Back again with more babbling. To recap… some people find… ah, screw it. I had envisioned this topic as a linear series of posts for folks dipping their toes into X, talking about my editing process… A-B-C-D etc. Turns out my brain doesn’t work that way. Maybe that’s why FCP X appeals to me. 😉 So I guess I’m just gonna write a little bit now and again – in no particular order – about unique things I like when working with, rather than against the FCP X timeline. This little post will be about Storylines.
The Primary Storyline. Use it.
I, and others, have said that the best way to get acclimated to the Magnetic Timeline is to fill the storyline with gap, and cut everything in as connected clips and disconnect the audio. I did it at first. It works kind of like you’re “used to” working. And it sucks.
Or, you could use connected clips but keep the audio components connected to maintain sync. You get the benefit of audio components/expansion too. But it’s a mess.
Or, don’t fight it. Use the Primary Storyline.
All nice and neat. Use the Position Tool (P) to move clips without rippling. Hold the tilde key while adjusting clips (~) to temporarily disable connections. Press and hold tilde (~) then press SHIFT and release both keys to lock connections off. Press tilde again to re-enable connections. This cursor let’s you know connections are disabled.
Secondary Storylines Are FCP X “Tracks”
When working with Connected Clips, if you want to butt clips together and put transitions on them outside the Primary, X will put them in a Secondary Storyline for you.
Making secondaries is really just like making a new track in other NLE’s. But, you only do it if you need one, which you do if you want to put a transition effect between clips. So… why else would you need one?
Well, maybe you’d like to cut a music bed first, lock it, and edit to that… without having each clip of your music cut move because it’s “connected” to the primary clip above it. Maybe you have a bunch of little clips you want to keep together or easily move as a group. Whatever. Think of storylines as tracks you can move around if you want to. Add gap at the front end and pin it to the head of your timeline and it’ll behave exactly like a track.
What you can also do, that you can’t do in tracks, is expand the audio in storyline clips and do a nice manual crossfade. so it takes the place of 2 (or 4) tracks in other NLE’s. And you can select and manipulate clips in a storylne just like any connected clips in the timeline.
Storylines are also useful if you want to keep a group of clips together for visual organization. Again, just like tracks.
Make new Storylines by selecting a clip and hitting CMD-G. If you forward (SHIFT) delete the clip after this, it’ll leave an empty secondary if you need it.
And while you’re at it, Never disconnect your sync audio. Unless you need to cheat some dialog or something, leave the sync audio components with your video clips. If you know there’s a stem you won’t ever need, disable the component for the master clip. In my case, I hardly ever need the Music from a split source, so I just turn it off in the master clip.
That way, every clip I cut in has the sync Dialog and Effects with it. I can turn either on or off in the timeline clip(s) as needed, but it’s always there, I never need to match back to a clip to “find” the audio I didn’t think I needed. This essentially takes the place of track patching, but you only need to do it when you want to, not every freaking time you cut in a clip.
It’s also trivially easy to do an A/V, Video only, or Audio only edit. Hit Shift 1,2, or 3 before you cut in your clip.
Next up (in some random order) Fun with Audio Components, Managing Clip Connections, Compound Clips, The Timeline Index, and anything else I can think of. Happy cutting!
Great posts, thanks… but i have a question… I’ve messed around a bit in FCPX since it came out, but haven’t really dug in to a long form doc until now. I do A LOT of what we call “frankenbiting”. meaning chopping up off-camera dialog in to bits, individual words sometimes, to rearrange sentences, chop out gaps and “ums” and fix grammar, etc. I foresee a problem with connecting B-roll shots to individual words of a sentence… what do you do in this circumstance? i think i’ll probably end up compound clipping these frankenbites, or secondary story lining them and using gap clip in main storyline.
Hey Josh, I do a lot of that as well. You could use secondaries, but it’s not ideal, making a compound is the way to go IMO. In my case it’s also nice because I have access to the cheat for any future spots etc. in which I might need it. Sometimes I’ll include the picture in the CC as well so it acts like a “normal” clip. If the audio begins before the picture or extends past the the end I can always expand AV and trim (J or L cut) the picture when I cut it in.
Another helpful thing here is to include a common word in each cheated CC (“DIA A-cheat”, “DIA B-cheat”) and make a smart collection that looks for compound clips with “cheat” in the name. That way they’re all in one place in the browser. I also have one that just looks for CC’s in general. It’s really handy.
I’ve cut audio in Protools and Other DAW’s and pretty much all the “major” NLE’s. FCP X is amazing for the type of thing we’re talking about. Being able to move and trim clips in sample increments in the timeline makes it really easy to create franken-dialog. 🙂
Glad someone is seeing the light about not fighting the magnetic timeline. Been using it here on 6 workstations for broadcast and corporate work since 10.0.6 and even though it takes a bit to wrap your brain around how to connect clips in the right way, it does make working in a timeline fantastic. And great tip about the “~” new one for me and helpful. FCPX is a “Pro” app if you use it the way intended and not trying to franken-hacking it to work like legacy software.
“not trying to franken-hacking it to work like legacy software.” Yep. Work in X like X works, and it’s a pleasure. Try to make it work like something it’s not and you’ll hate it. You’ll be wrong, but you’ll hate it. 🙂
As an aside, I’ve been on FCP 7 and PrCC off and on for the last couple weeks (swapping work with folks who haven’t switched) and it’s painful.
i am struggling with fcpx for the same exact reason you are telling here above, which is thinking of fcpx as fcp7, which is wrong.
I am now trying to work with the syncing, and i have seen that it is possible to do it internally in fcpx but you have to do it one by one and since i am working with a lot of clips in a messy order i have managed to use the dear old pluraleyes 3 which to me it’s still better for syncing.
But it turns out that, as i knew, it can fix totally problems of syncing if there is disorder in the number of the clips (meaning that it seems, even after many different attempts, that it cannot recognise that video clip 5 can’t match with audio clip 14 if that is the order). so this means to me recreating manually the syncing on fcpx, and i am seeing that what it was easy to do in fcp7 (messing up with the clips on the timeline to create a new order) it’s quite difficult to be done in fcpx (at least for me).
(i know it’s me guys 🙂 )
I actually don’t do a lot of syncing, so I’m probably not much help. I’d suggest posting on the fcp.co forums if you haven;t already done so. Lot’s of knowledgeable folks there. 🙂
sorry i meant “it can’t fix totally problems of syncing”
thank you! it really helped me