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Learn how to build and refine your story with the redesigned editing toolset in Final Cut Pro X. In this course, author Ashley Kennedy focuses on getting you comfortable with each aspect of the editing process in Final Cut—from preparation and organization, to editing and refining, to audio and effects, to media management and exporting. Each stage of the postproduction workflow is explained thoroughly and concisely, and uses real-world examples from both narrative and documentary workflows.
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In this movie, we're going to explore a technique you can use for quick extraction of material called top and tail editing. It's especially a great technique for editing montage, which is a series of short images that are usually set to music or voiceover, usually to show a progression of time or ideas. Let's go into our 7.2 sequence, and I have already got some music laid down. So again, the best setup for using top and tail is to just loosely edit several shots into the timeline without paying much attention to specific start and end points.
Let's go ahead and do that now. I'm going to create a montage of Farm Scenery shots set to music. So let's go ahead and open up my Farm Scenery keyword collection. And again, I'm not going to set in and out points, I'm just going to select everything, and then I'm going to drag them down to my Timeline and attach them all as connected clips. Yes, these clips are way too long to fit over the music, but that's fine, that's where top and tail editing is made for.
Now we have already learned that connected clips often don't behave like storyline clips in various forms of editing, and top and tail editing is no different. So what I'm going to is first press Shift+Z to fit everything in my view, and then I'm going to convert these connected clips to a storyline and then everything is going to be okay. So right-click and Create Storyline. Okay, now I have my secondary storyline above the primary storyline, and I'm ready to go. Okay, I'm just going to make sure I have my Selection tool enabled, which I do, and now I'm just going to hover my skimmer where I want each of these shots to start and end.
So I think I'm okay with the duration of this first shot, but let's go ahead and make this shot start right here. So what I'm going to do is basically extract everything from the beginning of the clip to my skimmer location. I'm just going to press Option+Left Bracket to perform a top edit, and I think I'm happy with the end of that. Let's just get that rack focus, okay, so I'm going to press Option+Left Bracket and then let's do a tail edit at the end of that rack focus, Option+Right Bracket. Keep going.
Maybe I'll go ahead and take that out altogether, so I'll just delete that. And then we know our Flower rack focus is right there, so Option+Left Bracket, go to the end of the rack focus and Option+Right Bracket. This is going to be a big extraction because this clip is so long, Option+Right Bracket, and make sure we don't get that zoom. So this is going to be a tail-only edit. Again, I will just hover right here, Option+Right Bracket, and let's get that panned down.
So we'll start the clip here, top edit Option+Left Bracket, Option+Right Bracket, and we'll make sure we don't get that zoom out, so this is going to be a tail edit. Let's end that clip right there. And we will go ahead and include everything up to this point right there. So we'll make a tail edit right here, Option+Right Bracket. All right, it's perfect.
So that was a very quick way to get rid of all the material that we didn't want, and we can even go in and get some more clips and do the same thing to finish out this sequence. Now I want to show you one more thing. I'm going to just grab a couple more shots, maybe some of the On the Farm shots, and let's go ahead and select all of them and drag them down. And Shift+Z to fit everything in. This is a lot of clips, and again, we have to Create a Storyline or it's not going to work.
All right, so I'm all set to go, and this time I'm not going to hover my skimmer, I'm just going to play along in real time. And as it's playing along, I can just press my top and tail edits on the fly and then all of that material goes away. So this is much more instinct-driven where you're just watching it and then deciding what you do and don't want to include. Let's zoom in a little bit, Command+Plus, and I'm not going to do everything because this is obviously going to take a little bit longer going in real time.
But I'll go ahead and start playing and perform my top and tail edits on the fly. (video playing) So you get the idea.
You have the option to play in real time and sort of select them as you go or have a more global approach where you are just skimming through and figuring out what you want. One last thing, I can also perform Gap Clip top and tail editing, and this simply means that instead of immediately extracting the material with everything in to fill the gap, I instead replace the marked area with a gap. So to do this, you just need to switch from the Select tool to the Position tool and then let's say that I want to remove this part of the clip but leave a gap.
We'll go ahead and just perform a tail edit, Option+Right Bracket, and it leaves a gap clip in its place so I can go and find another shot and put that here if I want to. So sometimes you might want to do that, but most of the time, you're going to want to work with the Select tool and perform top and tail Editing like we just learned. So, as you can see, top and tail editing is a really efficient way to work, especially when creating montage.
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