Changing Timeline Display Options

The default Timeline display options for new sequences are defined in the Timeline Options tab of the User Preferences window. (For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.)

You can change Timeline display options for existing sequences in several places:

About Timeline Display Options in the Sequence Settings Window

You can access almost all of the Timeline display options in the Timeline Options tab of the Sequence Settings window. Exceptions and alternate ways of accessing the same options are noted when possible.

To change Timeline display options in the Sequence Settings window
  • Select a sequence in the Browser or Timeline, choose Sequence > Sequence Settings, then click the Timeline Options tab.

Figure. Sequence Setting window showing Timeline Options tab.
General Options

These are basic display options you can change at any time. Several options, such as the default number of video and audio tracks, are only available in the Timeline Options tab of the User Preferences window, because these options only affect default settings for new sequences.

  • Starting Timecode: This sets the starting timecode number in the Timeline for new sequences.
  • Drop Frame: Select this option to display drop frame timecode in the Timeline (this only applies to NTSC format video that has a frame rate of 30 fps). For more information on drop frame and non-drop frame timecode, see Working with Timecode.
Track Display

The Track Display settings allow you to customize many aspects of how tracks appear in the Timeline.

  • Show Keyframe Overlays: Select this option to display opacity overlays (thin black lines) over your video tracks, and audio level overlays (thin red lines) over any clips in the audio tracks of the Timeline. These lines indicate video transparency or audio levels. For more information, see Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects.

    You can also use the Clip Overlays control in the Timeline to show or hide overlays.

  • Show Audio Waveforms: Select this option to display audio waveforms superimposed over audio clips in the Timeline. You can also switch audio waveforms by pressing Option-Command-W. This option is also available in the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline.
    Figure. Timeline window showing an audio waveform in the audio tracks.
    Figure. Timeline window showing audio tracks without an audio waveform.
  • Show Through Edits: A through edit is an edit composed of two adjacent frames that have the same reel number and subsequent timecode numbers. For example, if you use the Razor Blade tool to cut a clip in half, that edit point is considered a through edit. Select this option to display through edit indicators—two red triangles—where they exist. This may help you discover unnecessary edit points in your sequence, which you can then delete. This option is also available in the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline. For more information, see Cutting Clips and Adjusting Durations.
    Figure. Timeline window showing through edit indicators at cuts.
  • Show Duplicate Frames: Select this option to display frames that are used in your sequence more than once. When duplicate frames are displayed and you select a clip, you can see a list of all clips that contain the same frames as the selected clip. For more information about working with duplicate frame indicators, see Options for Displaying Duplicate Frames. You can also select this option from the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline.
  • Show Audio Controls: Select this option to display the mute and solo buttons to the left of each audio track in the Timeline. You can also use the Audio controls button in the Timeline. For more information, see Audio Controls.
Clip Keyframes

You can click the Clip Keyframes control to display the keyframe graph area—additional space below each video and audio track in which to view and edit keyframes for effects that are applied to your clips.

Figure. Timeline window showing clip keyframes controls and the spacing and color of tick marks.

This area can be divided into four optional regions showing keyframes and parameters for motion effects, video filters, and audio filters applied to your clips. For more information about customizing and using the keyframe graph area, see Changing Motion Parameters. You can also see Adjusting Parameters for Keyframed Effects.

  • Filters bar: If a clip has one or more video or audio filters applied, a green bar appears in this space for the duration of that clip. If keyframes are added to a filter in a given clip, those keyframes appear as diamonds on this bar, where they can be edited or moved using the Selection tool.
  • Motion bar: If a clip’s motion settings are modified, a blue bar appears in this space for the duration of that clip. If keyframes are added to the motion settings for a given clip, those keyframes appear as diamonds on the bar to which they apply, where they can be edited or moved using the Selection tool. This bar is only available for video tracks.
  • Keyframe editor: The keyframe editor shows you keyframe graph lines for motion or filter parameters. These graphs are identical to those found in the keyframe graph area of the Motion and Filters tabs in the Viewer. You can edit keyframes in the keyframe editor using the Selection and Pen tools. The keyframe editor can only display the keyframe graph line of one effect parameter at a time.
  • Speed indicators: Speed indicators show you the speed of clips in your sequence using tick marks. The spacing and color of these tick marks indicate the speed and playback direction of your clips. The speed indicators of clips in the Timeline update in real time as you make variable speed adjustments to clips in your sequence, showing you exactly how you’re altering a clip’s timing. For more information about viewing speed indicators while making speed changes to clips in a sequence, see Changing Clip Speed.

