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August 12, 2011
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Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro XVideo Editing

Zooming In and Out of the Final Cut Pro X Event Library

In this post, we’ll take a quick look at the FCPX Event Library and how you can fine tune the in and out points of clips for use in your video projects.

As a long-time Final Cut Pro editor, I’m quite accustomed to opening my source files in the FCP 7 Canvas, putting in and out points in the footage and then dropping the clips down onto my timeline.  You might imagine my shock then when I found out that FCPX was doing away with my long-loved Canvas in favor of working with source clips directly in the Browser (now called the Event Library).  At first I was ready to pull my hair out.  How am I supposed to have any fine control over my in and out points in that TINY Event Library/Browser window (even on big Apple displays).  Then I learned this very handy feature….

Zooming In/Out of the FCPX Event Library

Click anywhere in the FCPX Event Library to make it the active window.

Now use the shortcut COMMAND and + to get a closer look at your clips.  Keep tapping the + key to increase the zoom.  You can do the opposite to zoom back out:  Command and -

Although I prefer using keyboard shortcuts, if you’re more inclined to use the mouse you can drag the slider below the Event Library to adjust the zoom.  The slider will allow you to get a closer look at your footage, all the way down to 1/2 a second.

The MAJOR benefit to zooming in on clips in the Event Library is being able to have much more control over range selection.  Now you can more precisely choose your in and outs points and then place the shot into your FCP sequence. For more information about using Range Selection see our previous post here.

I do have one minor critique about the way FCPX handles this function…
When you select a clip in the Event Library and zoom in using the above shortcut, FCPX does not keep the zoom centered on the selected clip.  So, after you zoom in you’ll have to re-find your chosen clip in the Event Library.  Hopefully Apple will fix this in future updates of FCPX.

In many ways I still miss having a dedicated Canvas window.  However, this shortcut definetly makes the new workflow in FCPX much more bearable.

Do you prefer the Canvas of earlier FCP versions?  In what way has the FCPX layout slowed down or sped up your editing?

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  • http://dowtin.com Brian D.

    Thanks for the tip.
    I share the same complaint. I think this isn’t so much ‘works different/better’ as removed/ missing feature.

    As you’ve stated many of us would like to see where we place our ins an outs. I’m editing and using the list view – going though clips and making sub-clips and the preview strip doesn’t allow zooming. If leaves the editor without any spatial cues or control. I need to see where the in point is, and where it is in relation to the entirety of the clip, and in FCP7 – you could roughly had both, a sense of where you are in the clip (which the preview strip gives), but also a fine enough control that you could use that as an information source in making your edit. As it is, in my 24min clip, the entire clip controls/box – is about 1 and a half pixels wide. The only way to zoom is to change the view to the filmstrip view. I personally find that paradigm abhorrent, and counterintuitive.

  • Mika33

    Tipp must be from an Apple newbie. Command+ is available since OS9 and in nearly every Apple software..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411576914 Troy Shaw

    I like that you can scrub and find the clip you want fast but when you have a clip that is over an hour long, it’s hard to find the right part in the scrub window.  I hope that FCPX will eventually give us the canvas back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411576914 Troy Shaw

    I would love to see them give us the canvas back and have the ability to scrub the canvas.  Now that would be cool.

    • Danny Greer

      Cool idea, Troy. I also really miss the good ol’ FCP 7 Canvas.

  • Duane Martin

    NOTE: this article was posted August, 2011. FCP X now has an Event Viewer. And by the way, in FCP 7 and earlier, you opened clips in the Viewer, not the Canvas; the Canvas window showed you your Timeline.

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