Performing the Different Types of Edits

The following section tells you how to perform the most common types of edits for adding content to a sequence. These procedures assume that you’ve already set In and Out points and destination tracks in the Timeline. For more information, see Setting Edit Points for Clips and Sequences and Specifying Destination Tracks in the Timeline.

Performing an Insert Edit

An insert edit places the source clip into your sequence so that all items after the insertion point in your sequence are moved forward (or rippled) in the Timeline, to make room for the clip being added. No clips are removed from your sequence.

You can perform an insert edit with one or more clips. If you perform an insert edit in the middle of an existing sequence clip, that clip is cut at the insertion point and the second half is pushed, along with the rest of the footage to the right of the insertion point, to the end of the newly inserted clip. Even if your destination track is empty, clips on all other unlocked tracks are moved forward in time, from the insertion point to the right. Insert edits cause clips in your sequence to be rippled forward.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip being inserted into a sequence of clips.

By definition, an insert edit makes your sequence longer because the duration of the inserted clip is added to the sequence. Typically, you use insert edits when you want to add a new shot in the beginning or the middle of your sequence. You can also use an insert edit to interrupt the action in an existing clip with the action in the newly inserted clip. The action in the original clip then resumes after the inserted clip.

To perform an insert edit
  • Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:

    • Press F9.

    • Drag a clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Insert section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Insert button in the Canvas.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing the Insert section and the Canvas window showing the Insert button.

After the edit, all clips on all unlocked tracks (including nondestination tracks) are moved forward in time, from the playhead position to the right, to make room for the clip or clips being inserted.

Figure. Timeline window showing where a clip will be inserted.
Figure. Timeline window showing that clips have been moved forward following the insertion of a clip.

Note: By default, Sequence markers (in the Timeline ruler) will ripple with any ripple edit or insert edit. For more information, see Using the Ripple Sequence Markers Setting.

Performing an Insert with Transition Edit

The insert with transition edit is a quick way to do an insert edit that includes the default transition between your new source clip and the clip before it in your edited sequence. When you first install Final Cut Pro, the default transition is a 1-second cross dissolve. For more information on how to choose a new default transition, see Changing the Default Transition.

An insert with transition edit is exactly the same as an ordinary insert edit, but it places the default transition into your sequence, centered on the edit point.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip being inserted into a sequence with a transition added automatically.

Important: When you perform an insert with transition edit, make sure that there is enough media at the beginning of the new clip and at the end of the previously edited clip to create the transition. Each source clip must have enough unused frames outside the defined edit points to equal half the duration of the default transition.

Tip: You can also perform an insert with transition edit with multiple clips. If there are no other clips in your sequence at the In point, the first clip will make a default transition from black. Each successive clip will then use the default transition into the next one until all the clips you selected are laid out in a row.

To perform an insert with transition edit
  • Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:

    • Press Shift-F9.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Insert with Transition section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Insert with Transition button in the Canvas.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing the Insert with Transition section and the Canvas showing the Insert with Transition button.

The source clip is inserted into the sequence with the default transition.

Figure. Timeline window showing where a clip will be inserted with a transition.
Figure. Timeline window showing an inserted clip with a transition.

Performing an Overwrite Edit

Since this is the most commonly used edit type, it occupies the biggest overlay area in the Canvas. If you drag a clip into any part of the Canvas to the left of the Edit Overlay, an overwrite edit is performed.

With this type of edit, the source clip overwrites any clip items starting at the sequence In point for the duration of the source clip. No clip items are rippled forward, so the duration of your sequence remains the same. You can perform an overwrite edit with one or more source clips.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip being overwritten with another.

For example, if you have a sequence clip of a comedian making a joke, but there’s a long pause after the joke while the comedian stands there waiting for a reaction, you can overwrite the pause using a source clip of an audience laughing. To do this, you position the playhead at the frame right after the comedian finishes telling the joke, and then perform an overwrite edit. The pause is covered by the clip of the audience laughing.

To perform an overwrite edit
  • Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:

    • Press F10.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer or Browser to the Overwrite section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Overwrite button in the Canvas.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing a clip being dragged onto the Overwrite section, and the Canvas showing the Overwrite button.

The clip overwrites all items on the destination tracks from the playhead position through the duration of your edit. No items are moved.

Figure. Timeline window showing where an overwrite edit will be made.
Figure. Timeline window showing the result of an overwrite edit.

Performing an Overwrite with Transition Edit

The overwrite with transition edit is a quick way to do an overwrite edit that includes a transition between your new source clip and the clip before it in your edited sequence. When you first install Final Cut Pro, the default transition is a 1-second dissolve. For more information on how to choose a new default transition, see Changing the Default Transition.

