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Final Cut Pro Advanced Technique: Copying, Pasting, and Removing Attributes

What's the easiest, fastest and most productive way to apply the filter with the customized settings? By Heath McKnight

Ever run into this scenario while editing in Final Cut Pro? You're tweaking a filter on a clip in FCP, and you know you have to apply it to at least three or four identical clips. What's the easiest, fastest and most productive way to apply the filter with the customized settings? By working with attributes!

What are attributes in Final Cut Pro? Basically, they consist of several settings in a clip, including Basic Motion, Crop, Distort, Opacity, Drop Shadow, Motion Blur, Filters, and Speed (video), along with Levels, Pan, Filters, and Speed (audio). Anything you adjust in the video or audio, any filter added, or speed change done is an attribute. And you can easily copy, paste or remove these attributes.

Copy and Paste Attributes

This is really easy to perform if you've adjusted anything in the attributes, or added and customized a filter within a clip's settings. Simply right-click the clip (or Control-click) and select Copy from the drop-down menu.

Now go to the clip you want to paste the attributes to, and right- or Control-click and select Paste Attributes from the drop-down menu.

The "Paste Attributes" window will pop up and you can select what settings (or attributes) you want to paste into the clip. Checkmark the setting and hit okay, and render if it calls for it. This is probably the easiest and most efficient way to change attributes on multiple clips. Other ways would be to save a particular customized filter setting under Effects in the Favorites Folder. If you are adding a filter without tweaking it to several clips, you can highlight the clips and just drop the filter once and it'll appear.

There are so many ways to do basically the same operation in FCP, I could fill a book detailing all of them. But for me, this is the quickest way to change settings and attributes over a series of clips.
Removing Attributes

If a setting or filter in a clip bothers you, it's easy to get rid of it. You can open the clip back in the viewer from the timeline, and remove the attribute, or you can right- or control-click the clip and select Remove Attributes from the drop-down menu. The "Remove Attributes" window opens, and you can checkmark what settings/attributes you don't want. Hit okay, and it's gone.

For me, working with the attributes this way is the easiest and fastest way to change or remove multiple settings/attributes. A friend of mine showed me how to do it a few years back, and it sped up my editing quite a bit. I rank this function in Final Cut Pro high on my list of favorites, alongside Snapping. Give it a shot, especially if you have to move or re-size a clip and want to be accurate with other clips that need the same setting.

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Heath McKnight is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed several independent feature and short films, including Hellevator, 9:04 AM and December. He is currently web content manager for doddleNEWS. Heath was also a contributor to VASST's best-selling book, "The FullHD," and has written for TopTenREVIEWS and Videomaker.

Related Keywords:NLE, video editing, video editing techniques, FCP, final cut pro, video workflow,

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