Video editing — One handed selects

My stringout timeline with selects

I’ve developed the practice leaving my stringout timeline untouched after making my selects. I like having the visual reference of all the media in one place, with my selects bumped up to the second track. Plus, it’s simple to keep track of how far along I am in making selects. My process is to then duplicate my stringout sequence, rename that duplicate to selects”, delete the bottom track and remove the gaps from the top track and move them all to the bottom-most track. Like I said, I don’t know why, but I like having my selects saved in context in my stringout.

I want to share a method I figured out to automate the process of moving my selects to that second track.

I believe it was somewhere on Jonny Elwyn’s blog that I read about using the H key as the blade tool. Falling right in line with the JKL keys, this instantly made sense to me which is the best sign that something is going to stick. I finally set this up and it was indeed more comfortable and faster than the default shortcut. But I noticed I could almost do the whole process of making selects with one hand. Almost—so I decided to automate.

I’m using Alfred, and I believe this feature is part of the powerpack. But I purchased the mega supporter” tier probably 8 or so years ago, so the value has paid off completely. But there are other tools available and all I’m trying to do is automate–or just combine–keyboard button sequence into fewer key presses. So it’s not programming the software or anything, just combining multiple button presses into fewer button presses.

The process I needed to automate was: go back one frame [←] so I can select the clip I just cut, select it [D], move it up one track [⌥ + ↑] then move the playhead back to the cut so I’m ready to keep going [↓]. I got that process into muscle memory pretty well, but since I’m using [H] to cut now, the default for cut [⌘ + K] is now available to use….and can be used by just the right hand. So now [⌘ + K] is my make select” automation key. So the process of making selects from a stringout can be done all with one hand, while I sip a drink with the other. Happy automating!

Automator shorcut

July 7, 2021