Provide a composite zoom and seek bar in timeline

Openshot has a nice implementation of a composite zoom and seek bar, as shown below:

  • It shows all clips in the project, and all the tracks of the project.
    (This example shows four clips placed in three tracks.)
  • It shows the visible portion of the Timeline with a light blue rectangle.
    The visible part can be adjusted by sliding the start knob (1) and end knob (2)
  • If any clip is selected in the Timeline, the Zoom and Seek bar highlights it in red (3).
  • The bar shows the playhead’s position with a red vertical line (4)

This allows us to zoom on a particular area of interest, and also allows us to jump to the area where the playhead is.

Worth emulating in Shotcut!

That looks nice and fun but I have 2 issues with it:

  • if the timeline is simple and short enough to be readable in such an overview do you really need this to seek around?

  • if the timeline is actually large and complex enough that you’d need this overview to navigate… would it really help in any way?

Here’s what my (not even complex, just long) timeline looks right now fully zoomed out. Would openshot’s feature make it stand out nicely in any way? Actually, first of all, would it add any lagging to editing? because that would be a clear dealbreaker.

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Nice point!

The composite bar does not add value for very simple projects, and also for large/complex projects. It would be useful only for moderately large/complex projects (like the one I illustrated).

In fact, I had overlooked the various other objects that are not reflected in the bar: filters, transitions, masks and animations. So just showing outline of clips does not add much value.

So the current interface is fine, indeed!