Very basic question about clip placement in FCP or iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by swingerofbirch, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #1
    Hello,

    I am a complete amateur, but I used to be someone who made awesome home movies with each version of iMovie through iMovie 06 HD.

    I had iMovie 09 on my MBP, and I attempted to make a home movie again (after having given up on 08 and 09 previously) and once again I got stuck. I paid for iMovie 11 hearing that it brought back the timeline, but it didn't really seem to, and I was still stuck. So I have now downloaded the Final Cut Pro X trial, and after 5 hours of playing around with all these apps, I can't figure out how to do something that took me about a minute in every previous version of iMovie.

    So, basically, I went on a vacation where I took one short video clip and lots of photographs. I want to start with the video, then cut to black, then start showing pictures. I have an idea of how I want to show the pictures in sync with the music. The song I picked (the Glee version of Good Riddance . . . I know: groan) has two distinct sudden guitar entrances and I want to show a picture with each one, and cut to black in the silence in between. When the song picks up at a faster pace halfway through I want to start showing some pictures I took in burst mode in rapid succession with no Ken Burns effect.

    I took me like a minute to come up with the idea, and after hours I have accomplished nothing! What happened to bringing desktop movies to the masses? In iMovie 6, I would drag the video to the timeline, and then I would leave a little blank space and then add the photo, leave a little blank space and add the next photo. And I could see the music track beneath and drag it exactly where I wanted it to be and see its wave form to put the pictures in the right spot. Leaving a space between the photos and video would automatically create a black interlude.

    However, in the new iMovie and in FCP X everything wants to stick together. I can't seem to find a way to leave space between clips. The other issue is with the music track. I feel like I am wrestling with it. I just want to see it on a line separate from the video, but it sort of just forms a green blob around the first video clip. I haven't tried audio yet in FCP X because I've been trying just to separate the clips with space in between, but the audio issue I described was in iMovie.

    What was that ability to just put things where you want them in iMovie called? I want it back! It was so simple. And I could make amazing videos so quickly. Maybe I am ignorant to how much more advanced the software is now, but to me it seems like a huge step backward in usability.
     
  2. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #2
    I'm not experienced with the new way of Apple editing, but I think it might work if you first put down the soundtrack, then you put in the clips, and then you space them. Else I would go for a workaround, like putting in a random clip where you want it black, then change the opacity to 0%. Or put a filter on it that you can make black.
     
  3. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #3
    I have only used FCP X a bit and have stuck really to FCP 7 but I believe there is an option to turn off the magnetic timeline by pushing "p" which should then allow you to place things where you want.

    On a side note, I think that FCP X would be perfect for your family videos and you should probably spend a bit trying to figure out how to use it to its fullest potential rather than trying to turn it into iMovie '06.
     
  4. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #4
    Wow! That was it! P! Not even command P, just P! So weird. I felt like I was wrestling with the application, and it turns out I actually was wrestling with magnets. Thank you. I can't imagine what the benefit to the magnetic system is to begin with, but this should work for me now.
     
  5. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #5
    I think to realise the benefit you have to start from scratch with your learning process.

    I would consider myself a semi-pro editor (i.e. I have made some money but I am still a student and still learning)

    FCP X does somethings very well but it's not very intuitive to someone who has come from FCP 7 or even probably iMovie.

    I got very frustrated very quickly when I found I couldn't do things that would take me a few seconds in FCP 7. I gave up and went back to what I was used to.

    After a month or two I came back to it, watched a few basic tutorials and realised that I had approached it from an FCP 7 viewpoint. It's a completely different process and if you start from scratch it's actually a very robust editor for whacking out quick edits.

    That being said I have only messed around with very basic personal projects in FCP X. All paid and student work is still being done through FCP 7.
     
  6. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #6
    I'll learn as much as I can during the trial. :) I know $299 is supposed to be a jaw-dropping price for professionals, but for someone looking for a worthy upgrade to iMovie 6 HD (IMO the last good version of iMovie) it's kind of pricey. But we'll see. I just can't get over that magnet thing still. It's hard to imagine professional editors (which I am not, so I might be missing something) wouldn't by default want to be able to put clips where they want them and be allowed to have gaps. Final Cut Pro surprises me in how simple it looks and how much it looks like iMovie. I always imagined something used for feature films would look dramatically different somehow.
     
  7. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #7
    To view the Timeline click on the three little dots:

    [​IMG]

    To stretch the Time across the whole screen click on the arrows:

    [​IMG]
     

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