Skip sections per track


In my current video project I’m dealing with basically up to 5 tracks recorded from two cameras. These are:

  1. the main camera (can see both persons, facing the interviewed person)
  2. a cropped area of the main camera (can see only the interviewed person)
  3. the secondary camera (can see both persons, facing the asking person)
  4. maybe also a crop of that (can see only the asking person)
  5. a separated audio track (recorded by the main camera using an external microphone)

I’ll explain later why there will be a separate audio track.

In order to cut out small bits and pieces that don’t look or sound good or are irrelevant, I have to skip over short periods of time over and over again. This requires tons of individual cuts over all tracks. To keep them in sync, the cuts have to be at the same point in time for now.

That will produce a video that jumps every few seconds. I don’t expect that to be too good in the end. So to avoid that, I’m going to switch video tracks at these cut points if possible. Switching the video track to a different perspective masks the fact that not only the point of view changed but also some original time was skipped. This should lead to a much cleaner result.

Now there are some areas where I can’t do this every time. If I’d need to remove every third word a person is saying, I’ll switch to the perspective for a short while where only the other person is visible.

Now where’s the trouble: If I cut all tracks at the same time, by cutting out single words from the audio, I’ll also make all other video tracks jump the same time. Nothing gained. So what I have to do is cutting the audio but keeping the other video track uncut. That’s not a problem since that visible person is only listening and the viewer won’t see that the visible person was listening at a different time than what can be heard in the resulting video.

Sometimes removing audio at a different time than the video that contains it is necessary, too. Hence the separate audio track.

So I’ll have to remove parts of all tracks at different times. But I still have to remove the exact same amount of time from all tracks to keep them in sync. Otherwise, when switching back to a speaking person, audio and video would be off a bit.

Also, this isn’t very editable. Baiscally placing a cut is like a final decision. Changing it later requires careful work to adjust all other tracks accordingly. It later in the edit process I find that I’d need a moment more of a perspective, that results in a lot of work.

So I imagine the following feature:

Add a method to place a skip marker on the entire project (all tracks) at a certain time and length. Without removing the source material and cutting the timeline, the resulting video will skip that time period and will be shorter by the duration of the skip area. Then, the skip areas can be moved in each track individually. That allows me to skip different time periods in each track, but always the same length. The length of that skip area should be editable, but always synchronised with all other tracks.

This feature would work very well with a second feature of temporarily hiding a track without actually cutting it.

I understand that it may be complex to lose the 1:1 time mapping of the timeline and the resulting video since some parts of each track are now “inaccessible” and time just jumps over them. This is an individual time period for each track. The source time is still required though because the skip areas of each track don’t have to overlap. I could skip 5 seconds at 1m0s in track V1 and skip the same 5 seconds at 1m10s in track V2.

This is my view on the problem I have now. If you have another idea how this can be solved, I’m happy to hear it.