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Final Cut Pro X: Flexible Connection Points in 10.0.6

Check out our Final Cut Pro: Editing In The Magnetic Timeline course!

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 introduces more flexible behavior for the connection stems between a Connected Clip and the Primary Storyline. With this update they become even easier to work with. I’ll run briefly through the various ways this works.

Step 1 - Project Setup

I’ll drop three edited clips into a Project’s Primary Storyline (append edit, E). I’ll place the playhead in the middle of the center clip, and add a fourth clip as a Connected Clip (connected edit, Q).

Connected edit

Step 2 - Changing The Connection Stem Location

I can click anywhere on the Connected Clip while holding the Option and Command keys to change where the connection stem is located on the connected clip. Just as it’s always been.

 changing where the connection stem is located with Option-Command

Step 3 - Trimming The Primary Clip’s In Point

If I ripple the In point of my primary storyline clip, as I pull my mouse left or right, normal behavior is that the connected clip stays where it is.

But if I hold the Tilde (~) key magic happens. When I trim the In point, dragging my mouse left or right, the connected clip moves equal to my mouse cursor/trimmed point. The In point of the primary storyline clip and the In point of its connected clip stay the exact same distance apart, in-sync, as you preform a trim. This only works with both mouse and keyboard (< and > keys) trimming.

Trimming witht eh Tilde key.

Step 4 - Trimming The Primary Clip’s Out Point

When I ripple the Out point of a Primary Storyline clip, that has a Connected Clip, the connected clip stays in place in the Timeline, its connection stem moves along with the out point’s ripple as necessary. If I hold the Tilde modifier key down while I drag that Out point, the connection stem stays in place, as does the connected clip.

Before/After Ripple trim.

If you’re trimming the out point of the last clip in the timeline, the Connected Clip moves along to stay connected if you truncate the end too much. With the Tilde modifier key, the connected clip stays in place. A Gap Clip is added to the end of the primary storyline if the last clip is truncated too much.

A Gap Clip is added to the end of the primary storyline if the last clip is truncated too much.

Step 5 - Repositioning The Primary Clip

When I use the Selection (A) or the Position (P) tools to reposition a clip in the primary storyline, the connected clip moves along with it. With the Tilde modifier, the Connected Clip stays in its original position and does not move at all.

Normal reposition vs Tilder modified reposition.

Step 6 - Slipping The Primary Clip

If I get my Trim Tool (T) and mouse over the center of my primary storyline clip, I get the Slip tool cursor icon. I can click and slip the contents of that clip while its edit points remain unchanged in the Timeline. The connected clip will move along with the slip, staying connected to the same original frame.

If I hold the Tilde modifier key down while slip the storyline clip, the connected clip will not move at all. This trick works with both mouse editing and keyboard editing.

Normal/Tilde slip trim.

Step 7 - Deleting The Primary Clip

As always, if I select my primary storyline clip and hit the Delete key, it disappears, the primary storyline ripples left, and the connected clip also vanishes. Also, if I use Shift-Delete the storyline clip is replaced with a Gap Clip. 

In this case the Tilde modifier key will cause the delete edit to keep the Connected Clip perfectly in place. Since the stem doesn’t move it stays right there no matter what clip ends up there after the ripple.

Normal delete, Tilde delete and Shift delete.


Two quick tips for y'all. First, the Tilde key works when changing Audition angles with Control-right arrow key. Second, hold the Tilde and Command keys down together, click in the timeline, the override is locked in. Switch from the selection (A), trim (T) and position (P) tools and it should stay locked in. Tilde-click again to turn it off. So with 10.0.6 our connected clips are super flexible and our edits fly by even quicker, allowing us to spend more time being creative.

Check out our Final Cut Pro: Editing In The Magnetic Timeline course!

Ben Balser

Ben Balser | Articles by this author

Ben Balser studied educational psychology at Loyola University, and after retiring from a 20+ year IT career, now produces, consults, teaches, and rents equipment for media production as a full time job. As an Apple Certified Master Trainer, he ran the Louisiana Cajun Cutters FCP user group for 8 years, taught post-production at Louisiana State University and has lead their annual teen filmmaking bootcamp. He teaches currently for AATC facilities across the USA and for The Orchard Solutions. He has consulted for higher education, government, broadcast and private production facilities.


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