PFClean Documentation Remaster  

The Timeline

Displaying the Timeline  |  Overview mode  |  Edit mode  |  Clearing a sequence

The Timeline allows multiple clips to be arranged to form a playback sequence thus allowing clips to be reviewed in context.

Simple sequence editing tools are provided to mark in and out points non-destructively on clips, non-destructively split a clip into two parts etc... The tools to manually construct and edit sequences of clips are limited - PFClean is not> an editing system!. Typically the user would edit clips together in a separate system dedicated to that job and then import this edit into PFClean via an EDL.

Displaying the Timeline

To display the Timeline double click on a Sequence item in the Workflow Manager.

There are two distinct modes to the Timeline - Overview and Edit. Overview mode provides a quick and uncluttered display mode to quickly switch between clips in the correct edit order, and switch between effects stacks. The Edit mode provides a full set of edit tools to re-assemble or conform the entire edit. The Overview mode is the default mode but this can be changed for each sequence individually by pressing the Edit and Overview buttons.

Overview mode

The Overview mode provides a quick and uncluttered display mode to quickly switch between clips in the correct edit order; switch effect stacks; and view render status.


Each clip occupies a fixed width in the Overview mode regardless of the clip's duration. The clip under the playhead is shown larger and in more detail than the other clips in the sequence. Each clip comprises of 3 vertically stacked rectangles to show basic clip information (name, in, out, duration and thumbnail); information on the clip's active stack (name and render status); and remastering render status. If a clip does not have a stack present then this rectangle is shown as an empty cross-hatch. Similarly if remastering is not enabled on the sequence. The current frame is shown in a white box beneath the clip information. This box can be dragged to scrub through the clip. Clicking on any clip in the Overview will jump to that clip.

The effect stack information is colour coded as follows. A blank rectangle indicates no renders are present on the active stack; a red rectangle indicates a effect render is present and a green rectangle indicates a stack render is present. Right mouse clicking on the stack information of the current clip brings up a context menu from which the active stack can be switched.

The remastering render information is colour coded green if the clip is rendered, red otherwise.

Clips can be dragged and dropped from the node's 'Media Gallery into the Overview mode to form a sequence. To toggle viewing the Media Gallery press the button below:


Clips can be deleted by pressing the Delete key and clips can be rearranged by dragging and dropping them within the Overview mode.

If remastering is enabled a second frame number is displayed:


The lower number is the current frame in the original, non-remastered, sequence; the upper number is the current frame in the remastered sequence. Either frame number can be dragged to scrub through the sequence.

Edit mode

The Edit mode provides a full set of edit tools to re-assemble or conform the entire edit.


The screen-shot above shows a sequence consisting of three clips, named "Clown" and "Pool2_Footage" and "Pool_Footage". The numbers beneath the clip name are, from left to right, the frame number of the in point, the duration between in and out points, and the frame number of the out point. If there is not enough room to show all 3 values then the in and out numbers are dropped first, then the duration. Similarly, the clip name is not displayed unless there is adequate space for it.

The vertical white rectangle shows the current frame.

In the screen-shot above, and all that follow, frame numbers are displayed. Both modes of the Timeline will display timecodes, rather than frame number, if this application-wide setting is selected by pressing the relevant button in the Cinema controls as described elsewhere in this manual.

The Edit mode contains three tracks: VR is a video reference track, V1 the main video track, and A1 the main audio track. These will be described in the following section.

Manually constructing a sequence of clips

To insert a clip into the Timeline, drag the required clip from the Media Bins and drop it into the V1 track of the Timeline. As you drag the clip into the Timeline a red box will be drawn to show where the clip will be inserted when it is dropped.

By default the location of where the clip will be dropped will snap to the nearest of the playhead or the start/end of any clip currently in the Timeline. This makes it easy to construct a continuous sequence of clips. This behaviour is controlled via the Snap/Free button beneath the Edit mode. Pressing this toggles between Snap and Free. When in Free mode the dragged clip can be dropped at any location.

The Ripple on/off button beneath the Edit mode controls whether the existing clips in the Timeline are shifted upwards to accommodate the dropped clip. When ripple is off, the Overwrite/Replace button beneath the Edit mode is enabled. Overwrite means that the incoming clip will blindly overwrite any clip currently present in the Timeline. Replace will replace the currently present clip with the incoming clip while preserving as much edit information as possible, specifically the incoming clip will be of the same duration as the existing clip and, if possible, in and out points are preserved. When dragging a clip into the Timeline and Replace is active, a blue box is shown if the in, out points can be maintained; and a green box if just the duration can be maintained. Replace mode can be used, for example, to replace a low res-proxy clip with the hi-res copy while preserving the integrity of the edit.

