Advanced operation

Marking and selecting clips

Most commands such as exporting clips, playing media or editing clips require you to select the clips you want to work on first. You select clips in a catalog by clicking on them in the main window. Hold down the shift or command/control keys to select a range of clips. You can also use Cmd/Ctrl-A to select all the clips in the window, or use the Find command.

Copy and pasting clips

You can easily move selected clips between catalogs to help you better manage your catalogs:

  • Use Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear and Duplicate from the Edit menu to delete, move or copy selected clips (together with their thumbnails) between catalogs.
  • You can delete selected clips by pressing the Delete or Backspace key.
  • You can also drag and drop clips from one window to another

Note that if you want to copy or paste or delete text within a text field you need to click and select within the text field then use Control-C/X/V (or Command-C/X/V on the Mac) from the keyboard, not from the menu.

Marking clips

Use the Mark check box to mark clips of interest or to save the state of a selection:

  • Unlike selections within a window (which are temporary), marks are saved in the catalog.
  • Use the Mark submenu to mark selected clips, toggle the mark for selected clips, and so on.
  • Use the Select submenu to select marked clips, invert a selection, and so on.

You can also mark clips as "good" or "no good" (or as "maybe" if you are undecided) using the Good field:

  • From the main window you can use commands in the Mark submenu to mark selected clips as good or not.
  • When a clip is playing in the media dialog there are keyboard shortcuts you can use to mark it as good or not.
  • Use Select reviewed to select just those clips that are "good" or have otherwise been "reviewed", i.e. a selection (in2/out2) has been made within the clip.

Hiding clips

Clips may be flagged as being hidden so they don't normally appear in a catalog window. These clips are still part of the catalog, however, and are saved and loaded normally.

Hidden clips can be made visible temporarily by using the Show Hidden menu command (under the View menu).

You can change whether selected clips are hidden or not by using the Hide Selected or Unhide Selected menu commands, or by checking or unchecking the "Hidden" checkbox in the clip details.

When you import a movie with automatic scene detection selected, a master clip representing the movie file as a whole is created, as well as separate clips for each scene detected within that movie. In most cases you are likely to be interested in the scenes on a tape, rather than the capture files, so the clips representing the movie file are initially marked as hidden. You can also manually hide master clips after creating subclips from them.

Searching and filtering

CatDV provides a large number of ways of searching and filtering clips.

Use the Quick Search field on the toolbar to filter the clips shown in the main window to those containing the keywords you type in. As you type more characters fewer clips are shown. (The Quick Search field works by searching the clip's name, notes, bin name, user columns, and metadata fields for each word you type in in turn.)

For more advanced searches you can use the Find command to search for clips based on one or more particular clip properties. You can either move to the next clip that matches the query or use it as a filter so that only those clips matching the filter condition are shown in a window.

A query or filter can have different types of conditions, all of which must be true for a clip to match:

  • Clip name, notes, etc. containing certain text
  • Date or timecode values before or after a particular value
  • Picklist properties (such as bin or format) matching one or more items from a list
  • Other conditions, such as testing whether a particular property is blank or not.

An enhanced query dialog is available in the Professional Edition.

When searching you can move forward to the next clip matching the conditions, or search for all clips in one go (all clips that match will be selected). You can also create a new view containing just the matching clips.

When a filter is in effect only the clips that match the filter are shown. Use the View > Filter command, or press the "All Clips" node in the tree navigator to turn off a filter.

Smart folders, Grouping and Hiding clips are other ways of excluding clips from being shown in a window and can be used in conjunction with the regular filtering mechanism. Use the Reset View command to turn off all the different filter mechanisms and restore a default view showing all your clips.

Finding more clips

The mechanisms above describe how to narrow down and find specific clips within the catalog or window you have open. To find extra clips which aren't already in the current catalog you can:

Summary mode

Please note that this section describes a legacy feature that was originally intended for tape-based workflows and isn't very useful in most modern workflows.

In a normal view each row or thumbnail in the main window corresponds to precisely one clip in your catalog. In certain situations you might want a different view of your clips however. In a summary view the clips in your window are temporarily replaced by an alternative "consolidated" view.

There are several types of summary mode, which you can access via the View menu:

  • Tape Summary View
  • Source Media View
  • Thumbnail View
  • Event Markers View
  • Event Markers and Clips View

Switching to a summary view is just temporary and doesn't alter your original clips. You can toggle between a normal and summary view by pressing Cmd/Ctrl-Shift-S.

