Join Jason Osder for an in-depth discussion in this video Tools and the Timeline, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Mastering the Timeline.
We're starting to get really comfortable with the details of the timeline. And I want to take a moment to talk about tools. For the most part, the tools that you'll find in the toolbar of Adobe Premiere Pro generally affect the timeline. Not all of them. Not all the time. But they affect the timeline more than any other panel in the program. So I wanted to take a second just to go through the function of some of the main timeline-oriented tools. We're just going to go through each one of these briefly, or at least the top six or so, to see what they do. And we start with the Selection tool. And the shortcut is V, which is a really good shortcut because it takes you back to sort of the default. I find that I'm using the Selection Tool probably upwards of 80, 85% of the time, which should give you an indication of how important it is. And we've already seen with the Selection tool that a single click selects a clip. We can easily drag using the Selection tool and that it is contextually aware in that if I'm right here on an edit point, I get an extend as opposed to a drag. So, used to that one. And honestly, I don't think a lot of these are that complicated.
So, I'm going to go through them, but briefly. So, first we have the Track Select tool, shortcut A. That allows you to select all of the tracks from any point forward. So, if I need to let's say, open up a hole and edit something in. Let me zoom out so you can see this a little bit. I use the Track Selection tool there and I get everything from here forward. We talked briefly already about the Ripple tool but the key to remember with the Ripple tool is that the changes you make ripple through the timeline and that it's a little bit like an insert edit.
I'm going to zoom in so we can see better. But with the Ripple tool selected, when I make a change to this edit, you see everything further on moves down the line. If I take it back, it takes up that slack, moving all of the clips that are after it. And that's referred to as the Ripple tool, because the changes ripple through time. I'm going to undo and now I'm going to go quickly to the Rolling Edit tool, also known as the Roll tool. I'm going to zoom in a little more so you can see clearly that in a lot of ways the Roll tool is opposite to the Ripple tool, meaning that it operates on both sides of the edit, so rather than this change rippling through the timeline.
Whatever I take on one side, I give back on the other side. The slack is taken up all within the adjacent clip. So in this case, whatever I take from the former one, the slack comes out of this one. And whatever I take from the latter one, it comes out of there. It might be useful to actually watch this edit. So you'll see what it looks like. It looks like here that I'm cutting between a medium shot of him dealing with the vegetables to a close up of the vegetables themselves. If I roll this edit back earlier, I see that I leave this clip earlier but I take up all the slack with the next one.
That one's much longer. As opposed to moving it down here and now I have a lot more of the former clip and less of the later one. But the key and the comparison is that none of the changes affect any of the rest of the timeline. All of the changes with the Roll tool are contained within the two clips that you are actually working on at that moment. So, next we'll do the Rate Stretch tool which operates in a similar way but it actually changes the timing of a clip and I think to show this one, I'll really just exaggerated a little bit because here is a clip that someone in action. Right, he's handing someone their change, and if I sort of radically use the Rate Stretch tool, you'll see that the way this stretch is it will actually look a little bit silly in this case, because he'll be going super slow-mo.
>> Pam, this is an amazing product. We definitely have >> Of course, that'll smooth out if we render it some. But, you'll see, by using the Rate Stretch tool, we basically just not change the edit points, but stretch the time itself in the clip. Razor tool does exactly what you think it does. I can use it right on the timeline to make a new cut. Maybe, I liked what we did here, I really didn't, but now it's too long, so I just want to cut it right there. Boom. Razor blade tool makes a new cut.
Back to my Selection tool or even use the shortcut V. Select and delete the part that I've razor bladed off. Very straight forward. Exactly what it sounds like. So now real quickly, if you've never used Slip and Slide, they're really valuable tools. I think one of the easiest, best ways to understand them is to keep a look at the program viewer while you use them, because that really indicates what's going on. And in the case of Slip, the idea is that you are changing the content of the shot, without changing its position on the timeline.
And again, I think this is a little easier to see. Because as I start to drag, you see the new in point and the new out point up there in the program viewer. And that's to let us make indication of, so, if I want a way to cut out until she's completely moved the herbs out of frame. You see that I'm actually slipping the content so later into the shot and later out of the shot. And if you sort of remember in your mind that new in and out frame, now when I play it back you can see those frames indicated.
So, with that new edit, I've waited for her to move those herbs completely out of frame. Now that you see how it works, let me move it back in the other direction and you can see I'm slipping the content back the other way. And if I want to end it closer to where it was, where it's just the shot of the herbs in frame, I've now executed that as well. So that's Slip, moving the content without changing the position, and Slide is the exact opposite.
I'm actually going to, and let's zoom in on the timeline for this one. I can actually move a single clip. And move it such that the clip before it takes up all the slack and the clip after it. So I'm leaving the content the same, I'm just changing the timing. going to undo and just point out that for all intents and purposes, using the Slide tool is much like having the B roll on a track above and having this closed out. And now I'm sliding, and that's the same thing.
That's what the Slide works like, except the Slide tool allows you to do it right there in place. So, same exact effect, but the Slide tool allows that same movement, but with the clips on both sides taking up the slack. So, I don't know if there were any surprises there for you or not. I don't know how many of those tools you use on a regular basis. But I do know if you don't know what something does, it's very unlikely that you'll take it out of the tool box.
I still use the Selection tool upwards of 80% of the time and I use keyboard shortcuts a lot. But when you really have the need for something like Time Stretch tool or the Razor tool, it's really convenient to go right to it and use it on the timeline.
- Understanding how the Timeline "thinks"
- Creating and adding new content to sequences
- Controlling the Timeline: snapping, locking, linking, and more
- Saving and managing track presets
- Adjusting timing with Timeline markers
- Achieving precision with traditional three-point editing