If multiple clips are selected in the Media Bins and dragged and dropped into the Timeline then these are inserted into the Timeline in the order they were selected.

Navigating the Edit mode

To navigate around the Edit mode press and hold the left mouse button to scrub the current frame, the middle mouse button to zoom the visible frame range and the right mouse button to pan the visible frame range. Zooming is centered on the current frame.

Pressing the Zoom Timeline button:


in the lower-right-hand corner of the Timeline adjust the Timeline's zoom and pan so that different frame ranges fill the visible Timeline.

You can also navigate through the sequence of clips in the Timeline by using the Cinema's playback controls and by pressing the Previous Edit and Next Edit buttons, shown below, to move to the previous or next edit point.


Trimming and slipping a clip

Three yellow handles are displayed for the clip at the playhead position. The left hand handle allows the head of the clip to adjusted, the right hand handle allows the tail to be adjusted, and the middle handle allows the clip to be slipped (both head and tail adjusted while maintaining clip duration). These handles turn white when the mouse is rolled over them. Clicking on one of these handle and dragging with the mouse allows the in and out points of the clip to be moved.

When the mouse is pressed and held on one of the yellow handles two things occur. Firstly a red overlay is shown in the Timeline to indicate the range in which the clip can be adjusted, basically reflecting the start and end frames of the clip:


Secondly, the Cinema changes to show 4 frames: these are, from left to right, the tail of the previous clip in the Timeline, the head of the clip you are manipulating, the tail of the clip you are manipulating, and the head of the next clip in the Timeline:


This 4-way view allows the head and tail to be manipulated in context of the surrounding clips. This 4-way view can be disabled by toggling the Trim view button to Off. Note, displaying all 4 frame maybe time consuming and slow interaction speed. The Trim view button can also take the value On, where the red clip extent overlay and 4-way view are always active; and Manip, the default, where they are
only active when manipulating a clip via the handles.

It is also possible to trim and slip a clip using following keyboard shortcuts:

These user-definable keys can be changed the preferences.

Trimming respects the value of the Ripple button to control how trimming effects surrounding clips.

Edit tools

The editing tools are the 5 buttons shown below:


Their purpose is described in the following sections. Only one of these buttons can be active at any given time. After selecting which tool to use, you activate that tool by either pressing the X key, to select the clip at the playhead on the active track, or by Command-left-mouse clicking to select a particular clip. Gaps in the Timeline can be edited much like a regular clip so you can, for example, move or delete a gap in the Timeline.

Move clip left/right

The Shift Left and Shift Right tools:


can be used to shift the selected clip left and right in the sequence.


The Razor tool:


splits the selected clip into two at the current frame. The resultant playback of the sequence after the razor tool is applied will be identical to before the clip was cut. However, with the clip now comprising of two independent and separate parts the user is free to, for example, insert a new clip in between them.

Setting the length of a clip

The Set Length tool:


can be used to set a specific length of the clip, i.e. it sets the clips out point to be a given distance from the current in point. Activating this tool brings up a pop-up dialog box allowing you to type in the required length. Setting the out point in this manner can prove easier to use than trimming if the clip needs to be a specific length. Note that if the in point is subsequently changed the out point will remain the same, i.e. the duration is not preserved. Setting the length of a clip respects the value of the Ripple on/off button for how this operation effects neighbouring clips.

Deleting a clip

To remove a clip from the sequence in the Timeline use the Delete Clip tool:


Deleting a clip respects the value of the Ripple on/off button for how this operation effects neighbouring clips. This action only removes the clip from the sequence in the Timeline, it does not effect the clip in the Media Bins nor the source material it comprises of on disk.


All of the actions which effect the contents of the Timeline can be undone and redone using the Command-Z and Command-Y keys.


The sequence in the Timeline can be locked to prevent any changes to it. If a sequence is locked then the contents appear as very lightly shaded:


This locking can either be manual, using the Lock button:


or system-imposed when, for example, the contents of the Timeline are being rendered and so any changes are forbidden.

Clearing a sequence

The Clear Sequence button:


clears the contents of the currently active sequence. The button has to be pressed twice in order to confirm the action. Just like deleting individual clips from a sequence, clearing the sequence does not remove any clips from the Media Bins or source material on disk.