Mixing Frame Rates

Clips with any Final Cut Pro-supported frame rate can be added to a sequence and played back in real time. Depending on whether the clip frame rate is faster or slower than that of the sequence, Final Cut Pro skips or repeats frames of the sequence clip.

Nonmatching frame rates are handled in three ways.

Issues When Working with Mixed Frame Rates

When you add a clip to a sequence and the frame rates don’t match, Final Cut Pro places the clip as accurately as possible in the Timeline. However, because of the differences between some frame rates, there may be a one-frame shift on either the In or Out point of the clip. This is normal behavior caused by the limitations of mixed-frame-rate editing. After you add a nonmatching clip to a sequence, always check to make sure your clip In and Out points appear the way you want, and adjust them if necessary.

Copying and pasting clips from one sequence to another can also create mixed-frame-rate scenarios. Frame rate errors can accrue if you repeatedly copy sequence clips to new sequences with nonmatching frame rates. When possible, it’s always better to edit with master clips from the Browser instead of dragging clips between sequences.

Motion has a different frame repeating and frame skipping pattern than Final Cut Pro, so you may see different frames repeated than expected when including Motion projects in a Final Cut Pro sequence.

Working with Subclips in Mixed-Frame-Rate Sequences

In cases where a subclip’s frame rate and a sequence’s frame rate do not match, adding the subclip to the sequence may cause the subclip limits to be adjusted and new clip In and Out points to be set. These adjustments ensure that the edit you perform has the starting and ending frames you would expect.

You can verify that the subclip limits have been adjusted by comparing the following Browser columns before and after you add a subclip to a sequence with a nonmatching frame rate:

  • Media Start

  • Media End

  • In

  • Out

If any of these clip properties are adjusted when you perform an edit with a subclip, Final Cut Pro displays a dialog to notify you.