About Timeline Display Controls in the Timeline

Several controls in the Timeline allow you to change the display of certain items in the Timeline.

Figure. Timeline window showing the Timeline Display controls.
  • Clip Keyframes control: Click this button to display the keyframe graph area—additional space below each video and audio track in which to view and edit keyframes for effects that are applied to your clips.
  • Clip Overlays control: Click this control to display opacity overlays (thin black lines) over your video tracks, and audio level overlays (thin red lines) over any clips in the audio tracks of the Timeline. These lines indicate video transparency or audio levels.
  • Track Height control: Use this control to switch between four track display sizes—Reduced, Small, Medium, and Large. The current setting is highlighted in blue and has a small dot in the center. Choosing a track height with this control resets all tracks to the new size, overriding any custom track heights previously selected. To preserve the relative heights of individually sized tracks while resizing all tracks, hold down the Option key while choosing a new height with this control.

    Note: When the track size is set to Reduced, neither audio waveforms nor thumbnails are displayed.

Timeline Display Options in the Track Layout Pop-Up Menu

You can use the Track Layout pop-up menu in the Timeline to change some Timeline display options, including:

  • Track height

  • Video filmstrips

  • Audio waveforms

  • Through edits

  • Duplicate frames

  • Clip labels

This pop-up menu also allows you to save, choose, or restore custom track layouts. This menu can hold up to 40 custom track layouts.

To change Timeline display options using the Track Layout pop-up menu
  • Click the triangle to the right of the Track Height control, then choose an option from the pop-up menu.

Figure. Track Layout pop-up menu and its commands.

Options for Displaying Duplicate Frames

Indicating duplicate frames is useful primarily for movies you plan to finish on film (using Cinema Tools) or that will be edited online in a tape-to-tape edit suite. In both instances, it’s important to know if the same frames are being used in more than one place in the Timeline because special measures must be taken to create these duplicate frames later. If you can see where there are duplicate frames in advance, you can reedit your sequence to eliminate the duplicates, if necessary.

If you use a clip more than once within a single edited sequence, the duplicated frames are marked by the duplicate frames indicator, a colored bar appearing at the bottom of the clip’s video item in the Timeline.

Figure. Timeline window showing duplicate frames indicator.

Each separate instance of duplicated frames is color-coded differently. There are six different colors used to indicate separate sets of duplicated frames: red, green, blue, white, black, and purple. If there are more than six sets of duplicate frames in your sequence, these colors are reused. In the following example, the first clip is duplicated once, as indicated by the red duplicate frames indicator. The second clip is also duplicated once, as indicated by the green duplicate frames indicator.

Figure. Timeline window showing that different colors indicate different sets of duplicate frames.

Note: If a duplicated instance of a clip has variable speed applied to it, no duplicate frames indicators appear.

You can adjust the parameters that determine when duplicate frames indicators appear in the Editing tab of User Preferences. For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.

You can turn on or turn off duplicate frames indicators altogether by selecting Show Duplicate Frames in the Timeline Options tab of the Sequence Settings window. For more information, see Sequence Settings and Presets.

You can Control-click a clip with duplicate frames to see a shortcut menu with the Dupe Frames option. Choose this option to see a list of all clips that contain duplicates of the frames in the selected clip. Each item in this list contains the number of duplicated frames, the timecode value of the first duplicated frame, and the name of the clip that contains the duplicates. When you select an item in this list, the playhead moves to the first duplicated frame in the clip that corresponds to that item.

Figure. Shortcut menu showing the Dupe Frames option.