An overwrite with transition edit is exactly the same as an ordinary overwrite edit, but it places the default transition into your sequence, centered on the edit point.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip being overwritten with a clip and transition.

Important: When you perform an overwrite with transition edit, make sure that there is enough media at the beginning of the new clip and at the end of the previously edited clip to create the transition. Each source clip must have enough unused frames outside the defined edit points to equal half the duration of the default transition.

You can also perform an overwrite with transition edit with multiple clips. Each clip will use the default transition into the next one until all the clips you selected are laid out in a row.

To perform an overwrite with transition edit
  • Specify the necessary edit points and destination tracks, then do one of the following:

    • Press Shift-F10.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Overwrite with Transition section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Overwrite with Transition button in the Canvas.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing a clip being dragged into the Overwrite with Transition section, and the Canvas showing the Overwrite with Transition button.

The clip overwrites other items on the destination tracks for the duration of the edit, and uses the default transition.

Figure. Timeline window showing where an overwrite with transition edit will occur.
Figure. Timeline window showing that after an overwrite with transition edit, a new clip with a transition overwrites the existing clip.

Performing a Replace Edit

A replace edit is a specialized form of overwrite edit. A replace edit places the frame at the current Viewer playhead position at the Canvas/Timeline playhead location in your sequence. You can use a replace edit to:

  • Edit a clip into your sequence so that the current frame in the Viewer is placed at the current playhead location in your sequence

  • Quickly replace an entire shot that’s already in your edited sequence

  • Resynchronize a video or audio clip item with an unlinked clip item in an adjacent track

For example, if you have two clips, each of which shows a different camera angle of the same action, you may decide you want to replace the shot currently used in the Timeline with the other angle. You can place both the Viewer and Timeline playheads on frames where the action matches in each shot, and then replace the sequence clip with the clip from the Viewer.

Replace edits follow a few special rules:

  • Replace edits use the current playhead positions in the Timeline and the Viewer to place the source clip in the Timeline.

  • Replace edits never use clip In and Out points specified in the Viewer. If these points have been set, they will be ignored.

  • Replace edits only replace existing clip items in your sequence. For example, if you perform a replace edit using a Browser clip containing video and audio items in a segment of your sequence containing only a video clip item, only the sequence video clip item is replaced; no additional clip items are added. To add additional clip items during an edit, you can use an overwrite edit instead.

    Note: If you do set In and Out points in the Timeline, they will be used even if they span multiple clips, as long as there’s enough media on either side of the playhead in your source clip.

    Figure. Timeline window showing In and Out points that overlap two clips.
  • A replace edit places the source clip into your sequence so that the frame at the position of the playhead in the Viewer is located at the Canvas/Timeline playhead position. Therefore, it’s important that you have enough media in your source clip to the left and right of the playhead in the Viewer to accommodate the space you’ll be filling in the Timeline. If you don’t, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.

  • If you perform a replace edit by dragging a clip directly from the Browser, Final Cut Pro uses the location of the Viewer playhead from the last time that clip was open in the Viewer. If the clip is newly imported and has never been opened in the Viewer, Final Cut Pro uses that clip’s starting frame, since that is the default starting position for a clip.

  • You can only perform a replace edit with one clip at a time. If you select multiple clips, only the first one will be used.

The most basic use of the replace edit is to quickly and easily replace a clip in your edited sequence with a source clip synchronized around a similar action.

To replace an entire clip in the Timeline with a clip synchronized to a point in the sequence
  1. In the Timeline, move the playhead to a frame you want to match with a source clip.

    For example, if both the sequence and source clip are shots of a person jumping, you could move the Canvas/Timeline playhead to the first frame where the person’s feet leave the ground.

  2. Make sure that the correct Source and Destination controls are connected in the Timeline for the clip you want to replace.

  3. Double-click the replacement source clip to open it in the Viewer, then move the Viewer playhead to the frame you want to match in the Timeline. Do not set any edit points for the clip in the Viewer.

    For example, if both the sequence and source clip are shots of a person jumping, you could move the Viewer playhead to the first frame where the person’s feet leave the ground. This frame will be placed at the location of the playhead in the Timeline.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Replace button in the Canvas.

    • Press F11.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing a clip being dragged into the Replace section and the Canvas window showing the Replace button.

    Important: Make sure that the clip in the Viewer contains enough media on either side of the playhead to fill the duration of the clip you want to replace in the Timeline. If it doesn’t, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.

Another common use of the replace edit is to line up a frame in a clip that’s already in your edited sequence with an audio cue in an adjacent clip. For example, if you have a video clip of a man dancing and an audio clip of music in another track, you can use a replace edit to place a different portion of the same video clip into your sequence at the same location, aligning a frame showing a particular movement of his foot with a particular beat of the music.

