Final Cut Pro: What is Trimming?

In Final Cut Pro, trimming is a process used to make a clip in a sequence longer or shorter. Trimming is an effective tool when you need to fine tune the edit points between clips in a sequence. Generally speaking, trimming refers to making precision adjustments in a clip by adding or deleting frames.

Using the Trimming Features in Final Cut Pro

After you've imported your clips into Final Cut Pro and have a good idea of the chronological order you want to use for your sequence, you can begin fine-tuning the in and out points between clips. Final Cut Pro allows you to trim edit in any part of the program where you can adjust the in and out points of a sequence of clips. For instance, you can make trim edits in the timeline, the viewer or in the trim edit window.

Trimming Clips in the Final Cut Pro Viewer

With Final Cut Pro, you can easily trim clips by adjusting the in or out points while viewing the clip in the viewer. This method is particularly useful if you need to locate a particular frame or in or out points while viewing the entire media file. On the other hand, this method is not very useful if you need to adjust in or out points for two clips at the same time. If you need to make a two-sided edit, using the timeline or trim edit window is a much better choice.

Trimming on the Timeline

In the timeline, you have much more flexibility when it comes to editing your video clips. When editing via the timeline, you can use what is called a roll edit to adjust the out point and end point of two clips that are adjacent to each other at the same time. This will result in the edit point between the two clips being moved without the clips changing position on the timeline.

In addition to roll edits, you can also perform trim edits for multiple tracks simultaneously. On the timeline, you can easily drag the in or out points of a clip to make the clip longer or shorter or to even trim multiple clips at the same time. If you need to adjust the level of precision for your trimming, you can do this by setting the zoom level in the timeline. When you zoom in, you will be able to perform trim edits all the way down to the individual frame level of the clip. Also, if you want to trim a specific number of frames or seconds in the clip, you can do so by entering the exact time code values for the trim edit. This method is sometimes referred to as numeric editing or to trimming using timecode.

The Trim Edit Window

For the most precise trim edits, you should use the trim edit window. The trim edit window is built specifically for making trim edits and allows you to set a very specific edit point on the timeline. You can use the trim edit window to visually trim clips with the utmost position while previewing the edit at the same time. In short, the trim edit window provides the power of trimming available in the timeline with the convenience of being able to view the clip in the viewer.

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