Is @rassnapp On to Something About OPTION T?

So yesterday afternoon, I saw one of my Twitter friends, rassnapp tweet the following:

Option + T is quickly gaining on Option + V as my favorite shortcut

I did a spit take and promptly responded with:

You must be doing a lot of keyframing or re-timing (ugh)! I love me some OPT-T too, but I hit OPT-V all day long.

And he diplomatically came back with:

yes, LOTS of keyframing today, but you’re right, Option+V is still one of the kings.

Now I’ve covered my beloved OPT V before, but I guess this means it’s finally time to tackle OPT T and settle this once and for all.

OPT T is the “Toggle Clip Keyframes” shortcut and when you hit it, your timeline changes pretty radically from this:

Into this information-packed supercharged timeline:

Notice how, in the clip keyframes mode, we can now see that, in addition to opacity, we have another parameter keyframed (in this case, it’s scale) and on the audio track, we can see yet another hitherto unseen keyframed parameter (pan). You can select what parameter is visible (you can only choose one) by right-clicking in the gray area where the keyframed parameters show.

Note that even though you can only see and manipulate one parameter at a time, you can at least see all motion keyframes (blue line) and even filter keyframes (green line–observe that we have a filter applied in the “Tape 3″ clip) and the view of them all at one time is invaluable. You can also see hash marks that give you a quick visual reference for time-remapping–again relative to other keyframed events and, since I personally loathe time remapping in FCP, that’s a real help.

The beauty of this view is that its by far the easiest way to tweak keyframes in FCP when the timing of them is dependent on other keyframes’ timing. It kind of gives you a bird’s eye view of the overall keyframing of your timeline elements and makes life much easier in a tricky, busy edit. That you can easily toggle it on and off with OPT T is incredibly useful.

So yeah, when rassnapp (who, in his non-Twitter life is better known as the talented Washington DC-based editor and filmmaker Brannon Shiflett) says he’s starting to get his love on for OPT T because he’s doing some heavy keyframing, I can certainly see what he means. Thing is, I don’t often get that heavy duty with keyframes in FCP (maybe I need to spice things up more for my clients), but I do paste attributes many times a day with OPT V, so I like it more as a time saving shortcut. Perhaps we can agree that, given OPT T’s grandeur and power, it is indeed a “King” level shortcut and maybe OPT V is a more workaday “Prime Minister” level shortcut?

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