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What's new in Final Cut Pro 6: Open Format Timeline

Excerpted from Diana Weynand's new DVD Tutorial ?What?s New In Final Cut Pro 6? By Diana Weynand

Lets say youre building a show reel, or working on a project that uses multiple formats, or even multiple frame rates.  A new addition to Final Cut Pro 6 is the open format timeline where you are free to edit a combination of HD and SD, even NTSC and PAL all in real time. With a mixed format timeline you need to take a closer look at the footage properties of each clip in your timeline.  Below are the Item Properties windows of the various clips in the timeline of an editing exercise Im editing for my new ?Whats New in FCP6 tutorial DVD.  (Item Properties short cut  <Command-9> will open the Item Properties window)   You can see that the first clip is PAL 25 fps, frame size is 720x576.

The second set of clips on my time line are DVCPRO 1280 X 1080 and the frame size is 1280 x 1080.


 

The next set is HDV 1080i60, video rate is 29.97 and frame size is 1440 x 1080.

 

And the last set of clips consists of a standard definition clips captured as uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 files from a Betacam SP tape.  Its frame size is 740 x 486.

Next, lets take a look at the sequence settings window. (Sequence Settings window Shortcut - <Command-0>).

Notice the sequence settings match the HDV clips, and that the frame size of this sequence is 1440 x 1080.  Lets see how this clip would look in a Final Cut Pro 5 timeline.

Depending on the processing power of your computer you may notice a red render bar in the timeline, and the image in the canvas would appear at its original frame size not that of the sequence, which would cause you to have to resize the image manually. In Final Cut Pro 6, on a MacBook Pro the render bars will remain green meaning these multiple formats and frame rates will all play in real time.

When you play a clip with a smaller frame size such as a PAL clip or a SD clip, Final Cut automatically resizes the clip larger to fit as much of the clip as possible into the larger HiDef frame. But this can bring up the question of how to handle the sequence settings. Depending on the final output of your sequence you may choose the match your sequence settings to the majority of your footage youll be editing since my sequence will have more HD clips than the other formats, that format was chosen for the sequence settings. The best way to approach this situation is to use the manual approach by choosing the Easy Set Up window under the Final Cut Pro menu.

Dont forget to filter options when creating a new sequence using the drop down Format and Frame menus to make choosing the right preset easier. Now when you edit your first clip and you dont want the sequence settings to change.  You can simply say ?no to the change settings dialogue box, which will pop up on your screen. 

Again an open timeline format may not ultimately change how your project will look when you output, but it will certainly help smooth the way during the editing process. 


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Diana Weynand is co founder of Weynand Training International,

Diana Weynand is author of the Apple Pro Training Series book, Final Cut Pro 7. She is co-founder of Weynand Training International, a Gold Level Apple Authorized Training Center that offers hands-on classes on Apple Pro Applications around the country as well as customized on-site training. She is also one of the creators of iKeysToGo Your Personal Shortcut Assistant in the Palm of your Hand! - a series of iPhone and iPod Touch applications for Final Cut Pro 7, Photoshop CS4, iPhoto, Word, etc. These Apps are available on the iTunes App Store. For more information, check out her website, www.weynand.com, call her at 818.995.1719 or email at weynand@mac.com.


Related Keywords:NLE, video editing, final cut pro,

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