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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.
As we have seen, Media Composer is a bin-centric application. A lot of functionality and capability is built into the Bin window. Let us now, therefore, Jedi of the bin become. Back in Chapter 1 we looked at some very basic bin functionality. Let's quickly review. The name of the bin is at the top. In this case, it's called recap, and the asterisk means that something has changed in the bin since it was last saved. If I save now, the asterisk goes away. The Brief tab gives us a rudimentary set of columns, which is helpful when we are capturing or maybe sorting media.
You can see we have got Name, we have got the clip icon, we have got Start time code, Duration, the Tracks and whether or not any of the tracks are offline. We also talked about Script view where we have a thumbnail and columns of data combined. Remember, we can update the head frame of a clip by playing it directly in the bin, (audio playing) and that works for sequences too. We also looked at Frame view, which allows us to organize clips in a storyboard fashion.
We looked at the fact that we could select all of the clips and then use Command+L to make the thumbnails bigger. And then we can use the Bin Fast menu to Fill Window, which sorts our clips neatly. Now we are going to focus more deeply on Text view. What I am going to do is I am going to close my Tool palette here, and I am going to reposition my bin so that we can look at the columns of data in more detail. Now unlike the other views that we have just looked at, Text view is fully customizable, and you can save multiple versions by name for specific tasks.
Down here at the bottom, we have a standard set of views. For example, I could choose Statistics, but if I wanted to start creating a custom view, I could begin perhaps by reordering some of the columns here. For example, maybe I am interested in what video format I'm working with and less interested in the tracks themselves. Maybe I'm interested in the media drive that things are on and perhaps the creation date. Now if the columns start to get a little bit squirrely, use Command+T to tidy them up.
Now if I like what I've done, I could come down to the dropdown and choose Save As, and let's give this a name, media. But perhaps there is more customization I'd like to do. Maybe these columns in this view that aren't really that necessary for what I want to do. So in that case, what I would do is I would select those columns and then right-click and choose Hide Columns. Likewise, I could also add additional columns. If I wanted to add the offline column that we saw earlier in the Brief view, I could come back down to the Fast menu and choose Columns this way, or I can right-click in the bin and choose columns this way.
Now I'm getting an alphanumeric list of all of the different standard column views that we can present inside the Media Composer bin. Up here is Offline. Let's choose that, and while we are here, I'd like to add a couple of other additional columns. I have got Reformat here that I'd like to add on, Source File, and then up a little way to Image Aspect Ratio. Choose OK and all of the new columns are now added to the Bin view. I am going to come down here and choose Save As and replace the media view with the new one that we have just created.
Up here, back in the 05_01 subfolder, I have a bin called firedance. What I would like to do is show you through some other bin procedures that are more relevant perhaps to AMA-linkable media. Let's return to the Chapter 4 folder and in the 04_01 subfolder, we have our bin, AMA. Inside there, we have a number of fire dancing clips. These are GoPro clips here. Let's go back to Text view and select all of them. Now what I am going to do is I'd like to make a copy of these clips and put it in the firedance bin there in the 05_01 subfolder.
What I am going to do is I'm going to hold down the Alt key so that we actually clone these clips into the firedance bin. Now in the firedance bin, we have a clone of just the material that we would like to work with. First thing I would like to do is I'd like to dial up that media view that we just created. Now, I'd like to add a custom column. I am going to move these columns over a little bit to create a space. Now I am going to click up here with my cursor.
You can see it just about blinking away there. I am going to type in Original_Clipname. Command+T to tidy up my columns, and now we can see our Original_Clipname column right there. What I am going to do is duplicate this entire Name column into this Original_Clipname column. I am going to select this entire column and then use Command+D. The system is now saying to me, where would you like it to go? So, I find my custom column that I want to transfer the data into and click OK, and you could see that now I've duplicated this column of data into this custom column here.
Now what I could do is I could go through and start to give each one of these clips a more descriptive name. I could choose to type individually firedance-, and then I could describe the particular instrument being used. A faster way to do this though will be to use Command+A to select all the clips in the bin and then hover your cursor over the column, right-click, and Set Name for Selected Clips.
Type in 'firedance-' and then leave it like that. The system is now going to ripple through that entire column of data and give everything the name firedance-. And now what I can do as the editor is very quickly go through and figure out what I want to append to that name to make it meaningful. In this case, it would be poi. It would be hoop, on to the next clip, and so on. We have always got our Original_ Clipname here should we need to trace anything back to the drive that it came from.
Maybe I would like to add another custom column too, this time for quality. I am going to move this column out of the way, give ourselves plenty of room here and then type the word Quality. There we go. Now I could go through my clips and give them a ranking perhaps. I am going to give this clip a single asterisk. That's not bad. Maybe I will give that a two star and then maybe I will give--oh yeah that one is pretty, so let's give that one a three star.
Instead of typing in every single time I want to add an entry, if I am on to the next clip up and I look at it and I decide oh, I really like that one, what I could do is hold down my Alt Key on my keyboard and now I could choose from any of the values that I've already entered into that column. Let's go to the next one. Okay, I like that one too. I am going to give that a two. So you can see this can really speed things up when you start to use all of the bin tools together. And then the poi, the poi I think I like, some good shadows and stuff in that.
So I am going to give that a two as well. There we go. So you can see that we can really start to add some rich data to support the editing process directly here in the bin. Here is a cool trick. Let's say, for example, I wanted to select all of the best material in the bin. I would select one of them, and then I could hold Command and multi-select any of the other three-star clips in my bin. Then let's say we realize actually it was everything else we wanted to select in the bin. In that case, just come to the Fast menu and you can choose Reverse Selection.
That's very, very handy if you've just spent a long time selecting a whole bunch of clips in your bin and you realize oh, oops! It was everything else that I wanted, not these things. Just like in Final Cut Pro, I can do alphanumeric sorts on all of these columns. So if I wanted to sort the name alphanumerically, or I wanted to sort the original Start time code of the clips, I can choose whatever I like. One of the things I really like is the fact that we can combine columns of data in that kind of sort.
Let's say I wanted to sort based primarily on Quality-- I am going to drag that to the left- hand side now--and then I wanted to sort name alphanumerically within that. In that case, I would select both columns, but because Quality is on the left, it's going to lead. So now we get everything one and then alphanumeric within that and everything in the Quality category two alphanumerically within that, and so on. A couple of final tools and tips and tricks for you.
First, modify a clip. Take a clip, right-click on it and choose the Modify command. In the Modify dialog, we have all sorts of power over the clip. We could set a new time code by field, and we can also set the Disk Label. This is helpful in file-based workflows because it gives us the same kind of reference that a tape name gives us in a tape-based workflow. I could call this gopro001. It's going to ask me if I am sure, and if we go here to our columns, I am going to make sure that Disk Label is on.
And now, of course, this particular clip in the bin is labeled as coming from the gopro001 disk. If all of these clips came from the same disk, I would give them all the same Disk label, and that's going to help me in my Media Management as I progress through the project. Another useful tool, with this clip highlighted, I am going to right-click and choose Lock Bin Selection, and then we can use the Bin Fast menu, Choose Columns, display the lock, and now you can see, this clip in the bin has the Lock icon next to it.
That means that I can't delete this clip. I could also apply this to sequences too, so that's very useful if you have just finished your cut and you'd like to lock it in the bin. Of course, I can unlock it by right- clicking and choosing Unlock Bin Selection. So we now have control over the bin, its display, and the objects contained within. Customizing bin layouts, adding and using custom columns are everyday useful tools that will help you stay organized.
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