The important third viewing mode in the Project panel is called Freeform view. This mode looks a lot like Icon view except that now you can position clips anywhere, including beyond the currently visible edges of the panel. You can set different thumbnail sizes for different clips and organize clips as stacks or groups. You can also snap the edges of thumbnails together to pre-arrange sequences.
By placing clips next to each other in a line, you can use hover scrubbing to quickly review multiple clips.
Let’s try this with some new clips.
If you have browsed into a bin in the Project panel or if a bin is selected, the following steps will result in new items being added to that bin. To avoid this, use the Navigate Up button or deselect any bins in the Project panel before continuing.
Click the name of the Media Browser to select it.
Use the navigator on the left to browse to Lessons/Assets/Video and Audio Files.
In the contents area on the right, right-click the Desert folder and choose Import.
The entire contents of the Desert folder are imported, placed in a bin that is automatically created and named after the folder.
In the Project panel, double-click the new Desert bin to open it in its own panel.
Click the Freeform View button in the Project panel to switch to that view. Now double-click the name of the bin to switch the panel group to full screen, so there’s more room to arrange the clips.
Initially, your clips may appear as a single column of thumbnails.
Right-click an empty space in the Project panel and choose Reset To Grid > Name to make more efficient use of the space.
Notice that even though you have chosen one of the many options to rearrange the clip thumbnails and you have set the panel to full screen, there are still horizontal and vertical scroll bars. Freeform view gives you a wide area to arrange your clips in.
While bins provide a convenient way to organize your clips, either as lists of items or as thumbnails, Freeform view allows you to group clips within a bin. Not only that, you can give different clips different thumbnail sizes.
Freeform view is an open canvas for you to arrange clips into groups and experiment with possible combinations before adding them to a sequence. Here are the features of Freeform view:
Thumbnails do not snap to a grid, although you can tidy up the view by right-clicking the background of the Project panel and choosing Align To Grid. Choose Reset To Grid, followed by an option, to both tidy up the view and sort the clips.
You can snap the edges of clips by holding Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows) as you drag a thumbnail.
You can save multiple Freeform view clip layouts by right-clicking the background of the Project panel and choosing Save As New Layout. Restore a layout by right-clicking the background of the Project panel and choosing Restore Layout. Choose Manage Saved Layouts to selectively delete layouts you no longer need.
You can select one or more clips and assign a thumbnail size. To do this, right-click one or more selected clips and choose Clip Size, followed by a particular size.
The Zoom control (and pinch and zoom on a trackpad) will zoom the whole view. You can also hold Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows) and scroll to zoom.
Open the panel menu, and choose Freeform View Options to enable or disable two lines of metadata, label colors, and badges.
Freeform view is a powerful alternative to the traditional clip and bin organizational system. Take a little time now to explore the options and familiarize yourself with this view. Most of the workflows presented in this book will apply to any of the three views, and you are likely to alternate between them often.