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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, when we create a new project, notice the blank sequence is automatically created by default. This sequence is created according to two different sets of preferences. First off, under the Final Cut Pro menu, under User Preferences, on the Timeline Options tab, it's here that we get to set the default start timecode, whether or not it's drop frame, and the default number of video and audio tracks which get added to our new blank sequence.
The other set of settings which affect what sort of sequence is created are defined here in the Audio/Video Settings where we can create a new Easy Setup. This is going to determine the frame size, the frame rate, and the codec. Now down on the left-hand side of the Timeline window itself, notice that when a new sequence is first created, we don't just see the sequence tracks represented. We also see some source sidetracks as well. Now when there's no clip loaded in the Source viewer, Final Cut Pro automatically adds a black slug to the Source viewer which is why we see V1, A1, A2, here on the source side.
If I switch now to another project and load a clip, notice now in the source side we have V1, A1, and A2. And we still have V1, A1-A4 on the record side. Where a sequence already exists, we can use Command+0 to bring up the Sequence Settings. For example, we could alter the atart timecode and whether or not it's drop frame. Finally, if I need to create a copy of a sequence, then I'm going to select that sequence and then use the keyboard command Option+D. Now I've created a copy of my fire_dancing sequence.
I'm going to call it fire_dancing_2. And in order to start working on that now, I'd have to double-click to load that fire_dancing_2 version into my current Timeline window. Now I could begin editing on my second version. Let's go and have a look at Media Composer. Media Composer does not create any sequences by default; instead, the first step must be to create a new sequence. And remember, since we already set the project settings including the frame rate ahead of time, this new sequence and any others created here will be fixed to the frame rate of this project.
We'll cover creating sequences at different frame rates later in the course. But notice there is no association between the sequence and a codec in Media Composer. Any usable codec can be mixed with any other in my sequence and most will playback without rendering. So to create a sequence, let's come back over to the project window, make sure you are on the Bins tab, and inside the Chapter 1 folder, inside 01_06, I have a new bin called _sequence. Single-click on that to open it up.
Remember, you'll always need a bin to contain your clips and sequences; they cannot live in the root of the Project window. In the bin, right-click and choose New Sequence. A new sequence is placed in the bin and highlighted ready to rename. Let's call it commute-01. What else has changed? Well, apart from the sequence in my bin, up here above the Record viewer, I've now got the name of the sequence here too. Down in the Timeline area the default number of tracks have been added to this new sequence.
One video track and two audio tracks. If I wanted to change the default number of tracks that are added to a new sequence, right-click in the Timeline window and choose Timeline Settings. On this first tab called Display, there are various settings that I can tweak. Here under Movement During Play, if I switch to Scroll, this will feel a lot more like Final Cut as the Timeline plays back. On the Edit tab, it's here that I can actually change the number of tracks that are added to new sequences.
Alternatively, if I wanted to affect the default start timecode for a new sequence, I need to come over to my Settings tab in the Project window and I'd need to go to the General setting. Double-click on that and it's here that I can change my default start timecode. Also, I can change this from drop frame to non-drop frame by altering this from a semicolon to a colon or vice versa. Now of course, that affects new sequences. What about the current sequence I have created? Well, if I wanted to change the Start Timecode for this sequence, I'd have to come back to the bin and scroll across until I find the Start Timecode column.
Here, I could now type in a new value and the new timecode would be applied to my current sequence instead. Now that we have a blank sequence, let's move on to creating a first pass at the commute montage. If you'd like to see an example of what you might aim for, check out the commute_example sequence from the commute_example bin. Here it is, commute_example, and here is the commute_example sequence. If I load it up, that's what you're trying to aim for.
So let's switch back now to commute-01. Now let's go to our commute_source bin and load up our first clip, GOPRO085. Let's play through and make an in point and out point on the fly. (Vroom. Engine revving) Okay. So we've marked up that clip now. We can see the duration, 13:23, up here in the Composer window.
To make my first edit, I can simply click down on this clip and drag it and drop it into my sequence like so. We've made our first edit. Incidentally, now that we have content loaded into the Source viewer as well as into the Record viewer, notice that we have a record side set of tracks and a source side set of tracks too. Let's load up our next clip, GOPRO088. This time I'm going to use the interface and play. (Vroom. Engine revving, wind blowing) Make an in point here and now I'm going to use the keyboard to advance 3 seconds and 10 frames.
With my Source viewer highlighted and using my number pad, I'm going to type in +3:10. Notice that the Timeline cursor is now jumped forward and if I make an out point here I've now got a duration of 3 seconds and 11 frames. In other words, the frame I was parked on plus the 3 seconds and 10 frames that I jumped forward. I can add this clip to my sequence by holding down, dragging and dropping into the sequence area. But this time I've got a choice. Do I want to drop it before my clip, after my clip, or in the middle of my clip? In this particular case, I'm going to drop it at the end.
Something that can help me be more accurate is by holding down the Command key. As I hold down the Command key now, and if you can even when I'm snapping to points in the timeline, this is very similar to using the N key in Final Cut Pro. If you prefer, you can right-click in the Timeline area, go to Timeline Settings, and you can actually switch on Snap to Edit as a Default option right here. Let's load up the third clip, GOPRO091.
This time I'll use a different method for marking my in points and out points. With my viewer active, I'm going type in a timecode using my number pad. First off, I need to go up here and set my Source Timecode to V1. Now I'm going to type in 00:08:08:08. Notice that the Timeline cursor jumps directly to that timecode value. Now I can make an in point and now I can type another timecode value, and now I can make my out point.
So that's another way to make our in points and out points. I'm going to go ahead and add this to the sequence now too. Again, I'll use Command to snap to the end. Now with the Timeline window still active, let's use the keyboard command, Command+U twice. This will add two new audio tracks. Let's go over to the bin and pick up the audio track called Sadies-Thing. I don't always have to load through the Source viewer. I can drag directly from the bin to the Timeline that way.
Let's add one more clip, GOPRO093. (Vroom. Engine revving) Let's say we want to add that now. I can drag this down onto tracks 1 and 2. There we go! So what I'd like you to do is continue working with this material and the source clips in the commute_source bin. Use the commute_example as a reference if you like. In the next video, I'll show you how to access bins and clips from other projects.
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