Tip #1352: Change Clip Speed with “Blade Speed”

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1352: Change Clip Speed with “Blade Speed”

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

“Blade Speed” puts timing edit points into a clip simplifying clip speed changes.

Retiming icon (top) and a slomo segment in a clip. Drag a black bar to adjust speed.

Topic $TipTopic

When you want to change the speed of a clip, the Blade Speed option is a really good place to start.

If all you want to do is slow the entire clip, select the clip, type Cmd + R and adjust the speed to suit from the popup menu in the center of the Retiming bar.

But, if you want to change the speed during a clip:

  • Put the playhead on the frame where you want the speed change to start.
  • From either the Retiming menu or Viewer icon (illustrated in the screen shot), select Blade Speed (Shortcut: Shift + B).
  • This opens the Retiming bar and puts a timing edit at the point of the playhead. This edit doesn’t cut the clip, but does allow changing the speed of the downstream segment.
  • Drag the black, vertical thumb in the green, orange or blue Retiming bar left (faster) or right (slower) to change the speed of the segment.

The Retiming bar colors are significant:

  • Green: 100% speed
  • Blue: Fast (time-lapse) motion
  • Yellow: Slow motion
  • Red: Still frame

Final Cut automatically enters speed transitions going into and out of the speed change.

Add as many speed change segments as you want, keeping in mind that you are adjusting how quickly the frames in a clip play back. The total number of frames in a clip will limit how much you can adjust speed.


To reset the speed of a clip, select it and type Shift + N.

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