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A marker is a marker, right?  Not so in Final Cut Pro; Chapter Markers, Compression Markers, Scoring Markers, Sequence Markers, Clip Markers, and the list goes on.  How do you keep them all straight?  Well I had to do a little research myself, but here is what I found out about Markers:

First of all, basically a marker, is a reference point that you can place within clips or sequences to identify specific frames.  You can use them for so many different things, and you can export them with your finished project.  Markers can be used for making comments, synchronizing multiclips, adding DVD chapters, and even making subclips.  Usually, markers are placed only on a specific frame, but you can also create a marker with a longer duration.

The biggest thing to understand when using markers is the difference between Sequence Markers and Clip Markers.  You add markers to a clip when you want to make note about something in the clip.  You can add markers to a sequence if you want to mark specific points say for example, in the audio track, or if you want to use them to snap the playhead to a specific point when performing an edit.  Another reason to add markers to sequences is so you can add compression markers and DVD chapter markers. 

The difference between the two, Clip Markers and Sequence Markers, visually, in the Timeline is Clip Markers are Pink, Sequence Markers are Green.  Clip Markers can be added and seen in the Viewer along with in the Timeline, whereas, Sequence Markers can be added and seen in the Canvas and/or in the Timeline.  Markers can be added, deleted, and commented on at any point while you are editing.

markers.gif

Other types of Markers: 

  • Our default marker is the Note Marker.  This is the marker that is created when you add a marker to a clip or a sequence.
  • Chapter Markers automatically become DVD chapter markers to be used in DVD Studio Pro
  • Compression Markers can be added to tell Compressor or DVD Studio Pro that it should generate an MPEG1-frame during compression.  You want to add these where there is an abrupt visual change from one frame to the next within a clip, to improve MPEG compression.
  • Scoring Markers are used to make visual cues to sync music to and can be exported to Soundtrack Pro
  • Audio Peak Markers, when you have them activated, can show you where in your clips that the audio level should be reduced at that point.
  • Long Frame Markers can be added if your clip has long frames that you might want to avoid using in your sequence.
Ok, so how are we adding these markers to our clips or sequences?  That's super-easy...it's distinguishing the differences that can get tricky.  We add markers to clips or sequences by hitting the "M" key.  To name your markers or add comments to them, simply hit the "M" key twice to open the Edit Marker Window.  Within the Edit Marker Window you can Name your marker, write a comment about it, change it's duration, and tell Final Cut if it is to be used as a Chapter Marker, Compression Marker, or Scoring Marker.  If you don't name your markers, the first marker you add is named Marker 1; the second is Marker 2, and so on.

editmarker.gif 

It's important to know there is more than one way to add markers.  Although, I myself, prefer to use the M key, you can also go to the Mark Menu > Markers and add them from there. 

markmenu.gif

You can also add markers in the Viewer & Canvas windows by pressing the Marker button shown here

markerbutton.gif

Now, when adding Chapter, Compression, and Scoring Markers, they can only be used for sequences; when exporting them to Compressor, DVD Studio Pro, or Soundtrack Pro, make sure these markers have been added to the sequence itself in the Timeline ruler and not in individual clips.  In other words, only your green markers in your Timeline are going to be exported when you specified what kind they were in the Edit Marker window; none of your pink markers will be exported.

What if I added a marker, and didn't mean to?  Simple, just place your playhead on the marker you want to delete, press the M key to bring up the edit window again, and click on Delete.  You can do this from the Timeline, Viewer, or the Canvas.  What if I want to delete all of the markers I've added to a clip or a sequence?  Go to the Mark menu > Markers > Delete All.

Now with the latest version of Final Cut Pro 7, you can even color-code clip and sequence markers of your own.

editmarkernew.gifYou can add notes while the clip is playing and when you export your marker list, your custom names are exported also.
 


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Moving Clips Numerically in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

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