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Lesson 4. Other Editing Options > Storyboard Editing

Storyboard Editing

Storyboards are used to explain the flow of a story with pictures or drawings. For example, to explain how a scene will look when it's cut together, an artist sketches intended camera shots and places them side by side as individual frames. This allows the director to imagine more clearly what the film will look like or anticipate what problems may arise during the shoot.

In Final Cut Pro, you can also arrange, or storyboard, clips. Storyboard editing begins in the Browser. You select clips you want to use in your sequence and place them in a new bin. You work with thumbnail images of your clips as though you were working on a jigsaw puzzle of your story. Then you arrange the clips, or storyboard them, according to how you would like to see them in the sequence, and you drag them to the Timeline as a group.

For this exercise, you will work with the Sahara Intro clips you used in a previous lesson. You will begin by organizing the project elements.

1.
In the Browser, create a new sequence and name it Storyboard Edits. If necessary, drag its icon into the Sequences bin and double-click it to open it in the Timeline.

2.
Close all other open sequences by Ctrl-clicking their tabs in the Timeline and selecting Close Tab.

3.
In the Browser, click the bin triangles to close those bins displaying clips.

Scrubbing Clips in the Browser

You have scrubbed clips in the Viewer window by dragging the playhead through the scrubber bar. But you can also scrub a clip in the Browser when it is in a particular icon view. Scrubbing a thumbnail clip in the Browser requires a new tool, the Scrub tool, which shares the same square in the Tool palette as the Zoom In and Zoom Out tools (magnifying glass).

1.
Double-click the Sahara Intro bin icon to open it as a separate bin window.

2.
If that bin appears in list view, Ctrl-click in the name column and select View as Large Icons. If necessary drag the lower-right corner of the Sahara Intro bin window down and out over the Viewer area so you can see the clips in this bin.

TIP

To arrange thumbnail clips alphabetically, Ctrl-click in a gray area and select Arrange from the contextual menu.

3.
In the Tool palette, click and hold the Zoom In tool, and select the Scrub tool.

The Scrub tool has left and right (forward and backward) arrows on the icon.

4.
With the Scrub tool, click the camels in desert clip in the Browser and drag across the image to the right to scrub through the clip content.

When you drag, the tool icon disappears so you can see the content of the clip. Dragging right moves you forward and dragging left moves you backward in the clip.

NOTE

When you scrub through a thumbnail clip, it seems as if you are dragging way outside the thumbnail image area.

5.
Click the snake in sand thumbnail and drag it left and right.

When you release the clip after scrubbing through it, the thumbnail image reverts back to the first frame of the clip. The thumbnail image remains dark because the image is still selected.

6.
To see a clear thumbnail image, deselect the clip by clicking in the gray area with the Scrub tool or by pressing Cmd-Shift-A.

7.
Scrub through a few other clips in this bin.

Changing a Thumbnail Image

When you capture media from your original source tapes, you often begin a few seconds before a specific action begins. This extra footage gives you additional material, or handles, for adding dissolves or fade-ups in the editing process. It also ensures that the start of any action is clear and complete.

In a thumbnail image, a clip is always represented by the image of the first captured frame. This is called the poster frame because it represents a clip visually the way a poster represents a movie. But sometimes the poster frame of the captured clip does not indicate the action that follows. For example, you may have a clip of someone skating, but because you included a few extra seconds at the head of the clip when capturing, you don't see the skater in the thumbnail image. There are several ways you can change a clip's poster frame to identify the content of the clip more accurately.

1.
With the Scrub tool, scrub through the digging mouse clip until you see the mouse appear, but don't release the mouse. This is the frame you will use to represent this clip.

2.
While still holding on to this frame, press and hold down the Control key, then release the Scrub tool, then release the Control key.

3.
Deselect the clip to see a clearer image of the new thumbnail representation.

4.
Repeat steps 1–3 to create new poster frames for each of the clips except the audio narration and the bug buried clip.

You can also set a new poster frame for a clip in the Viewer.

5.
With the Scrub tool, double-click the bug buried clip.

The clip opens in the Viewer, and the Viewer window pops in front of the Sahara Intro clips window.

6.
In the Viewer, move the playhead to where the bug emerges from the sand.

7.
Choose Mark > Set Poster Frame, or press Ctrl-P.

The thumbnail image updates in the Sahara Intro bin window.

TIP

If changing the poster frame in a clip is important to your editing, you can add it as a step when you initially view your clips in the Viewer.

8.
Click the Sahara Intro bin window to make it active.

Editing the Storyboard

Now you're ready to put together a picture puzzle of your sequence. Where you place the images in the bin will determine how they eventually line up in the Timeline sequence. Final Cut Pro starts with the first clip at the top-left corner of the bin and reads across the line. It then drops down to the next row, and so on, like reading a book. In the previous lesson, you dragged clips from the Viewer directly to the Timeline one at a time. But in storyboard editing, you drag a group of clips into the Timeline directly from a bin.

1.
To convert your pointer back to the default arrow Selection tool, either click the Selection tool in the Tool palette or click in the Timeline and then press A.

2.
Size the Sahara Intro bin window so you can see all the clips in the bin.

3.
Organize and position the clips so you start and end with one of the camels clips. Put the furry animals together, followed by the scaly reptiles, then the birds. Be creative with the scorpion and bug, and drag the narration and music clips out of the way in a corner.

As you arrange the clips, make sure the rows slant down from left to right. Higher clips, even though they are on the same row, will actually go first when you edit the group to the Timeline. Higher overrides the left-to-right order.

4.
In the Sahara Intro bin, use a marquee to select all the clips except the music and intro narration clips.

NOTE

You can also press Cmd-A to select all the clips in this bin, and then Cmd-click on each of the audio clips to deselect them.

5.
Drag one of the selected clip icons down into the Timeline, but don't release the mouse.

The entire group of selected clips moves together.

6.
Position the clips at the head of the sequence as an Overwrite (downward arrow/solid clip box) edit and release the mouse.

NOTE

Depending on the size of your Timeline, you may not see all of the clips in full view. If not, continue with the edit and then press Shift-Z to bring the sequence into full view.

All the clips are positioned in the Timeline just as they were in the Storyboard bin. If a clip is marked in the bin, just the marked portion will be edited.

TIP

To see just the clip names on each clip, click in the Timeline, press Cmd-0, and click the Timeline Options tab. Click the Thumb nail Display pop-up menu and choose Name.

7.
Close the storyboard bin window by clicking the OS X Close button.

8.
Play the sequence.

Project Tasks

1.
Drag the MX 15-Track 13.aif music clip to the Timeline as an Overwrite edit at the beginning of the sequence.

NOTE

Since you are dragging a sound clip from the Browser to the audio tracks without first opening it in the Viewer, the a1 and a2 source buttons are not active. If you were to open the audio clip in the Viewer first, they would appear.

2.
Lock the A1 and A2 tracks so the music won't be affected by the next step.

3.
Delete unwanted portions of the Sahara clips in the Timeline until the video clips match the length of the music.

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