Scaling Images and Video Clips to Match a Sequence

Whenever you edit a still-image clip into a sequence, Final Cut Pro compares and automatically adjusts the following properties of the image and the sequence:

If the frame size of your graphic doesn’t match the frame size of your edited sequence and you want to correct this, you can do so easily.

To scale an image within a sequence to exactly fit the sequence dimensions
  1. Select one or more clips in the sequence.

    Tip: You can also place the playhead over a clip in the Timeline without selecting any clips.

  2. Choose Modify > Scale to Sequence.

    Each selected clip’s Scale parameter is set to the appropriate amount so that both horizontal and vertical image dimensions fit within the sequence dimensions. The images are not squeezed or stretched, but they may appear letterboxed or pillarboxed if the aspect ratios of the image and the sequence don’t match.

    Note: The Scale to Sequence command works on video clips as well as still-image clips.

If you want to zoom in to and out of an image, such as a scanned map or photograph, you should use an image with higher resolution than the sequence. The higher the resolution of the image, the less likely it is that you will need to scale more than 100 percent to show details. Scaling video and still images more than 100 percent creates artifacts: individual pixels become noticeable, causing a “stair-stepping” artifact on high-contrast diagonal lines.

Note: You can add the illusion of camera motion to still images, as is often done in documentaries, by subtly keyframing the Scale setting (for zooming) as well as movement of the image within the frame (Center, Anchor Point, and Rotation parameters). See Example: Adding Camera Motion to Still Images for details.

To scale an imported graphic in a sequence
  1. Edit the image into the sequence in the Timeline.

  2. Double-click the clip in the Timeline to open it in the Viewer.

  3. Click the Motion tab in the Viewer.

  4. Edit the percentage value in the Scale field, or adjust the Scale slider until you find a size you like.