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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.
On some level editing is all about the clips. Feeling comfortable with finding, displaying, selecting, playing, and navigating efficiently through clips is what we're focusing on here. In the Final Cut Pro you can right- click inside your Project tab and view your clips and sequences as small, medium, or large icons or as text. Alternatively, you can right-click on top of your column and choose to Show Thumbnail. If we have loaded a number of clips into our Source viewer then we can come to the recent items list here to swap backwards and forwards between those clips.
Next to that there is a Utility menu where we can create things like bars and tones. I will select a black slug. Obviously, we have our play controls under both of the viewers and we know that we can also use JKL-- (Music playing) to play backwards forwards at different speeds, or by holding down the K Key we can move forwards and backwards slowly listening to analog scrub. (Music playing) Let's go and have a look at some similar functionality in Media Composer.
Inside Media Composer I am in the Chapter-1 folder and I am going to open up the 01_04 subfolder. Single click on swingdance_ source to open up the bin. In my bin, I am currently selected on Brief view. This gives me a view of icons, clip names, and some of the columns of data. If I move now to the Frame view, you can see that I can look at my clips in a different way. If I select all of the clips using Command+A, I can then use Command+K to make my clips smaller or Command+ L to make my clips bigger.
I can also use the Fast menu to Fill Window and arrange my clips more neatly. On the Script view, it's a hybrid. I get a column of thumbnails along with columns of data. Whether I am in Frame view or Script view, I can actually play the clips directly in my bin. Highlight the clip and use Spacebar or maybe JKL. (Rustling clothes, background noise) Once I stop, this now becomes the new representative head frame for that clip.
Same here. (Rustling clothes, footsteps, background noise) As you have seen, to load a clip into the Source viewer we can drag and drop a clip or we can double-click on the clip, or if we prefer we can actually multi-select clips and drag and drop all of them into the Source viewer at the same time. If I am viewing multiple clips and I want to swap backwards and forwards between them quickly, if I click down on the clip name above the Source viewer, I have a quick access to all of my recent items.
If I return to the same menu, you can see that there are other things I can do here too, such as Clear Monitor or Clear Menu. I can also go here to Load Filler, which is the same as creating a black slug inside of Final Cut. If I switch back to the video clip, you can see that I also have time code data here above the viewers too. If I click down on the time code data, then I can adjust what's displayed. Am I looking for video time code, audio time code, or am I actually looking for a clip name or a frame count, or even auxiliary time code.
Underneath both viewers there is a scrub bar where we can move backwards and forwards and then below that are basic play commands. Regular Play, Play IN to OUT, step forwards and backwards a single frame at a time, or forwards and backwards ten frames at a time. If I use the Home and End keys, I can move quickly between the beginnings and the ends of my clips. If I have marks on my clips, such as locators for example, then I can also use my fast forward and rewind keys, and these will take me between the beginnings and the ends of my clips, unless I go in and adjust the settings.
So, let's do that right now. Let's go up to the Settings tab and then let's move down to the Composer Settings. Here, I have a fast-forward/rewind tab. And now I can choose to Stop at Locators. I might also choose to Ignore Track Selectors, since this is very useful when working with sequences. Click OK and now when I use my fast forward and rewind keys, they will stop at various places along the way. If I come down here to my bin and I load up interview clip 4, I would like to show you JKL.
It works very similarly to the way that it works in Final Cut Pro. If I hit the L key once, I am going to play back at the regular editing rate. (Inaudible dialogue) If I hit it again, now I am up to 60 frames per second. 90, 150, 240. Media Composer supports smooth playback of up to 16 simultaneous audio tracks, up to a trebling of the frame rate. After that, fast playback is picture only.
You may have also noticed that as I scrub or move through a clip using my mouse or the arrow keys on my keyboard, I'm not hearing any sound at all. In Final Cut Pro, we usually hear a digital scrub as we are moving backwards and forwards. To enable this in Media Composer, engage the Caps Lock key. Now as I move backwards and forwards, you will hear the digital scrub just like in Final Cut. (Inaudible dialogue) So, in conclusion, both Final Cut Pro and Media Composer use clips and bins and both applications also have viewers where you can play back the materials dynamically using JKL or step through it a frame at a time.
There are some minor differences in exactly how certain things work, but overall, the similarities between the two applications is of tremendous benefit to us as we are learning.
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