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Auditions in Final Cut Pro X

Learn how to create an Audition within Final Cut Pro.

fcpx_training.pngWith its magnetic timeline, FCPX locks each clip in position relative to other clips rather than relative to a specific point in the Timeline.  This means some parts of the creative process come more naturally—like testing out takes of a particular shot in the context of the surrounding shots.  Final Cut smooths that process with an advanced clip type called an Audition.

There are several ways to create an Audition, but the simplest starts in the Event Browser.
  1. Select two or more clips that you want to try out in an Audition.Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.34.52 PM.png
  2. Right click either clip and select Create Audition (or press Command+Y).Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.35.00 PM.png
  3. A new clip appears in the Event Browser, with a spotlight icon in the top left corner.  This icon always represents an Audition clip type.  Edit this clip like a normal clip.  For example, we've edited the Audition clip into the Timeline between two other shots in this sequence.
    Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.45.08 PM.png
    Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.41.10 PM.png
  4. To activate the Audition, click the spotlight icon at the top right corner of the shot in the Timeline.  An Audition window appears, with each of the takes side by side in a Cover Flow arrangement.  Click on any shot to swap it out in the Timeline.  Notice that the neighboring clips slide down in the Timeline to make room for timing differences between Audition shots.  Also, the name of the clip in the Timeline changes to reflect the shot that's currently selected from the Audition.Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.41.25 PM.png
  5. You can also swap between Audition clips using Control+Left Arrow and Control+Right Arrow while the clip is selected in the Timeline.
Learn all about this and FCPX's other advanced clip types in our four- and eight-day intensive Final Cut X courses.  We teach them monthly here in Orlando, and the rest of the time, our Geniuses are traveling to studios just like yours for fully customized on-site training and consulting.

Here's a transcript of the spoken words in the video tutorial:

Final Cut Pro X has an amazing feature that allows you to attach different takes to a clip allowing you to preview various scenarios while you are editing.

So check this out.

Let me play through the project to demonstrate how this works.

Okay, I've kept things simple with a few edits from the award winning short film Legacy from Seaside Pictures.

Please visit their website at seasidepictures.com to watch the entire film.

Notice how in this shot Billy's dad pops open the lid of the canister of jelly.

To demonstrate how the Audition feature works, notice that I have three clips within the  event browser that I have marked as favorites.

These clips are different takes representing the same action of the story.

Instead of having to edit each one of these clips individually to your project while you experiment, you can use something called Audition to easily preview all the shots within the same project.

To do this select all the clips you'd like to experiment with.
Then drag them onto your clip within the project.

Choose Add to Audition from the contextual menu.

You should now see an Audition icon that looks like a spotlight within the clip.

Click on the spotlight and the Audition window will appear.

Within the audition window you will see additional clips that you've added.

To preview your choices use the right arrow on your keyboard to advance to the next clip.

Then press the spacebar to watch your project.

What's really cool is that at any time you can press the right arrow on your keyboard and Final Cut Pro will automatically back up a few seconds to play through the project again using your new clip.

This is a fantastic way to preview different takes without having to replace your clip each time.

So, lets say after watching through my choices, this is the take that I like.

You can then choose to finalize the audition by right clicking on the audition window and choosing Finalize Audition.

Okay.  It's really that easy.

You should now have the basics for using the audition feature.

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Media Composer 6.0 was the previous entry in this blog.

Compound clips and "nesting" in FCPX is the next entry in this blog.

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