About Mixed-Format Sequences

A mixed-format sequence is a sequence containing clips whose media files don’t match the sequence format. For example, a DV sequence containing HDV footage is a mixed-format sequence. Final Cut Pro can play sequence clips in real time even when the clips’ settings don’t match those of the sequence. Any number of formats can be combined together in a single sequence.

You can use mixed-format sequences to:

This section describes time-saving features for working with mixed-format sequences and discusses how Final Cut Pro handles settings that don’t match, such as image dimensions, field dominance, and frame rate.

Terminology for Discussing Mixed-Format Sequences

The following definitions provide some shorthand for discussing the behavior of sequences containing mixed formats:

  • Format: The defining characteristics of a video media file—image size, frame rate, and codec
  • Native sequence: A sequence containing clips whose media files match the sequence settings
  • Mixed-format sequence: A sequence containing clips whose media files don’t match the sequence format
  • Nonmatching clip: A clip whose media file format doesn’t match the sequence format
  • Real-time nonmatching clip: A nonmatching clip that plays back in real time in a mixed-format sequence (real-time clip for short)
  • Non-real-time nonmatching clip: A nonmatching clip that cannot play back in real time and therefore must be rendered (non-real-time clip for short). In previous versions of Final Cut Pro, all nonmatching clips were non-real-time clips.