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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.
We've learned about many different methods for reading or inputting metadata into Media Composer. Now with the Find function we are going to use a powerful tool to search through all that useful and helpful information to find what we need, rapidly and precisely. Find in Media Composer is similar to Find in FCP. Indeed both tools can be bought up using the same shortcut, Command+F. Now, before I bring up the Find tool, in this particular case I'm going to close my Tool palette because that's going to get over the top of the Find interface, and I don't want it to interfere with what we're doing.
Now that's done. Command+F will bring up the Find tool. Let's have a look at the interface. You can see at the top we can enter text for searching. Then below that we've got three main tabs: searching in clips and sequences, searching in script text if you're using script sync and then Timeline and Monitors. Down at the bottom here, we have two green buttons. The first green button is the Bin Index, and what this is indicating is that all of the bin metadata has been indexed and it's ready to be searched.
Over here, I've got a PhraseFind Index that is also complete because it's full green. If I just added a lot of material to my system then these may be gray or half gray, indicating that they're still indexing. I should point out that PhraseFind is a paid-for plug-in that you need to add to the system if you want to use it, whereas the Bin Index comes for free with Media Composer. That said, now let's use the Timeline and Monitors tab here. I'm going to type in 'hoarder.' I know that she says 'hoarder' somewhere in her clip and I'd like to find it.
I'm going to click on the Source viewer and then click Find, and you can see the timeline cursor jumped directly to 'she was a wee bit of a holder.' So that's how that works with the Source viewer. What about the record side? Let's go into a search, this time for swing. Click on the record side, make that active, and find. Okay, when I started swing dancing, what if we hit Find again? swingdance brings you together. So you get the idea that this will cycle us through all instances in this particular sequence.
So now let's switch back to the Clips and Sequences tab. Let's say we wanted to search for '***,' knowing that we have some b-roll clips that match that criteria somewhere in our project. Any Column, all Bins in Project. Of course, I could roll down to specific columns if I wanted to. I could Current Bin or Scripts in Project or Bins and Scripts in Project. Let's just choose Bin in Project, and now let's choose Find. There we go.
So you can see that inside the Return we have the clips that match that criteria and if I double-click one of these, it's going to load up into the Source viewer. Let's do that once more. Let's type in here 'commute' and Find. Again, returning all of the objects which match that criteria, in this case titles and also sequences. If I double-click on one of these, it's going to load the item into the Source viewer.
This is one of the few times that double-clicking on a sequence will load it into the Source viewer in Media Composer. So to be clear, those are all metadata searches. We're looking across the columns of data, in our bins and the text, in our clips, and looking for metadata that matches the search criteria--and that comes for free with Media Composer. If you purchase the additional plug-in PhraseFind, you can do searches across the audio in your project as well. PhraseFind literally listens phonetically to all of the audio that's been loaded into your project and indexes it in the background.
When the index process is complete, the light turns green and that means we can now search for audio phonetically across the project. Let's go ahead and type in 'swingdance' and now instead of using Find, I'm going to choose PhraseFind. Now you can see that we've returned a whole number of different results and they are sorted by the score. The higher the score number, the more accurate, or the more confident the system is that this contains the information we're looking for.
Let's double-click on this item here. (Female speaker: swing dance) Swing dance, it was spot on. This is how to use PhraseFind, a very, very powerful tool that's actually going to allow you to search your clips very quickly for a specific phrase or word or comment. Obviously, this is kind of tool is going to speed up the workflow for things like documentary and reality TV in a huge way. Because instead of having to sit there listening for a phrase and then finding it and marking it up, the editor can just find it very quickly using the power of the PhraseFind plug-in.
And I'm going to go back to source record editing to bring back up my Tool palette. So in summary, Find is a very powerful tool allowing you the flexibility to find clips based upon everything from camera metadata, manually entered metadata, script text, and the phonetic indexing of the audio content in your project.
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