VSE Strip retiming feedback

The retiming feature has landed quite some time ago. There have been ongoing development coordinated mainly on gitea task While some polishing is still needed, I would like to gather feedback on how it can be further improved.

Currently biggest outstanding workflow issues are:

  • Change key translation behavior, such that existing retiming is preserved (all remaining keys are moved)
  • Easier interface to input retimed segment speed
  • Better integration/workflow with freeze frames, so these could replace current Hard Split feature

To make retiming more versatile, reverse playback would be nice, but this is bit more challenging to implement for sound strips. Perhaps it could be implemented for video strips only in meantime.

As for glitches and incorrect behavior, please report these as bugs.

4 Likes

maybe freeze keys could be regular retiming keys with 0% speed and allow speed transitions to 0.

First of all thank you for doing it. As for feedback, I have just one big feedback: Bring back the tool.

Removal of tool was unnecessary and shouldn’t have happened before the user feedback. That was a wrong decision made without considering people who actually use VSE and Blender daily, by people who dont.

While I appreciate all the operators and toggles that we have now, I wouldn’t want them removed of course, I just realized when this thread opened that I haven’t actually used retiming tools after tool was removed. I switched back to DaVinci without even thinking about it. Because I really LOVED the tool, it was easiest retiming tool I’ve seen in video editing software. It was so intuitive, everything done with just mouse clicks. UI was very good, interactive, everything Blender should be. I tried retiming today and while its good, its not as good as tool.

I understand limitations of tools, mainly working on multiple strips at once, but since we now have operators that adress those issues, why not give us tool back? What was it hurting? Francesco replied to me on design task that tool didn’t fit into Blenders design, how so? That was never answered, and I dont think thats true at all, it feels like quick justification for something that was ultimately personal taste.

I really liked lines in the middle that you could drag. Double-clicking on text to change speed. Please, just give us tool back, it wasnt hurting nobody :frowning:

Smaller feedback:

image

That background line isn’t dark enough, its hard to see without thumbnails too but with thumbnails on its impossible to see, keyframes get lost. Would be nicer if it was made bit darker

1 Like

Some more things from stress-testing it:

  • Sometimes I get crash when deleting two keys at once, but sometimes not. Cant catch exactly when to file a bug report.

  • Deleting keys opens up this redo panel that says “Delete Strips” and has option to delete data. I’m assuming delete strips code is reused here, but this shouldn’t pop up.
    image

  • Once you add retiming keys you cant get rid of them on a strip. Its not a big problem since you can disable them and not touch accidentally, but it gets cluttery when you split the strip into multiple smaller ones, and all of them have start and end keys that do nothing. Maybe Reset retiming should also remove start and end keys? Or even better would be if that was the option in Redo panel, so you can choose if you want to keep them or not.
    Or maybe when you press Ctrl R if strip has only two retiming keys and 100% speed, hide keys and text entirely.
    image

  • Freeze Frame isnt pronounced enough. Breakdown keys are fine, but I think background color should change too, so that its more visible

  • Impossible to select first key if its right next to other strips last key. It always selects last key instead. No matter where you click.
    Video

  • R key to change speed becomes buggy and useless if you have retiming keys. Couple of issues that I detected:
    – When it pops up number written in it is of the last segment you retimed. So for example I have just one key in the middle, I select it, press R to retime it to 70%, next I select last key and press R, window pops up with 70% written in it, instead of 130% that it actually is. When I slide that number my retiming key jumps across to where it would be if it was actually 70%. Its very weird to describe, but basically it doesnt show you percentage that you actually have on selected key.
    Video
    – Number field doesnt have percentage subtype, it should show % sign at the end.
    – When you dont have any keys selected and press R it starts retiming last key. Its expecte when you have only start and end keys, but when you have multiple its confusing. I think if no keys are selected operator should tell user that its retiming last key. Perhaps change the name of pop-up from “Set Speed” to “Set Speed for Last Retiming Key”. That clarity is needed for good UX I think.
    – If you have Freeze Frame use Set Speed it gets very confused. Keys jump around, suddenly number is in decimals between 0 and 1. If I use retiming on Freeze Frame key and type 0 it jumps right next to previous key, and if I type any other number it still jumps there? So obviously you cant retime freeze frame keys, so I think it should be disallowed to do so and mess up your retiming like that. I think if freeze frame key is selected operator should fail and report pop up in status bar that tells you why.
    – Same thing is happening on speed transitions, but I’m big confused about them now so I cant go into details.

A user video on Retime:

They technically are normal keys. Transition to 0 is possible technically, will have to do some testing and bit of code refactoring, because mixing keys is already pretty complicated.

@nickberckley I am not sure if tool can still be used along with current implementation, but I don’t think it would make sense to re-implement it

I have fixed crashing when deleting keys, the other issues I should fix soon. Some though are bit complicated - like using R key, when there are keys already. I should limit operator to work only on strips with no keys inside.

Reset retiming operator does remove all keys, but “fake keys” are visible, since retiming keys visibility is enabled. I would say, that it should also disable keys visibility.
Most of issues you mentioned here are quite valid bug reports, but it is true that it is quite a bit of them, so I will make multi report on tracker and reference that in commits.

And since I am here, I will add feedback too - Make transition/freeze creation modal, instead of using hardcoded length.

thank you @iss for the work, i tested the Strip retiming and this is my feedback:

  • adding just one additional key ( so we have 3 keys and two speed segments ) it works well also visually dragging the mouse: i can move the keys and the strips dimension and relative frames change autimatically and correctly !
  • when adding more than one key i start to have troubles: for example if i add 2 additional keys ( so we have 4 keys and three speed segments ) i cannot change the middle speed segment without effecting the other speed segments.It would be nice an option like ( CTRL or ALT key ? ) to increase or decrese the strip dimension/frames when dragging the keys that are not the first and the last keys.
    )
  • Editing the speed “R” seems to not work well ( i select the keys and the value do not correspond to the speed segment selected ). “set speed” should change the segment speed for what i understand.
  • preview during transform seems to not work and it could be useful when moving the retiming keys to understand what keyframe we are moving.
    In fact when i move a key retiming if the playhead is in the active strip the preview changes could be confusing.
  • the keyframe are not exposed in the graph editor in particular for the speed transition control like in the “speed control effect strip” for a more controlled speed ramp effect.
  • for the “slow motion” i do not understand if a frame blending interpolation could be applied like for the “speed control effect strip” option.
  • i noticed in the FFMPEG the option to use the “minterpolate” filter with motion interpolation modes. Could be implemented maybe in the future as an option?

https://ffmpeg.org//ffmpeg-filters.html#minterpolate

What about the “speed control effect strip” ?
Do you plan to integrate it to the “strip retiming” or to work side by side like two options for retiming ?
the pro in my opion for now are:

  • we can animate the property of “multiply” “leght” “frame number” that are exposed in the graph editor.
  • the option of frame interpolation ( even if limited to crossfade blend ).

the cons are:

  • the strip dimension do not change automatically
  • the retiming keys are not visible in the VSE timeline strip

Anyway thank you for the work, it is very promising !