10 Suggestions (V19.07.15)

I came up with several suggestions while using Shotcut recently. I didn’t want to make a separate thread for each one so I put it all under one post.

1 - Simple Keyframes could be improved. The issue is that having to move the trim and drag handles to where you want can slow down the workflow especially since there is no real snapping option. If you are working with a long clip then there is a lot of zooming in and out plus moving that has to be done to get the trim and drag handles exactly at the time you want them to be. To really improve this my suggestion is to add additional buttons that would be like instant snap buttons. The buttons would correspond to the left and right trim and drag handles. When you press one of them, that corresponding trim or drag handle would instantly snap to wherever the playhead is. This would speed up the workflow considerably as you won’t even have to bother zooming in and out of the Keyframe timeline nor take time moving the trim or drag handle to exactly at the spot you want it to be at. Just place the playhead where you want the trim or drag handle to go and press its button. This would make the Simple Keyframes option truly simple! :slight_smile:

There is enough room to add these new buttons:

Two new lines of buttons could be added right under the existing line of arrow buttons that are right there. One new line for the drag handles and another new line for the trim handles. There could also be default buttons in the middle of each new line to reset the positions. For filters that are not keyframeable but still have the Simple Keyframes timeline for trim handles like the Mute filter then just one new line of left and right buttons for them would be available.

2 - When dragging a clip from the preview window to the timeline the graphic for placement on the timeline for the clip looks like this:

This is very useful. It lets you know exactly where it will be placed, how much space it will take up and respects snapping. However, when a clip is dragged from the playlist to the timeline that is not the graphic that shows up. What shows up is not useful because it’s not clear where the clip will be placed, how much space it will take up and has no snapping. Can the graphic for dragging clips from the playlist be made the same as the one that comes up when dragging from the preview window?

3 - Whenever a clip is brought down to the timeline, the playhead will always end up at the end of the clip. I don’t know how others feel about this and they could chime in if they feel otherwise, but I think it makes more sense to have the playhead be at the start of the clip when its brought to the timeline. This is especially an issue when you are first starting a project and you bring down your first clip but have to then take the extra step to go back to the start of the timeline.

Edit: Rethinking this. Instead of it defaulting to the start of the clip, I think it’d be better that when a clip is brought down to the timeline by drag and drop that the playhead simply stay exactly where it is just like how the playhead doesn’t move when clips about being dragged around inside the timeline. When a clip is brought down via a shortcut key (“B”) then it makes sense to have the playhead be at the end of that specific clip.

4 - In Text Simple, if you set the font and colors then pick a preset position/animation, then your font and color settings reset to the default. Can this be programmed so that picking a preset after customizing the text will still keep those settings?

5 - Also about Text Simple: Can any of the settings for colors (font, outline, background), thickness and padding be made keyframeable?

6 - It would be great to have an aspect ratio lock for the Export and Custom Video Mode menus. It’s a button that if selected would make sure that numbers typed for resolution respect the aspect ratio selected. Different programs have it like



and also Premiere Pro

It could have a similar placement in Shotcut

7 - Shotcut allows you to do an entire project in just the playlist and export that as one file. There is a sort of hidden mode in the preview window “ruler” (I think that’s what it’s called) for the playlist where it marks where every clip is.

In that mode, the playlist will play as if it’s one file. If you want to do a very simple edit in just the playlist that’s useful except that it can only be accessed if you remove an item from the playlist. How about creating a new tab under the preview window where that mode can be easily accessed? A “Playlist” tab in the middle of Source and Project?

8 - Also there is a limitation right now with the playlist if you want to do a simple edit. If you add any filter to a clip on the playlist then go to another clip on the playlist and back to the first clip, any filter added to the first clip is gone. The playlist will keep the filters on a clip if it came from the timeline but not if filters are added to a clip in the playlist. Can this be updated so that filters added to clips in the playlist will stay?

9 - Can a zoom in/out function be added for the ruler under the preview window? Or at the least an option to open a sub-clip in the playlist and have the preview window ruler reflect the whole sub-clip duration? This would be very useful when wanting to scrub around a short sub-clip in the playlist to make other sub-clips from it.

10 - Can sound options for 3.1, 6.1 and 7.1 channel surround be added?

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:+1: for all suggestions and especially the second and third.

I would be interested to better understand the use case for this.

Which audio codecs would you expect to support this for export?

How will people preview their project on their computers before export? Do you expect that people have a 3.1 speaker configuration connected to their editing computer?

