following:
 Drag the Room Tone sequence from the Viewer to the Overwrite section of the Edit
Overlay in the Canvas.
 Press F10.
The section of unwanted
audio is replaced with
room tone.
Example: Fixing Awkward Audio Cuts in the Timeline
Once you’ve edited a group of clips into a sequence in the Timeline, you can adjust the
edit points between audio items without affecting their corresponding video items. To
do so, you disable linked selection. For example, suppose you’re cutting between two
people having a conversation. The first person says something, and then the second
person pauses for a moment and replies. It might look something like this:
Audio in first clip
gets cut off.
Second clip
starts quietly.
The timing of the video is what you wanted, but as the audio waveform shows, the last
syllable of the last word of dialogue in the first shot gets cut off, which sounds
awkward. To fix this, you can create a small split edit in the Timeline. (A split edit has
different video and audio In and Out points. See Chapter 30, “Split Edits,” on page 415.)
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1 Disable linked selection by doing one of the following:
 Click the Linked Selection button (or press Shift-L) so that it’s off.
For more information, see “Linking Video and Audio Clip Items” on page 402.
 Click the edit point between the two audio items while holding down the Option
key.
2 Select the Roll tool from the Tool palette (or press the R key).
3 Drag the audio edit point to the right so that the entire word plays at the end of the
first clip.
Now when you play through this cut, you can hear all of the words the first person is
saying, and then the second person’s reply.
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Part VII: Fine-Tuning Your Edit
VII
Learn how to refine your edit by using trimming tools, adding
transitions, and nesting sequences within sequences.
Chapter 32
Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits
Chapter 33
Learning About Trimming Clips
Chapter 34
Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window
Chapter 35
Adding Transitions
Chapter 36
Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
Chapter 37
Sequence to Sequence Editing
Chapter 38
Matching Frames
Chapter 39
Working With Timecode
32
Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple,
and Roll Edits
32
Once your rough edit is complete, you will want to fine-tune
your edit. The advanced editing tools in Final Cut Express HD
allow you to make fine adjustments to clips in your sequence.
This chapter covers the following:
 About Trimming With Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Tools (p. 453)
 Sliding Clips in the Timeline (p. 453)
 Slipping Clips in the Timeline (p. 457)
 Using the Ripple Tool to Trim an Edit Without Leaving a Gap (p. 461)
 Using the Roll Tool to Change Where a Cut Occurs (p. 470)
About Trimming With Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Tools
The Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll tools are specialized tools that you can use to make fine
adjustments to the In and Out points of clips in your sequence. Fine-tuning your edits
with these tools is also referred to as trimming. For more information about trimming
tools not covered in this chapter, see Chapter 33, “Learning About Trimming Clips,” on
page 477 and Chapter 34, “Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window,” on page 493.
Sliding Clips in the Timeline
Performing a slide edit allows you to move a clip’s position in the Timeline between two
others without creating a gap. The content of the clip does not change; only its
position in the Timeline changes. When you slide a clip, the adjacent clips on either
side get longer and shorter to fill any gaps that would normally be created. The
combined duration of these three clips does not change, and therefore the sequence’s
duration remains unchanged as well.
453
Before edit
A
After edit
A
B
B
C
C
You can achieve the same results using the Selection tool, but with the Selection tool
you sometimes create gaps when you move clips. The Slide tool never creates gaps
(with the exception of sliding the first or last clip).
In the following example, clip B slides to the left. The slide edit changes the Out point
of clip A and the In point of Clip C, but the In and Out points of clip B stay the same.
The duration of clip B does not change, nor does the overall length of the sequence.
Note: To slide a clip between two others, the preceding and following clips must have
handles (extra media beyond the clip In and Out points).
You can perform slide edits by dragging or, for greater precision, by using timecode.
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Performing Slide Edits by Dragging
Selecting a clip with the Slide tool and dragging it is an easy way to perform a slide edit.
To slide a clip in the Timeline by dragging:
1 Select the Slide tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key twice).
2 Select the clip, then drag it left or right.
The clip moves to a new
position in the Timeline.
As you drag, the Canvas displays the Out point frame of the clip to the left and the In
point frame of the clip to the right.
3 Release the mouse button.
This clip is longer.
This clip is shorter.
This clip’s duration
is the same.
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Performing Precise Slide Edits Numerically
If you need to slide a clip just two or three frames, using the mouse may be difficult.
For precision edits, it is much less cumbersome to slide a clip numerically.
To slide a clip in the Timeline using timecode:
1 Select the Slide tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key twice).
2 Select a clip in the Timeline, or hold down the Shift key to select multiple clips. You can
also select noncontiguous clips using the Command key.
∏
Tip: You can slide multiple clips at once. However, if one of the clips cannot be slid,
then none of them is moved.
3 Do one of the following:
 Type + (plus) or – (minus) and the number of frames to slide, then press Return.
The timecode entry field
shows the duration of
the slide.
 Press [ (left bracket) or < (left angle bracket) to slide the clip one frame to the left.
 Press ] (right bracket) or > (right angle bracket) to slide the clip one frame to the
right.
 Press Shift-[ or Shift-< to slide the clip a default number of frames to the left.
 Press Shift-] or Shift-> to slide the clip a default number of frames to the right.
Note: You can specify the default number of frames to trim by changing the MultiFrame Trim Size setting in the General tab of the User Preferences window. (For more
information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.)
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Slipping Clips in the Timeline
Performing a slip edit does not change a clip’s position or duration in the Timeline, but
instead changes what portion of the clip’s media appears in the Timeline. The Slip tool
allows you to move a clip’s In and Out points simultaneously.
Whenever you arrange clips in the Timeline so that edit points line up with musical
beats or other fixed sync points in a sequence, you want to keep your clips in position.
These situations leave you with very little room to adjust your clip because you cannot
change the clip’s duration. You also cannot move the clip elsewhere in the Timeline,
because it would no longer be aligned with the music beats or other sync points in the
sequence. Therefore, all you can do is move both the In and Out points of the clip
simultaneously, keeping the clip’s duration fixed.
You slip items using
the Slip tool.
The portion of the clip seen in the sequence changes, while its position in the
sequence stays the same. Surrounding clips are not affected, nor is the overall duration
of your sequence.
00:00:10:00
Before edit
A
00:00:30:00
B
00:00:17:00
After edit
A
C
00:00:37:00
B
C
In the example above, the slip edit changes the In and Out points of clip B, but not its
duration or position with the sequence. When the sequence plays back, a different
portion of clip B’s media will be shown.
Note: To slip a clip, it must have handles on both sides, meaning that there must be
additional media available on both the head and the tail of the clip. If you are having
trouble slipping a clip, check that the clip has handles on both sides.
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Performing a Slip Edit Using the Slip Tool
You can perform slip edits in the Viewer or the Timeline.
To perform a slip edit in the Viewer using the Slip tool:
1 Double-click a sequence clip to open it in the Viewer.
2 Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key).
3 Drag either the In or Out point along the Viewer’s scrubber bar.
4 Release the mouse button when the clip is positioned at a range of frames that you like.
The In and Out points move together, maintaining the clip’s duration.
5 Click the Play In to Out button (or press Shift-\) to review the new section between
your sequence clip’s In and Out points.
The clip is automatically updated in the Timeline. The duration of the clip and the
sequence remain the same, and the surrounding clips are not affected.
To slip a clip in the Timeline using the Slip tool:
1 Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key).
2 Click a clip, then drag it left or right.
As you drag, an outline of the entire range of that clip is shown, indicating the amount
of media available to the left and right of the current range selected in the clip.
Drag point
This box shows how far the clip’s
In and Out points are slipping.
Entire length of media
file shown during slip
At the same time, the Canvas displays the frames at the In point and the Out point.
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3 Release the mouse button when the clip is positioned at a range of frames that you like.
The duration and location of all clips in your sequence remain the same after this operation.
4 Click the Play In to Out button (or press Shift-\) to review the new section between
your sequence clip’s In and Out points.
Performing Precise Slip Edits Numerically
Slipping a clip by just a few frames using the mouse can be difficult. It’s much less
cumbersome to precisely slip a clip numerically.
To slip a clip in the Timeline using timecode:
1 Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press the S key).
2 Select a clip in the Timeline.
Note: To select multiple clips, hold down the Shift key as you select each clip.
3 Do one of the following:
Â
Â
Â
Â
Â
Type + (plus) or – (minus) and the number of frames to slip, then press Return.
Press [ (left bracket) or < (left angle bracket) to slip the clip one frame to the right.
Press ] (right bracket) or > (right angle bracket) to slip the clip one frame to the left.
Press Shift-[ or Shift-< to slip the clip a default number of frames to the right.
Press Shift-] or Shift-> to slip the clip a default number of frames to the left.
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Note: You can specify the default number of frames to trim by changing the MultiFrame Trim Size setting in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window. (For more
information, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.)
The timecode entry field
shows how far you are
slipping the clip.
4 Click the Play In to Out button (or press Shift-\) to review the new section between
your sequence clip’s In and Out points.
To slip multiple clip items at once in the Timeline:
1 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press A).
You can also temporarily turn the Slip tool into the Selection tool by holding down the
Command key.
2 Select multiple clip items in the Timeline.
The selected clip items can be in one or more tracks. Selected clip items do not have to
be adjacent. For example, you can hold down the Command key while clicking clip
items to make a noncontiguous selection.
3 Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette (or press S).
4 Type a positive or negative timecode number to slip all selected clip items by that
amount, then press Enter.
The selected clip items slip by the duration you enter. If one of the selected clip items
cannot be slipped, none of the items is slipped.
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Using the Ripple Tool to Trim an Edit Without Leaving a Gap
A ripple edit adjusts a clip’s In or Out point, making the clip longer or shorter, without
leaving a gap in the Timeline. The change in the clip’s duration ripples outward, moving
all subsequent clips earlier or later in the Timeline. If you don’t use a ripple edit when
you change the duration of a clip, you will either leave a gap when you make a clip
shorter, or overwrite part of an existing clip if you make a clip longer. Using the Ripple
tool is the main way that you perform ripple edits, but you can also select one or more
clips in the Timeline and perform a ripple cut or ripple delete. This is when a clip is
deleted and all subsequent clips move earlier in the Timeline to fill the gap.
A ripple edit is a one-sided edit, meaning that only an In or Out point of a single clip
item is affected. All clips following the shortened or extended clip are moved
accordingly in the Timeline, so ripple edits affect both the trimmed clip and the
position of all subsequent clips in the Timeline. This is a much more major operation
than simply trimming an individual clip’s length.
Before edit
A
After edit
A
B
B
C
C
Important: Ripple edits can be dangerous if you are trying to maintain sync between
clip items on different tracks, since all of the clip items on one track may move forward
or backward while the clip items on other tracks don’t.
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Which Clip Items Move in the Timeline After a Ripple Edit?
Clip items with In points later in the Timeline than the edit point(s) you are adjusting
will move, or ripple, after you perform a ripple edit. All other clip items remain in the
same position in the Timeline.
Take special care when performing ripple edits with complex edit point selections on
multiple tracks. To make sure you understand how an edit affects the clip items in your
sequence, you can undo (Command-Z) and redo (Shift-Command-Z) your edit several
times to compare the sequence before and after the ripple edit was performed.
Performing Ripple Edits
A ripple edit changes the duration of a clip item by shortening or extending its In or Out
point. In addition, all clip items beyond the edit point are moved by the same amount.
Ripple edits are done
using the Ripple tool.
Note: You can select an edit point in the Timeline when you are using the Ripple tool.
You can also open a sequence clip in the Viewer when the Ripple tool is selected by
double-clicking the clip in the Timeline.
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Performing a Ripple Edit in the Timeline
When you use the Ripple tool to adjust the duration of a clip in the Timeline, always
pay attention to where Final Cut Express HD previews the location of the new clip Out
point. Even when you are adjusting a clip’s In point with the Ripple tool, the location of
the clip’s Out point is what you should pay attention to.
Important: When you adjust a clip’s In point with the Ripple tool in the Timeline, it
appears that the clip’s In point is moving in the Timeline, and that the clip’s duration is
changing from both its In and Out points. This is not true. The position of the clip’s In
point in the Timeline never changes after a ripple edit is performed.
Final Cut Express HD is actually showing you two things at once:
 The duration by which the clip is being trimmed
 The new Out point that will result from performing the Ripple edit
Position of clips C and D
before the ripple edit
Amount the clip’s
Out point is trimmed
Before edit
Clip B has a shorter
duration.
Clips C and D are positioned
earlier in the Timeline.
After edit
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To do a ripple edit in the Timeline:
1 Select the Ripple tool in the Tool palette (or press the R key twice).
2 Select a clip item’s In or Out point by clicking near the clip item boundary.
The Ripple tool changes direction to indicate which clip item boundary you are about
to select. If linked selection is on, the edit points of linked clip items are also selected.
For more information, see “Selecting Edits and Clips to Trim” on page 480.
3 Do one of the following:
 Type + (plus) or – (minus) followed by the number of frames to add or subtract from
the current edit, then press Return.
 Drag the edit point to lengthen or shorten the clip in the sequence. Pay attention to
the clip boundary previewed in the Timeline.
Edit point being trimmed
The Out point of this clip
is being adjusted.
The In point of this clip
stays the same and is
not adjusted.
While you adjust the clip with the Ripple tool, the Canvas shows a two-up display with
the Out point of the outgoing clip item on the left and the In point of the incoming
clip item on the right (see also “About the Two-Up Display in the Canvas” on page 533).
Use these two frames to decide exactly where to place the edit point.
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All clip items after the edit point move either left or right to accommodate the new
duration of your clip.
These clips move left
to fill the gap.
This clip shortens.
Performing a Ripple Edit in the Viewer
In some cases, you may want to look at the media for an entire clip before deciding at
which frame to make an edit. In this case, it can be easier to open a sequence clip in
the Viewer. As long as the Ripple tool is selected when you set an In or Out point in the
Viewer, a ripple edit is performed in the Timeline.
To do a ripple edit in the Viewer:
1 Double-click a sequence clip in the Viewer.
2 Select the Ripple tool in the Tool palette (or press the R key twice).
3 Do one of the following:
 Use the transport controls or the J, K, and L keys to move the playhead in the Viewer
to a new point in your clip. Then set a new In or Out point using the Mark In and
Mark Out buttons or the I and O keys.
 Drag the In or Out point along the Viewer’s scrubber bar to a new point in your clip.
Look in the Timeline to make sure the ripple edit did what you expected, since other
clips in the Timeline move when you perform a ripple edit.
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About Ripple Edits and Sync Relationships of Clip Items
on Other Tracks
When you perform ripple edits, it is fairly easy to cause linked clip items across tracks to
go out of sync with each other. This usually happens when you perform a ripple edit on
one track while other tracks are locked, so the clip items on that track can’t move in
sync after the ripple edit.
For example, if you have video clip items edited to the rhythm of a music track, rippling
clips in the video track moves them out of sync with the music. In this case, you
probably shouldn’t use the Ripple tool. Instead, you can change the length of a clip
item without moving other clips in the Timeline. If you shorten the clip item, this
means there will be a gap in the video track that you need to fill, but at least all of your
other clips won’t be out of sync with the music.
Before the edit,
clips are in sync with
markers on the
audio tracks.
After a ripple edit, the
sync relationship
has changed.
Final Cut Express HD tries to prevent you from performing ripple edits that will cause
linked clip items to go out of sync. Final Cut Express HD assumes that any overlapping
clip items should maintain the same sync relationship before and after an edit.
Furthermore, a ripple edit cannot cause any clips to overwrite other clips.
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In the example below, Final Cut Express HD won’t allow you to perform a ripple edit
because the second music clip in tracks A3 and A4 would either need to be shortened,
or would overwrite part of the first music clip in order to stay in sync with the clip
items in V1, A1, and A2. Since the ripple edit cannot force the second music clip to
overwrite the first music clip, Final Cut Express HD warns you that the ripple edit
cannot be performed because there is a clip collision on track A3 (and A4).
Although your intention
is to only ripple the
selected clips...
...Final Cut Express HD won’t allow
the edit because the second
music clip in tracks A3 and A4
cannot overwrite the first music
There are three ways to solve this problem:
 Lock tracks A3 and A4 so that Final Cut Express HD does not attempt to ripple the
second music clip (see “Locking Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes” on page 314).
 In addition to selecting the clip Out points in tracks V1, A1, and A2, you can also
select the first music clip’s Out points in A3 and A4.
 Instead of selecting the first music clip’s Out points, you can perform an asymmetric edit
by selecting the clip Out points in tracks V1, A1, and A2, and the second music clip’s In
points on tracks A3 and A4. This causes the first clip to be shortened from the Out point
while the second clip is shortened from its In point. For more information about
asymmetric editing, see “Asymmetrical Trimming With the Ripple Tool” on page 468.
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Doing Ripple Edits on Multiple Tracks at Once
You can perform a ripple edit to edit points in multiple tracks to modify several video
and audio items simultaneously.
To perform a ripple edit on multiple tracks simultaneously:
1 Do one of the following:
 Press the Command key while clicking to select multiple edit points.
 Select the Edit Selection tool in the Tool palette, then drag a box around multiple
edit points.
2 Drag one of the edit points using the Ripple tool to perform a ripple edit across all
tracks with selected edit points.
You can also enter timecode values to edit numerically.
Asymmetrical Trimming With the Ripple Tool
Asymmetrical trimming allows you to simultaneously ripple edit points on clip items in
different tracks in opposite directions. For example, suppose you want to extend the
Out point of a video clip item by 2 seconds. If you do this by extending only the video
clip item, a 2-second gap is created on other tracks. If you select the In point of clip
items on other tracks and use asymmetrical trimming, you can simultaneously extend
the In points of the clip items, making them start 2 seconds earlier. The result is that the
video clip item is 2 seconds longer, and the audio clip items fill in the gap because they
are 2 seconds longer.
Asymmetrical trimming is a convenient way to create a split edit between two adjacent
sequence clips, but you can also use this feature with audio-only and video-only clip items.
Asymmetrical trimming can be done either in the Timeline or in the Trim Edit window.
∏
Tip: If you are doing a lot of asymmetrical trimming, you may find it helpful to turn off
linked selection by pressing Shift-L or clicking the Linked Selection button in the
upper-right corner of the Timeline. For more information about linked selection, see
Chapter 29, “Linking and Editing Video and Audio in Sync,” on page 397.
To create a split edit using asymmetrical editing:
1 Select the Ripple tool.
2 Hold down the Option key, then click the Out point of a video clip to select it.
Holding down the Option key while selecting an edit point selects only that point,
ignoring any other items linked to that clip.
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3 Hold down the Command key, then click the In point of an adjacent audio clip.
Holding down the Command key while selecting an edit point allows you to add edit
points to the current selection without deselecting previously selected edit points.
Intended video
edit point
Current Out point of
outgoing video clip
Before
In point of incoming
audio clips
4 Use the Ripple tool to trim the above selection.
The video and audio edit points move in opposite directions, creating a split edit.
Audio-video synchronization is maintained in both clips.
Outgoing video clip
is trimmed shorter
from its Out point.
This clip remains
the same length.
After
This clip remains
the same length.
Incoming audio clip
is trimmed shorter
from its In point.
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Note: In this example, Command-clicking the In point of a stereo pair of audio clip
items results in adding both audio items to the selection. You can also OptionCommand-click a single audio item to add it to the selection individually, without
including other audio items linked to it. This can be especially useful for clips in which
many audio items are linked to a single video item in the Timeline.
Tips for Edits Made With the Ripple Tool
 If you lengthen a clip item, clip items on the same track move forward in time. Clip
items on other unlocked tracks that begin after the original location of the edit
point you are adjusting also move forward in time.
 If you shorten a clip item, clip items on the same track move backward in time, as
do clip items after the initial location of the edit you are adjusting on other
unlocked tracks.
 If you can’t ripple due to a “Collision” message, it is because clip items on other
tracks can’t move back in time without bumping into other clip items.
 All tracks are affected when you use the Ripple tool. If you don’t want other tracks
in the sequence to be affected by the Ripple tool, lock those tracks (see “Locking
Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes” on page 314).
 You can temporarily turn the Ripple tool into the Roll tool by pressing the Shift key.
Release the Shift key to return to the Ripple tool.
 While dragging, press the Command key to “gear down” and make a more precise edit.
Using the Roll Tool to Change Where a Cut Occurs
A roll edit adjusts the Out point and In point of two adjacent clips simultaneously. If
you like where two clips are placed in the Timeline, but you want to change when the
cut point happens, you can use the Roll tool. No clips move in the Timeline as a result;
only the edit point between the two clips moves. This is a two-sided edit, meaning that
two clips’ edit points are affected simultaneously; the first clip’s Out point and the next
clip’s In point are both adjusted by a roll edit. However, no other clips in the sequence
are affected.
Note: When you perform a roll edit, the overall duration of the sequence stays the
same, but both clips change duration. One gets longer while the other gets shorter to
compensate. This means that you don’t have to worry about causing sync problems
between linked clip items on different tracks.
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Rolling the Position of an Edit Between Two Clips
Using the Roll tool, you move the Out point of the outgoing clip and the In point of the
incoming clip simultaneously.
Before edit
A
B
After edit
A
B
C
C
In the example above, clip B gets shorter while clip C becomes longer, but the
combined duration of the two clips stays the same.
Roll edits are done
using the Roll tool.
Roll edits are useful when the relative Timeline position of two clips is good, but you
want to change when the edit point occurs between them. For example, suppose your
sequence has two clips showing an Olympic diver diving into a pool from two different
angles. The first thing you need to do is adjust the two clips until their edit points align
on a similar action. This is called matching on action, or a match cut. You could align the
edit point in the Timeline so that when the diver hits the water in one camera angle,
the diver is also hitting the water in the second angle. Once you have a cut point with
matching action, you can roll the edit point earlier or later to change when the edit
occurs. For example, you could roll the edit to the point where the diver is midway
between the diving board and the water.
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Rolling Edit Points in the Timeline
The easiest place to see how a roll edit affects your clips is the Timeline.
To do a roll edit in the Timeline:
1 Select the Roll tool in the Tool palette (or press the R key).
2 Select an edit point between two clips.
If linked selection is on, the edit points of linked items are also selected. For more
information, see “Controls That Affect Trim Edits” on page 479.
Selected edit point
3 Do one of the following:
 Drag the edit point left or right.
As you drag, the Canvas shows a two-up display with the Out point of the outgoing
clip on the left and the In point of the incoming clip on the right (see also “About the
Two-Up Display in the Canvas” on page 533).
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 Type + (plus) or – (minus) followed by the number of frames to add or subtract from
the current edit, then press Return.
Edit being rolled
After the roll edit, the
outgoing clip is shorter
and the incoming
clip is longer.
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To roll edit points on multiple tracks simultaneously:
1 Do one of the following:
 Press the Command key while clicking to select multiple edit points.
 Select the Edit Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press the G key), then drag to
select the desired edit points.
2 Use the Roll tool to perform the roll edit across all of the tracks.
Before
After
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Doing Roll Edits in the Viewer
Final Cut Express HD allows you to perform roll edits in the Viewer by setting In or Out
points while the Roll tool is selected.
To do a roll edit in the Viewer:
1 Open a sequence clip in the Viewer.
2 Select the Roll tool in the Tool palette (or press the R key).
3 Do one of the following:
 Drag the In or Out point along the Viewer’s scrubber bar to roll the edit.
 Press I or O to set a new In or Out point.
Look in the Timeline to make sure the roll edit did what you expected.
Tips for Using the Roll Tool
 If you can’t drag any further while rolling an edit, you have reached the end of the
media on one of the two clips. Final Cut Express HD displays a Media Limit message
in this case.
 With the Roll tool selected, hold down the Shift key to switch temporarily to the
Ripple tool.
 While dragging, press the Command key to “gear down” and make a more precise edit.
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33
Learning About Trimming Clips
33
Adjusting a clip’s duration by moving its In or Out point, or
moving the edit point between two clips, is called trimming.
This chapter covers the following:
 What Is Trimming? (p. 477)
 Controls That Affect Trim Edits (p. 479)
 Selecting Edits and Clips to Trim (p. 480)
 Trimming Clip In and Out Points (p. 483)
What Is Trimming?
After you have roughly assembled your clips in chronological order in a sequence, you
begin to fine-tune the cut point (or edit point) between each clip. Any time you make a
clip in a sequence longer or shorter, you are trimming that clip. However, trimming
generally refers to precision adjustments (anywhere from one frame to several
seconds). If you are adjusting clip durations by much larger amounts, you are still
trimming, but you may not be in the fine-tuning phase of editing yet.
Getting an edit to work is an intuitive process, so you need to watch the results of your
trimming adjustments repeatedly as you trim. Many factors go into the decision of when
exactly you cut from one shot to the next. When you fine-tune your sequence, you are no
longer focused on the larger structure of the movie, but how each shot flows to the next.
You focus on individual edit points between clips instead of large groups of clips. In most
cases, you aim to achieve a certain visual and psychological continuity.
477
You can trim edits anywhere you can adjust a sequence clip’s In and Out points—
the Timeline, the Viewer, and the Trim Edit Window, which is designed specifically for
fine-tuning edits.
 Viewer: You can open a sequence clip in the Viewer and adjust its In or Out point.
This is useful if you want to find a particular frame for your In or Out point by looking
at the clip’s entire media file. However, if you are trying to adjust edit points on two
clips simultaneously (a “two-sided” edit), the Timeline or Trim Edit window is better.
 Timeline: In the Timeline, you can roll an edit point between two clips. A roll edit
adjusts the Out point and In point of two adjacent clips simultaneously. The result is
that the edit point between the two clips moves, but no clips change position in the
Timeline. For more information, see “Using the Roll Tool to Change Where a Cut
Occurs” on page 470.
You can also trim edit points in multiple tracks simultaneously. The Timeline makes it
easy to drag clip In or Out points to make a clip longer or shorter, and to quickly trim
multiple clips at once.
You can adjust the level of precision of your editing by setting the zoom level in the
Timeline. By zooming in, you can make changes all the way down to a clip’s
individual frames. If you want to trim clips by a precise number of frames or seconds,
you can enter exact timecode values for trimming. This is sometimes referred to as
numeric editing, or trimming using timecode.
 Trim Edit window: The Trim Edit window allows you to focus on a specific edit point
in the Timeline, visually trim one or more edits with precision, and preview the edit
at the same time. It combines the convenience of trimming in the Timeline with
additional options available in the Viewer. The changes you make using the Trim Edit
window only affect the clips in the Timeline.
Clips from either side of an edit point are shown, each in its own Viewer-like display.
The outgoing clip is the clip before the edit point, and the incoming clip is the clip
after the edit point.
Almost any trimming you can do in the Timeline can be done in the Trim Edit
window, including trimming multiple clip items at once. For more information, see
Chapter 34, “Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window,” on page 493.
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Controls That Affect Trim Edits
Before you perform a trimming operation, make sure to check that the following
controls are set properly for the operation you need to perform.
Linked Selection
Clip items that refer to the same media file are linked together when you edit them
into the Timeline. You can also link unrelated clip items together so you can operate on
them simultaneously, keeping them in sync.
For your convenience, you can keep linked selection turned on and temporarily disable
it as necessary. You can temporarily disable linked selection by holding down the
Option key while selecting or trimming a clip item in the Timeline. This allows you to
adjust one clip item at a time, even if it is linked to others. This is a good way to create
split edits, where the audio In or Out point is different from that of the video.
Click here to turn linked
selection on and off.
Snapping
If snapping is on, when you drag an edit point in the Timeline or Viewer, it snaps to In
or Out points, markers, keyframes, the playhead, and edits on other tracks. This can
help you quickly line up edits with other items in the sequence. You can turn snapping
on and off at any time, even in the middle of dragging edits and clips. You turn
snapping on and off by choosing View > Snapping, pressing the N key, or clicking the
Snapping button in the Timeline. For more information, see “Snapping to Points in the
Timeline” on page 373.
Click here to turn
snapping on and off.
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Locked Tracks
Trim operations with the Ripple tool will only affect clip items on unlocked tracks. If
there are clip items on certain tracks you don’t want to change inadvertently while
trimming, you can lock these tracks in your sequence to prevent unwanted changes.
Linked items on locked tracks aren’t affected when you move other linked clip items. For
example, if you select a video item to trim that’s linked to an audio item in a locked track,
moving the video item does not move the audio item, so they become out of sync.
For more information, see “Locking Tracks to Prevent Edits or Changes” on page 314. For
information about synchronizing clip items, see Chapter 29, “Linking and Editing
Video and Audio in Sync,” on page 397 and “Tips for Edits Made With the Ripple Tool”
on page 470.
Using the Command Key to “Gear Down”
The Command key is useful if you want to make very small changes to edit points or
clips in your sequence. When you drag clips or edit points to perform trimming
operations, the ratio between the motion of your mouse and the motion of the item
you’re changing is determined by the zoom level of the Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline. If
you have trouble trimming to a specific frame because you’re zoomed out too far, you
can force this motion to be a more precise 1-to-1 ratio (regardless of your zoom level)
by pressing the Command key after you start dragging.
For example, holding down the Command key after you start dragging an edit point
with the Roll tool makes the edit point move much more slowly as you drag.
Selecting Edits and Clips to Trim
Regardless of where you actually trim your clips, you almost always select the edit
points in the Timeline. Selecting an edit point is a lot like selecting an entire clip, except
that you are only selecting a clip’s In point or Out point, or the Out point and In point
of two adjacent clips. If linked selection is turned on, any edit points or clips that are
linked to the one you select are selected as well.
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Tools for Selecting Edit Points
There are two tools in the Tool palette that can be used to select edit points in the
Timeline—the Selection tool and the Edit Selection tool.
Selection Tool
You can select individual edit points by clicking them with the Selection tool. Select the
Selection tool by clicking it in the Tool palette or pressing the A key.
Selection tool
When you use the Selection tool
to adjust a clip’s edit point, the
icon changes to indicate it can be
used for trimming.
If you double-click an edit point using the Selection tool, the Trim Edit window appears,
showing the clips on either side of the edit point.
Edit Selection Tool
Instead of selecting individual edit points by clicking them with the Selection tool, you
can select multiple edit points (on multiple tracks) at once by using the Edit Selection
tool, designed specifically for selecting edit points. The Trim Edit window appears as
soon as you select edit points with this tool, showing the clips on either side of the edit
point. You can select the Edit Selection tool by clicking it in the Tool palette or pressing
the G key.
Edit Selection tool
Press a key when you click the Edit Selection tool to add these functions:
 Command key: Allows you to add and subtract edits from the current selection.
 Option key: Temporarily turns linked selection on if it is currently off, or off if it is
currently on.
 Shift key: Temporarily turns the Edit Selection tool into the Ripple tool, until you
release the Shift key.
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Selecting Single Edit Points
A single edit point refers to a single clip item’s In point or Out point, or two adjacent
clip items’ Out and In points, respectively.
To select a single edit point in the Timeline, do one of the following:
m Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then click an edit point to select it in
the Timeline.
Note: You can double-click the edit point to open the edit in the Trim Edit window. See
Chapter 34, “Trimming Clips Using the Trim Edit Window,” on page 493 for information
about using the Trim Edit window.
m Press V to select the nearest edit point.
m If an edit point is already selected, you can do the following:
 Press ‘ (single quotation mark) or the Up Arrow key to move the playhead in the
Canvas and Timeline to the next edit point, which is automatically selected.
 Press ; (semicolon) or the Down Arrow key to move the playhead in the Canvas and
Timeline to the previous edit point, which is automatically selected.
Note: You can also select the Ripple or Roll tools, and then select an edit point. For more
information, see Chapter 32, “Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits,” on page 453.
Selecting Multiple Edit Points
You can select edit points on more than one track. Only one edit point can be selected
per track.
To select multiple edit points in the Timeline, do one of the following:
m Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press Command-A), then Commandclick the edge of each clip.
Multiple edit points
are selected.
Note: If you have trouble selecting specific edit points with the Selection tool, you may
be zoomed out too far. Use the Zoom slider to get a more detailed view, then select
your edit again.
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m Select the Edit Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press Command-G), then drag to
select edit points on one or more tracks.
As you drag in the Timeline, this tool selects one edit per track. The edits don’t have to
be aligned in time. When you release the mouse button, the Trim Edit window appears.
One edit per track is
selected.
m Select the Ripple or Roll tool in the Tool palette, then click the edge of the clip.
Command-click to select multiple edit points. (See Chapter 32, “Performing Slip, Slide,
Ripple, and Roll Edits,” on page 453 for information about the Ripple and Roll tools.)
Trimming Clip In and Out Points
In this section, you’ll learn how to trim edit points. Make sure you have the right tool
selected for the trimming you want to do or you may not get the results you expected.
Note: The cursor usually shows which tool is selected, but you can also see which tool
is highlighted in the Tool palette.
Trimming With the Selection Tool
You can use the Selection tool to change the In or Out point of a single sequence clip,
leaving a gap. Because a gap is left, the total duration of your edited sequence is not
changed. This is important because it means this kind of trim edit doesn’t ripple clip
items out of sync with each other.
Before edit
A
B
C
After edit
A
B
C
Gap
Note: If you want to extend a clip’s In or Out point so that it overwrites an adjacent clip,
you can’t do this with the Selection tool. Instead, you can use the Roll tool, or select the
clip and drag it with the Selection or Slide tool.
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Performing edits using the Selection tool is useful for filling in gaps between two clips
and for creating gaps in preparation for another editorial operation. When you trim an
edit point with the Selection tool, the Selection tool appears as a trimming tool.
To trim a clip’s edit point in the Timeline using the Selection tool:
1 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press the A key).
2 Move the pointer to the In or Out point of a clip in the Timeline.
The pointer changes to a Resize pointer.
Before
3 Drag to the left to create a gap in your sequence (by making the clip shorter) or to the
right to cover an existing gap (by making the clip longer).
As you drag to adjust the length
of a clip, the Canvas shows the
frame at the current edit point.
After
Resulting gap
Later clips in the
sequence are unaffected.
They do not ripple to the
left to fill in the gap.
You can also achieve the same results by opening a sequence clip in the Viewer and
setting a new In or Out point. The clip changes duration in the Timeline, as long as the
new In or Out point doesn’t cause an adjacent clip to be overwritten.
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Extending and Shortening Clips in the Timeline
A convenient way to extend or shorten a clip in the Timeline is to tell Final Cut Express HD
to adjust an edit point to the current position of the playhead. An extend edit moves an
edit point between two clips to the playhead position in the Timeline.
Note: Although these are often referred to as extend edits, you can just as easily
shorten clips with this method.
Before edit
A
Before edit
A
After edit
(extend)
A
After edit
(shorten)
A
When linked selection is disabled, extend edits are very useful for creating split edits.
You can also use extend edits to quickly line up a lot of edit points to the same position
in the Timeline. For example, to make all of the clips at the end of your movie end at
exactly the same place, you can select the last edit points in each track in the Timeline,
move the playhead to the position where you want all the clips to end, and then use an
extend edit to move all of the edit points to the playhead position at once.
To use an extend edit to change the duration of a clip in the Timeline:
1 Select the edit points for the clips you want to extend using either the Selection tool or
the Edit Selection tool.
Note: To create a split edit, disable linked selection by clicking the Linked Selection
button in the Timeline, or hold down the Option key to temporarily disable linked
selection while you select edit points.
2 Move the playhead to the position in your sequence where you want to put the
selected edit point.
Before
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3 Choose Sequence > Extend Edit (or press E).
The selected edit point is rolled to the position of the playhead.
This clip lengthens.
This clip shortens.
After
If you selected multiple edit points on clip items on several tracks using the Edit
Selection tool, all of these clip edit points are moved to the position of the playhead.
Note: If you try to extend an edit farther than the total amount of media available in a
clip, Final Cut Express HD does not extend the edit point.
Trimming Clips in the Viewer
You can trim clips in your sequence by opening them in the Viewer and adjusting the
clip In and Out points.
To open a clip in your sequence in the Viewer, do one of the following:
m Double-click the clip in the Timeline.
m Select a clip in the Timeline, then press Return.
m Double-click the clip in the Canvas. The clip currently beneath the playhead is opened
in the Viewer.
m If the clip is in a nested sequence, hold down the Option key, then double-click the clip.
Note: If you just double-click the nested sequence, the nested sequence opens as a
sequence tab in the Canvas and Timeline, not as a clip in the Viewer.
When a sequence clip is opened in the Viewer, the scrubber bar shows sprocket holes
to indicate that the clip is part of a larger sequence. Always check the scrubber bar in
the Viewer to make sure you are working with a clip from a sequence instead of a clip
opened from the Browser.
When you open a sequence clip, it opens in the Viewer to the same frame where the
playhead is positioned in the Timeline or Canvas. If the Timeline playhead was beyond
the clip’s In or Out point, the Viewer playhead is placed on the clip’s In or Out point,
whichever was closest to the Timeline playhead.
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To trim a clip in the Viewer:
1 Open a clip from your sequence in the Viewer.
The scrubber bar shows virtual “sprocket holes,” which indicate that the clip is from
your sequence (not from the Browser).
2 Do one of the following:
 Use the transport controls or the J, K, and L keys to move the playhead in the Viewer
to a new point in your clip. Then set a new In or Out point using the Mark In and
Mark Out buttons or the I and O keys.
 Drag the In or Out point along the Viewer’s scrubber bar to a new point in your clip.
You can’t set a new edit point or drag a clip’s edit point so that it overwrites an
adjacent clip in the Timeline. If you do, Final Cut Express HD warns you that the clip you
are trimming has collided with another clip in the Timeline, and the trim edit is not
performed. (See “Understanding Alert Messages When Trimming” on page 491.) If you
want to move a clip’s edit point so that it overwrites an adjacent clip, you should roll
the edit point between the two clips using the Roll tool. See “Using the Roll Tool to
Change Where a Cut Occurs” on page 470 for information about using the Roll tool.
Precision Editing Using Timecode
Most of the editing and trimming tools in the Timeline can be used numerically instead
of manually. You can select one or more clip items or edit points and then enter a
positive or negative number of frames, seconds, or even minutes or hours to adjust the
position of the clip items or edit points. This allows you to make precise adjustments, or
to quickly move clip items and edit points by specific values.
Note: In Final Cut Express HD, each clip’s timecode starts at 00:00:00:00.
Determining What Kind of Edit Occurs When Entering Timecode Numbers
When you type a number in the Timeline, the current selections determine what kind
of edit occurs. For example, if both sides of an edit point are selected, typing +15 rolls
both sides of the edit 15 frames forward (to the right). In this case, it doesn’t matter
whether the Roll tool or Selection tool is currently selected in the Tool palette. If an
entire clip is selected and the Slide tool is selected in the Tool palette, typing +15 slides
the selected clip forward by 15 frames. If the Slip tool was selected instead, typing +15
would slip the selected clip by 15 frames.
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Moving the Playhead in the Timeline Using Timecode
You can move the playhead in the Timeline using absolute timecode values (hours,
minutes, seconds, and frames) or relative timecode amounts (in which case you only
need to enter the relevant amount of information—just frames, or seconds and frames,
for example).
You can move the playhead by entering a new timecode number in the Current
Timecode field, or if no clips or edit points are currently selected, you can type a
timecode number directly in the Timeline and the playhead moves to the new position.
∏
Tip: To avoid typing zeroes when moving by larger amounts, you can type a period as
a substitute for double zeroes (00). For example:
 To move to timecode 00:00:03:00, type “3.” (3 and a period). The period is
automatically interpreted by Final Cut Express HD as 00 in the frames field.
 To move to 00:03:00:00, type “3..” (3 and two periods). These periods insert 00 into
both the seconds and frames fields.
 To move to 03:00:00:00, type “3... “ (3 and three periods).
Instead of moving the playhead to an absolute timecode number, you can move it
relative to its current position by pressing the + (plus) and – (minus) keys.
 To move the playhead 15 frames forward from the current position, type “+15”.
 To move the playhead 1 minute and 20 frames backward from the current position,
type “–01.20” (the period automatically adds 00 to the seconds field).
