How to shorten clip length and composite duration to match clip duration

I have a composite with a clip for which I've increased the speed (reduced duration). What's the quickest way to adjust the length of the clip on the composite timeline and the length of the composite itself to the new duration? Currently I have to zoom in and get the playhead in the right spot and then adjust the length of the clip to that point and reduce the length of the composite in the properties box according to the time displayed at the top of the layer list but when you have a lot of clips to do this to, the long-winded approach is undesirable.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well for one thing, you don't have to bother changing the length of the clip at all--just adjust the composite shot duration and let the clip "run long." Just leaving out that unneeded step cut your workload in half.

  • I think the problem is that in the parent composite shot, there is no indication of where the footage ends which is troublesome because I have to scrub around to find the end.

  • Let's take a step back. Why do you want the composite containing this sped-up clip to be shorter?  This comp (I'll call it A) is (I'm guessing) inside another comp (B), so why not just go into B, use the cut tool on A right after the footage ends, and discard the extra layer that is made with the unneeded tail from A?

    Shortening the length of A to exactly match the length of its contained footage -- sped up or not -- isn't going to gain you anything.  By simply trimming it inside of B, though, you'll gain the benefit that I think you're seeking by the length-matching effort you mentioned: you'll be telling HitFilm to stop calculating that comp after a certain frame, which will speed up your rendering process.  True, making the actual comp length shorter would net the same result, but it's far easier to trim it where it's being used than to manually change its length.

  • so why not just go into B, use the cut tool on A right after the footage ends, and discard the extra layer that is made with the unneeded tail from A?

    I would do that but it takes time to find out where each clip ends. I have to scrub backwards and forwards, overshooting and undershooting until I eventually find a place close. Then I have to switch to the keyboard and go a couple of frames at a time until I find the exact spot; then I can cut the clip there. Then I have to do the same rigmarole with the next clip.

    If I could trim it in A then I would have a visual clue to where the end is in B.

  • If I were you, I wouldn't worry about the trim being so precise, especially considering that (as you said yourself) you have lots of comps to process like this.  Scrub forward slowly until you know you're past the end, then cut.  If you're a few frames over, don't sweat it.  You'll still gain back some rendering time.

  • Unless you're seeing something beyond the end of the clip in the composite (you shouldn't, it should be transparent) I wouldn't sweat it and just lop it off roughly for tidiness in the comp it's referred to, or just not bother.

    Hitfilm seems fairly intelligent about not rendering things that aren't there. If you make a comp, put a plane in it, reduce the length on the timeline and do a RAM preview, it will go faster where there is no plane to render.

  • But I need to know where it ends so I can position my next clip/layer to start at that moment (or a few frames earlier if I want it to dissolve. Ideally, I'd like to make use of the snapping function for this which I can't do this if the clip is muddled (carrying on after it's stopped)

  • Ah yes, see the problem. There is no "Shrink composite to In and Out points" option, as in AE, unfortunately. One for the wishlist?

  • Thanks; I'll add that.

  • One reason would be to keep the timeline clean.  I'm not a fan of having long running empty clips, regardless of the impact (or not) on the CPU / render times.  I'd like to be able to trim the underlying comp shot down to the end of the VFX and then when viewing it in a parent timeline not have to worry about it being a 10s clip with 9.6s of blank space.  Having long blank clips in the timeline makes it hard to ascertain quickly what a clip is - a series of short clips is visually obvious that the VFX is short so it's easier to associate that with the underlying effects/media.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Now that I think more about this, I'd like to see an option to trim Composite Shot duration to current In/Out points. I'd stick this in the settings cog menu. 

    This would kinda do what THX wants, but could also be useful for other situations.

  • Right click on the time bar and click "set to contents".  

    = )

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