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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 we have a very basic built-in Title tool. If we want to go further then we've got the Boris FX title generator or Motion for creating more advanced graphics and titles. Media Composer has a similar situation. There is a basic tool called Title tool and a most sophisticated package called Marquee. Before using either tool, here are some considerations. First, if you're working in a mixed Mac and PC environment, then you'll want to identify fonts which are identical and available for both platforms.
Even fonts with the same name can look different from Mac to PC. You'll also want to consider size. Above 128 points you'll find that sticking with TrueType fonts is the best way to avoid unexpected results. So one of the first things you should do is research your font and find out if it allows for your project and workflow requirements. Once you've identified the font you want to use, copy that to your container folder for your project. That way when the project moves, so will the font. From there you should go ahead and use Font Book to import the new font on to your system, and then you can launch Media Composer.
The first example I'd like to show you is very similar to choosing color solid from the Utility menu under the viewer in Final Cut Pro. So with the bin active I am going to go to the Tools menu and choose Title Tool. Now I'm presented with a choice of either going into Marquee or going into the basic Title tool. This is affected by a setting under the Settings tab called Marquee Settings. If you would prefer to just go straight into one of the other, you can set that preference there. I am going to choose Title tool and because the Tool palette's over the top of the Title window I want to close that for now.
Now we are given a blank canvas. If we just want to create a solid color, then what we need to do is come down here to the very bottom of the Title tool and clicking here and turn off Video Background, which is essentially going to create a title over transparency, and instead switch it to a solid color. Now we didn't see any difference, because we switched from transparent over system black to actual black. So let's go ahead and change the color here. Maybe we'll make a solid yellow, like so.
And if that's all I want to do now, I can go ahead and close Title tool, Save, give it a name, make sure I know where I'm saving it to, and at what resolution and there we go. So now I have a solid color in my bin here and also preloaded into the Source viewer for editing. Back in the titles and graphics bin I have a sequence called swingdance graphics. Let's load that up, because now what I would like to show you is more of a typical workflow.
How would I create a graphic, which is going to go over the top of some video and thus have an idea of what the background video is going to look like as I work? To do that if I wanted to create a low effort here on interview clip 1, I just need to park over that clip in my sequence. Now that I'm parking over that clip, if I return to the Tools menu and go to Title Tool I could do it that way, or if I choose Source/Record Editing again, you can see that I actually added a button for the Title tool to the custom palette here as well.
I'll just click on that. Again, I'm presented with a choice. I'm going to use Title tool again and just rid myself of my Tool palette. So now we've got the video background presented as our reference as we create graphic elements over top. I've got the ability to create various different types of shapes from lines to circles and ovals to squares. I've also got my Text tool here, my Selection tool. So first off, I am going to create a box. I'm going to click on the Box tool, click and drag out the shape that I want.
At the moment it's got 90 degrees corners so I'm going to come down here and I can choose custom corners, or I can even type in an angle. Let's try 88. That's a nice round number, like so. Now that I've created a solid shape, I can change the color of that if I like. Let's come to the Fill box here and we can bring up our color chooser again. We can either choose directly from colors in the video or of course we could range around in the color finder here. If I like that, that's good, I'll close that color window and then next to that I've got the ability to change transparency. So I could change transparency over the entire object, or I could create a gradient from left to right, for example.
And then underneath that I've got the direction of the gradient. So I am going to shorten this bounding box up a little bit like so. Make sure it's not sticking outside of the safe title area. And there we go. Maybe I'd like to add some text over the top of that. So move to the Text tool, click, and let's type in Kim there, like so. Now when I am adding text, obviously if I just start typing away I am going to end up with the default selection of Media Composer, but I can change this before or after the fact if I'd like.
I can also go ahead of course and add shadows and borders onto all of my objects, including text, and in this case maybe I'll just add a shadow, like so. There we go. Now the other thing about text, by the way, is that when we first create it we get a bounding box around the text which is pretty tight to the actual word and that's probably what I want in this case. If you really want to take advantage of alignments, what I could do here is I could stretch out Kim so that her bounding box ends at the end of the safe title area.
And now if I use Justify, Right, Center or Left, it's actually meaningful in the context of the screen. In this case though I don't need that much room. I am just going to pull Kim down to here and sort of justify her by hand like that. Now I am going to right-click and I'll choose to Save Title As and I'll call this one kim. Make sure I am rendering to the right place and Save. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to move my text out of the way, get my bounding box, move that onto the other side of the screen like so, and maybe I'll move it up a little bit.
Change the direction. Pull my text back down here. Get everything centered up like so, save action safe title, and now what I'll do is I'll gust over-type Swing dancer. Now this time the text is going vertical and that's because my bounding box wasn't big enough for the longer words. So let's just drag it out like so. There we go.
Click on the text, drag that back in, and might be we'll make this text a bit smaller. There we go. That's good. Now I can right-click again, Save Title as, swingdancer, there we go and choose Save. And obviously this is the way to create a whole series of graphics with a same look and feel or even the same registration. Once I'm done, I can go ahead and leave Title tool. Before we do though, I just want to draw your attention to a couple of extra menus that crop up here in the top ribbon of the timeline area when we're working in Title tool.
You can see here we have the Object menu and the Alignment menu. Object menu allows you to switch on and off your safe title area. You can choose Safe Colors for working in a broadcast friendly palette and then basic operations such as Bold, Italic, and Font Replacement. In the Alignment menu, I've got the ability to align things to the center or to the horizontal or vertical center of the frame and we've got the ability to also show an alignment grid and even snap to that alignment grid if we want to do so.
Once we're done, close the Title tool and the titles that's we saved are in the bin ready for editing.
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