What should be done when the user selects an export codec that does not support the selected audio channel configuration?

It actually isn’t that difficult for me to add. But I am afraid there would be a lot of support requests from people when they don’t get expected results.

Thanks for replying, @brian.

I would say that the most common case is bringing in a project with an audio track that has that amount of audio channels and wanting to preserve them in export instead of having to downmix them. Openshot has audio export options for 3 channels and 7.1 sound.

Is it only a handful of audio codecs that support those specific audio surround mixes? If it’s only a handful perhaps a pop up note could be added that would appear when the mouse is on that selection that could say something like “Only supported by such and such codec”.

By the way, is there an open source equivalent to Pro Logic II?

I personally have a 3.1 speaker configuration connected to all appropriate ports on my computer, so yea. Well technically it is faulty but I’ll fix it soon and use it more.

One problem I see is that the underlying audio output libraries that Shotcut uses (pule and rtaudio) only support 1, 2 and 6 speaker configurations. So if we allow editing in any other combinations, Shotcut will not be able to support previewing in that speaker configuration - Shotcut would need to re-mix to something compatible with the audio output libraries.

I’m familiar with 7.1 surround and I expect that some people have access to files encoded in that configuration. But where does one obtain files coded with 3.1 channel configuration? I have never seen any in the wild.


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Hi @brian

3.1 is a 4 channel system.
One channel for left, right, center and sub-woofer.

The following formats support 3.1:
wav , flac, aac, ac3 , ogg, there may be more, don’t know.

I have created some test files for you in flac and ogg.
(Wav too big to post here and not at my other computer so can’t create ac3 or aac.)

There is a 1KHz tone on channel 1, 2KHz on channel 2, …
I have done no leveling or bandpass filtering as is common on many surround sound systems for the sub-woofer channel.

FlacAndOggExamples.zip (1.2 MB)


Here are the aac (wrapped in a m4a) and ac3 versions.
4channel-aac.m4a.zip (1.0 MB)
4channel.ac3.zip (266.7 KB)

Each format seems to have their own channel mappings:


This is because if you use keyboard shortcuts to add footage to the timeline and 3-point editing, then you want the playhead positioned for the next edit operation. Maybe the behavior can be different as you described for drag-n-drop.

The preset saves these parameters. I guess you are asking for something intelligent that determines if a parameter has been changed from default, then don’t have the preset apply to that parameter. I think this can be confusing and will clutter the code, which is already more complex than I’d like. Partly because it would have to deal with the case where a user is trying out different presets. It would have to reset to default between preset selection unless it was changed from default at the beginning. It’s just too messy and riddled with corner cases leading to bugs. Rejected

This is called the Project player. It is not in a hidden mode when you make a playlist-only project (not using the timeline). As soon as you upgrade the project to use a Timeline, the value of viewing the playlist-as-whole (the hidden mode you refer to) is much more diminished. I will never add a “Playlist” tab here because there is already a Playlist panel. Two tabs with the same name regardless of location and context is very confusing especially in communication (support, tutorials, docs, etc.). I kept the hidden mode when you have a Timeline for advanced users.

You need to click the Update button on the Playlist before changing what is in Source player. When you open a playlist item, it makes a copy of it in the Source player with a soft-link to the playlist item. It is not the same object. You can trim out another shot from this copy and add it to the playlist, for example. The selection in Playlist is only use for list manipulations and has nothing to do with what is shown in Filters and Properties. I will think about an auto-update mechanism and having separate open vs. copy actions.

Other items I did not comment on are worthy of consideration, but I do not known when because I have other things I want to address in the coming months.

Thanks. I have a good understanding of what 3.1 is. What I don’t know is where it is used? Where does a typical Shotcut user find 3.1 source files? And where does she publish them to? YouTube? The US has standardized on 5.1 for broadcast. Maybe there are some other countries that use 3.1 for broadcast?

Hi @brian

I suspect that most countries as well.

A very good question, I too have no idea hence the reason I created some should you wish to test.
I did a search for 3.1 reference or test files and came up with nothing.
The strange thing is that a Google search for 3.1 sound brings up many “sound bars”
being advertised as 3.1, so presumably it must exist.

Only thing I can think of is it’s an entry level “cut down” version of 5.1 where some of the extra channels are down mixed to the R+L channels of a 3.1 system.

Perhaps some games use 3.1? No idea.

In my mind, support for 8 channels (7.1) is probably a better option.

Oh then thats ok, I thought u could just change the amount of audio streams per file in configs or something.

