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I have longer video footage from which I would like to extract many short clips. To add some context, this is for a sign language research project where I have several long source videos, about 1 hour of footage each. I would like to extract individual signs from these videos and keep the main (long) footage intact. I would also like the ability to rename or fine tune the clip selections later on, if needed.

Can anyone recommend a video editing workflow that would allow me to select clips from the footage by setting in and out points for each clip with the option of naming each clip as I go. I need to have the ability to custom name each clip, a serialized name won't work in my situation.

Here's what I'm hoping for in my overall workflow:

  1. Apply any needed color correction or other adjustments to the main footage.
  2. Apply a custom crop to the main footage.
  3. Select and individually name short clips from within the main footage.
  4. Export the selected clips.

Thanks in advance for any help. I'm on Mac OSX and would prefer a solution that uses Final Cut, but I'm not sure if FCP can do this or not, or if it would require a plugin or something.

  • I have a solution in Sony Vegas Pro, but that is not a Mac app. I would bet Final Cut pro has similar features, but I've never used it. Let me know if you still want an answer using Vegas Pro. – user24601 May 7 '16 at 6:04
  • You could use ffmpeg to do this using the command line. – stib May 7 '16 at 10:37
  • You could try recording the screen with QuickTime X. I think QuickTime 7 Pro allows to select in and out and export, and so does MPEG streamclip – MicroMachine Jul 13 '16 at 0:49
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Here is the solution for Final Cut Pro, to export out all individual clips on your Timeline. There is a FCP plugin called Primaries Exporter, in the App Store, which will very easily export all individual clips on the Timeline, to any folder you designate. I've been using it myself for a couple of years now, and it works great.

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This answer is coming from someone who uses Sony Vegas Pro to do this regularly, but the question requests Final Cut Pro.

From what I can tell, FCP cannot do everything that you want. You can select multiple parts of your clips, but you cannot name or color code them. That may be a deal breaker (it would be for me).

What you need to do is set multiple ranges in your project. It's pretty simple. Select the range tool or hold command while you click, then drag the portion of the clip that you want to highlight. FCP will remember the ranges that you make.

Larry Jordan Edit Smarter explains it better than I can: FCP X: Select Multiple Ranges. Here's a YouTube walk through.


If the inability to name them is a deal breaker, you can do it in Vegas Pro. Unfortunately, Vegas Pro is a Windows only program.

In Vegas Pro you create regions. Here's the steps:

  1. Select the area of the video you want in the timeline.
    enter image description here
  2. Click R on your keyboard. This creates a region.
  3. By default, the region has no name. You should be able to immediately start typing and it will fill in next to the region name. If not, just double click to the right of region in marker as if you were renaming a file.
    enter image description here
  4. Create all the regions you want in your timeline.
    enter image description here
  5. Export the regions. Go to: Tools > Scripting > Batch Render
  6. Select the render profile(s) you want to create. A file will be made for each profile you select.
  7. Make sure Render Regions radio button is selected at the bottom. A file will be made for each region. enter image description here
  8. Choose a save location then click OK.
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    yes this is exactly what I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I do need a solution that would work on the Mac platform—it doesn't have to be via Final Cut Pro but that would be my preferred choice. I'll be downloading the FCP trial and will post an answer if I find a satisfactory solution. I just that someone may have already worked through this issue and would be able to answer it quickly. – Justin K May 7 '16 at 10:21
  • @JustinK I hope you find your answer, but at least other potential answerers know what you are looking for now. – user24601 May 10 '16 at 14:09
  • @JustinK Was FCP able to help you on this? If I switch to Mac, this would be good to know. – user24601 Oct 28 '16 at 21:57
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    I wasn't able to get FCP to batch extract short clips from multiple selections in a long clip. It turned out that for my project it was just easier to setup each desired short clip that I wanted to export as a separate clip (FCP calls these projects). I then used keyboard shortcuts to quickly export these clips after setting my defaults for the exporting. This works pretty well and FCP can process the exporting of multiple files simultaneously by adding them to a que. – Justin K Nov 4 '16 at 3:11
  • @JustinK Well, if there's a que that you can add to while it's working, then I'd say that's functionally the same thing. – user24601 Nov 4 '16 at 3:19

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