Finding and Marking Long Frames

Long frames are frames with nonstandard frame durations that can occur within a clip as a result of a problem during capture. You might have long frames in your program for several reasons. Regardless of why there are long (dropped) frames, you need to know where they are so you can either prevent them or work around them.

A still image in a movie that’s been made to be deliberately longer than one frame is also a long frame. Long frames of this type may occur in movies created with one of the many QuickTime authoring programs. For example, if you use QuickTime Player to insert a still image with a duration of more than one frame into a movie, that frame is considered a long frame.

The Mark Long Frames command in the Tools menu identifies long frames within clips in your program. Each selected clip is scanned, and Final Cut Pro places markers to indicate the location of any long frames that are detected. Each marker is labeled “Long Frame N,” where N starts at 1 and increases, depending on how many long frames are present. If the long frame is the result of a still image in an authored QuickTime movie, that marker will also include the duration of the long frame.

Important: If you have long frames in your program, it’s important that you find the problem and solve it. This will prevent further headaches down the line, such as lost audio/video sync and incorrect timecode. For more information on how to troubleshoot your system if you experience dropped frames, see Problems During Playback.

To find and mark long frames
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Select one or more clips in the Browser.

    • From the Timeline or Browser, open the clip you want to check.

  2. Choose Tools > Long Frames > Mark.

    A status window appears with a progress bar showing how much of the process is complete.

    Markers are placed at each long frame. Long frame markers have an internal label, or tag, so that Final Cut Pro can distinguish them from other markers. If you selected a clip in the Browser, markers appear for the clip and are labeled “Long Frame N,” where N starts at 1 and increases, depending on how many long frames are detected. These markers also appear in the Viewer, when the clip is opened there. If you selected a clip in the Timeline, markers appear in the Timeline.

    Figure. Browser window showing a selected long frame marker for a clip.
To clear long frame markers
  1. Select one or more clips in the Browser or Timeline.

  2. Choose Tools > Long Frames > Clear.