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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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v3: Cinematic Timelines

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Some features are better demonstrated than described, so please watch the following screencast.

Timeline 3D (v3) will contain many new features to create cinematic timelines.

  • Drag and drop movies onto events
  • Drag and drop audio onto events
  • Drag and drop soundtracks onto chart backgrounds
  • Automatic narration
  • Automatic sound and media mixing
  • Optional motion graphic BEEDOCS logo
  • Publish to YouTube
  • Share movies to iTunes
  • Export Quicktime movies for editing in iMovie and Final Cut Pro
  • More efficient video rendering

We noticed that the most succeful timeline movies that customers have created over the past few years have mixed in narration, music, and videos. However, it is a small percentage of our customers who have had the ability and tools to edit multimedia into their timelines. With the v3 upgrade, we are making it easier for everyone to create and share cinematic timelines.

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Blogger Julia MaxeyFebruary 03, 2011 12:16 PM

This looks really fantastic. Will an upgrade be available for my school, which purchased a bulk license this past fall?

Blogger Adam BehringerFebruary 03, 2011 12:21 PM

Julia - Yes, we will make upgrades available to customers who purchased site licenses. Please contact elise@beedocs.com for more information. Thanks!

Blogger UnknownFebruary 06, 2011 5:20 AM

I like the improvements you are making and the cinematic timeline looks really good. The narration part makes it a bit like using http://www.qwiki.com/ actually. However, the synthetic speech only works for common English words so I think it would be great if there was an option to record your own narration for each event. That way strange names, Swedish and abbreviations will make sense to our staff members. Also I wonder what it would take to make Timeline 3D consume and external calendar feed and be able to click update on that from an existing timeline document in order incorporate recent changes?

Blogger Adam BehringerFebruary 06, 2011 7:30 AM

Alexandra, The cinematic timeline features will allow you to drag your own audio content onto each event. Therefor, if you record narration using something like QuickTime Player, you can integrate that into your timeline as you are describing.

Also, Timeline 3D does allow you to automatically create a timeline from an iCal calendar. It does not automatically update, but it is easy to create a new timeline based on the latest calendar information.

Thanks! --Adam

Blogger UnknownFebruary 06, 2011 2:13 PM


Thanks for the response. I don't want to be difficult but I guess I was filing a feature request here ;) As I understand one goal of this release is to make the software easier to use when it comes to multimedia. That means that recording, saving, naming, finding a sound file for each event can be a very tedious process. Especially if you timeline have 50-100 events. These mouseclicks could easily be reduced by having a "Record custom narration" in each event dialogue. No external software. No file naming. No searching for the file. Just a suggestion.

Blogger Adam BehringerFebruary 06, 2011 2:47 PM

Alexandra, I understand. That is something that I was working on but cut the feature in order to ship v3 on schedule. That feature may (or may not) appear at some point in the future. Thanks for the feedback!

Blogger KirkFebruary 14, 2011 1:10 PM

I agree with Alexandra about the narration. We need to have the option of a human voice, and the easier the better. I think in today's multimedia landslide, a synthetic voice just doesn't cut it.

Thanks, Lary

Blogger MarkFebruary 15, 2011 11:32 AM

THIS IS GRRRRRREAT! I've been looking and waiting for this to arrive. I knew it was coming but it was tough not buggin' you for it.
The apparent ease of making timelines with video in them is stupendous. I agree that there is no need for editing in 3D Timeline. The ability to include an audio bed in the overall production is an added bonus.
I'm going to cut this short so I can purchase this right away.
Almost forgot, thanks for the video of your Boston. She's killer cute.
Thanks hugely,

Blogger UnknownFebruary 17, 2011 12:57 PM

I am looking forward to the new upgrade. I was wondering if you had plans or could add the feature of layering time lines into an upcoming release? It would be helpful as I am managing multiple programs from a high level perspective and having 1 complete view would be helpful on occasion.

Blogger Patrick HurleyFebruary 17, 2011 2:54 PM

I enjoy your program, but find its print support a lacking. Has there been improvements in hard copy?

Blogger Adam BehringerFebruary 17, 2011 3:27 PM

Patrick, v3 will add some new features that make it easier to hide content in your timeline. For example, you will be able to hide all the event notes. This should make it easier to quickly format a timeline for printing on a single page.

However, we have not made improvements specifically in the printing workflow. Most of the feedback we get from customers indicates that digital workflows (such as publishing to the web) are more important than printing for the majority of people so those areas are where we are focussing most of our development efforts.

Blogger UnknownFebruary 27, 2011 2:24 PM

Like Patrick, I will use this more for print than for video.

One thing that would be nice is the option of orienting the timeline vertically (or alternately, orienting the text sideways). If I am putting together a lesson on (for example) the history of China this arrangement lets me put in more events without making the labels so small as to be unreadable. (When doing this I don't include pictures or notes, for obvious reasons.)

Blogger UnknownFebruary 27, 2011 2:31 PM

And another point: you should add a "cancel" option when creating a timeline automatically. I've been creating one now for a long time from my Aperture library, and there's no progress indicator (which would be nice), just the spinning coloured ball and a lot of drive noise.

I've just launched Activity Monitor, and my drive is spinning at about 4MB/sec. If it tries to read my entire Aperture library (1.5 TB) it will take a long time!

Best thing would be to have a dialogue with a progress bar and a Cancel button, so we had an idea how long it was going to take (a time estimate would be nice, if possible), and could cancel it if it was going to be too long.

Blogger UnknownMarch 11, 2011 8:54 PM

Dear Adam - have just started to experiment with your exciting looking sofware. Just a quick question to ask why you decided to go with an event entry box having only a media box ? Why, for example, did you not go with an event icon graphic AND a media box ? If implemented that way, could the media be a larger version of the icon graphic ? Or is there another way of achieving the same ? Have managed to both add an image and a music track to the media box (the music plays successfully when M is pressed whilst simultaneously displaying the image in the timeline presentation) but cannot see/edit the music track details in the event box. Some guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, Ian

Blogger Adam BehringerMarch 13, 2011 9:09 PM

Lesley, we just posted the updated help documentation. Please let me know if this article answers your question: http://www.beedocs.com/help/articles/images.php

You can drag and drop almost any kind of media onto an event. Here are the options that available:

- No event media
- Image only
- Audio only
- Audio with Image
- Movie only

To delete media from an event, double click the event to go into edit mode. Then click the "Media" field and press delete.

All of these combinations will also work in the 3D presentation, exported movies, and when publishing to the web (upgraded hosting account is required to post audio and video).

Blogger Arno BosseMarch 15, 2011 7:35 AM

I was very pleased to see this feature listed for v3 but in practice have found it to be less than useful. As far as I can tell movies associated with events always playback full-screen (clicking the play at normal size icon on the far right of the overlaid movie control bar on a Mac quits the movie). However, even if the movie optionally played back at normal size this is less than ideal in many contexts but especially in the 3D mode. Ideally, I'd like to see the movie played back in a aspect ratio appropriate event box right in the timeline (2D and 3D). In the 3D timeline it would play back in the same area set aside now for an image associated with the event. Allowing the app to automatically restricting the size for this (as long as the aspect ration is respected) is a acceptable tradeoff.

Blogger Arno BosseMarch 15, 2011 10:15 PM

Sorry, just read my last comment again and realized it sounded a little testy. That wasn't my intent. I've since emailed in a fuller version of this feature request.

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