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Editing in the Timeline

You have just completed the first step in learning how to edit in the Timeline by manipulating clips already there. Now it's time to learn to edit clips by dragging them to the Timeline. This method goes hand in hand with the drag-and-drop approach you've been using to manipulate the current clips.

But before you start making edits directly to the Timeline, let's focus on some of the automatic functions in the Timeline editing process.

Positioning the Pointer

When you edit to the Timeline, the position of your pointer in a track will determine the type of edit you make, either Overwrite or Insert. Properly positioning your pointer is the key to editing in the Timeline.

  1. Use any one of the selection methods described in the preceding exercise to select all the clips in the sequence.
  2. Press the Delete key to delete these clips.

    Each audio and video track in the Timeline has a thin line running across the upper-third area of the track. This is the line you focus on when making edits directly to the Timeline.

  3. Move the tip of your pointer up and down over the one-third line in the V1 track.

    Nothing happens now, but this is the point where edit options will change when you have a clip in hand.

  4. Open the raining on trees clip into the Viewer. You will use the full length of this clip.
  5. Click in the Viewer image area and drag the raining on trees clip thumbnail to the middle of the Timeline, but don't release the mouse.
  6. With clip thumbnail in hand, focus on the tip of your pointer and drag it up and down over the one-third line in the V1 track just as you did before.

    When the tip of the pointer is positioned below the one-third line, an Overwrite edit is indicated with a downward arrow and solid box representing clip length.

    When the tip of the pointer is positioned above the one-third line, an Insert edit is indicated with a forward arrow and hollow box representing clip length.

  7. While still holding the mouse button down, drag the clip back to the Viewer and release the mouse.

Snapping to the Playhead

When you made Overwrite and Insert edits in the previous lesson, you moved the playhead in the Timeline to where you wanted to place the new clip. This is not required when you drag a clip into the Timeline. You can place a new clip wherever you choose to drop it, regardless of the playhead position.

However, a clip will snap to the playhead when you move past it as long as the Snapping control is active. Using the snapping function to snap a clip to the playhead will ensure that you are positioning your clip exactly where you want it to go. The Snapping control is located in the upper-right corner of the Timeline button bar and can be toggled off or on during the editing process.

  1. Click the Snapping control in the Timeline several times.

    When snapping is on or active, the icon design turns green and looks concave. When the function is toggled off, the design is gray and appears flatter.

  2. Make sure snapping is toggled on.
  3. Drag the playhead to the center of the Timeline.
  4. Drag the raining on trees clip from the Viewer to the Timeline again and position it on the V1 track to be an Overwrite edit—but don't release the clip.
  5. Drag the clip across the playhead—but don't release it.

    The dark, square portion of the clip beneath the thumbnail snaps to the playhead. In the Timeline ruler area, brown snapping triangles appear just beneath the yellow playhead, and the playhead stem in the track area is thicker.

  6. Return the clip to the Viewer and release the mouse.
  7. Turn snapping off by clicking the Snapping control in the Timeline button bar.
  8. Now drag the raining on trees clip from the Viewer to the Timeline and drag it over the playhead.

    The clip passes over the playhead without snapping to it. With snapping off, it is difficult to tell whether the clip is lined up at the playhead position or not.

  9. As you drag, press N to toggle snapping back on again.

    You can toggle snapping on and off even while you're moving a clip.

  10. Drag the clip to the head of the Timeline. Make sure the downward, Overwrite edit arrow is showing, and drop the clip in the Timeline as the first Overwrite edit of the sequence.

    The playhead jumps to the end of the newly placed clip, just as it did when you made Overwrite edits in the previous lesson.

Making Overwrite Edits

Let's add to this sequence by making some additional Overwrite edits. You will edit three clips that tell a simple story. The feathered ear animal comes in to hide from the rain, sits a while, then leaves. You will edit these three clips using the drag to Timeline overwrite method.

  1. Open the running in clip from the Browser. You will use the full length of the clip for now.
  2. Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Timeline as an Overwrite edit and snap it to the end of the first edit.
  3. Open the just sitting clip, and drop it in as the third Overwrite edit at the end of the previous clip. Play the sequence.
  4. Drag the playhead through the last clip and find the point toward the end of the clip where the animal blinks for a second time. Try to park the playhead after the second blink.

    In this situation, the blink is so close to the Out point of this clip that the playhead may snap to the Out point. This is a good time to toggle off snapping by pressing N to finesse your playhead location. Once you've positioned the playhead where you want it, you can press N again to turn snapping back on.