Moving Clips Using Timecode
You can move one or more selected clips in the Timeline using timecode, even if they
are nonadjacent. However, if the resulting clip movement will cause an overwrite,
Final Cut Express HD does not allow the clips to move. In this case, you can manually
move the clips.
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To move a clip in your sequence using timecode:
1 Select one or more clips in your sequence.
2 Do one of the following:
 To move the clips forward, press + (plus) and type a timecode duration for the move.
 To move the clips backward, press – (minus) and type a timecode duration for the move.
The timecode entry field
appears when you type.
3 Press Return.
The clips move forward
by the duration entered.
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Using Timecode to Trim Clips in the Viewer
If you’re trimming a clip in the Viewer, you can use timecode to navigate to a specific
frame, rather than trying to find the frame you want using the transport controls or the
J, K, and L keys. You then select the edit tool for the trimming operation you want to
perform and set a new In or Out point. For more information on navigating in the
Viewer using timecode, see “Navigating and Using Timecode in the Viewer and Canvas”
on page 101.
To use timecode to set a clip’s In or Out point:
1 Open a clip in the Viewer.
2 Move the playhead by doing one of the following:
 Enter a timecode number for the frame where you want to place the new In or Out
point of the clip, then press Return.
For example, to move the In point from 02:40:30:10 to 02:40:30:27, enter 2403027,
then press Return.
 Press Shift-I or Shift-O to move the playhead to the current In or Out point. Then
enter a relative timecode value to move the playhead.
For example, to establish a new Out point 2 seconds prior to the current Out point,
press Shift-O, enter –2:00, then press Return.
3 Select an edit tool in the Tool palette for the trimming operation you want to perform.
4 Do one of the following:
 Click the Mark In or Mark Out button.
 Press I to set an In point or press O to set an Out point.
The scrubber bar in the Viewer shows the new position of the In or Out point, and the
Canvas/Timeline playhead moves to the adjusted edit point.
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Understanding Alert Messages When Trimming
If you try to perform an edit that isn’t possible, Final Cut Express HD displays an
alert message.
Insufficient Content for Edit
This message appears when you try to perform a three-point edit (for example, when
dragging from the Browser or Viewer to the Canvas), and the source clip’s media file
doesn’t have enough frames to achieve the requested edit. Click OK to close this dialog.
For example, suppose you set sequence In and Out points to create an edit that is 10
seconds long. Next, you drag a 5-second source clip from the Browser to the Overwrite
section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas. The “Insufficient content for edit” message
appears because the source clip does not have enough media to fill the 10-second
duration marked in the sequence.
Media Limit
This message indicates that one of the sequence clip items you are trimming no longer
has enough media to continue trimming. This happens even though other clip items in
your selection still have additional media.
Media Limit message
For example, suppose you select the Out points of clip items on tracks V1, A1, and A2,
and then roll the edit points to the right. If the clip item on V1 is shorter, a “Media Limit
on V1” message appears. You cannot roll these edit points beyond the media limits of
any of the clip items.
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Clip Collision
This message appears when you try to perform an edit that might inadvertently cause
unselected clip items to overwrite others. This usually happens when you are trying to
perform a ripple edit on one track, and unselected clip items on other tracks cannot
ripple because there are other clip items in the way.
For example, suppose you are rippling a clip item on track V1 to make it 10 seconds
shorter. In a ripple edit, all clip items that occur to the right of the edit point move left
or right by the amount you are trimming. In this case, all clip items should move 10
seconds to the left to fill the gap. However, clip items in A1 and A2 cannot move to the
left by 10 seconds because there are other clip items on those tracks that are in the
way. The “clip collision” message appears.
Clip collision messages are important because they indicate that Final Cut Express HD is
making sure that clip items in your sequence aren’t accidentally overwritten. This is
especially important when you are performing ripple edits in a small portion of your
sequence and you can’t see how clip items later in your sequence are being affected.
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Trimming Clips
Using the Trim Edit Window
34
You can trim edits precisely in the Trim Edit window. As you
trim, you can play back the section of your sequence around
the selected edit point to see your changes.
This chapter covers the following:
 Learning About the Trim Edit Window (p. 493)
 Opening and Closing the Trim Edit Window (p. 495)
 Controls in the Trim Edit Window (p. 496)
 Using the Trim Edit Window (p. 500)
 Listening to Audio While Trimming (p. 505)
Learning About the Trim Edit Window
The Trim Edit window is a special environment for trimming one edit point at a time
while reviewing the complete media for both the incoming and outgoing clips. You can
also watch how your editing adjustments affect the cut point without stopping
playback. For many editors, this immediate visual feedback makes it much easier to
match action from the outgoing and incoming shots, align an edit point precisely to an
audio cue, or use the unique dynamic trimming function to instantly assign new edit
points while you play back your footage using the J, K, and L keys.
493
This window shows a two-up display, with the Out point of the outgoing clip on the
left and the In point of the incoming clip on the right. Two green bars—one at the top
of each clip—highlight which edit points the Trim Edit window will affect. Using the
Trim Edit window, you can perform a ripple edit to either side of the selected edit
point, or a roll edit to both sides. You can also slip clip In and Out points together to
change what part of the clip appears in the Timeline (see “Slipping Clips in the
Timeline” on page 457).
Green bar
Outgoing clip
Incoming clip
There are four ways you can perform trim edits in this window:
 Drag the clip In and Out points in the Trim Edit window scrubber bars.
 Use the jog and shuttle controls to move the playheads on either side of the edit,
and then set new In and Out points using the Mark In and Mark Out buttons (or the
I and O keys).
 Move the playhead using the J, K, and L keys to find new Out and In points for the
selected edit point. If the dynamic trimming option is enabled, the selected edit point
moves to the new position of the playhead whenever you press K to stop playback.
 Use the Trim Forward and Trim Backward buttons (Shift-] and Shift-[) to perform the
selected trim operation to the outgoing and incoming clips on either side of the edit
point. The inner trim buttons trim an edit point by one frame, while the outer, multiframe trim buttons adjust edit points by a default duration of five frames. You can
perform ripple and roll edits using these buttons while the selected edit plays back,
trimming frame by frame while you watch the selected edit loop over and over.
Note: The number of frames the multi-frame trim buttons add or subtract can be
changed in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window. For more information,
see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
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Opening and Closing the Trim Edit Window
The Trim Edit window opens when you select edit points with certain tools. You can
also open the Trim Edit window manually at any time.
To open the Trim Edit window, do one of the following:
m Choose Sequence > Trim Edit (or press Command-7).
The playhead jumps to the closest edit point on the lowest-numbered track with Auto
Select enabled. The Trim Edit window shows the clips surrounding this edit point. By
default, both sides of the edit point are selected, so the Trim Edit window is set up to
perform a roll edit.
m Double-click an edit point in the Timeline with the Selection, Ripple, or Roll tool.
Double-click an edit point to
open the Trim Edit window.
The Trim Edit window displays the clips surrounding the edit point. The selected tool
and the part of the edit point you clicked determine the initial state of the green bars,
which define the kind of edit you can perform. Press the U key to switch between the
Ripple Outgoing, Roll, and Ripple Incoming trimming modes.
m Click an edit point or drag around one or more edit points using the Edit Selection tool.
You can also drag around an
edit point with the Edit
Selection tool to open the
Trim Edit window.
The Trim Edit window displays the clip items adjacent to the edit points you selected. If
you selected multiple edit points, the clip items located on the topmost video track are
displayed. You can change this using the Track pop-up menu.
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To close the Trim Edit window, do one of the following:
m Move the playhead in the Timeline or Canvas away from the edit point.
m Click anywhere in the Timeline away from an edit point to deselect all edit points in
the Timeline.
m Press Command-W.
Controls in the Trim Edit Window
Before you begin using the Trim Edit window, you may want to familiarize yourself with
the controls.
Current sequence timecode
Track pop-up menu
Green bar
Outgoing clip
Incoming clip
Transport controls
Jog control
Scrubber bar
Shuttle control
Shuttle control
Playback
controls for the
outgoing clip
Trim buttons
Playback
controls for the
incoming clip
 Current sequence timecode: Shows the timecode number of the currently viewed edit
point in the sequence. You can type + (plus) or – (minus) and a timecode duration to
adjust the edit forward or backward using the current mode (ripple or roll).
 Track pop-up menu: If you’ve selected multiple edit points, this lets you choose the
track that you want to view in the Trim Edit window. You can change the track you’re
viewing at any time.
 Green bar: Indicates what kind of trimming operation you’re about to perform:
 On the left side (over the outgoing clip): A ripple edit to the outgoing clip’s Out point
 On the right side (over the incoming clip): A ripple edit to the incoming clip’s In point
 Over both: A roll edit to the edit point between both clips
You can switch between these operations by pressing U or by clicking the relevant
part of the Trim Edit window (as described in “Trimming an Edit in the Trim Edit
Window” on page 501).
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 Scrubber bar: The scrubber bar runs along the entire width of each of the two viewer
areas in the Trim Edit window, below the video image. To scrub, or move, through a
clip or sequence, drag the playhead across the scrubber bar. You can also click
anywhere in the scrubber bar to instantly move the playhead to that location.
 Jog control: The jog control allows you to move the playhead as if you were actually
moving it with your hand, with a one-to-one correspondence between the motion of
your mouse and the playhead’s motion. For more information, see “Viewer Basics” on
page 79. You can also refer to “Canvas Basics” on page 91.
 Shuttle control: This control lets you quickly play through clips and sequences at
different speeds, in fast and slow motion. Drag the slider to the right to fast-forward
and to the left to rewind. Playback speed varies depending on the distance of the
slider from the center of the control. For more information, see “Viewer Basics” on
page 79. You can also refer to “Canvas Basics” on page 91.
Transport Controls
The Go to Previous Edit and Go to Next Edit buttons allow you to change which edit
point in your sequence is shown in the Trim Edit window. Other controls allow you to
play back only the edit you’re trimming to see how it works.
Go to Previous Edit
Go to Next Edit
Play In to Out
Stop
Play Around Edit Loop
 Go to Previous Edit: Click to move the previous edit point in your sequence into the
active area of the Trim Edit window.
 Play In to Out: Click to play from the beginning of the first clip to the end of the
second clip.
 Play Around Edit Loop: Click to play from a point before the current playhead position
to a point following. The time intervals before and after the playhead position are
determined by the preview pre-roll and post-roll settings in the Editing tab of the
User Preferences window. (For more information, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945.)
 Stop: Click to stop playback and position the playhead on the edit point.
 Go to Next Edit: Click to move the next edit point in your sequence into the active
area of the Trim Edit window.
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Playback Controls for Individual Clips
These controls allow you to move the playhead on either side of the edit point without
modifying the edit point itself. The outgoing and incoming clips have separate
playback controls, which can also be controlled by the J, K, and L keys. The playback
controls are for viewing only; they don’t change the position of an edit point.
Previous Frame
Next Frame
Play
 Previous Frame and Next Frame: Use these controls to jog the clip backward or
forward, one frame at a time.
 Play: Use this control to play the clip at normal speed.
Important: The Space bar plays around the selected edit point in the Timeline; it does
not control playback in either side of the Trim Edit window. For more information, see
“Playing Incoming and Outgoing Clips in the Trim Edit Window” on page 501.
Trim Buttons
Trim Backward buttons
Trim Forward buttons
Dynamic Trimming
checkbox
 Trim Forward and Trim Backward: Click these buttons to add or subtract frames from
the duration between the In and Out points.
You can set the –5 and +5 buttons to trim a different number of frames by changing
the Multi-Frame Trim Size setting in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window.
The number of frames to trim can be set from 1 to 99. For more information, see
“Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
 Dynamic Trimming: Select this checkbox to toggle dynamic trimming on and off,
without having to go to the User Preferences window. For more information, see
“Dynamic Trimming” on page 501.
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Outgoing Clip Area
Outgoing clip
name
Current timecode
for the outgoing clip
Outgoing clip duration
Playhead
Out Shift
Mark Out button
Out point
 Outgoing clip duration: Displays the total time between the current In and Out points
for the outgoing clip. This value changes to reflect any trim edits.
 Current timecode for the outgoing clip: Displays the clip’s source timecode for the
current position of the playhead.
 Out Shift: Indicates the number of frames the Out point has been adjusted.
 Mark Out button: Click this to set a new Out point for the outgoing clip at the current
playhead position. This will perform a trim edit using the current mode (ripple or roll).
 Out point: Displays the current Out point for the outgoing clip.
 Playhead: The playhead for the outgoing clip lets you locate and jump to different
parts of the clip quickly.
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Incoming Clip Area
Incoming clip duration
Incoming clip name
Current timecode for
the incoming clip
Playhead
In Shift
In point
Mark In button
 Incoming clip duration: Displays the total time between the current In and Out points
for the incoming clip. This value changes to reflect any trim edits.
 Current timecode for the incoming clip: Displays the clip’s source timecode for the
current position of the playhead.
 In Shift: Indicates the number of frames the In point has been adjusted.
 Mark In button: Click this to set a new In point for the incoming clip at the current
playhead position. This will perform a trim edit using the current mode (ripple or
roll).
 In point: Displays the current In point for the incoming clip.
 Playhead: The playhead for the incoming clip lets you locate and move or jump to
different parts of the clip quickly.
Using the Trim Edit Window
You use the Trim Edit window to trim one or more edit points at a time. When trimming
multiple edit points at once, you can choose which edit point the Trim Edit window
displays and trim each edit point differently. If you change the type of edit you are
performing in the Trim Edit window, this change affects all of your selected edit points.
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Playing Incoming and Outgoing Clips
in the Trim Edit Window
If you are performing a ripple edit in the Trim Edit window, the side of the Trim Edit
window with a highlighted green bar is controlled by the J, K, and L keys. However, if
you are performing a roll edit, both sides are highlighted. In this case, you choose
whether the outgoing or incoming clip is controlled by the J, K, and L keys by moving
the pointer over the outgoing or incoming side of the window. The Play button on the
active Trim Edit viewer is highlighted.
Important: The Space bar does not control playback on the incoming or outgoing
sides of the Trim Edit window.
To enable playback with the J, K, and L keys in one side of the Trim Edit window:
1 Move the pointer over the side you want to play.
The Play button highlights to indicate the side is active.
2 Use the J, K, and L keys to control playback on that side.
Dynamic Trimming
When the Dynamic Trimming checkbox is selected, the selected edit point moves to
the new position of the playhead whenever you use the J, K, or L keys. Press L to move
forward, press J to reverse playback, and press K to stop. Press J or L repeatedly to
speed up and slow down playback. Press K and either L or J together to perform slowmotion playback. The playhead in the active Trim Edit viewer moves until you press K to
stop. When playback stops, the edit point in the active Trim Edit viewer is adjusted to
the new position of the playhead. A ripple or roll edit is performed depending on
whether one side of the edit point is selected, or both sides.
Trimming an Edit in the Trim Edit Window
Depending on how you like to work, you can choose one of several ways to use the
Trim Edit window.
To trim an edit point in the Trim Edit window:
1 Select one or more edit points to trim using the methods described above.
2 If you’re trimming multiple edit points, choose the track you want to view from the
Track pop-up menu.
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3 Choose a ripple or roll edit by doing one of the following:
 Click the left image to trim the outgoing clip with a ripple left edit.
Trimming indicator bar
only appears above
the outgoing clip.
The pointer temporarily
turns into a Ripple tool.
 Click the center area between the images to do a roll edit.
Trimming indicator bar
appears over both clips.
The pointer
temporarily turns
into a Roll tool.
 Click the right image to trim the incoming clip with a ripple right edit.
Trimming indicator
bar only appears
above the
incoming clip.
The pointer
temporarily turns
into a Ripple tool.
 Press the U key to toggle between the three available trimming modes.
A green bar appears above either or both sides of the edit to show you what kind of
trimming operation you’re performing.
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4 Trim the edit point by doing any of the following:
 Click the trim buttons or use their keyboard equivalents to trim to the left or right
using the displayed frame increments.
 Press [ (left bracket) or ] (right bracket) to trim backward or forward one frame.
 Press Shift-[ or Shift-] to trim backward or forward five frames. The number of
frames to trim can be customized with the Multi-Frame Trim Size setting in the
Editing tab of User Preferences. (For more information, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945.)
 Type + (plus) or – (minus) and the number of frames to add or subtract, then
press Return.
 Drag an edit marker in the scrubber bar to a new point in the outgoing or incoming clip.
 Use the jog and shuttle controls to move the playhead within the outgoing or the
incoming clip. Then set a new Out point for the outgoing clip by pressing O or a new
In point for the incoming clip by pressing I.
 Use the playback controls to play the clip. Set a new Out point for the outgoing clip
or a new In point for the incoming clip.
 Use the J, K, and L keys to shuttle the playhead on either side of the edit point (you
choose which side by positioning the pointer there). As you move the pointer between
the left and right sides of the Trim Edit window, the left and right Play buttons become
highlighted. Don’t click, or you’ll change the selected trim operation.
Press L to move forward, press J to reverse playback, and press K to stop. Press J or L
repeatedly to speed up or slow down playback. Press K and either L or J together to
perform slow-motion playback.
If the Dynamic Trimming checkbox is selected, the selected edit point moves to the
new position of the playhead whenever you stop playback.
For all the above trimming methods, the In Shift and Out Shift fields show the total
number of frames that have been modified. The sequence and playhead in the
Timeline automatically update to reflect your changes.
5 Review your edit.
See “Reviewing and Playing Back Your Edits in the Trim Edit Window” on page 504.
6 To trim another edit point in the same track, use the Go to Previous Edit and Go to Next
Edit buttons to move to another edit point and display it in the Trim Edit window.
You can also select one or more edit points in the Timeline, and then go back to the
Trim Edit window to perform additional trim operations.
7 When you’re finished trimming, do one of the following:
 Move the playhead away from the edit point in the Canvas or Timeline.
 Click in the Timeline to deselect all edit points.
 Close the Trim Edit window.
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Reviewing and Playing Back Your Edits
in the Trim Edit Window
To play the edit using the transport controls, do one of the following:
m Click the Play In to Out button to play from the beginning of the first clip to the end of
the second clip.
m Click the Play Around Edit Loop button or press the Space bar to loop the playback of
the edit. Extra frames surround your edit point, defined by the pre-roll and post-roll
settings set in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window. (For more information,
see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.)
m Click the Stop button to stop playback and position the playhead on the edit.
To view an individual clip in the Trim Edit window, do one of the following:
m Use the playback controls for the outgoing or incoming clip.
m Activate the outgoing or incoming clip by moving your pointer over it. Press L to move
forward, press J to reverse playback, and press K to stop. Press J or L repeatedly to
speed up or slow down playback. Press K and either L or J together to perform slowmotion playback.
∏
Tip: As you use the J, K, and L keys, the audio shifts pitch smoothly rather than
stuttering, as it does when you scrub. For more information, see the next section,
“Listening to Audio While Trimming.”
Slipping a Clip in the Trim Edit Window
The Slip tool changes the clip’s In and Out points simultaneously while maintaining the
clip’s duration. Surrounding clips are not affected. You can slip either of the clips
displayed in the Trim Edit window.
To slip an edit in the Trim Edit window:
1 Double-click an edit point in the Timeline to open it in the Trim Edit window.
2 Do one of the following:
 Shift-drag the edit point on either scrubber bar to slip that clip.
 Select the Slip tool in the Tool palette, then drag the edit.
As you drag, the display shows the In and Out point frames for the clip you are slipping.
3 Release the mouse button.
4 When you’ve finished trimming, close the Trim Edit window.
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Listening to Audio While Trimming
When you play back the outgoing or incoming clip in the Trim Edit window (using the
J, K, and L keys), you can choose which audio tracks you hear.
The following options are available in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window:
 Trim with Sequence Audio: With this option selected, you hear the entire audio mix
when you play back the clip on either side of the Trim Edit window. This helps you
set a new In or Out point based on audio cues in tracks where edit points aren’t
selected. This option is selected by default.
 Trim with Edit Selection Audio (Mute Others): Any audio tracks with selected edits are
played back. All others are muted.
If both options are deselected, you will hear any tracks with selected edits, but clip item
linking is also taken into account. For example, if you select an edit point on V1, and the
clip item is linked to audio clip items on A1 and A2, you hear tracks A1 and A2. However,
if clip items on A1 and A2 are not linked to a clip item on V1, you won’t hear them.
∏
Tip: In most situations, you will want to keep the Trim with Sequence Audio checkbox
selected. If you want to hear only specific audio tracks while trimming, select Trim with
Edit Selection Audio (Mute Others).
When you use the J, K, and L keys to play the outgoing or incoming clip, you may want
to hear all of the audio tracks in your sequence, such as music, sound effects, and
voiceover. This can be useful if you are listening for a particular audio cue to determine
when to make a cut.
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To listen to all sequence audio tracks while using the J, K, and L keys in the
Trim Edit window:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences, then click the Editing tab.
2 Select the Trim with Sequence Audio checkbox.
3 Select edit points in the Timeline and double-click them to open the Trim Edit window.
4 Move the pointer over the side of the Trim Edit window you want to listen to, then use
the J, K, and L keys to play back the incoming or outgoing clip.
To hear only the selected audio tracks in the Timeline while using the J, K, and L keys
in the Trim Edit window:
1 Choose Final Cut Express HD > User Preferences, then click the Editing tab.
2 Select the Trim with Edit Selection Audio (Mute Others) checkbox.
Important: Make sure the Trim with Sequence Audio checkbox is also selected.
3 Select edit points in the Timeline and double-click them to open the Trim Edit window.
4 Move the pointer over the side of the Trim Edit window you want to listen to, then use
the J, K, and L keys to play back the incoming or outgoing clip.
Note: When you are working with multiple edit points in the Timeline, selecting an
audio track from the Track pop-up menu allows you to listen to only that audio track
during playback on either side of the Trim Edit window.
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Adding Transitions
35
You can add cross dissolves and other transitions between
cuts to make your program more interesting. You can also
add a cross fade audio transition to smooth abrupt changes
in audio.
This chapter covers the following:
 Learning About Transitions (p. 507)
 Adding Transitions (p. 511)
 Moving, Copying, and Deleting Transitions (p. 515)
 Modifying Transitions in the Timeline (p. 517)
 Video Transitions That Come With Final Cut Express HD (p. 520)
Note: This chapter mainly focuses on video transitions. However, Final Cut Express HD
does come with two audio cross fade transitions you can use to smooth audible
changes between clips. For information about using audio transitions, see “Using Audio
Transitions to Smooth Audible Changes” on page 442. To apply transitions, both video
and audio, use this chapter.
Learning About Transitions
A transition is a visual effect used to change from one clip in your edited sequence to
the next. In the early days of film editing, the only transition you could immediately
view was a cut. Even a basic transition such as a dissolve had to be specially set up in
an optical printer and sent back to the editor for viewing. The whole process was
expensive and could take several days.
507
Video made this process faster and easier. By electronically mixing two video signals
together, you could watch a dissolve immediately and decide if you liked it. The more
quickly you can see how an effect will look, the more quickly you can refine it to suit
your needs. Film editors had to anticipate how transitions would look and how long
they should last without actually being able to preview them; there was never the time
or budget to try transitions during editing. It’s much easier to preview cross dissolves,
fades, and other transitions in a video system, and particularly in a digital nonlinear
editing system. In Final Cut Express HD, you can continue to adjust a transition and
preview it until you get it just right.
Common Types of Transitions
A cut, the most basic type of transition, is a transition with no duration; when one shot
ends, another one immediately begins, without any overlap. All other transitions
gradually replace one shot with another; when one shot ends, another one gradually
replaces it. There are three very common transitions used that occur over time: fades,
cross dissolves, and wipes.
 A fade out begins with a shot at full intensity and reduces until it is gone. A fade in
begins with a shot at no intensity and increases until it is full. These are the common
“fade to black” and “fade up (from black)” transitions.
 A cross dissolve involves two shots. The first shot fades out while the second shot
simultaneously fades in. During the cross dissolve, the two shots are superimposed
as they fade.
 A wipe is where the screen splits, moving from one side of the image to the other to
gradually reveal the next shot. It is more obvious than a fade or cross dissolve.
Final Cut Express HD also comes with two audio transitions: a +3 dB cross fade (the
default) and a 0 dB cross fade.
 Cross Fade (+3 dB): Performs the same operation as Cross Fade (0 dB), but applies an
equal-power ramp to the volume level, rather than a linear ramp.
Note: An equal-power ramp uses a quarter-cycle cosine fade-out curve and a
quarter-cycle sine fade-in curve. As a result, the volume is maintained at a constant
level throughout the cross fade.
 Cross Fade (0 dB): Fades the first clip out, while simultaneously fading the second clip
in. This effect applies a linear ramp to the volume level. As a result, the volume level
dips in the middle of the cross fade.
Each cross fade results in a different audio level change as the transition plays. Your
choice of cross fades depends on the clips you’re transitioning between. Try one, then
try the other to see which sounds better.
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Using Transitions in Your Sequences
Transitions, especially dissolves, generally give the viewer an impression of a change in
time or location. When very long transitions are used, they become more of a special
effect, useful in creating a different atmosphere in your sequence. You can use
transitions to:
 Convey the passing of time between scenes
 Fade up at the beginning of the movie or scene
 Create a montage of images
 Fade out at the end of the movie or scene
 Create motion graphic effects
 Soften jump cuts (cuts between two different parts of the same footage)
Final Cut Express HD comes with a variety of transitions you can use in your programs,
but you’ll probably use dissolves and wipes more than any others. For more
information, see “Video Transitions That Come With Final Cut Express HD” on page 520.
How Transitions Appear in the Timeline
Transitions are applied between two adjacent clips in the same track of a sequence in
the Timeline. In the Timeline, a transition is displayed as an object overlapping two
adjacent clips. You can still see the cut point between the two clips. A dark gray slope
in the transition’s icon in your sequence indicates the speed, alignment, and direction
of your transition.
A transition between
two clips
The center line
indicates the original
edit point or cut.
By default, transitions have a total duration of 1 second. To change this, see “Changing
the Duration of a Transition in the Timeline” on page 517.
To apply a transition, both clips must have additional media (handles) that overlap past
the edit point.
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Having Handles at Edit Points
Clips must have handles if you want to transition between them. Handles are
additional media frames before the In point and after the Out point of your clips. The
first shot in a transition (the outgoing clip) needs a handle after its Out point, while the
second shot in a transition (the incoming clip) needs a handle before its In point.
Handle of incoming clip
Incoming clip
Outgoing clip
Edit point
Handle of outgoing clip
If the In point of your incoming clip begins on the first frame of the clip’s media file, you
have no handle at the beginning (or head) of your clip. Likewise, if the Out point of your
outgoing clip ends on the last frame of the clip’s media file, you have no handle at the
end (or tail) of your clip. If the clips don’t have enough media for the transition,
Final Cut Express HD attempts to make the longest transition possible with the available
clip handles. In some cases, you may end up with transitions as short as one frame, which
may be difficult to see in the Timeline and are generally not intended or useful.
Aligning a Transition in the Timeline
You can place a transition so that it starts on, centers on, or ends on the edit point
between two clips in the Timeline. You should choose a transition alignment based on
the editorial effect you want to achieve:
 Starting on the cut: Choose this alignment if you want the last frame of the outgoing
clip to be fully visible before the transition begins.
A transition starting
on the cut
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 Centered on the cut: Choose this alignment if you want the cut point between the
two clips to be the midpoint in the transition.
A transition centered
on the cut
 Ending on the cut: Use this alignment if you want the first frame of the incoming clip
to be fully visible.
A transition ending
on the cut
Adding Transitions
You can add transitions when you edit a clip into the Timeline, or you can add
transitions between clips already in a sequence.
Adding Transitions With Clips You Add to the Timeline
You can choose the Insert with Transition or Overwrite with Transition options in the
Canvas Edit overlay when you edit a clip into your sequence. This adds the default
transition at the In point of the incoming clip and the Out point of the outgoing clip.
The default video transition is a 1-second cross dissolve.
For information on performing edits with transitions, see “Performing an Insert With
Transition Edit” on page 335 and “Performing an Overwrite With Transition Edit” on
page 338.
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Quickly Adding the Default Transition to Clips in Your Sequence
You can quickly add the default transition between two clips in your sequence. The
default video transition is a 1-second cross dissolve and the default audio transition is
a +3 dB cross fade.
To add the default video transition, do one of the following:
m Select an edit point between two video clips or position the Canvas or Timeline
playhead at the desired edit point, then press Command-T.
Select an edit point where you
want to add a transition.
m Control-click an edit point between two video clips in the Timeline, then choose Add
Transition from the shortcut menu.
The name of the current default transition appears next to the command in the
shortcut menu.
If there are enough overlapping frames on both sides of the edit point, the selected
transition is added to your edit, centered at the edit point.
The added transition,
centered on the edit point.
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To change the position of the transition, see “Changing the Alignment of a Transition in
the Timeline” on page 519.
To add the default audio transition, do one of the following:
m Select an edit point between two audio clips or position the Canvas or Timeline
playhead at the desired edit point, then press Option-Command-T.
m Control-click an edit point between two audio clips in the Timeline, then choose Add
Transition from the shortcut menu.
The name of the current default transition appears next to the command in the
shortcut menu.
Once a transition has been applied, you can change the type of cross fade it is (0 or
+3 dB) by Control-clicking it again and choosing the appropriate transition from the
shortcut menu.
Adding Transitions to Clips in Your Sequence
You can add any type of transition, whether or not it’s the default transition, using the
Effects menu or the Effects tab in the Browser.
To add a transition from the Effects menu:
1 Do one of the following:
 Click an edit point between two clips in your sequence to select it.
 Position the Canvas or Timeline playhead at the desired edit point.
 Position the Canvas or Timeline playhead on a transition that’s already been edited
into your sequence.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Effects > Video Transitions, choose the type of transition, then choose the
desired transition from the submenu.
 Choose Effects > Audio Transitions, then choose the desired transition from the submenu.
If there are enough overlapping frames on both sides of the edit point, the selected
transition is added to your edit, centered at the edit point. To reposition the transition,
see “Changing the Alignment of a Transition in the Timeline” on page 519.
∏
Tip: All of the transitions that come with Final Cut Express HD will be centered at the
edit point if applied from the Effects menu.
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To add a transition from the Effects tab in the Browser:
m Drag a transition from the Effects tab in the Browser to an edit point in the Timeline.
If there are enough overlapping frames between the two clips, you can drag the
transition to start on, center on, or end on an edit point. The transition snaps to one of
these three areas as you drag it close to the edit point. To reposition the transition, see
“Changing the Alignment of a Transition in the Timeline” on page 519.
You can limit the transition alignment to the start or end of the edit point by holding
down the Command key while you drag a transition around an edit point.
Example: Transitioning To or From Black
A fade to black is really just a cross dissolve from a clip to black. In Final Cut Express HD,
you can add black to the Timeline by adding a slug, which is a built-in Final Cut Express HD
video generator. It’s often better to have an actual black clip to trim or adjust as needed.
However, you can create a cross dissolve from a clip to a gap for a similar effect.
Important: Fading to black by creating a cross dissolve from a clip to a gap works only
if there are no other video tracks with clips beneath the gap.
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To fade to or from black:
m Add a cross dissolve transition to one of the following:
 The beginning of the first clip in your sequence
 The end of the last clip in your sequence
 The beginning or end of any clip with a gap on one or both sides
For more information, see “Adding Transitions to Clips in Your Sequence” on page 513.
If the transition starts at the
beginning of the sequence,
you’ll see a fade from black.
If the transition is placed
at the end of the last clip,
you’ll see a fade to black.
Moving, Copying, and Deleting Transitions
After you add a transition, you can move it or change its edit point. You can also copy
transitions to quickly add the same transition at another point in your sequence (then
modify its properties later, if desired). You can also delete the transition.
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Moving a Transition to Another Edit Point
You can move a transition from one edit point to another. The transition is removed
from the previous edit point and located at the new edit point. If there’s already a
transition at the new edit point, it’s replaced by the new transition.
To move a transition in a sequence:
m In the Timeline, drag a transition from its current edit point to the desired edit point.
If there are enough overlapping frames on either side of the edit, you can drag it
before the edit point, on the edit point, or after the edit point.
Drag the transition to
the new edit point.
Copying and Pasting Transitions
To add the same transition quickly elsewhere within your sequence, you can copy and
paste a transition to other edit points. This is helpful if you’ve changed a transition’s
default settings and want to use the modified transition again.
To copy a transition from one edit point to another:
1 Do one of the following:
 In the Timeline, select the transition you want to copy, then press Command-C.
 Control-click the transition, then choose Copy from the shortcut menu.
2 Do one of the following:
 Select the edit point where you want to add the transition, then press Command-V.
 Control-click the edit point where you want to add the transition, then choose Paste
from the shortcut menu.
To copy a transition from one edit point to another by dragging it:
m Hold down the Option key while dragging an existing transition to another edit point.
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Deleting Transitions
Transitions that you’ve added to your sequence can easily be removed.
To delete a transition from a sequence:
1 Select the transition you want to remove in the Timeline.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Clear (or press Delete).
 Control-click the transition, then choose Cut from the shortcut menu.
Modifying Transitions in the Timeline
Once a transition is placed on a track, you may want to alter the duration to make it
longer or shorter, or change its alignment by choosing where the transition begins
relative to the edit point between two clips. You can also replace transitions.
Note: To make very precise adjustments to transitions, you can use the Transition
Editor. For more information, see Chapter 36, “Refining Transitions Using the Transition
Editor,” on page 525.
Changing the Duration of a Transition in the Timeline
You can change the duration of a transition, as long as there are enough overlapping
frames to accommodate your new duration. When you change the duration of a
transition in the Timeline, the way the duration changes depends on the alignment of
the transition.
 If the transition ends on the edit point, the duration affects the clip to the left of this
point (the outgoing clip).
 If the transition is centered on the edit point, changes in duration extend in both
directions.
 If the transition starts on the edit point, the duration affects the clip to the right of this
point (the incoming clip).
You can change the duration of a transition by dragging or by using timecode.
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To change a transition’s duration in the Timeline by dragging:
1 Select the Selection tool, then move the pointer to the beginning or the end of the
transition in the Timeline.
2 Drag either side of the transition to make the duration longer or shorter.
The pointer changes to the Resize
pointer, indicating that you can
drag to the duration you want.
To change a transition’s duration in the Timeline using timecode:
1 Do one of the following:
 Double-click the transition in the Timeline.
 Control-click the transition in the Timeline, then choose Duration from the
shortcut menu.
 Select the transition in the Timeline, then press Control-D.
2 In the Duration dialog, enter a new duration for the transition, then click OK.
Enter the desired
duration here.
∏
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Tip: If you enter a duration that’s longer than the available amount of overlap between
these two clips, you hear an alert sound and the maximum duration possible is
displayed in the dialog. You can change the duration or click OK to use the maximum
duration. A convenient way to determine the maximum duration of a transition is to
enter a high number here, such as 9999 (in most cases, a much smaller number will do)
and click OK. The maximum duration possible appears in the dialog.
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Changing the Alignment of a Transition in the Timeline
Transitions can either start on, center on, or end on an edit point. This alignment can
be changed at any time. Changing the alignment of a transition allows you to precisely
control which frames are fully visible when a transition begins or ends.
To change the alignment of a transition in a sequence, do one of the following:
m In the Timeline, select the transition, choose Sequence > Transition Alignment, then
choose another alignment from the submenu.
m Control-click a transition, then choose another alignment from the shortcut menu.
m Select a transition, then do one of the following:
 To start the transition at the edit point: Press Option-1.
 To center the transition on the edit point: Press Option-2.
 To end the transition at the edit point: Press Option-3.
The transition moves to the new alignment position.
Changing an Edit Point After Adding a Transition
Even with transitions applied, you can still trim one or both sides of the edit point (for
example, using the Ripple, Roll, Slip, or Slide tool). Both the alignment and duration of
the transition remain the same. For more information on these types of edits, see
Chapter 32, “Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits,” on page 453.
Before a roll edit
After a roll edit with the
transition moved
Note: The transition itself limits how far you can trim clips on either side of the edit
point, because the transition requires a certain amount of media on one or both sides
of the edit point.
Chapter 35 Adding Transitions
519
Replacing Transitions
If you change your mind about which transition you want in an edit, it’s easy to change it.
To swap a transition in your sequence with another, do one of the following:
m Move the Timeline playhead over the transition you want to change (or click to select
it), choose Effects > Video Transitions or Effects > Audio Transitions, then choose
another transition from the submenu.
m Drag a transition from the Effects tab in the Browser onto the transition you want to
change in the Timeline.
When the pointer is over the old transition, it will be highlighted to show it’s about to
be replaced.
Note: If you replace a transition in your sequence with a transition you’ve saved as a
favorite, the favorite transition’s duration overrides that of the transition it’s replacing.
m Control-click an audio transition, then choose another transition from the shortcut menu.
Since there are only two kinds of audio transitions, they both appear in this menu.
Video Transitions That Come With Final Cut Express HD
3D Simulation
520
Cross Zoom
Causes the video to zoom in on the first clip, switch to the second,
and zoom out. You can specify the center point, the amount of
magnification in the zoom, and the degree of blur applied during
the zoom.
Cube Spin
Creates a three-dimensional cube from each clip and spins it in the
direction you choose. You can also view the cube from the inside or
the outside.
Spin3D
Spins the first clip around its center point, revealing the second
clip. You can choose the angle of the spin axis.
Spinback3D
Spins the first clip around its center point until the clip is viewed
from its edge, and then switches to the second clip, which spins
into view. You can choose the angle of the spin axis.
Swing
Creates the effect of swinging the first clip in toward the viewer or
out toward the second clip, which is revealed as the swing widens.
You can choose the angle of the swing axis.
Zoom
Zooms the second clip in from a single center point to full-frame
size, over the top of the first clip. You can specify the center point
(relative to the first clip) where the zoom begins.
Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Dissolve
Additive Dissolve
Adds the two clips so that the first clip fades out and the second
fades in.
Cross Dissolve1
Blends the first clip into the second clip.
Dip to Color Dissolve
Blends the first clip into the plain color of your choice, and then
blends the plain color into the second clip. You can adjust the
speed of the blend.
Dither Dissolve
Dissolves the first clip into the second by removing random pixels
from the first clip to reveal the second clip.
Fade In, Fade Out
Fades in the incoming clip as the outgoing clip fades out. Reveals
the track below the current track in a transition.
Non-Additive Dissolve
Compares the pixels in the two clips and displays the lighter of the
two as the first clip fades out and the second fades in.
Ripple Dissolve
Applies a pond ripple effect to the first clip, simultaneously
blending it into the second. You can choose the number of ripples,
their center point on the first clip, and their amplitude and
acceleration. You can also apply a circle highlight to the ripples.
1 Renders
with 10-bit precision if your sequence is set for 10-bit precision in the Video Processing tab of the
Sequence Settings window.
Iris
Cross, Diamond, Oval, Point,
Rectangle, and Star
These effects are similar, but have different shapes. They all create
the impression of an iris, which contains the first clip, opening to
reveal the second. In each iris effect, you can specify the center point
around which the opening is defined and feather the edges, which
blends the edges of the clips together and gives a diffused iris.
Map
Channel Map
Maps channels from the first and second clip, or fills the channels
with black. You can invert individual channels.
Luminance Map
Maps color using the luma (luminance) of a clip.
Page Peel
Page Peel
Peels the first clip away to reveal the second clip. You can adjust
the appearance of the peel.
QuickTime
QuickTime includes a set of built-in video effects listed here, some of which are implementations of
standard effects defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
For more information, visit the Apple QuickTime website at http://www.apple.com/quicktime.
Channel Compositor
Chapter 35 Adding Transitions
Combines two images using the alpha channels of the images to
control the blending. It provides the standard alpha blending
options and can handle pre-multiplying by any color, although
white and black are most common and often run faster.
