Using clips

Clips vs files

Files are data on your hard disk (videos, music, pictures, etc.) that can be accessed by Pitivi and incorporated in your video editing project.

Clips are a visual representation of your files on the timeline. They represent the period of time they consume on the timeline and can be edited independently: each time you drag a file from the media library to the timeline, a new clip is created. As such, a file can be reused as much as you want to create any amount of different clips.

Since Pitivi is a non-destructive editor, clips are edited, not files. As such, your files stay intact.

Inserting clips

From the media library, you can insert one or more clips by selecting them (use the Ctrl or Shift keys to select multiple clips) and doing one of the following:

  • Dragging and dropping them onto a place in the timeline.

  • Clicking the Insert the selected clips at the end of the timeline button in the Media library.

  • Pressing the Insert key.

When following the second and third options (clicking or pressing insert), selected clips will be inserted one after another into the first layer of the timeline at a position, where the last clip on any layer ends.

Moving clips along the timeline

You can move a clip within a layer or move it to a different layer.

Click and drag a single clip to move it, and release the mouse button to place it. Dragging horizontally keeps the clip on the same layer, but dragging it vertically moves the clip to a different layer (see Understanding layers for more information).

To move a clip to an existing layer, drag it on the layer and release it when a grey shadow representing the space the clip would occupy appears. To move a clip to a new layer, drag it to the middle space between two existing layers. Once the grey shadow (now a thin rectangle) appears between the layers, release it.

To move multiple clips at the same time, use the Ctrl or Shift keys to select multiple clips (see Selection and grouping for more details). Selected clips do not need to be on the same layer. Then, drag the clips just as you would do for a single clip; their position relative to each other will be preserved.

Using ripple editing while moving clips

While dragging clips around in the timeline, you can use the ripple technique to move the following clips (the clips that start after the one you're directly editing) to fill the gap.

  1. Click and drag the clip you want to move, with the mouse button held down

  2. During the drag, hold down Shift on the keyboard

  3. Release the mouse button to end the drag operation, then release the Shift key.

During the drag operation, if you changed your mind and only want to drag one clip at a time, just release the Shift key before you release the mouse button.