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Although most Final Cut users are familiar with the "Video Filters" that they can apply to their clips, fewer are comfortable working with the keyframes used to animate those filters over time.  For example, what if you wanted a clip to fade from color to black and white -- or to gradually blur (or unblur)?  Normally, you would either use keyframes or a duplicate copy of your source clip.  You can accomplish the same thing, though, with less mess by using familiar through edits and transitions.
Step-by-Step

  1. Press the "B" key to select the Razor Blade tool.
  2. Use the razor blade to cut your clip at the points where you'd like your filter to begin and end.  You're creating through edits at these points.
  3. Click the new middle portion of your clip, and apply the filter that you're interested in. 
  4. If you'd like, you can double-click on that part of the clip, and adjust the filter's parameters in the "Filters" tab of the Viewer.
  5. Click each through edit that you made earlier, and press Cmd+T to add a cross-dissolve between the "new" filtered clip and the original, unaltered version.
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