If you are reading this blog, you know that we are big fan of keyboard short cuts, but for some programs, working with a mouse is unavoidable. I was talking with an editor friend, Ariel Hadar from Kaveret, and he showed me quite an awesome was to utilize a gaming mouse and keyboard to get the benefits that you would get when working with a keyboard while working with a mouse. The best of both worlds.
Of course, this means that you are the type that likes working with shortcuts, and just want to take it up to the next level. If you like working with menus, move along, this is not the hack you’re looking for…
The basic idea is that gaming and editing has a lot in common, both need to move between many tools and both need to do it fast. So the gaming industry solved this problem by making keyboards and mice with many, many buttons where you can assign shortcuts. We are going to focus on the Corsair K95 gaming keyboard and M95 gaming mouse because this is what Ariel uses (get the black mouse), but other brands will probably work in similar fashion.
Specifically, the M95 has 8 additional configurable buttons and the K95 has an extra 18 buttons. (Well, technically, you can re-program the left and right mouse buttons too, but you probably don’t want to do that, because it will really mess up your workflow).
If you do opt for another mouse, make sure that it fits your hand well and that all the extra buttons are accessible with your thumb (which is usually unused when working with a mouse), and the extra keys on the keyboard are placed on the left, because you will probably be using them with the hand that does not hold the mouse.
Lastly the software that comes with Corsair gaming controls is very flexible, you can assign keys, key combinations and short scripts or macros.
We are also going to focus on Adobe Premiere Pro, those this hack will work with other editing software as well.
I asked Ariel for some examples:
Here is one such simple example. One of the buttons on my M95 is configured to CTRL+K which cuts the clip where the play-head is located.
Another more enticing example is what I did when I had to edit a movie with many slow-mo sequences. Regularly, I would have to hit CRTL+R to access the speed dialog, then press 50% and enter. For every single clip….. I made a short script and assigned it to button 7 (see photo below). This made slo-mo-ing a clip very fast, and being a repetitive job, it really saved a lot of time.
Here are some more ideas for shortcuts both on the keyboard and the mouse:
- nesting a clip ([the shortcut you assigned]>enter)
- Ripple delete (d>Ctrl+Backspace)
- Nudge a clip up/down (alt+up/down). Cut/copy/paste (Ctrl+x/c/v)
Just think on your repetitive actions and assign a macro for them.
And here are some of Ariel’s configurations:
- 1. Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V (Cut, Copy, Paste)
- Alt+Up, Alt+Down (Nudge a clip down/up)
- Open Calculator
- Show Desktop
- Ctrl+K (Cut a clip)
- Make a clip slo-mo @ 50% (described above)
- Ctrl+S (SUPER IMPORTANT!)
- Ctrl+5 (this is the shortcut I assigned to label the clip “mango” which means ‘good/important clip’)
- D > Ctrl+Backspace (ripple delete the clip below playhead)
- Ctrl+1 > Enter (Nest the selected clip(s) with default name)
Of course, those are only relevant for Adobe Premiere Pro (and to Ariel’s workflow at that), if you are using Davinci, After Effects, Avid or Call of Duty, you may want to map the buttons differently.
If you want to see more of Ariel and Kaveret’s work, they have a prolific Facebbok account and a 500px too.
P.S. Evolution gave us opposable thumbs so we can edit faster, don’t let this evolutionary edge go to waste
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