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Video Tutorial: Using the Precision Editor in FCPX

Ashley Kennedy

Use the Precision Editor for maximum control while trimming!

Final Cut Pro X’s Precision Editor allows you to view the handles of your clips as you perform ripples and rolls. This lets you exercise extra control as you trim.

Watch this video tutorial to find out how to use the Precision Editor!

This Final Cut Pro X video tutorial will teach you how to:

  • Be aware of your handle while performing ripples and rolls in normal editing mode
  • Enable the Precision Editor
  • Perform a Ripple using the Precision Editor
  • Perform a Roll using the Precision Editor

Full Video Transcription

Hello. This is Ashley Kennedy with PremiumBeat.com, here to show you how to use the precision editor in Final Cut Pro X. Now, the precision editor is a way for you to perform ripples and rolls while maintaining precise frame control. That is, you’re able to see the handles of each of your clips as you perform the ripples and rolls. And before we actually demonstrate this, let’s just look at a couple of things about ripples and rolls in just normal editing mode. So, I’m right here between two clips and, if I click on the B side and drag all the way over to the left, I’m performing a ripple. I can only go so far. So, that red line indicates that I have run out of handle. I only have so many frames to work with, and these are them. OK, so if I click on the A side now, same thing happens. I can ripple so far and then I run out of room. And the same thing occurs with rolls, sometimes. I’m going to click on this transition here and I’m going to press T to get into trim mode so that I can perform a roll. And if I drag to the left here, I actually run out of handle, in this space. That doesn’t always happen. If I come over to this transition and roll, I have all of that space without running out of room, and the same thing here. But I just wanted to show you that you can run out of handle for either ripples or rolls.

So, if you’re working with a lot of really short clips, a lot of clips where you didn’t capture more than you needed, and you’re really concerned about how much handle you have to work with, you might want to work with the precision editor. OK, so to enable the precision editor, I just double-click on a transition. OK, and so what we see here is the A side clip on top, and the B side clip on the bottom. And to the right of the A side clip is all of the available handle of that clip, that we didn’t edit into the timeline. And to the left of the B side clip is all of the available handle that we have that we didn’t edit into the timeline. Alright, so, this is the natural progression of the sequence, and then my grayed-out areas to the left and to the right indicate extra stuff. To perform a ripple, I grab the clip, and you can see that my cursor turns into a hand, and I just move it to the left or the right, and you can see exactly how much handle you have to work with. Same thing for the B side clip here. And as I approach the end here, you can actually see that you’re running out of room. OK, so that’s how to perform a ripple using the precision editor. One way to very quickly perform a ripple in the precision editor, is to just click within the handle and it will perform it immediately. So if I click up here, it’s immediately going to ripple to that spot, and same thing down here. If I instead want to perform a roll, I just grab this right here in the middle, and roll it back and forth, and you can see that I’m performing a roll but I have precise frame control. That is, I’m able to see exactly what I’m doing. I know how much handle I have to work with. And that becomes most important when I add the clip like this, and I only have so much room to work with.

OK, so again if you have a lot of shorter clips, this is a really great way to work. And as you just saw, the way you can go from edit to edit, is to just click on each of these points here and the precision editor opens up a new set of clips. To exit out of the precision editor I just double-click on the transition and I’m back in my primary story line. OK, so that’s a quick introduction to the precision editor, another way to perform ripples and rolls while knowing exactly how much room you have to work with. Thanks so much for watching this video tutorial. Check back often and PremiumBeat.com for other exciting video tutorials in both Avid and Final Cut Pro. This is Ashley Kennedy with Premiumbeat.com.