  5. Open the running out clip and drag the clip from the Viewer to the Timeline. This time, snap it to the playhead in the previous clip and release it as an Overwrite edit.

    Dropping the clip here overwrites the last portion of the just sitting clip.

  6. Drag the last clip to the right.

    The portion of the clip that came after the playhead is no longer part of the sequence. It has been overwritten by the last clip.

  7. Drag the last clip back into place at the end of the sequence.

Inserting Between Clips

For an Insert edit to the Timeline, you want to place the tip of the mouse pointer just above the one-third line in the track. The visual clue is the sideways arrow and the hollow clip icon under the pointer.

  1. For this exercise, make sure snapping is active in the Timeline.
  2. Open the horned lizard clip in the Viewer, and mark an In point just before the lizard comes into frame. You will use the clip to the end, so you don't need an Out point.
  3. Drag this clip into the Timeline and place it on V1 between the running in and just sitting clips, but don't release the mouse. Position the pointer above the one-third line in the V1 track. Make sure you see the visual clues of the forward pointing arrow and the hollow clip and then release the mouse.

    The clips past this insertion point are pushed down the duration of the horned lizard clip.

  4. Open the little fox clip and play it. Then drag it to the V1 track and insert it after the horned lizard clip.

    You can also insert a clip right in the middle of another clip. For example, you might decide to break up the action of a long clip by inserting a different image for a few seconds in the middle. The long clip will be split into two parts, and the second part will be pushed down the length of the newly inserted clip.

  5. Position the playhead somewhere in the middle of the just sitting clip.

    This is where you will insert the new clip.

  6. Open the cat watching clip and mark an In point when it turns its face to look at the camera.
  7. Drag and drop this clip as an Insert edit at the playhead position. Play this area of the sequence.

    There are now two clips named just sitting in the Timeline and the cat watching clip sits between them.

  8. Open the frog lizard clip into the Viewer and play the clip. You will use the entire length of the clip in this edit.
  9. Drag the clip into the Timeline and insert it between the second just sitting clip and the running out clip.
  10. Play the sequence and press Cmd-S to save these edits.

Dragging Audio to the Timeline

When you edit directly to the Timeline, you drag from the image area of a clip in the Viewer. But when you open a music clip, there is no video display. Instead, you drag from a Drag Hand icon as though that were the clip's image. Once in the Timeline, an audio clip can be manipulated the same way as video clips.

  1. From the Browser, open the rain mix.aif clip.

    The suffix in the name, .aif, represents a common sound file format.

  2. In the Viewer, move your pointer over the Drag Hand icon (which looks like a hand on a speaker).

    When the pointer is over the Drag Hand icon, it becomes a hand you use to drag the clip.

  3. Drag the Drag Hand icon directly to the Timeline to the A1 and A2 audio tracks. Drop it at the head of the sequence as an Overwrite edit and play the sequence.

    Let's say you want the music to begin on the second clip, not the first.

  4. Drag the rain mix.aif clip to the right until the head of the clip snaps in place with the head of the second V1 clip, the running in clip. Then drag it to the head of the Timeline.
  5. Open the rain sound clip and play it.

    This is the sound of the rain you used earlier and copied several times to build an effects track.

    Since there is a music track on the A1 and A2 tracks, this clip must be placed on the A3 and A4 tracks beneath the music. If you were using the edit button, Edit Overlay, or keyboard shortcut to edit this clip, you would have to change the destination for this sound effect to the A3 and A4 tracks. But when you drag edits to the Timeline, you can simply drag them to the specific track on which you want to place them.

  6. Drag the Drag Hand icon from the Viewer Audio tab to the A3 and A4 tracks. Release this clip as an Overwrite edit at the head of the sequence.
  7. Let's edit a second rain sound clip to the sequence another way. In the Timeline track control area, click the A4 Destination control to target the a2 source to this track in the Timeline. Then click the A3 Destination control to target the a1 source track.
  8. With the playhead at the end of the first rain sound clip, click the Overwrite edit button in the Canvas window.

    The source clip is placed on the A3 and A4 tracks.

Project Tasks

As you experienced earlier in the lesson, the one clip of the rain sound effect does not cover the entire sequence.

  1. Copy the raining on trees clip in the V1 track and paste it at the end of the V1 clips. This creates a visual bookend for the sequence.
  2. Copy the rain sound clip from the A3 and A4 tracks and paste it at the end of the second rain sound clip.

    The playhead repositions to the end of the clip you just pasted.

  3. Paste the sound effect as many times as is necessary to provide a continuous track of rain under the video.
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