Numbers 2 and 8 have been made for next version 19.08.

Perhaps you are right about 3.1. I suggested it because I know of people with 3.1 setups. However, if it’s not really a common sound mix then it can be skipped. But like I said before, Openshot does have a 3 channel option which I assume is 2.1. OBS also has options for 2.1, 4.0 and 4.1. Could those be added along with 6.1 and 7.1?

My vote is for not making the software more complicated ala 3.1, 6.1 and 7.1 channels.

The precious resource we have is Dan’s time.

The thing that makes shotcut special is it runs on all platforms. In trying out 5.1 I found I cannot use it because I only have 2 and 4 channel outputs. However, it is trivial to treat audio tracks as stems and export them individually to be further edited in a DAW. Therefore, the amount of tracks available are limitless. That is, should the need arise (which is in every case in my use case scenario).

Based on his response, Brian could handle the sound issue.

And I don’t think it would make the program any more complicated for users than picking different options for frames per second. Just pick the sound mix that suits you and your project.

Yes, changing it for dragging is exactly what I meant. :slight_smile: Since #2 on my list was already about dragging I wrote #3 as if it was already understood. I agree that it makes sense to have the playhead be at the end of the clip when pressing B to bring a clip to the time line in case you want to start lining some clip down one after another.

But for drag and drop now I am thinking that maybe instead of the playhead defaulting to the start of the clip, the playhead should remain exactly wherever it is just like a clip in the timeline being dragged around doesn’t affect the playhead position. @Paul2, what do you think?

Ah, ok! I didn’t realize that. Is there another function for that update button other than to keep filters and changes to Properties to clips in the playlist? And with the changes you just made (“Open” and “Copy”) is the only difference between the two that “Open” will play the clip from the playlist in the source and at the same time updates to keep filters and changes to Properties while “Copy” just plays the playlist clip without updating for modifications?

And thanks for also including the change based on #2! :slight_smile: I’m curious though:

The text “Overwrite” always seems to show up with that graphic. Is it possible to limit that text to only show up when the clip that is being dragged down is actually overlapping with an already placed clip on the timeline? That could be very useful if you are dragging a clip down but don’t see that it’s overlapping with another clip because the timeline is too zoomed in.

It is not uncommon to see all kinds of different surround speaker configurations. But those systems are able to downmix from 6.1 or 7.1 to the speaker configuration being used. I have yet to see any surround sound content being produced/distributed in anything other than mono, stereo, 6.1 or 7.1.

The only exception I know of would be pre-production files where the audio channels are not part of a surround sound mix - but instead are independent tracks carrying different audio sources.

That is consistent with the theme we have been working from. Typically we like to curate features and focus on capabilities that are going to be the most broadly applicable.

By the way, the underlying MLT framework does support arbitrary channel configurations. You can try it out by setting “channels=8” in the “other” tab of the advanced export settings. There is also a “channel_layout” parameter which you can set to “7.1” (for example).

I can mention several Blu-rays that have had 4.0 surround mixes off the top of my head. Criterion’s releases of Hoop Dreams, High and Low, and Kagemusha. The last Blu-ray release of the original Robocop also features a 4.0 mix. Also Synapse’s Blu-ray releases of Maniac Cop and Suspiria.

And here (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) are some Audio releases with 4.0 sound mixes

4.0 surround is also known as “Quadraphonic sound” or “Quad Mix”. There were many movies and music albums originally mixed in 4.0 sound mixes. Here is a short but interesting article about it:

I mentioned OBS because since it is a very popular FOSS and it gives users the sound options for recording in 2.1, 4.0 and 4.1 (in addition to 7.1) I figure that if someone were to record their sound in one of those mixes and decided to bring their recording to Shotcut to do editing they wouldn’t have to downmix the sound.

Yes, one can use Copy to quickly open that media to trim out another shot to add to Playlist or Timeline without affecting the existing Playlist item. You see the changes that apply with Open includes trimming in addition to Properties, Filters, and Keyframes.

If Ripple mode is on, then it will say “Insert.” I have no plans to only show it when something would actually be overwritten even though it is feasible. I just want to reflect the mode: insert or overwrite.

Rethinking this. Instead of it defaulting to the start of the clip, I think it’d be better that when a clip is brought down to the timeline by drag and drop that the playhead simply stay exactly where it is just like how the playhead doesn’t move when clips about being dragged around inside the timeline. When a clip is brought down via a shortcut key (“B”) then it makes sense to have the playhead be at the end of that specific clip.