How to Cut in Final Cut Pro - In ONLY 60 Seconds!

To master cutting in Final Cut Pro, familiarize yourself with the Blade tool and its variations, such as the Blade All command and the ability to cut selected clips. Practice using these tools to split clips, remove unwanted sections, and make precise edits, enhancing your overall video editing skills.

October 19, 2023
How to Cut in Final Cut Pro - In ONLY 60 Seconds!
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How To Split Clip In Final Cut Pro

As an After Effects enthusiast, you might be familiar with the concept of cutting or splitting clips. It's a fundamental part of video editing, allowing you to adjust durations, remove unwanted sections, and create dynamic narratives. But what if you're venturing into the world of Final Cut Pro (FCP)? How about we dive into the process of cutting in FCP, and I promise, by the end of this guide, you'll be slicing and dicing clips like a pro.

Steps to Cut in Final Cut Pro

Step Procedure Pro Tips
1. Initiate the Blade Tool Click the Tools pop-up menu in the top-left corner of the timeline and choose Blade (or press B). Hold down the B key to switch to the Blade tool temporarily.
2. Make the Cut Move the skimmer to the frame in the clip where you want to cut, then click. Use the skimmer for precise cuts.
3. Cutting on the Fly Press Command-B at any time while your project plays back. Useful for making multiple cuts quickly.
4. Removing Unwanted Sections Select either or both sides of the through edit point, then choose Trim > Join Clips (or press Delete). Use Trim > Join Clips to remove unnecessary sections.
5. The Blade All Command In the FCP timeline, move the skimmer to the frame where you want to cut. Choose Trim > Blade All (or press Shift-Command-B). Useful when you need to cut all primary storyline clips and connected clips at the skimmer or playhead location simultaneously.
6. Cutting Selected Clips In the FCP timeline, select the clips you want to cut. Move the skimmer to the frame where you want to cut. Choose Trim > Blade (or press Command-B). Useful for cutting selected primary storyline clips and connected clips simultaneously.

The Basics of Cutting in Final Cut Pro

In the realm of FCP, the most basic edit is a straight cut. This term harks back to the film editing process where a filmstrip was physically cut with a razor and a new "clip" was attached with glue. In FCP, each time you cut a clip in your project, it's split into two clips. You can cut one clip at a time or multiple clips simultaneously.

The Blade Tool: Your Cutting Companion

The Blade tool is your go-to instrument for making precise cuts on the timeline. Let's break down the steps to split a clip with the Blade tool:

  1. Initiate the Blade Tool: In FCP, click the Tools pop-up menu in the top-left corner of the timeline and choose Blade (or press B). The pointer morphs into the Blade tool. To switch to the Blade tool temporarily, hold down the B key. When you release the B key, the tool reverts to the previously active tool.
  2. Make the Cut: Move the skimmer (the vertical line that moves as you move your cursor over the timeline) to the frame in the clip where you want to cut, then click.

Cutting on the Fly: A Handy Shortcut

In my opinion, one of the most useful features of FCP is the ability to cut clips while playing back your project. To cut clips on the fly, press Command-B at any time while your project plays back. An edit point appears as a dotted line where you clicked, and the clip is divided into two clips. This feature is particularly useful when you're dealing with long clips and need to make multiple cuts quickly.

Removing Unwanted Sections

After making a cut, you might notice that some sections are not needed. To remove a through edit (a cut where the media content on either side of the edit point is continuous), do one of the following:

  1. Select either or both sides of the through edit point, then choose Trim > Join Clips (or press Delete).
  2. Select the clips on both sides of the through edit, then choose Trim > Join Clips.

The Blade All Command: A Time-Saver

The Blade All command is a time-saver when you need to cut all primary storyline clips and connected clips at the skimmer or playhead location simultaneously. Here's how to do it:

  1. In the FCP timeline, move the skimmer to the frame where you want to cut.
  2. Choose Trim > Blade All (or press Shift-Command-B). All clips at the skimmer position are cut.

Cutting Selected Clips: A Precision Tool

For instance, if you want to cut selected primary storyline clips and connected clips simultaneously, you can use the Blade command. Here's how:

  1. In the FCP timeline, select the clips you want to cut.
  2. Move the skimmer to the frame where you want to cut.
  3. Choose Trim > Blade (or press Command-B). The selected clips are cut at the skimmer position.

In other words, the Blade tool and its variations are your best friends when it comes to cutting in FCP. By mastering these tools and techniques, you'll be well on your way to becoming a proficient FCP editor. That said, remember that practice is key. So, get out there and start cutting!