521
QuickTime
Chroma Key
Combines two sources by replacing all the pixels of the first source
that are the specified color with the corresponding pixels of the
second source. This allows the second source to show through the
first. This appears to put the second clip behind the first clip and
make the selected color transparent.
Explode
The second clip grows from a single point, expanding outward
until it entirely covers the first clip. The center point of the
explosion is defined in the effect parameters.
Gradient Wipe
Uses a matte image to create a transition between two source
images. The transition from the first clip to the second clip occurs
first where the matte image is darkest, last where the matte image
is brightest.
Implode
The first clip shrinks down to a single point, revealing the second
clip. The center point of the implosion is defined in the effect
parameters.
Iris
The first clip opens like an iris to reveal the second clip.
Matrix Wipe
These are a series of matrix reveal type effects that take place
between two sources.
Push
One source image replaces another, both images moving at the
same time. For example, the first clip occupies the entire frame,
then the second clip pushes in from the right while the first clip
slides out to the left.
Unlike the slide effect, both sources are moving. The push effect
executes from the top, right, bottom, or left.
Radial
The first clip sweeps in a radial (or semi-circular) way to reveal the
second clip.
Slide
The second clip slides onto the screen to cover the first clip. The
angle from which the second clip enters the frame is stored in a
parameter, with 0 degrees being the top of the screen.
Wipe
The first clip wipes to reveal the second clip.
Zoom
One clip zooms in or out of the other clip.
Slide
522
Band Slide
Bands of the first clip slide in parallel directions to reveal the
second clip. You can adjust the number of bands and the slide
direction.
Box Slide
Bands of the first clip slide one at a time in perpendicular directions
to reveal the second clip. You can adjust the number of bands and
the slide direction.
Center Split Slide
Reveals the underlying clip by splitting the current clip down the
center and horizontally sliding the two halves away from each
other.
Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Slide
Multi Spin Slide
Boxes of the first clip spin and zoom out to reveal the second clip.
You can adjust the spin about the center of the first clip and the
spin about the center of the box, as well as the number of boxes.
Push Slide
The second clip pushes the first clip out of view. You can adjust the
push direction.
Spin Slide
Boxes of the first clip spin and zoom out to reveal the second clip.
You can adjust the spin about the center of the box and the
number of boxes.
Split Slide
The first clip splits at specific points and slides to reveal the second
clip. You can adjust the orientation of the split.
Swap Slide
The first (top) and the second (bottom) clips slide in opposite
directions, swap places, and slide back, revealing the second clip.
You can adjust the slide direction.
Stretch
Cross Stretch
The first clip is squeezed as the second clip stretches from the
specified edge to the opposite edge.
Squeeze
The first clip is squeezed from the opposite edges toward the
center to reveal the second clip. You can specify the squeeze
orientation.
Squeeze and Stretch
The first clip is squeezed from the opposite edges toward the
center and stretches in a perpendicular direction to reveal the
second clip. You can adjust the squeeze orientation.
Stretch
The second clip stretches from the specified edge over the first clip.
Wipe
Band Wipe
Wipes a band across the first clip to reveal the second. You can
specify the number of bands and the wipe direction.
Center Wipe
A linear wipe from a specified point on the first clip reveals the
second clip. You can adjust the wipe direction.
Checker Wipe
Checkered boxes appear on the first clip to reveal the second clip.
You can adjust the number of boxes and the wipe direction.
Checkerboard Wipe
Checkered boxes wipe individually on the first clip to reveal the
second. You can adjust the number of boxes and the wipe
direction.
Clock Wipe
A rotational wipe over the first clip reveals the second. You can
adjust the start and direction of the wipe and the center point of
the rotation.
Edge Wipe
A linear wipe from the edge of the first clip reveals the second clip.
You can adjust the wipe direction.
Chapter 35 Adding Transitions
523
Wipe
Gradient Wipe
Uses a gradient wipe image to wipe across the first clip, revealing
the second clip. You can adjust the softness of the wipe and invert
the gradient wipe image. By default, the transition wipes
horizontally from left to right. You can override this by dragging an
image onto the gradient clip well.
Inset Wipe
A rectangular wipe from the specified edge or corner of the first
clip reveals the second clip.
Jaws Wipe
A jagged-edged wipe from the center of the first clip reveals the
second clip. You can adjust the wipe direction and the shape of the
jagged edge.
Random Edge Wipe
A linear wipe with a random edge from the edge of the first clip
reveals the second clip. You can adjust the direction of the wipe
and the width of the random edge.
V Wipe
A V-shaped wipe from the specified edge of the first clip reveals
the second clip.
Venetian Blind Wipe
Bands wipe across the first clip to reveal the second. You can adjust
the angle and the number of bands.
Wrap Wipe
Bands wipe in the specified direction across the first clip to reveal
the second clip. You can specify the start and orientation of the
wipe and the number of bands.
Zigzag Wipe
Bands wipe in a zigzag pattern over the first clip to reveal the
second clip. You can specify the start and orientation of the wipe
and the number of bands.
Using After Effects Transitions
Final Cut Express HD supports After Effects plug-ins that have been specifically
designed to be used as Final Cut Express HD transitions. These plug-ins appear in the
Video Transitions folder of the Effects tab. After Effects transitions can be applied,
modified, and removed like any other transition effect in Final Cut Express HD.
To install After Effects transitions:
m Copy the After Effects transitions into the Plugins folder, in the following folder
location: /Library/Application Support/Final Cut Express HD System Support/Plugins.
Not all After Effects filters are supported in this way. If you install a set of plug-ins and
then begin to have problems, take them out of the Plugins folder.
Important: After Effects filters don’t take advantage of the ability of Final Cut Express HD
to render video using Y´CBCR. All After Effects plug-ins render only in RGB color space.
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36
Refining Transitions
Using the Transition Editor
36
Use the Transition Editor to precisely modify a transition
and preview it before you render.
This chapter covers the following:
 Using the Transition Editor (p. 525)
 Applying a Modified Transition Directly to a Sequence in the Timeline (p. 532)
 Trimming Transitions and the Surrounding Clips (p. 532)
 Previewing and Rendering Transitions (p. 536)
Using the Transition Editor
If you want to make more precise changes to a transition than editing in the Timeline
allows, or if you want to create custom settings for transitions that you use frequently,
you can use the Transition Editor.
The Transition Editor allows you to:
 Change the duration of a transition
 Adjust the alignment of a transition
 Trim the edit point between the two clips adjacent to the transition
 Ripple edit each clip to either side of a transition’s edit point
 Adjust the percentage of completion of a transition at its start and end points
 Reverse the direction of a transition
 Modify custom settings for a transition
525
Controls in the Transition Editor
When you double-click a transition in the Timeline or the Effects tab of the Browser, a
special tab for the transition opens in the Viewer. This Transition Editor window
indicates that the transition is “loaded,” or opened, so you can view and modify the
transition’s settings.
Alignment buttons
Tab with the name
of the transition
Recent Clips
pop-up menu
Drag hand
Ruler
Timecode Duration field
End slider (with
percentage to the right)
Transition
Start slider (with
percentage to the right)
Reverse Transition button
Reset button
Effects (specific to
each transition)
The following are property and edit point controls common to all transitions.
Timecode Duration Field
This timecode field displays the current duration of your transition. Changing the value
in this field shortens or lengthens the duration of the applied transition up to the
maximum amount of overlapping frames available at the edit point. (To change the
duration in the Timeline, see “Changing the Duration of a Transition in the Timeline” on
page 517.)
Timecode Duration field
How the duration will change depends on the alignment of the transition. If the
transition occurs before the edit point, the duration affects the clip to the left of this
point, or the outgoing clip. If the transition is centered on the edit point, changes in
duration extend in both directions. If the transition occurs after the edit point, the
duration affects the clip to the right of this point, or the incoming clip.
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VII
Alignment Buttons
The selected button indicates the current alignment of your transition. You can change
the alignment of a transition by clicking a button (if there are enough overlapping
frames in the direction in which you want to realign the transition).
Alignment buttons
Recent Clips Pop-Up Menu
This control lets you choose from a list of recently used clips. A clip is added to this list
when another clip replaces it in the Viewer (not when the clip is opened in the Viewer).
The last clip that was replaced in the Viewer appears at the top of the list.
Recent Clips pop-up
menu
By default, the maximum number of clips shown in this list is 10; you can change this
number in the General tab of the User Preferences window. For more information, see
“Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.
Once the maximum number of entries is reached, a clip is removed from the bottom of
the list each time another clip is replaced in the Viewer.
Drag Hand
If you want to apply the current transition to another edit point in your sequence in the
Timeline, you can drag this to the desired location in your sequence. This is true for
transitions opened from the Browser and from a sequence in the Timeline.
Drag hand
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
527
Ruler
The ruler displays a close-up view of the frames surrounding the transition in your
sequence. The ruler and playhead in the Transition Editor are locked to those in the
Timeline. The time scale of the ruler can be changed by using the Zoom In and Zoom
Out tools or pressing Command-+ (plus) or Command-– (minus).
Ruler
Outgoing and Incoming Clip Handles
A transition that appears as two overlapping clips on the same track in the Timeline is
represented differently in the Transition Editor. The outgoing clip and its Out point
appear on the top track, the incoming clip and its In point appear on the bottom track,
and the transition itself appears on a track between the two.
Outgoing clip
Incoming clip
Both the Out point of the outgoing clip and the In point of the incoming clip are
handles that you can drag to perform ripple edits, modifying the edit points of these
clips in your sequence in the Timeline. (A ripple edit adjusts the length of a clip by
changing the In or Out point of the clip. Ripple edits do not cause gaps in your edited
sequence. For more information, see “Doing a Ripple Edit to Adjust the Length of a Clip
in a Transition” on page 535.)
Transition Bar With Start, Stop, and Edit Handles
The transition appears as a bar with start and end points that you can drag. Depending
on the alignment of your transition, the edit point appears to the right, in the center, or
to the left of this bar.
Edit point in the center
of the transition bar
Transition bar with the
start point being moved
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Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Dragging the transition bar from the middle results in a roll edit, which moves the edit
point between two clips in a sequence. Dragging either of the transition edges
shortens or extends the transition.
Note: A roll edit adjusts the location of an edit point shared by two clips; the Out point
of the first clip and the In point of the second clip are moved simultaneously, or rolled.
This changes the location of the edit point in the sequence, as well as the duration of
each clip. For more information, see “Using the Roll Tool to Change Where a Cut
Occurs” on page 470.
Start and End Percentages of Transition
These sliders allow you to set the starting and ending percentages of the transition’s
visual effect. For example, if you are using an edge wipe, the default starting
percentage of 0 percent places the border of the wipe all the way to the left of the
image, essentially revealing all of the outgoing clip.
Halfway through the wipe, at the edit point, the wipe is at 50 percent, placing the
border of the wipe in the middle of the picture. You can now see half of the incoming
clip to the left and half of the outgoing clip to the right.
At the end of the edit, with the transition finished and the default ending percentage
of 100%, the border of the wipe is all the way to the right, revealing the entire
incoming clip.
Reverse Transition Button
Some transition effects have a default direction. For example, a wipe goes from the left
to the right, a clock wipe’s border travels in a clockwise direction, and the spin 3D
transition spins the outgoing clip out to the right.
Reverse Transition button
To reverse the direction of an effect, click the Reverse Transition button. If you reverse
the direction for the above examples, the wipe moves from right to left, the clock wipe
moves in a counter-clockwise direction, and the spin 3D transition spins the incoming
clip in to the left.
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
529
Reset Button
Click this to reset all of a transition’s parameters to the default values.
Reset button
Custom Parameters
Many transitions have additional parameters that you can use to further customize
their effect. These parameters appear below the controls for the properties and may
include such visual effects as the center point of the effect, the width of the transition
border, and the color and feathering of this border. More complex transitions have
more elaborate effects.
Displaying Clips in the Transition Editor
The way clips are displayed in the Transition Editor depends on the current thumbnail
display setting for the sequence. (For information on changing this display in the
sequence settings, see “Choosing Settings and Preferences” on page 945.) You can also
increase or decrease the scale of the ruler in the Transition Editor by zooming in or out.
To zoom in on the ruler in the Transition Editor, do one of the following:
m Click the Transition Editor to make it active, then choose View > Zoom In.
m Select the Zoom In tool, then click either clip or the transition shown in the
Transition Editor.
m Press Command-+ (plus).
To zoom out of the ruler in the Transition Editor, do one of the following:
m Click the Transition Editor to make it active, then choose View > Zoom Out.
m Select the Zoom Out tool, then click either clip or the transition shown in the
Transition Editor.
m Press Command-– (minus).
To zoom to fit the ruler in the Transition Editor:
m Press Shift-Z.
This zooms the ruler to a medium size in the Transition Editor.
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Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Opening and Modifying Transitions in the Transition Editor
When you open a transition from your sequence in the Timeline in the Transition Editor,
you can modify and trim it much more precisely than you can in the Timeline. All the
transitions that come with Final Cut Express HD are different, but all of them share
some essential properties and edit points that you can modify in the Transition Editor.
 If you open a transition from a sequence in the Timeline: Changes you make
immediately alter that transition in your edited sequence.
 If you open a transition from the Effects tab of the Browser: This opens a copy of the
transition. Changes you make have no effect until you apply the modified transition
to an edit point in the Timeline or save the transition as a favorite.
To open a transition from the Timeline, do one of the following:
m Double-click the transition.
m Control-click the transition, then choose Open from the shortcut menu.
m Select the transition’s icon, then choose View > Transition in Editor.
To open a copy of a transition from the Effects tab, do one of the following:
m Double-click a transition in the Effects tab.
m Select a transition, then press Return.
m Control-click the transition, then choose Open Viewer from the shortcut menu.
This opens a copy of the transition.
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
531
Applying a Modified Transition Directly to a Sequence
in the Timeline
After you modify a transition’s settings in the Transition Editor, you can apply the
transition directly to an edit point in the Timeline. If you do this, the modified transition
is only saved in the Timeline.
To apply a modified transition directly to your sequence in the Timeline:
m Drag the transition’s drag hand to an edit point in the Timeline.
Drag the hand from the
Transition Editor to an
edit point in your
sequence.
Trimming Transitions and the Surrounding Clips
Trimming is the process of modifying the edit points of clips that are already in your
sequence. After you’ve opened a transition in your sequence in the Transition Editor, you
can fine-tune your edit. This is done using the handles on the Out point of the outgoing
clip and the In point of the incoming clip that meet to form your transition’s edit point.
Changes you make to a transition in the Transition Editor (if it’s opened from the
sequence in the Timeline and not the Browser) immediately affect this transition in
your sequence.
Duration of the
outgoing clip
Handle of the
outgoing clip
Out point of the
outgoing clip
Transition end point
Transition start point
In point of the
incoming clip
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Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
Duration of the
incoming clip
VII
About the Two-Up Display in the Canvas
You can drag the pointer in the Transition Editor to trim the transition and change the
duration of the transition or the actual location, or edit point, where the transition
occurs between two clips. When you do this, a dual frame display appears in the
Canvas to show how your change affects the clips surrounding this transition.
 The frame on the left: This displays the current frame at the transition’s start point in
the outgoing clip.
 The frame on the right: This displays the current frame at the transition’s end point in
the incoming clip.
The name of each clip is at the top of each display and the timecode for the transition’s
start or end point is visible at the bottom of each display.
The end point
of the transition
in the incoming clip
The start point of the
transition in the
outgoing clip
Trimming the Duration of a Transition
When you move the pointer to either edge of a transition in the Transition Editor, it
changes to a Resize pointer. You can then change the duration of the transition,
depending on how much clip overlap is available.
To change the duration of a transition:
1 Open the transition in the Transition Editor.
2 Do one of the following:
 Enter a new duration in the Timecode Duration field, then press Return.
 Drag the beginning or end of the transition to the desired length. When you do this
to a transition centered at the edit point, both sides of the transition change
duration, but the edit point itself doesn’t move.
Drag either end of the transition
to the desired length.
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
533
Doing a Roll Edit to Change the Location of a Transition
If you move the pointer over the middle of a transition in the Transition Editor, it
changes to the Roll tool. You can then move the edit point along with the transition to
the left or to the right, as long as there is available overlap between the outgoing and
incoming clips.
To do a roll edit, changing the location of a transition:
1 Open the transition in the Transition Editor.
2 Place the pointer anywhere on the transition.
3 When the pointer changes to the Roll tool, drag the edit point and the transition to the
new location.
Using the Roll tool, drag the
edit point to a new position.
Check the two-up display in the
Canvas to help you determine
where to place the transition.
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Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
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Doing a Ripple Edit to Adjust the Length of a Clip in a Transition
Even when a transition is applied between two clips, you can change the duration of
the outgoing or incoming clip using the Ripple tool. Ripple edits do not cause gaps in
your edited sequence.
 Rippling the Out point of the outgoing clip: This moves the transition and the edit
point at the same time so that the outgoing clip is shortened or extended. The rest
of your edited sequence moves forward or back to accommodate this change.
 Rippling the In point of the incoming clip: This has no effect on the location of the edit
point or the transition, but shortens or lengthens the incoming clip. All subsequent
clips are moved to the left or right so that there is no resulting gap.
When you trim the outgoing or incoming clip with the Ripple tool, the Canvas shows
the current frame of the edit point you’re dragging, along with the clip’s name and the
current timecode value of the clip in a single frame display. A tooltip is displayed at the
location of the pointer in the Transition Editor to show the offset between the new edit
point you’re selecting and the original edit point.
To do a ripple edit, adjusting the length of the transition:
1 Open the transition in the Transition Editor.
2 Place the pointer at the Out point of the outgoing clip or at the In point of the
incoming clip.
When you do a ripple
edit, a tooltip shows the
offset between the new
and old edit points.
In the Canvas, the frame
of the new edit point is
shown.
3 When the pointer changes to the Ripple tool, drag the edit point to another frame
in your clip.
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
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Previewing and Rendering Transitions
Many transitions can play back in real-time, depending on your system and the
transition you’re applying. Those that can’t need to be rendered. Rendering is the
process of combining your video and audio with the applied effects, such as transitions
or filters, one frame at a time. The result is a new file, called a render file, which can be
played back in real time. The render bar, above the ruler in the Timeline, indicates the
render status of all transitions you’ve edited into your sequence (as well as other items
in your sequence).
Render bar
The render bar has two regions, one for video and the other for audio. Since you may
have audio transitions that need to be rendered associated with sections of video that
don’t need rendering, audio and video are kept separate.
 Upper region: Indicates the presence and render status of video effects items.
 Lower region: Indicates the presence and render status of audio effects items.
The upper area indicates
the render status of
video items.
The lower area indicates
the render status of
audio items.
Determining the Render Status of Transitions
Colors in the render bar above items indicate whether the items need to be rendered.
Items that don’t need to be rendered have dark gray bars above them. For more
information about real-time effects, see “Using RT Extreme” on page 865. For more
information on rendering, see “Rendering” on page 877.
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Previewing Transitions Before Rendering Them
If you have to render your transitions, it’s a good idea to preview complex transitions
first. You can preview transitions while you’re modifying them or any time before
rendering them.
To preview a transition, do one of the following:
m Move the playhead in the Canvas, the Timeline, or the Transition Editor over a frame of
the transition.
That frame of your transition is rendered and displayed in the Canvas, on your external
monitor, or both, depending on how your external video settings are configured.
Note: Make sure the Caps Lock key is not engaged. The Caps Lock key disables rendering.
m Move the playhead in the Canvas or Timeline to a frame just before your transition,
then choose Mark > Play > Every Frame (or press Option-\ or Option-P).
Final Cut Express HD plays every frame of your transition, although not in real time.
Rendering Transitions
If you need to render your transitions, you can render all the transitions and effects in
your sequence or only selected transitions. Rendering transitions is just like rendering
clips with filters applied. For detailed information on setting up and using render
quality settings, see “Rendering” on page 877.
To render a single transition in your sequence:
1 Select one or more transitions in the Timeline.
2 Choose Sequence > Render Selection > Both (or press Command-R).
To cancel rendering, click Cancel in the status box or press Esc.
To render only transitions and effects that can’t play in real time:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline.
2 Choose Sequence > Render All, and make sure Needs Render is the only option
enabled in the submenu.
3 Choose Sequence > Render All > Both.
To cancel rendering, click Cancel in the status box or press Esc.
To render all transitions and effects in your sequence:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline.
2 Choose Sequence > Render All > Both (or press Option-R).
To cancel rendering, click Cancel in the status box or press Esc.
Chapter 36 Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor
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37
Sequence to Sequence Editing
37
You can edit from one sequence to another, either by nesting
one sequence into another, or by actually editing the clips
from one sequence to another.
This chapter covers the following:
 Methods for Editing Clips From One Sequence to Another (p. 539)
 Opening More Than One Sequence at a Time (p. 540)
 Copying Clips From One Sequence to Another (p. 540)
 Nesting Sequences (p. 544)
 Editing the Content of One Sequence Into Another Without Nesting It (p. 547)
Note: If you’re looking for basic information about sequences, see Chapter 20, “Working
With Projects, Clips, and Sequences,” on page 261.
Methods for Editing Clips From One Sequence to Another
Often when you’re editing, you’ll be working with more than one sequence. For
example, you may create one sequence for each scene in a movie, or use different
sequences for various versions of your project. At some point, you may need to copy
clips from one sequence to another. Copying information between sequences is fairly
easy and can be done several ways. You can also edit entire sequences into other
sequences, commonly called nesting.
There are a few different ways to add content from one sequence to another:
 Copying and pasting clips from one sequence into another
 Using three-point editing to edit clips from a sequence open in the Viewer to a
destination sequence in the Canvas or Timeline
Important: Editing clips between sequences with different dimensions, frame rates,
and codecs will apply motion parameters, such as distortion and aspect ratio
adjustments, to the resulting clips in the destination sequence. To remove these
parameters, see “Reusing Effect and Motion Parameters” on page 745.
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Opening More Than One Sequence at a Time
To copy, edit, or nest a sequence into another sequence, the destination sequence
must be open in the Timeline or Canvas. When you open a sequence, the Timeline and
the Canvas open together, if they’re not open already. If the Timeline and Canvas are
already open, a newly opened sequence appears in its own tab on top of any other
sequence tabs.
If you want to view your sequences separately, you can move each into its own
window. This eliminates the constant need to click back and forth between sequence
tabs in the Timeline. For more information, see “Overview of the Final Cut Express HD
Interface” on page 55.
Copying Clips From One Sequence to Another
You can quickly copy clips between sequences if you want to use the same portion of
the clip in both sequences. You can copy clips between sequences by dragging or by
using the Copy and Paste commands.
To copy clips from one sequence to another by dragging:
1 Open both sequences in the Timeline.
2 Drag one sequence by its tab out of the Timeline to create a new window.
Make sure the two Timeline windows are viewable on screen and not overlapping
other windows.
3 Select one or more clips that you want to copy.
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4 Do one of the following:
 To do an insert edit, drag the clips where you want them to appear in the other
sequence, positioning the pointer in the upper part of the track (the pointer looks
like a right arrow).
Chapter 37 Sequence to Sequence Editing
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 To do an overwrite edit, drag the clips where you want them to appear in the other
sequence, positioning the pointer in the lower part of the track (the pointer looks like
a down arrow).
5 Release the mouse button.
The selected clips from the first sequence are copied into the second sequence.
To copy clips from one sequence to another using the Copy and Paste commands:
1 Open the sequence that contains the clip or clips you want to copy.
2 In the Timeline, select one or more clips, then choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
3 Open the sequence into which you want to copy the clips.
4 Make sure the Auto Select controls are enabled for the tracks you want to paste the
clips into.
For more information, see “Using Auto Select to Specify Tracks for Selections” on
page 370.
If all or none of the tracks have Auto Select enabled, the clips are placed on V1, A1, and
so on (depending on how many audio clip items are pasted).
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5 In the Timeline for the second sequence, do one of the following:
 Position the playhead where you want to place the beginning of the copied clip or clips.
 In the Current Timecode field, enter the timecode number where you want to place
the beginning of the copied clip or clips.
6 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The copied clips are pasted into the second sequence.
Important: If you copy and paste clips between sequences in different projects, all
pasted clips are independent, because master-affiliate relationships do not span
projects. To create master clips for the independent clips, you can select the sequence
and choose Tools > Create Master Clips.
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Nesting Sequences
Final Cut Express HD allows you to treat sequences as clips. You can open sequences in
the Viewer and set In and Out points, and you can even edit sequences into other
sequences. Putting one sequence inside another is called nesting a sequence. The
sequence inside another sequence is the nested sequence. The sequence that contains
the nested sequence is sometimes called the parent sequence.
Nested sequences can be used in the same way as clips. You can add audio and video
filters to them, set their opacity and level overlays in the Timeline, work with their
audio in the Audio tab of the Viewer, and adjust their motion parameters in the
Motion tab of the Viewer.
Note: A sequence can’t be edited into itself.
When Do You Nest Sequences?
Nesting sequences is useful in various situations:
 You can edit a movie using multiple sequences; for example, you can create a
sequence for each scene. You can then place all of the sequences, in order, into a
master sequence and output to tape or export a QuickTime movie.
 You can also use nested sequences to reduce the amount of rendering when
working with effects. You can place all of the effects-intensive audio or video sections
of your program into separate sequences, and render them. When you then nest
these sequences into your main program sequence, you can change the In and Out
points of the nested sequences without having to rerender all of clips inside of them.
 Another reason to nest sequences is to control the rendering order of effects used in
your project. This is useful for motion graphics work. You can apply filters to clips inside
a nested sequence, and then apply additional effects to the nested sequence itself.
Pros and Cons of Nested Sequences
Before you start using nested sequences in your project, it’s important to understand
some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with them. Nesting does allow
you to reuse an entire sequence of clips over and over. You can change a nested
sequence and the changes are reflected everywhere. However, multiple levels of
sequence nesting can take a while to display, since they require additional processing.
Nested sequences also make media management more complicated.
If you decide you don’t want to nest a sequence, you can still edit content from one
sequence to another. For more information, see “Editing the Content of One Sequence
Into Another Without Nesting It” on page 547.
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How Many Audio Items Does a Nested Sequence Have?
When you nest one sequence inside of another, the nested sequence has only one
video item, regardless of how many video tracks it has in its own Timeline window.
However, the number of audio items that are nested is equal to the number of audio
output channels specified in the Audio Outputs tab of the Sequence Settings window
for the nested sequence.
For example, if sequence A uses a single pair of stereo audio outputs, editing it into
sequence B results in a nested clip with one video and two audio items.
However, if sequence A has six audio outputs assigned in its sequence settings, editing
it into sequence B results in a nested sequence with one video and six audio items. This
is true regardless of how the audio tracks are assigned to audio output channels in the
nested sequence. For example, if you only have two audio tracks in the Timeline of the
nested sequence, and they are assigned to audio output channels 1 and 2, the nested
sequence still has six audio items when edited into another sequence.
Nesting a Sequence Inside Another Sequence
You can edit the contents of a sequence, render it, and then edit that sequence into
another sequence. This section explains the various ways you can nest a sequence into
another sequence.
To nest a sequence that is open in the Viewer:
1 Open the sequence you want to nest in the Viewer by doing one of the following:
 Drag the sequence from the Browser to the Viewer.
 Hold down the Option key, then double-click a sequence in the Browser (this opens
it in its own Viewer window).
 Control-click the sequence, then choose Open in Viewer from the shortcut menu.
2 In the Viewer, set In and Out points for the source sequence.
This lets you nest all or just a part of the sequence.
3 Edit the sequence into another sequence in the Timeline as you would a clip.
To nest a sequence by dragging it into another sequence:
m Drag the sequence from the Browser or Viewer to another sequence in the Timeline, as
you would a clip.
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To copy and paste a sequence into another sequence:
1 In the Browser, copy the sequence by doing one of the following:
 Select a sequence in the Browser, then choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).
 Control-click a sequence in the Browser, then choose Copy from the shortcut menu.
2 In the Canvas or Timeline, open the destination sequence, then move the playhead to
the location where you want to paste the nested sequence.
3 Specify the destination tracks where you want the nested sequence to go.
4 Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).
The selected sequence is now nested, or placed, into the second sequence.
Changing the Duration of a Nested Sequence Ripples Clips
After the Nested Sequence
When you first nest a sequence into another sequence (sometimes known as the parent
sequence), changes in the original nested sequence that affect its duration are reflected
in the parent sequence. For example, if you shorten a clip in the original nested sequence,
the overall sequence duration changes. As a result, the duration of the nested sequence
within the parent sequence is also shortened, and the subsequent clips in the parent
sequence are rippled to compensate for the shorter nested sequence.
This is quite helpful, since otherwise you’d end up with gaps in your parent sequence
whenever you change the length of one of your nested sequences. This is convenient
when each of your movie scenes is in a separate sequence. After you’ve edited all your
scenes together, if you decide to reedit any of the scene sequences, the changes you
make will automatically ripple items in the entire master sequence.
For example, suppose sequence B, which has a duration of 10 seconds, is nested inside
another sequence, with more clips appearing to the right of it.
Nested sequence B
inside another sequence
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You open sequence B and add two more clips to the end of it, extending its duration
from 10 to 15 seconds. Once you’ve done this, all of the clips in the parent sequence
that are to the right of the nested sequence B are automatically rippled 5 seconds to
the right to accommodate the lengthening of the nested sequence B.
Adding clips to sequence B
ripples the parent sequence.
Important: If you modify a nested sequence duration in a parent sequence, or if you
specifically set In and Out points in a sequence before you nest it into a parent
sequence, the nested sequence may no longer ripple clips in the parent sequence
when you adjust content in the nested sequence.
Editing the Content of One Sequence Into Another
Without Nesting It
Instead of nesting one sequence inside another, you can simply edit the clips of a
sequence into another sequence.
Editing Sequence Content Versus Nesting
To help you understand how it works, suppose Sequence A has the following content
edited into it:
Sequence A
Chapter 37 Sequence to Sequence Editing
547
If you drag Sequence A into the Canvas to edit it into Sequence B, the resulting nested
sequence typically has one video track and two audio tracks (assuming Sequence A has
two audio output channels).
Nesting Sequence A into Sequence B
results in Sequence A becoming
one clip in Sequence B.
Sequence B
If you hold down the Command key while dragging Sequence A into the Canvas, you’ll
edit the clips contained within Sequence A into Sequence B. So each clip in Sequence A
is still an individual clip in Sequence B. This allows for more flexibility should you want
to make changes to any clips that are in Sequence A. However, future changes in
Sequence A have no effect on Sequence B; Sequence B does not automatically update
to reflect the changes.
Using the Command key results in
individual clips being copied into
the destination sequence.
Editing Clips From One Sequence Into Another
This section describes how you can edit clips from one sequence into another
sequence. There are a few different methods:
 Edit content from the Viewer using the Canvas Edit Overlay or corresponding
keyboard shortcuts.
 Hold down the Command key while dragging clips directly into the Timeline.
You can drag content from the Browser to the Timeline, or use three-point editing rules.
You can also create split edits from one sequence to another.
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To edit all content from one sequence into another using the Canvas Edit Overlay:
1 Open your destination sequence (where the copied clips will go) in the Timeline, then
set an In point for the incoming clips by doing one of the following:
 Position the playhead in the Timeline.
 Set an In point in the Timeline or Canvas.
Set an In point where you
want to place clips from
the source sequence.
2 If necessary, create additional tracks for each track present in the source sequence.
Important: If you don’t create additional tracks, only clips on V1, A1, and A2 will be
copied from the source sequence.
3 Hold down the Command key, then drag your source sequence (the sequence you
want to copy clips from) from the Browser or the Viewer to the Overwrite or Insert
section of the Canvas Edit overlay.
The content of the source sequence
is edited into the currently active
sequence in the Timeline.
To edit all content from one sequence into another using keyboard shortcuts:
1 Open your destination sequence (where the copied clips will go) in the Timeline, then
set an In point for the incoming clips by doing one of the following:
 Position the playhead in the Timeline.
 Set an In point in the Timeline or Canvas.
2 If necessary, create additional tracks for each track present in the source sequence.
If you don’t create additional tracks, only clips on V1, A1, and A2 will be copied from
the source sequence.
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549
3 In the Browser, select the sequence you want to copy clips from (the source sequence).
4 Do one of the following:
 To perform an insert edit: Press Command-F9.
 To perform an overwrite edit: Press Command-F10.
The content of the source sequence is edited into the destination sequence in the
Timeline.
To edit content from one sequence into another by dragging it into the Timeline:
1 In the Timeline, open the destination sequence (where the copied clips will go) by
clicking the sequence’s tab.
2 If necessary, create additional tracks for each track present in the source sequence.
Important: If you don’t create additional tracks, only clips on V1, A1, and A2 will be
copied from the source sequence.
3 Drag a sequence from either the Browser or the Viewer to the area of the Timeline you
want to edit it into.
A highlighted area shows
where the content from the
source sequence will go.
4 Keeping the mouse button held down, press the Command key.
5 Keeping the Command key held down, release the mouse button.
The content of the sequence you dragged is edited into the currently active sequence
in the Timeline, with all clips appearing individually.
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38
Matching Frames
38
You can use the frame displayed in the Canvas to open the
matching frame of a master clip in the Viewer. You can also
open sequence clips directly in the Viewer.
This chapter covers the following:
 Working With Sequence Clips in the Viewer (p. 551)
 Matching Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips (p. 554)
Working With Sequence Clips in the Viewer
The Viewer is a versatile window used for several different purposes. In the early stages
of editing, the Viewer is used independently of the Canvas and Timeline, mostly to set
In and Out points for clips before they are edited into your sequence. In the later
stages, when you are fine-tuning, you can use the Viewer, in combination with the
Canvas and Timeline, as another way of viewing portions of your sequence.
You work with sequence clips in the Viewer to:
 Precisely trim clip In and Out points. You can make most of the same clip
adjustments in the Viewer that you can in the Timeline, such as ripple, roll, and slip
edits, but the process and visual feedback are very different.
 Adjust motion and effects parameters. For example, if each sequence clip has a color
correction filter applied, you access each clip’s filter parameters by opening the
sequence clip in the Viewer and clicking the Filters tab.
Note: Sequence clips display sprocket holes in the Viewer’s scrubber bar to indicate
that they are part of a larger sequence; Browser clips don’t display sprocket holes.
Sprocket holes
indicate that this is a
sequence clip.
551
Opening a Sequence Clip in the Viewer
When you open a sequence clip in the Viewer, you can work with it directly in the
Viewer instead of in the Timeline.
To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Timeline:
m Double-click a clip in the Timeline.
m Select the clip, then choose View > Clip (or press Return).
m Position the playhead at the In point of the clip in the Timeline (using the Up or Down
Arrow key) or anywhere within the clip in the Timeline, then press the Return key.
The clip on the lowest-numbered Auto Select–enabled track opens in the Viewer and
the Viewer playhead is at the same frame as the one under the Timeline playhead.
To open a sequence clip in the Viewer from the Canvas or Timeline:
1 Make sure no clips are selected in the Timeline by choosing Edit > Deselect All (or
pressing Shift-Command-A).
2 In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in the
Viewer.
3 Do one of the following:
 Double-click the image in the Canvas.
 Press Enter or Return.
The corresponding sequence clip opens in the Viewer to the specified frame.
To open a specific sequence clip item in the Viewer:
1 In the Timeline, click the Linked Selection button to turn off linked selection (if it’s on),
or hold down the Option key.
2 Double-click the clip item you want to open in the Viewer.
Only the selected clip item is opened in the Viewer. Any items linked to this clip item
are not opened in the Viewer.
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Switching Between the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline
When you work with sequence clips in the Viewer, you can quickly switch between the
Viewer and the Canvas or Timeline. For example, opening a sequence clip in the Viewer
activates the Viewer, but you might want to open the clip in the Viewer and then play
the sequence.
To switch between the Canvas and Viewer:
m Press the Q key.
To switch between the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline, do one of the following:
m To make the Viewer active: Press Command-1.
m To make the Canvas active: Press Command-2.
m To make the Timeline active: Press Command-3.
Note: If you press a key combination for a window that is already active, the window
closes. Pressing the key combination again opens the window. When you close a
window by pressing the window’s key combination, the content of that window is still
remembered when you open that window again. This is different from closing a
window by pressing Command-W or clicking the close button; in these cases, the
content of the window is not remembered when you open the window again.
Using the Viewer to Adjust Sequence Clip In and Out Points
Adjusting clip In and Out points in the Timeline is very intuitive. You simply drag the
boundary of the clip to make the clip longer or shorter. However, you can also open a
sequence clip in the Viewer and set an In or Out point on the exact frame you want.
Ultimately, the results are the same whether you adjust a clip in the Viewer or the
Timeline, but there are times when one method may better help you visualize the result.
The advantage of working with sequence clips in the Viewer is that you can navigate
through the whole clip, even beyond the clip In and Out points. Making an edit in the
Viewer is a two-step process, but in some cases you may prefer the visual precision of
this approach over dragging clip boundaries in the Timeline. With this method, you
always know exactly which frames the In and Out points are set on.
In the Viewer, as well as in the Canvas and Timeline, the active tool, such as the Ripple,
Roll, or Selection tool, determines the result of the edit.
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553
To make a ripple, roll, slip, or duration change to a sequence clip in the Viewer:
1 Open the sequence clip in the Viewer.
2 Select the appropriate tool for the type of edit you want to do.
3 In the Viewer, navigate to the frame you want to use for the clip’s new In point.
4 Press I to set a new In point.
5 Navigate to a new Out point and press O to set a new Out point.
If the new In or Out point is not accepted, check to see if Final Cut Express HD displays
an alert message. Some edits are not possible because they would cause other
sequence clips to be partially overwritten or moved out of sync. For more information,
see “Understanding Alert Messages When Trimming” on page 491.
Using the Viewer to Adjust Motion and Filter Parameters
When you want to adjust effects and motion parameters for a sequence clip, you open
the clip in the Viewer to make adjustments in the Motion and Filters tabs. For more
information, see “Changing Motion Parameters” on page 689. You can also refer to
“Video Filters” on page 663.
Matching Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips
Sequence clips, which are usually affiliate clips, have a relationship to other clips in your
project. Because of this relationship, you can tell Final Cut Express HD to open the
following clips in the Viewer:
 The sequence clip’s master clip, located in the Browser
 The sequence clip’s source media file, located on disk
When Final Cut Express HD opens one of these items in the Viewer, the playhead is
positioned at exactly the same frame in the Viewer as in the Canvas and Timeline. This
is known as a match frame.
Important: If a sequence clip is not an affiliate clip, it is independent, so it isn’t related to
a master clip in the Browser. You can’t match an independent clip back to a master clip,
because it doesn’t have one. However, you can still match back to the original media
file. For more information about master-affiliate clip relationships, see “Working With
Master and Affiliate Clips” on page 921.
To check if a sequence clip is independent:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline, or move the playhead over a clip in the Canvas or Timeline.
2 Choose View > Reveal Master Clip.
If the Reveal Master Clip menu item is dimmed, the selected sequence clip does not
have a master clip, and it is therefore independent.
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Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Master Clip
Sometimes you’ll want to view the master clip that a sequence clip came from. Here
are several reasons why:
 You want to open the original master clip without any of the motion, filter, or audio
parameters from the sequence clip. This is useful when you want to add a “fresh”
copy of the clip to your sequence.
 You want to open the master clip with all of its video and audio items, instead of the
sequence clip, which may only be a single clip item.
For example, your sequence clip may be a video clip item that no longer has its
corresponding audio. You can get those audio clip items back by opening the video
clip item’s master clip in the Viewer. The master clip in the Viewer contains all the
video and audio items, so you can edit the audio items from the master clip back
into the sequence using a replace or overwrite edit. For details about replace edits,
see “Performing a Replace Edit” on page 339.
To match a sequence clip’s current frame to its master clip in the Viewer:
1 In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in the Viewer.
2 Choose View > Match Frame > Master Clip.
The master clip for the sequence clip opens in the Viewer. The playhead in the Viewer
is set to the same frame as seen in the Canvas (thus, the frames match in the Canvas
and Viewer).
