When to replace and when to relink?
This is the question Mark and Steve from Ripple Training tackle on this week's MacBreak Studio.
If you need to replace a video clip, graphic, or audio file in your Final Cut Pro X project, one way is to use the aptly-named Replace Edit command. With this command, all you do is drag the new media from the Browser over the existing clip in the timeline and choose from several replace options, depending on whether you want to use the exact duration of the new clip or keep the duration of the existing clip. In the case of the latter, the new clip has to be as least as long as the one it's replacing, and you have the option to replace from the start or the end of that new clip.
However, if you've used this edit for awhile, you've likely discovered that if you have applied any transformations to the current clip, such as changing its Spatial Conform setting, position, scale, rotation, crop, etc.; if you have animated the clip with keyframes or the Ken Burns effect; if you have color-corrected your clip; or if you have added effects from the Effects Browser, that when you replace the clip, you lose all those changes.
One simple solution that keeps all your transformations, corrections and effects in place is to copy the clip before replacing, and then using Final Cut's powerful Paste Attributes command to copy changes you've made to the original clip to the new clip.
A completely different approach to replacing content in your timeline is to relink the source media. If you have multiple copies of the same clip in a project, and many different changes made to those clips, this method has the benefit of being very fast: you only need to relink the media once and all clips are updated immediately, and all changes to them are intact.
Relinking only works on video that has matching duration and other characteristics, but it is very flexible when it comes to graphics, as we demonstrate here. Along the way, I also point out a feature I missed in an earlier MacBreak Studio episode: the ability to copy a clip into your library at the same time you relink.