Using Wireframe Handles to Transform, Scale, and Rotate

In many instances, you may find that dragging the handles of a selected clip in the Canvas is faster and more intuitive than adjusting its parameters in the Motion tab of the Viewer.

Note: You must be in Image+Wireframe or Wireframe mode to use wireframe handles.

To scale a clip
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then do one of the following:

    • To scale the clip proportionally: Drag a Scale/Distort handle.
      Figure. Canvas window showing a Scale/Distort handle being dragged.
    • To scale the clip without constraining the proportions: Shift-drag a Scale/Distort handle.
      Figure. Canvas window showing a Scale/Distort handle being Shift-dragged to scale the clip in one direction.
To move a clip
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then drag the layer to a new position.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a clip moved partially outside the Canvas.
To rotate a clip
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the Selection tool in the Tool palette, then drag any edge of the selected clip’s border in an arc around the clip’s center point.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a clip being rotated by dragging with the Selection tool.
    • The farther away from the clip’s center point you drag, the more precise control you have over the rotation.

    • To constrain rotation to 45-degree increments, hold down the Shift key while dragging.

    • Continuous dragging increases the total number of rotations performed, if you’re creating keyframed movement.

To scale and rotate a clip
  • Command-drag a Scale/Distort handle.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a Scale/Distort handle being Command-dragged to scale and rotate a clip.
To distort the shape of a clip
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the Distort tool in the Tool palette, then drag a Scale/Distort handle.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a Scale/Distort handle being dragged to distort the clip.

    Tip: To shorten one side and lengthen the other side of an image, hold down the Shift key while dragging.

    Figure. Canvas window showing a Scale/Distort handle being Shift-dragged to give the appearance of a change in perspective.
To crop a clip
  1. Select a clip in the Timeline.

  2. Select the Crop tool in the Tool palette, then do one of the following:

    • To crop a particular side: Drag in from the edge of the clip.
      Figure. Canvas window showing a clip's edge being dragged with the Crop tool.
    • To crop two sides at one time: Drag one of the corners of the wireframe.
      Figure. Canvas window showing a clip's corner being dragged with the Crop tool.
    • To constrain the rectangle’s aspect ratio: Hold down the Shift key while dragging a corner.
      Figure. Canvas window showing a clip's corner being Shift-dragged with the Crop tool.