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Trimming in the Timeline

An alternative to using the Trim Edit window is to perform an FCP trim directly in the Timeline as you would in Avid. Trimming in the FCP Timeline is easy and direct, and uses methods similar to those covered earlier in this lesson. These methods include dragging edit points using the Roll (dual-roller) and Ripple (single-roller) trim tools, using keyboard shortcuts, and entering a numerical trim value.

To roll two edit points in the Timeline:

  1. In the Tool palette, click the Roll tool, or press R.
  2. In the Timeline, move the Roll tool over the edit point between the two clips you want to trim, and then drag the edit point left or right.

    The amount of the trim appears in an information box next to the Roll tool in the Timeline. In the Canvas, a two-up display, similar to Avid’s Small Trim mode, appears as you drag.

To ripple a single edit point:

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut RR, or click and hold down the Roll tool in the Tool palette, and slide over to select the Ripple tool when it appears.
  2. Move the Ripple tool into the Timeline toward the In or the Out point.
  3. Drag the In or Out point left or right.

    The clip box shortens or lengthens to represent the duration change; and all the clips that follow are adjusted (rippled) by the trim amount.

To trim using keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Click an edit point using either the Roll or Ripple tool. You can press the keyboard shortcut V to select the edit point, and U to cycle sides.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Press the < or > key to trim one frame. These act like the Avid Trim Frame keys.
    • Press Shift-< or Shift-> to move the multiframe trim amount.
    • Press the Left or Right Bracket key ([ or ]) to trim one frame.
    • Press Shift-[ or Shift-] to trim the multiframe trim amount.

To enter a trim amount:

  1. Select an edit transition using one of the trim tools.
  2. Type a minus (–) and then the amount (as you would in Avid) for a negative trim, or just type the trim amount for a positive trim.

    This amount appears at the top of the Timeline.

  3. Press Return.

To trim using the Selection tool:

  1. Press A to return the pointer to the default Selection tool.
  2. Drag one end of a clip left or right.

    Depending on whether the clip is “open ended,” this method of trimming in the Timeline may be limited by adjacent clips or produce a gap. You will learn how to remove gaps in Lesson 6.

To create L-cut and split edits:

FCP remembers which audio and video clips were captured together and binds or “links” those clips in the Timeline. This can be helpful when you want to trim both the video and audio tracks of the same clip by the same amount. But when you want to trim only one track of a clip, you must override the FCP default linking system by toggling linked selection. In Avid 5, the option to toggle Link Selection is also available and even uses the same keyboard shortcut as FCP.

  1. To select just the video or audio track of a linked clip, turn off the Linked Selection control in the Timeline button bar, or press Shift-L. This will allow you to select just the audio or video tracks to trim.
  2. From the Tool palette, choose the Roll tool, or press R.
  3. Drag the clip’s audio or video edit point left or right.
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