Quickly scrubbing through video clips to locate the precise portion of a clip to use in a project is a common event for video editors. Final Cut Pro offers several methods to scrub through video and there are useful USB devices that can aid in quickly locating that special scene.
The onscreen jog wheel and shuttle controls in the Canvas and Viewer windows are adequate, but the J-K-L keyboard commands are more efficient. J is backward playback, L is forward playback, and K stops playback. The more times the J or L keys are tapped the faster the video plays back. If the L key is tapped a few times to speed up forward playback, tapping the J key will slow down playback. The reverse is also true. If the J key is tapped to speed up reverse playback, tapping the L key will slow reverse playback down. Holding the K key down and then holding the L or J key down provides slow motion forward or reverse playback.
USB controllers, like the Contour ShuttlePRO V.2 ($110) or Contour ShuttleXpress ($60), from Contour Designs (http://www.contourdesign.com ), provide jog and shuttle controls (along with several user programmable buttons that can be configured for other Final Cut Pro functions) to help scrub through video in Final Cut Pro, but having a mouse with a scroll wheel will save you some cash. Simply move the cursor in Final Cut Pro over the Viewer or Canvas and roll the mouse’s scroll wheel up and down to scrub through the loaded video clips (if in the Viewer) or sequences (if in the Canvas). Even better is Apple’s new mighty mouse with it’s mini-trackball Scroll up and down to scrub through video in the Viewer and Canvas, and left and right to quickly scrub through the timeline on long projects.