Clip summaries

Sometimes a catalog may contain overlapping or duplicated clip definitions, for example if you import logs from completed projects as well as having imported the raw movie files, or if you capture a tape in several segments.

  • Use the Tape Summary View to temporarily combine clip segments and filter out duplicates
  • Summary view usually provides a concise, non-overlapping summary of the contents of a tape.
  • You can copy summary clips and then paste them into a new catalog as normal clips.

How tape summary mode works

The changes made by summary mode only affect how clips are displayed and exported. The original clips in the catalog are not altered, so you can safely toggle in and out of summary view as required. Clip Summary mode displays a concise description of the scenes on a tape as follows:

  • If a catalog has several clips with the same in and out value (eg. from different projects) these are merged into one
  • If you captured several long clips, each of which contains several scenes, the long clips are hidden and only the scenes are listed
  • If a single scene is split in two because it was captured as two files these sections are joined up.

Source Media and Thumbnail views

There are a number of other summary views that temporarily change how the clips are shown without changing the original clips stored in your catalog:

  • Source Media View shows precisely one clip for each source media file.
  • Each clip can have any number of thumbnails associated with it. Normally only one thumbnail, the poster thumbnail, is shown for each clip. In a Thumbnail View each thumbnail in the catalog is shown as a separate "clip".

Event markers view

  • Event Markers View shows each timecode event marker as its own "clip". The marker name, category and description appear as the clip name, bin and notes respectively. If you perform a quick filter to find matching text you can use Event Markers View to highlight the results where that text occurs in the timeline.
  • Event Markers and Clips View is similar to Event Markers View except it also includes the main clip together with the markers within it.

Grouping fields

In CatDV, some fields can contain free format text while others take values from a limited list of choices. Fields that take values from a picklist are referred to as grouping fields (or grouping properties) and provide a convenient way of grouping and organising the clips in a catalog.

Grouping mode

Use grouping mode to view all the clips in a catalog by tape, bin, event, or other grouping property. Select the property to group by from the drop down list at the left of the window, then select the particular item to view.

  • Press the Grouping toolbar button to toggle grouping on and off (you can have one or two grouping columns, shown at the left of the window, or turn off grouping altogether).
  • Select the property to group by (eg. 'Date') from the drop down list. A list of all the distinct dates recording dates contained in the catalog is then shown.
  • Click on a value in that list. Only those clips from that date are shown.
  • Grouping is also available using automatic filters in the tree navigator.

More advanced operations are possible:

  • With two grouping columns you can quickly correlate two sets of grouping properties, for example find all the tapes which contain recordings at 32kHz, or see the range of dates covered by stills in a particular folder.
  • To rename an entire existing tape or bin name, click on that item in the grouping list and type in a new name.
  • As a convenient way of editing many clips in one go you can drag and drop selected clips onto another tape or bin name to change that value for all of them.

Creating grouping fields

As well as predefined grouping fields (Bin and Tape, and read-only fields such as Video and Audio format), you can create your own user-defined logging fields (using the User Columns tab in Preferences) and define them to be of type 'Grouping'. Similarly, you can select which metadata columns to group on in the Metadata Columns Preferences tab.

Once you have created a user-defined grouping field you can define picklist values for it under the Pick Lists Preferences tab. If a pick list is "extensible" that means the pick list provides suggestions for the user to choose a value from but the user can type in new value not in the list if necessary. If it's not extensible, only values from the drop down pick list can be chosen when editing a clip. An "auto-populate" list remembers new values that you enter for future use.

You can also set a user-defined column to be a Multi-grouping field. These are similar to grouping fields in that they takes values from a pick list of keywords, but you can apply more than one keyword to the same clip. If you then use grouping mode all the distinct keywords are shown, and the same clip might appear under more than one keyword.

Editing grouping fields

When editing grouping fields in the clip details panel you can click on the down arrow button to display a popup list of values to choose from. In the case of multi-grouping fields the popup shows two lists, one of available choices and one of all the keyword applies that have been selected. Double click an item to move it from list to another.

You can also edit both single and multi-grouping fields as if they are normal text fields. Start typing and the first matching value from the picklist is shown. Press the Up and Down arrows to select another item, press the backspace key to delete characters you have typed, or press the Enter key to show the popup. In the case of multi-grouping fields, press semicolon (;) once you have chosen one keyword and want to add another one.