When the clip’s master clip opens in the Viewer, notice that there are no “sprocket
holes” in the scrubber bar. This is because you’re seeing the clip from the Browser, not
the sequence clip. When you view the master clip, it has the same In and Out points as
the sequence clip.
To reveal a sequence clip’s master clip in the Browser:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline, or move the playhead over a clip in the Canvas or Timeline.
2 Choose View > Reveal Master Clip (or press Shift-F).
The sequence clip’s master clip is selected in the Browser, and the Browser becomes the
active window.
Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Media File
There are some situations in which you may want to reveal the original media file of a
clip instead of the clip’s master clip. For example, if you are working with a subclip in
the Timeline and you want to see all of the original media (instead of only the portion
defined by the subclip limits), you can match to the original media file. This opens the
entire media file as an independent clip in the Viewer. This clip has no filters or motion
parameters applied, and has no In or Out points set.
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Important: If you open a source media file in the Viewer and drag it to the Browser, a
new master clip is created. If you drag it to the Timeline or Canvas, an independent clip
is created in the sequence. This is true whenever you open a media file in the Viewer—
either by using a match frame command or by dragging a media file from the Finder
directly to the Viewer.
Independent sequence clips can cause complications during media management and
recapturing, so you should avoid editing with these clips. You should also be careful
not to unnecessarily create more than one master clip that references the same media
file. Subclips are an example of master clips that can refer to the same media file, but
each subclip refers to a different portion of the media file. Multiple master clips that
refer to the exact same parts of the same media file are usually unnecessary.
To open a sequence or Browser clip’s media file as a clip in the Viewer:
1 In the Timeline, Canvas, or Viewer, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in
the Viewer.
2 Choose View > Match Frame > Source Media File.
An independent clip is created in the Viewer that refers to the media file on disk. No In
or Out points are set, but the Viewer displays the same frame as the Canvas (or the
Viewer, if you were matching frames from a clip in the Viewer).
Matching a Frame in the Viewer to a Sequence Clip
in the Canvas or Timeline
Just as you can match a sequence clip’s frame to the same frame in its master clip, (see
“Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Master Clip” on page 555), you can also find
frames in a sequence that match a clip open in the Viewer. This is a very powerful
feature because you can instantly check to see if footage open in the Viewer is used
anywhere in the current sequence.
To match a master clip (or any Browser clip) frame to a sequence clip in the
current sequence:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline.
2 Open a Browser clip in the Viewer and navigate to the frame you want to match in the
current sequence.
3 Choose View > Match Frame > Master Clip (or press F).
If the frame shown in the Viewer exists in an affiliate clip in the sequence, the Canvas/
Timeline playhead moves to that frame. If there are several occurrences of the affiliate
clip frame in the sequence, Final Cut Express HD moves the Timeline playhead to the
nearest frame after the current playhead location.
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39
Working With Timecode
39
Timecode provides a unique address for each video frame on
your tapes. Timecode is the vital organizational link between
your original camera tapes, media files on disk, and clips in
your Final Cut Express HD project.
This chapter covers the following:
 About Timecode in Final Cut Express HD (p. 557)
About Timecode in Final Cut Express HD
Final Cut Express HD works with SMPTE standard timecode, which is displayed in the
following format:
hours:minutes:seconds:frames, or HH:MM:SS:FF
In Final Cut Express HD, each clip’s timecode starts at 00:00:00:00.
Important: Final Cut Express HD clips store the original timecode from your source
tapes so you can recapture your media, but this timecode is not displayed.
Frame Rate Versus Timecode
The frame rate of film, videotape, or media files determines how quickly frames are
recorded or played back. Timecode (or edge code in the case of film) is a unique
address for each frame, providing easy navigation, logging, recapturing, and final Edit
Decision Lists (EDLs) that accurately refer back to original camera reels. For more
information about frame rate and timecode, see Appendix B, “Frame Rate and
Timecode,” on page 1047.
Displaying Timecode Affected by Speed Changes
If you alter the speed of a clip, the frames of the media file are no longer played at their
original rate. By default, Final Cut Express HD displays the timecode in italics whenever
a clip is not playing at normal speed.
557
For example, if you adjust a clip’s speed by 200%, Final Cut Express HD plays the media
file at twice the normal speed, which actually means only half the frames are played
(every other frame is skipped). The timecode display shows the actual timecode
number of each frame, so the timecode numbers skip, just as the video frames do.
Clip Time Versus Source Time
If your media file’s timecode track and video track have the same rate, which is almost
always the case, there is no difference between source time and clip time. To avoid
confusion, you should always display source time unless you have a specific reason to
use clip time.
Changing Global Timecode Display Options
Timecode display settings can be globally adjusted for an entire project. For most
situations, it’s best to stick with the Final Cut Express HD default settings:
 Time Display: Timecode
 Timecode: Source Time
To choose default timecode display options for the active project:
1 In the Browser, click the tab of the project for which you want to change timecode
display settings.
2 Choose Edit > Project Properties.
3 Choose a new timecode display from the Time Display pop-up menu.
4 Click OK.
To reset the timecode display for all clips in the active project:
1 In the Browser, click the tab of the project for which you want to change timecode
display settings.
2 Choose Edit > Project Properties.
3 Choose a timecode display from the Time Display pop-up menu.
4 Select the Reset Time Display checkbox.
5 Click OK.
To set all clips in the active project to display source time or clip time:
1 In the Browser, click the tab of the project for which you want to change time
mode settings.
2 Choose Edit > Project Properties.
3 Choose Source Time or Clip Time from the Time Mode pop-up menu.
4 Click OK.
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Part VII Fine-Tuning Your Edit
Part VIII: Audio Mixing
VIII
Find instructions for connecting audio equipment and using
the Final Cut Express HD audio mixing tools to complete your
movie’s soundtrack.
Chapter 40
Overview of Audio Mixing
Chapter 41
Setting Up Audio Equipment
Chapter 42
Audio Fundamentals
Chapter 43
Audio Levels, Meters, and Output Channels
Chapter 44
Mixing Audio in the Timeline and Viewer
Chapter 45
Using the Voice Over Tool
Chapter 46
Using Audio Filters
Chapter 47
Tips for Better Audio
40
Overview of Audio Mixing
40
Audio mixing is the process of blending the sounds of your
movie together by adding filters and adjusting levels and
pan settings.
This chapter covers the following:
 Audio Finishing Features in Final Cut Express HD (p. 561)
 Overview of Audio Sweetening in Final Cut Express HD (p. 562)
 Making the Final Mix (p. 565)
Audio Finishing Features in Final Cut Express HD
Once your movie is edited and the picture is locked, you “sweeten” the soundtrack by
adding music, voiceover, and sound effects. When all the audio elements are in place,
you mix the audio by adjusting levels and pan settings and adding filters.
You can finish your movie soundtrack directly in Final Cut Express HD, or you can
export your audio tracks to another audio editing application, create a final mix, and
then import the finished mix into Final Cut Express HD for final output.
Audio Sweetening Features
Final Cut Express HD provides tools for audio sweetening (including cleanup) and realtime mixing. Audio sweetening features in Final Cut Express HD allow you to:
 Edit and synchronize audio and video clips. (See “Audio Editing Basics” on page 425.)
 Add voiceover and rerecord production dialogue in sync with your sequence video.
(See Chapter 45, “Using the Voice Over Tool,” on page 623.)
 Add additional audio tracks for Foley effects, sound effects, and music.
 Add audio filters for cleaning up original production sound by filtering out unwanted
frequencies and compressing or expanding the dynamic range of your mix. (See
Chapter 46, “Using Audio Filters,” on page 639.)
 Add audio cross fades to smooth over cuts between audio clip items in the Timeline.
(See “Adding Transitions” on page 507.)
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Audio Mixing Features
You can use Final Cut Express HD to create a finished audio mix for your movie in the
following ways:
 Adjust audio levels and pan using clip overlays in the Timeline or Viewer. (See
“Adjusting Audio Levels in the Timeline” on page 601.)
 Add keyframes to precisely control level adjustments over time.
 Add audio filter keyframes to change filter parameters over time. (See Chapter 50,
“Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects,” on page 719.)
Mixing Your Audio in Other Applications
If you want to mix or process your audio in another application, you can export
individual audio files, one for each track in your sequence.
Monitoring Audio on External Speakers
Final Cut Express HD can send sequence audio to the main audio outputs on your
computer (either the built-in outputs or a third-party audio interface) or to a DV device
(via the FireWire port). You can connect external speakers to one of these audio
outputs to precisely monitor your audio while you mix. For more information, see
Chapter 41, “Setting Up Audio Equipment,” on page 567.
Overview of Audio Sweetening in Final Cut Express HD
Once you finish editing your movie, you need to sweeten the soundtrack, which means
adding additional sound effects, music, narration, and so on. You can create multiple
audio tracks in your sequence to organize your audio, and add markers to indicate
where specific sound and musical accompaniment is required.
Categories of Post-Production Audio
Post-production sound is broken down into the following categories:
 Dialogue: Actors speaking onscreen, voiceover, or narration.
 Automatic dialogue replacement (ADR): Dialogue recorded during post-production to
replace missing or problem production dialogue. Also referred to as looping or
automated dialogue replacement.
 Foley effects: These effects capture the sounds of humans interacting with their
environment. The movements of actors onscreen are re-created by Foley artists while
the sounds are recorded and later placed in sync with the picture. Foley effects
include footsteps, punches, clothing rustle, silverware or glass on tables, and so on.
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 Sound effects: Sound effects enhance the believability or mood of a scene. You can
purchase stock sound effects libraries for use in your projects, or you can create your
own sound effects. Sound effects are usually recorded during post-production, once
the picture is edited and it is clear what sounds are required. Examples include
mechanical sounds, explosions, vehicles, animals, a clock ticking, a telephone ringing,
and so on.
 Ambient sounds: These sound effects are added during post-production to establish
the sonic environment of a scene and to keep background noise levels consistent
from cut to cut. These are sometimes referred to as sound beds. For example, cricket
sounds are often added to night scenes; car and traffic noise for city scenes; crowd
sounds for a busy bar or restaurant scene; and so on.
 Music: Music has many different uses, depending on the type of project you are
working on. For example, in a music video, the music influences the picture by
establishing the rhythm of the editing, while narrative movies use music in the
background to influence the mood of a scene.
Creating Additional Tracks for Audio Sweetening
Final Cut Express HD sequences support up to 99 audio tracks, so you can create
discrete tracks, or groups of tracks, for each category of sound. For example, you can
use a separate track for each actor in a scene, or each character’s Foley track, such as
footsteps, clothing rustles, and so on. For more information, see “Working With Tracks
in the Timeline” on page 305.
Using Sequence Markers for Sound Effects and Musical Cues
It’s common for editors or directors to play through an edited sequence and locate, or
spot, places in the Timeline where sound effects should go. This is sometimes referred
to as a sound effects spotting session. You can add markers to your sequence to indicate
where the editor or sound designer should place sound effects. For more information
about adding markers, see “Using Markers” on page 235.
You can also add music scoring markers to indicate video frames where you want specific
musical cues to line up. Scoring markers can be exported along with a QuickTime
reference movie into Soundtrack to create original, synchronized musical scores.
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Cleaning Up Audio
Once you’ve organized your audio tracks by sound category and properly placed your
sound effects and music, you can clean up noisy audio clips and fine-tune levels in
preparation for the final audio mix.
Even when you strive for the best location recording possible, you’ll usually need to do
a certain amount of cleanup for every track recorded in the field. If you’re working with
vocal tracks, you might find yourself editing out background noises between lines,
deleting comments from the director, or even trying to replace words that the actors
tripped over during an otherwise perfect take. Final Cut Express HD gives you a fine
degree of control when editing audio clips, so you can make these kinds of changes.
You can also choose to edit your audio in a different application. For example, setting
an audio editing application capable of destructive changes as your audio file editor
would allow you to quickly make permanent changes directly to the source audio files
on disk. (You might want to do this to use a noise reduction filter available in that
application to clean up a particularly noisy clip.) In this way, you can apply effects or
special sound-sweetening filters before continuing work on your edit. For more
information on specifying external editing applications, see “Choosing Settings
and Preferences” on page 945.
Adding Audio Filters
Along with setting volume levels for the audio clips in your sequence, you may need to
apply audio filters. Some filters, like Compression and Equalization, can be used to
improve audio that’s already good, making the dynamic range of a clip more
manageable or further clarifying an actor’s voice. For audio clips with distortion,
interference, or unwanted sound, you may be able to use a filter such as Hum Remover
or DePopper to try to make the clips usable.
Setting Appropriate Volume Levels for Audio Clips in Sequences
You can adjust the volume level of all the clips in a sequence relative to each other so
that the audio blends together effectively. For example, if you’re editing a narrator
speaking over music in the background, you don’t want the music to overwhelm the
sound of the narrator’s voice. To achieve a balanced mix, you can bring up the level of
the narration and reduce the level of the music.
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Making the Final Mix
During the final mix, you choose exactly how to balance dialogue, effects, and music
for optimal clarity and impact. If you simply combine all the stems together without
adjusting levels, the combined level may be too high, dialogue may be inaudible, and
sound effects or music that worked in the individual stem mixes may feel wrong in the
context of the other audio.
To make the final mix, it’s critical that you use audio monitors you can trust. Once the
final mix sounds good and the levels are consistent, you can then output to tape or
digital audio files.
When you mix, keep the following goals in mind:
 Keep levels consistent throughout your sequence, especially from shot to shot within
a continuous scene.
 Avoid low signal levels, which can result in unintelligible and noisy audio.
 Avoid distortion caused by overly high levels.
 Make sure all dialogue is clearly audible, well above background noise and music.
 Remove background noise that interferes with dialogue. This includes low-frequency
rumble caused by wind or vehicle noise.
Determining the Number of Output Channels/Speakers
Early audio systems were monophonic, capable of recording and playing back a single
channel of audio. However, soon after sound was introduced to movies, filmmakers
began exploring the creative possibilities of mixing multiple audio channels together
to create a monophonic mix, and later two (stereo) speakers.
Before you begin your final mix, you need to know how many speakers you are mixing
for. The most common configurations are:
 Mono: A single speaker. This is typical on older radios, televisions, and film projectors.
 Stereo: A two-channel system with speakers on the left and right, corresponding to
each ear. Today, almost all forms of media support stereo audio.
Adjusting Audio Levels
In Final Cut Express HD, each clip has its own audio level control. As you adjust levels,
watch the audio meters to check that the average levels are acceptable and that the
peaks aren’t too high. Check your levels in the floating audio meter to make sure the
overall level is at a consistent level. If the audio output is too high (above 0 dBFS), the
sound will be distorted.
In Final Cut Express HD, you can adjust audio levels in the Viewer or Timeline. You can
view levels by using the floating audio meters. For more information, see Chapter 44,
“Mixing Audio in the Timeline and Viewer,” on page 601.
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Adjusting Pan
Panning allows you to control the placement of each sound in your mix. Using pan
controls, you can position each sound to whichever speaker/output channel you want,
or distribute it to both left and right speakers at once. For example, if an audio signal is
hard-panned to the left, it only comes out of the left speaker. However, if the signal is
center-panned, the signal is equally present in the left and right speakers.
A knob or slider controls stereo pan. As you move the pan control from left to right, the
sound moves from the left speaker to the right speaker. Moving sounds, such as a car
passing in front of the screen, can be simulated by quickly panning a single (mono)
sound from one speaker to the other.
In Final Cut Express HD, you can adjust pan controls for each clip in the Viewer.
Mixing to Call Attention to Important Audio
In most movies, the most important audio (though not always the loudest) is the sound
of people’s voices: the actors, the interviewees, or the narrator. What these people say
is the point of the show, so it’s a safe bet that the average level will be determined by
the level you set for these voices. As a result, all other sound levels in your program will
be adjusted relative to these voices.
This can change, of course, depending on the requirements of your program. If, at
some point in your program, the music becomes more important (such as during a
montage that shows the passing of time), you can raise the levels of your music clip to
the level of the average loudness, and set the voice clips to a lower level. As soon as
the voices become important again, you can raise their levels, and lower those of the
music. This is what mixing is all about.
To mix the levels of the various clips in your sequence, you must determine the loudest
sound in your program, and then set that as the highest level in your mix. You set the
average levels of the dialogue in your program to match the reference level you
choose, making sure that any peaks in the dialogue do not exceed those of the loudest
sound in the program. Finally, you set the levels of all the other audio clips in your
program (music, sound effects, background ambience) so that they do not interfere
with the dialogue.
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Setting Up Audio Equipment
41
The built-in audio port on your computer can be acceptable
for rough editing, but for a professional sound mix, an
external audio monitoring system is essential.
This chapter covers the following:
 Choosing External Audio Monitoring Components (p. 567)
 Audio Cables, Connectors, and Signal Levels (p. 572)
 Configuring External Audio Monitors (p. 576)
Choosing External Audio Monitoring Components
This section describes the basic equipment necessary for a professional audio monitoring
system and explains how to set up Final Cut Express HD to work with this equipment.
An external audio monitoring system requires:
 An audio interface to connect audio devices to your computer
 An audio amplifier (one for each speaker—this is usually a single stereo amplifier)
 A pair of professional speakers (for stereo monitoring)
 Proper placement of speakers and acoustic treatment of your editing suite
 A pair of low-quality speakers, or a television monitor (for listening to your audio as it
will sound to most viewers—optional)
 Headphones for critical listening to audio, especially for low-level noise
 An external audio mixer for routing and controlling levels of multiple audio
channels (optional)
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Choosing an Audio Interface
An audio interface provides high-quality audio input and output between your computer
and audio equipment. This includes analog-to-digital (A-to-D) and digital-to-analog (D-toA) converters, a stable digital audio clock, and input connectors that are compatible with
your equipment, such as 1/4" phone (tip-ring-sleeve) and XLR connectors.
When you select an audio interface, make sure it has the following:
 Connectors that match your audio equipment, such as XLR, 1/4" TRS, RCA, or
TOSLINK (optical connector)
 Support for audio signal formats that your audio equipment uses, such as AES/EBU,
S/PDIF, or ADAT Lightpipe
 Enough audio inputs and outputs to connect your equipment
 Sample rate and bit depth at least as high as your audio equipment. For example, if
you have an audio device with a sample rate of 96 kHz and 24 bits, your audio
interface should at least match this.
Some PCI card audio interfaces include a breakout box. A breakout box allows you to
extend the interface’s audio connectors away from the back of the computer, such as
on a desk or even in an equipment rack.
The most common kinds of audio interfaces are described below.
Built-in Audio
For basic mixing, you can connect the built-in audio output on your computer to a pair
of external speakers. This gives you two output channels, which can be configured for
dual mono or stereo playback.
DV (FireWire)
If your sequence uses a DV codec, you can output audio via the FireWire port on your
computer. This allows you to use a DV deck, camcorder, or DV-to-analog converter as an
audio interface. In this case, you connect your FireWire cable to your DV device, and then
connect the audio outputs of the DV device to external speakers or a television monitor.
Third-Party Audio Interfaces
Third-party audio interfaces support more audio channels than your computer’s
built-in interface, and they often have professional connectors such as XLR or
1/4" phone (tip-ring-sleeve).
Important: If you are considering purchasing an interface, make sure it supports
Mac OS X Core Audio.
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Choosing Speakers and an Amplifier for Monitoring
Professional audio engineers mix by listening, so they have to be able to trust the sound
coming from their speakers. When you mix your audio, you need audio monitors that can
handle the full range of audio intensities and frequencies. Ideally, your monitors will have
a flat frequency response from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (or 20 kHz). This means that they neither
attenuate nor amplify any frequencies. Flat frequency response is important for critical
listening because the speakers themselves are not coloring the sound.
In addition to the speaker quality itself, additional factors affect your audio
monitoring environment:
 Size and materials of the room
 Placement of the speakers within the room, such as distance from walls and angle
of speakers
 Listener position between speakers
Frequency Response and Dynamic Range
The quality of speakers varies greatly depending on their purpose as well as their price.
For example, speakers in a boombox or television are designed to play audio that has
already been mastered by a mixing engineer. Mastered audio such as audio CD, radio,
television, and movie sound has a compressed dynamic range (meaning levels are fairly
consistent and loud).
Speakers and amplifiers that are designed for mastered audio often intentionally
emphasize certain frequencies, as is done with the bass enhancement feature found on
many systems. This may make an audio CD sound better but it is not recommended for
mixing production sound because you get a false impression of the audio signal. For
example, if your speakers overemphasize frequencies around 2 kHz, you may
compensate during mixing by reducing the intensity of audio around 2 kHz. If you then
play your mix on a different set of speakers with a flat frequency response, the
frequencies around 2 kHz will sound too muffled.
+ dB
+ dB
– dB
– dB
20 Hz
200Hz
1 kHz
5 kHz
Flat
Chapter 41 Setting Up Audio Equipment
20 kHz
20 Hz
200 Hz
1 kHz
5 kHz
20 kHz
Not flat
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Amplifiers and Signal Levels
Audio speakers require signals with higher voltage than consumer and professional
equipment can provide directly. Speakers require speaker level audio signals, while
audio devices such as tape recorders and audio mixers usually provide line level signals.
An audio amplifier boosts line level signals to speaker levels to properly drive speakers.
Wide gauge speaker cables that can handle the higher electrical strength of speaker
levels are used to connect the amplifier to speakers. For more information about audio
signal levels, see “Microphone, Instrument, and Line Level” on page 574.
Self-Powered Versus Passive Speakers
Speakers powered by an external amplifier are called passive speakers. When you use
separate amplifiers and passive speakers, complex factors such as impedance matching
and cable length affect the overall frequency response and quality of your audio.
Instead of using a separate amplifier and speakers, a simpler option is to use selfpowered speakers (speakers with built-in amplifiers). These have become increasingly
popular, especially for studio monitoring and video editing.
Self-powered speakers deliver more consistent performance because both components
are designed to work together and are housed in a single enclosure. For video editing
systems, self-powered speakers are a good, easy-to-use solution. Self-powered speakers
accept line level inputs, so it’s fairly easy to connect them to your audio interface.
Matching Your Mixing and Screening Environments
It’s critical that you monitor your mix in an environment that closely matches the
final viewing environment. A movie destined for a theater should be mixed on an
audio system that matches the theater sound system. Likewise, a movie destined for
DVD release for home viewing should be mixed on a system that resembles a home
viewing environment.
Setting Up a Proper Audio Monitoring Environment
Room shape and material are just as important as the quality of the speakers
themselves. Every surface in a room potentially reflects sound, and these reflections
mix together with the sound originating from the speakers. Rooms with parallel walls
can create standing waves, which are mostly low-frequency sound waves that reinforce
and cancel each other as they bounce back and forth.
Standing waves cause some frequencies to be emphasized or attenuated more than
others, depending on your listening position. When you mix in a room that creates
standing waves, you may adjust certain frequencies more than necessary. However, you
may not notice until you play back your audio in a different listening environment, in
which those frequencies may sound overbearing or nonexistent.
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∏
Tip: A much cheaper alternative to building new walls is to mount angled pieces of
material to the existing walls to eliminate parallel surfaces.
If the material in a room is very reflective, the room sounds “brighter” because high
frequencies are easily reflected. Mounting absorbing material (such as acoustic foam)
on the walls can reduce the brightness of a room. A “dead room” is one that has very
little reflection (or reverberation). Try to cover any reflective surfaces in your
monitoring environment.
Speaker Placement and Listening Position
Most video editing suites use nearfield monitors, which are speakers designed to be
listened to at fairly close range. Speakers should be at least a foot or two away from
any walls to prevent early reflections of sound which combine with and muddy up the
original sound.
Position the speakers as far from your listening position as they are from each other
(forming an equilateral triangle). For example, if the distance between the speakers is
six feet, you should place yourself six feet from each speaker. The apparent width of the
sound stage, or stereo image, increases as the distance between the speakers increases.
However, if the two speakers get too far apart, sound information appearing in the
center (between both speakers) starts to disappear.
Using Headphones
Many people use headphones as an alternative to critical monitoring speakers.
Headphones provide isolation from ambient noise in the room where you are mixing,
adding additional clarity that may not be obvious in your speakers a few feet from your
ears. This clarity can be helpful for cleaning up low-level noise and pops created by
misaligned edits. However, don’t rely solely on headphones when you mix because
adjustments you make may be too subtle or delicate for the average viewer listening to
your movie on speakers a few feet away.
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Audio Cables, Connectors, and Signal Levels
When connecting audio devices, you use cables with the appropriate connector on
each end. Audio cables can be either balanced or unbalanced, depending on their
intended use.
About Balanced Audio Signals
For long cable runs, especially when using relatively low microphone levels, a threewire balanced audio circuit reduces noise. Balanced audio cables use the principle of
phase cancellation to eliminate noise while maintaining the original audio signal. See
“Phase” on page 580 for more information.
Here’s how it works:
A balanced audio cable sends the same audio signal on two wires, but inverts the
phase of one signal by 180 degrees.
Original signal
Inverted signal (reverse phase)
When noise is introduced into the cable, it is introduced equally to both the original
and the inverted signal.
Noise on line
(affects both signals)
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When the signal arrives at its destination, the inverted signal is put back in phase and
both signals are combined. This puts the original and inverted signals back in phase,
but it causes the noise signals on each line to be out of phase.
Inverted signal
(inverted again)
Now, both audio signals are in phase, but the noise is inverted, causing the noise to be
canceled. At the same time, the original signal gets a little stronger because it is sent
on two wires and combined. This helps compensate for the reduction in signal strength
that occurs naturally on a long cable run.
Combined signals
(noise eliminated)
Any noise introduced into the cable across its long run is almost completely eliminated
by this process.
Note: Unbalanced cables have no way of eliminating noise, and are therefore not as robust
for long-distance cable runs, microphone signals, and other professional applications.
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Microphone, Instrument, and Line Level
Audio equipment can output line level at –10 dBV (consumer level), +4 dBm/dBu
(professional level), or microphone level, which is around 50 or 60 dB less than line level.
When you use a microphone, the level is very low, requiring a preamplifier to raise the
signal to line level before it can be recorded or processed. Most audio mixers, cameras,
and professional portable recording devices have built-in preamplifiers.
Instrument level is between microphone and line level, around –20 dBV or so. Guitars
and keyboards usually output at instrument level.
Signal Differences Between Pro and Consumer Equipment
Professional audio equipment typically uses higher voltage levels than consumer
equipment, and also measures audio on a different scale.
 Professional analog devices measure audio using dBu (or dBm in older equipment).
0 dB on the audio meter is usually set to +4 dBu, which means optimal levels are
4 dB greater than 0 dBu (.775 V), or 1.23 V.
 Consumer audio equipment measures audio using dBV. The optimal recording level
on a consumer device is –10 dBV, which means the levels are 10 dB less than 0 dBV
(1 V), or 0.316 V.
Therefore, the difference between an optimal professional level (+4 dBu) and
consumer level (–10 dBV) is not 14 dB, because they are referencing different signals.
This is not necessarily a problem, but you need to be aware of these level differences
when connecting consumer and professional audio equipment together.
Audio Connectors
Different audio connectors are suited for different purposes. Audio connectors are
often indicative of the kind of signal they transmit. However, there are enough
exceptions that it’s important to know what kind of audio signal you are connecting, in
addition to the connector type. An important distinction is whether an audio
connector carries a balanced or an unbalanced signal.
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1/8" Mini Connectors
These are very small, unbalanced audio connectors. Many computers have 1/8" mini
inputs and outputs at –10 dBV line level, and many portable audio devices such as
CD players, Walkmans, and MP3 players use these connectors for headphone outputs.
Portable MiniDisc and DAT recorders often use 1/8" mini connectors for connecting
microphones.
Mono miniplug connector
Stereo miniplug connector
RCA Connectors
Most consumer equipment uses RCA connectors, which are unbalanced connectors
that usually handle –10 dbV (consumer) line levels.
RCA connector
1/4" Tip-Ring (TR) Connectors
1/4" connectors with a tip and a ring are unbalanced connectors often used for musical
instruments like electric guitars, keyboards, amplifiers, and so on.
1/4-inch Tip-Ring (TR) connector
1/4" Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS) Connectors
Professional equipment often uses 1/4" TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) audio connectors with
+4 dBu line level. TRS connectors connect to three wires in an audio cable: hot, neutral,
and ground, and usually carry a balanced audio signal. In some situations, the three wires
may be used to send left and right (stereo) signals, making the signals unbalanced.
1/4-inch Tip-Ring Sleeve (TRS) connector
Note: Tip-ring and tip-ring-sleeve connectors (also called phone connectors) look
almost identical. Some audio equipment (especially mixers) accept a TR connector in a
TRS jack, but you should always check the equipment documentation to be sure.
Remember that most 1/4" tip-ring connectors connect to –10 dBV line level equipment,
while 1/4" tip-ring-sleeve connectors usually expect a +4 dBu line level.
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XLR Connectors
These are the most common professional audio connectors. They almost always carry
a balanced signal. Many cables use an XLR connector on one end and a 1/4" TRS
connector on the other. The signal may be microphone level (when using a
microphone) or +4 dBu/dBm (professional) line level.
XLR connector
Configuring External Audio Monitors
The following section describes how to connect external audio speakers to your editing
system, how to select an audio interface for output, and how to make audio volume
adjustments in Final Cut Express HD and Mac OS X.
Connecting Speakers to Your Editing System
When you add audio speakers to your editing system, you need to make sure that the
speakers are properly connected to your audio interface or built-in computer audio output.
To connect self-powered speakers to your computer:
m Connect the main left audio output of your audio interface to the left speaker, and
connect the main right audio output of your audio interface to the right speaker.
For more information about types of audio connectors and adapters, see “Audio
Connectors” on page 574.
To choose an audio interface to monitor your audio:
m To monitor audio out of a camcorder connected via FireWire, choose View > Video Out
> Apple FireWire NTSC or Apple FireWire PAL.
m To monitor audio out of your computer’s built-in audio, or from a core-audio
compatible audio interface, choose View > Video Out > Canvas Playback or Digital
Cinema Desktop Preview.
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Setting Monitoring Levels and Muting System Sound Effects
When you mix your audio, it’s important to monitor using a consistent volume setting.
If a sound is too loud in the mix, you should adjust the level of the audio in
Final Cut Express HD, not the volume on the speakers themselves. Once you set up
your audio monitoring levels, you should not need to adjust the overall volume of your
audio very often.
If all of your audio is consistently too quiet or too loud, you should probably change
the overall volume setting for your speakers, and then keep it at this new level. There
are a few different places to adjust the volume, including the volume knob on the
speakers themselves.
If you are using the built-in audio output of your computer, you can adjust its volume
in the Sound pane of Mac OS X System Preferences or by using the volume control keys
on the keyboard.
To adjust the built-in volume of your computer using the volume slider in the menu bar:
1 Open System Preferences by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sound.
2 In the Sound pane of System Preferences, make sure the “Show volume in menu bar”
checkbox is selected.
When the checkbox is selected, a volume icon appears in the menu bar.
3 Adjust the volume in the menu bar.
You can also adjust the volume in the Sound pane of System Preferences.
To mute all alert and Mac OS X user interface sound effects:
1 Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sound.
2 Click the Sound Effects button.
3 Deselect the “Play user interface sound effects” checkbox.
4 Deselect the “Play feedback when volume keys are pressed” checkbox.
5 Slide the Alert volume slider all the way to the left.
If you are using an audio interface other than the built-in audio, you can route the alert
sound effects to the built-in speakers, but monitor Final Cut Express HD audio from
your audio interface.
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To route Mac OS X alerts and sound effects through your computer’s built-in speakers:
1 Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sound.
2 Click the Sound Effects button.
3 Choose “Built-in Audio: Internal speakers” from the “Play alerts and sound effects
through” pop-up menu.
While monitoring the audio of your program, avoid changing the volume of your
speakers unless it is absolutely necessary. A consistent monitoring level allows you to
get used to the average loudness you’re establishing for your mix, so that you can
better judge how well the louder and softer sections of your mix are working together.
To adjust the volume of your speakers, try playing a signal that represents the average
volume you want to monitor. Avoid setting speaker volume so high that it fatigues your
ears or distorts in the speakers.
Some people use the 1 kHz tone of the Bars and Tone generator to set the volume of
their speakers. However, you may find that the 1 kHz tone causes you to turn your
speakers down lower than you would for normal audio because the tone is so incessant
and your ears are particularly sensitive to this frequency. Generally, 1 kHz tones are
useful for setting levels from device to device when looking at meters, but not as
helpful for setting average listening levels.
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Audio Fundamentals
42
To successfully create your movie soundtrack, it’s important to
learn about the basic properties of sound and digital audio.
This chapter covers the following:
 What Is Sound? (p. 579)
 Digital Audio (p. 588)
What Is Sound?
All sounds are vibrations traveling through the air as sound waves. Sound waves are
caused by the vibrations of objects, and radiate outward from their source in all
directions. A vibrating object compresses the surrounding air molecules (squeezing them
closer together), and then rarefies them (pulling them further apart). Although the
fluctuations in air pressure travel outward from the object, the air molecules themselves
stay in the same average position. As sound travels, it reflects off objects in its path,
creating further disturbances in the surrounding air. When these changes in air pressure
vibrate your eardrum, nerve signals are sent to your brain and are interpreted as sound.
579
Fundamentals of a Sound Wave
The simplest kind of sound wave is a sine wave. Audio sine waves rarely exist in the
natural world, but are a useful place to start because all other sounds can be broken
down into combinations of sine waves. A sine wave clearly demonstrates the three
fundamental characteristics of a sound wave: frequency, amplitude, and phase.
Amplitude (dB)
+
–
0
1 ms
Time
Frequency
Frequency is the rate, or number of times per second, that a sound wave cycles from
positive to negative to positive again. Frequency is measured in cycles per second or
hertz (Hz). Humans have a range of hearing from 20 Hz (low) to 20,000 Hz (high).
Frequencies beyond this range exist, but they are inaudible to humans.
Amplitude
Amplitude (or intensity) refers to the strength of a sound wave, which we interpret as
volume or loudness. People can detect a very wide range of volumes, from the sound
of a pin dropping in a quiet room to a loud rock concert. Because the range of human
hearing is so large, audio meters use a logarithmic scale (decibels) to make the units of
measurement more manageable.
Phase
Phase compares the timing between two similar sound waves. If two periodic sound
waves of the same frequency begin at the same time, the two waves are said to be
in phase. Phase is measured in degrees from 0 to 360, where 0 degrees means both
sounds are exactly in sync (in phase) and 180 degrees means both sounds are exactly
opposite (out of phase). When two sounds that are in phase are added together, the
combination makes an even stronger result. When two sounds that are out of phase
are added together, the opposing air pressures cancel each other out, resulting in little
or no sound. This is known as phase cancellation.
Phase cancellation can be a problem when mixing similar audio signals together, or
when original and reflected sound waves interact in a reflective room. For example,
when the left and right channels of a stereo mix are combined to create a mono mix,
the signals may suffer from phase cancellation.
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In phase
Out of phase
Frequency Spectrum of Sounds
With the exception of pure sine waves, which rarely exist in nature, sounds are made
up of many different frequency components vibrating at the same time. The particular
characteristics of a sound are the result of the unique combination of frequencies it
contains. Musical sounds usually have a fundamental frequency, or pitch, and additional
frequencies, called overtones, or harmonics, that are related to the fundamental
frequency. The lower the fundamental frequency, the lower the pitch of the sound. For
example, a 440 Hz piano note sounds lower than an 880 Hz piano note.
Sounds contain energy in different frequency ranges, or bands. If a sound has a lot of
low-frequency energy, it has a lot of bass. The 250–4000 Hz frequency band, where
humans hear best, is described as midrange. High-frequency energy beyond the
midrange is called treble, and this adds crispness or brilliance to a sound.
Note: Different manufacturers and mixing engineers define the ranges of these
frequency bands differently, so the numbers described above are approximate.
Amplitude (dB)
+
Bass
–
20
Mid
200
1 kHz
High
5 kHz
20 kHz
Frequency
∏
Tip: The human voice is mostly in the 250–4000 Hz range, which likely explains why
people’s ears are also the most sensitive to this range. If the dialogue in your movie is
harder to hear when you add music and sound effects, try reducing the midrange
frequencies of the nondialogue tracks using an equalizer filter. Reducing the midrange
creates a “sonic space” for the dialogue to be heard more easily.
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Measuring Sound Intensity
Our ears are remarkably sensitive to vibrations in the air. The threshold of human
hearing is around 20 microPascals (µP), which is an extremely small amount of
atmospheric pressure. At the other extreme, the loudest sound a person can withstand
without pain or ear damage is about 200,000,000 µP, such as a loud rock concert or a
nearby jet airplane taking off.
Because the human ear can handle such a large range of intensities, measuring sound
pressure levels on a linear scale is inconvenient. For example, if the range of human
hearing were measured on a ruler, the scale would go from 1 foot (quietest) to over 3000
miles (loudest)! To make this huge range of numbers easier to work with, a logarithmic
unit—the decibel—is used. Logarithms map exponential values to a linear scale. For
example, by taking the base-ten logarithm of 10 (101) and 1,000,000,000 (109), this large
range of numbers can be written as 1–9, which is a much more convenient scale.
Since our ears respond to sound pressure logarithmically, using a logarithmic scale
corresponds to the way we perceive loudness. Audio meters and sound measurement
equipment are specifically designed to show audio levels in decibels. This makes audio
meters very different from linear measuring devices like rulers, thermometers, and
speedometers. Each unit on an audio meter represents an exponential increase in
sound pressure, but a linear increase in perceived loudness.
Important: When you mix audio, you don’t need to worry about the mathematics
behind logarithms and decibels. Just be aware that to hear incremental increases in
sound volume, exponentially more sound pressure is required.
What Is a Decibel?
The decibel measures sound pressure or electrical pressure (voltage) levels. It is a
logarithmic unit that describes a ratio of two intensities, such as two different sound
pressures, two different voltages, and so on. A bel (named after Alexander Graham Bell)
is a base-ten logarithm of the ratio between two signals. This means that for every
additional bel on the scale, the signal represented is ten times stronger. For example,
the sound pressure level of a loud sound can be billions of times stronger than a quiet
sound. Written logarithmically, one billion (1,000,000,000 or 109) is simply 9. Decibels
make the numbers much easier to work with.
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In practice, a bel is a bit too large to use for measuring sound, so a one-tenth unit
called the decibel is used instead. The reason for using decibels instead of bels is no
different than the reason for measuring shoe size in, say, centimeters instead of meters;
it is a more practical unit.
Number of decibels
Relative increase in power
0
1
1
1.26
3
2
10
10
20
100
30
1000
50
100,000
100
10,000,000,000
Decibel Units
Audio meters measure sound level using decibels. Since decibels describe the ratio
between two signals, audio meters always display the incoming signal as if it is being
compared to an assumed reference signal.
Several reference levels have been used in audio meters over the years, starting with the
invention of the telephone and evolving to present day systems. Some of these units are
only applicable to older equipment. Today, dBu is used for most professional equipment,
and dBV is used for most consumer equipment. dBFS is used for digital meters.
 dBm: The m stands for milliwatt (mW), which is a unit for measuring electrical power.
(Power is different from electrical voltage and current, though it is related to both.)
This was the standard used since the early days of telephone technology, and
remained the professional audio standard for years.
 dBu: This reference level measures voltage instead of power, and uses a reference
level of 0.775 volts. dBu has mostly replaced dBm on professional audio equipment.
