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Final Cut Pro X: Visual QuickStart Guide: Marking Clips

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This chapter will cover different ways of identifying, selecting, and highlighting bits of clips in Final Cut Pro X.
This chapter is from the book

One of the most fundamental aspects of the editing process is identifying the portions of your source clips you want to use in your final edit. Think of this concept as marking an area of a clip.

In addition to marking the areas you want to use in your edit, you will also frequently do the opposite: mark the sections you definitely don’t want to use.

Furthermore, there are many occasions where you’re not quite sure which parts you will want to use (or not use), so you’ll want to mark those with more descriptive information than just “yes” or “no.”

Finally, you may want to highlight a particular frame or section of a clip to alert yourself (or your fellow editors) of some bit of important information about the clip.

This chapter will cover all of these different ways of identifying, selecting, and highlighting bits of clips.

Making a Selection

The most straightforward and essential aspect of any sort of clip marking is the idea of selecting the portion of the clip you want to mark. You can use such a selection to add a clip rating or a keyword. Most importantly, you’ll used it to identify what portion of the source clip to edit into the project.

You can make selections with the mouse, which provides instant visual feedback but tends to be imprecise. You can also make them from the keyboard.

This latter method is especially useful in that it allows you to identify the desired selection while the clip is playing. Such on-the-fly clip marking allows you to simulate the experience of your viewers (who never get to step through the shots or stare at any individual frame) and make more accurate and effective decisions.

To make a selection with the mouse

  1. If it’s not already enabled, press S to activate skimming, then skim the clip to find the frame where you want the selection to begin red_circle-a.jpg.

  2. Click that frame and drag to the right until you reach the frame where you want the selection to end red_circle-b.jpg.

A selection is made and illustrated with a thick yellow border.

To make a selection from the keyboard

  1. Press the Spacebar or L to play the clip.
  2. When you reach the frame where you want the selection to begin, press I.

    The beginning of the selection is marked. By default, the selection extends to the end of the clip media red_circle-c.jpg.

  3. When you reach the frame where you want the selection to end red_circle-d.jpg, press O.
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