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Chapter 4. Projects, Sequences, and Clips > Viewing and Setting Item Properties

Viewing and Setting Item Properties

The Item Properties window is the central location for information about an individual clip. The settings on three tabs in the Item Properties window allow you to view or change the properties of a clip. Besides the general clip information column in the far left of the window, you'll see a column for the clip's video track, and separate columns for each audio track in the clip. This expansion of the Item Properties window makes it possible to combine one video track with up to 24 tracks of audio from different sources and track each audio channel separately.

To open a clip's Item Properties window

Select the clip in the Browser or Timeline, or open it in the Viewer.

Do one of the following:

  • Choose Edit > Item Properties; then choose one of the three Item Properties window tabs—Format, Timing, or Logging—from the submenu.

  • Control-click the item; then choose an Item Properties window tab from the shortcut menu (Figure 4.60).

    Figure 4.60. Choose an Item Properties window tab from the clip's shortcut menu.

  • Press Command-9.

✓ Tips

  • Want to view item properties for multiple clips in a single window? Just select the clips in the Browser or Timeline before you use the Edit > Item Properties command.

  • What if you have changed the name of a clip and removed all traces of the original source media file it references? You can consult the Item Properties window for the renamed clip to trace the underlying source media filename and location.

To get information about the format of a clip

In the clip's Item Properties window, click the Format tab (Figure 4.61) to open it. This tab displays data on the location of the source media file, file size, and format characteristics for each track of the clip.

Figure 4.61. The Format tab of the Item Properties window displays format information about an individual clip or sequence.

Control-click on the item's setting in the Clip column to modify the following Format properties:

  • Name: Enter a new name for the clip.

  • Pixel Aspect Ratio: Select a pixel aspect ratio for the clip.

  • Anamorphic 16:9: If your clip's source media is 16:9, enabling this option ensures that FCP will interpret and display the clip's pixel aspect ratio properly.

  • Field Dominance: Specify the dominant field by making a selection from the shortcut menu.

    • Alpha Type: Select an alpha channel type for the video clip.

    • Reverse Alpha: Reverse the alpha channel of the video clip.

    • Composite Mode: Select the mode to be used when compositing the video clip.

To get information about the timing of a clip

In the clip's Item Properties window, click the Timing tab to open it.

On the Timing tab (Figure 4.62), you can modify the following Timing properties (on Browser clips only):

  • Name: Enter a new name for this clip.

  • In: Enter or modify the In point of a clip.

  • Out: Enter or modify the Out point of a clip.

  • Duration: Enter or modify the duration of a clip.

Figure 4.62. The Timing tab of the Item Properties window.

You can view (but not modify) a variety of other clip information; the data displayed is also displayed in Browser columns using the same names.

To get logging information for a clip

In the clip's Item Properties window, click the Logging tab (Figure 4.63).

Figure 4.63. The Logging tab of the Item Properties window.

This tab provides logging information for a clip.

You can modify the following properties:

  • Name: Enter a new name for this clip.

  • Reel: Enter or modify the name of the clip's source tape.

  • Description: Enter or modify descriptive details for a clip.

  • Scene: Enter or modify tracking information for a clip.

  • Shot/Take: Enter or modify tracking information.

  • Capture: Specify the status of a clip as Not Yet, OK, or Queued.

  • Log Note: Enter or modify a log note.

  • Label: Organize clips by preset classifications.

  • Label 2: Organize clips by entering user-set classifications.

  • Good: Click the Good check box to mark the clip for any sorting purposes.

  • Master Comments 1–4: Enter or modify additional comments for the clip in these fields. Master comments are reflected in all affiliated clips.

  • Comment A, B: Comments that apply to this clip only.

You can view (but not modify) a variety of other clip information; the data displayed is also displayed in Browser columns using the same names.

About Timecode Viewing Options

Driven by HD, 24P, and variable-frame-rate video cameras, video frame rates are now multiplying in the brave new world of digital post-production, and FCP HD 4.5 is boldly going. So brew up another pot of coffee, and let's talk about FCP's new timecode viewing options.

A clip's frame rate, as defined by FCP, expresses how many unique frames are displayed in one second. A speed-modified clip adjusted to playback at 50 percent displays 15 unique frames per second (fps). Timecode numbers are unique identifying numbers assigned per frame, whether that frame is unique or not.

New post-production pathways take advantage of FCP's flexibility and computational speed to support projects with native frame rates and timecode rates that don't match. Editing 60-fps HD using 30-fps timecode (or cutting 23.98 fps 24P-format video using 29.97 fps timecode) is becoming more common in professional editing suites. FCP HD 4.5 offers newly configured timecode viewing options to assist editors working with projects where source media frame rates differ from the timecode rate of the project video.

If you're working with media whose source media frame rates and timecode rates match (and that's most of you), just leave your timecode viewing options set to FCP's default: Source Time, Native Speed mode enabled.

You can view and modify FCP's Timecode viewing and display modes in the Timeline, Canvas, and Viewer Current Timecode fields (Figure 4.64).

Figure 4.64. Control-click the Viewer's Current Timecode field to access FCP's timecode viewing options.

Timecode Viewing Modes

Source Time: The timecode track of the captured media source file. This is the default Time display mode for projects with matching timecode and native frame rates.

Clip Time: FCP calculates and displays the clip's timecode based on the clip's native frame rate. When a clip's TC rate and frame rate match, Source Time and Clip Time are identical.

View Native Speed: In default mode (with View Native Speed enabled), FCP displays the native timecode number for each source media frame. With View Native Speed disabled, FCP adjusts each frame's native timecode number to reflect the speed change and displays the adjusted timecode. For example, enable View Native Speed on a 30-fps clip that you have speed-modified to play back at 25 percent normal speed, and then note the timecode display as you advance the clip by single frames. In View Native speed mode, the same timecode number appears four times before incrementing because FCP repeats each frame four times to create the slow motion playback. VNS mode applies to both source time and clip time modes.

Time Display Modes

While the timecode viewing modes detailed above can actually adjust the rate of timecode playback, time display offers elapsed time view options but doesn't change timecode playback speed. Time display options available depend on the frame and timecode rate of your source media file. For more information, see “Timecode navigation and display” in Chapter 8.

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