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Lesson 5. Refining Edit Points > Preparing Your Sequence

Preparing Your Sequence

As you continue to refine your rough cut, you may want to set up your sequence a little differently and use markers to identify areas that need adjusting. The footage you will be working with in this lesson is from Leverage, but rather than refine a scene, you will refine a promo for the show.

Choose File > Open, or press Command-O, and then open Lessons > Lesson 5 Project. Close any other open projects.

In the Timeline, play the Promo_v2 Polished sequence.

This sequence is cut together from several clips used in “The Second David” episode. The purpose of the Leverage promo, like any other promotional material, is to create interest in the show and perhaps evoke a sense of intrigue. Joseph LoDuca’s music and the editor’s quick cuts help to achieve this effect. To practice using the trimming tools, you will work on a rougher sequence; it’s the right length, but it needs polishing to capture the best portions of the actors’ movements.


In the first half of this promo, you’ll see the Leverage characters scheming individually and bumping into each other in the process. In the second half, you will see the results of Nathan’s organizational efforts as the individuals work as an efficient, synchronized unit.

Click the Promo_v1 Rough sequence tab and play this sequence.

Although both sequences are the same length, the placement or content of some of these clips could be more polished or better timed for a stronger effect.

Notice the three colors of markers in the Timeline ruler. During the rough-cutting process, you might use markers to remind yourself where you want to return to refine an edit point. The markers in this sequence have been added for that purpose. The three colors represent the three trimming tools and approaches you will learn in this lesson.

Control-click the Timeline ruler. From the list of marker names on the bottom of the shortcut menu, choose “use static image.”

The playhead moves directly to that marker.

In the Canvas transport controls, click the Play Around Current Frame button, or press the \ (backslash) key.

The playhead moves back a specific number of seconds (called the pre-roll time), then plays the sequence through the playhead’s original location, continues to play a few more seconds (post-roll), and returns the playhead to the original location. Rather than having to position your playhead manually before the edit point, you can see “around” the edit point.

Using this control throughout the lesson will be a helpful way to preview edit points, so let’s take a moment to change the pre-roll and post-roll settings to suit your preferences.

Press Option-Q to open the User Preferences window, and click the Editing tab. In the Preview Pre-roll field, enter 2. (2 period) and press Return. Leave the Preview Post-roll at its default setting (2 seconds). Click OK to save this change.

Press the \ (backslash) key to preview this edit point with the new pre-roll settings.

In this lesson, you will be working with tools that outline or in some other way mark the clips or edit points you’re adjusting. To see those markings more clearly, you can turn off the thumbnail images for the clips in this sequence.


Viewing Timeline clips without thumbnail images is often the preferred practice of editors who cut dramatic material. Without the thumbnails, you can more easily read clip scene numbers.

Choose Sequence > Settings, or press Command-0, and click the Timeline Options tab. From the Thumbnail Display pop-up menu, choose Name. Click OK.

In the Timeline Options tab of the Sequence Settings window, you can change how the active or current sequence appears in the Timeline. For example, you can change the track size, turn off or turn on the audio waveforms display and through edit indicators, and even change the starting timecode of the sequence. In this situation, when you choose Name for the display, the thumbnail images no longer appear on the clips in the sequence. Instead, you see just the name of the clip, which in this project denotes the scene, take, and camera.


To display the clip names larger in the Timeline, Control-click in the Browser’s empty gray space and, from the shortcut menu, choose Text Size > Medium. This also enlarges the text in the Browser.

It might be helpful to create a backup of the original Promo_v1 Rough sequence in case you want to return to the original version and refine the edits in different ways.

In the Sequences bin in the Browser, Control-click the Promo_v1 Rough sequence and, from the shortcut menu, choose Duplicate. Leave the copy unopened in the Sequences bin.


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