Timeline panels

timeline panel

HitFilm's timelines are where you'll make most of your project decisions.

There are actually two types of timeline: the Editor sequence, where you perform normal video editing, and composite shots, where you create layered visual effects and motion graphics. Depending on your project you might use both types of timeline or just one.

HitFilm has one Editor sequence per project, but you can have as many composite shots as you need.

Click here for more information on The HitFilm workflow.

Timeline basics

timeline intro

The horizontal length of a timeline represents time, starting at the left and running to the right. The vertical white line is the playhead, which indicates the frame that is currently displayed in the Viewer panel.

Editor sequence and composite shot timelines

The Edit & Effects screen uses separate timelines for editing and for visual effects work:

Editor sequence - functions like a traditional editor, with tracks that can hold multiple video, image and sound clips. This timeline is designed for editing a sequence of clips, one after another. You can only have one editor timeline per project.
Composite shots - stacked individual layers consisting of video, images, audio and effects. Composite shots are designed for visual effects, motion graphics and advanced color grading. You can have multiple composite shots per project.

Using the right timeline for the right job is very important. If you are working on visual effects, compositing, animation or motion graphics you should be using a composite shot, otherwise you should use the Editor sequence.

Changing between timelines

timeline panel

Your Editor sequence is created when you start a new project and is always visible on the Edit & Effects screen.

When you create composite shots they will be added to your Project Media listing. Composite shots you're currently working on will be displayed as a timeline panel and you can switch between the Editor sequence and multiple composite shots at any time.

You can close a composite shot timeline without losing any data. All your composite shots can be found in the Media panel and double-clicking a composite shot will re-open its timeline.

There are many ways to create a composite shot which are covered in the separate Creating composite shots chapter.

RECAP The timeline panel is where you arrange your clips and layers.