From iMovie to Final Cut: Understanding Insert and Overwrite

If you have been used to the technology behind iMovies, then you may be a bit unsure about moving over to Final Cut Express or Pro. There are many new features which can make it hard for users of the iMovie system, and learning all of these features before you begin to use Final Cut for video editing can be a necessity rather than merely a good idea. If you are finding the change from iMovie to Final cut a little bit daunting, then don't be too concerned, as you can use the basic iMovie features as much as you want and also learn the benefits of the other features, such as Insert and Overwrite.

Materials Needed

  • Final Cut Pro
  • Computer
  • Video File

Step 1: Set Up Your Media File

The first thing that you need to do is set up your media files so that they are in a convenient location when you open Final Cut. Save your media files to a location, and give it a name that you will easily recognize. Next, open up the File Cut window, and then select the file that you want to edit. When the file appears in the Final Cut window, you will see that it looks different to that of the iMovie. While the left of the iMovie window held the timeline, this is now taken up by the browser, and the timeline is actually at the bottom of the Final Cut window. Also, to the right of the Viewer window is a new Canvas display, which shows the footage listed on the timeline.

Step 2: Use the In and Out Markers

Before you can use the Insert and Overwrite buttons, you need to move the clip that you want to use from the viewer window. Do this by highlighting the clip you want in the browser, which will then place it in the viewer window. Mark where you want the clip to start and end by clicking upon the In and Out Marker buttons just below the Viewer window.

Step 3: Insert the Clip

Once you have marked the In and Out sections on the clip, drag it over to the timeline. You should then see a series of options listed, which includes the Insert button. Click this, and the clip that you want will automatically fit in the timeline where you have placed it. It will not replace any clips, but will instead be fitted around the already existing clips.

Step 4: Use the Canvas to Overwrite

A second method of inserting or overwriting the clips involves using the canvas window. Drag the clip you have inserted the In and Out Markers onto over to the Canvas window. Here, you will see a gray line, about one third of the way up the window. If you drop the clip onto the window with the pointer above this line, you will Insert it into the timeline. If you drop the clip with the pointer below this line, you will Overwrite the clip in the timeline. Using Overwrite here will delete the clip in the browser window, and replace it with your new version.

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