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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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Manipulating transitions through the process of trimming is very powerful, but sometimes you're doing it a little blindly, that is the shot handles that you need to access frames for trimming are essentially hidden, so you're never sure exactly how many frames you have to work with. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to go into 4.4, and for this demonstration I am going to go back into Farm to Table, because this is best shown with clips that have shorter and more unpredictable handles, and the clips in the narrative project we had been working with have much longer handles.
So, we are going to learn about the Precision Editor. So, this is a basic montage. Just mechanically speaking, let me show you a few things. If I click on this clip here and perform a ripple edit, and I extend to the right, do you see that? I run out of frames, that's because the source clip that the shot originated from just doesn't have any extra handle in this case. So, if I undo this, Command+Z, and perform a Roll edit, go into Trim mode and then just grab onto this transition and do the same thing, you can see that I run into the same problem.
Any type of trimming is restricted by the number of available frames that I have, but essentially we can't see that this is a case until we have already run out of frames. So, if you are working with a sequence with a lot of shorter clips like this one, you may want to work with the Precision Editor to be able to see your handles. So to show my Precision Editor, I am going to go back into Selection mode, press A, and I am just going to double-click on this transition, and the Precision Editor opens up, and you can see the handles of the A side shot and B side shot.
This gives me some sense of what I can do, and if I need to make changes, I know ahead of time. Now not only does this give me the awareness, but I can do all of my editing right from within the Precision Editor. So, if I want to perform a ripple edit, I just click on the clip, like so, and drag, and mechanically you can kind a see what's happening. I am performing all of the mechanics of a ripple and manipulating one side of the transition, while everything else remains untouched. But what it's doing is allowing me to see what's going on under the hood.
If I want to perform a Roll Edit, instead of dragging the clip itself, I come down to this little slider in the middle. Again, as I do this, watch that the mechanics of this edit are identical to that of a Roll Edit. Both transition points are moving simultaneously. But again, we get a good sense of what's going on underneath the hood. If I want to move on to the next edit, I just use my up and down keys, notice how I can hop from one transition point to the other, and I'm really seeing all of the handle available to me on each of these clips.
Notice on this one I don't have any end available to me on either of these clips, so trimming would not be possible. To exit the Precision Editor, I just double-click on the slider in the middle, and everything closes back up. So, as you can see, the Precision Editor is a really nice way to give yourself a little more awareness of what's going on with clips that don't have as much handle to work with. The way I typically work is that I edit without the precision editor most of the time, but if I run into a section of the sequence where I have a lot of clips without many extra frames, then I'll enable the Precision Editor and dive into work with it for a little while, as they can certainly help in fine tuning that type of situation.
However, I do know editors who like working with it so much that they leave it enabled much of the time. You'll just have to experiment with it to determine exactly how you would prefer to work.
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