*Jump to a Video tutorial

With 2.54, Blender finally has the flexible User Interface (UI) to construct a reasonable video editing interface. But right up front, this is NOT a solution to Comp node integration. i.e. for colour correction and matteing.

Additionally, the fairly recent arrival of the Video scopes (waveform and vector, as well as histogram-drooool) in Blender, presents the extreme hobyist and even the proffesional editor with tools to create very good quality media! If you have some way to measure the output of your software then the monitor you are using becomes less important. For example, if you aren’t sure about the bright parts of your image because they seem to be pastelly and flat, check the waveform for clipping. That is the top of the waveform is flat and without detail. If not, then your monitor is lying to you.

Anyway, back to interface.

My original gripe, was Blenders lack of traditional “Trim source” to “Master timeline”. Quick history lesson follows:

1. People typically watch the world through thier eyes, in small pieces. Try looking from one place in your room to another. Done that? Ok, do it again but this time pay attention to your blinking. As your eye pans away you blink before reframing or changing shot. This is an edit.
2. As moving pictures became popular, people developed the need to tell stories, but for economical reasons story-time had to be truncated (books take waaaay to long). That and film rolls loaded into cameras were pretty short. So time was contracted (by leaving stuff out), that is a new kind of edit.

3. First film and later non-linear (tape sucks) allowed people to re-introduce shots that were trimmed out, this a time expansion edit.

To achieve these edits we need to know 3 key bits of information.

Depending on the filmed action, where should the shot begin?
Depending on story, where should the shot go?
Depending on both/either of the above, where should the shot end?

So that would be,
Source edit IN point.
Master edit IN point.
Source OR master, edit OUT point.

That is a 3 Point Edit.

Blender doesn’t really do this…

Here you can see how Blender plays, all we can do is add a movie to the timeline. Then I guess we are supposed to cut it up to the desired length. All on the Master timeline no less!

I suggest making a new space to act as a “bin” (to hold footage), and another to act as a “tape” (old habits die hard) or camera source.

Here is a new floating Blender window. To make one, choose the window you want to rip out and click the “View” button in the menu, then choose “Duplicate Area into New Window”. Resize this new window, and the old one, so they sit next to each other.

In the top half I made an Outliner window, and it is full of Blender scenes. Each one contains a VSE timeline with a whole tapes contents. I have named each scene the same as the source (or something more descriptive). Below that is a VSE window displaying the timeline of the active scene and a preview. To swap sources simply click the required scene in the Outliner. To choose a shot, scrub along the timeline. When you find the right shot, simply cut it at the prefered IN point and OUT point (or some arbitrary length). Then select it (RMB) and copy the trimed clip to the clipboard (CTRL-C).

Then go to your master timeline…

Park the playhead where you want (roughly) and paste the shot (CTRL-V), then drag it to your desired Master IN point. Then you can Extend the shot to the right length.

It’s a bit crude but it does give you a 3 point edit. ;)