About Using Master and Affiliate Clips

As you edit, you may generate many copies of the same clip. For example, you may use different segments of the same clip multiple times in one sequence. Or, if you make multiple versions of a sequence, each sequence may contain a copy of the same clip, but the duration of each clip may be different.

All of these clip copies refer to the same media file on disk. When it’s time to recapture, consolidate your media, or move your footage to another system, reducing the number of clips you need to manage can save a lot of time and disk space.

For example: You have finished editing your project and now you want to recapture the media files for your sequence clips at high resolution. If you used the same clip many times in your sequence, it would be a waste of time and disk space to capture the same media file over and over for each clip copy.

To simplify media management, Final Cut Pro uses a single master clip to control multiple copies of a clip. The primary purpose of a master clip is to manage the relationship between multiple copies of a clip and a single media file. The first time you import or capture a media file, a master clip is created. Subsequently, each copy of the master clip that you create is called an affiliate clip.

Master-affiliate clip relationships help you to:

Note: If you need to, you can break the relationship between affiliate clips and master clips, turning the affiliate clips into independent clips. You generally don’t want to do this because then you lose the benefit of a single master clip controlling all the others. There are a few cases where independent clips can be useful, but it’s best to avoid them unless you have a special reason.