Editing Controls and Procedures

Color is not intended to be an editing environment, and as a result its editing tool set isn’t as complete as that of an application like Final Cut Pro. In fact, most of the time you want to be careful not to make any editorial changes at all to your project in Color, for a variety of reasons:

However, if you’re working on a project where these issues aren’t important, you can use editing tools and commands in Color to edit shots in unlocked tracks in the Timeline.

Tip: If you need to make an editorial change, you can always reedit the original sequence in Final Cut Pro, export a new XML file, and use the Reconform command to update the Color Timeline to match the changes you made.

Select Tool

The Select tool is the default state of the pointer in Color. As the name implies, this tool lets you select shots in the Timeline, move them to another position in the edit, or delete them.

It’s a good idea to reselect the Select tool immediately after making edits with any of the other tools, to make sure you don’t inadvertently continue making alterations in the Timeline that you don’t intend.

To reposition a shot in the Timeline
  • Drag the shot to another position in the Timeline.

    When you move a shot in the Timeline, where it ends depends on the In point’s relation to shots that are already there. Shots you move in Color never overwrite other shots. Instead, the other shots in the Timeline are moved out of the way to make way for the incoming shot, and the program is rippled as a result.

    • If the In point of the moved shot overlaps the first half of another shot, nothing is changed.

    • If the In point of the moved shot overlaps the second half of another shot, the shot you’re moving will be insert edited, and all other shots in the Timeline will be rippled to the right to make room.

    • If you’re moving a shot into an area of the Timeline where it doesn’t overlap with any other shot, it’s simply moved to that area of the Timeline without rippling any other shots.

To delete a shot in the Timeline
  1. Select one or more shots in the Timeline.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Press Delete.

    • Press Forward Delete.

    The result is a lift edit, which leaves a gap in the Timeline where that shot used to be. No other shots move as a result of deleting a shot.

Roll Tool

The Roll tool lets you adjust the Out point and In point of two adjacent shots simultaneously. If you like where two shots are placed in the Timeline, but you want to change the cut point, you can use the Roll tool. No shots move in the Timeline as a result; only the edit point between the two shots moves. This is a two-sided edit, meaning that two shots’ edit points are affected simultaneously; the first shot’s Out point and the next shot’s In point are both adjusted by a roll edit. However, no other shots in the sequence are affected.

Note: When you perform a roll edit, the overall duration of the sequence stays the same, but both shots change duration. One gets longer while the other gets shorter to compensate. This means that you don’t have to worry about causing sync problems between linked shot items on different tracks.

Figure. Illustration of roll edit.

In the example above, shot B gets shorter while shot C becomes longer, but the combined duration of the two shots stays the same.

To perform a roll edit
  1. Do one of the following to choose the Roll edit tool:

    • Choose Timeline > Roll Tool.

    • Press Control-R.

  2. Move the pointer to the edit point between the two shots that you want to roll, and drag it either left or right to make the edit.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’re making.

Ripple Tool

A ripple edit adjusts a shot’s In or Out point, making that shot longer or shorter, without leaving a gap in the Timeline. The change in duration of the shot you adjusted ripples through the rest of the program in the Timeline, moving all shots that are to the right of the one you adjusted either earlier or later in the Timeline.

A ripple edit is a one-sided edit, meaning that you can only use it to adjust the In or Out point of a single shot. All shots following the one you’ve adjusted are moved—to the left if you’ve shortened it or to the right if you’ve lengthened it. This is a significant operation that can potentially affect the timing of your entire program.

Figure. Illustration of ripple edit.

Important: Ripple edits can be dangerous if you are trying to maintain sync between your program in Color and the original audio in the Final Cut Pro sequence or source EDL that is being mixed somewhere else entirely, since the shots in your Color project may move forward or backward while the externally synced audio doesn’t.

To perform a ripple edit
  1. Do one of the following to choose the Ripple edit tool:

    • Choose Timeline > Ripple Tool.

    • Press Control-T.

  2. Move the pointer to the In or Out point of the shot you want to shorten or lengthen, then drag it either left or right to make the edit.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’re making, with all the shots following the one you’re adjusting moving to the left or right to accommodate the change in timing.

