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Play a Clip in Reverse in Final Cut Pro

Playing a clip in reverse in Final Cut Pro can be easily achieved.  Here is a great video tutorial that shows this motion effect.



Let's say that you've been shooting footage at the Vans Skate Park and you've captured some serious stunts on tape to use as an intense sequence for a skateboarding documentary.  Perhaps for artistic purposes you want to play the clip backwards starting at the end point of the skateboarder's flip.  Having someone appear to flip backwards or bounce back and forth is a very simple but attention grabbing effect that can be done easily in Final Cut Pro.

Getting a clip to play in reverse:
  • Right-click on the clip in the Timeline on which you want to perform the effect
  • In the speed field, you can either type a negative number (anything under or over 100% will also change the speed of the clip) or you can checkmark the box that says Reverse
change_speed_dialog.pngNow your clip will play in reverse within your project sequence.

Are you just getting started in Final Cut Pro, or want to become a more efficient editor?  We have classes for beginners and professionals alike.  Take a look at our upcoming class schedule and contact us today!

Script from Video Tutorial:

Here's a quick Final Cut Pro tutorial on creating a motion effect that changes speed direction so a clip bounces back and forth at a certain point.

I've found it's best to build your motion effects as separate sequence and then you can drag the elements from your current sequence into another sequence.

If this effect is new to you, it can drive you nuts trying to match up the frames to get everything to play seamless.  Here's an easy workflow you may want to follow.

Start with a new sequence with a clip you want to change.

Activate the blade tool.

With the blade tool activated, you can still drag through your timeline from up here in the timecode area.

Place add edit marks to create an area where you want the clip to cycle.  In this example from this spot here over to this spot here.

Activate the selection tool and verify that you have the snapping feature turned on.

Now, go ahead and delete the remaining section of the clip.

Copy and Paste this small section two times.  Click on the clip.  Then hold down the option key to create a copy while you drag the clip.  Since the snapping feature is on, the clips should automatically snap together.

Trim the last clip out to the desired distance to complete your scene.

Right click on the second copy that you made and select Change Speed from the contextual menu.

Click on the reverse button.

That's it!  Go ahead and play the sequence.

For other great tips or tricks like this, or to enroll in a Final Cut Pro training class, visit GeniusDV.com


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Aspect Ratio Calculator for Video Formats was the previous entry in this blog.

Transporter effect for Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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