To use a replace edit to resync a video clip to an audio clip in another track
  1. In the Timeline, choose Mark > Clear In and Out (or press Option-X) to delete any sequence In and Out points.

  2. In the Timeline, find the audio cue you want to sync your video clip to, and position the playhead there.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the playhead on an audio cue in the audio tracks.
  3. Make sure that the Source and Destination controls in the Timeline are set to the tracks containing your video clip, and not your audio clip.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the v1 Source control connected to the V1 Destination control and the a1 and a2 Source controls disconnected from the Destination controls.
  4. Without moving the Timeline playhead, press the F key to perform a match frame operation.

    This opens the master clip that the video clip in your sequence came from in the Viewer, placing the playhead in the Viewer over the same frame that was under the playhead in the Timeline. For more information on match frame editing, see Matching Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips.

  5. Move the playhead in the Viewer to the new frame that you want to align with the audio cue that you selected in the Timeline.

  6. Now that the Timeline playhead is lined up with the audio cue in your sequence and the Viewer playhead is lined up with a video frame that you want to sync to it, perform the edit by doing one of the following:

    • Press F11.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Replace button in the Canvas.

The original video clip item in your sequence is replaced with a new copy of the clip, which is synchronized with your audio cue.

Figure. Timeline window showing that a video clip item in the sequence is replaced with a new copy of the clip.

Important: Make sure that the clip in the Viewer contains enough media on either side of the playhead to fill the duration of the clip you want to replace in the Timeline. If it doesn’t, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” message.

If you set In and Out points in a sequence, a replace edit can overwrite more than one clip at a time. A replace edit still works the same way: the Timeline and Viewer playheads are used as the matching points for the edit.

To use a replace edit with sequence In and Out points
  1. In the Canvas or the Timeline, set In and Out points for the section of your sequence you want to replace.

    Figure. Timeline window showing sequence  In and Out points defining an area in the Timeline.
  2. Move the playhead to the frame that you want the source clip to line up with.

    This frame can be at any point between the In and Out points.

  3. Make sure that the tracks containing the items you want to replace are set as destination tracks.

  4. Double-click the clip you want to use to replace the selected area (to open it in the Viewer), then move the playhead to the frame you want to line up with the playhead in the Timeline.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • Press F11.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Replace section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Replace button in the Canvas.

The selected area in the sequence is replaced by the source clip. Final Cut Pro automatically calculates the clip duration.

Figure. Timeline window set with a sequence In point and Out point ready for a replace edit.
Figure. Timeline window showing the result of a replace edit.

Superimposing Clips

In some cases, you may want to place one clip directly above another clip in a different track. This is called a superimpose edit. You can use a superimpose edit to quickly stack a source clip on top of a clip already in your sequence. If there isn’t an available track in your sequence, Final Cut Pro creates a new one for the source clip.

Superimpose edits obey the standard rules of three-point editing, except that if no In or Out points have been specified in the Canvas or Timeline, the position of the playhead in the Timeline is not used as a default In point. Instead, the clip that intersects the position of the playhead in the current destination track provides the In and Out points for the source clip (as it does when you use the Mark Clip command).

You can set the In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline so that the superimpose edit spans multiple clips, as long as there’s enough media in your source clip to cover the specified area.

If you perform several superimpose edits in the same location, each new source clip is edited into the video track directly above the current destination track, and all other previously superimposed video clips are moved up one track to make room. If your superimposed clip contains audio, the source audio is placed on new audio tracks immediately below any occupied audio destination tracks already in your sequence.

Likewise, if you perform a superimpose edit with several source clips at once, all of those clips are stacked on top of one another. The first clip in your selected group is on top, with each successive clip appearing underneath.

Figure. Diagram showing a clip superimposed on another.
To perform a superimpose edit
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Position the Timeline playhead over a clip above which you want to superimpose your source clip. The beginning and end of this clip are used as edit points for your source clip.

    • Set sequence In and Out points.

  2. Set an In point in the Viewer to define the starting point of the source clip you want to edit into your sequence.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Press F12.

    • Drag the clip from the Viewer to the Superimpose section of the Edit Overlay in the Canvas.

    • Click the Superimpose button in the Canvas.

      Figure. Edit Overlay showing a clip being dragged onto the Superimpose section and the Canvas showing the Superimpose button.

The clip in the Viewer is placed in the track above the destination track, starting at the beginning of the clip that intersects the Timeline playhead, or at the sequence In point. If there is no track above the destination track, one is created.

Figure. Timeline window showing the clip upon which another clip will be superimposed.
Figure. Timeline window showing a clip superimposed on another clip.