How to Perform a 3-Point Edit in Premiere Pro
Performing a three-point edit
In the previous movies we've marked an in and out point in our Source panel and an in point in our Timeline before we brought a clip in. And that's a very easy and basic way of editing, but it actually is very limiting. In this movie we are going to talk about something called three-point editing. Let's go ahead and load a clip in from our Project panel into our Source panel and take a look at some of the other options we have other than marking an endpoint and an out point in our source clip.
I'm going to go ahead and load in the CFL bulb shot. And traditionally we've been marking an endpoint and an out point in our Source Monitor and then, of course, putting an in point on our timeline. And we've done that either at the end of a clip or even leaving a space. Well, I can always back time a clip. So for instance, if I knew that I was making a spot that was exactly 15 seconds long, I could park my playhead right on 15 seconds--and I am going use the Left and Right Arrow key just to move it back to exactly 15.
I know that because I can see that right here in my Program panel, and I can kind of see it down there. So instead of marking an in point, now I am going to go ahead and press O and mark an outpoint. So I have an in and out in my source, and I only have an out in my destination in my Timeline. Well, Premiere Pro is smart enough to be able to figure out that if this clip is only 12 seconds long, it knows where the endpoint is.
It does the math for me. So let's go ahead and I am going to drag this in, and I can either overwrite this way, or I can use the keyboard shortcut, but what you do not want to do with three-point edit is you don't want to drag it to the timeline, because whenever you drag a clip to the timeline it completely ignores the in and out points in your timeline and just puts the clip wherever you let go. It assumes you know where you want to put it. So you either need to drag it over here, use the button or the keyboard shortcut--and in this case it would be the period key.
Now if you noticed, it back timed 12 seconds and actually cut off a little bit of this clip, but that's okay because that's what I intended for it to do. Let me go ahead and undo that, and you can see I cut off part of this clip, but the idea of three-point editing says you need to choose an in and an out in your source and an in or an out in your destination. And in this case, we chose an out instead of an in, and you saw what happened. Now you're not limited to just choosing whether it's an in or an out in your timeline.
As a matter of fact, I could go to my timeline, and instead of just having an out point I could say, you know, I want this to come in right at 10 seconds, so it's going to be a 5-second space, and again I'll use the Left and Right Arrow keys just right to 10 seconds, and now I am going to mark an in point. So I have an in point marked and an out point marked, and in this case I don't care when the shot ends. I just really care when that light turns on. So I'll mark an in point there, and I am going to go ahead and remove the out point.
So I am going to just say Clear Out, and in this case, again, I'm doing a three-point edit. I have an in point in my source and an in and an out in my destination, and it will calculate how long of this clip I need to see. Again, we'll drag it over. I could be using the period key, and as you see down here it filled exactly the space that I wanted. Now this is great if you're cutting to music or if you have a sound bite where you need to have video covering specifically what somebody is saying, you can mark an in and an out in your timeline, and if the source footage is just wallpapers--it's just generic--you can easily just pick a key point and drop it in.
So as you see, three-point editing is pretty straightforward. You choose three of the four choices, two ins and one out or two outs and one in. Now there is one gotcha. What happens if you pick an in and an out in your source and an in and an out in the timeline or your destination? Let's go ahead and mark our timeline with an in point and an out point. I am going to do a pretty short here as a matter of fact. If I look here I can see that it's about 2 seconds long, and I am going to scroll down and pick another shot, something that's a little bit longer.
As a matter of fact, I am going to specifically choose the fan here, and I am going to go ahead and load that into the Source Monitor by double-clicking and stretch out my in and my out point. So here we go. I have an in and an out, I can see what the length of this clip is, it's 12 seconds long. I could even make it a little longer, and I'm putting a 12-second clip here, and I also have an in and out point there. Well, if I go ahead and I drag it across I am going to get a warning dialog box.
It's going to warn me that I put in four points, and maybe I don't want use all of those four points. So four of these pretty are self-evident. I can say, you know something. I made a mistake. I really want to ignore the out point on the fan. So I would say Ignore the Source Out Point. And if I hit OK if it fits in my 2-second hole, and that's perfect. Let me go ahead and undo that. So I still have the same in and out point here and that really long in and out point there. Again, I'll drag it over. I can choose what I want to ignore.
By default, it ignores the out points on the sequence. So don't always just ignore reading this box and hit OK, because you could accidentally overwrite video that you may want to keep, but there's another choice which is at the very top of the list. It says Change Clip Speed or Fit to Fill. What it's going to do, it's going to squeeze a 15-second clip into a 2-second hole, and it's going to do that by speeding the clip up. So a four point edit actually allows you to speed up or slow down a clip.
Let's take a look and see how that works. So it still looks like 2 seconds here, but when we play it back, that fan is moving at a pretty good speed. And I am going to go ahead and zoom in, in my Timeline by hitting the plus key, and you can actually see it says 576% of its original speed. So it automatically sped up the clip. If I had a shorter clip, say 2 seconds long, and I dropped it into a 15-second in and out point in my timeline, that would actually slow-mo the clip.
So Fit to Fill is great, especially if you have say a sound bite that's 6 seconds long, and you have a clip that's only 5 seconds of footage, I could mark an in and out in my source and an in and out in my destination, do Fit to Fill, and then slow it down just enough to cover the voiceover. Three-point editing gives you a lot of control on placing the clip in your timeline exactly where you want it to be.
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