Get Faster In Final Cut Pro – Nesting

This tip is all about timeline cleanliness… And render times… And possibly some other stuff thrown in there too.

I have long looked for something in FCP similar to precomp in after effects. What that does is to take multiple files, create a new composition out of them and then place the new composition in the same place in the timeline (where the original files were)

It turns out I simply haven’t been looking hard enough! There is a great little tool called “Nest Items” in the sequence menu. You can also invoke it by hitting Option-C.

I think the two best scenarios for this tool are:
(1) when you have a very complicated timeline you can break parts out into functional units and (hopefully) reduce the number of times you have to re-render.
(2) FCP has never been good at audio. Use this to nest multiple audio tracks together and force FCP to do a mixdown.

It turns this…

Into this…

I guess I should mention that this can cause trouble. If you nest audio separate from video then you need to be careful moving tracks around because audio will not be linked to video anymore.

One feature that I wish they had in FCP and AE is the ability to ‘break’ a nested/precomped sequence back into its original pieces in the original timeline. The only way to do that currently is copying it out of the nest and pasting it back into the sequence. Not exactly precise.

One last thing – shout out to my man Nick for this idea! Thanks for the tip! These are the kinds of tips and tricks you usually learn by watching someone else edit. If you have something that drastically speed up your editing, let me know in the comments!

~ by ross on February 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “Get Faster In Final Cut Pro – Nesting”

  1. Two ways.

    1. Double click SEQ in Browser.
    2. Drag SEQ from browser into SEQ in timeline and hold Command while doing this.

  2. Jason – thank you! #1 didn’t do anything but open the sequence up (in fcs6) but command dragging the sequence onto the timeline worked out perfectly! Thanks for the hot tip, and keep ’em coming.

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