Advanced Video Camera and Editing

Ripple and Roll Tools

The most commonly used tools for trimming edits are the Ripple and the Roll:

  • Ripple (shortcut key - RR) –  This tool allows you to add or subtract frames from the selected clip. You can add or subtract from the incoming side of the edit point, or the outgoing. Using the ripple tool will affect the timing of your sequence. 

  • Roll (shortcut key - R) – This tool affects just the edit point itself by adding frames to one clip while subtracting frames from the other. Therefore, the timing of your sequence is unaffected. The Roll is quite handy for doing split edits, where the audio can be rolled to lead the video (more on split edits below). 
 Roll Tool (rolls the edit point)

You should be able to tell at a glance whether a ripple is incoming or outgoing, and whether it’s a roll. Knowing this distinction will help when you begin trimming from the keyboard. See Editing on the Fly.

Example Using the Ripple and Roll Tools:

In two clips taken from different angles we see the same action - the host turns her head. The clips are edited into the Timeline, but the action overlaps – it appears that the woman turns her head twice. The edit needs to be trimmed so that in the first clip we see her begin to turn. In the second clip, the turn is completed. 

 Ripple Incoming (start of clip)

Ripple Outgoing (end of clip)

Clip 1 - she starts to turn her head

Clip 2 - she completes the turn


Generally, you want to ripple your edit first to fix the timing.  Then you roll it.

Play around the edit and determine what needs to be changed. Then…

  • Press RR to select the Ripple tool;
  • Position the tool on the incoming or outgoing edge of the clip; 
 Ripple incoming is selected

  • Click and Drag the end of the clip, then play the edit to get a sense of the timing.

  • Press R to select the Roll tool (the Roll tool helps hide the edit and makes the head turn between the two shots appear seamless)
 Roll tool is selected

  • Drag the edit point left or right to fine-tune the timing

Play Around – (backslash \) – Here's a useful keystroke that can help you play around the edit. The play around tool will playback your edit five beginning five seconds before it starts. The default is 5 seconds, but can be modified in the Preferences menu under Pre-roll. A 2-second pre-roll may help you more sharply get a better sense of timing for the edit.