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Trimming Tools for Final Cut Pro

There are many ways to trim clips. In the basic editing lesson, we explained how you could use the arrow tool (A) to trim clips.

rolling_trim_icon.jpg Roll trim icon (R)

ripple_trim_tool.jpg Ripple trim icon (RR)

slip_trim_tool.jpg Slip icon (S)

slide_trim_tool.jpg Slide icon (SS)

fcp_tool_palette.jpg

The trim buttons are available from the tools window. If the tools window is not showing, navigate to the Window | Tools menu.










UNDERSTANDING HANDLES

It is important to understand the concept of handles before trimming clips. In order to extend a clip on the timeline to a longer duration, you need to have extra media available. This extra media is referred to as handles.

handles_viewer_window.jpg

An easy way to check that you have enough media to trim is to double click on a clip that is in the timeline window.

This example shows that by double clicking on the 'Sunset2' clip, it will load that section into the viewer window. You can then see the available header and tail that can be used for trimming purposes. This means the clip can be extended beyond its 2:12 duration.

Once you have determined that a clip has enough material to trim, you can extend the clip by the duration of the available handles.

double_click_clip_in_timeline.jpg

ROLLING TRIM BUTTON (R)

rolling_trim_icon.jpg

To perform a rolling trim function, click on the rolling trim button in the tools window, or press the R key on the keyboard. When you move your cursor to the timeline, it will change into the rolling trim icon.

Click on a transition point in the timeline to trim. Then drag the edge of the clip to extend or decrease its length.

_rolling_trim.gif

The rolling trim function will extend the edge of one clip into another. Make sure you have enough material on the clip that is being extended.

rolling_trim2.gif

The result is shown above. Notice, the total duration of both clips added together has not changed. When using the rolling trim function, it will not change the duration of your sequence. However, the duration of the two individual clips will change.

RIPPLE TRIM BUTTON (RR)

ripple_trim_tool.jpg

To perform a ripple trim function, click on the ripple trim button in the tools window or press the (RR) keys. When you move your cursor to the timeline, it will turn into the ripple trim icon.

Click on a transition point in the timeline to trim. Then drag the edge of the clip to the right or left to extend or decrease the length of a clip.

The ripple trim function will extend the edge of one clip and push the neighboring clip over on the timeline to make room

The result is shown above. Notice how the duration of the sequence has changed. When using the ripple trim, it will always change the duration of a sequence track.

EDITORS NOTE:
Be careful when using the ripple trim tool, because you may end up moving clips out of sync with their corresponding audio.

slip_trim_tool.jpg

To perform a slip trim function, click on the slip trim button in the tools window or press the S key. When you move your cursor to the timeline, it will turn into the slip trim icon.

Click on a clip and hold down the mouse button in the timeline to slip. Then drag the clip to the left or to the right to perform a slip function. The slip function will simultaneously trim the incoming and outgoing frames of a clip at the same time.

slip_clip_left.jpg

slip_clip.jpg

In the above example, notice how the first frame of the clip shows the man in the sun glare. The slip function can be used to start the clip on a later frame without changing its duration. In this example, we start ‘Walk on Beach’ 3 seconds later in time. The duration of ‘Walk on Beach’ stays exactly the same.

slip_clip2.jpg

SLIDE TRIM BUTTON (SS)

slide_trim_tool.jpg

To perform a slide trim function, click on the slide trim button in the tools window or press the (SS) key. When you move your cursor to the timeline, it will turn into the slide trim icon.

Click on a clip in the timeline to slide. Then drag the clip to the left or to the right to perform a slide function.

When sliding a clip it moves the clip left or right on the timeline. For example, if you are sliding a clip to the right, the clip before it needs to have enough media to fill the gap that would be left.

In this example, the ‘Walk on Beach’ clip is being moved 2 seconds to the right.

slide_clip2.jpg

slide_clip3.jpg

By doing this, the ‘Pool Bar’ clip is lengthened in order to fill the gap left by moving the ‘Walk on Beach’ clip.

slide_clip4.jpg

By comparing the present and original positions of the 'Walk on Beach' clip, you can see that it has been moved over 2 seconds to the right. The 'Pool Bar' clip becomes 2 seconds longer, and the ‘Sunset’ clip becomes 2 seconds shorter.

The advantage of using the slide function to move a clip is the ability to move a clip around on the timeline without affecting the timeline’s duration. Notice, the above timeline stays the same length during the slide process.

USING THE TRIM EDIT WINDOW

trim_edit_window.jpg

Another way to trim is to use the trim edit window. You can double click on an edit point with the arrow tool or you can use the group selection tool or G key to enter into the trim edit window.

group_selection_tool.jpg If you use the group selection tool, simply lasso a transition point on the timeline window, and you will automatically enter into the trim edit window.

By dragging the outgoing or incoming edit points, you can perform a rolling trim edit using the trim edit window.

final_cut_pro_trim_mode.jpg

ROLLING EDIT IN THE TRIM WINDOW

By default, the trim edit window defaults to the rolling trim mode by dragging the OUT point or IN point of a transition. Drag either the outgoing point or incoming point to perform the trim function.

fcp_trim_mode.jpg

The trim edit window will trim all the selected transition points equally. If you want to trim only the video or audio for a linked clip, select only the video or audio transition point before entering the trim edit window.

unlink_icon.gif Click on the unlink icon to select an individual transition point before entering the trim edit window to perform a video only trim function.

Notice how the video and audio from 'Interview 1' is split from its audio. This is very common edit that you will find in almost every narrative editing style. It helps smooth out transition points between edits.

split_audio_edit.gif

EDITORS NOTE:
Be very careful when using the unlink icon. Make sure you turn the function back on after you are done. Otherwise it is possible to move clips out of sync with their linked audio.

RIPPLE EDIT IN THE TRIM WINDOW

To perform a ripple edit, click on either the incoming window or outgoing window within the trim edit window.

ripple_edit_trim_window.jpg

ripple_edit_trim_mode.jpg

EDITORS NOTE:
The nice thing about using the trim edit window for trimming is that you can see the available handles available for each clip.

You can press the I key to update the IN point, or O key to update the OUT point on the fly while using the play around edit loop button.

SLIPPING A CLIP IN THE VIEWER WINDOW

To perform a slip edit in the viewer window, double click on a clip in a sequence to load it into the viewer window. Then shift drag the IN or OUT point of the clip to perform the slip function.

This example shows the clip ‘Walk on Beach’ being slipped.

slip_clip_in_viewer.jpg

Notice how the 'Walk on Beach' clip in the timeline window directly corresponds to the duration in the viewer window. Remember, the duration will always stay the same when performing a slip function.

fcp_timeline.jpg

EDITORS NOTE:
An editor may prefer to slip a clip in the viewer window, because it allows you to see the available handles of a clip.

USING THE EXTEND EDIT FEATURE

The extend-edit feature allows you to extend or contract a clip in the timeline without having to use the rolling trim tool or arrow tool.

Extend edit is found under the Sequence | Extend Edit menu. You can also use the E key.

To perform an extend-edit, highlight a transition point and park the position indicator at the position where you would like to extend your clip. Then use the keyboard shortcut E key for extend-edit. If there are enough handles on the clip, then the clip will automatically extend out to the position indicator as shown below.

extend_tool.gif

extend_tool2.gif

EDITORS NOTE:
The extend edit feature can also be useful when dealing with multiple video tracks. Simply use the G key for the group selection tool, and highlight multiple transition points that can be extended together.


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Alpha Mattes in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Extracting DVD Scenes For Edit In Final Cut Pro and Avid Xpress Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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