FCP 7 Tutorial - Introduction to Editing

Final Cut Pro 7 is a program that's great at adapting to each user's level of proficiency. Pros can use it to map out special effects, and beginners can use it to carry out simple editing commands using a visual editing interface. This tutorial sticks to the basics by giving step-by-step instructions for basic editing operations in FCP 7.

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Your Editing Toolbox

Use the Final Cut Pro 7 basic editing tools for editing your clips.

Along the right side of the Timeline, you should see a rectangular box with nine different icons -these are your basic editing tools. The edits we're going to show you in this tutorial will use the selection tool and the blade tool. The selection tool looks like a standard computer pointer, and the blade tool looks like a straight razor blade.

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Adding Clip to Sequence With Drag and Drop

FCP 7 adding clip to sequence

The simplest way to add video clips to your sequence is the drag-and-drop method. To do this, double-click on a video clip in your Browser to bring it up in the Viewer window.

If you would like to add the entire video clip to your sequence, simply click on the clip's image in the Viewer, and drag the clip onto the Timeline. If you only want to add a selection of the clip to your sequence, mark the beginning of your selection by hitting the letter i, and the end of your selection by hitting the letter o.

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Adding Clip to Sequence With Drag and Drop

FCP crop button

You can also set in and out points using the buttons along the bottom of the Viewer, pictured above. If you aren't sure about what a certain button does while using FCP, hover over it with the mouse to get a pop-up description.

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Adding Clip to Sequence With Drag and Drop

fcp 7 editing

Once you've selected your clip, drag it to the Timeline, and drop it where you want. You can also use the drag and drop method to insert or overwrite footage into an existing sequence in the Timeline. If you drag your clip to the top third of the video track, you'll see an arrow that points to the right. This means that when you drop your footage it will be inserted into the existing sequence. If you drag your clip to the bottom two-thirds of the video track, you'll see an arrow that points down. This means that your footage will be overwritten into the sequence, replacing the video in your sequence for the duration of the video clip.

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Adding Clip to Sequence With Canvas Window

By selecting a video clip and dragging it on top of the Canvas window, you'll see a group of editing operations emerge. Using this feature, you can insert your footage into the sequence with or without a transition, overwrite your clip over a preexisting part of the sequence, replace an existing clip in the sequence with a new clip, and superimpose a clip on top of an existing clip in the sequence.

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Adding Clip to Sequence With Three-Point Edits

Adding Clip to Sequence in FCP 7

The most basic and the most common editing operation you will employ in FCP 7 is the three-point edit. This edit uses in and out points and the blade tool to insert footage into your timeline. It's called a three-point edit because you need to tell FCP no more than three clip locations for the edit to take place.

To perform a basic three-point edit, pull up a video clip in the Viewer. Select your desired clip length by using the in and out buttons, or the i and o keys. Your in and out points are two of three total edit points. Now go down to your Timeline, and mark the in point where you would like to put the clip. Now you can drag the clip over the Canvas window to perform an insert or overwrite edit, or simply click the yellow insert button along the bottom of the Canvas window. Your new video clip will appear in the Timeline.

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