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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 clips can be imported or captured directly into the Project tab. From there we can move clips into bins, and then we can display the contents of a bin by using the disclosure triangle. If we see a clip that looks like a 35 millimeter film strip, we know that that means it's a video file. If we see a clip represented by a speaker icon, then we know that's an audio-only file. And if we see one of these clips here with the letters A, B, C on it, then we know that that represents a graphic file that's been imported. Okay, let's go and look at some similar things in the Media Composer interface.
If you want to follow along, I'm actually in the Chapter 1 folder, inside the 01_03 subfolder. In there is a Bin called _incoming _media. Let's double-click and open that up. As you've seen, bins are nearly identical in the two applications in that they're the containers for clips. Clips are also similar in both applications, since they have the pointers to our actual audio and picture data. However, in Media Composer, before you can begin importing or capturing clips, you will always need to first create a bin.
This is why upon creating a new Avid project the Project window will always by default contain a single new untitled bin. Also, you can see that you can only view the contents of a bin by having that bin open in one of two ways, which I'll show you momentarily. To emulate the way that you work in Final Cut Pro, just create an incoming media bin, then we can link import or capture everything into that bin first. Now we can create a custom set of bins into which we can organize all of the imported material.
In Media Composer, with the Project window active just click on the New Bin button. I'm going to create several new bins. Now I'm going to called them Broll, Interview, Music, Sequences, and GFX. Now you can see that these new bins have been cranked up at the root level, so to keep things organized. I'm going to select them all and then move them into the 01_03 subfolder.
The next thing I'm going to want to do is take the bins themselves and arrange them in my interface, so that I can easily access them. That way I can drag, clips, and sequences between my bins very easily. Okay, before we do that though, let's return to the _incoming_media bin and have a look to see what these different icons actually mean. First off, this icon here with a little audio waveform inside it is indicating that it's an audio-only clip. If I load that into the Source viewer (Music playing) So I could drag this clip from the _incoming_media bin over into the Music bin.
Looks like we've got some more music here and perhaps if we scroll down, ah, yeah, there is another piece of music there. So let's put those all in that bin together, like so. Next, if I'm looking at one of these clips here that looks a film strip, much like in Final Cup Pro, then I'm actually looking at a clip that contains video. Those look like b-roll shots there. So I'm going to select all of the b-roll shots this time together and move those into the Broll bin.
Next, I'm going to load up this clip. (Female speaker: And there's only three things that matter and it's the music, the dance floor, and your partner.) Okay, so these are audio/video clips as well, but looks like they're interview material. So I'm going to move these into the Interview bin. Next, we have this icon here, the T. Let's double-click and see what that is. This is in actural fact a title that was created inside the system using either Media Composer Title tool or Avid Marquee. So I'm going to take this. I'm going to move this into my GFX bin.
These are also graphics, but they're represented by an FX icon. The reason for this is that this effect actually contains media. You can see these are a whole bunch of different graphics that are been imported together with their alpha channel. Let's select these and put these in the GFX bin as well. And then finally, the only thing remaining in the _incoming_media bin is this icon. This is representing a sequence. If I double-click on it, it's going to load into the record site, so I'm going to take this and drop it into my Sequences bin.
Now we've essentially moved all of the contents out of the _incoming_media bin into the various respective categories. If instead of moving the contents from one bin to another, we wanted to copy the contents from one bin to another, we have two different ways to do that in Media Composer. The first way to do this would be to take the clips, highlight them, and then use Command+D to duplicate them. You can see here now that the music clips that we originally moved over are these ones and the copies have Copy.01 next to them.
That would be one way of creating a copy. I can have a record of what I originally imported in my _incoming_media bin and also a Music bin for my editor. Now with duplicates, they're essentially independent, and what I mean by that is the following. If I load up the Slow clip here, and let's say I make an in point and an out point and I add a locator. If I come back over here to this bin and I load up this version of Slow, notice it doesn't have the same attributes as the clip that's in this bin.
So now let me get rid of these clips. I'm going to delete them. I'm going to delete any media files; just the master clip reference. And let's do that again this time, but instead I'm going to select the clips and hold down the Alt key as I drag them to this bin. Now we notice that there is no longer a .new01 next to the name. So if I load the Fast clip here and again do the same thing, maybe make an in point and out point, maybe I make a couple of locator marks during the clip at significant moments.
Now, if I come back to this bin and load up the Fast clip, guess what? It's exactly the same. So hopefully you can see that there is a difference between cloning a clip, where you will actually always be linked to its original parent, and duplicating a clip, where it goes onto have a life of its own. Let me show you more about that. For example, if I come to the Mid clip here, this is a clone of the Mid clip here. So, if I were to change the name of this clip slightly, let's put the 1 at the beginning of this clip here.
Notice that it updates immediately over here in this bin and of course if it was used in the sequence, it would update in the sequences too. So the whole point of the difference between duplication and cloning is duplication gives you a copy that has its own life. And cloning gives you the ability to continue to keep a copy of all of your material in a master bin where you can make adjustments to metadata that will ripple through all of the other bins and sequences in your project. So now I'm going to Alt-clone all of my clips back into the _incoming_media bin.
The only difference is that with sequences. There is no option to clone. So if I Alt+Drag my sequence to this bin, I'm actually going to get a copy instead. Okay, so when we are organizing material like this, it's very useful to have all of our bins opening up in different windows. So we can quickly organize material between the different bins. However, when we working on a single monitor system or perhaps on a laptop, we need another mechanism to help us make the best use of our real estate.
So I'm going to close all of my bins and now I'm going to go to the Settings tab in the Project window and I'm going to come to the Bin setting. Double-click and open that up. Here we want to option to enable something called SuperBin. Now when I go back to the Bins tab, if I single click on my _incoming_media bin, it's going to open up then here but with the words SuperBin in front of it. Now if I single click on another bin, instead of opening up in a separate window, it opens up in the same window and I can open up as many bins as I like into the SuperBin window.
To switch between the various bins, I am going to clip on this icon here and now I can access the individual bins by name. This isn't as quite as elegant as the Tabs view in Final Cup Pro, but it's very similar and it will certainly help you keep organized and keep your desktop layout under control. If I find I still need to move clips between bins while I've got the SuperBin active, I can still go back to an individual Bin, double-click on it, and now it will open up in a separate window and I can continue organizing between the SuperBin and my regular bin.
Remember, Media Composer doesn't allow for objects like clips and sequences at the root level of the Project window. You're always going to need to create a Bin first in order to bring material into your Media Composer project.
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