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Old June 23rd, 2011, 09:42 AM   #1
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FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

Hey Guys,

I'm trying to stick it out with FCPX for a single project to see if I can learn it and learn to like it before the other updates that I need come out. I have run into an issue which I am not sure is a glitch, design error, or hopefully just my having problems and somebody here can point me in the right direction.

I figured it'd be best to start off with FCPx with a smaller project, so I'm editing a friend of a friends wedding video that I was asked to shoot for them. I shot this wedding with multiple cameras (I know FCPx doesn't have support for the old multicam editing) but I figured I could still edit it on the timeline and just sync up each camera as needed. I began to sync each camera using layers like I would have in any other system.

The problem I am having is this:
Everything wants to be at the beginning of the timeline and will only not be at the beginning if there is a shot before it. I guess thats why they call it a magnetic timeline, everything is magnetized towards the head of the line. Fine. But lets say you have created 3 layers of video as I did (one for each camera) and you want to put the next shot of camera 3 on layer 3 to keep things consistent. now lets say layer 3 is already longer than layer 1. I can't put anything after layer 3 on layer 3 because its longer than layer 1. The magnetic timeline only takes into effect the one layer, and it layer one is short, then it automatically places the footage on layer one as far back as the last clip that ends... This is not where I want it time wise, I want it 30 seconds into the future.

Does anybody know how to make this adjustment? I'm going to continue to work on figuring it out because I'm sure Apple wouldn't make a timeline that can't do simple tasks like that, but I'm frustrating myself to no end trying to get the timing of this edit correct (or at this point I'm still syncing shots)...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

I read in a post somewhere else that there is a way to override the magnetic timeline (by selecting a different tool or something). Also, I read somewhere that you can insert blank 'slugs' to fill gaps and so forth.

Looked it up, here: Switching from the "selection tool" (A) to the "position tool" (p) effectively disables ripple

I'm guessing ripple is the magnetic feature, but I could be wrong.

Have you looked at the online manuals?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

Yeah I did but I guess I was searching for the wrong thing.... the position tool, although not perfect... really does help! Thanks!!!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

They need a 'turn magnetic timeline' off.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 05:48 AM   #5
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

I need some help here, just started editing a package and the magnetic timeline function is TURNED OFF. I want (NEED) it turned ON. The selector is set to selector not position, and that makes no difference. i don't want to have to spend a half hour aligning everything. Searching google returns 100000 hits about how to turn it off, but not how to turn it on. Need help ASAP, thanks!

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Old September 14th, 2014, 09:23 AM   #6
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

The only way I know of to turn off the the magnetic timeline is to switch to the position tool (keystroke P) instead of the default select tool (keystroke A).
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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

I really like FCPX, but it's such a different approach that it really is not something that most people can just pick up without some training, IMO. (I did use Final Cut "Classic" for 7-8 years.) I don't think it's particularly hard, just requires a mind shift. This is a perfect example.

The multi cam feature in X is considered pretty universally to be one of the best of any NLE and hugely improved over FCP7. It's worth it to take the time to learn the new approach. Probably a project that uses multi cam was not the best choice of a first, learning project for X. It's not something that can really be explained in a post like this. It requires selecting all the clips and making them a multi cam clip (which also automatically can sync the audio).

Here are some starting tutorials:
Ben Consoli on YouTube

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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

Actually those without much experience with other editing software (beginners) pick up FCPX very quickly. It's an intuitive approach. Those that have years of experience may have a lot of unlearning to do.

A and P are an easy toggle as needed. To "unconnected" connected clips and secondary story lines, the Tilda key is also easy (actually it's the grave key I believe).
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Old September 19th, 2014, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

What FUN to revisit stuff posted 3 years ago when hardly anyone could seem to wrap their heads around FCP X.

Now that millions of editors have adopted it worldwide - and it's in suites including the highest levels of sports, narrative feature film, documentary and television - looking back to those early days is a hoot.

Remember when a magnetic timeline was so foreign that people demanded that it be permanently turned off?

I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for resurrecting the thread.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 11:33 PM   #10
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

Figured it out. I had adjusted the timeline height and somehow it had ended up so that I was dropping clips above or below the magnetic strip! I figured it out by accident when I tried to put a clip above another to place audio over another clips video, and it magnetically vanished stage left. :)

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Old September 29th, 2014, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: FCPX Magnetic Timeline issue

And just for anyone coming to the thread in the future. The P key puts you into Position mode and temporarily defeats magnetism in the Primary Storyline. The ` or tilde key, temporarily turns off magnetism for re-positioning clips in connected storyllines or compound clips. Both these options put you into a potential destructive workflow since unlike with the regular X magnetic state, you can overwrite other clips when you're in the position or tilde modes. So most experienced X editors use these sparingly. Happy editing.
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