Join Damian Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating retiming effects, part of Final Cut Studio Overview.
In recent years, changing the speed of video has moved from a basic editing technique to an art form. With Final Cut Pro, you can quickly perform both uniform speed changes and variable speed changes, a process often referred to as Ramping. Let's start by looking at a simple uniform speed change. We'll begin with this basic clip. Ctrl+click or right-click on the clip and choose Change Speed. Simply changing the Rate will adjust the speed of playback.
For example, a setting of 50% will play back the clip at half of its original speed. Just for now, we'll deselect Ripple Sequence and click OK. Notice that the overall length of the sequence remains the same. Final Cut Pro automatically adjusted the out point of the clip so that the timing of clips following it wouldn't be affected. Let's take a look now at speeding up the clip. Right-click the clip again, choose Change Speed and now we'll set the speed to 200%.
Again, the length of the clip remains the same but if we scrub the Timeline, you may notice that Final Cut Pro has pulled additional frames in from the clip source footage to fill out the end of the clip. Now that the clip is twice as fast. It needs twice as much content to fill its space in the Timeline. If you'd rather shorten the clip to keep only your existing edited clip content, you can do that instead. Start by right clicking the clip and choose Remove Attributes.
Confirm that only Speed is selected and click OK. This removes the speed change we performed earlier. Now right-click and choose Change Speed again. We'll set the Rate again to 200% but this time before clicking OK, we'll select Ripple Sequence. Now the clip is shortened and all the clips following it are moved up the Timeline to accommodate. This shift is refereed to as a Ripple edit.
I'll go ahead and press Command+Z to undo. Now let's take a look at varying the speed of a clip over time. In this example, we'll look at the simple case of starting at 100% speed, accelerating to double speed and then slowing to normal speed again. To begin, click the Toggle Clip Keyframes button. This reveals the Tick Marks bar below each of your clips. The vertical speed indicators in this bar will help to visualize the variation and the speed of your clip as you make changes.
Move to the frame where you want to speed change to begin. Click on the speed indicators and a keyframe is automatically created. Now, move to the playhead to a position where you want the speed change to end, and click the Tick Marks bar again. For more complex speed changes, you can add as many keyframes as you like. The sections of the clip between two neighboring keyframes are called segments. Since we only want to change the speed of the center segment, right-click that section and choose Change Speed Segment.
Here we'll set the Rate to 200% to double the speed during the selected segment. You can then choose how Final Cut Pro transitions to and from this speed segment. Currently, Final Cut Pro will perform an instantaneous speed change going into and out of the segment. However, if you do want to create a smooth acceleration or deceleration during transition points, you can choose Curve Start and End options. The two center buttons offer slightly different curve behaviors and the length fields determine the length and smoothness of the change.
Note that the last Custom button will only appear selected if you customize the keyframes individually in the curve editor. For more information on these curves and the additional options in the Change Speed Segments dialog, be sure to watch the Final Cut Pro Essential Training course, part of the lynda. com Online Training Library. Once you made your curve selections, click OK. You will now find that the clip moves smoothly from its original speed to double time and then smoothly back again.
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