Sometimes I want to see two different points on the timeline at once; is that normal?

THX1139 Posts: 545 Just Starting Out

A couple of times I find myself wanting to simultaneously be able to view two non-contiguous frames at the same time. It's because I want to cut the middle part of a clip and I want the end of the first chunk and the start of the second chunk to be as similar as possible. I hope I'm not alone in wanting this because then maybe there's a solution or enough wishes to make it come true.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,585 Ambassador

    I've on rare occasions wanted this. I don't believe any NLE or Compositor has this as a feature, so it would be a first. (I'm not counting AE letting one display a frame from Composition X when working in Composition Y.

    This would be something that would have to have an easily accessible on/off toggle. Bear in mind you're effectively asking for a second viewer panel with a second playhead on the timeline.

    Now--WHICH playhead is active when edits are being made? Is it the last-clicked playhead? Are the two playheads different colors? Is it always the "primary" viewer window? Also, the instant this feature is turned on, you immediately cut Hitfilm performance to roughly half, since there are now two frames being rendered and displayed at once. It's obviously possible for changes to frame A to affect frame B...

    Not saying it's a bad idea, certainly not saying it's unfeasible, just saying there are quite a few implementation issues to work out.

  • THX1139
    THX1139 Posts: 545 Just Starting Out

    I'm not sure there'd be a need to play both playheads at the same time but I think there'd be a left one and right one and they wouldn't need to be different colours. If you dragged one over the other then they'd automatically swap (so there'd still be a left and a right) and the images in the two preview windows would swap around. I guess for applying operations, the selected playhead would be blue and the not selected one would be white.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,585 Ambassador

    But that implementation has issues. If the 'selected' playhead is active, but the images swap windows when playhead A crosses Playhead B, how do I know which Viewer Window is my active edit? Do we now have a shifting color border? 

    Keep brainstorming. These are likely the types of questions and arguments the dev team would face. And those guys are more likely to respond to suggestions with implementation than "this is an idea, but I don't know how it would work." :-) 

  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    While you can't watch two things at once you can switch between comps, or a comp and the Editor, by separating out their Tabs to their own windows.

    I've done this with two monitors, so there is room to do this in the 'main' monitor because the viewer is on the 2nd. When you select each tab the viewer is updated, so you can easily drag one to where you want it, or even toggle between two locations in the same composite: The Editor timeline view and the Comp's own timeline view.