The u stands for unloaded, because the electrical load in an audio circuit is no longer
as relevant as it was in the early days of audio equipment.
 dBV: This also uses a reference voltage like dBu, but in this case the reference is
1 volt, which is more convenient than 0.775 in dBu. dBV is often used on consumer
and semiprofessional devices.
 dBFS: This scale is very different from the others because it is used for measuring
digital audio levels. FS stands for full-scale, which is used because, unlike analog
audio signals that have an optimum signal voltage, the entire range of digital values
is equally acceptable when using digital audio. 0 dBFS is the absolute highest
possible digital audio signal you can record without distortion. Unlike analog audio
scales like dbV and dBu, there is no headroom past 0 dBFS. For more information
about digital audio metering, see “About Audio Meters” on page 593.
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Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Every electrical system produces a certain amount of low-level electrical activity called
noise. The noise floor is the level of noise inherent in a system. It is nearly impossible to
eliminate all the noise in an electrical system, but you don’t have to worry about the
noise if you record your signals significantly higher than the noise floor. If you record
audio too low, you raise the volume to hear it, which also raises the volume of the
noise floor, causing a noticeable hiss.
The more a signal is amplified, the louder the noise becomes. Therefore, it is important
to record most audio around the nominal (ideal) level of the device, which is labeled
0 dB on an analog audio meter.
The signal-to-noise ratio is the difference between the nominal recording level and the
noise floor of the device, and is typically measured in dB. For example, the signal-tonoise ratio of an analog tape deck may be 60 dB, which means the inherent noise in
the system is 60 dB lower than the ideal recording level.
Headroom and Distortion
If an audio signal is too strong, it will “overdrive” the audio circuit, causing the shape of
the signal to distort. In analog equipment, distortion increases gradually the more the
audio signal overdrives the circuit. For some audio recordings, this kind of distortion
can add a unique “warmth” to the recording that is difficult to achieve with digital
equipment. However, for audio post-production, the goal is to keep the signal clean
and undistorted.
0 dB on an analog meter refers to the ideal recording level, but there is some allowance
for stronger signals before distortion occurs. This safety margin is known as headroom,
meaning that the signal can occasionally go higher than the ideal recording level without
distorting. Having headroom is critical when recording, especially when the audio level is
very dynamic and unpredictable. Even though you can adjust the recording level while
you record, you can’t always anticipate quick, loud sounds. The extra headroom above
0 dB on the meter is there in case the audio abruptly becomes loud.
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Dynamic Range
Dynamic range is the difference between the quietest and loudest sound in your mix.
A mix that contains quiet whispers and loud screams has a large dynamic range. A
recording of a constant drone such as an air conditioner or steady freeway traffic has
very little amplitude variation, so it has a small dynamic range.
You can actually see the dynamic range of an audio clip by looking at its waveform. For
example, two waveforms are shown below. The top one is a section from a well-known
piece of classical music. The bottom one is from a piece of electronic music. From the
widely varied shape of the waveform, you can tell that the classical piece has the
greater dynamic range.
Waveform from a well-known
classical piece
Waveform from an excerpt of
electronic music
Notice that the loud and soft parts of the classical music vary more frequently, as
compared to the fairly consistent levels of the electronic music. The long, drawn-out
part of the waveform at the left end of the top piece is not silence—it’s actually a long,
low section of the music.
Dynamic sound has drastic volume changes. Sound can be made less dynamic by
reducing, or compressing, the loudest parts of the signal to be closer to the quiet parts.
Compression is a useful technique because it makes the sounds in your mix more
equal. For example, a train pulling into the station, a man talking, and the quiet sounds
of a cricket-filled evening are, in absolute terms, very different volumes. Because
televisions and film theaters must compete with ambient noise in the real world, it is
important that the quiet sounds are not lost.
The goal is to make the quiet sounds (in this case, the crickets) louder so they can
compete with the ambient noise in the listening environment. One approach to making
the crickets louder is to simply raise the level of the entire soundtrack, but when you
increase the level of the quiet sounds, the loud sounds (such as the train) get too loud
and distort. Instead of raising the entire volume of your mix, you can compress the loud
sounds so they are closer to the quiet sounds. Once the loud sounds are quieter (and the
quiet sounds remain the same level), you can raise the overall level of the mix, bringing
up the quiet sounds without distorting the loud sounds.
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When used sparingly, compression can help you bring up the overall level of your mix
to compete with noise in the listening environment. However, if you compress a signal
too far, it sounds very unnatural. For example, reducing the sound of an airplane jet
engine to the sound of a quiet forest at night and then raising the volume to maximum
would cause the noise in the forest to be amplified immensely.
Different media and genres use different levels of compression. Radio and television
commercials use compression to achieve a consistent wall of sound. If the radio or
television becomes too quiet, the audience may change the channel—a risk advertisers
and broadcasters don’t want to take. Films in theaters have a slightly wider dynamic
range because the ambient noise level of the theater is lower, so quiet sounds can
remain quiet.
Stereo Audio
We hear sounds in stereo, and our brains use the subtle differences in sounds entering
our left and right ears to locate sounds in our environment. To recreate this sonic
experience, stereo recordings require two microphones, two tracks of recording, and
two speakers for playback. The microphones and speakers must be properly positioned
to the left and right to accurately recreate a stereo image.
If any one of the above elements is missing, the stereo image will most likely be
compromised. For example, if your playback system has only one speaker, you will not
hear the intended stereo image, even if the rest of your recording system meets the
above requirements.
Important: All stereo recordings require two channels, but two-channel recordings are
not necessarily stereo. For example, if you only use one microphone but record that
signal on two tracks, you are not making a stereo recording. A proper stereo recording
must meet all of the above requirements.
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Identifying Two-Channel Mono Recordings
When you are working with two-channel audio, it is important to be able to distinguish
between true stereo recordings and two tracks used to record two independent mono
channels. These are called dual mono recordings.
Examples of dual-channel recordings that are not stereo include:
 Two independent microphones used to record two independent sounds, such as two
different actors speaking. These microphones independently follow each actor’s voice,
and are never positioned in a stereo left-right configuration. In this case, the intent is
not a stereo recording, but two discrete, mono channels of synchronized sound.
 Two channels with exactly the same signal. This is no different than a mono
recording, because both channels contain exactly the same information. Production
audio is sometimes recorded this way, with slightly different gain settings on each
channel. This way, if one channel distorts, you have a safety channel recorded at a
lower level.
 Two completely unrelated sounds, such as dialogue on track 1 and a timecode audio
signal on track 2, or music on channel 1 and sound effects on channel 2.
Conceptually, this is not much different than recording two discrete dialogue tracks
in the example above.
The important point to remember is that if you have a two-track recording system,
each track can be used to record anything you want. If you use the two tracks to record
properly positioned left and right microphones, you can make a stereo recording.
Otherwise, you are simply making a two-channel, mono recording.
Identifying Stereo Recordings
When you are trying to decide how to treat an audio clip in Final Cut Express HD, you
need to know whether a two-channel recording was intended to be stereo or not.
Usually, the person recording production sound will have labeled the tapes or audio
files to indicate whether they were recorded as stereo recordings or dual-channel
mono recordings. However, things don’t always go as planned, and tapes aren’t always
labeled as thoroughly as they should be. As an editor, it’s important to learn how to
differentiate between the two.
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Here are some tips for distinguishing stereo from dual mono recordings:
 Stereo recordings must have two independent tracks. If you have a tape with only
one track of audio, or a one-channel audio file, your audio is mono, not stereo.
Note: It is possible that a one-channel audio file is one half of a stereo pair. These are
known as split stereo files, because the left and right channels are contained in
independent files. Usually, these files are labeled accordingly: AudioFile.L and
AudioFile.R are two audio files that make up the left and right channels of a
stereo sound.
 Almost all music, especially commercially available music, is mixed in stereo.
 Listen to a clip using two (stereo) speakers. If each side sounds subtly different, it is
probably stereo. If each side sounds absolutely the same, it may be a mono
recording. If each side is completely unrelated, it is a dual mono recording.
Interleaved Versus Split Stereo Audio Files
Digital audio can send a stereo signal within a single stream by interleaving the digital
samples during transmission and de-interleaving them on playback. The way the signal
is stored is unimportant as long as the samples are properly split to left and right
channels during playback. With analog technology, the signal is not nearly as flexible.
Split stereo files are two independent audio files that work together, one for the left
channel (AudioFile.L) and one for the right channel (AudioFile.R). This mirrors the
traditional analog method of one track per channel (or in this case, one file per channel).
Digital Audio
Digital audio recording works by recording, or sampling, an electronic audio signal at
regular intervals (of time). An analog-to-digital (A/D) converter measures and stores
each sample as a numerical value that represents the audio amplitude at that particular
moment. Converting the amplitude of each sample to a binary number is called
quantization. The number of bits used for quantization is referred to as bit depth.
Sample rate and bit depth are two of the most important factors when determining
the quality of a digital audio system.
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Sample Rate
The sample rate is the number of times an analog signal is measured—or sampled—
per second. You can also think of the sample rate as the number of electronic
snapshots made of the sound wave per second. Higher sample rates result in higher
sound quality because the analog waveform is more closely approximated by the
discrete samples. Which sample rate you choose to work with depends on the source
material you’re working with, the capabilities of your audio interface, and the final
destination of your audio. It is always better to start with a higher sample rate, even if
you are going to reduce to a lower sample rate later.
For years, the digital audio sampling rate standards have been 44,100 Hz (44.1 kHz) and
48 kHz. However, as technology improves, 96 kHz and even 192 kHz sampling rates are
becoming common.
Audio sample rates
When used
8 kHz–22.225 kHz
These lower sample rates are used strictly for multimedia files.
32 kHz
32 kHz is generally used with 12-bit audio on DV.
44.1 kHz
This sample rate is used for music CDs and some DAT recorders.
48 kHz
DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, and Digital Betacam all use this sample rate.
88.2 kHz
A multiple of 44.1 kHz. This is useful for high-resolution audio that
needs to be compatible with 44.1 kHz. For example, if you
eventually plan to burn an audio CD, this sample rate is a good
choice.
96 kHz
A multiple of 48 kHz. This is becoming the professional standard for
audio post-production and music recording.
192 kHz
A multiple of 48 and 96 kHz, this is a very high-resolution sample
rate used mostly for professional music recording and mastering.
In general, higher sampling rates are better than lower ones, but there is a threshold at
which higher sampling rates don’t yield noticeably better results. The ideal sampling rate
is still a widely debated topic among digital enthusiasts, and many analog proponents
shun digital technology altogether because no matter how high the sample rate, some
information is always missing. The best test is to listen for yourself and decide.
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Bit Depth
Unlike analog signals, which have an infinite range of volume levels, digital audio
samples use binary numbers (bits) to represent the strength of each audio sample. The
accuracy of each sample is determined by its bit depth. Higher bit depths mean your
audio signal is more accurately represented when it is sampled. Most digital audio
systems use a minimum of 16 bits per sample, which can represent 65,536 possible
levels (24-bit samples can represent over 16 million possible levels).
To better understand bit depth, think of each digital audio sample as a ladder with
equally spaced rungs that climb from silence to full volume. Each rung on the ladder is
a possible volume that a sample can represent, while the spaces between rungs are inbetween volumes that a sample cannot represent.
Often, when a sample is made, the audio level of the analog signal falls in the spaces
between rungs. In this case, the sample must be rounded to the nearest rung. The bit
depth of a digital audio sample determines how closely the rungs are spaced. The more
rungs available (or, the less space between rungs), the more precisely the original
signal can be represented.
The diagram on the far right has the highest bit depth, and therefore the audio
samples more accurately reflect the shape of the original analog audio signal.
Analog waveform
Audio sample
Any audio level that cannot be represented must be rounded to the nearest acceptable
value. For example, a 1-bit system (a ladder with only two rungs) can represent either
silence or full volume, and nothing in between. Any audio sample that falls between
these rungs must be rounded to full volume or silence. Such a system would have
absolutely no subtlety, rounding smooth analog signals to a square-shaped waveform.
Sine
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VIII
When the number of bits per sample is increased, each sample can more accurately
represent the audio signal.
1 bit
2 bit
4 bit
16 bit
These analog-to-digital rounding errors are known as quantization errors. Each time a
digital signal is processed, it is subject to rounding, which can compound errors over
time. To avoid rounding errors, you should always use the highest bit depth your
equipment supports. Most digital video devices use 16- or 20-bit audio, so you may be
limited to one of these bit depths. However, professional audio recording devices
usually support 24-bit audio, which is quickly becoming the industry standard.
1
Bit depth
When used
32-bit floating point
Internal resolution of the Final Cut Express HD audio mixer. This
allows audio calculations, such as fader levels and effects
processing, to be performed at very high resolution with a
minimum of error, which preserves the quality of your digital audio.
24-bit
This is becoming the audio industry standard for most audio
recording formats. Most professional audio interfaces and
computer audio editing systems can record with 24-bit precision.
16-bit
DAT recorders, Tascam DA-88 and ADAT multitracks, and audio CDs
all use16-bit samples. Many digital video formats, such as DV, use
16-bit audio.1
8-bit
In the past, 8-bit audio was often used for CD-ROM and web video.
Today, 16-bit audio is usually preferred, but available bandwidth
and compatibility with your target user’s system are your chief
considerations when outputting audio for multimedia use.
Many consumer DV camcorders allow you to record 4 audio channels using 12-bit mode, but this is
not recommended for professional work.
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43
43
Audio Levels, Meters,
and Output Channels
You use audio meters to keep levels consistent throughout
your movie and to make sure audio signals never get so high
that they distort.
This chapter covers the following:
 About Audio Meters (p. 593)
 Setting Proper Audio Levels (p. 598)
About Audio Meters
Audio meters display the level of your audio signal in an objective way, helping you to
set consistent levels throughout your program and ensuring that you have sufficient
headroom and dynamic range.
Average and Peak Audio Levels
Before you begin to adjust audio levels, take a closer look at an audio waveform to
better understand how it corresponds to what you hear during playback.
Peaks
Average loudness
of track
Waveform from an excerpt
of electronic music
593
The most important distinction is the difference between an audio clip’s peaks and its
average loudness:
 Peaks are short, loud bursts of sound. In spoken dialogue, letters like P, T, and K at the
beginning of words can result in peaks if the person speaking is close to the
microphone. In music, peaks occur at the very beginning of sounds from percussive
instruments such as drums.
 The average loudness of a clip generally determines its overall perceived volume, and
this is probably somewhat lower than the level of the peaks. In the sample
waveform, the level of average loudness appears as the densest, darkest part around
the middle. Average loudness, rather than the brief peaks, tends to influence your
decision about mixing a sound higher or lower.
Average Versus Peak Audio Meters
There are several kinds of audio meters, but two of the most common are average and
peak audio meters. Average meters react to sound somewhat slowly, and don’t show
very fast transient peaks in the signal. Peak meters react to sound more quickly,
displaying even the quickest spikes in the signal.
Since digital audio signals are restricted to a range of sample values, or amplitudes (for
example, from 0 to 65,535 when using 16-bit audio), it is important that your signal
never goes above the highest sample value. If your signal peaks, there are no higher
sample values to assign these peaks, so all the peaks are clipped, which means that they
are set to the same maximum sample value. A gently curving waveform becomes
flattened, causing unacceptable distortion. Because digital peaks must be avoided,
Final Cut Express HD uses peak audio meters so you can always see the highest sample
values of your audio signal.
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Analog Versus Digital Meters
The way you set your levels with a digital meter is different from the way you’d set
levels on an analog meter. Compare a traditional analog audio meter with one of the
digital audio meters in Final Cut Express HD:
Generic
VU meter
+7
+4
+2
Final Cut Express HD
audio meters
0
-6
0
-12
-2
-4
-18
-24
-7
-36
-10
-48
-20
-66
-30
-∞
A digital meter displays the sample values of a digital audio signal. The scale on the
meter is known as digital full scale, or dBFS. On this scale, 0 dBFS represents the highest
possible sample value. Any samples above 0 dBFS are clipped, distorting the original
shape of the audio waveform. Once a signal is clipped, the original shape of the
waveform cannot be recovered.
0 dBFS
0 dBFS
0 dBFS
Original
Too much gain
causes clipping
Clipping remains
after gain is reduced
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0 dB (Analog) Versus 0 dBFS (Digital)
Even though audio is exclusively digital in Final Cut Express HD, it is likely that your
audio will exist in an analog context at some point. Even an entirely digital workflow
begins with microphones and ends with speakers, which are both analog devices.
When you look at the meters in Final Cut Express HD, you need to consider how the
signal level will correspond to an analog meter. Specifically, you need to choose a
point on the digital meter that corresponds to 0 dB on an analog meter.
This point is where your average signal level should be, providing headroom for
occasional peaks. Headroom is particularly important in digital audio because any
audio that goes beyond 0 dBFS on the digital meter instantly clips and sounds
distorted.
The level you choose for your average audio level affects the potential dynamic range
of your mix. The lower your average signal is allowed to be, the greater the difference
between the average and loudest sounds, providing a larger dynamic range.
There are several common digital levels used to correspond to 0 dB on an analog meter:
 –12 dBFS: This level is often used for 16-bit audio such as DV audio, and for projects
with compressed dynamic ranges, such as for television or radio.
 –18 or –20 dBFS: This is more common on projects with higher dynamic range, such
as professional post-production workflows using 20- or 24-bit audio.
What Does 0 dB Mean?
On an analog meter, 0 dB is the optimal recording or output level of a device. If the
voltage is much higher, it may distort. If it is much lower, it may be lost in the noise
inherent in the device. On a digital meter, 0 dBFS refers to the highest audio level
allowed before clipping.
About Audio Meters in Final Cut Express HD
Final Cut Express HD uses a peak audio meter, which responds very quickly to the audio
signal, alerting you to potential peaks over 0 dBFS. The meters in Final Cut Express HD
display a peak level indicator, which is a yellow line that shows the most recent peak
level for 3 seconds (assuming a higher peak hasn’t been reached).
The peak level indicator helps you get a sense of the dynamic range of your mix
because you can compare the current levels to the most recent peak. For more
information about peak meters, see “Average Versus Peak Audio Meters” on page 594.
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Floating Audio Meters
The floating audio meters display the output levels of the Viewer or Timeline with a
simplified stereo display.
0 dBFS
Floating audio meter
Clip Indicators
The floating audio meters have a clip indicator that lights up when the output signal
reaches 0 dBFS. Once the clip indicator is lit, it stays on during playback to let you know
that part of your signal clipped. The clip indicator also stays on after you stop playback,
but it is turned off each time you start playback.
To turn off clip indicators during playback:
m Click the clip indicators on the Master meters or floating audio meter.
Avoiding Audio Clipping
When you capture audio, clipping occurs if any part of the audio signal goes over 0
decibels (dBFS). Because 0 dBFS is the maximum digital level possible, all levels that
would have been above 0 dBFS are set (clipped) at 0 dB. Because of the nature of digital
audio recording, such clipped audio typically results in a crackly, brittle-sounding clip that
is unsuitable for use in most projects. All occurrences of clipped audio appear as 0 dBFS
peaks. Excessive peaks indicate that your audio was recorded at unsuitable levels.
If your program has peaks in the audio, you can either recapture the audio at a better
level, or edit the audio appropriately to avoid them.
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Setting Proper Audio Levels
When you work with audio, you need to make sure you set proper levels during
capture, mixing, and output.
Setting Levels for Capture
When you capture digital audio, you usually cannot make level adjustments because an
exact copy of the digital information is transferred to your hard disk. However, if you are
capturing analog audio using the Voice Over tool, make sure you set the levels so the
meters in the Voice Over tool match the audio meters on your video or audio device.
What Reference Level Should You Use for Mixing?
The dynamic range of your mix is dependent on the final viewing environment. For
example, movie theaters have large, relatively expensive sound systems that can
reproduce a large dynamic range. Television speakers are much smaller, and often the
listening environment has more ambient noise, so very quiet sounds may not even be
noticeable unless the overall signal is compressed and the level increased, which
reduces the dynamic range.
For example, television stations normally accommodate only 6 dB between the average
loudness and the peaks. Dolby Digital feature film soundtracks, on the other hand, can
accommodate up to 20 dB between average and peak levels. This is why loud sounds
in a movie theater sound so loud: they are much louder than the average level.
Venue
Acceptable amount of dynamic range
Theatrical Dolby Digital
20 dB
Average videotape
12 dB
Television broadcast
6 dB
When you mix your final audio, you choose a consistent reference for the average level.
When you choose the average reference level, you are actually choosing how much
additional headroom you have before your signal distorts. The higher you set the
average level, the less safety margin you have for peaks in the signal. This means that
the loudest sounds in your mix cannot be much louder than the average levels, and so
the mix is less dynamic.
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If you set the reference level of the Final Cut Express HD floating audio meter to
–20 dBFS, you have nearly 20 dB of headroom, since 0 dBFS is the digital limit for the
loudest sound. If you set the reference level in your sequence to –12 dBFS instead, you
have less headroom. Even though the average level of your audio is higher, there won’t
be as much dynamic range.
0
-6
-12
-18
-24
-36
-48
-66
-∞
Available headroom with
a reference level of –12 dBFS
How much dynamic range you allow in your audio mix depends on its ultimate
destination. If you’re editing a program for TV broadcast, a reference level of –12 dBFS is
fine, since you are only allowed 6 dB of dynamic range anyway. But if you’re working on
a production to be shown in movie theaters, consider using a reference level closer to
–18 or even –20 dBFS (both of these are frequently used standards).
Remember that the ultimate goal is to ensure that audio doesn’t peak over 0 dBFS in
your mix (as displayed in the Final Cut Express HD audio meters) and won’t peak over
+3 dB or so on an analog meter.
Generic
VU meter
+7
+4
+2
Final Cut Express HD
audio meters
0
-6
0
-12
-2
-4
-18
-24
-7
-36
-10
-48
-20
-66
-30
-∞
6 dB of digital overhead does not equal
6 dB of analog overhead. It’s closer to
3 dB of analog overhead.
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Outputting Bars and Tone at the Head of Your Tape
When you output your program to a tape for duplication or delivery to a broadcast
facility, you’ll typically include a 1 kHz reference tone at the beginning of the tape. The
level of this tone is supposed to indicate what the average level of your audio mix is.
For this tone to be meaningful, you must mix your audio so that the average level of
your mix matches the level of the tone. Here’s why:
 If you are duplicating the tape: Most tape duplication facilities use the reference tone
at the beginning of the tape to set the audio recording levels when copying your
master tape. If your average mix levels are too quiet or too loud relative to this tone,
the copies will either be too low or distorted, respectively.
 If you’re delivering your program for broadcast: Most broadcast facilities have very
stringent requirements about what they’ll air. If your program’s audio levels are too
hot (loud) or too soft, you might run into trouble with the broadcast engineer. In the
worst cases, they’ll return your tape to you as unsuitable for broadcast, and require
you to send them a new one with proper levels.
Labeling Your Tapes
If you’re outputting to a digital format, make sure you note what level your 1 kHz
tone is set to on the label of your tape. If you’re outputting to an analog format, you’ll
always set your 1 kHz tone to 0 dB.
If you’re creating a digital master tape, it’s also a good idea to make a note of the
level (in dB) of the highest audio peak in your program. You do this so that if your
reference level isn’t set to what the recipient expects, they’ll know how much
dynamic range is in your program and won’t turn the levels up too high.
For example, if you’ve decided to output your project with a –18 dB reference tone,
and the highest peak in your program is at –7 dB, you’d write both these values on
the label of your master tape.
Stereo Versus Dual Mono Audio
Final Cut Express HD handles stereo and mono audio slightly differently. If you have a
clip with stereo audio, the level and pan controls for both channels are linked. You
cannot independently adjust the left or right levels, and the pan control moves both
channels at the same time. Pan and level settings for mono audio clips can be set
independently. For more details about linking and unlinking stereo audio items, see
“Audio Editing Basics” on page 425.
Initially, captured clip items are stereo, but you can change this when you edit in
the Timeline.
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Mixing Audio
in the Timeline and Viewer
44
You can control audio levels and pan in the Timeline or in
the Viewer. You can also make adjustments to multiple clips at
once and add keyframes to automate mixing levels over time.
This chapter covers the following:
 Adjusting Audio Levels in the Timeline (p. 601)
 Panning Audio in the Timeline and Viewer (p. 607)
 Adjusting Clip Levels and Pan Using Keyframes (p. 610)
Adjusting Audio Levels in the Timeline
Changing audio levels directly in the Timeline is fast, and is especially useful when you
need to mix the levels of clips relative to other clips playing at the same time. For
example, if you want to raise and lower the volume of a music clip to correspond with a
voiceover recording, you can see how the narrator’s dialogue lines up with the music
clips if you turn on audio waveforms in the Timeline. That way, you can easily see
exactly where you need to set your keyframes to achieve the desired levels.
To use all the commands and tools described in this section, you need to turn on the
Clip Overlays control in the Timeline to display the volume and pan overlays. Displaying
audio waveforms is also useful for audio mixing in the Timeline.
To display clip overlays in the Timeline:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline, then choose Sequence > Settings.
2 Click the Timeline Options tab, then select the Show Keyframe Overlays checkbox.
You can also toggle the Clip Overlays control in the Timeline.
601
To display audio waveforms in the Timeline:
1 Open a sequence in the Timeline, then choose Sequence > Settings.
2 Click the Timeline Options tab, then select the Show Audio Waveforms checkbox.
∏
Tip: To avoid opening Sequence Settings, you can also press Option-Command-W
while the Timeline is active.
To adjust the volume of a single clip with no keyframes:
1 Enable the Clip Overlays control at the bottom of the Timeline to display overlays.
2 Drag the volume level overlay up or down to adjust volume. The overlay is a red line if
the clip is not selected, and a green line if it is.
The pointer changes to an Adjust Line Segment pointer when it’s directly over the
volume level overlay, and a box displays the change in levels as you drag.
Volume level overlay
Change in volume level
To add a keyframe to the volume overlay of a clip in the Timeline:
1 Do one of the following:
 Select the Pen tool in the Tool palette (press the P key).
 If you’re using the Selection tool, press and hold down the Option key.
2 Move the Pen tool to the point in your sequence where you want to set a keyframe,
then click the overlay to set the keyframe.
The keyframe appears as
a small diamond at the
point where you clicked.
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To adjust keyframes in the Timeline:
m Place the Selection tool directly over a keyframe, so that it turns into a crosshair pointer.
You can now adjust a single keyframe by dragging it up and down to change its level,
or from side to side to move it forward and backward in time.
To adjust a section of a clip’s overlay in the middle of four keyframes:
m Drag just that section up or down, as if you were dragging the entire overlay.
To delete volume keyframes in the Timeline, do one of the following:
m Control-click the keyframe you want to delete, then choose Clear from the shortcut menu.
m Select the Delete Point tool in the Tool palette (press the P key twice). Place the Delete
Point tool on the keyframe you want to delete, then click to delete the keyframe.
m With the Selection tool selected, press and hold down the Option key, then move the
pointer to the keyframe you want to delete. When the pointer turns into the Delete
Point tool, click to delete the keyframe.
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To select a range of keyframes to modify:
m Use the Range Selection tool to select a group of keyframes. You can now move, delete,
or change the level of just those keyframes.
To adjust the volume of a group of clips simultaneously:
1 In the Timeline, select a group of audio clips whose levels you want to adjust.
2 Choose Modify > Levels.
3 Use the slider to adjust the volume level and choose Relative or Absolute from the popup menu, then click OK.
 Relative adjusts each track’s volume relative to the current level.
 Absolute changes all selected tracks to the value indicated next to the slider.
Changing Volume Levels While a Sequence Is Playing
You can use keyboard shortcuts to change the volume levels of clips in a sequence
while it’s playing. Your changes affect the clip on the lowest-numbered audio track
whose Auto Select control is enabled. The level of the clip at the current playhead
position is adjusted. Use the following shortcuts:
 Control-+ (plus) to raise the level by 1 dB
 Control- – (minus) to lower the level by 1 dB
When you use the shortcut, you hear a brief pause, then playback resumes
almost immediately.
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Changing Audio Levels in the Viewer
You can control the audio levels and placement of sound (pan) in a clip in the Viewer
using the sliders at the top of the Audio tab, the number fields next to the sliders, or
the overlays in the middle of the waveform display area.
Drag the Level slider to
change volume.
Numeric entry
field (level)
Numeric entry field (pan)
Level overlays
How these controls affect the level of your clip depends on whether or not you’ve set
keyframes for either level or pan.
 If no keyframes are set, moving the sliders or entering a numeric value changes the
audio or stereo levels for the entire clip. Similarly, dragging one of the overlays
changes the volume or pan levels for the entire clip.
 If keyframes are set, moving the sliders or entering a numeric value modifies the
value of whatever keyframe is at the current position of the Viewer playhead. If
there is no keyframe at the current position of the playhead, one will be added.
There must be at least two keyframes on an overlay to change the volume or pan
from one level to another.
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Whether or not the audio item in the Viewer is a stereo pair also affects how volume
and pan levels are set.
 If you opened mono items, each channel is in its own tab in the Viewer, and is mixed
separately from all others.
 If you opened a stereo pair, both waveforms appear in the same tab, named Stereo.
Adjusting the levels of one channel adjusts the levels of the other.
As you adjust the volume and pan levels of clips in Final Cut Express HD, your changes
can be played back immediately. By default, Final Cut Express HD mixes the levels of up
to eight tracks of audio in real time, so you don’t need to render your audio as long as
your computer can handle the number of tracks you’re working on. Real-time audio
processing is covered in more detail in “Real-Time Audio Mixing in Final Cut Express HD”
on page 876.
∏
Tip: Using effects like cross fades and filters requires processing power, which reduces
the total number of tracks you can mix in real time. If you exceed the number of tracks
your computer can handle, you’ll need to render your tracks. Audio usually renders
much faster than video, however, so it shouldn’t take too long.
When you edit a new clip into a sequence, its level is set to 0 decibels (dB) by default.
You can change the level to be any value you like, up to +12 dB. You can use three
controls to adjust the audio level of a clip. Each of these controls is mirrored by the
other controls as you make adjustments. If no keyframes are set in the clip in the
Viewer, using these controls adjusts the level of the entire clip.
To adjust the volume using the Level slider:
m Drag the Level slider to the left or right.
To adjust the volume by entering a numeric value:
1 Enter a value in the Level field.
To enter a negative value, type – (the minus sign) and the number.
2 Press the Return key to apply this value to your clip.
To adjust the volume by dragging the level overlay:
1 Place the pointer over the level overlay of your clip in the waveform display area of the
Viewer (the overlay looks like a pink line, or—for stereo—two pink lines).
The pointer turns into an Adjust Line Segment pointer.
2 Drag the overlay up or down to change the level of the clip.
As you drag, a box displays the new audio level.
∏
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Tip: Hold down the Command key while you drag to “gear down” the speed at which
the level is adjusted.
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To adjust the volume by using the Modify menu:
1 Select one or more clips in the Timeline, or place the Canvas or Timeline playhead over
the clip whose volume level you want to modify.
2 Choose Modify > Audio, then choose one of the Gain items from the submenu to
indicate how much you want to modify the level.
The volume of your clip is increased or decreased from its current value by the
increment you choose. If you selected multiple clips, all clips are modified relative to
their current values.
Panning Audio in the Timeline and Viewer
You can adjust audio pan settings directly in the Timeline, or in the Viewer.
Panning Audio in the Timeline
You can adjust the pan of one or more clips in the Timeline using the Audio command
in the Modify menu, but you can’t make as many adjustments as you can in the Viewer.
Using the menu, you can set a clip’s pan all the way to the left, the center, or the right
of the stereo output channels.
Note: If you use this method to change the pan of a clip that’s a stereo pair, the pan
setting for both audio channels changes simultaneously. The pan setting is applied to
the uppermost channel of the stereo pair, and the lower channel is panned to the
opposite side.
To change the pan for a clip or clips:
1 In the Timeline, select the clip or clips you want to pan.
2 Choose Modify > Audio, then choose a pan option from the submenu.
 Pan Left: Pans audio all the way to the left stereo output (Control-comma).
 Pan Center: Centers audio evenly between left and right stereo outputs
(Control-period).
 Pan Right: Pans audio all the way to the right stereo output (Control-/).
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Changing the Pan of Audio in the Viewer
To adjust the stereo placement of your sound, you can change the pan of your audio
clips. The Pan slider is actually one control with two modes. What the control does
depends on what kind of audio you’ve opened in the Viewer:
 If the audio clip in the Viewer is a stereo pair, this slider lets you swap the left and right
channels. The default setting of –1 sends the left audio channel of your clip to the left
output channel and the right audio channel to the right output channel. A setting of 0
outputs the left and right audio channels equally to both speakers, essentially creating
a mono mix. A setting of +1 swaps the channels, outputting the left audio channel to
the right speaker and the right audio channel to the left speaker.
 If the audio clip in the Viewer is not a stereo pair, this slider lets you pan the audio
channel in the currently selected audio tab between the left and right channels.
As with the Level slider, if there are no pan keyframes in the current clip, adjusting
the Pan slider affects the pan of the entire clip. If there are pan keyframes, using this
slider will do one of the following:
 Adjust the pan of a keyframe at the current position of the playhead
 Add a new keyframe to the pan overlay and adjust it between the left and right
output channels
Working with keyframes is explained in more detail in “Adjusting Clip Levels and Pan
Using Keyframes” on page 610.
Changing Pan for an Entire Clip
When you edit a new clip into a sequence, the default stereo value depends on what
kind of audio clip it is.
 If it’s a mono clip, its stereo pan is centered with a value of 0 by default. You can
change this level to whatever you like, from –1 to +1.
 If it’s a stereo pair, the pan value defaults to –1, putting the left audio track out of the
left channel, and the right audio track out of the right channel.
You can use three controls to adjust the pan of a clip. Each of these controls is mirrored
by the other controls as you make adjustments. If no keyframes are set in the clip in the
Viewer, using these controls adjusts the pan of the entire clip.
To adjust pan using the slider control:
m Drag the Pan slider to the left or right to adjust the stereo placement of your clip.
 For a mono item, dragging the Pan slider left moves the audio toward the left stereo
output channel; dragging right moves it toward the right stereo output channel.
 For a stereo pair, dragging the Pan slider left or right transposes the left and right
channels of a stereo pair clip.
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To adjust pan by entering a numeric value:
1 Enter a new value in the Pan field.
To enter a negative value, type – (minus) and the number.
 For a mono item, enter a value between –1 and 1. –1 moves the audio all the way to
the left stereo output channel. 1 moves the audio all the way to the right stereo
output channel.
 For a stereo pair, enter a value between –1 and 1. –1 is the original left and right
stereo placement captured with your clip. 1 reverses the left and right channels.
2 Press Return to apply this value to your clip.
To adjust pan by dragging the pan overlay:
1 In the waveform display area of the Viewer, place the pointer over the pan overlay of
your clip (the overlay looks like a purple line, or—for stereo—two purple lines).
The pointer turns into an
Adjust Line Segment pointer.
2 Drag the overlay up or down to change the pan of your clip.
As you drag, a box displays
the new pan value.
Copying, Pasting, and Removing Audio Attributes
The Paste Attributes command in the Edit menu is a valuable tool for selectively
copying certain attributes—such as levels and pan—from one clip to another without
having to open clips in the Viewer. This eliminates the need to repeat steps when
applying identical effects to multiple clips. For more information, see “Copying and
Pasting Specific Clip Attributes” on page 745.
If you want to remove a clip’s attributes, including levels and pan, you can do so by
using the Remove Attributes command. For more information, see “Removing
Attributes From a Clip” on page 748.
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Adjusting Clip Levels and Pan Using Keyframes
Instead of setting the volume or pan of an entire clip to the same level, you can mix
your levels and stereo placement dynamically, raising and lowering the volume level or
changing the stereo pan of a clip numerous times within the same clip. To do this, you
use keyframes.
Keyframes can be used throughout Final Cut Express HD with any feature whose
parameters can be changed over time. Keyframes allow you to specify different volume
or panning settings in an audio clip at different points in time. The level overlay in your
clip automatically adjusts from one keyframed level to another using a smooth curve.
These keyframes can be adjusted by hand, directly in the Viewer or the Timeline.
Note: Unlike the visual keyframes that you can set for motion settings, the shape of
volume and pan level curves can’t be altered.
Tools for Adjusting Keyframes
When you adjust audio levels and panning settings in the Timeline and Viewer, you
mainly use the Selection and Pen tools. The Pen tools allow you to add, move, and
delete volume and panning keyframes in the clip overlays in the Timeline, as well as in
the Viewer.
Pen tool
Delete Point tool
 Pen tool: The Pen tool allows you to add keyframes to the volume overlay (press
the P key).
 Delete Point tool: The Delete Point tool allows you to remove keyframes from the
volume overlay (press the P key twice, or hold down the Option key while you are
using the Pen tool).
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Using the Option Key to Temporarily Enable Pen Tools
When using the Selection tool, holding down the Option key and moving the pointer
over the volume level overlay in the Timeline makes the Pen tool the active tool. This is
a fast and easy way to create keyframes to mix your levels.
Holding down the Option key and moving the pointer to an existing keyframe temporarily
enables the Delete Point tool, so that you can quickly delete keyframes you don’t want.
Using the Command Key to “Gear Down” Adjustment Speed
In Final Cut Express HD, items you drag onscreen normally move at the same speed at
which you move your mouse across your work surface. When you’re dragging the
volume level overlay, this usually works just fine. However, you can drag even more
precisely by pressing the Command key after you start dragging an item.
If you hold down the Command key while dragging the volume level overlay, the
overlay moves much more slowly, and its numeric value changes in much smaller
increments. This is especially valuable when mixing levels in the Timeline, where the
small height of clips can make precise level adjustment difficult.
Creating, Modifying, and Deleting Keyframes in the Viewer
Until you create at least one volume or pan keyframe in your audio clip, changes you
make affect the level or stereo placement of your entire clip. While you need two
keyframes to do anything useful, once you set the first volume or pan keyframe, any
changes you make to the keyframed levels anywhere else in the clip generate
additional keyframes.
To set a keyframe:
m Select the Selection tool (or press A), then press the Option key and move the pointer
over the level overlay. The pointer turns into the Pen tool. Click a level overlay with the
Pen tool to add a keyframe at that point.
Pen tool
The keyframe appears as a small diamond on the overlay.
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To set additional keyframes:
1 Move the playhead to another point in the clip where you want to set a keyframe.
2 Do one of the following:
 Drag the Level or Pan slider to set a new keyframe at that level or value.
 Type a number in the appropriate field to set a new keyframe at that level or value.
 Press the Option key and click an overlay with the Pen tool to add a keyframe at that
point without changing the level of the overlay. You can add as many keyframes as
you want by clicking repeatedly with the Option key held down.
The keyframe appears as a small diamond on the overlay you added it to.
To move the Viewer playhead from one keyframe to another, do one of
the following:
m Press Option-K to move the playhead to the next keyframe to the left of the playhead.
m Press Shift-K to move the playhead to the next keyframe to the right of the playhead.
To adjust the level or pan of a single keyframe, do one of the following:
m Move the playhead to the keyframe you want to adjust, then drag the appropriate
slider to a new value.
m Move the playhead to the keyframe you want to adjust, type a new value in the
appropriate field, and press the Return key.
m Move the pointer over the keyframe you want to modify. When it becomes a crosshair
pointer, drag the keyframe you want to modify.
 Dragging a volume level keyframe up raises the volume; dragging down lowers it. As
you drag, a box shows you the current level of the keyframe.
 Dragging a pan keyframe up moves the audio toward the left stereo output channel;
dragging down moves it to the right stereo output channel. As you drag, a box
shows you the pan setting of the keyframe.
 Dragging a pan keyframe for a stereo pair vertically in the waveform display area
transposes the left and right channels of a stereo pair.
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To adjust a section of an overlay in the middle of four keyframes:
m Move the pointer over the section you want to adjust. When it turns into the Adjust
Line Segment pointer, drag the section up or down to modify it. The rest of the overlay
before and after the four keyframes remains untouched.
Adjust Line Segment
pointer
To move a keyframe forward or backward in time:
m Place the pointer over the keyframe you want to modify. When it becomes a crosshair
pointer, drag the keyframe forward or backward along the overlay.
