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Knowing how to get clips into your project and how to delete media is only one part of the skillset that you'll need to master in order to manage your media properly. So here we are going to look at how to accomplish various different media- management tasks that are useful throughout the life cycle of a Media Composer project. First, at the input stage, when using AMA-linkable media from popular file- based cameras or multimedia files, you'll have the choice of editing with the AMA-linked clips or creating a copy of those clips to work with.
If we go back to the 04_01 subfolder and open up the AMA bin, we have our hummingbirds clip that we AMAed to earlier, the P2 material. You can tell that it's an AMA-linked clip because when it's unselected in the bin, it's bright yellow. So with AMA-linked media, if I right- click on the clip, I get two very important choices in the menu here: Consolidates/Transcode. Choose that choice and up comes the dialog box. Consolidates creates a copy of the file in the Avid Media Files folder specified.
It is literally copying the original DVCPRO HD video and Audio MXF clips from the card structure and placing them in the Avid Media Files folder. No rewrapping or conversion of the file takes place. It's simply a copy. But why might you want to consolidate when you've accessed the media already via AMA? Let's cancel out of here while we consider that for a moment. One good reason might be that you are on a very tight deadline. You have accessed your P2 material on a card reader using AMA, and you now want to quickly view what you shot and then make a copy of just the selects that you need to edit on your laptop.
To do this, I would screen each clip, make the select that I wanted and move on to the next clip. In this case, I am not going to bother bringing the material at the head of the clip or at the tail of the clip. I'm just interested in this section here between the In and Out marks. What I am going to do now is click up here next to the name of the clip in the Source viewer, hold down, and I am going to create a subclip and drop it into my bin.
Now this clip only represents the material between the In point and the Out point. Now if I right-click on the subclip and choose the Consolidate/Transcode dialog, I will be consolidating just the portion of the clip that I need, not the entire thing. I can specify Handle length, but if I'm absolutely confident, maybe I will just drop that down to 10 frames. Next, we need to choose the target drive, so I am going to choose the Media Drive and I am also going to choose to convert the audio at the same time, and I will choose Consolidate.
So it's going to consolidate both the video and the two audio tracks, and now in our bin we get a new clip. It's a subclip, but appended by .new.01. If I stretch the bin out, we can see here that it's still the same format as the original AMA-linked material, but instead of being linked to the volume that we mounted, it's now linked to the media drive that we imported to. You are probably thinking, "Well, you have two copies of the same material online right now," and you'd be absolutely right.
So the first thing we do after doing a Consolidate is that we are going to now unmount the original AMA material. Here is the original subclip that we're looking at off of our card location. Now I am going to go back up to the File menu and I am going to choose Unmount. You can see that we have got a couple of different paths here. Let's have a look to see which one we're interested in. Oh, there it is, P2 hummingbirds. Select that, choose Unmount, and now, predictably, that media has gone offline.
However, if we go to our consolidated version of the media, it of course is still online. So someone could begin editing on the laptop straight away, while another crew member takes back the card to the camera for wiping and continued shooting. The Unmount command is the opposite of using the Link to AMA command, which in turn is very similar to that Add Volume command in the FCP Log and Transfer window.
So in this case AMA provided the instant preview and selection method, and then Consolidate played the role of the file transfer utility, moving the selected media from the camera cards to the managed media folder. The clips in the bin are still the same resolution; there are just fewer of them. And each clip has just the material we need, without extraneous heads and tails. Very similar to FCP Log and Transfer, specifically for those resolutions which FCP has to handle natively.
For example, DVCPRO HD would be one format where FCP is on unable to transcode to ProRes currently, so you would have no choice but to transfer it as DVCPRO HD, and that's very similar to what we've just done here.
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