68. About the Properties Panel
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
67 About Keyframing
2 Customize Your Workspaces
59 Adjust Color or Brightness
69 Add Motion to a Still
70 Pan and Zoom Still Images a la Ken Burns
73 Control Volume at Specific Points
If the Media panel is the artist's paint, the Properties panel is the artist's brushes. The Properties panel adds shape and movement and even dimension to your clips and graphics. It's here that you'll find controls for a wealth of tools to adjust and affect your audio and video; controls for setting keyframing of motion and speed; and tools for manipulating, repairing, and processing your video or audio clips.
The properties of a clip as well as any keyframing of its effects are displayed in the Properties panel.
The panel toggles between two positions: Show Keyframes and Hide Keyframes. Click the button at the top of the panel to show or hide the keyframes timeline.
You'll also find information on the clip you've selected on the main Timeline, including the name of the clip, the type of medium, and its running time (which might not be the same as the actual running time of the entire original clip).
In any list of properties for a clip, time is always represented as 00;00;00;00. The first three sets of numbers indicate the time in hours, minutes, and seconds. The set of numbers to the right of the last semicolon indicates frame countapproximately 30 frames for every second in the NTSC system, 25 frames for every second in the PAL system.
Click the triangles to the left of each property to see the property details for, by default, Image Control, Motion, Opacity, and Volume, as applicable, plus any other effects you might have added to the clip. The panel provides easy access to features for making simple image and audio correction (see 59 Adjust Color or Brightness). There are also one-click buttons for fading in and out your clip's audio and video and for rotating your clip or still by 90° increments. (You can also rotate the clip by more precise increments by changing the numerical rotation settings as described in 62 Rotate or Flip a Clip).
Note that each property detail can be set numerically. These settings can be changed a number of ways. The simplest method of changing these settings is, of course, by typing different numerical values. Alternatively, position the mouse pointer over any of the numerical settings; the pointer becomes a settings icon. Click and drag across these settings to increase or decrease the numbers. Watch the Monitor panel to see the effect of your changed settings. In many cases, this drag-to-adjust-settings approach is the most natural method for changing settings, as well as being the easiest to control.
You can also click the image in the Monitor panel and, by dragging it or manipulating it by its center or corner points, you can change the position, scale, and rotation of the clip. The numeric settings in the Properties panel update automatically.
Drag any video effect from the Effects and Transitions panel onto your selected clip. Note that the effect also appears in the Properties panel. As you can with the default properties, you can click the triangle to the left of the added effect to reveal its details and additional settings and controls. (Note that many effects, such as Basic 3D, might not produce a visible change in your clip until you've changed the effect's settings.)
To the left of each property or effect in the Properties panel is an eye icon. This icon is a quick switch for turning the effect on and offa simple way to compare the before and after of any effect or changed setting.
If you haven't already done so, click the Show Keyframes button at the top of the Properties panel to reveal the keyframing area in the Properties timeline. Note that, with few exceptions, a stopwatch icon appears to the right of each property or effect. This button activates the keyframing tool for the property.
After you have activated keyframes for a particular property or effect, the stopwatch icon for that property shows a second hand (see 67 About Keyframing).
Keyframe points can be easily moved or deleted. By clicking the stopwatch icon again, you can completely remove them so the effect is applied to your entire clip rather than parts of it.
Likewise, you can remove an entire effect simply by clicking on the name of the effect in the Properties panel and clicking the trashcan icon at the bottom of the panel. Alternatively (and more efficiently), right-click the name of the effect and selecting Clear from the context menu.
The Properties panel also serves as a control panel for transitions. Drag a transition onto the main Timeline, select it, and the Properties panel takes on a very different look as explained in 44 About Transitions. In addition to having the option to preview the transition with the actual clips, the Properties panel provides controls for setting the duration of the transition, for setting whether the transition is centered between two clips or over one or the other, and (with the Properties timeline revealed) for setting exactly how the transition occurs. Depending on the qualities of the transition itself, you'll also find options for controlling which direction it moves, how the details behave, and how distinct the line is between the clip that is being transitioned out and the one that is being transitioned in. For more information on adding and customizing transitions, see 46 Add a Video Transition.