Add and edit still images

In Final Cut Pro, you can add and edit a variety of still-image formats in your projects, including photos and graphics files.

Add a still image to the Timeline

You can add still images to your project from the Browser or the Photos Browser.

  • To add a still image from the Browser: Import the still image into an event, and then select all or part of the still-image clip and drag it from the Browser to the Timeline.

    Note: Once a still image is imported, it functions like any other clip in Final Cut Pro. You can use any of the techniques described in this chapter to add still-image clips to the Timeline.

  • To add a still image from the Photos Browser: Open the Photos Browser, select a still image, and drag it directly into the Timeline.

The default initial duration for range selections in still images is 4 seconds, but you can change this setting in the Editing pane of Final Cut Pro preferences.

There is no limit on the duration of a still-image clip. To adjust the duration of a still-image clip in the Timeline, use any of the trimming techniques described in this chapter. To adjust the duration of multiple still-image clips at once, select the clips and choose Modify > Change Duration (or press Control-D).

Add layered graphics files to the Timeline

You can add layered graphics files, such as Adobe Photoshop (PSD) files, created with another image editing application to the Timeline.

  1. Import the layered graphics file into an event.

    Important: If the layered graphics file has a transparent background, make sure your project’s render format is set to Apple ProRes 4444 to preserve the transparency when rendering. See Modify a project’s settings.

  2. In the Browser, Control-click the layered graphics image and choose Open in Timeline from the shortcut menu.

    Each layer appears in the Timeline as a connected clip that you can edit as you would any other clip. For example, you can animate layers by fading them in or out.

    PSD layers shown converted to clips in Timeline

The default duration for a layered graphics file is one minute. To adjust the duration of one of the layers in the Timeline, use any of the trimming techniques described in this chapter. To adjust the duration of all the layers, select them and choose Modify > Change Duration (or press Control-D).

For more information on creating layered graphics files for Final Cut Pro, see Best practices for creating layered graphics files.

Edit a still image with an external image editing application

You can modify a still image with an external image editing application, and the changes appear automatically in the clip in Final Cut Pro.

  1. To add a still-image clip to the Timeline, follow the steps above.

  2. To locate the clip’s source media file in the Finder, press Shift-Command-R.

  3. Open the source media file in the external image editing application.

  4. In the image editing application, modify the image and save the changes.

  5. Switch back to Final Cut Pro.

    The changes appear automatically in the still-image clip in Final Cut Pro.

You can also create freeze frames from your video clips. For more information, see Create freeze frames.