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As you work on assembling your movie, there's going to be a lot of times where one of the clips you've added to it, turns out to be too long or too short. Maybe you accidentally left out some of the good action in the clip. Or maybe after looking at the clip in the context of the rest of the movie, you determine that it goes on for too long. But that doesn't mean you have to go back up to the event browser and reselect the clip and drag it back in again. All you need to do, is to trim the existing version of the clip in the project timeline. For example, after reviewing this clip in my project where I'm running over this overpass, maybe I've decided that it goes on for too long. So there are a couple of ways we can trim this clip.
First thing, I'm going to skim over the clip, and find the portion of it that I want to keep. I think in this case, I like the part where I'm silhouetted against the bright sky there. So now I just need to select that portion. Remember, to make a selection in a clip in the project timeline, you have to first click and hold down for a second, until you see the selection area up here. Then you can drag to complete your selection. Then I can choose Modify, Trim selection, or press option foward slash. Doing so trims away everything but what I have selected. And remember, you are never damaging your original footage when you do this. For complete uncut version of the footage where this clip came from, is still sitting safely here in my event browser and again, you can see the portion that I used is highlighted in orange.
Now if you accidentally made the clip too short, or if the clip were too short or too long when you dragged it in, you could just drag the edges of the clip in and out to make the clip longer or shorter. Now, in many cases, this is all you'll really need to do to add frames back to the beginning or end of your clip. But if you want more precise control in terms of picking exact frames to start or end the clip on, you'll have to use the clip trimmer. To get to it, just double-click the clip. So this view shows you the entire clip as a whole, with the part that's actually appearing in the movie highlighted between these two white bars. This allows you to be a little bit more precise with your trimming, and here you can drag either end of the selection box to add or remove single frames at a time from the beginning or end of your clip, like so.
Something else you can do in the clip trimmer is to click and drag the entire selection to change both ends at the same time while keeping the overall length of the clip the same. This is known as slip editing. And it's especially useful to be able to do this. If you've already setup music or transitions to be timed with your video. If you want to make a change to your clip. Dragging it's ends would most likely make your clips a few fractions of a second longer or shorter. Which might not seem like much. But it could throw off the timing of your music or transitions. If you change a lot of clips in this way. Slip editing lets you choose an entirely different section of footage if you want, but it keeps the overall clip length exactly the same, and therefore it won't throw off your timing.
Notice when you drag, you get a side by side view in the viewer, so you can see on the left the beginning of the frame, and on the right you can see the ending frame. When you're done, you can either click here to close the clip trimmer, We'll just click the thumbnail placeholder in the timeline. And then you're back to looking at the project pane with the rest of your clips. So in the context of the rest of the project, this is what that clip looks like now. So, that's how you can trim your clips to clean them up a bit and how you can also perform slip edits. Next we'll look at fine-tuning your edits for more precise cuts.
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