final cut pro

Parts of Final Cut (Timeline and Canvas)

Below the Browser and Viewer is the Timeline, where you assemble your video and audio clips into a sequence to create a movie.

On the upper far right is the Canvas, which will play whatever sequence of clips is in your Timeline.

Timeline

The timeline in Final Cut

Below is a closeup of the timeline with some sample media.

You can click on and drag video and audio clips from the Viewer (or the Browser) into the Timeline.

The Timeline displays video tracks in blue and audio tracks in green. You can have up to 99 tracks of each stacked on top of one another.

Thus if you drag a video clip that also has two audio tracks from the Viewer into the Timeline, it will be displayed in the Timeline as a single blue horizontal video track, with two separate green horizontal audio tracks underneath.

If you then drag another clip down from the viewer you could drop it onto the timeline to the right of the first clip, so it would play after that first clip in your sequence.

You can continue this process to create a sequence of clips along your Timeline.

Just above the top video track in the Timeline is the playhead, a tiny yellow triangle you can click on and drag to the left or right to move or "scrub" through your sequence of clips.

To see the entire sequence of clips, on your keyboard press shift Z. Final Cut then will try to squash all the clips in your sequence together into a single screen view on the Timeline.

To the far left of each track are buttons that can be selected to turn off each individual track. Thus if you had a video track with audio, but wanted to substitute different audio to accompany the video, you could use the button to turn off the existing audio track. Then you could drag a new audio clip to a different green audio track in the Timeline to play instead of the original audio.

Also to the left of each track are buttons with tiny lock icons that can be selected to lock a track. This means you will not be able to edit or change it accidentally. Cliick on the icon again to unlock the track.

Linking and Snapping Clips

To the far right of the Timeline and above the top video track is a small light green button you can use to link or unlink video and audio tracks from each other (if you pass your mouse cursor over the button the words Linked Selection will appear).

If you want to unlink the tracks, in the Timeline select the tracks you want unlinked, and then click on the unlink button (which then will turn gray in color). This will allow you to separate the audio from the video, and then move them to different places in the timeline or delete one or the other.

Also the far right next to the link button is another small light green button that sets your playhead and clips to snap into place on the Timeline (if pass your mouse cursor over the button the word Snapping will appear).

With snapping on, your playhead will snap to the nearest marker point on the Timeline when you release the playhead. Thus if you release your playhead near the beginning of a clip on the Timeline, it will snap back to the beginning of the clip. If your playhead is near the end of the clip and you release it, it will snap to the end of the clip.

With snapping on, your clips also will snap together when you place them next to each other on the Timeline, so there's no empty space between them.

When snapping is similarly activated on an audio track, the playhead will snap to the nearest beat and the audio tracks will snap together.

You also can set markers within a clip so the playhead snaps to those points within a clip.

To turn snapping off, select a clip and click on the snaping button on the right (which then will turn gray in color). You then can place clips near to each other on your Timeline, but keep empty space between them.

Canvas

The screen in the upper right is the Canvas, which will display whatever clip or frame is selected in the Timeline below. It also will play a clip in the Timeline, or an entire sequence of clips in the Timeline.

Just below the clip in the Canvas is the playhead, a small yellow triangle in the white horizontal box that you can click on and drag to the left or right to move or scrub through a clip in the Timeline.

Beneath the playhead is the Play/Stop button that you can use to play or move through a clip or through a sequence of clips.

You also can play a clip or sequence of clips in the Canvas by selecting them in the Timeline and pressing the spacebar on your computer. To stop playing the clip, just press the spacebar again.

To the left of the Play/Stop button in the Canvas is a jog control that you can use to move very slowly or very quickly through a clip.

Click on the control and drag your mouse slowly to the right to move through a clip frame by frame. Click on the control and drag your mouse quickly to the right to move rapidly through a clip. If you click and drag to the left, it similarly will allow you to move backward through a clip either slowly or rapidly.

To the right of the Play/Stop button in the Canvas is a shuttle control that you can use to vary the playback speed of your clip.

Click on and drag the control to the points just to the right of center to make a clip play very slowly. Click on and drag the control to points further to the right to play the clip at faster than normal speed. If you click on and drag the control to the left of center, it similarly will allow you to vary the speed of a clip playing in reverse.

Above the clip in the Canvas are time duration and time code boxes. The one on the left shows the duration of the sequence of clips in your Timeline. The one on the right displays the time code for the sequence at the point where your playhead is placed - in other words how many minutes, seconds and frames you are into your sequence at the point of the playhead.

If you would like to rearrange the Canvas or Timeline windows, click in the menu at the top on:

Window... Arrange

Or to make sure you're displaying all the main sections of the Final Cut Pro screen, click in the menu at the top on:

Window... Arrange... Standard