Slip Tool

Performing a slip edit doesn’t change a shot’s position or duration in the Timeline; instead it changes what portion of that shot’s media appears in the Timeline by letting you change its In and Out points simultaneously.

This means that the portion of the shot that plays in the Timeline changes, while its position in the Timeline stays the same. No other shots in the Timeline are affected by a slip edit, and the overall duration of the project remains unaffected.

Figure. Illustration of slip edit.

In the example above, the slip edit changes the In and Out points of shot B, but not its duration or position in the sequence. When the sequence plays back, a different portion of shot B’s media will be shown.

To perform a slip edit
  1. Move the playhead to the shot you want to adjust, in order to be able to view the change you’re making as you work.

  2. Do one of the following to choose the Slip edit tool:

    • Choose Timeline > Slip Tool.

    • Press Control-Y.

  3. Move the pointer to the shot you want to slip, then drag it either left or right to make the edit.

    Unlike Final Cut Pro, Color provides no visual feedback showing the frames of the new In and Out points you’re choosing with this tool. The only image that’s displayed is the frame at the current position of the playhead being updated as you drag the shot back and forth. This is why it’s a good idea to move the playhead to the shot you’re adjusting before you start making a slip edit.

Split Tool

The Split tool lets you add an edit point to a shot by cutting it into two pieces. This edit point is added at the frame you click in the Timeline. This can be useful for deleting a section of a shot or for applying an effect to a specific part of a shot.

To split one shot into two
  1. Do one of the following to choose the Split tool:

    • Choose Timeline > Split Tool.

    • Press Control-X.

  2. Move the pointer to the Timeline ruler, and when the split overlay appears (a vertical white line intersecting the shots in the Timeline), drag it to the frame of the shot where you want to add an edit point.

  3. Click to add an edit point.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’ve made, with a new edit point appearing at the frame you clicked.

Splice Tool

Whenever you cut a shot with the Split tool, the original shot is split into two shots separated by a through edit. There is no visual indication of through edits in the Color Timeline, but any edit point that splits an otherwise contiguous range of frames is considered to be a through edit, which can be joined back together with the Splice tool.

Joining two shots separated by a through edit merges them back into a single shot. You cannot join two shots that aren’t separated by a through edit; if you try you’ll simply get a warning message.

Important: When you splice two shots that have different grades and corrections, the grades and corrections of the shot to the left overwrite those of the shot to the right.

To splice two shots into one
  1. Do one of the following to choose the Splice tool:

    • Choose Timeline > Splice Tool.

    • Press Control-Z.

  2. Move the pointer to the Timeline ruler, and when the splice overlay appears (a vertical white line intersecting the shots in the Timeline), drag it to the edit point you want to splice.

  3. Click to splice that edit point.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’ve made, and the two shots that were previously separated by a through edit are spliced into one.

Create an Edit Command

The Create an Edit command in the Timeline menu (Control-V) is similar to the Split tool. It cuts a single shot in the Timeline into two at the current position of the playhead. Using this command eliminates the need to choose a tool.

To create an edit point
  1. Move the playhead to the frame where you want to add an edit point.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Timeline > Create an Edit.

    • Press Control-V.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’ve made, with a new edit point appearing at the position of the playhead.

Merge Edits Command

The Merge Edits command (Control-B) is similar to the Splice tool. It joins two shots separated by a through edit at the current position of the playhead into a single shot. Using this command eliminates the need to choose a tool.

To merge two shots into one at a through edit point
  1. Move the playhead to the frame at the through edit you want to merge.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Timeline > Merge Edits.

    • Press Control-B.

    The Timeline updates to reflect the edit you’ve made, and the two shots that were previously separated by a through edit are merged into one.

Important: When you splice two shots that have different grades and corrections, the grades and corrections of the shot to the left overwrite those of the shot to the right.

Snapping

When snapping is on, clips “snap to” the 00:00:00:00 time value in the Timeline.

To turn snapping on or off
  • Choose Timeline > Snapping.