Editing imported mlt file issues

I’m new here but suspect I’ll be a regular! Love Shotcut so far but here’s the issue I’m having…

I have many videos and clips from a recent trip. Ideally here is what I’d do: color grade and white balance each clip in its own .mlt file then import those files into other movies depending on how I want to splice the footage (short videos for Facebook, longer files for personal use, etc.). This way I could correct the base file footage then use that same footage across multiple videos by importing the mlt. For single clips I’ve been applying filters to the clip on the timeline. For multiple clips to the “output” channel.

However I’ve encounter two issues. One, is that if I make a .mlt file for a single clip, I can no longer speed up or slow down the clip when I import as .mlt into another video via the properties window (it’s blank for mlt files). That’s a huge problem. Any other way to do this? Notably, the filters do not show up in the new video file which is ok-ish; anything I’d do beyond correction I’d apply on top.

The second is that my drone splits footage into 4 min files. If I stitch those together in one mlt and apply correction filters to the “output” channel so it applies to all clips something really crazy happens when I import the mlt into another video. Now the filters do show up, but they’re duplicated on top of each other times the total number of individual clips! Footage looks crazy! I think this might be a legit bug, why would it do that?! Totally different from the source mlt.

I don’t want to export as lossless videos because then we’re talking about doubling or more the storage space required. Any suggestions to help with these issues? Only alternative I can think of is to copy and paste the filters but it seems like there should be a cleaner way to do this.

I’ve seen that happen too. It’s probably a bug.

I’m thinking out loud here…

What if all your clips were dumped into a single long MLT file, in chronological order. Then put correction filters on each individual clip. One advantage here is that comparing similar clips for matching color is as simple as moving the playhead. No need to open an entirely separate project to see a different clip.

Once all the corrected clips are in this giant long MLT file, make copies of the MLT for each project. Edit each project MLT individually by removing and reorganizing the clips as needed for that purpose.

There’s an important hack to be aware of…

If you want to delete all the clips from 4m00s to 8m00s because they don’t matter for a given project, then don’t waste time deleting them individually. Create a new track, drop a transparent clip on it, stretch the clip from 4m00s to 8m00s, then remove the transparent clip with Ripple All Tracks turned on. All the clips on the tracks below will be removed for that four-minute block.

That’s an idea to think about. However part of my idea was using the MLT’s to name what’s in the video clips for organization. This would kind of go in the opposite direction where videos of completely different things are all spliced into one random long shot to sort through. Also, I’m not sure this solves my issue of speeding an MLT clip up or down. The properties window is just blank when I import an MLT.

I’ll have to wrap my ahead around the last paragraph. First, what editing quirk does this solve vs. splitting and joining or selectively adding clips from the source window? Definitely need to learn all the tricks and keyboard shortcuts!

Tracks can be used for the same purpose. Tracks can be given custom names in the track head, then all related clips dumped on the same track. Visibility can be turned off to improve playback performance.

However, the method I use and vastly prefer is to sort clips into subfolders on the hard drive’s file system. I might even rename a video file to something that is more descriptive of its contents. After the sorting and renaming are done, only then do I start dropping stuff into Shotcut. I do my organization at the file system level rather than the MLT or playlist or project level. Muuuuch easier, and that organization ripples well to all downstream processes.

With this method, the filename is visible on the timeline inside each clip border. The timeline looks a lot less random now, as the filename provides context.

There would be no more MLT clips. Speed settings would go directly onto clips. Wouldn’t that solve the issue completely?

This hack is for mass deletion of large segments of time, which avoids having to individually delete a bunch of little clips. If all clips are dumped onto one long timeline, there are likely to be large sections that need to be deleted if you’re only wanting a 30-second Facebook teaser. This is a fast way to reduce a 2-hour timeline (containing all clips) down to a 30-second timeline that has just what you want.

Oh I see! I skipped the “make copies of the MLT” part. This might be the best work-around right now to fix both issues. That does have several advantages including preserving the original filters.

In all though, I’m a little disappointed! Should be able to edit the speed of an MLT just like a clip and the filter duplication of the multi-clip MLT shouldn’t happen (I do think it’s a bug so I submitted that). For single clips I’m guessing the filters would transfer if I put them on the output channel which is a plus down the road. For now though, seems like staying away from importing MLT’s is the best bet unless a speed filter is added in the future (the properties tab is the only way I can find to control the speed of a clip). I guess my first strategy just wasn’t going to work even though it seemed like a good idea at first.


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