Toolset Discussion - VSE Toolbar

In order to get the much needed discussion on what tools to implement in the new VSE toolbar started, a grand design of the toolset is needed, so here are some thoughts on the topic.

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As Davinci Resolve pretty much has picked most of the industry standarts of their newly implemented NLE editing, it might be worth to look at it for inspiration. In order to quickly understand the basic concepts industry standards of active channel, in/out markers(in source and timeline), trimming based on mouse cursor position(not selection), preview while trimming, ripple(delete/insert), overwrite, swap, razor for cutting continuously, snap mode and link(parent) mode I strongly suggest to watch this video: youtu.be/yVyrcH2DUkI?t=40

Which boils down to this very effective and uncluttered toolset:
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Which could lead to the following tools in the Blender Toolbar:

Toolbar Tools - Sequencer:

  • Select Tool with box select.

  • Trim Tool would need to be able to detect, change mouse cursor, and highlight handles to switch between trim modes, and it would also need split screen preview. It could contain the following functions, depending of mouse cursor position when click(https://chrisdobey.com/resolve/2018/2/18/davinci-resolve-shortcuts-trim-mode):
    – Ripple by click drag on either side of a cut.
    – Roll by click drag on an adjoined cut.
    – Slip(move inside) by click drag in the center of a strip.
    – Slide(move position in timeline) by click drag in the center of a strip.

  • Cut Tool is like Razor(sometimes called blade). I think it should have a preview mode maybe via a short cut mentioned in the status bar. GDquest’s Range Cut could be added as a 2. option in the Cut Tool menu(in Resolve it’s called Range Select and set an In and Out point, which then can be lifted or ripple deleted in the active channels).

  • Insert, Overwrite, Swap would need in/out points on source and in timeline, and the option to select active channels(eq. channel headers which the NLA already has implemented).

  • Snap Toggle needs to work as a tool(too) which overwrites the current drag+ctrl for snapping, when the snapping toggle is on.

  • Linking/parenting Toggle would have to be implemented from scratch, but some work was done in the Terrible Consequencer branch.

  • Preview trim operations toggle - if it is too slow to be on at all times.

  • Audio Tool to draw volume levels on strips etc. (part of VSEQF: https://github.com/snuq/VSEQF#fades-and-audio-adjustments) Context menu for audio operations only?

Notes: I’m not sure transitions or modifiers would work as tools since they are only added sporadic, so either by fade points in the strip or adding them in the context menu would be more fitting, imo. Is there a need for an annotation tool in the sequencer-timeline?

Toolbar Tools - Preview:

  • Select to manipulate the viewport.
  • Translate: x, y, scale, rotate, crop with keyframes(https://developer.blender.org/T34064).
  • Color grade with gestures on preview(just an idea) ex. left, center, right could represent lift, gamma, gain and y values could be the levels, so you wouldn’t have to move your eyes away from the preview.
  • Color picker.
  • Annotations.

Besides these mouse executed tools, we should have all the single execution functions(selection based) in the menus with shortcuts.

Some of the main questions:

  • Is it possible to implement a mouse position based set of trim tools?
  • Is it possible to implement channel headers?
  • Is it possible to implement source & timeline in/out editing?
  • Is it possible to implement trim preview(+split screen)?

Another reference for video editing toolset: https://www.derek-lieu.com/blog/2014/07/08/26-simple-tricks-for-faster-editing-premiere-pro-cc

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I’m all for this and our initiative.

Some of your questions are partially implemented, like you can drag a timeline on a clip and you’d only see that clip - but other things could be added.

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Great. Let me know which toolbar entries already have elements implemented, so I can add it to the list. It’ll be helpful to estimate the effort needed to do a full implementation.

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