Keyframe being moved
As you drag, a box displays the timecode duration of the change you’re making.
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To delete a keyframe, do one of the following:
m Move the playhead to the position of the keyframe you want to delete, then click the
Level or Pan Keyframe button to delete it.
m Place the pointer over the keyframe you want to delete. When it becomes a crosshair
pointer, drag the keyframe up or down out of the waveform display area. When the
pointer turns into a small trash can, release the mouse button.
Release the mouse
button when the pointer
becomes a trash can.
m Press the Option key and move the pointer over an existing keyframe. The pointer turns
into the Delete Point tool. Click an existing keyframe with the Delete Point tool to
delete that keyframe.
Click the Delete Point
tool on the keyframe you
want to delete.
m Control-click the keyframe you want to delete, then choose Clear from the shortcut menu.
To delete all keyframes:
m Click the Reset button.
Reset button
All keyframes (both level and pan) are deleted, and the volume level of your clip is
reset to 0 dB.
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Example: Using Keyframes to Adjust Audio Levels
You need at least two keyframes to make any dynamic change from one volume level
to another in a clip.
In the example above, the section of the clip to the left of the keyframes is at –30 dB,
and the rest of the clip to the right of the keyframes is at 0 dB. This is the simplest type
of level change you can make.
A more sophisticated change in levels— for example, introducing a slight boost in the
level of a few notes in a music track—requires three keyframes:
In this example, the volume level of the clip starts at –3 dB and then rises along a
curve, peaking at +6 dB on the note that’s playing at that point. The volume level then
lowers along another curve, ending back at –3 dB.
Three keyframes allow you to boost or attenuate (lower) a section of audio along a
curve, but to make less gradual changes to longer sections of audio, you’ll need to use
four.
In this example, the volume level, instead of rising or lowering constantly, changes from
–3 dB to –26 dB during the first two keyframes, and then remains constant. The final two
keyframes boost the level back to –3 dB, where it remains for the duration of the clip.
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Example: Using Keyframes in the Timeline to Automate Audio Levels
Suppose you’ve edited a music clip and a clip with a voice narration together in
your sequence.
There are long pauses between the narrator’s lines, during which you want the music
to be the dominant audio track. So you set the overall level of your music to –4 dB,
since that’s the level at which the audio sounds best between the actor’s lines. When
the narrator speaks, however, you want the level of the music to drop so it doesn’t
compete with the narrator for attention.
If you hold down the Option key (while the Selection tool is selected) and click the
level overlay of the music clip with the Pen tool, you can place groups of four
keyframes at each place where a line is spoken by the narrator:
Keyframes set
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Then, releasing the Option key, you can drag the area in the middle of each group of
four keyframes down, to lower the level of the music, while the narrator speaks.
Lowered levels
Finally, you’ll want to move the outside pair of each group of four keyframes outward a
bit, so the volume of the music doesn’t change too abruptly and startle the audience.
Less steep slopes between keyframes result in more gradual fades from one volume
level to the next.
Adjust the slope of
the level change.
Example: Setting Subframe Audio Level Keyframes to Eliminate Clicks
Sometimes, when you find the perfect edit point for cutting a clip into your sequence,
you’ll notice a pop or click in the audio. This happens when you make a cut on an
awkward sample that just happens to occur at a frame boundary.
You can eliminate pops and clicks by setting keyframes for your audio levels to within
1/100th of a frame. Usually, changing an audio edit point by just a few hundredths of a
frame eliminates the clicking.
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To set and adjust subframe keyframes:
1 Open the clip in the Viewer and click the Audio tab.
2 Move the playhead to the edit point that’s causing the click by pressing Shift-I or
Shift-O, or by using the Up and Down Arrow keys to move from one sequence edit
point to the next.
3 Zoom in to the clip as far as possible.
When you’ve zoomed
in all the way, the
playhead in the Viewer
is the width of one
video frame.
4 Hold down the Shift key as you drag the playhead to the exact place where the
click occurs.
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5 Click the Level Keyframe button to mark four keyframes in a row.
The two inner keyframes surround the problem samples, while the two outer
keyframes are placed a few hundredths of a frame outside of these.
The problem samples
6 Drag the part of the level overlay between the two inner keyframes down until the box
indicates –60 dB.
The overlay looks
something like this.
The unwanted noise should be gone, and the rest of your clip’s audio is not affected.
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Example: Using Keyframes to Control Pan
Setting keyframes to change pan dynamically works the same way as it does with
levels. You need to set at least two keyframes to effect a change over time.
Changing pan over time is often done to achieve stereo effects such as making a car
sound zoom from left to right, or putting a particular sound effect on one side or the
other of a stereo image. You want the car sound effect in your edited sequence to
zoom from the left to the right to match the movement of an onscreen car. Here are
the steps you would take:
To set up a dynamic stereo pan using keyframes:
1 Open the car sound effect in the Viewer so you can see it in more detail.
2 Option-click the purple pan overlay at the beginning of the car effect’s waveform, right
before the car sound starts playing, to set a keyframe.
3 Drag the Pan slider all the way to the left, so that the sound starts playing out of the
left speaker.
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4 Now, move the playhead to a position after the car sound effect has finished playing.
5 Drag the Pan slider all the way to the right, so that the sound ends playing out of the
right speaker. Because you’ve already set a keyframe for this clip, dragging the Pan
slider at another point in the clip automatically produces a new keyframe.
When you play back the clip, you’ll hear the car sound move from left to right.
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45
Using the Voice Over Tool
45
The Voice Over tool lets you record a single audio track
directly into a sequence while you watch it. You can use the
Voice Over tool to record narration, Foley effects, or any other
single-channel audio source.
This chapter covers the following:
 Setting Up Your Computer to Record Voiceover (p. 624)
 Controls in the Voice Over Tool (p. 627)
 Defining the Recording Duration and Destination Track (p. 631)
 Recording a Voiceover (p. 636)
About the Voice Over Tool
The Voice Over tool records directly to an audio track in the Timeline between the
sequence In and Out points. To get audio into Final Cut Express HD, you can use any
Mac OS X–compatible audio interface connected to your computer’s PCI slot, FireWire
port, or USB port. You can also use the built-in audio input on your computer. While
you record, you can monitor the sequence audio using the selected playback audio
device. For more information about selecting an audio device for output, see
“Configuring External Audio Monitors” on page 576.
623
Setting Up Your Computer to Record Voiceover
You can set up your computer to use the Voice Over tool in a studio, or set up a
PowerBook so you can record in the field.
About Microphones and Room Noise
The quality of your sound recording is dependent on the quality of the microphone and
preamplifier used. A microphone converts (or transduces) sound to electricity, and the
preamplifier (or preamp) boosts the tiny microphone level to line level for recording.
Condenser microphones are much more sensitive than dynamic microphones and are
usually best for voice recordings. Condenser microphones require power to operate,
while dynamic microphones do not. Some condenser microphones can use batteries
to provide the necessary power, and most preamplifiers can also provide “phantom
power” to the microphone via an XLR connector and cable.
Preamps are often selected because of the way they “color” the sound of the
microphone, emphasizing some frequencies over others. Analog, tube preamplifiers
are often used for their warm, full sound.
Condenser microphones are usually more expensive than dynamic microphones, but
they make a big difference in vocal recordings.
A good voiceover recording requires an extremely quiet acoustic environment. Air
conditioning, noise from outside, and room reverberation can all be potential
problems. Most voiceovers are recorded in a professional studio or voiceover booth
to minimize noise.
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Connecting Audio Devices and Configuring Software
Setting up your computer to record voiceover involves several steps.
Step 1: Install or connect an audio interface
An audio interface can be your computer’s built-in audio port, a PCI audio card, a USB
audio device, or a DV camcorder connected via FireWire. Regardless of which audio
interface you use, it must be compatible with Mac OS X. Once your recording device is
connected, the Voice Over tool automatically detects it and adds it to the list of devices
in the Source pop-up menu. (If you connect a USB audio device, it can take up to 10
seconds for Final Cut Express HD to detect it.)
Microphone
Headphones
Microphone
input
Headphone
out
USB
USB audio
interface
PowerBook
Step 2: Connect a microphone to a microphone preamplifier, and the preamplifier
to your audio interface
Some audio interfaces have microphone preamplifiers built in. For more information,
see the documentation that came with the audio interface.
Step 3: Open the Voice Over tool and choose audio input settings
You need to set up the Voice Over tool to correspond to the audio equipment
you’ve connected.
To select an audio input in the Voice Over tool window:
1 Choose Tools > Voice Over.
2 Choose your audio interface from the Source pop-up menu.
3 Choose the audio interface input your microphone is connected to from the Input
pop-up menu. For example, if you connected your microphone to input 2 on your
audio interface, choose input 2 here.
4 Choose a sample rate that matches your sequence sample rate.
Note: Unless specified in the name of the current Easy Setup, DV and HDV sequences
almost always have a sample rate of 48 kHz.
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Step 4: Choose an audio track and duration for your voiceover
In the Browser, select and open the sequence to which you want to add a voiceover,
then set In and Out points where you want the voiceover to begin and end.
Step 5: Determine the offset of your audio interface
Every digital recording device has some latency from the time audio enters the
microphone to the time it’s processed. This latency can cause your narration to be
offset by a few frames from your video. You can adjust this offset in the Voice Over tool
window so that your audio is recorded exactly in sync with your sequence. In general,
USB audio interfaces have an offset of one frame and DV camcorders have an offset of
three frames. Other interfaces may have different offsets.
To determine the offset of your audio recording device:
1 Set the In point of your Timeline at 10 seconds, then set the Out point at 20 seconds.
2 Hold the microphone that’s connected to your audio recording device to the speaker of
your computer.
3 Choose Tools > Voice Over, then click the Record button.
(What you’re doing is recording the audio cue beeps that your computer plays back.)
Recording stops automatically and this new audio clip is placed in the Timeline.
4 In the Timeline, drag the end of the newly recorded audio clip to the right to show the
last 2 seconds of the audio recorded after the Out point.
5 Compare the position of the first frame of the final cue beep’s waveform to the position
of the Out point in the Timeline.
To toggle the audio clip’s waveform in the Timeline, press Command-Option-W.
20-second point
First frame of the ending beep
that occurs two frames later
6 If there’s a difference, add this number of frames to the offset already selected, then
choose this new number from the Offset pop-up menu.
Alternatively, you can move the clip after recording it to compensate for latency.
Step 6: Plug in your headphones
Connect your headphones to the headphone port of your computer, and you’re ready
to start recording.
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RAM Requirements When Using the Voice Over Tool
The Voice Over tool stores audio in RAM during recording, then writes the audio data to
the currently specified scratch disk. Make sure your system has enough RAM to
accommodate the duration of your recording. The following chart shows some sample
lengths for audio clips created with the Voice Over tool and the amount of additional
memory required.
Clip length
Memory required (approximate)
30 seconds
3 MB
1 minute
6 MB
5 minutes
30 MB
10 minutes
60 MB
30 minutes
180 MB
Controls in the Voice Over Tool
The Voice Over tool appears as a tab in the Tool Bench window.
To open the Voice Over tool:
m Choose Tools > Voice Over.
The Tool Bench appears with the Voice Over tab.
∏
Tip: If you want to organize the arrangement of windows, choose Window > Arrange >
Voice Over Recording. This places the Viewer, Canvas, and Tool Bench on the top part of
the screen as windows of equal size, and the Browser and Timeline on the bottom part
of the screen.
Record/Stop button
Review button
Discard Last
Recording button
Status area
Audio Destination track
and audio clip name
Input area
Headphone area
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Playback and Recording Controls and Status Area
 Record/Stop: Click this button to begin the audio recording and Timeline playback.
While you’re recording, the button functions as a Stop button. Recording can also be
stopped by pressing the Escape key. If recording is stopped, the partial audio clip
that was recorded is saved to disk and placed in the Timeline.
 Review: Click this button to play back the section of the Timeline you’ve defined,
using the sequence In and Out points or the position of the playhead and the end of
your sequence. This lets you preview the defined range of the Timeline while you
practice your voiceover.
 Discard Last Recording: Click this button to delete the previously recorded voiceover
clip. (This button is only available after you’ve used the Voice Over tool once.)
Important: Discarding is not undoable.
 Status area: Displays the recording status of the Voice Over tool, along with a
progress bar that indicates the percentage of the defined area of the Timeline that’s
been recorded. There are five states:
 Ready to Record: Indicates that the Voice Over tool is ready and waiting to be activated.
 Starting: Appears along with a progressive change in color from yellow to red and
a numeric countdown during the 5-second countdown that occurs when you first
click the Record button. Audio is actually recorded during the countdown, and the
resulting clip has a 5-second handle at the beginning.
 Recording: Appears once you’ve started recording in the Timeline. While you’re
recording, the status area is red. Fifteen seconds before the end of your recording,
you are cued with a single audible beep. During the last 5 seconds of recording,
the status area displays a countdown from 5 to 0, accompanied by five beeps, to
let you know when the recording time is up.
 Finishing: Appears once playback comes to the end of the defined area of the
Timeline. Recording continues 2 seconds past the end of your specified Out point
to prevent your last word from being cut off.
 Saving: Appears after recording, when your clip is being saved from RAM to the
currently specified scratch disk.
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Audio File
 Target: This line displays the sequence name and track number where audio
recorded with the Voice Over tool will be placed. As subsequent takes are recorded,
the audio destination track automatically moves down to the next available track.
 Name: This text field displays the name that will be used for the recorded media file on
disk. To change the audio clip name, click in this field, then enter the desired name.
As subsequent takes are recorded, this name is automatically appended with
numbers. For example, the default name of “voiceover” changes to “voiceover 1” after
you record your first voiceover clip.
If the name in this field is already in use by another clip on the selected scratch disk,
an appropriate take number is automatically appended to the name. For example,
“Narration” is changed to “Narration 1.”
Input
 Level: This audio meter displays the input audio levels coming in via the chosen
audio interface device.
 Source: This pop-up menu lets you choose a connected Mac OS X–compatible audio
device to record your audio. For example, if you’re using a microphone connected to
an audio interface, you choose the audio interface here.
 Offset: This pop-up menu allows you to correct for audio signal latency (delay),
which is inherent in all digital audio interfaces. Even though your voiceover
performance may be perfect, latency can cause the recorded audio to be slightly
offset from the video. Different digital audio capture devices have different amounts
of latency. Typically, most USB capture devices have a latency of one frame; most
DV camcorders have a latency of three frames.
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 Input: If the audio input device you’re using has multiple inputs, this pop-up menu
lets you select which one you use to record. If there are multiple audio devices you
can use, Final Cut Express HD remembers the input you select for each device, if you
change devices.
 Rate: This pop-up menu lets you choose an audio sample rate supported by the
selected audio device to record your voiceover clips. It’s best to use the same audio
sample rate used in your sequence. If the selected audio device cannot support your
sequence’s sample rate, choose the next closest available sample rate. For example, if
your sequence is set to 48 kHz but your audio device doesn’t support that sample
rate, choose 44.1 kHz.
 Gain: This slider allows you to adjust the recording level used by the Voice Over tool.
Note: Audio input selections made in the Voice Over tool do not affect your selected
capture preset.
Headphones
 Volume: Use this slider to adjust the volume of audio that plays through the
headphone port while the Voice Over tool is recording. You can also enter a value, in
decibels (dB), in the field next to the slider.
 Sound Cues: Check this box to hear audible beeps that indicate the status of
recording. These include a beep at the 5-second starting phase of recording with the
Voice Over tool, and at 15 seconds prior to the end of the defined range for
recording. These sound cues play through the headphone port and are not recorded
as part of the voiceover clip.
Note: To prevent the recording microphone from picking up audio from your program,
use a pair of headphones to monitor your program’s audio when using the Voice Over
tool. Otherwise, set the volume slider to –60 and disable the Sound Cues checkbox.
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Defining the Recording Duration and Destination Track
Before using the Voice Over tool, you need to specify the duration you’re recording and
the target audio track (where clips recorded with the Voice Over tool will be placed in
your sequence).
Setting the Recording Duration
You can define the recording duration by setting In and Out points or positioning
the playhead:
 If both In and Out points are set in the Timeline, they define the duration of the
recording. (This is the easiest method.)
 If no In point is set, the position of the playhead defines the In point, and recording
continues to the Out point.
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 If no Out point is set, the end of the sequence is used, defined by the end of the last
clip in the Timeline.
If Final Cut Express HD doesn’t have enough available memory to record the duration
specified, a message appears when you click the Record button in the Voice Over tab,
prompting you to set a shorter recording duration.
Important: Depending on the duration specified, the sync of audio recorded using the
Voice Over tool may drift slightly, relative to your sequence’s other audio clips. This
varies depending on your audio interface and may be approximately one frame every
10 minutes. For the short clips you typically record as part of a narration track, this
won’t be noticeable.
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Defining the Destination Track
Audio that you record using the Voice Over tool is placed in the audio track connected
to the audio channel 2 Source control.
The following example shows a sequence with one video track and three audio tracks.
A video montage is edited onto track V1, with accompanying music edited onto tracks
A1 and A2. To record on audio track 3, you need to connect the audio channel 2 Source
control to audio track A3.
Before
Connect the a2 Source
control to the A3
Destination control.
After
The newly recorded audio clip
is placed into track A3.
If the track connected to the audio channel 2 Source control already contains audio,
audio recorded with the Voice Over tool is placed in the audio track directly below. If
no audio track currently exists below the selected audio channel 2 destination track,
one is created.
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In the next example, all three audio tracks already have audio edited onto them, and
the audio channel 2 Source control is connected to track A3. After using the Voice Over
tool, a new track A4 is created, and the new audio clip is placed there.
Before
After
The newly recorded
audio clip
If another audio clip is already present in the audio track below the track connected
to the audio channel 2 Source control, a new audio track is inserted below this track.
All previously existing audio tracks below this are moved down to accommodate the
new audio track.
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In the example below, tracks V1, A1, and A2 contain the video and audio for an interview
clip. Tracks A3 and A4 contain a stereo music clip. Suppose you connect the audio
channel 2 Source control to track A2. After using the Voice Over tool, a new audio clip is
created and placed on track A3, and the music clip is moved to tracks A4 and A5.
Before
After
The newly recorded
audio clip
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Recording a Voiceover
After you’ve set up your microphone and audio interface, and the duration and
destination audio track are defined, you can record your voiceover.
To record a voiceover (or any other single-channel audio source):
1 Choose Tools > Voice Over.
In the Voice Over tab, the status area is green and displays Ready to Record.
2 Click the Record button in the Voice Over tab.
Once you do this, several things happen before your clip is placed in the Timeline.
 Any audio within the defined duration of your sequence that requires rendering
is rendered.
 The playhead moves back 5 seconds before the specified In point, and a five-second
pre-roll plays to prepare you for recording.
The last 3 seconds of this pre-roll are indicated by beeps to give you a timing cue.
Also, the entire duration of the pre-roll is indicated by a countdown to 0, along with
a progressive change in color from yellow to red in the status area. Even though this
countdown happens before the duration you’ve specified in the Timeline, audio is
recorded during this pre-roll to avoid cutting off the first word you say.
Note: During the 5 seconds of pre-roll, audio that occurs before the beginning of the
Timeline cannot be recorded.
3 Once the pre-roll has played, begin your voiceover.
 The status area is red and displays Recording to indicate that you’re recording; a bar
graph shows you how much of the specified duration still needs to be recorded.
 Fifteen seconds before the end of your recording, you are cued with a single
warning beep.
 During the last 5 seconds of recording, the status area displays a countdown from 5
to 0, and you hear five beeps, to let you know your time is nearly up. The last beep is
longer and has a lower pitch.
 Recording continues 2 seconds past the end of your specified Out point to prevent
your last word from being cut off. During this time, the status area displays Finishing.
 The status area displays Saving while the audio clip is saved to the specified scratch disk.
 Finally, the recorded clip is automatically edited into your sequence and the status
area displays Ready to Record.
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Recording Multiple Takes
Each time you record a clip using the Voice Over tool, the audio channel 2 destination
track automatically moves down one track. You can record multiple takes, one after the
other, with the same specified duration in the Timeline. These new audio clips are
placed beneath the one previously recorded. Recording multiple takes this way results
in a stack of alternate takes, lined up at the same In point of the Timeline. This lets you
edit the best parts of multiple takes together to assemble one perfect performance.
Multiple takes of the
same voiceover clip
Note: When recording is finished, the newly recorded audio clip is automatically
selected. If you want to record another take, press Control-B to disable this audio clip so
it won’t play back.
You rarely record your voiceover track in a single take, especially if it includes long
stretches of narration. Instead, you may record several takes of a voiceover track, and
then edit together the best parts of each take to create your final voiceover track. You
can also isolate parts of the first take that you don’t like and rerecord just those parts.
For example, suppose you were trying to record a long piece of narration. Instead of
rerecording the same clip over and over in an attempt to get a single perfect take,
record your first take. If there is any part of it you don’t like, simply set new In and Out
points isolating that section of your recording. Then record another clip where you
narrate just that part.
Eventually you’ll have a few different takes, each with a sentence or two from different
sections of your narration that you like the best. Combining all of the best parts of
these various takes lets you get the best overall performance for your program.
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How Audio Recorded With the Voice Over Tool Appears in Your Sequence
Audio is recorded during the pre- and post-roll each time you use the Voice Over tool,
giving you extra audio for trimming at the head and tail. Each clip has a 5-second
handle at the head and a 2-second handle at the end. By definition, handles do not
appear in the sequence clip, but are visible if you open the clip in the Viewer. In the
Viewer, you’ll see that the In and Out points for that clip match the beginning and end
of the specified recording duration. The extra handles are there if you need to extend
the clip head or tail.
Placed in Timeline
5-second
pre-roll
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In point
Part VIII Audio Mixing
Out point
2-second
post-roll
46
Using Audio Filters
46
Audio filters are used for a variety of purposes, from audio
cleanup to special effects. Filter parameters can be copied,
pasted, automated, and adjusted in real time.
This chapter covers the following:
 About Audio Filters (p. 639)
 Overview of Audio Filters (p. 640)
 Working With Audio Filters (p. 647)
About Audio Filters
The goal of audio mixing and processing is to create a believable sonic environment
that is not distracting. Audio filters can help to remove distracting frequencies, reduce
loud sounds, and add ambience to a sonic space. Generally, filters are much better at
removing components of a mix as opposed to adding something that wasn’t in the
original recording. An audio engineer with a thorough understanding of how sound
works and how filters affect sound can produce excellent results with just a few
equalizer and compression filters.
Final Cut Express HD includes a set of audio filters that you can use for equalization,
compression and expansion, adding reverb, vocal cleanup, and noise removal.
Final Cut Express HD uses the Mac OS X Audio Units plug-in format. Audio filter
parameters can be adjusted in real time, so you can make changes to a filter’s settings
while the clip plays back.
639
Overview of Audio Filters
Filters in Final Cut Express HD are always nondestructive, meaning they are applied to
clips but not to the media files themselves. You can disable or remove filters at any
time, so you can experiment without worrying about altering your media.
The most useful Final Cut Express HD audio filters can be separated into four
broad categories:
 Equalization (EQ)
 Dynamics (compression and expansion)
 Noise reduction
 Echo and reverb
Note: You can install additional third-party Audio Units plug-ins as needed.
Filter parameters can be viewed and adjusted in the Filters tab in the Viewer. Apply an
audio filter to an audio clip, then click the Filters tab. You can also double-click a filter in
the Effects tab to view its parameters in the Viewer, but you won’t be able to hear any
changes you make since the filter is not applied to a clip. For more information about
applying filters and adjusting parameters, see “Applying Filters to an Audio Clip” on
page 648 and “Making Real-Time Audio Filter Adjustments” on page 651.
Equalization (EQ) Filters
An audio equalizer allows you to increase or decrease the strength of an audio signal
within selected frequency ranges, or bands. For example, a three-band equalizer may
have a gain control for the lows, midrange, and highs, so you can change the sonic
“shape” of a sound by turning up some frequencies or reducing others. In general, it is
much better to subtract frequencies than to amplify them, as this eliminates the
possibility of distortion.
If you find that a sound is lacking “brilliance,” or high-end frequencies, try filtering out
some of the bass or midrange frequencies. The overall effect is that the high-end
frequencies are stronger than the lower-range frequencies. It’s easy to go too far when
amplifying some frequencies, so get in the habit of reducing frequencies first. Particular
kinds of sound—men’s voices, women’s voices, tape hiss, and traffic noise—all appear at
different frequencies of the audio spectrum. EQ filters can be used for many things, from
minimizing background noise in a recording to accentuating a narrator’s voice over
background music. EQ filters can also create effects like making a voice sound like it is
coming through a telephone or loudspeaker (this is because telephones and loudspeakers
generally don’t reproduce the high and low frequencies, only the midrange).
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Frequency Ranges and Equalization
The entire range of human hearing, from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, can be broken into a
spectrum of frequency bands: low, midrange, and high.
Note: Different devices define these ranges differently; the following ranges
are approximate.
Low (20–250 Hz)
Audible bass frequencies start around 20 Hz, though many speakers cannot reproduce
frequencies this low. This is an example of where audio meters can be deceiving
because the meters may show very high signals but the speakers are not capable of
making sounds that low. The lowest frequencies are felt as well as heard, and require
the most power to amplify. Often, subwoofer speakers are used just to handle the low
frequencies in the mix (the 0.1 channel in a 5.1 surround sound mix is a dedicated lowfrequency effects channel).
If you are trying to increase the impact of sounds like kick drums or explosions, add
gain around 30 Hz or so. Filtering out 60–80 Hz removes a lot of low end noise and
rumble from wind or microphone handling. Between 150–250 Hz, you can add
“warmth” to the audio signal (or subtract it).
Midrange (250–4,000 Hz)
Humans are most sensitive to this part of the audio spectrum. Most of the frequencies
that make speech intelligible are in this range. You can make audio tracks stand out
more in the mix by subtly increasing the frequencies in this range. At the top of this
range, around 4 kHz, is where vocal sibilance occurs. Too much sibilance can be grating,
but a little bit can make the voice sound crisp and detailed. If your track has too much
sibilance, try reducing the 4 kHz range.
High (4,000–20,000 Hz)
The high end of the frequency spectrum adds “brightness” or “brilliance” to a mix, but
no longer affects factors such as impact (bass) or speech intelligibility. High-end
frequencies can be grating, so don’t boost these frequencies too much.
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Using Equalization (EQ) Filters in Final Cut Express HD
All of the Final Cut Express HD EQ filters use a combination of three controls. This
example looks at the Parametric Equalizer filter:
 Frequency: This slider lets you select the audio frequency you want to boost or attenuate.
The lowest available frequency varies from 10 Hz for the High Pass filter, to 80 Hz for the
3 Band Equalizer. The highest available frequency for all EQ filters is 20,000 Hz.
 Q: This setting, when available, allows you to select the range of frequencies
affected. A lower number means a wider frequency range is affected.
 Gain: This setting controls how much you’ll be boosting or attenuating the specified
frequency range.
Compression
An audio compressor reduces dynamic range by attenuating parts of a signal above a
certain threshold. Compression is a very important tool because most listening
environments (movie theaters, home stereos, and televisions) have to compete with a
certain amount of ambient noise that must be overcome by the quietest sounds in
your mix. The problem is that if you simply bring up the level of your audio mix to
make the quiet sounds louder, the loud sounds get too loud and distort. By reducing
the level of the loud sounds, you can increase the overall level of the mix, resulting in
higher levels for the quiet parts of the mix and the same levels for the loud parts.
Before compression
After compression
A compressor watches the incoming audio signal and reduces the signal by a specified
ratio whenever the signal is too strong (as determined by the threshold). Any audio
signal below the threshold is unaffected. Since louder parts get quieter and quiet parts
stay the same, the overall difference between quiet and loud sounds is reduced.
The Final Cut Express HD Compressor/Limiter filter allows you to adjust the dynamic
range of an audio clip so that the loudest parts of a clip are reduced while the quieter
parts remain the same.
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The Compressor/Limiter filter has five controls:
 Threshold: This parameter defines how loud the signal must be before the
compressor is applied. This is the most important setting you need to adjust.
 Ratio: This slider determines how much compression is applied. Don’t overdo the
compression; a little goes a long way. Too much compression can reduce the
dynamic range to a flat, unvarying signal.
 Attack Time: This setting determines how quickly the filter reacts to changes in
volume (the default is usually acceptable, but you may want to experiment).
 Release Time: This defines how slowly the filter lets go of the change in volume that
it made (again, the default should work well, but feel free to experiment).
 Preserve Volume: Compensates for the attenuation of the clip caused by compression
by raising the level of the entire clip by a uniform amount.
Expansion
An expander increases the dynamic range of an audio signal by attenuating (reducing the
gain of) the signal when it drops below a certain level (the threshold). This has the effect
of making relatively quiet portions of the audio signal even more quiet proportionally, so
the difference between the loud and quiet parts of the audio is increased.
An expander makes quieter portions of audio even quieter by decreasing the volume if
it drops below a specified level. The lower a level is relative to the specified volume
threshold, the more it is decreased, depending on the Ratio setting. An expander with a
very high ratio value is called a noise gate, and is used to make the level of all sound
below the specified volume threshold as close to silence as possible.
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Unlike a compressor, which affects the loud parts of a signal, expansion affects the
quiet parts of the signal:
 Threshold: This slider defines how low the lowest portion of the clip can be before
expansion is applied. This is the first setting you’ll adjust.
 Ratio: This affects how much expansion is applied to boost the signal.
 Attack Time: This defines how quickly the filter reacts to changes in volume (the
default is usually fine, but you may want to experiment).
 Release Time: This defines how slowly the filter lets go of the change in volume it
made (the default is usually fine, but you may want to experiment).
Noise Reduction Filters
Final Cut Express HD has three noise reduction filters for use in specific situations:
 Hum Remover
 Vocal DeEsser
 Vocal DePopper
Hum Remover
The Hum Remover lets you get rid of “cycle hum” that may have been introduced into
your audio recording by power lines crossing your cables, or by a shorted ground wire
in your setup. Hum from power sources generally sounds like a low buzzing and has a
frequency that corresponds to the electrical power in your country (for example,
countries in North America use 60 Hz AC power, while most countries in Europe use
50 Hz power).
 Frequency: This slider lets you select the frequency of hum that this filter will attempt
to remove. Different countries use different power frequencies, so you need to
specify exactly what frequency to tune out. In general, most AC (alternating current)
operates at either 50 or 60 Hz.
 Q: This slider allows you to select a range of frequencies to filter. If the important
elements of your recording overlap into the frequencies that are being filtered out,
you might want to narrow this value somewhat.
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 Gain: This filter lets you set how much of the signal you’re attenuating. By default, it’s
set to the maximum –60 dB.
 Harmonics: These options allow you to attenuate additional frequencies that may be
introduced into your signal as a result of the primary cycle hum. These frequencies
are automatically derived by the filter, and you can specify up to five.
Vocal DeEsser
The Vocal DeEsser allows you to attenuate the “ess” sounds produced by an actor with a
“sibilant” voice (that is, someone whose “ess” sounds are very pronounced), or by a
microphone that accentuates high frequencies. This filter is essentially a specialized EQ
that reduces, but does not eliminate, these high frequency “ess” sound components.
Vocal DePopper
The Vocal DePopper lets you attenuate the harsh “P” sounds that result from puffs of
breath bursting into the microphone. Proper miking should prevent this in the first
place, and if you have just one or two pops, you can use keyframes to reduce the level
of the frames with the pop. (See “Example: Setting Subframe Audio Level Keyframes
to Eliminate Clicks” on page 617.)
Still, if you have a clip with a lot of pops, this filter may reduce these to an acceptable level.
Echo and Reverb Filters
Two of the “effects” filters you’ll use most frequently are the Echo and Reverb filters. You
can use Reverb to add the reverberation effects of a particular acoustic space to a
sound that was recorded in isolation. Be careful not to add too much reverb because it
muddies the clarity of the sound (especially dialogue) and, more often than not, it can
sound artificial. When possible, it’s best to rerecord dialogue in the same, or similar,
environment as the original production.
Echo filter settings
Reverb filter settings
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Both echo and reverb filter settings are described below:
 Effect Mix: This slider determines how much of the “dry,” or original, sound from the
audio clip is mixed with the affected audio. By keyframing this parameter over time,
you can make it sound as if someone is walking from far away in a room (where
there would be more reverb) toward the microphone (where there would be less
reverb).
 Effect Level: This slider defines how loud the reverb or echo effect will be.
 Brightness: This slider affects the quality of the reverb or echo. Boosting this
parameter makes the effect seem more intense.
 Type: This pop-up menu (Reverb only) lets you specify the kind of acoustic
environment the filter will attempt to reproduce.
 Feedback: This slider (Echo only) affects how long the echoes produced by the filter
will last. As they repeat, they’ll interact with themselves to produce a complex series
of echo effects.
 Delay Time: This slider (Echo only) lets you determine the pause, in milliseconds,
between each echo. The longer the pause, the bigger the apparent space of
the environment.
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Working With Audio Filters
Filters can be added to any audio clip in a project. You can add filters individually or in
groups. When you add filters to a clip, they appear in the Filters tab of the Viewer when
that clip is opened in the Viewer. How they appear depends on whether the audio clip
in the Viewer is a stereo pair:
 If the audio clip in the Viewer is a stereo pair, every filter you add is applied to both
channels equally, and only one set of controls appears.
 If the audio clip in the Viewer is not a stereo pair, every filter you add is applied to both
channels, but each channel can have individual settings.
All filters have several controls in common:
Enable checkbox and
name of filter
Parameter
pop-up menu
Parameter
disclosure triangle
Reset button
 Parameter disclosure triangle: This allows you to show or hide a filter’s parameters.
 Enable checkbox: This allows you to enable or disable filters without removing them
from the clip. You can use it to disable filters temporarily to preview a different filter.
 Parameter pop-up menu: Allows you to enable and disable specific settings for a filter.
 Reset button: Resets a filter’s settings to the default values.
Each filter also has a unique set of controls. These controls usually include sliders and
numeric fields that let you adjust the filter’s parameters.
Sliders
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Text and numeric
entry fields
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Applying Filters to an Audio Clip
Applying audio filters to clips in Final Cut Express HD is easy.
To apply an audio filter to a clip in a sequence, do one of the following:
m Drag an audio filter from the Effects tab in the Browser to a clip in a sequence in
the Timeline.
If you drag the audio filter to a video clip, it’s applied to any audio items linked to that clip.
Drag a filter from
the Browser...
...to the Timeline.
m Select one or more clips in a sequence in the Timeline, choose Effects > Audio Filters,
then choose a filter from the submenu.
The filter is applied to all the clips you selected. If you selected video clips, the filter is
applied to any audio items linked to those clips.
m If a sequence clip is open in the Viewer, you can:
 Drag a filter from the Effects tab of the Browser directly to the Viewer.
 Choose a filter from the Audio Filters submenu of the Effects menu. The filter is
applied to the clip in the Viewer.
If you apply more than one filter to an audio clip, the filters are applied serially. In other
words, the first audio filter is applied, then the resulting audio signal is fed through the
next audio filter, and so on.
If you apply multiple filters to a clip, the order in which they appear in the Filters tab for
that clip in the Viewer determines how the clip sounds. Although the initial order of filters
in the tab depends on when they were applied, you can change the order at any time.
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To apply multiple filters to a clip in a sequence, do one of the following:
m Continue to apply more filters to the clip, one at a time, using any of the methods
described previously.
m Shift-click, or Command-click, multiple filters in the Effects tab of the Browser, then
drag them all to one or more selected clips in a sequence in the Timeline.
Filters are applied to clips in the order they appear in the Effects tab.
Select several filters
in the Browser, ...
...then drag them to the
Timeline.
Filters can also be copied, along with all of their settings, and pasted into one or more
clips in the same sequence, or in another sequence.
When you copy a clip in the Timeline, you also copy all of that clip’s settings. These
settings include filters that have been applied to the clip. Instead of pasting the clip,
you can paste only that clip’s filters into other clips that you’ve selected. To do this, you
use the Paste Attributes command.
To copy and paste filters from one clip to another:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline with a filter applied to it.
2 Copy the clip.
3 Select one or more clips in the Timeline to apply the filter to.
4 Choose Edit > Paste Attributes (or press Option-V).
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5 In the Paste Attributes dialog, select these options:
 Scale Attribute Times: Shrinks or stretches the keyframes of your copied clip attributes
to fit the duration of longer clips you may paste them into.
 Audio Attributes: Determines which attributes of the audio clip are pasted.
 Filters: Applies the parameter values and keyframes you have set for all filters in
the clip you copied.
Warning: Pasting attributes into clips that have different frame rates will produce
erratic results.
6 Click OK.
The filters are pasted into the clips you selected.
Modifying and Removing Filters
To modify filters in a sequence, open the clip to which the filter applies into the Viewer.
Note: Filters can be added to clips even if the clips aren’t in a sequence. If you want to
modify or remove a filter for a clip in a sequence, make sure the sequence clip is open
in the Viewer, not the master clip from the Browser.
To view a clip’s filters in the Viewer:
m If your sequence clip is already open in the Viewer, click the Filters tab.
m Double-click the filter bar in the keyframes area of a clip in the Timeline. The clip opens
in the Viewer with the Filters tab in front.
m If a sequence clip was open in the Viewer with its Filters tab in the front, a new
sequence clip opened in the Viewer will also appear with its Filters tab in front.
Using the Filters tab, you can make adjustments to the parameters of individual filters.
Since filters vary widely, see “Applying Filters to an Audio Clip” on page 648 for general
guidelines on how to use them.
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In addition to adjusting individual settings for each filter, you can also enable and
disable the filters without removing them from your clip, rearrange their order to
modify their effects, and remove them from your clips.
To enable or disable a filter:
m Click the checkbox by the filter name in the Filters tab. If you uncheck the box, the filter
is disabled, but not removed from the clip. This is a useful way to preview different
combinations of filters, without constantly applying and deleting the same filters.
Since filters are applied serially, if you apply multiple filters to a clip, the order in which
they appear is very important. (See “Applying Filters to an Audio Clip” on page 648.)
To change the order of filters:
m Drag a filter in the Filters tab to change its place in the list of filters applied to that clip.
Note: To make it easier to drag the filter, click the disclosure triangle to the left of the
filter’s name to hide the filter’s parameters.
To remove a filter from a clip, do one of the following:
m Select a filter in the Effects tab, then choose Edit > Clear (or press the Delete key).
m Click the filter category bar in the Filters tab to select all of the filters applied to a clip,
then choose Edit > Clear (or press the Delete key).
Making Real-Time Audio Filter Adjustments
You may find it easier to make adjustments to an audio filter while the clip it’s
applied to plays. This way, you can hear how the adjustment sounds as you modify
the filter’s parameter.
To make real-time changes to an audio filter parameter:
1 In the Timeline, double-click the sequence clip with the audio filter you want to modify
to open it in the Viewer.
2 In the Viewer, click the Filter tab to see that clip’s audio filter parameters.
3 Move the playhead to the position in your clip where you want to make a filter
parameter change.
4 Play the sequence.
5 Modify any audio filter parameter controls you wish.
You hear your changes immediately.
6 When you’ve finished making changes, stop playback.
Once you release the mouse button, your change is applied to the filter parameter.
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Looping Playback While Making Real-Time Filter Adjustments
Ordinarily, playing back your sequence clip in the Viewer plays back your entire clip,
from the starting position of the playhead forward. If you instead want to loop a
limited section of your clip as you adjust a filter’s parameters, you can enable Looped
Playback, set In and Out points to determine how much of your clip plays back, and use
the Play In to Out command to loop playback.
To loop a section of a clip while making real-time filter adjustments:
1 With your clip opened in the Viewer, set In and Out points in the keyframe graph area
of the Filters tab.
