2007 Advanced UI

Also known as Brandon's Design.

Basic Design

In basic design goal is to provide as much direct-manipulation as possible. In this case, properties interpolation graphs are overlaid atop source widgets directly. The properties can be shown/hidden with the property selection popup at the bottom of the source. In addition, the interpolation mode can be set for the currently selected interpolation graph. The interpolation graph is manipulated with “keyframes” which are dragable handles that adjust the timestamp and keyframe.

  • When a source in the timeline moves, the viewer needs to seek just before that source's in point in the timeline.
  • When the user adjusts the in-point or out-point of a source, the viewer needs to seek to the new in or out point in the source
  • When the user adjusts a keyframe, the viewer needs to seek to that point in the timeline and show the user a preview of the change

Separated-keyframes variant

The basic design doesn't address the problem of keyframes in SimpleEffects, which don't have room to display interpolation graphs. In this variant, the keyframe interpolation graphs have been moved directly below the timeline. Selecting any object (or group of objects, the color-balance effect in this mock-up is selected) causes its properties to be displayed in the property editing region below. Not shown are the key-frame handles, which would not become visible until objects within the key-frame window are selected.

All keyframed properties are initially flat lines. These lines can be moved up or down simply by clicking/dragging.

At this point it is not yet clear which variant would be preferable. It is also not yet clear how the user will add or remove key-frames. Possibilities are:

  • click directly on the graph and a new keyframe appears if one hasn't been created (means that the line as a whole isn't movable. have to select both end-points)
  • select a keyfame then click “add” (user can't control where new frame is added, so a second adjustment step is required)

Expanded/Contracted Variant

The similar to the basic design, but objects can be expanded to take up a maximal amount of screen space. This extra space is used to display the interpolation graphs.

Kiddo's Design

General Timeline Overview

Features in this mockup:

  • nice looking clips representation on the timeline, maybe in cairo?
  • arrows on the left and right sides of the clips to allow setting the beginning/end (only works in the advanced timeline, because the clips' widths are proportional to their duration). If the user zooms out or the clip is too short, these arrows should “squeeze” themselves, and, below a certain threshold, disappear completely. The user will still be able to manipulate the begin/end points by dragging the sides (borders) of the clip.
  • thumbnails displayed when enough space is available and when the user has not deactivated them in the preferences
  • notice how the proportions of the various components of the UI are different from the simple timeline. Here, the video preview and media library are smaller, pushed to the top, to leave a lot more space for the timeline itself. In a multitrack non-linear editor, you want the timeline to be the main zone of interaction and maximize the amount of space you have to play with it
  • waveform previews for audio, ripped straight out of Jokosher
  • the layer buttons on the left are there just for making the mockup look less empty, they should be replaced by relevant ones
  • notice the transition indicators on the bottom clip and the top-right clip: some white “curve” allows you to see the speed of transitions such as crossfades and fade-in/out
  • the clip displayed on the layer “bg actors” has a motion curve (the thing called “velocity curve” in Vegas Video). You might want to look at Jokosher's code that was used for their audio volume curves, it would be great to be able to control the volume/opacity/speed of an audio/video clip using curves everywhere as “keyframes”.
  • this user interface's audio and video tracks are separated. Do not be fooled by the looks. It was just me being lazy (and forgetting to show audio tracks everywhere). Basically, what you are seeing in this mockup is a bunch of “silent clips with no audio” (or clips whose audio tracks were removed in favor of one sound track)
  • “pyrotechs” and “bg actors” are just track “names” (or “labels”)
  • this was made from a screenshot of the French version of pitivi, so a few terms might seem odd. For example “Piste vidéo” means “Video track”.
  • this whole timeline is *HUGE*. This would be in a case where the user has big toolbars in his gnome preferences, and where he stretched up the layer's height (because, realistically, the layer heights should be maybe ½ of that to avoid eating up too much screen height).

I would be a strong proponent in favor of having only one timeline for PiTiVi, the advanced one. I mean, I really don't think that a multitrack UI like that is harder than the “imovie-simplified like” counterpart. This multitrack interface is scalable from the newbie to the professional, if you design, think the user interface really well (you can leave that to me ;). I believe a “direct manipulation” multitrack “time-proportional” timeline interface kicks the hell out of the current “simplified interface”, and will need no significant learning curve, even for grandma. The rest can be done with nice tutorial screencasts that I would gladly provide, and that would give the advantage of not splitting the coding workforce over two timelines. Do one thing, and do it so well that grandma's jaw drops (not from natural cause)! --Kiddo 23:28, 10 June 2007 (BST)


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