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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.
Earlier we had some limited exposure to the toolsets. Here we will look at them in greater detail. I will also introduce you to workspaces. Before we get into workspaces and toolsets though, I want to point out that one of the most primary settings that affects the entire Media Composer interface is the resolution that your system is set to display, and of course, the number of monitors you have. In this case, I'm working on a single-monitor system, and the display is deliberately set to a very low monitor resolution so that you can clearly see all of the buttons and details.
For editing however, this wouldn't work for me. I'd need to set the monitor resolution higher, so that I see more picture area. Of course, not everybody has the luxury of two-monitor setups, so you can certainly improve the user experience by taking the display to a maximum comfortable resolution where you'll get more UI bang for your buck. Plus, on laptops and other single- monitor systems, you know that you can use the Super Bin to help keep things as efficient as possible. In FCP, through the Windows menu, we can use the Arrange submenu to access various application layouts for common tasks, such as editing, audio mixing, or color correction.
Most, if not all, of the same functionality which you're used to in FCP, is here in Media Composer too. You've seen that from the Toolsets menu, I can choose the different layouts. Of course, now that we have our buttons mapped, I can just simply click here to access Audio Editing, to access Effects Editing, to access the Color Correction Layout, or return to Source/ Record Editing, which is the equivalent of the standard arrangement in Final Cut Pro. Let's return to Audio Editing for a moment. When I'm selected on a workspace, I can actually start to make changes to my interface and have those update inside of the toolset itself.
For example, maybe since this is my audio mixing layout, I'd like to collapse my Composer window into a single monitor like so, so I can concentrate on what I'm mixing. Now that I've done that, I've ended up with a little bit more real estate here. Now that I've done that, let's go up to the Toolset menu and Save Current. Now whenever I switch away and then come back to Effects Editing, you can see that that change in the size and shape of the window has been recorded. But this functionality doesn't just extend to the size and the shape of the windows, it also extends to the tools that are available as well.
Let's go up to the Tools menu, and let's add the Audio EQ window to our display as well. Let's reposition that up here. So now I've got my Audio Mixer window, my Audio tool, and my Audio EQ tool as part of this toolset, as long as I go back to the Toolset menu and Save Current. You might like to spend some time now going through the various different toolsets, arranging them how you like to work, and for the size and shape of your particular display. One thing that I really like about the way that Final Cut Pro handles layouts is that you can import and export custom window layouts with a customized name.
As you can see here, Media Composer, under the Toolset menu, has only given us access to these predefined and pre-named toolsets. So what to do if I want to create a custom toolset? Luckily, inside of Media Composer, we also have another set of layout-management tools. If we come here to the Settings menu and we scroll all the way down to the bottom, to Workspace, we have something else that we can use. If I activate Workspace, what's happened now is we're no longer using the toolsets.
We're actually working with this particular setting called Workspace. Let's move over the Composer window like so. Let's maximize it as big as we can get it in this particular resolution. There we go. I'd like to also make my Timeline a bit deeper, so let's do that. If I double-click on the workspace itself, you've got a choice of Continually Update This Workspace or Manually Update This Workspace. I'm going to choose Manually Update The Workspace and Save Workspace Now.
If I switch back to Source/Record Editing or Audio Editing or Effects Editing or Color Correction, they're all still there the way they were. But if I go back to my Workspace setting, you can see that that also has now been saved as a layout. The great thing about this is that as we know from managing settings earlier in the chapter, we can highlight a setting and we can duplicate a setting, and then we can give that setting a custom name. For example, I could come here and I could type in 'settings', and that could become a new workspace.
Let's activate it, and let's choose what we'd like to see. In this particular case for settings, I'd like to shrink down my Composer window like so, And then I'm going to bring up the Command palette and put that underneath. And now I'm going to double-click on the Workspace Settings and Save the Workspace Now. If I want to manipulate settings in the future, I'm just going to come back to my Settings workspace, open it up, and my Command palette will be there ready to go.
While we're on the Command palette, let's go here to the More tab. Over here on the More tab, you can see that I've got buttons which represent eight different workspaces. This means that with eight different workspaces and my toolsets, I can create up to 14 different layouts for my Media Composer application. One thing to bear in mind here is that if we map buttons called W1, W2, W3 to our interface, or our keyboard, we need to be able to know which one number one is over here.
The way to do that is to actually come here and give our settings a number before the name. So if I call that one 01 settings and maybe this one is 02editing, now because of the order in which they appear here in the Settings tab, that will mean that we now know that W1 maps to settings and W2 maps to editing. And of course, I could go ahead and map these to my keyboard, alongside my toolsets. Okay, I'm going to go back to Source/ Record Editing, make sure I'm back on the Bins tab, and in the next video, we'll look at customizing the contents of both the Timeline window and the Bin window.
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