Final Cut Pro: The Importance of Subclips

It can be very difficult to edit video that is lengthy, which is where subclips come into play. In Final Cut Pro, you can break one long clip into several smaller subclips. When viewing a single clip, you can insert In and Out points or markers in order to define where you want the subclips created. When you create a new subclip, that subclip is no longer affiliated with the clip that it came from. Final Cut Pro creates subclips as master clips.

Understanding Subclips

When you create a new subclip, Final Cut Pro places it in the same Browser bin that the original clip came from. If the name of your clip was "Matt's Birthday," the subclip will automatically be named "Matt's Birthday Subclip." If you continue to create more subclips from "Matt's Birthday," they will be named "Matt's Birthday Subclip 2," "Matt's Birthday Subclip 3," etc. When the new subclip is created, Final Cut Pro will automatically highlight that subclip so that you can change the name of the clip.

If you have a master clip that is longer than a few minutes, you will want to heavily consider breaking that clip up into subclips. For example, if you have a 30 minute clip that has 10 different shots, you can divide that clip into 10 different subclips, so you would now have 3 minute subclips comprised of each shot. Final Cut Pro allows you to move the created subclips into different bins and organize them however you choose to. Just as you would with any other clips, you can place subclips into the Viewer for editing purposes. Final Cut Pro does not touch the original clip, so you will still have that to work off of in the event that you need to trash one of your subclips and start from scratch.

How to Create a Subclip

To create a subclip, you first need to open a clip in the Viewer. Once the clip is open, you will need to set the In and Out points. When you have your In and Out points set, go to Modify and then Make Subclip. You can also create subclips by pressing Command + U. The subclip that you created will appear in the Browser, under the clip that it was created from. These directions will only create 1 subclip. If you need to create 5 subclips, you need to repeat these directions for the next 4 subclips. The in and Out points that you set only apply to 1 subclip.

Finding Where the Subclip Came From

Sometimes when you are editing a subclip, you will need to refer back to the original clip. Final Cut Pro can display the exact frame in the original clip that you are viewing in the subclip. To do this, you will need to have your subclip open in the Viewer. Find the exact frame in the subclip that you want to locate in the original clip. Go to View, then Match Frame, then Source File and Final Cut Pro will launch the original clip. You can also do this by pressing Command + Option + F.

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