Organize your video editing timeline more efficiently

Welcome! Today’s tutorial is going to teach you how to easily work on projects with lots of assets by organizing your media tracks and grouping them together.

Before we start talking about groups, however, let’s take a moment to explain how tracks work.

For those of you familiar with Photoshop or other photo editing apps, tracks are a lot like layers. They’re these ‘rows’ that make up the timeline and they’re stacked on top of one another, with the media on the upper tracks always being displayed over the media on the tracks below it.

Having multiple tracks when editing a video makes it easier to visualize and organize all the media that goes into it from audio, to the main clips, the text or overlay graphics.

To manage your tracks in Flixier, click on the button in the lower left corner to open up the Tracks menu.

Here, you can see all of your existing tracks. You can drag them around and re-order them by holding down the left mouse button, or rename them by double clicking on the track, typing in the new name and then hitting Enter on your keyboard.

Clicking the little eye icon on a track lets you hide it, meaning that any media on the track will no longer be visible in the video. This is a great way to quickly check whether or not something looks good in your clip without having to delete it or mess around with the opacity slider.

The padlock icon lets you lock and unlock the track. When you lock a track, the media on it can no longer be moved around on the canvas or in the timeline. This is very useful once you have an element that’s perfectly placed and you want to make sure that you don’t accidentally move it.

Lastly, the trash bin icon deletes the track and any media on it.

If you want to create a new track, you need to click on the More button here and then click Add New Track. This will create an empty track on top of the existing ones.

The More section of the Tracks menu is also where you create Groups, as well as automatically delete empty tracks.

Speaking of Groups, these basically act like Folders, making it easy to organize your tracks. After creating a new group, you can move tracks into it by clicking and dragging.

You can also rename groups, hide them, lock them or delete them, just like you would do with a track. The main difference is that changes made to a group affect all of the media tracks inside of it.

Enough theory though, to better understand how tracks can help you, let’s look at a real world example.

The tutorials you see on our channel, while short, often contain a lot of assets. They have background music, a voiceover, screen recordings, graphical assets like text or arrows plus the overlay transitions that we use throughout the videos.

You can see that these all make for a very cluttered timeline. While working on the videos, I would have to scroll through it constantly, even if I set the timeline to use smaller icons.

That’s why I make sure to group my media tracks together.

You’ll notice that I have a separate group for each of the 4 types of media that I use to make these videos. My voiceover and music tracks go in the Audio group, the screen recordings are in the Video Group, the graphics are in their own group, and so on.

This helps me because it allows me to collapse the elements I’m not working on at the moment, making it easier to see everything I need on the timeline when editing. For example, if I’m trying to make sure that this arrow here is synchronized with the voiceover, I can click on this little button here to collapse the Video group and get it out of the way.

Now I can see where my arrow is on the timeline relative to my voiceover track and easily synchronize it based on the audio waveform.

Being able to lock multiple media tracks with one click is also incredibly useful. For example, if I want to make sure I don’t accidentally move my screen recordings around when messing with the graphical elements on top of them, I can just lock the entire Video group easily by clicking on the padlock here.

One thing to keep in mind while working with groups is that new tracks are always created in the uppermost group. Meaning that if I wanted to create an empty track for the graphics group, I would have to go to More, click on Add New Track and then drag it over from the Overlay Transitions group into Graphics.

Oh, and I know that creating all these groups and tracks and renaming them can be a bit of a hassle, but don’t worry! The good thing is, you only need to do it once.

Whenever you duplicate a project, Flixier remembers your groups and tracks! So when you want to make a new video, just duplicate an older one and delete any media you no longer need in order to make room for your new elements, essentially creating a template for yourself and saving you lots of time in the process.

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