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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.
In Final Cut Pro we access video filters from the Effects menu and this is what allows us to create an effect across the duration of a clip rather than at the transition point between two clips. In Media Composer, these types of effects are referred to as segment based effects and they are accessed from the Effects palette. Here in the beginning of my sequence I have a clip that already has a Timewarp effect on it. If I wanted to add now another segment based effect on top of that, first I browse for the category that I'm interested in.
In this case, the Blend category contains the Picture-in-Picture effect and that's what I am going to start out with. So I am going to drag the Picture-in- Picture effect from the Effects palette and drop it on top of the first clip in my sequence. You can see that the result is immediate and I can play that back. (Music playing) So, so far we have managed to apply a segment based effect without having to go into Effects mode. If I'm happy with the default effect, I can move on and start creating other effects wherever I need them.
In this case though, I'd like to edit this effect. So in order to edit this effect what I need to do is go into Effects mode, so let's launch into Effects mode and this is the Effect Editor that we used when we're manipulating transition effects earlier in this chapter. We are going to use the same tool now to help us change the attributes of this Picture-in-Picture effect. Since I am going to make changes which last for the entire effect, the first thing I am going to do is highlight the keyframe at the front end. Then I am going to use Command+I to highlight all of the keyframes.
And now I can move over to the Effect Editor and start making changes. I am going to open of the Border parameter here. Once I use the disclosure triangle, I am going to see the effects sliders here, and then I am also going to see the actual category and if I open up within the category I will see the individual parameters and I can see a keyframing window here for keyframing with. In this particular case, we are just going to make a change to the width of the border. Make it slightly larger like so and then soften it up a little bit like that.
I'd also like to change the Scaling. At the moment it's defaulted to 50%. The X and Y attributes are linked together so I am just going to highlight my slider here and then I can either pull on the slider itself or I can use my arrow keys on my keyboard to reduce the size. I can use the arrow keys to stat at one value at a time, or if I hold the Shift, I can move ten values at a time. Down here underneath the viewer, I can switch on the Grid tool and this would allow me, for example, if I wanted to place this towards the edge of the frame.
I could make sure that I was still inside safe action. So let's go ahead and do that. Let's open up the Position parameter and now we can start to reposition our clip using the sliders here. If I want to switch between sliders, I can just use the Tab key on my keyboard and I can manipulate that attribute as well. If I want to move backwards and forwards between the attributes then using Tab or Shift+Tab will allow me to go backwards and forwards. There, I like that. Now if that's an effect I'd like to use again in the future, what I can do is I can tag the effect and drag it down into my bin area, let go, and now I get a copy of that effect for future use with the customized parameters already applied.
Let's look at an example of now layering another clip in concert with this on the timeline and compositing them together. Let's close the Effect Editor and look at this clip here, 9964. I have already got it marked up and I am going to put it onto the V3, like so. Now the moment because there is no effect applied to the clip on V3, we can only see that clip. If I step underneath, we can now see our original Picture-in-Picture, which is of course over nothing so it shows up as the black.
So now of course what I could do is I can take my Picture-in-Picture effect from the bin, drag it over, and drop it onto the clip that's on top. Obviously, it's exactly over the top of the effect that I already created. So let's go back into Effects mode now on the top clip and change its position. Obviously, I could use my X and Y sliders like I did previously or I could just go and grab on the image and move it down here, like so. Now notice that when I did that I was parked in the middle of the clip and so because I made a change, a new keyframe was added.
But luckily because all of my keyframes was selected at the same time, the same keyframe values have been applied to all of them. So as I scrub through my effect, now I've got two Pictures-in-Pictures, one in the top right-hand corner of the frame and one in the bottom left. Let's exit Effects mode and now that effect is live in the timeline, like so. So there is a simple example of using a segment based effect and starting to layer more than one clip over the top of each other in the sequence.
Let's look at a slightly different example. Further down here in the timeline, I've created a different type of Picture-in-Picture effect, but this time using a different effect. You can see that the icon here is a paper icon. Here, this is the icon for 3D Warp effect. That's this effect here at the top of the Blend category. Now first a note on 3D Warp. This is an effect that has many, many attributes. As a result it can be a heavier effect to process. So if you really only need to do a Superimposition or a Picture-in-Picture, you are better off selecting one of the most simple effects.
However, if you are going to need to do rotation and scaling, change the background, do de-focusing, then this is the effect for you. 3D Warp. Now the effects already applied to this clip and if I play it back, you will see that it's kind of a shaky shot. (Female speaker: To perform those dances, and not all?) So what I would like to do is use this as an example of nesting effects. I'd like to apply a Stabilize effect to this clip. So how should I go about doing that? Well, in Media Composer what we are going to do is we are going to step into the effect.
So here I am popped over the clip and I am going to go to my Step In arrow down here at the bottom of the timeline. Click on that and now the timeline view changes altogether. Notice that the timecode track is now called N1 and that mans that we are in nest level 1, so we are one layer down from the timeline inside of this effect. Now, the 3D Warp effect defaults to throwing a spare track on V1 and that's in case you have a customized background that you'd like to apply.
So the actual video clip is on layer 2 here. So now if I'd like to apply the Stabilize effect I just need to come over to the Image category, grab my Stabilize effect, drag and drop it onto my clip. Media Composer will nest out of multipoint stabilize. Stabilizing the image as much as possible and then at the end it will auto-zoom the image by just the amount needed to make sure we don't see any black edges at the side of the frame. And there we go. Now all I need to do is close the Effect Editor and I can play back the results of my Stabilize effect.
So you can see that the image is a lot more stable now and of course to see the full context, all I need to do now is step out back up to the timeline level. And so we have a Stabilize effect within our 3D Warp effect. (Female speaker: To perform those dances, and not all vintage clothing is designed with comfort. And also it has become much more scarce now.) So there we have it. A quick example of how to start compositing using segment based effects in Media Composer.
And if we need to combine effects, we can nest effects within each other and the order of the nesting is totally up to you. In this case of course, it makes much more sense for us to stylize the base image and then have the base image processed by the DVE, rather than the other way around. In the next video, we will look at some different compositing techniques.
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