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FCPX TIP: Doing a "Clean" Clip Delete WITH The Magnetic Timeline

At any one time I'm generally editing at least 1-3 real estate films. I've been able to get the workflow streamlined to almost robotic precision over the years, but there are some small editing issues that still cause me to have to do more mouse clicks and keystrokes in FCPX than I feel are actually necessary.

A prime example of this, is when you're client says, "Everything looks perfect, just delete __________ clip and have the clip after it fill in that space - thats it!"

Sounds simple enough, right?

Before (Note Alignment Markers)

Well, in FCPX when you deleted that (middle) clip the client specified, the magnetic timeline kicks in and slides every clip after the deleted clip leftwards down the timeline, which in turn throws every other edit point after that out of sync with the music, creating quite the clusterf&%k that will need to be re-adjusted and aligned to get back to how it was.

After (Note Un-aligned Markers after Middle Clip Was Deleted)

This isn't an extremely difficult process, its just a little time consuming and messy. I don't DO messy - so I figured out another way! (with the help of Ronny Courtens at FCP.co)

 

The Process

 

1. Shift+Delete the desired clip - this will leave a gap clip in the place of the deleted clip.

2. Delete the transition between the gap clip and the third clip.

3. Select the Position Tool (P) and simply drag the edge of the third clip in to the transition where the first clip meets the gap clip.

 

You now have that third clip's front handle extended into the space the second clip once occupied, with absolutely no shifting in the timeline! Magic

Note the third clip's front handle has now been extended in to the space of the second clip, seamlessly, with no timeline sync shift.

This ability to drag a clip IN TO a transition (not just butted up against it) is apparently a behavior that is unique to FCPX.


DEMO

Key to Remember: The key to this trick is to use the (P) Position tool when doing this, and you can then avoid having to completely realign your timeline to the music if you have to delete a clip out of the middle of the timeline.

Awesome.