Avid Media Composer Notes
Intro - Avid Media Composer might be a bit more complicated and not as straightforward as Final Cut Pro or Premiere, but it is powerful, customizable, and very well supported.
There are a huge amount of tutorials and lessons on-line. My top resource suggesitons include:
The program has been around for quite some time. So for whatever problem you might encounter, chances are it's been asked and answered.
Where stuff goes - Avid Media Composer stores media files, project
files, and user files in different places than you might be accustomed
to with Final Cut Pro or Premiere.
Media files go in the "Avid MediaFiles" folder. This folder should be set on a media drive (fast 7200 RPM
drive) on the root level. Avid will often create this folder on any available drive at the root level. So be sure to check the dialog boxes carefully when importing or transcoding media.
Know where all of the various files associated with an Avid project are stored!
- Media files - go into the Avid MediaFiles folders
- Projects - are saved either in the Users/Shared or Users/Username folder, or can even be saved on an external drive
- The Attic Folder - where autosave backup files are stored
Starting the Avid - the Project Window - After you launch Media Composer, you'll be greeted with the"Select Project Window." You've got to select a project or make a new one. (Unlike FCP
where you can have multiple projects open.)
Note that you can select your user profile. This will load your custom display and editing preferences.
Know where your project is stored! You can store the project anywhere you'd like - For example on your
private media drive. For Production Lab computers you need to use either "Shared" or "External" (So you could place it on a specific drive- an external one for instance.)
Media Creation and Settings - Avid Media Composer is flexible and can work in a number of different resolutions and file formats. You can even have different resolutions in the same sequence. However when Media Composer transcodes or generates media, you need to specify what format/resolution you desire. Jim's suggestion for your class projects is DNxHD 145.
Opening or starting a project -
Project Window: This is where you access the bins, settings, and effects. In order to see your bins, simply click on the "Bins" tab.
Note the little banded square icon (right underneath the "Bins" tab). This is a contextual "fast menu" that offers different choices depending on what's selected (Bins, Effects, Volumes, etc.)
Be sure you see how to create new bins, delete bins, and nest them inside of folders. You can rearrange the columns and sort the contents by right clicking on a column heading. The pop-up fast menu at the bottom left corner of the bin offers many options and controls. The button right next lets you see text, frame or script. The drop down menu next to this lets you see useful info (E.g. format and volume) and also lets you save/recall your bin settings.
- Clips - Master clips are what you get when you digitize or transfer
media into your computer
User profiles - you can create multiple user profiles for a single user
Info display - Get system info here
Effects Palette display
Media Composer Windows:
- Composer monitor
You can also have
- Source clips
- Tool & command palettes
Most editing controls or commands are already visible as buttons. More are available in the tear-off tool palette. You can customize (E.g. add buttons) using the Command Pallete (Under the menu Tools/Command Palette).
Be usre you know the difference between splice-in and overwrite (yellow and red).
Before editing, it's usually a good idea to sync lock your tracks in the sequence window (by clicking the little buttonjust right of the track display).
Just like FCP you sometimes need to patch source tracks to the proper destination (V2, A3, A4, etc.)
Know how to:
- Select tracks
- Make a 3-point edit
- Patch tracks
- View & Adjust Audio Levels
- Generate tone
- Add fades & dissolves
- Add black or filler
- Adding tracks
- Add filler
- Video mixdown (turns multi-layer effects into one track)
Set marks (in and out)
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