Performing a Fit to Fill Edit

You may have different reasons for changing the speed settings. For example, you may want to solve editorial problems in your sequence. In that case, you can do a fit to fill edit, making a clip longer to fill more time or shorter if an action takes longer than you’d like. You can use speed changes over time to create ramping speed changes from slow to fast motion, and from forward to reverse.

A fit to fill edit changes the speed of a clip in the Viewer so that its duration matches the duration between the sequence In and Out points. Because a fit to fill edit changes the speed of the edited clip, you may have to render it before it will play back. Also, any audio items associated with this clip will change pitch, moving either higher or lower.

Fit to fill is the only edit type in Final Cut Pro that requires four edit points, instead of three. You need to set In and Out points for your clip in the Viewer, as well as In and Out points in the Canvas or Timeline, for the destination in your edited sequence. For more information, see Three-Point Editing.

For example, suppose you want to replace a 5-second shot of a lizard with a 2-second shot of a desert landscape. In this case, you can use the fit to fill edit to make the landscape shot fit.

Figure. Diagram showing a fit to fill edit in which a clip lengthens to take the place of another clip in the sequence.

You can also use the fit to fill edit with multiple clips. When you do so, each successive clip selected in the Browser replaces each successive clip in your sequence using a fit to fill edit, starting with the clip at the current position of the Timeline playhead. If you’ve selected more clips in the Browser than you have in your sequence, you’ll see an “Insufficient content for edit” error message.

Note: When you use the fit to fill edit, the speed setting applied to the edited clip changes so that the clip fits the newly specified duration. These speed settings can be modified or removed at any time.

To perform a fit to fill edit
  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the Canvas or Timeline, set sequence In and Out points to define the part of your sequence you want to fill.

    • Position the playhead over a clip you want to replace using a fit to fill edit. If no In and Out points are set in the sequence, Final Cut Pro uses the clip boundaries as sequence In and Out points.

  2. Make sure that the correct destination tracks are set in the Timeline.

  3. Open a clip in the Viewer.

  4. Set In and Out points to define the portion of your source clip that you want to edit into your sequence to fill the duration set in step 1.

    Figure. Viewer window showing In and Out points in a source clip and the Canvas window showing In and Out points set in the sequence.
  5. Do one of the following:

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

    • Click the Fit to Fill button in the Canvas.

    • Press Shift-F11.

      Figure. Canvas window's Edit Overlay showing the Fit to Fill section and the Fit to Fill button.

    The material in the Viewer overwrites any material already between the sequence In and Out points you specified. The speed of the source clip changes to compensate for the difference in duration.

    Figure. Timeline window showing sequence In and Out points.
    Figure. Timeline window showing that a clip has filled in the segment marked previously by the In and Out points and has changed length to match the duration set by the In and Out points.