Spotting & Editing Video Files
There are three methods to import video files into a project:
- by dragging a movie file directly onto the current Timeline from the macOS Finder
- by dragging a movie file into the Media Bin from the macOS Finder
- by using ‘Add Media to Project’ from the ‘File’ menu.
The first method is often the quickest, as it adds that file into the Media Bin as well. So let’s start by using that method to drag a movie file from Finder - onto the timeline, which is visible within the right hand side of the Editing section.
This adds the video region to the video track, and creates audio tracks and regions for all audio tracks the movie contains. Video and the corresponding audio regions will always be linked (even when editing them)- to make sure they’re always in sync with each other.
This also adds the video to the project’s media bin. The Media Bin can be found in the top left section of the main window. Think of the Media Bin as a place where all the media files in the project live - regardless of whether they are on a timeline. To play back a video file from the Media bin, drag and drop it onto a video track on the timeline.
As this is the first movie file in the timeline, Video Sync will set the timeline frame rate to the frame rate of this video file. Now that this is set, all consequent movies dragged to the same timeline must have the same frame rate.
It is not possible to mix and match movie files with different frame rates on the same timeline. Though it is possible to have multiple timelines in the same Video Sync project - each with a different frame rate.
It is also possible to drag multiple files of the same frame rate onto the same timeline simultaneously using the import methods detailed above.
Spotting video to the embedded timecode start
Certain video containers such as .mov & .mxf can contain a start timecode timestamp embedded into the metadata of the video file. To snap the start position of the video file to the embedded timecode point, hold down the Command key while importing or dragging to the timeline from the Finder of the Media Bin.
The video file will move to that point once the mouse button is released.
Another way to achieve the same result with the file selected in the timeline, is to click the Place at TC button - which can be found inside the Properties tab inside the Tab Section (making sure that Move is set for the Mode at the top).
Both these methods will only work if the start timecode is within the timecode range of the timeline that the video is being moved to. If the movie e.g. has an embedded timecode of 00:00:00:00 and the timeline has a start timecode of 01:00:00:00 for example, both Cmd-drag and “Place at TC” will not work.
Setting the video start timecode manually
Video files on the timeline can be dragged around by clicking them on the bottom half and holding the mouse button down & moving it to the correct timecode position. This allows for quick rough positioning.
For more exact positioning, with the video file still selected in the timeline, use the , and . keys to nudge the movie left and right in one frame increments. Add the Option key modifier to move the video file in increments of 1 second and the Control key modifier to move in increments of 5 seconds.
To enter a specific timecode start, double click the video file in the timeline and enter the start timecode numerically in the Movie Region properties tab panel that appears in the top left Tab section (with the Mode tab set to Move).
Moving Video files to other tracks
Click on a video file & drag it up or down to move it onto tracks above or below the current track.
To temporarily lock the start position of the file when moving it, hold down the Control key.
Duplicating Video files
Hold down the Option key while dragging one or more video files to duplicate them.
Locking a Video File
To permanently lock the Timeline position of any video file, double-click it to show the Properties tab & enable the Lock Region option.
Horizontal Timeline Zooming can be achieved using either:
- The Zoom Slider found above the Visual Events track
The R & T hotkeys
Holding down the Option key & either scrolling the wheel down & up- or swiping a trackpad down & up with two fingers.
Use the zoom slider to the left of the Timeline zoom slider to increase or decrease the audio waveform size vertically.
The Vertical zoom setting does not affect the output volume.
While Video Sync is not strictly speaking a Non-Linear Video Editing Software (NLE), it is still possible to make some basic video edits. For example splitting one master video file into many with different start points. To do this, you first want to find the edit point. You can do that by moving the blue arrow above the edit cursor in timecode ruler display, by clicking and dragging it left or right. Then click inside the top half of the region you want to cut. The edit cursor will appear as a blue line.
To fine tune the edit point, move the edit cursor left or right in one frame increments using the , and . keys. Use the Option key to move the edit cursor in increments of 1 second and the Control key to move the cursor in increments of 5 seconds.
Once the edit point has been found, press B to cut the region at that cursor position.
Using the same spotting methods detailed earlier in this chapter, the start points of the 2 regions can now be changed separately.
Video regions will always be linked with their corresponding embedded audio regions automatically (and vice versa). So you will never accidentally cause out of sync playback by only moving either the audio or video.
When the mouse cursor is close to either the left or right region boundaries, it will change to the trim icon to indicate that the region can be trimmed by dragging the border.
Videos can also be trimmed using the Trim mode in the Properties view to trim the start and end of the region either numerically or using the drag control button to the right of the in and out point text boxes.