FCP X: Trim Under a Transition

Posted on by Larry

logo-FCPXTrimming is the process of adjusting where two clips – either audio or video – touch in the Timeline. (Trimming can not be done in the Browser.) There are many reasons why we trim, but the three most common are:

NOTE: Here’s an article that describes trimming in more detail.

Recently, a reader emailed me a question about how to trim two clips that are covered by a transition. The process is easy, but not very obvious. Here’s how.

DEFINITIONS

TRIMMING

Here’s a transition applied to two clips. The red arrows indicate the three trim points.

To ripple trim the Out of the out-going clip, grab the small “thumb,” indicated by two vertical lines in the top right corner of the transition, and drag left or right.

NOTE: The white numbers in the black box indicate the current duration of the out-going clip, along with the amount of change you are making to its duration by dragging. In this example, the out-going clip now has a duration of 4:18, and we made a 4 frame shift to the left. Negative numbers indicated a shift to the left.

Dragging the thumb left makes the out-going clip shorter, while dragging the thumb right makes the out-going clip longer.

To ripple trim the In of the in-coming clip, grab this small “thumb,” indicated by two vertical lines in the top left corner of the transition, and drag left or right.

NOTE: The white numbers in the black box indicate the current duration of the in-coming clip, along with the amount of change you are making to its duration by dragging. In this example, the in-coming clip now has a duration of 4:07 and we made a 14 frame shift to the right. Positive numbers indicate a shift to the right.

Dragging the thumb left makes the in-coming clip longer, while dragging the thumb right makes the in-coming clip shorter.

To roll trim the ends of both clips, grab the white bow-tie in the top center of the transition icon and drag. What you are doing here is moving the edit point itself, the place in the timeline where the two clips touch.

NOTE: The white numbers in the black box indicate the amount of change you are making to the location of the edit point by dragging. Negative numbers indicate a shift to the left, positive numbers indicate a shift to the right.

TRIM AUDIO

When one or both clips contain audio and the audio is displayed as attached waveforms, as it is in this example, trimming the transition affects both audio and video.

Notice, that because the transition was applied before the clips were expanded, that fades were automatically applied to the end of the first clip and beginning of the second clip.

However, when audio is expanded – Clip > Expand Audio/Video – we have two additional options:

Using the Arrow tool, we can drag just one end of an audio clip longer or shorter. As soon as you start to drag, the fade dot is reset to the end of the clip; removing the audio fade that was put there automatically. This is the same as doing a Ripple trim to one of the clips.

Or, we can drag the two audio clip ends so they touch, as illustrated here, then use the Trim tool (Shortcut: T) to drag both clip ends at the same time. This is the same as doing a Roll trim, though without using a fancy icon to indicate it.

NOTE: This article describes fade dots in more detail.

Trimming under a transition is almost as easy as trimming without the transition – because we don’t need to remove the transition before trimming.


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