Matching Frames Between Sequence and Master Clips

Sequence clips, which are usually affiliate clips, have a relationship to other clips in your project. Because of this relationship, you can tell Final Cut Pro to open the following clips in the Viewer:

When Final Cut Pro opens one of these items in the Viewer, the playhead is positioned at the exact same frame in the Viewer as in the Canvas and Timeline. This is known as a match frame.

Important: If a sequence clip is not an affiliate clip, it is independent, so it isn’t related to a master clip in the Browser. You can’t match an independent clip back to a master clip, because it doesn’t have one. However, you can still match back to the original media file. For more information about master-affiliate clip relationships, see Working with Master and Affiliate Clips.

To check if a sequence clip is independent
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline, or move the playhead over a clip in the Canvas or Timeline.

  2. Choose View > Reveal Master Clip.

    If the Reveal Master Clip menu item is dimmed, the selected sequence clip does not have a master clip, and it is therefore independent.

Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Master Clip Frame

Sometimes you’ll want to view the master clip that a sequence clip came from. Here are several reasons why:

  • You want to open the original master clip without any of the motion, filter, or audio parameters from the sequence clip. This is useful when you want to add a “fresh” copy of the clip to your sequence.

  • You want to open the master clip with all of its video and audio items, instead of the sequence clip, which may only be a single clip item.

    For example, your sequence clip may be a video clip item that no longer has its corresponding audio. You can get those audio clip items back by opening the video clip item’s master clip in the Viewer. The master clip in the Viewer contains all the video and audio items, so you can edit the audio items from the master clip back into the sequence using a replace or overwrite edit. For details about replace edits, see Performing a Replace Edit.

To match a sequence clip’s current frame to its master clip in the Viewer
  1. In the Timeline or Canvas, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in the Viewer.

  2. Choose View > Match Frame > Master Clip.

    The master clip for the sequence clip opens in the Viewer. The playhead in the Viewer is set to the same frame as seen in the Canvas (thus, the frames match in the Canvas and Viewer).

When the clip’s master clip opens in the Viewer, notice that there are no “sprocket holes” in the scrubber bar. This is because you’re seeing the clip from the Browser, not the sequence clip. When you view the master clip, it has the same In and Out points as the sequence clip.

Figure. Viewer and Canvas windows showing the same frame.
To reveal a sequence clip’s master clip in the Browser
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline, or move the playhead over a clip in the Canvas or Timeline.

  2. Choose View > Reveal Master Clip (or press Shift-F).

The sequence clip’s master clip is selected in the Browser, and the Browser becomes the active window.

Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Media File Frame

There are some situations in which you may want to reveal the original media file of a clip instead of the clip’s master clip. For example, if you are working with a subclip in the Timeline and you want to see all of the original media (instead of only the portion defined by the subclip limits), you can match to the original media file. This opens the entire media file as an independent clip in the Viewer. This clip has no filters or motion parameters applied, and has no In or Out points set.

Important: If you open a source media file in the Viewer and drag it to the Browser, a new master clip is created. If you drag it to the Timeline or Canvas, an independent clip is created in the sequence. This is true whenever you open a media file in the Viewer—either by using a match frame command or by dragging a media file from the Finder directly to the Viewer.

Independent sequence clips can cause complications during media management and recapturing, so you should avoid editing with these clips. You should also be careful not to unnecessarily create more than one master clip that references the same media file. Subclips are an example of master clips that can refer to the same media file, but each subclip refers to a different portion of the media file. Multiple master clips that refer to the exact same parts of the same media file are usually unnecessary.

To open a sequence or Browser clip’s media file as a clip in the Viewer
  1. In the Timeline, Canvas, or Viewer, move the playhead to the frame you want to open in the Viewer.

  2. Choose View > Match Frame > Source Media File.

An independent clip is created in the Viewer that refers to the media file on disk. No In or Out points are set, but the Viewer displays the same frame as the Canvas (or the Viewer, if you were matching frames from a clip in the Viewer).

You can have Final Cut Pro match a frame from a subclip to its parent clip in the Viewer.

To open a subclip’s parent clip in the Viewer
  1. In the Timeline, Canvas, or Viewer, move the playhead to the frame of the subclip you want to open in the Viewer.

  2. Choose View > Match Frame > Subclip Parent Clip.

The subclip’s parent clip opens in the Viewer and displays the same frame as the Canvas (or the Viewer, if you were matching frames from a clip in the Viewer).

Note: If you are working on a project created in a previous version of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro may not be able to match the subclip to the subclip parent clip. The Subclip Parent Clip command works only for subclips created in the current version.

Matching a Frame in the Viewer to a Clip in the Canvas or Timeline

Just as you can match a sequence clip’s frame to the same frame in its master clip, (see Matching a Frame in the Canvas to Its Master Clip Frame), you can also find frames in a sequence that match a clip open in the Viewer. This is a very powerful feature because you can instantly check to see if footage open in the Viewer is used anywhere in the current sequence.

To match a master clip (or any Browser clip) frame to a sequence clip in the current sequence
  1. Open a sequence in the Timeline.

  2. Open a Browser clip in the Viewer and navigate to the frame you want to match in the current sequence.

  3. Choose View > Match Frame > Master Clip (or press F).

If the frame shown in the Viewer exists in an affiliate clip in the sequence, the Canvas/Timeline playhead moves to that frame. If there are several occurrences of the affiliate clip frame in the sequence, Final Cut Pro moves the Timeline playhead to the nearest frame after the current playhead location.