In and Out points in the
keyframe graph area
2 In the keyframe graph ruler, move the playhead to the In point.
3 Choose View > Loop Playback to enable looped playback.
4 To loop playback, choose Mark > Play > In to Out (or press Shift-\).
Playback loops repeatedly between the In and Out points, and you can make real-time
changes to any desired audio filter parameters.
To stop playback, press the Space bar or the J key, or click the Stop button in the Canvas.
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47
Tips for Better Audio
47
Read through the sections in this chapter for tips on cutting
dialogue, cutting music, and keeping your tracks organized.
This chapter covers the following:
 Learning to Describe Sound Accurately (p. 653)
 Efficiently Using the Frequency Spectrum (p. 654)
 Tips for Cutting Dialogue (p. 654)
 Tips for Cutting Music (p. 658)
 Organizing Your Tracks (p. 660)
Learning to Describe Sound Accurately
Even if you aren’t destined to be a full-time sound designer, it is important to be able to
communicate about sound with sound designers and engineers. Practice verbally
describing what you hear, but avoid abstract adjectives whenever possible. Try to be as
specific as possible. Instead of asking for “outdoor sounds”, try “crickets near dusk, and
an occasional car passing on a distant highway”. Instead of saying “city sounds”, try
“blaring horns, footsteps on pavement, and an occasional helicopter sound.” These are
the details that make a sound mix convincing.
653
Efficiently Using the Frequency Spectrum
It’s fairly obvious that the most important sound in the mix should have the highest
level, but there are other methods for blending without increasing loudness. Most
sounds occupy a particular frequency range, so if you mix sounds in different ranges,
you can still maintain clarity without too much level adjustment. Too many sounds in
the same range can create cacophony.
You can use equalizers to shape sound, making “holes” in the used frequency spectrum in
which you can then place other sounds. For example, if you are trying to make dialogue
in the 1–3 kHz range more audible over existing background sound, you could try
filtering the background sound to reduce the 1–3 kHz range instead of reducing the level
of the entire track. Equalization allows you to reduce the volume of sounds only at
selected frequencies, making the mix clearer in that part of the spectrum.
Tips for Cutting Dialogue
Use cross fades to smooth out problem edits.
If you’re having trouble finding an edit point between two audio clips that sounds
smooth, try using a transition instead of a straight cut. More information on audio
transitions can be found in “Adding Transitions” on page 507.
Use subframe keyframes to eliminate pops and clicks at edit points.
If there is a popping or clicking sound at an edit point that you can’t get rid of, you can
eliminate it by opening the clip in the Viewer, setting audio level keyframes within the
frame with the clicking, and fading those few audio samples all the way down to –60
dB. See “Example: Setting Subframe Audio Level Keyframes to Eliminate Clicks” on
page 617 for instructions.
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Shows how you can
eliminate unwanted
clicks at edit points
Use keyframes to eliminate microphone pops in a voiceover recording.
Although you can use the Vocal DePopper filter in extreme problem cases, if you just
have one or two pops in your audio resulting from words with the letter P, you can get
rid of them by opening the clip in the Viewer, zooming in on the P sound, and setting
four keyframes to lower the audio level and soften the sound.
Use room tone to fill in audio gaps in a scene.
When you edit dialogue, any part of a scene that doesn’t have dialogue or clean source
audio should be replaced with room tone from that scene, as described in “Audio
Editing Basics” on page 425. This includes the beginning and the end of a scene, even if
nobody’s talking. If room tone only happens while people are speaking, it will sound
odd. The entire scene should have the same background noise.
If someone mumbles a single word, salvage the rest of the take.
If someone messes up part or all of a word, either by mumbling or swallowing part of it,
you can sometimes take part or all of another instance of that word, or of another word
that has the sound you need, and use it to replace part or all of the misspoken word.
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For example, suppose an actor was supposed to say, “Get those cats out of that tree,”
and instead said, “Get dose cats out of that tree,” accidentally swallowing the “th” sound
in the word “those.” If you need to use that take, you could copy the “th” sound from
the word “that” and paste it over the botched beginning of the word “dose.” The
change is so small that nobody will notice the difference. The result in your sequence
would look something like this:
When you do this kind of edit, watch out for the beginnings and endings of words.
Sometimes people run words together if they speak quickly. If you’re replacing a word in
clip 1 with the same word from clip 2, make sure the sound that comes before the new
word in clip 2 is the same as the sound that comes before the word it’s replacing in clip 1.
Cut away to another image to smooth cuts in dialogue.
If you need to remove a word or phrase from someone’s speech, you can use a cutaway
shot or B-roll footage at the same point. This allows you to change the audio without
viewers noticing an obvious jump cut.
One reason shots of the interviewer are included in documentary-style programs is to
give the editor the freedom to edit the speaker’s dialogue without introducing a jump
cut in the picture. That way, if the person on camera says the same thing twice, you can
cut it out without the audience’s knowing and make the subject sound better.
You can also do this in narrative programs. If you decide to rearrange an actor’s lines by
adding or removing dialogue, you can cut to a reaction shot of the person who’s
listening to smooth your changes to the speaker’s audio.
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Change the pace of off-camera dialogue.
As long as the speaker is off camera, you can do other things as well. For example, you
can easily change the pacing of what’s being said, making the sentence sound more or
less dramatic. The key is to have footage you can cut away to that will seem plausible. An
audience shot or another actor listening are two examples of plausible cutaway shots.
Remember, if you create any gaps as a result of editing your audio, fill them in with
room tone.
Use the video from one take with the audio from another.
Sometimes you’ll have multiple takes of a particular shot, each with something good in
it. For example, say you have a series of takes of an actor saying “Wow! That’s a big
piece of pie!”
Each take is shot from a slightly different angle, and there’s one visual take that you like
more than the others, even though the dialogue in it isn’t that great. In another take,
the actor said the word “wow” really well. A third take has the best version of the line
“That’s a big piece of pie!” If the actor was good and the pacing of each of these takes
is roughly the same, it’s fairly easy to combine all three clips into one good take.
Be careful when combining dialogue from different takes.
People use different intonations as they speak a sentence, and it’s important to listen
for this. Sometimes, you’ll be unable to combine two sentences because they won’t
sound right together.
For example, suppose you have two clips of someone talking. In one clip the actor says,
“I’m going to throw that suitcase out the window!” In a second clip, he says “Should I
put the box in the closet?” You want to cut from the actor to a shot of the closet when
he says “that suitcase” so you can combine the line “I’m going to throw that suitcase”
with “in the closet.” Unfortunately, the second sentence is a question, so the two pieces
of dialogue don’t really sound right together. Since the difference is jarring, you’ll have
to try something else.
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Edit in sound to handle a loud background noise at an edit point.
If you’re cutting from one clip to another, but there’s a loud sound right at the edit
point, such as a car or a plane passing, you can edit in sound to mask the cut. You won’t
be able to eliminate the noise, but if you take another car or plane sound effect that
sounds similar to the noise at your edit point, you can edit in just enough of the sound
effect in an adjacent audio track to complete the noise of the car or plane passing that
was cut off by your edit. You’ll need to play with the levels, mixing up the sound effect
prior to the edit point and mixing it down afterward, but you’ll be able to mask it so
that the cut sounds completely natural.
Swap onscreen sound effects with new ones using a replace edit.
If you want to replace the sound of a door slamming in your source audio track with a
more dramatic door-slam sound effect, you can easily and quickly line up the new
sound effect waveform with the old one by doing a replace edit, so that the new sound
is perfectly in sync.
Tips for Cutting Music
Use the natural beginnings and endings of music clips for your edits.
Instead of fading a piece of music in and out of a sequence at random points, try
matching specific parts of the music with parts of the video clips in the sequence for a
dramatic impact. Then, at the points where you need to start and end this music in
your sequence, edit in the beginning and the ending from that track, lining them up to
match the rhythm and melody of the part of the track that you’re using.
Using a music track’s natural beginning and end sounds much better than just cutting
into the middle of it, and you can usually create a series of edits using different pieces
of the same musical track to make it work.
Use subframe syncing to keep music on the beat.
Since music has a consistent rhythm, inconsistencies in the rhythm caused by edits to a
music track can be painfully obvious. Since one-frame increments are rarely detailed
enough to ensure perfect sync of rhythm in a track, use subframe syncing for each
segment that you edit to make sure the edit points between two clips from the same
song are in rhythm.
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Checkerboard the audio segments you’re using to create better cross fading.
Instead of using cross fades to transition between two edited clips from the same
music track, edit them together across multiple tracks in your sequence:
Instead of placing audio
tracks like this...
... do this.
Now, you can use the volume level overlay to create cross fades that are as long as
you need, using whichever shape will make the transition from one clip to the next
least noticeable.
When you cut from a picture to music, don’t always cut on the beat.
Sometimes, lining up a video edit on a significant beat in the music can have fantastic
results. Sometimes, however, it’s overused. Especially in music videos, remember to
make some cuts that don’t match the beat of the music. Otherwise, your edits will be
predictable, and ultimately tedious, to the viewer.
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Organizing Your Tracks
As you edit audio into your sequences, it’s important to keep your tracks organized. Not
only will this make it easier for you to keep your tracks straight when you edit new clips
in, it will make your job much easier when it’s time to mix your tracks together. For
example, put all sync-sound dialogue clips into one group of tracks, background
ambiences in another group of tracks, sound effects in another group of tracks, and
music in a different group of tracks.
You might put one actor’s voice on track A1, and another actor’s voice on track A2.
Narration recorded with the Voice Over tool might go on track A3. Background
ambience clips such as wind and rain might go on tracks A4 and A5. Sound effects
could go on tracks A6, A7, and A8. Finally, four tracks for overlapping stereo music clips
would be dedicated to tracks A9, A10, A11, and A12.
If you’re working on a project that may be distributed to an international audience, you
should also keep your final mix separated into D, M, and E stems (dialogue, music, and
effects). This will allow foreign distributors to dub over the voices of your actors
without losing the music, ambience, and effects that you’ve edited into your program.
Categories of audio tracks
660
Dialogue
This includes most of the audio that was captured with your video.
Whether or not you place each character’s lines on a separate
dialogue track is between you and your audio editor.
Voiceover
Narration should be put on a separate track from dialogue, as it will
probably have different EQ settings.
Music
Stereo music from any source could use up to four tracks, if you’re
doing complicated music edits or cross fades.
Ambience
Ambient tracks include background tones, atmospheric sound
effects, and possibly room tone.
Sound effects
Effects include material from effects libraries as well as effects clips
you record yourself. If you’ve edited in Foley effects, they should
occupy a separate set of audio tracks.
Part VIII Audio Mixing
Part IX: Effects
IX
Learn how to use the powerful effects capabilities of
Final Cut Express HD to enhance your project. Add filters,
create motion effects, generate titles, composite graphics
together, and color correct your footage.
Chapter 48
Video Filters
Chapter 49
Changing Motion Parameters
Chapter 50
Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects
Chapter 51
Reusing Effect and Motion Parameters
Chapter 52
Changing Clip Speed
Chapter 53
Working With Still Images and Photographs
Chapter 54
Compositing and Layering
Chapter 55
Keying, Mattes, and Masks
Chapter 56
Color Correcting Clips
Chapter 57
Using Built-in Generated Clips
Chapter 58
Creating Titles
48
Video Filters
48
Once you have clips in a sequence, you can apply filters to
process and modify the visual content of your clips.
This chapter covers the following:
 Different Ways to Use Filters (p. 663)
 Applying a Filter to a Clip (p. 664)
 Applying Multiple Filters to Clips (p. 666)
 Viewing and Adjusting a Filter’s Parameters (p. 667)
 Displaying Filter Bars in the Timeline (p. 673)
 Enabling and Rearranging Filters (p. 673)
 Copying and Pasting a Clip’s Filters (p. 674)
 Removing Filters From Clips (p. 675)
 Video Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD (p. 676)
Different Ways to Use Filters
Filters allow you to modify and enhance clips in various ways. You can:
 Adjust a clip’s image quality: Use color correction filters to adjust specific qualities of
your clip, such as color, brightness and contrast, saturation, and sharpness. These
filters allow you to compensate for mistakes in exposure by adjusting the color
balance and exposure of clips after shooting. You can fine-tune the clips in your
edited sequence, making sure that the color and exposure of all the clips in a scene
match as closely as possible. You can also use color correction filters to stylize the
clips in your project, manipulating color and exposure to create specific effects. For
more information, see Chapter 56, “Color Correcting Clips,” on page 827.
 Create visual effects: Certain filters, such as the Ripple or Fisheye filter, create bold
visual effects. You can apply and combine these filters to create effects ranging from
spinning your clip in simulated 3D space to blurring, rippling, and flipping a clip’s
image in the Canvas.
663
 Create and manipulate transparency effects: Use filters like the Chroma Keyer or
Garbage Matte to create and manipulate the alpha channel information of clips in your
project. Keying filters create alpha channels based on blue, green, white, or black areas
in the image. Other filters, such as the Widescreen or Soft Edges filter, allow you to
further manipulate the areas of transparency in a keyed clip, expanding, contracting,
and feathering the area of transparency to fine-tune the effect. Filters like the Mask
Shape or Composite Arithmetic filter generate a new alpha channel based on simple
geometric shapes or copy an alpha channel from one clip to another. For more
information, see Chapter 55, “Keying, Mattes, and Masks,” on page 805.
Final Cut Express HD includes a wide selection of video filters, grouped into several
categories. For detailed information, see “Video Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD”
on page 676.
Keyframing Filter Parameters
Like most parameters in Final Cut Express HD, filter parameters can be keyframed to
change their effect on a clip over time. Keyframing filters works the same way as
keyframing motion settings. For more information, see Chapter 50, “Adjusting
Parameters for Keyframed Effects,” on page 719.
Applying a Filter to a Clip
You can apply filters to clips in a sequence or to clips in the Browser, but it’s very
important to understand the distinction between these two methods.
 If you apply filters to a sequence clip, they are applied only to that clip. The master clip
in the Browser remains untouched.
 If you apply filters to a master clip in the Browser, instances of that clip already in other
sequences are untouched, but if you edit the master clip into a sequence, the new
filter accompanies the clip into the sequence.
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Part IX Effects
IX
In most cases, you apply filters to individual clips in sequences, not to master clips in
the Browser. There may be occasions where you want every instance of a master clip
edited into a sequence to have the same filter applied, such as color correction. In this
case, apply the color correction filter to the master clip in the Browser. However, filters
applied to clips are still independent of each other. If you modify the filter parameters
for a master clip, the same filter parameters in affiliate clips are not modified.
∏
Tip: To maintain consistent filter settings across multiple clips, you can copy and paste
filter settings using the Paste Attributes command.
To apply a filter to a clip in a sequence, do one of the following:
m Select one or more clips in the Timeline, then drag a filter from the Effects tab of the
Browser to one of the selected clips in the Timeline.
Drag the filter from
the Browser...
... to a clip in the
Timeline.
m Select one or more clips in the Timeline, choose Effects > Video Filters, then choose a
filter from the submenus.
∏
Tip: If no clip is selected in the Timeline, the filter is applied to the clip beneath the
playhead on the track with Auto Select enabled.
m Open a sequence clip into the Viewer, then do one of the following:
 Choose Effects > Video Filters, then choose a filter from the submenus.
 Drag a filter from the Effects tab of the Browser directly into the Viewer.
You can apply a filter to an entire clip or just part of a clip.
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To apply a filter to part of a clip in a sequence:
1 Select the Range Selection tool in the Tool palette (or press the G key three times).
Range
Selection tool
2 In the Timeline, drag across the part of the clip to which you want to apply the filter.
Drag to select the section
of the clip to which you
want to apply the filter.
3 Do one of the following:
 Drag a filter from the Effects tab of the Browser to the selected portion of the clip.
 Choose Effects > Video Filters, then choose a filter from the submenus.
Applying Multiple Filters to Clips
You can apply one or more filters to a clip at a time. You can also add one or more
filters to multiple clips at the same time. You can add as many filters as you like to a
clip. If you apply more than one filter to a clip, the filters are applied sequentially (the
first filter is applied, and then the next filter is applied, and so on).
The order in which a clip’s video filters appear in the Filters tab of the Viewer
determines how that clip looks. For example, if you apply a Blur filter and then a Pond
Ripple filter to a clip, the clip is blurred first, and then the blurred image is rippled. If
you switch the order, the image is rippled first and then blurred.
Once multiple filters are applied to a clip, you can change the order in which they take
effect by dragging them up and down the list in the Filters tab. See “Enabling and
Rearranging Filters” on page 673.
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IX
To apply multiple filters to a clip in a sequence, do one of the following:
m Apply filters to a clip one at a time (described earlier).
m Select a filter in the Effects tab of the Browser, copy it, then paste it into the clip’s Filters
tab in the Viewer.
m Copy filters from one clip’s Filters tab, then paste them into another clip’s Filters tab
(regardless of whether it’s a sequence clip in the Timeline or a master clip in the Browser).
m Shift-click or Command-click to select multiple filters in the Effects tab of the Browser,
then drag them to one or more selected clips in the Timeline.
Select multiple filters
in the Browser.
Then, drag the filters to
selected clips in the Timeline.
m Drag one or more filters from a clip’s Filters tab in the Viewer to a clip (or multiple
selected clips) in the Timeline.
Viewing and Adjusting a Filter’s Parameters
Once you apply one or more filters to a clip, you must display filter parameters before
you can adjust them.
Note: If you want to show or modify parameters for a filter applied to a clip in your
sequence, make sure that you open the sequence clip in the Viewer, rather than
opening the master clip from the Browser.
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To view the filters applied to a clip, do one of the following:
m Open a clip into the Viewer, then click the Filters tab.
m If a sequence clip is already open in the Viewer, click the Filters tab.
m In the video track of a clip in the Timeline, double-click the filter bar.
The clip is opened into the Viewer with the Filters tab open.
Note: If a sequence clip is already open in the Viewer with the Filters tab open and you
open another sequence clip, the new clip appears with the Filters tab open as well.
To reveal parameters for a filter:
m In the Filters tab, click the disclosure triangle next to the parameter.
Controls in the Filters Tab of the Viewer
There are various controls you can use to manipulate filters in Final Cut Express HD.
While each filter has its own individual parameters and controls, all filters have some
controls in common.
Show/Hide keyframes
pop-up menu
Filter category bar
Name bar for the
Find Edges filter
Reset button
Parameter controls
for the Stop Motion
Blur filter
Enable/Disable checkbox
Disclosure triangle
Timecode field
Keyframe buttons
Keyframe graph area
 Filter category bar: Video filters are listed first, then audio filters. (This is for clips with
both video and audio items.) Click the Video Filters bar or the Audio Filters bar to
select all the filters in that category.
 Name bar: Each filter has a name bar that contains a disclosure triangle, on/off
checkbox, and the filter’s name. Drag the name up or down to change a filter’s
position in the list. (It’s easier to do this if the filter’s controls are hidden.)
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 Reset button: The Reset button is in the Name bar, under the Nav column. Click to
delete all keyframes for the corresponding parameter or parameters and reset those
parameters to their default value.
 Show/Hide keyframes pop-up menu: This pop-up menu is in the Name bar, under the
Nav column. Use this pop-up menu to choose the parameters that have keyframes
displayed (or hidden) in the keyframe graph area of the Name bar.
 Enable/Disable checkbox: Click to enable or disable a filter. When this checkbox is not
selected, the filter isn’t applied or rendered.
 Disclosure triangle: Click to show and hide all of the controls for a filter.
 Parameter controls: Each filter has its own set of parameter controls.
 Timecode navigation field: This field displays the position of the playhead in the
keyframe graph area. When you enter a new timecode value, the playhead moves
to that time.
Zoom control
Zoom slider
 Zoom control: This control lets you zoom in and out on the duration displayed by the
ruler in the keyframe graph area, expanding and contracting the keyframe graph
ruler as you do so. This also keeps the area of the visible keyframe graph centered as
you zoom in or out.
 Zoom slider: This slider lets you zoom in and out of the duration displayed by the
keyframe graph ruler by dragging the thumb tabs on either side, adjusting both
thumb tabs and leaving the visible area of the keyframe graph centered. Pressing the
Shift key and dragging one of the thumb tabs zooms in or out of the keyframe
graph, locking the opposite thumb tab and moving the visible area of the keyframe
graph in the direction in which you’re dragging.
Using Filter Controls
Each filter has its own graphical (visual) and numeric controls, including sliders, point
and angle controls, and clip and color controls. Some filters, such as the Color Corrector
3-way and Chroma Keyer, have alternate visual controls that you can use to modify
their effects. The parameters set by visual controls are mirrored in the numeric controls
and vice versa. These filters are discussed in detail in separate chapters. For more
information, see “The Color Corrector Filter” on page 837 and “Overview of
Compositing Using the Chroma Keyer Filter” on page 810.
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Sliders
By default, sliders only show whole integer values.
To adjust the corresponding value to within two decimal places of precision:
m Hold down the Shift key while dragging a slider.
To gear down a slider, allowing you to make more precise changes to the parameter:
m Hold down the Command key while dragging a slider.
Logarithmic sliders
As you move the handle on a logarithmic slider, the rate of change increases faster in
one part of the slider than in other parts. The tic marks for logarithmic sliders are
unevenly spaced; where they’re closer together, the change in the parameter’s value
occurs more slowly. Final Cut Express HD uses two types of logarithmic sliders:
 Logarithmic slider: This slider has tic marks closer together only on one end,
indicating that the rate of change increases faster at the other end.
 Double-sided logarithmic slider: This type of slider has tic marks closer together in the
center, indicating that the rate of change increases faster at the center and more
slowly at the ends.
Logarithmic sliders are useful for parameters that have a huge range of possible values,
with a particular range at the top or at the bottom being more useful than the others.
Point control
Point controls are used to specify locations in the Canvas.
To define a new location with x and y coordinates:
1 In the Filters tab of the Viewer, click the point control.
Point control
X and y coordinates
2 Move the pointer to the Canvas.
The pointer changes to the crosshair pointer in the Canvas.
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3 Click anywhere in the Canvas to choose that coordinate.
∏
Tip: You can also drag in the Canvas, and then release the mouse button when the
pointer is at the appropriate location. If you drag instead of clicking, the values update
as the crosshair moves.
For more information about positioning clips in the Canvas, see “Using Cartesian
Geometry to Position Clips” on page 695.
Angle control
This control specifies angles and rotations. The longer, black hand of the dial indicates
the angle. The smaller, red hand indicates how many total rotations forward or
backward are specified.
Angle control
To constrain the dial to 45-degree increments:
m Press the Shift key while you adjust the angle control.
To gear down the dial’s movement for a more precise value:
m Press the Command key while adjusting the control.
To reset the dial to its previous setting while adjusting a parameter:
m Drag the pointer all the way out of the effect parameter.
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Color controls
The color controls give you several ways to select a color value.
Eyedropper button
Hue direction control
Click the disclosure
triangle to display the
hue, saturation, and
brightness controls.
Color picker
Hue, saturation, and
brightness controls
 Disclosure triangle: Click to display sliders and number fields corresponding to the
hue, saturation, and brightness of the range of colors available.
 Eyedropper button: This button lets you quickly select a color that’s in an image in the
Viewer or Canvas. Click this button, then click an image in the Viewer or the Canvas
to pick up that color.
 Hue direction control: If you’re keyframing changes in color, click this control to
indicate the direction on the color wheel Final Cut Express HD uses to interpolate the
color change.
 Color picker: Click to choose a color using the standard color picker.
 Hue, Saturation, and Brightness controls (H, S, and B): Hue determines which color is
chosen; saturation determines how vivid the color is. If saturation is 0, the resulting color
is always white. Brightness determines how bright or dark the color is. If brightness is 0,
the resulting color is black; if brightness is 100, the color is the lightest possible value.
Clip control
You can use the image from one clip in a filter to change another clip.
m Drag any clip from your sequence to this control to apply it to the filter.
∏
Tip: You can drag Final Cut Express HD generators to clip controls as with any other clip.
Clip control
To clear a clip that’s currently attached:
m Control-click the clip control, then choose Clear from the shortcut menu.
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Displaying Filter Bars in the Timeline
Once you’ve added filters to one or more clips, you can choose whether or not to
display filter indicators, or bars, in the Timeline to indicate that the clips have filters
applied to them. Filter bars are green and appear in the space below each video and
audio track in the Timeline for the duration of that clip.
Filter bar for a video track
Clip Keyframes button
To show or hide filter bars, do one of the following:
m Click the Clip Keyframes button in the Timeline.
m Choose Sequence > Settings, then select the Show Keyframe Overlays checkbox.
To open a clip into the Viewer using filter bars:
m In the Timeline, double-click a green bar or keyframe to open that clip into the Viewer.
The Filters tab is automatically selected.
Enabling and Rearranging Filters
You can turn a filter on or off without removing it from a clip. This is useful for
previewing different combinations of filters without having to repeatedly apply and
delete them. You can also rearrange the order in which filters appear to modify the way
they work together.
To turn individual filters on or off:
m Click the checkbox next to the filter’s name.
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To rearrange the order of filters in the Filters tab:
m Drag a filter up or down in the list to change the order in which filters are applied.
Move the selected filter up or down
in the list to change the order in
which it is applied to the clip.
∏
Tip: Rearranging filters may be easier if you collapse the filters’ settings before
dragging. Click the small disclosure triangle to the left of the filter’s name.
Copying and Pasting a Clip’s Filters
When you copy a clip from the Timeline, you also copy all of that clip’s settings,
including filters applied to that clip. Instead of pasting duplicates of the clip you’ve
copied, you can paste only that clip’s filters into other clips by using the Paste
Attributes command in the Edit menu.
Warning: Pasting attributes into clips that have different frame rates produces
erratic results.
To use the Paste Attributes command to paste filters into a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline that has a filter (or filters) whose settings you want to copy.
2 Choose Edit > Copy.
3 Select one or more clips in the Timeline to apply the filter or filters to.
4 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Paste Attributes.
 Control-click the clip or clips you’ve selected in the Timeline, then choose Paste
Attributes from the shortcut menu.
 Press Option-V.
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5 In the Paste Attributes dialog, select the Filters checkbox under Video Attributes.
To copy a clip’s filter,
make sure the Filters
checkbox is selected.
6 Choose any other options, then click OK.
The parameter values of the filters in the clip you copied from are copied into the
selected clip or clips.
Removing Filters From Clips
You can remove one or more filters from a clip at any point in your project.
To remove a filter from a clip, use one of the following methods:
m Select the filter in the Filters tab, then press Delete.
m Select the filter, then choose Edit > Clear.
m Select the filter, then choose Edit > Cut.
m Control-click a filter, then choose Cut from the shortcut menu.
To remove all of a clip’s filters:
1 Click the Video filters category bar in the Filters tab.
2 Do one of the following:
 Choose Edit > Clear.
 Press Delete.
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Video Filters Available in Final Cut Express HD
There are numerous filters that come with Final Cut Express HD. The following tables
give you a short description of each type of video filter, followed by a detailed list of
available filters of that kind.
Blur Filters
Blur filters are commonly used to make stylized background graphics out of video clips.
With enough blur applied, you can turn almost any video image into a stylized blend of
colors and shapes.
Filter
Result
Gaussian Blur
Blurs the entire frame of a clip. A pop-up menu lets you choose
which channel to blur. You can blur one or all of the color and
alpha channels together or separately. The Radius slider lets you
select how much to blur the clip.
Radial Blur
Creates the illusion that the image is spinning about a center
point. The Angle control allows you to adjust the maximum
amount of blur. Adjust the smoothness of the blur using the
Steps slider. You can also specify the center point in the frame
about which the blur rotates.
Wind Blur
Creates the illusion that the image is moving in a linear direction.
Use the Angle control to adjust the direction in which the blur
travels. Use the Amount slider to specify the distance between
each increment of blur. Adjust the smoothness of the blur using
the Steps slider.
Zoom Blur
Creates the illusion that the image is moving toward you or away
from you. A pop-up menu lets you select whether the blur moves
in or out. The Radius slider determines the distance between
increments of blur and the Steps slider determines how smooth
the blur appears.
Border Filters
Border filters let you create borders using the total frame of your clips.
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Filter
Result
Basic Border
Draws a border around the edges of the clip and ignores any
alpha channel information associated with that clip. Use the
Border slider to adjust the width and the color controls to select
the border color.
Bevel
Draws a beveled border around the edges of the clip. The Light
Angle control lets you specify the direction of the light. The Bevel
Width slider lets you adjust the width of the border, the Opacity
slider allows you to adjust the relative strength of the bevel effect
on the border, and the Light color controls let you specify the color
of the light that gives the border its beveled look.
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Channel Filters
Channel filters allow you to manipulate the color and alpha channels of clips in your
sequence to create effects.
Filter
Result
Arithmetic
Performs an arithmetic operation, blending a specific color
channel of your clip with another color. You can choose the
operator used and the channel it’s applied to from pop-up
menus. The color controls allow you to specify the color with
which the channel interacts.
Channel Blur
Allows you to apply varying amounts of blur to each of the color
and alpha channels of your clip simultaneously. Sliders let you
control how much blur is applied to each channel.
Channel Offset
Offsets the position of one or all of a clip’s channels. You can
specify the channel to be offset from the Channel pop-up menu,
the amount of offset using the Center Offset control, and the type
of edge to be used from the Edges pop-up menu.
Color Offset
Offsets the color of individual channels in the clip. Using this filter,
you can create posterizing style effects. You can invert the image or
wrap the colors. Sliders let you control the offset value for each
color channel in the clip.
Compound Arithmetic
Performs an arithmetic operation on the clip and a second
specified clip. You can choose the operator and the channel from
pop-up menus.
Invert
Inverts one or all channels of the selected clip. A Channel pop-up
menu allows you to select which channel or channels to invert, and
the Amount slider lets you adjust the amount of inversion to apply.
Color Correction Filters
Color correction filters let you adjust the black, white, and midtone color balance of
your clips. For detailed information on using these filters, see Chapter 56, “Color
Correcting Clips,” on page 827.
Filter
Result
Color Corrector
A basic filter for performing simple color correction. While not as
fully featured as the Color Corrector 3-way filter, it’s more likely to
be supported by real-time hardware.
Desaturate Highlights
Lets you eliminate unwanted color that sometimes appears in the
highlights of an image when you apply one of the color
correction filters.
Desaturate Lows
Lets you eliminate unwanted color that sometimes appears in the
blacks of an image when you apply one of the color correction filters.
RGB Balance
Allows you to raise or lower the levels of the highlights, midtones,
and blacks of each channel—red, green, and blue—in RGB color
space individually.
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Distort Filters
The Final Cut Express HD Distort filters are design-oriented filters that create texture
effects.
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Filter
Result
Bumpmap
Offsets pixels in a clip using the luminance of a second selected
image, called the map. Use the Direction and Outset controls to
define the direction and amount of the offset, and the Luma Scale
and Repeat Edge controls to define the appearance of the offset.
Cylinder
Distorts the clip as if it were wrapped around a cylindrical object.
You can adjust the Radius and Center sliders to affect the
appearance of this filter, as well as enable or disable the Vertical
checkbox. The Amount slider controls the effect this filter has on
your image.
Displace
Distorts the clip by offsetting pixels using the red and green
channels. You can adjust the horizontal offset using the red
channel and the vertical offset using the green channel. Horizontal
and Vertical Scale sliders define the direction and amount of the
offset; the Luma Scale slider and Repeat Edge checkbox define the
appearance of the offset.
Fisheye
Distorts the clip as if it were bulging outward. You can adjust the
Radius and Amount sliders to change the effect, and use the Center
point control to adjust the center of the bulge.
Pond Ripple
Distorts the clip as if it were mapped onto a pond ripple. The
Center point control allows you to set the center of this effect in
the frame of your clip. You can adjust the number and size of the
ripples using the Radius, Ripple, Amplitude, Acceleration, High
Light, and Decay sliders.
Ripple
Distorts the clip in a wave pattern, both horizontally and vertically.
You can adjust both parameters independently using the
Amplitude, Wavelength, Horizontal Speed, and Vertical Speed
sliders. The Repeat Edges checkbox ensures that no black appears
at the edges of the frame.
Wave
Distorts the clip in a simple zigzag pattern, either horizontally or
vertically. You can adjust the Amplitude, Wavelength, and Speed
sliders to change the effect. The Vertical checkbox defines the
orientation of the effect. The Repeat Edges checkbox ensures that
no black appears at the edges of the frame.
Whirlpool
Distorts the clip in a swirling, whirlpool pattern. You can adjust the
Center point control. The Amount Angle control defines the
rotation of the whirlpool. The Repeat Edges checkbox ensures that
no black appears at the edges of the frame.
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Image Control Filters
Image Control filters let you manipulate the levels of black, white, and color in your
clips. They can be used to correct clips with color or exposure problems or to create
other, more extreme color effects. For more detailed control over the color in your clips,
use the color correction filters.
Filter
Result
Brightness and Contrast (Bezier)
Lets you change the brightness and contrast of a clip by –100 to
100 percent to darken or lighten the image. Brightness and contrast
affect all colors and luminance values of a clip at once; if used to
extremes they can give a washed-out appearance to your clip.
Color Balance
Allows you to adjust the amounts of red, green, and blue in a clip
independently. Select whether this filter affects the highlights
(bright areas), midtones, or shadows (dark areas) of your clip. Color
balance can be used to correct for inaccurate white balance on
video footage or to create color effects.
Desaturate
Removes color from a clip by the specified amount. 100 percent
desaturation results in a grayscale image.
Gamma Correction
Changes the gamma of a clip by the specified amount. This filter
can be used to pull detail out of underexposed footage or to bring
overexposed footage down without washing out your clip.
Levels
Like the Gamma Correction filter, but allows for greater control. You
can specify a particular alpha or color channel of your clip. Use the
Input, Input Tolerance, Gamma, Output, and Output Tolerance
sliders to change the effect.
Proc Amp
Simulates the controls available on a composite video processing
amplifier (proc amp). This filter gives you excellent control over the
black levels, white levels, chroma, and phase of your clip. The Setup
slider lets you adjust the black level of your clip. The Video slider
lets you adjust the white level. The Chroma slider allows you to cut
or boost the levels of color in your clip, and the Phase Angle
control lets you adjust the hue.
Sepia
Tints the clip with a sepia color by default. You can adjust the
amount of tint and the brightness of tint using the Amount and
Highlight sliders. You can also select another color with the Tint
Color controls.
Tint
Tints the clip with the specified color. Only the amount of tinting is
adjustable with this filter.
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Key Filters
Key filters are generally used to key out background areas of video in order to isolate
foreground elements to composite against a different background. Keying filters are
commonly used with the Matte Choker filter. For detailed information on applying
these filters, see Chapter 55, “Keying, Mattes, and Masks,” on page 805.
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Filter
Result
Blue and Green Screen
Keys the blue or green area of a clip and uses the selected color as
a transparency mask for compositing foreground elements against
a background scene.
A View pop-up menu allows you to look at the source of the clip
(with no key applied), the matte created by the filter, the final
matted image, or a special composite of the source, matte, and
final image for reference. A Key Mode pop-up menu allows you to
select blue, green, or a blue/green difference as the key color. The
Color Level slider lets you select the amount of blue or green in
your clip to key out, and the Color Tolerance slider allows you to
expand the key into adjacent areas containing other shades of the
key color.
The Edge Thin slider allows you to expand or contract the matte
area to try to eliminate fringing, and the Edge Feather slider lets
you blur out the edges of the matte to create a smoother key.
(Before you use these sliders, try using a Matte Choker filter
instead.) An Invert checkbox allows you to invert the matte, making
what was masked solid and what was solid masked.
Chroma Keyer
Allows you to create a key using any range of color you want,
including (but not limited to) the usual blue and green. You can
also fine-tune your composite by adjusting the color value,
saturation, and luminance ranges used to define your key, together
or separately. For example, if you only want to perform a luma key,
you can disable color and saturation. Even when performing a
color key, you’ll get superior results by manipulating the Color
Range and Saturation controls separately.
Color Key
Keys on any color in a clip. Color controls allow you to select a color
from your clip as the specified key color. Sometimes referred to as
chroma key.
Color Smoothing - 4:1:1
Color Smoothing - 4:2:2
Improves the quality of chroma keys and reduces diagonal
“stair-stepping” that can occur in video clips with areas of
high-contrast color.
Use 4:1:1 Color Smoothing with NTSC or PAL DV-25 video sources.
(The exception is PAL mini-DV/DVCAM, which uses 4:2:0 color
sampling.) Use 4:2:2 Color Smoothing for DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD,
and 8- and 10-bit uncompressed video.
To improve the quality of your chroma key, apply the appropriate
smoothing filter to the clip you want to chroma key first. As you
add additional keying filters, make sure that the Color Smoothing
filter remains the first one in the video section of the Filters tab.
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Filter
Result
Difference Matte
Compares two clips and keys out areas that are similar. A View
pop-up menu allows you to look at the source of the clip (with no
key applied), the matte created by the filter, the final matted image,
or a special composite of the source, matte, and final image for
reference. The Difference Layer clip control allows you to specify
another clip to compare the current image to for keying. Threshold
and Tolerance sliders let you adjust the key to try to isolate the
parts of your image that you want to keep.
Luma Key
Similar to a chroma (color) key, except that a luma key creates a
matte based on the brightest or darkest areas of an image. Keying
out a luminance value works best when your clip has a large
discrepancy in exposure between the bright or dark areas in the
frame that you want to key out, and the foreground images you
want to preserve.
A View pop-up menu allows you to look at the source of the clip
(with no key applied), the matte created by the filter, the final
matted image, or a special composite of the source, matte, and
final image for reference. A Key Mode pop-up menu allows you to
specify whether this filter keys out brighter, darker, similar, or
dissimilar areas of the image. A Matte pop-up menu lets you create
either alpha channel information for that clip, or a high-contrast
matte image applied to the color channels of your clip, based on
the matte created by this filter.
Spill Suppressor - Blue
When you use the blue and green screen key to key out the blue in
a clip, sometimes there is residual blue fringing, referred to as spill,
around the edge of the foreground image. This filter removes this
blue fringing by desaturating the edges where the fringing
appears.
This filter should always appear after a color key in the filter list
shown in the Filter tab of the Viewer. It may have a slight effect on
the color balance of your image.
Spill Suppressor - Green
Works the same as the Spill Suppressor - Blue, on green fringing.
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Matte Filters
Matte filters can be used by themselves to mask out areas of a clip, or to create alpha
channel information for a clip to make a transparent border so that the clip can be
composited against other layers. Matte filters can also be used to make further
adjustments to layers with keying filters applied to them. For detailed information, see
“Using Mattes to Add or Modify Alpha Channels” on page 822.
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Filter
Result
Eight-Point Garbage Matte
Generates an eight-point polygon you can use to crop out portions
of a clip. Eight-point controls allow you to define the polygonal
matte. The Smooth slider rounds off the corners of the polygon to
create rounder mattes. The Choke slider allows you to expand or
contract the matte, and the Feather slider allows you to blur the
edges of the matte. The Invert checkbox reverses what’s matted
and what’s transparent, and the Hide Labels checkbox hides the
number labels, which indicate which point of the matte
corresponds to which point control of the filter.
Extract
Produces a matte around the clip, similar to a Luma key. A View
pop-up menu allows you to look at the source of the clip (with no
key applied), the matte created by the filter, the final matted image,
or a special composite of the source, matte, and final image for
reference. Use the Threshold, Tolerance, and Softness sliders to
adjust the matte. The Copy Result pop-up menu allows you to copy
the luminance result to the RGB or alpha channel of your clip, and
the Invert checkbox allows you to invert the result.
Four-Point Garbage Matte
Similar to the Eight-Point Garbage matte, but it creates a four-point
polygonal matte.
Image Mask
Takes the alpha channel or luminance from another clip and uses it
to create a matte for the current clip. The Mask clip control allows
you to select the clip from which to take the alpha channel or
luminance values. The Channel pop-up menu lets you choose
whether to use the clip’s alpha channel or luminance level. The
Invert checkbox allows you to invert the resulting matte.
