Navigating the composite shot timeline

Navigating the composite shot timeline

Composite shot timelines work in a different way to the Editor sequence, although there are still many shared interface elements.

Using the playhead


The playhead is the white vertical line with the blue handle at the top. This represents your current frame.

You can drag the playhead to a different frame using using the blue handle. The time ruler at the top shows you where you are in your timeline.

The playhead is particularly important in composite shots because it determines where new keyframes will be created. When you alter a property which has keyframes turned on, a new keyframe will be created at the playhead's position.

If you want to playback your composite shot you should use the Playback controls in the Viewer panel.

Moving around the timeline

Knowing how to move around the composite shot timeline efficiently will enable you to create visual effects more easily.

Once you've created some layers you will need to be able to scroll and zoom around the timeline.


Depending on the duration of your composite shot and your zoom level you may not be able to see your entire composite shot on the screen.

The horizontal scroll bar moves your layer view backwards and forwards in time.

The vertical scroll bar moves the layer view up and down through your layers.

You can also use the Hand tool to move the layer view by directly dragging on it with the mouse.

Scale controls

timeline scale

Moving the scale slider to the left will reduce the time scale of your timeline, showing more of your composite shot in the layer view. Moving it to the right increases the scale so that you can see your keyframes in more detail.

At the far left you'll be able to see the entire composite shot, while at the far right you'll be able to see individual frames.

The scale menu has options for setting the scale automatically to display your entire project.

Navigating with the Current Time Display


The Current Time Display can be used to move to a specific frame of your composite shot.

Right clicking the Current Time Display switches between a standard video timecode and a framecount.

Clicking anywhere in the Current Time Display area lets you type in a new time or frame. The playhead will move to your chosen frame.

RECAP You can adjust your timeline for a close-up or overview.