Strategic Through-Edits

This Week on MacBreak Studio

When is an edit not an edit – and why should you care?

Steve Martin from Ripple Training tackles this deep philosophical question on this week's MacBreak Studio.

We are of course referring to a “through-edit”: something Steve defines as “an edit with continuous timecode”. Any time you blade a clip, you create a through-edit. Final Cut Pro X indicates through-edits with a dashed line to distinguish them from “normal” edits (note that this dashed line is also used when cutting angles in a multicam clip, which is another example of an edit across continuous timecode, albeit from one clip to another).

Since a through-edit can't be seen by the viewer – it doesn't change the frames before or after the cut – why would it be interesting? Well, today Steve shows us several “strategic uses” for through-edits.

One of these uses is that a through-edit allows for the animation of effects and color corrections. Change the look of one side of a through-edit on a video clip, either with an effect from the Effects Browser or by using the Color Board, apply a transition to the edit point, and you've created an animated color change on a single continuous clip.

Through-edits are also very handy when you want to apply an audio effect, such as an EQ or a compressor, to just a portion of an audio clip. The range tool is great for adjusting the audio level of a section of a clip, but if you try to apply an audio effect to the range of an audio clip, you'll quickly find that the effect is applied to the entire clip – forcing you to set keyframes if you want it to only affect a section.

So instead, just create through-edits by blading the clip and apply the effect to the bladed section. By the way, if you've expanded audio components, you still need to click on the video portion of the clip to create the edit. One more tip: instead of pressing B for the Blade tool, making the cut(s), then pressing A to return to the default selection tool, just press and hold the B key while making the cuts, then release the key to return to the selection tool automatically.


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Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an…