FCP 7: Using Replace Edit

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the May, 2004, issue of
Larry’s FCP Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

A Replace Edit is a very powerful technique, which is often useful when locating clips using Match Frame, Let’s continue where we left off with the Match Frame technique and show you how a Replace Edit works.



1. Position your playhead at the beginning of a clip you want to replace.



2. Hold the control key down and click on the clip your playhead is in. The third line of the pop-up menu that appears indicated the duration of the timeline clip.


3. The key to a successful Replace Edit is to NOT have any in’s or out’s set, either in the Timeline or the Viewer. Type “Option-x” to remove the In and the Out from the Timeline.


NOTE: While, in point of fact, FCP will ignore any in’s or out’s set in the Viewer or Timeline, I’ve found it easier to understand how this edit works by simply getting rid of any existing In’s and Out’s.



4. Open the new clip you want to use to replace the existing Timeline clip into the Viewer. Position the playhead at the point you want the new clip to start and make sure the duration of the clip from the playhead to the end of the clip is at least as long as the clip you are replacing in the Timeline. (If it isn’t, Final Cut won’t make the edit.)



5. Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Overlay window in the Canvas and select, “Replace edit.” Final Cut will replace the clip on the Timeline with the clip on the Viewer AND will put the frame under the playhead in the Viewer exactly under the playhead in the Timeline.

Easy. Simple. Clean.

BUT, what makes the Replace edit even more useful is that you DON’T need to put the playhead at the beginning of a clip. Let’s say you wanted to replace a wide shot with a close-up of, say, a car racing down a street and crashing into a building. Plus, you want the moment of the impact to sync with all the sound effects you’ve added to the sound track.

In this case, you want to match the middle of one shot (the wide shot of the crash) with the middle of another shot (the close-up of the crash) and make sure the new shot stays in sync with the existing audio.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Load the new clip into the Browser and position the playhead at the precise instant the car touches the building.



2. Go to the patch panel in the Timeline and disconnect the two audio connections. This means that only the video will be added from the Viewer, not the audio.


3. Find the clip you want to replace in the Timeline and position the playhead over the exact frame where the car touches the building.


4. Now, drag the clip in the Viewer to the Canvas Overlay and select, “Replace Edit.”

Again, Final Cut matches the frame under the playhead in the Viewer with the frame under the Playhead in the Timeline and switches out the old shot for the new shot.

Another use of this technique is to add audio to a shot that was initially edited as video only.

1. To do this, find the clip in the Timeline that you wanted to add audio. Position the playhead over any frame in the clip and type, “Option-x” to remove any In or Out from the Timeline.


2. Match Frame to load the clip into the Viewer. Type, “Option-x” to remove any In or Out from the Viewer.



3. Disconnect the video in the Timeline patch panel by clicking on the left-hand V1 tab once, so that it separates from the right side of the patch panel.


4. Make sure the audio is patched to the correct tracks, in this case, A1 and A2 in the Viewer are patched to A3 and A4 in the Timeline. Click to make sure the left and right sides are touching.


5. Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Overlay window in the Canvas and select, “Replace Edit.”



6. Or, click the blue button at the lower left corner of the Canvas window. Or, press the F11 key.

A fast, simple and reliable way to replace audio, or video, on the Timeline. And, remember, don’t use any in’s or out’s.


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