This filter is especially useful for taking custom edge masks that
you can create with any image editor and applying them to clips in
your sequence that you want to matte the edges out of. Unlike the
Travel Matte composite mode, the Image Mask filter attaches a
matte to the selected clip. You can use motion effects to move the
affected clip around, and the matte follows.
Mask Feather
Blurs the alpha channel of the clip by the amount you specify with
the Soft slider.
Mask Shape
Generates a mask shape to use to matte out the clip. You can
choose a diamond, oval, rectangle, or round rectangle from the
Shape pop-up menu. Use the Horizontal Scale and Vertical Scale
sliders to adjust the size and aspect ratio of your mask shape. The
Center point control allows you to specify the center of the mask,
and an Invert checkbox lets you reverse what’s transparent and
what’s solid.
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Filter
Result
Matte Choker
Usually used in conjunction with a keying filter to manipulate the
edges of the key. The Edge Thin slider in the Matte Choker is often
used instead of the Edge Thin slider in the keying filter because it
can produce a more realistic result.
When you use the Matte Choker, moving the Edge Thin slider to
the right gradually eats into marginally keyed areas of a filter,
eliminating fringe and smoothing out the edges of your matte.
When you move the Edge Thin slider to the right, marginally keyed
areas of a clip are expanded, spreading out the matte and filling in
holes in your foreground image that may have been created by the
keying filter you’re using.
Matte Chokers always appear after the keying filter in the Filters
tab. Matte Chokers are also commonly used in groups. The first
Matte Choker eliminates the fringing in the areas you want to key
out, but may create holes in the foreground image. The second
Matte Choker, applied in reverse, fills in these holes to make the
foreground image as solid as possible. More Matte Chokers can
further fine-tune your key.
Soft Edges
Blurs the four edges of the clip individually by the specified
amount to create an old-fashioned vignetting effect. Each of the
four edges of your clip can be individually adjusted using the Left,
Right, Top, and Bottom sliders. The Dither and Gaussian checkboxes
are used to modify the quality of the blurred edge, and the Invert
checkbox allows you to toggle between masking out the edges
and creating a hole in your image.
Widescreen
Generates a widescreen matte in the clip to create a letterboxed
image. The Type pop-up menu allows you to adjust the aspect ratio
of the top and bottom mask using standard academy ratios. The
Offset slider lets you move the affected clip up or down in order to
display the area that’s most important. The Border slider moves the
top and bottom of the letterbox inward by up to ten pixels. The
color controls allow you to specify a border color for the letterbox
other than black, and a Feather Edges checkbox blurs the edges of
the letterbox.
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Perspective Filters
Perspective filters allow you to move your clips spatially within their frames. To move a
filter spatially using the entire frame of the Canvas, use motion effects instead.
Filter
Result
Basic 3D
Creates the illusion that your clip is suspended in 3D space. You can
adjust the rotation around the X, Y, and Z axes using angle controls.
The Center point control allows you to set the center of
transformation, and the Scale slider enlarges and reduces the size
of the entire affected layer.
You cannot enlarge a clip past the frame size of that clip.
Curl
Curls the clip as if it were a piece of paper. You can adjust the
direction, radius, and amount of curl. The Peel checkbox toggles
the effect between curling up in a roll and peeling up like a sticker.
The Back clip control allows you to use a different clip as the back
side of the curled object.
Flop
Allows you to flop a clip horizontally, vertically, or both.
Mirror
Reflects a mirror image of the clip. Use the Reflection Center point
control to change the center of the reflection, and the Reflection
Angle control to modify the angle of the mirror effect.
Rotate
Rotates the clip by 90 degrees or by 180 degrees. Choose the angle
of rotation from the Rotate pop-up menu. This filter scales the
result to fit the frame size, distorting the clip.
Sharpen Filters
Sharpen filters manipulate the contrast of clips in a sequence to bring out more detail
in your images.
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Filter
Result
Sharpen
Increases the contrast between adjacent pixels to increase the
perception of sharpness in the image. When overused, can result in
a harsh, grainy look.
Unsharp Mask
Increases the contrast of adjacent pixels with greater control than
the Sharpen filter. You can adjust the amount, radius, and threshold
of sharpness to soften this filter’s effect.
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Stylize Filters
Stylize filters can be used to create an assortment of visual effects.
Filter
Result
Anti-alias
Blurs the high-contrast areas in the clip to soften the borders
between elements in the frame. Use the Amount slider to soften
“stair-stepping.”
Diffuse
Randomly offsets pixels in the clip to create a textured blur. The
Direction Angle control allows you to adjust the direction of
diffusion. The Radius slider adjusts how extreme the diffusion is.
The Direction pop-up menu lets you specify whether the diffusion
should be unidirectional (random on one axis), bidirectional
(random on two axes), or nondirectional (all directions). The
Random checkbox increases the amount of chaos in the effect, and
the Repeat Edges checkbox eliminates any black that might appear
around the edge of the frame.
Emboss
Produces the illusion of raised edges where there is high contrast
in the clip. The Direction Angle control allows you to specify the
direction of the emboss effect. The Depth slider lets you raise or
lower the apparent depth of the embossing. The Amount slider
controls the blend between the original clip and the emboss effect.
Find Edges
Creates an effect of extreme contrast used to outline the edges in
the clip. The Invert checkbox lets you toggle between using a lighton-dark and dark-on-light effect. The Amount slider controls the
blend between the original clip and the find edges effect.
Posterize
Maps the colors in the clip to a specified number of colors, creating
an image with limited color range, which produces banding in
areas of graduated color. Red, Green, and Blue sliders allow you to
adjust the amount of posterization.
Replicate
Tiles the clip to create a duplicate video wall effect. You can adjust
the number of tiles independently for the horizontal and vertical
axes, up to 16 repetitions.
If the horizontal and vertical repetitions are not the same, the
repeated images appear distorted.
Solarize
Minimizes the midtones and maximizes the highlights and
shadows in the clip, like the photographic solarizing effect. This
effect can be inverted using a checkbox and adjusted using the
Amount slider.
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Video Filters
Video filters are generally used to solve specific problems with clips in your sequence,
although there are design-oriented filters in this category as well.
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Filter
Result
Blink
Flashes the clip on and off. You can adjust the frequency
independently using the On Duration and Off Duration sliders, and
the maximum dip in opacity using the Opacity slider.
Deinterlace
Can be used to remove the upper (odd) or lower (even) field from
an interlaced video clip. The remaining fields are interpolated to
create a whole image, with marginal softening of the image as a
result. A pop-up menu allows you to remove either the upper or
lower field.
The Deinterlace filter is useful when you want to create a still
image from interlaced video clips of people or objects moving at
high speed. Since each frame of video is a combination of two
interlaced fields created sequentially over time, this can result in a
flickering image. The Deinterlace filter can also be useful if you’re
outputting a QuickTime movie for computer playback, since
computer screens display lines progressively.
Flicker
Reduces flicker caused by interlacing in still frames that have thin
vertical lines, such as title pages with small text. Three settings are
available: minimal, medium, and max. These settings allow you to
selectively trade off between the amount of flicker and the amount
of vertical softness in the resulting video image.
Image Stabilizer
Stabilizes motion in a jittering clip. It is best used on a clip that’s
supposed to have no camera movement, but has wiggling from an
unsteady tripod mount or from handheld operation.
The Source pop-up menu allows you to view the clip before and
after image stabilization has been applied. The Center point control
allows you to select a particular element in your video clip to use
as the target for stabilization. The selected target should be a highcontrast element with a clearly defined shape.
The Scan Range slider allows you to define the areas of your clip
that are analyzed to track the motion of the selected target. Clips
with greater motion should use a larger scan range; clips with more
subtle motion can use a smaller one. The Show Scan Area
checkbox shows and hides the image stabilization target.
Stop Motion Blur
Blends frames in the clip. You can adjust the time, steps, opacity,
and operation used to blend the frames.
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Filter
Result
Strobe
Lowers the apparent frame rate of a clip in your sequence by
freezing the frames of the clip for a specified amount of time. The
Strobe Duration slider allows you to define the duration of each
freeze frame.
View Finder
Displays a simulated camcorder viewfinder overlay. Various
elements can be included, such as rec/play/pause mode (or custom
text), title/action safe, and a blinking lamp. You can also adjust the
text and color of the mode text.
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49
Changing Motion Parameters
49
Every video and graphics clip in a project has a set of
parameters that can be edited in the Motion tab of the
Viewer. These parameters include scale, rotation, center point,
cropping, and corner pin distortion.
This chapter covers the following:
 Creating Motion Effects in the Viewer (p. 689)
 Creating Motion Effects in the Canvas (p. 707)
Creating Motion Effects in the Viewer
Every video, graphics, and generator clip in Final Cut Express HD has a set of
corresponding motion attributes, each of which contains one or more adjustable
parameters. When you change these parameters, you create a motion effect. By
adjusting a clip’s motion settings, you can change its geometry to move, shrink,
enlarge, rotate, and distort the clip in nearly any way you like, relative to your overall
project. You can also adjust motion settings graphically, by manipulating them directly
in the Canvas.
Using keyframes, you can dynamically adjust motion effects over time. You can keyframe
each clip’s motion parameters to animate clips in your sequence, making them move
across the screen, rotate, and grow or shrink over time. You can also change a clip’s
opacity to make it fade in and out and dynamically adjust any applied filter effects—for
example, to make a clip go from a blur to sharp focus as a sequence plays. For details on
keyframing, see “Animating Motion Effects Using Keyframes” on page 719.
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Adjusting Parameters in the Motion Tab
Motion parameters are located in the Motion tab of the Viewer. When you first edit a
clip into your sequence (assuming you didn’t change any of its motion parameters in
the Viewer), it has certain default parameters:
 Center, Anchor Point: 0, 0
 Scale: 100
 Rotation, Crop, Aspect Ratio, Drop Shadow, and Motion Blur: 0
 Distort: Corner points of the clip
 Opacity: 100
To view the motion parameters for a clip:
m Open a clip into the Viewer, then click the Motion tab.
The parameters in the Motion tab are divided into seven attribute sets. Each parameter
has its own visual and numeric controls.
To reveal parameters for a motion attribute:
m In the Motion tab, click the disclosure triangle next to the attribute.
Basic motion parameters
Distort attribute
Some attributes—Drop Shadow and Motion Blur—must be enabled before you can
adjust their parameters.
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To enable the Drop Shadow or Motion Blur attribute:
m Click the checkbox next to Drop Shadow or Motion Blur.
Some parameters must
be enabled to use them.
Drop Shadow parameters
Motion Blur parameters
To adjust motion parameters, do one (or more) of the following:
m Drag the slider.
m Enter a new value in the number field, then press Return.
m Drag the corresponding overlay in the keyframe graph.
m For settings with a dial control: Drag the hand on the dial. The black hand indicates
the current angle of the clip; the small red hand indicates the total rotations forward
or backward.
m For settings that use x and y coordinates: Enter new coordinates in the number fields to
the right, then press Return. Some coordinate settings also have a point control; click
the control, then click the crosshair pointer on the appropriate point in the Canvas.
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Keyboard Modifiers for Controls in the Motion Tab
When using slider controls:
 To adjust the value by two decimal places of accuracy, hold down the Shift key.
 To slow down a slider’s movement and select a more precise value, hold down the
Command key.
When using a dial control:
 To constrain the dial to 45-degree increments, hold down the Shift key.
 To slow down a dial’s movement and select a more precise value, hold down the
Command key.
 To reset the parameter to 0, drag out of the dial.
Controls in the Motion Tab
The following section describes the attributes and related parameters in the Motion tab
in the Viewer.
Basic Motion Parameters
The Basic Motion parameters allow you to add motion to a clip—changing the scale,
rotating a clip, moving the center point, and setting an anchor point.
 Scale slider: Changes the overall size of a clip without changing its proportions.
 Rotation: Rotates a clip around its center axis without changing its shape. Clips can
be rotated plus or minus 24 rotations.
 Center: Specifies the center point of the clip, allowing you to move a clip somewhere
else in the frame. The center parameter actually refers to the location of the clip’s
anchor point in the Canvas.
 Anchor Point: Specifies the point that is used to center a clip’s position and rotation.
A clip’s anchor point does not have to be at its center.
Crop Parameters
 Left, Right, Top, and Bottom sliders: Crops the clip from the specified side. You can
crop the top, left, right, and bottom of a clip independently. Values in the number
fields represent pixels.
 Edge Feather slider: Applies a soft border with its outer edge at the crop line. The higher
you set the Edge Feather slider, the further into your clip the feathering effect goes.
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Distort Parameters
 Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Right, Lower Left: You can change the shape of a clip by
moving each of four corner points independently of one another. The corner points
defining the relative distortion of a clip are offset relative to the center of the clip.
 Aspect Ratio: Allows you to squeeze a clip horizontally or vertically to change the
ratio of its width to its height. This parameter never increases a clip’s size. You can
enter values between –10,000 and 10,000 in the number field.
Opacity Parameter
 Opacity slider: Increases or decreases the transparency of a clip.
Drop Shadow Parameters
This attribute places a drop shadow behind a clip.
 Offset slider: Determines how far away from the clip the drop shadow falls.
 Angle: Determines which angle the drop shadow falls toward.
 Color: There are several controls you can use to determine the color of the drop shadow.
 Disclosure triangle: Click to display sliders and number fields corresponding to the
hue, saturation, and brightness (H, S, and B) of the chosen color for the drop shadow.
 Eyedropper button: Lets you quickly select a color that’s in an image in the Viewer
or the Canvas. Click this button, then click an image in the Viewer or the Canvas to
pick up that color.
 Hue direction button: If you’re keyframing changes in color, click this control to
determine the direction on the color wheel Final Cut Express HD uses to
interpolate the color change.
 Color picker: Click to choose a color using the standard color picker.
 Softness slider: Blurs the drop shadow around its edges.
 Opacity slider: Sets the transparency of the drop shadow.
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Motion Blur Parameters
Motion blur affects any clip that has motion, whether it’s a moving subject in a video
clip, or keyframed motion effects that you’ve created.
The Motion Blur parameter allows you to create or exaggerate motion blur in ordinary
video clips. For example, if you apply motion blur to a clip where someone is standing
still and waving an arm, the arm becomes blurred, while the rest of the image remains
sharp. This happens even though the arm waving is not a keyframed motion effect. The
Motion Blur parameter also lets you add motion blur to video clips that have none,
such as computer animation that was rendered without it.
Motion Blur can also add blur to layered clips that are moving due to keyframed
motion effects, such as animated motion along a path, rotation, changes in scale, or
distortion. This way, animated motion within Final Cut Express HD can be given a more
natural look, as if the moving clips were actually recorded with a camera.
The amount of blur that appears in either case depends on the speed of the moving
subject. The faster the subject moves, the more blurred it becomes, similar to a motion
picture film or video image. The amount of blur that is added can be modified using
two parameters.
 % Blur: Affects the smoothness of the motion blur. 1000% blurs over 10 frames; 100%
blurs on one frame.
 Samples: Determines the detail of the applied motion blur, which is dependent upon
the speed of the motion effects applied to a clip. Additional samples appear as
additional layers of blurring. To change the number of samples, choose a number in
the Samples pop-up menu.
∏
Tip: Motion blur can also be used to soften the strobing effect that may appear in clips
with extremely slow motion applied to them.
Using the Paste Attributes Command
As you composite multiple clips together in Final Cut Express HD, it’s important to
take advantage of whatever shortcuts you can to eliminate steps and save time.
The Paste Attributes command in the Edit menu (keyboard shortcut Option-V) is a
valuable tool for selectively copying attributes from one clip to another without
having to open clips into the Viewer. It also eliminates the need to repeat steps when
applying identical effects to multiple clips. For detailed information about this
command, see “Copying and Pasting Specific Clip Attributes” on page 745.
Note: The examples starting on page 697 show how you can use the Paste Attributes
command when compositing clips and creating motion effects.
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Using Cartesian Geometry to Position Clips
Final Cut Express HD compositing features use simple Cartesian geometry to position
clips within the frame defined by the Canvas. This makes the process of symmetrically
arranging layered clips easier and more precise. Even though it’s possible to eyeball a
lot of compositions, a little math can go a long way, especially when you want to start
creating more precise motion effects using keyframes.
In Final Cut Express HD, the center point of a layer is always relative to the center point
of the Canvas; the center point of the Canvas is always 0,0.
-240 pixels
Canvas center point
(0, 0)
-360 pixels
+360 pixels
+240 pixels
To position clips using their x and y coordinates, you enter appropriate values in the
Center number fields for the Basic Motion parameters.
To move a clip to the right:
m Enter a positive value in the clip’s x coordinate.
To move a clip to the left:
m Enter a negative value in the clip’s x coordinate.
To move a clip down:
m Enter a positive value in the clip’s y coordinate.
To move a clip up:
m Enter a negative value in the clip’s y coordinate.
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For example, suppose the center point of the clip on track V2 is –218, –119. This puts the
clip 218 pixels to the left and 119 pixels up from the Canvas center point.
Clip center point
(-218, -119)
Y offset
(-119)
X offset
(-218)
Canvas center point
(0, 0)
When you copy and paste these attributes to the clip on track V3, the clip appears in
exactly the same place. However, when you change its x coordinate from negative 218
to positive 218 (in step 12), you put that clip’s center point 218 pixels to the right of the
Canvas center point, which moves it to the other side.
Clip center point
(+218, -119)
Y offset
(-119)
Canvas center point
(0, 0)
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(+218)
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Examples Using Motion Settings
The following two examples demonstrate how you can use motion settings to integrate a
group of clips together to create a single, multilayered broadcast design shot.
Example 1: Using Motion Settings to Create a Layout With Multiple Clips
In the first example, you’ll create a layered interview segment using the Scale, Rotation,
and Center Point parameters. This example assumes you’ve already created a new
sequence and opened it in the Timeline.
Note: This example uses a sequence created for DV clips, with a frame size of 720 x 480.
1 Open a clip into the Viewer that you want to use as a background layer (against which
all other composited layers are to appear), then edit this clip into the Timeline or
Canvas onto track V1.
Note: If you don’t use a background layer (such as a graphic, video clip, or
Final Cut Express HD generator clip), all layered clips appear against black by default.
Initial background layer
2 Set the sequence In and Out points to be the duration of this background clip (choose
Mark > Mark Clip or press X).
Sequence In and
Out points
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3 From the Browser, open the first clip you want to arrange in the background of your
composition, then edit it into the sequence using a superimpose edit.
A new track is created
above the current V1
video track, and your clip
is inserted into it.
4 Double-click the sequence clip you’ve just edited into the Timeline (not the
background clip) to open it into the Viewer, then click the Motion tab.
First, you’ll change the size of the clip so it’s smaller, then you’ll change the rotation so
the clip is angled.
5 Click the disclosure triangle next to the Basic Motion parameter, then drag the Scale
slider to 38 (or enter 38 in the Scale number field, then press Return).
As you adjust the Scale
slider to the left (lower),
the clip gets smaller in
the Canvas.
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6 Drag the Rotation dial control to the left so that it reads –28.
A negative value rotates the clip to the left; a positive value rotates it to the right.
The change is also
reflected in the
Canvas.
This is the angle in
degrees that your
clip is rotated.
Next, you’ll change the position of this clip in the Canvas.
7 Click the point control for the Center parameter, move the pointer to the Canvas (it
changes to a crosshair), then click the crosshair in the upper-left corner of the Canvas.
Point control for the
Center parameter
The change is also
reflected in the
Canvas.
The new coordinates
of the clip’s center
point appear in these
number fields.
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Clicking in the Canvas with the crosshair moves the x and y values of that clip’s center
point to the pixel you clicked. In this case, the first (x) coordinate reads –218 and the
second (y) coordinate reads –119.
Note: For more information about using basic geometry to position clips, see “Using
Cartesian Geometry to Position Clips” on page 695.
Next, you’ll add another clip to your composite.
8 In the Timeline, choose track V2 as the current destination track (click the Destination
control). Then, using a superimpose edit, edit in a second clip you want to place in the
background.
A second clip is placed in
track V3 of the sequence,
using the same In and
Out points.
Now, you want to copy all the motion settings from the first clip and selectively apply
them to this second clip.
9 Select the clip in track V2 that you resized and repositioned, then choose Edit > Copy.
Next, select the clip in track V3, then choose Edit > Paste Attributes.
Select the clip in track V3,
so you can paste
attributes into it.
The Paste Attributes dialog appears. By checking various options in this dialog, you can
selectively paste only the attributes you want to use from the clip you copied into the
currently selected clip.
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10 Check the Basic Motion box, then click OK.
This setting is the only
attribute you want
to copy.
The two clips occupy the same position in the Canvas with the clip on track V3 taking
precedence, so you’ll see that one in the Canvas.
The new clip on track V3 now
has the same motion settings as
the other clip in track V2.
Although you want to keep the size of this new clip the same, you want to position it
on the right corner, as a mirror image of your original clip.
11 Double-click the clip on track V3 to open it in the Viewer, then click the Motion tab.
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12 In the left number field of the Center parameter (the x coordinate), delete the – (minus
sign), then press Return.
The value changes from
negative 218 to positive 218.
The results appear immediately
in the Canvas.
Note: The x and y coordinates of a clip in the Canvas are based on the offset between
that clip’s center point and the center point of the Canvas. See “Using Cartesian
Geometry to Position Clips” on page 695 for more information.
Now, you want to make this clip rotate to the right rather than to the left.
13 Delete the – (minus sign) from the Rotation number field, then press the Return key.
The two clips are now on
opposite sides, rotated
differently.
Now that you have all your background layers set up, it’s time to edit in the foreground
clip that’s going to appear in front of these layers.
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14 Using the same sequence In and Out points that you’ve been using, set the destination
track of your sequence to V3, then edit in the foreground clip using a superimpose edit.
The fourth clip is now
in your sequence.
15 Open this new clip in the Viewer, then select the Motion tab.
16 Open the Basic Motion parameter and adjust the Scale slider to 66, so that this clip is
66% of its original size.
Set the Scale to 66.
The foreground clip
is now 66% of its
original size.
Now you need to move this clip down so it doesn’t obscure the clips in the background
as much. To make sure important elements in your sequence are not cut off at the
edges when you’re layering these clips, you should show the title safe boundaries. The
Title Safe indicators show the boundaries for title safe and action safe, so you can
position your composited clips and titles accordingly.
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17 Choose View > Show Title Safe.
The action safe boundary
is 10% smaller than the
size of the video frame.
The title safe boundary is
20% smaller than the size
of the video frame.
∏
Tip: Viewing title safe boundaries is especially important when creating work that will
be broadcast on television. Televisions cut off the edge of the video frame to give the
illusion that the picture takes up the entire TV screen. The amount that gets cut off
varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
18 In the right number field of the Center setting, enter 37.
Viewing the action safe guidelines, you see that you’re within the area that is viewable
on most television monitors.
You can now see more
of the clips in the
background.
Enter 37 here to move
the clip down 37 pixels.
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Example 2: Using Additional Motion Settings to Refine the Layout
In this example, the Crop, Feather, Opacity, and Drop Shadow settings are changed to
further customize the sequence you created in “Example 1: Using Motion Settings to
Create a Layout With Multiple Clips.”
1 Open the clip on track V4 of your sequence into the Viewer, then click the Motion tab.
First, you’ll feather the edges of your foreground clip to give it a soft border.
2 Click the disclosure triangle next to the Crop parameter.
3 Drag the Edge Feather slider to the right until it’s set to 64.
A soft border appears
around the clip in the
Canvas.
Next, you’ll apply the same amount of feathering to the other two background clips
without opening the clips.
4 Select the foreground clip on track V2, then choose Edit > Copy.
5 Drag a box around the two background clips on tracks V3 and V2 to select both clips,
then choose Edit > Paste Attributes.
6 In the Paste Attributes dialog, check the Scale Attribute Times and Crop boxes, leaving
all other options unchecked, then click OK.
The feathering you set in the
foreground clip is now applied
to the background clips.
Now, you’ll make two further adjustments to the foreground clip, making it seem a bit
wider and allowing the clips in the background to be more visible.
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7 Drag the Top and Bottom sliders in the Crop parameter to the right until they are set to 5.
Now, you’ll add a drop shadow to these three layers.
8 With the Motion tab of the foreground clip still open in the Viewer, click the checkbox
next to Drop Shadow to enable it, then click the Drop Shadow’s disclosure triangle.
Using the appropriate controls, set the offset to 10, angle to 135, softness to 23, and
opacity to 65.
Adjust the settings in the
Drop Shadow parameter.
9 To apply these settings to the other two clips, select the clip on track V4 in the
Timeline, then choose Edit > Copy. Select the clips on tracks V2 and V3, then choose
Edit > Paste Attributes.
10 In the Paste Attributes dialog, click the Drop Shadow checkbox, then click OK.
Both selected clips now
display a drop shadow.
Finally, you want to darken the background layer, since it’s competing with the
foreground layers.
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11 Open the background clip on track V1, then click its Motion tab. Click the Opacity
parameter’s disclosure triangle, then set the opacity to 50 percent.
The background clip
now appears darker in
the Canvas.
Now you have your completed composite: three clips layered, cropped, scaled, and
rotated, with edges feathered.
Creating Motion Effects in the Canvas
In the previous section, you learned about default motion parameters for clips and how
to adjust those settings in the Viewer using the Motion tab. The motion settings of
sequence clips can also be manipulated directly in the Canvas.
Choosing a Wireframe Mode
If you want to adjust a clip’s motion settings in the Canvas, the Canvas must be in
Image+Wireframe mode. When the Canvas is in Image+Wireframe mode, the currently
selected clip has a superimposed turquoise bounding box that shows its scale,
position, rotation, distortion, and cropping, if any are applied.
Selected clip in
Image+Wireframe mode
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To put the Canvas into a wireframe mode, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Image+Wireframe.
m Press W to put the Canvas in Image+Wireframe view. Press W a second time to return to
Image view.
m Choose Image+Wireframe from the View pop-up menu at the top of the Viewer or Canvas.
Manipulating Images in the Canvas
When a clip is selected in the Timeline or Canvas (and you are in a wireframe mode),
there are handles attached to the clip that allow you to perform different geometrical
manipulations. A number at the center of the selected clip shows which track the clip is
on. Shown below are the different handles on a selected clip in the Canvas.
Rotational handle
Center handle
(the number indicates that
this clip is on track V4)
Scale/Distort handle
Using the Selection, Crop, and Distort tools in the Tool palette, you can drag a clip’s
handles directly in the Canvas to create various effects.
 Center handle: Drag this handle of a clip’s wireframe with the Selection tool to
reposition the clip in the Canvas (changing its Center setting in that clip’s Motion tab).
 Rotational handle: Drag one of these four rotation handles with the Selection tool to
rotate the clip in the Canvas (changing its Rotation setting in that clip’s Motion tab).
 Scale/Distort handles: Drag one of the four corner points of a clip with the Selection
tool to modify its Scale setting. Drag one of these four points with the Distort tool to
move that point independently of the others (changing the appropriate Distort
setting in that clip’s Motion tab).
 Crop handles: You can also drag one of a clip’s four sides with the Crop tool to adjust how
the clip is cropped (changing the appropriate Crop setting in that clip’s Motion tab).
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Crop and Distort Tools
The Crop and Distort tools can be used to manipulate images directly in the Canvas,
instead of setting parameter values in a clip’s Motion tab.
Crop tool
Distort tool
 Crop tool: Allows you to drag each of a clip’s four sides inward to crop just that side.
You press the C key to select the Crop tool.
 Distort tool: Lets you drag each of a clip’s corner points independently, in order to
create perspective effects and other geometric distortion. You press the D key to
select the Distort tool.
Zooming In to the Canvas
In the Canvas, you can choose a magnification level to help you work with your clips as
you manipulate them. By zooming into the Canvas, you can get a more detailed look at
your layers, which can help you make more precise positioning decisions. By zooming
out of the Canvas and making the image smaller, you can more easily move clips out of
the frame, in preparation for creating keyframed motion from the outside of the frame
to the inside.
Note: The zoom level you specify changes the display size of the image only and
doesn’t affect the frame size of your edited sequence.
To zoom into the Canvas, do one of the following:
m Choose View > Level, then choose a magnification level from the submenu.
m Choose a magnification level from the View pop-up menu in the Canvas.
m With the Canvas active, press Command-+ (plus) to zoom in; press Command- – (minus)
to zoom out. The zoom increments are the same as those in the View pop-up menu.
∏
Tip: To reset the zoom level to the current size of the Canvas, make the Canvas active,
then choose View > Level > Fit to Window (or press Shift-Z). This command also works
in the Viewer.
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Using Wireframe Handles to Transform, Scale, and Rotate
In many instances, you may find that dragging the handles of a selected clip in the
Canvas is faster and more intuitive than adjusting its parameters in the Motion tab of
the Viewer.
Note: You must be in Image+Wireframe or Wireframe mode to use wireframe handles.
To scale a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline.
2 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then do one of the following:
 To scale the clip proportionally: Drag a corner handle.
Drag a corner handle
to scale proportionally.
 To scale the clip without constraining the proportions: Shift-drag a corner handle.
Shift-drag a corner
handle to scale in one
direction or the other.
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To move a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline.
2 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then drag the layer to a new position.
You can move a clip
partially or completely
outside the Canvas.
To rotate a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline.
2 Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then drag any edge of the selected clip’s
border in an arc around the clip’s center point.
Drag any edge with the
Selection tool to rotate
the clip.
 The farther away you drag from the clip’s center point, the more precise control you
have over the rotation.
 To constrain rotation to 45-degree increments, hold the Shift key while dragging.
 Continuous dragging increases the total number of rotations performed, if you’re
creating keyframed movement.
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To scale and rotate a clip:
m Command-drag a corner handle.
Command-drag a corner
handle to scale and
rotate the clip.
To distort the shape of a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline.
2 Select the Distort tool in the Tool palette, then drag a corner handle.
Drag a corner with the
Distort tool to distort
the clip.
∏
Tip: To shorten one side and lengthen the other side of an image, hold down the Shift
key while dragging.
Hold down the Shift key as
you drag to change all four
points simultaneously and
give the appearance of a
change in perspective.
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To crop a clip:
1 Select a clip in the Timeline.
2 Select the Crop tool in the Tool palette, then do one of the following:
 To crop a particular side: Drag in from the edge of the clip.
Drag an edge with the
Crop tool to crop that
side of the clip.
 To crop two sides at one time: Drag one of the corners of the wireframe.
Drag a corner with the
Crop tool to crop two
sides at once.
 To constrain the rectangle’s aspect ratio: Hold down the Shift key while dragging
a corner.
Shift-drag a corner with
the Crop tool to maintain
the aspect ratio.
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Example: Using Motion Parameters and Wireframe Handles
In this example, you’ll put a graphic on the side of a building as if it were a sign. You’ll use
the Scale, Center, and Distort parameters (in the Motion tab of the Viewer) to match the
perspective of the building with the perspective of the sign, and the Selection and Distort
tools to manipulate the graphic directly in the Canvas. This example assumes you’ve
already created a new sequence and opened it in the Timeline.
Note: This example uses a sequence created for DV clips, with a frame size of 720 x 480.
1 Edit a shot of a building into track V1 of your sequence.
The clip shown here is a lockeddown shot of a building from a
3/4 angle (a locked-down shot
is one where the camera does
not move).
2 Import a graphics file (such as a PICT file) of a sign into your project, then open it in
the Viewer.
This shows the graphic you’ll
place on the side of the
building.
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3 In the Canvas or Timeline, position the playhead over the clip you just edited into track
V1, then set the sequence In and Out points to be the duration of the building clip
(choose Mark > Mark Clip or press X).
Position the playhead
anywhere within the clip.
Set the In and Out points
for the duration of this clip.
4 Perform a superimpose edit to superimpose the sign into track V2 for the duration of
the shot.
The sign is now on top
of the building.
Instead of changing settings in the Motion tab, you’ll manipulate the images in
the Timeline.
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5 In the Timeline, select the image, then choose Image+Wireframe from the View pop-up
menu in the Canvas.
The selected layer in
track V2 is outlined in
turquoise.
6 With the Selection tool, hold down the Shift key, then drag one of the corners of the
sign graphic to change its scale to match that of the building.
Scale down the size of
the sign graphic.
7 With the Selection tool, drag the center point of the sign graphic to move it so that its
position matches that of the wall.
Move the graphic so it’s
positioned entirely on
the building’s side.
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8 Select the Distort tool in the Tool palette, then drag each of the four corners of the sign
graphic until they match the perspective of the side of the building.
Use the Distort tool to
match the perspective
of the building.
∏
Tip: To make the sign look more convincing, you can also add a subtle drop shadow by
enabling the Drop Shadow attribute in the Motion tab of the sign clip.
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50
Adjusting Parameters
for Keyframed Effects
50
Automated audio level adjustments, opacity changes
between layers, shifting color values, and spinning video clips
are examples of what’s possible when using keyframes to
adjust clip parameters over time.
This chapter covers the following:
 Animating Motion Effects Using Keyframes (p. 719)
 Smoothing Keyframes With Bezier Handles (p. 731)
 Creating Keyframed Motion Paths in the Canvas (p. 735)
Animating Motion Effects Using Keyframes
The word keyframe comes from the traditional workflow in the animation industry, where
only important (key) frames of an animated sequence were drawn to sketch a character’s
motion over time. Once the keyframes were determined, an in-between artist drew all
the frames between the keyframes. With Final Cut Express HD, you can set parameters to
specific values at specific times and Final Cut Express HD acts as an automatic, real-time
in-between artist, calculating all the values between your keyframes.
Effects, such as opacity, position, and any other of a clip’s Motion tab settings, can be
dynamically changed over the course of your sequence using keyframes. Keyframes are
available throughout Final Cut Express HD for any feature with parameters that can be
changed over time, and can be used to create sophisticated motion, filter, and
transparency effects.
Many clip parameters can be keyframed:
 Opacity
 Motion settings
 Volume level
 Pan settings
719
Since you can add keyframes to filters and generators, as well as motion settings, the
information presented in this chapter can also be used to modify filters and generators
(discussed in Chapter 48, “Video Filters,” on page 663 and Chapter 57, “Using Built-in
Generated Clips,” on page 849).
How Keyframing Works
You place keyframes at specific points in a clip or sequence to change parameters at
those points. For example, if you want the last clip in your sequence to fade to black,
you set two Opacity keyframes at two different times: one with the value of 100 (fully
visible) and a second with the value of 0 (fully transparent). Final Cut Express HD
interpolates the values between 100 and 0, creating a smooth fade to black. To add
keyframes to a sequence clip, you can use the Canvas and Timeline.
Note: You can also add keyframes to master clips that are opened into the Viewer from
the Browser, but these keyframed effects accompany the clip whenever it’s edited into
a sequence.
When you use two or more keyframes to change an effect over time, Final Cut Express HD
automatically interpolates the values between the keyframes so that there’s a smooth
change in that parameter. For example, when you look at a clip with a change in opacity
using two keyframes, you can see the gradual change from one keyframe to the other in
the slope of the Opacity overlay, as shown below in the Timeline.
First
keyframe
Second
keyframe
Overlay in the Timeline for
the Opacity parameter
Adding additional keyframes increases the complexity of the effect, but the area in
between each pair of keyframes in your clip is still smoothly interpolated.
Using more keyframes
creates additional
complexity, shown
in the overlay.
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Determining the Number of Keyframes to Use
The complexity of the changes in your effects depends on the number of keyframes
that you add to a clip. You need at least two keyframes in a clip to make a dynamic
change from one value in an effects parameter to another. A more sophisticated
change requires three keyframes. To isolate a keyframe change to a certain section of
the entire overlay for an effect, you need at least four keyframes.
Creating Simple Effects With Two Keyframes
The simplest thing you can do to make a change is to add two keyframes. For example,
you can change the size, or scale, of a clip by adjusting its scale from 25 percent in the
first keyframe to 75 percent in the second keyframe.
Using Three Keyframes
With three keyframes, you can create more complex effects, such as a curved motion
path. In the example below, the position of the clip starts at the location specified by
the first keyframe, moves to the position specified by the second keyframe, and then
continues on its journey until it reaches the position specified by the third keyframe.
(For more information about creating motion paths in the Canvas, see “Creating
Keyframed Motion Paths in the Canvas” on page 735.)
Keyframe 3
Keyframe 2
Keyframe 1
Using Four (or More) Keyframes for Complex Effects
You can make isolated changes to sections of an overlay for an effect if you have at
least four keyframes. For example, if you have a superimposed clip that’s set at 50
percent opacity for the duration of the clip, but you need it to go to 100 percent for 3
seconds right in the middle, you’d create four keyframes on that clip’s opacity overlay.
Now you can have the opacity level of the clip start at 50 percent, jump to 100 percent
for the duration the keyframes specify, and then drop back to 50 percent for the
remaining duration of the clip.
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Keyframing Tools in Final Cut Express HD
Three tools in the Tool palette allow you to add, modify, or remove keyframes on a
parameter’s keyframe graph line in the keyframe graph area.
Pen tool
Pen Smooth tool
Pen Delete tool
 Pen: Allows you to add keyframes to a parameter in the Motion tab or Timeline
keyframe graph by clicking it (you can also press the P key).
 Pen Delete: Lets you delete a keyframe from a parameter by clicking the keyframe
itself (you can also press the P key twice).
 Pen Smooth: Allows you to smooth a keyframe’s interpolation by clicking the
keyframe itself (you can also press the P key three times).
Keyboard Modifiers for the Pen Tool
To use the Pen tool most efficiently, use these keyboard modifiers:
 Press the Option key while the Selection tool is active to temporarily enable the
Pen tool, then click a parameter in either a keyframe graph area or in the Timeline
to add a keyframe at that point.
 To remove the keyframe with the Pen Delete tool, hold down the Option key and
click an existing keyframe.
 Control-click a keyframe and choose Smooth from the shortcut menu to add Bezier
handles to the keyframe. See “Smoothing Keyframes” on page 734 for information
on Bezier handles.
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Setting Keyframes
Until you create at least one keyframe for a parameter (or setting) of a clip, changes you
make to that parameter affect the entire duration of the clip. Once you set the first
keyframe for a parameter, additional keyframes are generated automatically when you
make any subsequent changes to that parameter anywhere else in that clip. You
generally need to set at least two keyframes to make changes or effects that are useful
or noticeable.
Note: For some parameters, you must click the disclosure triangle to view its keyframes
in the keyframe graph area.
To set keyframes from the Viewer or Canvas:
m To add a keyframe to all of the selected clip’s motion settings at once: In the Video tab of
the Viewer or in the Canvas, click the Add Keyframe button.
Add Keyframe button in
the Canvas
To set a keyframe using the Pen tool, do one of the following:
m Select the Pen tool in the Tool palette (or press P); then, in the appropriate tab of the
Viewer, click a parameter’s keyframe graph line (in the keyframe graph area) where you
want to add the keyframe.
m Hold down the Option key and click a parameter’s keyframe graph line where you want
to add the keyframe.
∏
Tip: This is also useful for setting keyframes in the video opacity and audio level
overlays of a clip in the Timeline.
Once you’ve added at least one keyframe to a parameter, new keyframes are
automatically added whenever you move the playhead and make further adjustments.
To better see what you are doing, you may want to add more space to the keyframe
graph area before you set additional keyframes.
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To add more keyframes:
1 Move the playhead to another point in the clip where you want to set a keyframe.
2 Do one of the following:
 Adjust the appropriate setting control.
 Type a number in the appropriate number field.
 Hold down the Option key and click a clip’s overlay in the Timeline where you want
to add the keyframe.
This doesn’t change the parameter’s current value; it simply adds a keyframe with the
same value. You can add as many keyframes as you want by clicking repeatedly with
the Option key held down.
Adjusting and Deleting Keyframes
After you add keyframes to a parameter, you can adjust keyframes to produce the desired
effect. You can modify individual keyframes, interpolated values between keyframes, or all
keyframes at one time. You can also move and delete keyframes at a