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Ripple Edit in Final Cut Pro X

Learning the basics of using the the precision editing within Final Cut Pro while performing a ripple trim function.


Final Cut Pro X makes it easy when need to trim clips within a project.

Here’s a simple example of how trimming works.

Notice in this short project, the outgoing clip ends a bit abruptly. 

Click on the tool selection menu and make sure the select tool is active. 

You’ll notice there is also a trim tool, but it’s not necessary when performing a ripple trim.

So if the select tool is already active, you can just leave it turned on.

Park the select tool over an edit point, and you’ll notice how the selection tool changes into a trimming tool.

Also, notice the small filmstrip icon that indicates which side you’ll be trimming.

To extend this clip so the kid completes the back flip, all you need to do is grab onto the edge of the clip and extend the clip forward.

By doing so, the viewer window will show you both sides of the edit point so you can compare the outgoing shot with the incoming shot.

This type of trim is called a ripple trim, meaning your project will become shorter or longer based on the number of frames that you subtract or add.

Okay, so now the kid completes the back flip before we cut to the next clip.

Now, when you are trimming clips, you can only extend a clip so far.

Meaning, once the media for a clip runs out, you won’t be able to extend the clip any further.

A red line will appear at the end of the edit point if you try to exceed the amount of media available for a clip.

To avoid this issue, you can see how much media is available ahead of time by double clicking on an edit point.

This opens the precision editor.

This grey area here represents areas of the outgoing and incoming portions of media that are available for trimming.

In this mode, to extend a clip, you can simply skim to the area of where you want the clip to begin or end and then press the mouse button. 

Now the edit is complete.

To close the precision editor, just double click on the edit point.

It’s that easy!

Okay, that’s the basics of performing a ripple trim.

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Using rolling trim in Final Cut Pro X was the previous entry in this blog.

Slip edit in Final Cut Pro X is the next entry in this blog.

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