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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.
Locators are a powerful tool for anyone who uses Media Composer as they can assist at every stage of production, from grouping, to story notes, to editing and effects creation. In Final Cut Pro we can use a marker to label or identify specific frames in a clip or sequence. Markers could be used for making comments, syncing multi-groups, and making subclips. One difference is that where in FCP you have specific types of markers--the pink markers are clip markers and the green markers are sequence marker--in Media Composer locators don't have a type, so any locater can be placed on either a clip or a sequence and there could be multiple different colors which can be changed at anytime.
If you're used to the FCP colors for markers then maybe you should just stick with them and choose different colored locators on the basis of their function for you. Back in the project window, under Chapter 5, under 05_03, we have a bin called locators. It's open down here, and in there I've got some interview clips. Let's load up interview clip number two (INT_02). Now let's consider behavior. In Final Cut Pro when I have a clip or sequence active, I can use the N key to add a marker.
If I want to bring up the Edit Marker window then I would use the N key a second time, and then I could make a notation. In Media Composer, there is a similar provision. I am going to play into this clip and use locators to mark the beginnings and ends of some sound bites. Here we go. (Female speaker: My great-grandmother.) So my great-grandmother. So I am going to add locator using the Add Locator button and as you see, the Locator window pops up. Here we can choose the color of the locator and add text if we want, 'my great grandmother.' There we go. Let's keep playing through.
(Female speaker: My great-grandmother owned a clothing store in the '30s, '40s, and '50s (Female speaker: across the street from the phone company in Los Angeles.) Okay, let's add another locator there. In this case, because it's the end locator, I'll leave it red, and I don't really want to add any text. But let's say I want to prevent the Locator pop-up from coming up each time I add a locator like this. How do I do that? What I am going to do is I am going to go to the Tools menu, and we are going to choose the Locator tool.
You can see the two locators that we've already added to this sequence are already there. In fact, if I double-click on one of them, I'll be taken straight back there; double-click on the other, straight back to that one. How do we disable the pop-up? We come here to the Fast menu in the Locator tool and Disable Locator Popup when Adding. Now as we move through-- (Female speaker: And she kept a lot of it because she was a wee bit of--) Let's add another locator there. Notice the pop-up didn't come up this time.
(Female speaker: She was a wee bit of a hoarder.) 'She is a wee bit of a hoarder,' so maybe that's the bite that we'd like. So this time what I can do is just come over here to the Locator window and right-click and change the color to green. And if I'd like to add a comment to that then I could come over here, click in the Comment column, and type in, 'she was a wee bit of a hoarder.' There we go. There are a couple of different ways there to use the locators, either with the pop-up and just let it come up and add the data as you go along or use the Fast menu to disable the Locator pop-up.
Incidentally, if I want to move frame accurately between these locators here, I can use my Fast-forward and Rewind buttons to move and step between them cleanly. Of course, we'll have needed to customize the Fast-forward and Rewind buttons to stop at locators, but once this is done, we can very quickly move backwards and forwards. Now I'd like to show you a different example. I am going to close the Locator window, and this time we're going to be looking at adding locators to a sequence. So here in the locators bin, I'd like you to load up the music sequence.
You can see that we've already got some locators here in the sequence on the A1 track. Let's just expand those tracks a little bit, so we can see them a bit more clearly, great. There is nothing stopping me from adding a locator to a timecode track, for example, so I could add maybe a pink locator to the timecode track down there. I've turned the Locator pop-up back on, by the way. I could also add a locator to a blank track even if I wanted to mark in everywhere I want to add a clip later on.
If I make sure that track is active, click on my yellow locator there, there we go. So now we've added locator marks to the timecode track and to the video 1 track. If I'd like to move between these locators, we've already seen that we can use the Fast-forward and Rewind keys, but there is also Go to Next Locator and Go to Previous Locator buttons as well, which are available in our Tool palette that we mapped, but are also available from the Command palette. If I want to delete a locator then when I am parked on it, if I enter, exit, and hit Delete, it will go away.
Alternatively, if you do have the Locators tool up, you can just click on the item and hit Delete on your keyboard and it will be removed. In this particular case, what I'd like to do is tap out the beat using locator markers onto this audio clip here. I could tap out the beat onto the timecode track or onto the video one track, but that wouldn't really make that much sense since if we then moved to track afterward, then my beat markers would now no longer match up.
The first thing we are going to have to do though is add these Locator buttons to our Keyboard settings. Over to the Settings menu, let's pull up the Keyboard and position that, and then let's pull up the Command palette and position that, and now what I'd like to do is map button to button. I am going to add the red locator to F5, green, pink, and yellow.
And while I am here, there is a really powerful button I'd like to draw your attention to on the Edit tab called Mark Locators. Let's put that up here on the F13 key. Close those. Come back down to the Timeline. So if I play back the sequence now, I can use those newly mapped Locator buttons to tap out the beat on the fly. (music playing) There we go and as soon as we stop, we get an update of the locators we have added to the timeline, and this might allow us to get our cuts on the beat more quickly and more accurately.
Now let's return to interview clip number two in the Source viewer and use the other keyboard shortcut that we just mapped to our keyboard, Mark Locators to F13. If I hit the key now, you can see that it's marked the space from this locator through to this locator. Wherever I am parked essentially, if I was parked here then the button would have marked this range instead. But this is what I was looking for. I wanted to mark the subclip from my in point through to my out point. Let's go ahead and clear the monitor here and take this clip and drop it into the Timeline window, like so.
Because there was no sequence in there, I'm being asked, well where would you like to create a new sequence? I'd like to create a new sequence in the locators bin. I'd like to call this locators. Let's return back up to interview clip number two, park here, F13. That's a good clip, so we'll add that one onto the end of our sequence. Let's go to interview clip number one. There are couple of other areas marked here, so let's add the in and out points to those, and let's come here to the end of the timeline and let's use the Splice-in button this time to add that clip into the sequence.
Same here again, and use the Splice-in button again to add it on to the end. So we are started to build up a little bit of a rough cut. If we've already gone ahead and actually added notations to these clips then one little extra thing I'd like to show you is that we can actually print or export that locator data, and it's going to help us with a paper edit or a rough cut. Back up to the Tools menu, to the Locators tool, and here you can see that I've got not only the red and green locators, but also the comments for those two.
I could come here now to the Fast menu and I could choose to Print Locators or Export Locators. Export All, or just the Selected--let's say All, and now Media Composer is asking to save that as a text file on the Desktop. Let's save and let's hide Media Composer for a moment, and there on the desktop on my locators, and there it is, by time code in the sequence with our comments. So if we were sharing our work with someone and they wanted to give us comments, this might be one way to go about doing it.
Let's go back to Media Composer and I'd like to show you another way of working with locators. You can see here that I've got numerous different green locators in my sequence. I've also got red locators in the sequence. Just for good measure, let's go ahead and add some pink locators to the sequence too. If I wanted to, I could come down here to the Fast menu and choose Show Locators, and then I could show by color. For example, I could show none of the locators, all of them, or in this case I could switch off the display of the green locators.
Let's go back in, Show Locators, and Show All again so they come back. Additionally, if your production is going to finish audio in Pro Tools, then there is the ability to send this locator information out with the sequence information when we send it along the change to Pro Tools for the audio mix. Okay, in summary, locators can be used for logging, for audio mixed notes, going to Pro Tools, for editing, for lining clips up, marking section of a clip or sequence, or even being part of a paper-editing process.
Being able to use them gives you a great deal of more power when dealing with large or complex projects.
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