The Professional Edition has support for creating and editing sequences. A “sequence” is a special type of clip that contains a sequence of clips in order. It corresponds to a simple timeline or cuts-only edited program.

A sequence is created:

  • when you import an EDL
  • when you import a Final Cut Pro XML file, OMFI file, or Cinestream project containing sequence information
  • when you select some clips and use the Create Sequence command
  • when you drag clips onto the Sequences node in the tree navigator.

A number of Preferences options control the creation of sequences when importing a file, for example whether to include audio tracks separately and what duration stills should have when added to a sequence.

The sequence window is also used when you use View Tape As Sequence or use the Create Real-Time Sequence command, which places clips on a timeline according to the time of day and can simplify lining up multicamera shoots if the camera clocks were set correctly.

Editing sequences

Double click a sequence clip to open it in a special sequence window. When you edit a sequence the clip details panel changes to show Source and Record playback windows with a timeline below.

The Source window (on the left) shows the current selected clip:

  • If you select a clip in the sequence you can trim its duration by adjusting the in and out points. The sequence will increase or decrease in length accordingly. The window is labelled Trim.
  • If you select a new source clip from the catalog that you want to add to the sequence (perhaps as the result of searching for more material to add) the window label changes to Source. You can set In and Out points and then cut it to the sequence.

The Record window (on the right) is labelled Sequence and shows the entire sequence:

  • You can scrub through the sequence and mark In and Out points to delete part of the sequence.
  • Switch to the Details tab to change the name or add a comment to the whole sequence.
  • Use the Clip List tab to list individual clips in the sequence, including their timecode and duration.

The timeline shows all the clips in the sequence as a continuous timeline, complete with thumbnails and clip name:

  • Click on a clip in the timeline to select the entire clip. You can then trim or remove the clip from the sequence.
  • Click just above the clip (where the timecode and tick markers are shown) to move the current play head (indicated by a vertical red line) to that point.
  • Drag the ends of the dark grey selection indicator to adjust the selection within the sequence (In and Out points).
  • Rearrange the order of clips by dragging and dropping them within the sequence.
  • The toolbar buttons below the timeline let you close the sequence window, select large or small thumbnails in the timeline, and zoom in and out.

The following commands appear in the Sequences menu:

  • Load Source Clip will display the clip you select in the timeline as a source clip, so you can change the In and Out points and use it again at another point in the sequence.
  • Toggle Subclip Limits affects source clips and is available whether you are editing a sequence or not. It turns a subclip into a master clip that refers to the whole media file, and back again (the original subclip limits are saved as a selection using In2/Out2).
  • Remove Subclip Limits is similar but applies when trimming clips in a sequence.
  • Normally a sequence has a single track representing both video and audio locked together. With the Edit Tracks command you can add extra tracks or change the type of existing tracks for multi-track editing.
  • The Sequence menu also has commands to zoom in and out of the timeline and to cycle through the tabs in the Source and Record windows.

An easy way to list the sequences in a catalog is using the Sequences node in the tree navigator.

Keyboard shortcuts

Many familiar keyboard shortcuts are available when editing sequences, including:

Del delete selection from sequence and shift remainder up
Shift-Del erase selection from sequence leaving a gap
Enter append the clip in the source window to the end of the sequence
insert the source clip into the sequence at the current playhead position or replacing an existing selection, shifting the remainder up
/ overwrite the sequence, replacing an existing selection with the source clip. This performs a 3-point edit, ie. if you select in and out points in the sequence to be overwritten then the appropriate amount of material from the source clip will be used.
J, K and L control playback
I and O make a selection by marking In and Out points
Shift-I or O clear the corresponding In or Out pont
X select the current clip in the sequence (based on where the playhead is), ie. set In and Out points around the clip
Shift-X clear the selection
F Match frames, ie. jump to the frame in the trim window that corresponds to the current frame in the sequence window
Up and Down arrow move to previous or next interesting time (edit point)
Ctrl/Cmd P play the selection in a new window
Ctrl/Cmd + and – zoom in and out of the timeline
Ctrl/Cmd automatically scale the timeline to fit window width
Ctrl/Cmd Z undo the last edit

See the Sequence menu or hover the mouse over the buttons below the Source and Record windows for details of additional shortcuts (tool tips).

Some of these shortcuts apply to whichever one or other of the Source or Record windows has keyboard focus at the time. Click on the movie player or use Ctrl/Cmd-2 or Ctrl/Cmd-4 to switch between the two windows and observe which tab has a darker background.

Other functions that affect how the timeline is shown are available via the buttons below the timeline, including the size and number of thumbnails that are shown, and whether to use a static playhead when playing the sequence movie.

Voice over tracks

Once you have created a sequence you can record a voice over track using the Add Voiceover Track command. When editing a sequence with a voiceover track:

  • Press the VO button to display the voiceover dialog.
  • Press Settings to choose the directory where voiceover files will be recorded and also specify pre-roll and fade times.
  • Choose the computer’s built-in microphone or an external audio input in Device Settings.
  • Check the audio sound level and then press Start Recording
  • Recording finishes when you press the Stop button or the predefined Out point is reached
  • To trim a voiceover recording you can use the Split Voiceover Clip command in the Sequence menu.

You can then export the sequence as a movie (or send it to Final Cut Pro) and the voiceover track you recorded will be included as another audio track.

Printing sequences

There are two ways of printing the clips in a sequence, depening on whether you want to display the original source timecode or the timecode of the clip based on where it is placed within the sequence:

  • If you want to print the source timecode, open the tree navigator, choose the sequence you want (under the Sequences node), then right click and select View In New Window. You can then configure the type of view (List, Filmstrip or Grid, and which fields you want displayed) and use Print > Current View.
  • If you want to print the sequence timecode, again use the tree navigator but this time right click and choose View Clips before printing the current view.

Additional information

The In and Out point of a clip usage in a sequence refers to its timecode within the timeline. If you are interested in source timecode you can drag and drop (or copy and paste) a clip usage out from a sequence into a regular window and it will create a new secondary clip referring to the relevant source.

If you import a sequence from an EDL and the sequence doesn’t play because it doesn’t link its media files you can use Link To Source Clips in the Tools menu to automatically repair the sequence. This command will look for matching clips in the catalog (based on tape name, clip name and timecode) and link to those clips.

Once you have created a rough cut sequence in CatDV you can render it by exporting it as a movie. You can also export a sequence as an EDL or Final Cut Pro XML file for subsequent editing in your NLE editing application.

The original sequence editing dialog available in earlier versions of CatDV is still available if you right click on a sequence in the tree navigator and choose Edit In New Window.

Please note that the basic sequence editing provided in CatDV is not intended to replace a regular video editing application. CatDV provides cuts only editing, with no support for effects or transitions and only limited support for separate audio and video tracks, but in many cases this is all you need.