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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.
Here we are going to turn away from gestural editing and look at editing with the interface buttons and/or the keyboard. The reason for splitting the editing chapter along these lines is that when we are using the keyboard or the interface buttons, such as Splice and Overwrite, we need to pay attention to track activeness and track patching. If we are using drag-and-drop techniques, we don't really need to pay attention to that as much. Let's take a moment to contrast track patching and activeness between Final Cut Pro and Media Composer.
In Final Cut Pro, if I want to patch a track then I need to make that track adjacent to the track that I want it to go onto. And if I want to make sure that it's active and ready to edit into my sequence, I need to make sure that these buttons are connected, like so. In Media Composer, we have a very similar mechanism. I need to make sure that the tracks are actually patched to the correct track that they want to go to, but I also need to make sure that they are active. This is the same as putting the tracks together in Final Cut Pro.
If these tracks were all inactive right now and I attempted to perform an edit with my Splice-in button, notice that nothing happens, and that's because none of the record side tracks are active. If we try that again--let's put the timeline cursor back to the beginning and activate V2--now if I perform a splice-in, material can be added to the sequence. Because I use the Splice-In button, everything else on this track further down my timeline has been moved, or rippled, down the timeline.
So if but wasn't my intention, of course I could just use Command+Z and we could undo that operation. But let's take the long way round as an example. If I park over my clip and I use the T key to select it, now I'm going to use the opposite command from Splice-in, which it is this button here, Extract. With just that clip selected, if I use the Extract key, now I've removed that clip and everything has rippled back into position in the sequence.
The Extract button, or the X key on your keyboard, does the opposite of the Splice-in arrow. So now we're back to square one. Let's try the same edit again, this time with the track correctly patched and active on both sides. I'll use the Overwrite button. This time we've added the material into the sequence without rippling anything else in the sequence further down. The opposite of this action of course would be to park over a clip, select it with the T key, and then use the Lift command instead.
This time the material has been removed from the sequence and again a black gap has been left behind so that nothing else in the sequence has been moved or rippled to accommodate the deletion of that clip. There's another aspect to this that is not necessarily that obvious. So let's go and do another edit, but this time with a picture-only clip. Let's say we wanted to add a title to the beginning of our sequence, and in the bin here, there is a little title called SwingDance. At the moment, the title is offline, the media is currently missing, but because this is an element that we created inside of Media Composer, all we need to do is highlight the bin, go to the Clip menu, and choose Create Unrendered Title media.
We're asked which drive we would like to render to-- I want to point to my media drive--and what resolution we would like to render at. I'm going to choose XDCAM HD 50mbits/second and then choose OK. Now, you may get a prompt for a substitute font. If so, just go ahead and pick one out. Ok, so now we've rendered that title. We can see that the source is a video source only; there's no audio associated with it. If I were to go ahead now and insert this clip at the head of my sequence using the Splice-in arrow, it's going to knock V2 out of sync with the rest of the sequence.
So in order to prevent that from happening, I'm going to use Command+A to select all of the tracks in my timeline. Now when I go ahead and a perform a splice-in edit, notice that the same amount of black has been added on all of the other tracks as title, or video was added, to V2. This preserves synchronicity across the entire timeline. Now in this particular case, that's kind of a bit long, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to mark up a shorter section of my title here within an in and out, but re-perform the edit.
Now what I would like to do is add some black onto the head of my sequence using a similar technique. So what I'm going to do is pop the timeline cursor at the beginning all the sequence, come up here to the Source viewer, click down on the Clip Name menu, and choose Load Filler. I'm going to park at the in point of my filler here, and then I'm going to hit +429 on my keyboard, make an out point. Notice that's given me a five-second duration for the filler in my Source viewer.
I'm going to make sure that all of the tracks on the record side up active, and now I'm going to insert that black gap at the head of my sequence. So in both cases we were able to either insert a clip or insert black across all tracks at the same time thus preserving the sync relationship across the rest of the clips in the sequence. So far, we've been marking a clip duration in the Source viewer and then leaving the time bar in the timeline as the in point.
Let's do the reverse. Here, between these two Broll clips in my sequence, 9970 and 1947, I'm going to mark that section of the timeline using the T key. Next, I'm going to load the 9988 subclip from my bin into the Source viewer. And if I had in no marks in this clip here then wherever I leave my playhead will become the de facto in point. So you can see here that that frame right became the in point.
Now if I undo that, you can see that if I make an explicit mark-out point here then that will actually back-time the edit into the gap instead. So this time it was the out point that motivated my edit rather than the in point. So that's using the Insert, or Splice- in button, and the Overwrite button. There's another button that we can use-- just down here we have it mapped to our custom tool palette--and it's called Replace Edit.
The way this works is if I park over a clip that I want to replace--let's say I want to replace 1947 here--and the I have a clip loaded--let's say this one here, this Broll clip--then it's going to replace on the position of the blue time bar. Let me show you what I mean. If I Command+Snap back to the beginning of this clip here and now remove any marks in my sequence here--maybe we'll just park on the locator there--now if I use the Replace Edit function, it's going to replace from the beginning of the clip in the timeline from the blue time bar.
The shortcut for the same replace functionality in Final Cut Pro is the F11 key. If we move further down the sequence towards the end, I have a different example that I can show you. Let's just play back over the end of the sequence for context. (Female speaker: It was short and so quick. The second coming of swing has lasted longer.) (music playing) So let's say we like that, but the director prefers a different clip.
Over here in the bin, we've got 9971, and you can see here that-- (dancing) a guy does kind of a cool move where he throws out his arms and his legs at the same time. I'm going to use my arrow keys on my keyboard to land at the moment where his feet plant. Now I'm just going to leave my blue playhead parked there. Now I'm going to come back to timeline and listen back for an audio cue point. (Female speaker: It was so quick. The second coming of swing has lasted longer.) So that second symbol hit there, let's play back over that.
There it is. With my blue time bar parked there as well, let's just zoom in so you can see more clearly what's going to happen. When I use the Replace Edit function this time, instead of replacing from the head of the clip onwards, this time we're actually going to be replacing forwards from the blue bar and backwards from the blue bar using the source clip here. And you can see that now that move that he does is lined up exactly with that second symbol hit. (Female speaker: So quick. The second coming of swing has lasted longer.) Cool! So that's using Splice Overwrite and Replace Edit buttons in the interface to perform different types of edits, and remember, when we're using buttons in the interface, or else our keyboard shortcuts for editing, we need to pay special attention to track patching and track activeness in the timeline area.
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