Avoiding Adding an Extra Frame to Avid Clips

When editing very precisely, you may come across a discrepancy that suggests you are adding an extra frame to your cuts. Though this may initially seem like a glitch, it merely takes some understanding to decipher the difference.

Step 1: Mark a clip

Going about business as usual, let's say you are going to add a 5 frame clip into the timeline. There are a few ways to mark the clip, but they will all come to the same end. So hit "E" to set your mark in point, then hit "4" 5 times to advance 5 frames. Now hit "R" to set the mark out point. One would assume that you now have a 5 frame clip that you are going to add to the timeline.

Step 2: Clip Duration

Once you have added your clip to the timeline, try to find out what the clip duration is. Go to the Fast Menu at the bottom left hand corner of your timeline window. The icon looks like two white bars sandwiching a black bar. In the drop down, "Clip Names" will probably be checked. Try also checking "Clip Duration". Now each clip in your timeline has a time listed on it. But, now you must notice that the 5 frame clip you just added says that the duration is in fact 6 frames.

Step 3: In to Out

To better understand this, go back to your source clip and mark a new clip. This time, leave the cursor in one place and hit "E" to make in, then without advancing any frames, hit "R" to mark out. Add this new clip to the timeline. You will now notice that this clip lasts one frame, not zero frames. If you zoom in very tight on this clip, you will notice that your cursor has not one, but two lines. The left line is a solid line, and the right line is a dotted line. This is because there is no such thing as zero time. If you had a clip that lasted for zero frames, there would be no image at all. So when you hit "E", the mark in point lines up with the solid cursor line, and when you hit "R" the mark out point lines up with the dotted line. This outlines one frame.

Whenever you mark out, you will be doing so at the end of the selected frame. So, the duration from the in point to the out point is one frame. Going back, when you advanced 5 frames on your first clip, you were doing so with the assumption that you were going to place the out point at the start of the fifth frame. In actuality, you were setting it at the end of the fifth frame which is also known as the start of the sixth frame. So from in to out, the clip lasted 6 frames.

Understanding where the ins and outs of your clips are will help you understand the mysterious extra frame. This is not really a process, so much as it is an academic lesson.

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