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Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Media Composer 5.5 is a thorough comparison of the interfaces, concepts, tools, and workflow behind each of these two programs, covering the key differences video editors need to know to master Media Composer and make the switch. The course covers the basics of editing in Avid Media Composer, including sequence creation, project organization and navigation, importing and linking media, timeline editing techniques, and how to work with audio and add transitions and effects.
In Final Cut Pro, transition effects can be added directly from the Video Transitions option under the Effects menu. In Media Composer, transition effects are very similar to those in FCP and we'll look at a couple of different ways to add and use them. Here in the swingdance_transitions sequence, you can see that I've already added a Dissolve. Let's zoom in here onto the end of the first clip in the sequence, like so. (Female speaker: Swing dancing brings you together, bring you to a simple time.) So we can dissolve between two clips on the same track, or between clips on different tracks if we want to.
In fact, let's do that right now. Let's create a transition between this Interview 1 clip here on V1 and the b-roll clip here, 73565. To do that, the first way I'm going to show you is using the Quick Transition dialog. So park near the transition that you wish to affect, make sure the correct track is active in your sequence, and then activate the Quick Transition dialog, like so. We've used this a number of times in the course so far, so we already know that we can add different types of effects here from this Add dialog.
We've got Film Dissolve, Fade to Color, Dip to Color, etcetera. I'm going to leave this on Dissolve. Then we've got the positioning which can also be affected here graphically. We can also type in values. These buttons also allow us to affect the positioning, Centered, Ending, Beginning, and then we can choose the drive that we would render it to. Then here on the left, we could add additional tracks that we'd like to add effects to as well. Click Add and that effect has now been added to our sequence.
(Female speaker: And there's like 3 things that matter: the music?) Let's go here to the end of this b-roll clip and apply a different type of transition effect. So back to the Quick Transition dialog, but this time, I'd like to add a Dip to Color. I'd like it to be 18 frames long and centered on the cut point. Let's go ahead and add that now to our sequence and play it back. (Music playing) (Female speaker: My great grandmother?) Now, at the moment it's defaulted to a dip to black. So what happens if I'd like to now adjust the parameters of a transition effect when it's already been added to the sequence? We've got several different ways to do this.
First off, directly in the timeline itself, let's just zoom in a little bit, you can see that we've got the representation of the length of the effect displayed here with this light gray line. If I wanted to manipulate the length or position of the effect directly in the timeline here, what I do is activate my Transition Manipulation tool. You could see that now I've got little keyframes on either side of my effect, so I could lengthen one side or lengthen another side. If I hold down the Option key, I can drag both sides of the effect at the same time.
In addition, I can also use the hand to reposition the placement of the effect at the end of the clip. You can see that while I'm using these tools, I'm getting nice feedback up here from my Transition Corner Display. Let's click back on the timecode track to exit that mode. Now another way that I could re-edit this effect would be simply to park on it and re-enter the Quick Transition dialog. Here, I could make a change and then add and that would now be applied over top. The third way that I could re-edit a transition effect that I've already added to a sequence will be to enter Effects mode.
I can enter Effects mode a couple of different ways, either here using the Effects mode button or here in the Composer window. When I activate Effects mode, we get an Effect Editor window and this is where I could manipulate the parameters of the effect that we're parked on in the sequence. In this case I'm just going to make a very simple change. I'm going to come here to the background color and select White. Now, when we play it back in the sequence-- (Female speaker: My great grandmother owned?) we have a white flash instead.
Let's look at a different example. Here a little bit further down the sequence I have a cut from the suitcases to the girl opening the suitcases. Maybe I'd like to add a different type of transition effect. To do this, what I'm going to do is come over to the Effects palette. Inside the Effects palette, we know we have our categories on the left and we have the effects within those categories on the right. You can see that in the Blend category here in fact is the Dissolve that we added from the Quick Transition dialog. We also have Fade to Color and Dip to Color here too as well.
In this case, I'd like to go to the Push category and choose Left to Right. I'm going to drag it from the Effects palette and drop it not onto the clip on either side, but to the transition point between the two clips, like so. Let's play that back. (Female speaker: ?40s and 50s, across the street from the phone company in Los Angeles.) So if I'm just adding a default effect, I can drag it, drop it, and move on. However, if again we wanted to edit this effect, we would park over it and go back into Effects mode.
This time, I'd like to call out the fact that you can open the parameters within the effect by clicking down on the disclosure triangles. Here, for example, I could choose to manipulate how the effect behaves over time. Notice that when we're in Effects mode, the ribbon under the Record viewer now represents the length of the effect, not the length of your sequence. It's also containing keyframes now and we have some different tools for Loop Playback and Add Keyframe. We also have here the Grid tool which allows us to make sure that things are still in safe action and safe title as we start to work with effects.
If I wanted to make a basic change to my effect now, what I'd do is select one of my keyframes and then use Command+I to make sure that both keyframes at the beginning and the end of my effect are selected. Now, I could come over here and choose to add a border. There we go! We can see the border width has now created this white stripe at the edge of the frame. Obviously, I could go in and manipulate the color. In this case, rather than choosing a color from the Color palette, I'll choose a color from my image instead.
Let's choose another color to fade into. There we go! And then we could also go ahead and soften up the border a little bit as well. In addition, I can also show or hide the Keyframe Graph and you can see here that we've got a different display of the effect available to us. If I wanted to go in and do some more keyframing work now, for example, let's say I wanted to affect the width of the border as the effect takes place. Now what I do, I come to the Width parameter and I could choose to animate it over time, add a keyframe, add a keyframe at the end, add a keyframe in the center, and now I could create an animation over time for the width of the border.
Once I'm happy with that, close out of the Effect Editor. I'm back in Source/Record mode, and now I can play back. (Female speaker: ?in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, across the street from the phone company in Los Angeles and since?) Now, just like in Final Cut Pro, there are many, many different types of effects that you can add from the categories in the Effects palette. Not every single one of these effects is going to be a transition effect. So I suggest you play around, have a look through some of the options available, and try them out using the sequences provided.
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