Manage chapter markers and their thumbnail images

Chapter markers are a standard feature in DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and podcasts. You can add chapter markers to your project so that when you share your finished movie, viewers can use the markers to quickly jump to those points in the movie. Applications and devices that recognize Final Cut Pro chapter markers during playback include iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, QuickTime Player, DVD Player, and most standard DVD and Blu-ray players.

Chapter markers make it easy for viewers to skip ahead to the section they want. They also allow Compressor, Apple’s professional transcoding application, and other DVD and Blu-ray authoring applications to create a navigable chapter list or menu, such as a chapter index menu. But even in simple projects without menus (such as podcasts), chapter markers provide viewers and listeners with the ability to quickly skip through sections of a program by using the Previous and Next buttons on their playback application or device.

A chapter marker thumbnail is a still image that represents a particular chapter. Final Cut Pro allows you to choose a specific video frame from the clip or storyline you’re marking as the chapter marker thumbnail image. In supported playback applications or devices, the chapter marker thumbnail images represent their corresponding chapters.

Create a chapter marker

  1. Add a marker to a clip in the Timeline where you want the chapter to begin.

    By default, Final Cut Pro creates a blue standard marker.

  2. To change the marker to a chapter marker, double-click it and, when the marker’s information appears, click the Chapter Marker button.

    Marker information appearing above marker in Timeline

    The marker changes to an orange chapter marker.

Set the chapter marker thumbnail image

After you set a chapter marker, you can choose an appropriate video frame to represent that particular chapter.

  1. Click the chapter marker once in the Timeline to select it.

    The marker enlarges slightly to show that it’s selected, and a chapter marker thumbnail pin appears to the right of the selected chapter marker. By default, the chapter marker thumbnail pin appears 11 frames after the chapter marker.

    Chapter marker and chapter marker thumbnail pin on clip in Timeline
  2. To set the video frame for the chapter marker thumbnail image, drag the pin left or right in the Timeline.

    As you drag, the Viewer displays the corresponding video frame.

    Chapter marker thumbnail pin being dragged to another video frame in Timeline

    Note: The chapter marker thumbnail image is the composited image from that location in the Timeline and includes titles and any other superimposed imagery.

    If the chapter marker is in the primary storyline, you can drag the chapter marker thumbnail pin as far as the beginning or the end of the primary storyline. If the chapter marker is in a connected storyline, you can drag the chapter marker thumbnail pin as far as the beginning or the end of the connected storyline.

For information about sharing your completed movie, see Sharing projects overview.