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Three- and Four-Point Edits

Most novice editors hear the terms three-point edit and four-point edit and assume that they refer to advanced editing functions that occur only in high-end productions. The fact of the matter is that every edit we’ve discussed so far has been a three-point edit (you’re that good, and you didn’t even know it).

The file in the Source Monitor has two points: the In point and the Out point, or the beginning and end if you didn’t mark the In and Out points. The playhead in the Timeline is the third point. Press the Insert or Overwrite button, and voilà: a three-point edit. Simple enough.

But all these edits involved starting clip playback at a specific location. What if you want the clip to end at a specific location? Or what if you have a specific gap that you need to precisely fill?

The problem we’ll use to explore these concepts is shown in a_icon.jpg. I’ve got ten seconds of narration on A1, and two clips, St. Basil’s 1 and 2. St. Basil’s 2 has a striking shot at the end, so I want it to align with the end of the narration. I want the selected region in St. Basil’s 1 to fill in the remaining gap.


Click to view larger image

a_icon.jpg Our mission: Fill in the ten-second narration with the two clips in the Project panel. The playhead is at the target end point, and I’m selecting my Out point.

The secret to producing these types of edits is setting In and Out points in the Timeline. The procedure is very similar to setting In and Out points in the Source Monitor—which we covered in Chapter 4, if you want a quick review.

To force a clip to end at a certain point via a three-point edit

  1. In the Timeline or Program Monitor, navigate the playhead to the target Out point grey_a_icon.jpg. Press the Up and Down Arrow keys to move to an existing edit point.
  2. In the Program Monitor, click the Mark Out button mark-out.jpg or press O.
  3. Premiere Pro sets the Out Point.
  4. Drag the source track indicators to the desired track grey_a_icon.jpg.
  5. In the Source Monitor, make sure you have In and Out points set in the source clip.
  6. Press the Overwrite button overwrite.jpg b_icon.jpg.

    Click to view larger image

    b_icon.jpg St. Basil’s 2 now ends at the Out point.

    Premiere Pro inserts the selected region of the source clip into the Timeline, with playback ending at the selected Out point.

To fit to fill via a four-point edit

  1. In the Timeline or Program Monitor, navigate the playhead to the target Out point c_icon.jpg.

    Click to view larger image

    c_icon.jpg Setting the Out point in the Timeline.

  2. In the Program Monitor, click the Mark Out button mark-out.jpg or press O.

    Premiere Pro sets the Out point.

  3. In the Timeline or Program Monitor, navigate the playhead to the target In point d_icon.jpg.

    Click to view larger image

    d_icon.jpg Setting the In point and marking the target area for the clip.

  4. In the Program Monitor, click the Mark In mark-in.jpg button or press I.

    Premiere Pro sets the In point.

  5. Drag the source track indicators to the desired track grey_c_icon.jpg.
  6. In the Source Monitor, make sure you have In and Out points set in the source clip.
  7. In the Source Monitor, press the Overwrite button overwrite.jpg.

    Premiere Pro opens the Fit Clip dialog e_icon.jpg.


    e_icon.jpg Here’s where you tell Premiere Pro what to do with the time discrepancy between the source clip and the target region.

  8. Since the object of the exercise is to fit the clip from the Source Monitor into the target region in the Timeline, click the Change Clip Speed (Fit to Fill) option, and press OK to close the dialog grey_e_icon.jpg.

    Premiere Pro inserts the clip into the marked space f_icon.jpg, making the required speed adjustments. The 102.97 in the clip means that it’s playing about 3 percent faster than normal, which shouldn’t cause any audio or visual problems.


    Click to view larger image

    f_icon.jpg Here’s the result.

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