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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.
Now as we know in Final Cut we've got the basic color correction tools such as the 3-Way Color Corrector, which is good for making some basic corrections. And then of course there's also Apple Color, which has a deep powerful color correction toolset, but does require a fair amount of rendering if you're bouncing backwards and forwards between color correction and effects creation. The other thing to say about Apple Color is that while it's a very powerful application, it also requires an investment of time and effort in order to learn it and become proficient.
Now let's compare the Color Corrector inside of Media Composer. Well, first off, it's built into the system, so there isn't the render problem of going backwards and forwards between color correction and effects creation. It's also simpler than Apple Color for sure. It doesn't have as many options in terms of power windows. But it's a very robust tool and it will do for 90% of the things that you need to do on a daily basis. So let's dive in and see how it works.
The first thing I'd like to point out though is that whilst I am now selected on V1, interview clip 01 that I am going to be working on, I have to be aware of which track I am monitoring. Media Composer would allow me to enter Color Correction mode in context here, viewing from the top track down. If I did, then I wouldn't be able to see interview clip 01. So bear that in mind as you enter the Color Correction mode. There are a couple of ways to enter the mode. First off, there is a button down here in the Timeline palette. My preference, however, is to enter Color Correction mode via the toolset shortcut that we created in Chapter 3.
Let's go ahead and enter Color Correction mode now. And as you can see, it's going to be track one where I am making my correction and indeed I can't see through to that track unless I am parked here. So, let's move our monitor down so that we are monitoring on the track that we are actually correcting. Now, when we first enter Color Correction mode, obviously the interface has changed considerably. In the center here we have our current clip that we are working on. Then we've also got another two viewers on the left and right.
These can be used to display things like a reference or the entire sequence or even a tool, for example, the Vector Scope. Over here I could be looking at the next clip in my sequence or in this case maybe I'll choose the Y Waveform. So I can see my luminance information here and chrominance information here. Under each of these windows I have a set of tools. For example, go to Previous Uncorrected shot, Next Uncorrected shot, Remove the correction, or in this case Dual Split, which would allow me to create a box where I could preview the difference that I am creating in my sequence.
And below that is the Color Correction tool itself. And the Color Correction tool is divided. We've got HSL, which allows us to correct using the YUV color space, and Curves, which allows us to correct using the RGB color space. There are similar tools in both. Let's have a look at that, first of all using HSL. It has two sub-tabs: the Hue Offset wheels that we can see here and the basic Controls that we can see here. So under the basic Controls I've got Saturation, Brightness, Contrast Invert Chroma, Invert Luma, and then over here I've actually got some buckets where I can add pre-built corrections and I've also got a Match Color interface.
I can choose between different color models. I can select a color in my current image and then compare it and try and match it to a color in another image. Back on the Hue Offset, you can see that we've got Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights. So here, for example, I could pull my shadows towards blue and maybe I could pull my highlights towards yellow, like so. Now, if I want to turn off a parameter that I've been playing with, the purple box is the way to go. There I am toggling off the yellow highlights.
If I want to reset, Option+Click and I'll reset the particular parameter that I've adjusted. Over here we've also got control for Gain, Gamma, and Setup. So white, gamma across the entire image, and black level, and then I've also got Auto Balance, Auto Black, Auto Contrast, and Auto White. Under the Curves tab I can work between Red and Cyan, Green and Magenta, Blue and Yellow, or I can work in the Master graph. I've also got Saturation, Gain, Gamma, and Setup here as well.
Plus, I've got my Auto Balance and Auto Contrast tools again, plus my color correction buckets and again another match tool. In this case I can either use RGB, or I can use Avid's NaturalMatch. So, as an example now, if I wanted to remove the color cast, then what I would do is I would come down here to my Remove Color Cast tool. Now what I am going to do is look for something that should be white in the image area, maybe this box up here.
If I click on that, I am going to get an automatic color correction. And that's done a pretty good job I must say. So what I am going to now is I am going to Option+Click in the bucket here to save that version of the effect. Now I am going to remove it and I am going to try the Auto Balance instead, okay. Let's save that in the second bucket. Let's remove the effect again and of course I could come in here and I could actually work with my curves directly. For example, if I click on here I could create a keyframe and start to create my own custom version of my color correction.
If I liked that, I could Option+ Click and then save it in this bucket. Now, I can click between the buckets and try out the different color corrections and see which one I prefer. I think I prefer the first one here. So I'm going to drag it from the Color Correction tool into my bin, like so. Okay, now I am going to exit the Color Correction mode and go back to Source/Record Editing and I'd like to show you that now I can automate the process of adding this color correction that I've created to the other interview clips in the timeline.
I am going to choose my red overwrite arrow and now I am going to Shift+Select the clips in my timeline that don't have the color correction yet. Go back to my bin and double-click. Now it's applied to all of the clips that I had selected. So that's how to get into the Color Correction tool and begin to use it and how to save temporary effects in our color buckets within the tool itself and also of course save our preferred effect back out to the bin and then apply it across multiple clips in the timeline.
If you do a lot of color correction, then I suggest that you come to the Settings tab here and you explore the color correction options. Here under the Correction Mode Settings you can choose how the tool behaves and under AutoCorrect you can set rules for how clips will behave if you apply auto correction to them. The only other thing I'd like to say is if you're going to do a lot of color correction you probably would want to work with an external monitor. Using the interface like this is good enough for a lot of situations, but if it's critical work, if it's broadcast work, then you really should be working with an external monitor.
To do that with Media Composer, you would need to have some external hardware attached, whether that be input output hardware. For example, a Mojo DX or just monitoring hardware like the Matrox MXO2 mini.
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