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Drag-and-Drop Editing in Final Cut Pro 5

Final Cut Pro's flexibility allows an editor to work with different styles of editing. There's one time-saving editing style that's easy yet extremely powerful at the same time: drag-and-drop editing. This method involves dragging a clip directly to the Timeline to make an edit. This chapter will help you become familiar with this handy feature.
This chapter is from the book

Lesson Files

Copy and paste clips
Select multiple clips in the Timeline
Work with snapping
Overwrite clips directly to the Timeline
Insert clips directly to the Timeline
Drag audio clips to the Timeline
Change a clip in the Timeline
Copy and paste attributes

Lesson 3 Project

Canoe Club folder
This lesson takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.
Select and move clips in the Timeline

Final Cut Pro's flexibility allows an editor to work with different styles of editing. You can drag a clip to the Edit Overlay in the Canvas, click an edit button, or use the keyboard shortcuts F9 and F10 to make Insert and Overwrite edits. But there's another editing style that's easy yet extremely powerful at the same time: drag-and-drop editing. This method involves dragging a clip directly to the Timeline to make an edit. Once a clip is in the Timeline, you can select it, move it, or copy and paste it. You can really speed up the editing process since you can do just about anything you need to do to manipulate the clip or sequence using this method. Some editors cut or edit their entire sequence using only drag-and-drop editing.

Preparing the Project

To get started in Lesson 3, you will launch Final Cut Pro and open the project for this lesson. You will also create a new sequence to begin editing.

  1. Launch Final Cut Pro.
  2. Close all open projects by Ctrl-clicking their tabs and choosing Close Tab from the shortcut menu.

    The Canvas and Timeline windows close when there are no sequences to display, and the Effects tab is the only tab in the Browser.

  3. Choose File > Open, or press Cmd-O, and choose the Lesson 3 Project file from the FCP5 Book Files > Lessons folder on your hard drive.

    This project has three bins: Canoe Club Audio, Canoe Club Video, and Sequences.

  4. Display the contents of each bin. In the Sequences bin, double-click the Canoe Club – Finished sequence to open it. You may have to scroll down to see that sequence.

    The Canvas and Timeline windows open to display the open sequence.

  5. Play this sequence to see what you will create in this lesson.

    This sequence has five audio tracks. On A1 and A2 is a stereo sound effect, which was recorded on a separate system at the original film shoot. This clip has been duplicated several times to continue the sound effect under the other video-only clips. Track A3 contains mono (single-channel) narration or voice-over clips, and Tracks A4 and A5 have a stereo music track.

  6. In the Sequences bin, double-click the Moving Clips sequence to open it. Then click each two sequence tab in the Timeline.

    The Moving Clips sequence contains six clips that are part of the Canoe Club – Finished sequence you viewed in the previous step. The first three clips are positioned in the same place in each sequence. The other three video clips have been moved down in the Timeline away from their original position. You will work with all these clips to learn the basics of moving and selecting clips in the Timeline. Also, this sequence has only four tracks of audio. You will add the other track later in this lesson.

  7. Play the first three clips.

    Notice that the rowing sound clip does not appear at the head of the sequence because the canoe is still at a distance. Instead, it is aligned to the end of the video clip. The narration, or voice-over clip, VO_01, does not have a restriction about placement. It could be positioned at the beginning of the video clip, at the end, or in the middle.

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