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In Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate editing techniques in Media Composer, one of the most widely used nonlinear, video editing systems. This course covers how to build sequences, mix audio, color correct footage, apply effects, and troubleshoot common post-production issues in Media Composer. Exercise files accompany the course.
As we saw in the last movies Splice is a great tool to quickly add shots to the Timeline. Overwrite is another very useful tool that you can use to not only add, but also replace material in the sequence. You need to do both in conjunction with one another to properly build any sequence. As you can see I've continued to add several shots to my Timeline here using Splice. And I'd like to start by demonstrating Overwrite in a way that is very similar to Splice. I am going to go ahead and go to the end of this sequence, again by Ctrl+Clicking or Command+Clicking, like so.
I go ahead and open my Montage Selects bin. And find a shot we haven't used yet. Let's do this one. So I am going to have an in and an out, which I've already set in my source. Again, my position indicator is acting as my end point in the record or my Timeline. I am going to perform the Overwrite, which is this red arrow, which corresponds to the B key.
As you can see it behaved exactly like Splice. It added to the end of the sequence on my video track. Now the real power of Overwrite is not adding material to the sequence, because Splice does that already, but it's replacing material on the sequence. Let's go ahead and play this through and see if there is any shot that we'd like to replace. (Music playing) You know I am still not in love with that Arabia dancer shot.
I think it's still a little bit too slow for the music. So I am going to replace it altogether. When performing Splices it's usually the in point and out point in the source monitor that's important. When performing an Overwrite, however, it's usually in the Timeline that you want to set those in and out points. I am going to zoom in and we need to put an in point and an out point at the beginning and end of the Arabian dancers long shot. So I'm going to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click. Mark an In. And I am going to snap to the tail or the last frame of Arabian dancers by Ctrl+Alt+Click or Command+Option+ Click if I am on a Mac, and mark an Out.
Now I've marked my Arabian dancer shot. I am actually going to undo that, clear those marks by pressing G and I am going to show you how to do that in one step. Whatever track I am parked on and whatever track is selected, if I press the T key, which is the Mark Clip key, which you can also find here, it'll go ahead and do that in one fell swoop. So I have this shot select and I know that I'd like to replace it with this one. So let's go ahead and find a place in this shot that we want this to start.
I think that's probably the best part, where they are running around. And let's go ahead and mark the In point right there. So what we've setup here is a Three-Point Edit. I have one, two edits in the Timeline, and one edit in the source. What this is doing is it's telling me that I need to fill this exact amount of frames with this shot. So it's going to count forward X number of frames and perform this Overwrite. If you're ever curious exactly how many frames that you are overwriting, you can come up here to this Center Duration box.
In this case, I see that I have 5 seconds and 10 frames that I have to overwrite here. So I am going to perform the Overwrite by pressing B, and we've replaced the shot. Let's take a look. (Music playing) I think that works really well with the energy that we are going for. Now one thing is that I think it's a little too long still.
So I am going to demonstrate how to overwrite portion of a segment. Let's go ahead and choose a shot to just span from about here to here. And as you see, I have populated my audio track with a waveform monitor. The way you do this, in case you should ever want to, is the Fast Menu down here, Audio Data > Waveform. It's really useful when performing Overwrites. So let's take a look at where there might be a good break in audio here.
(Music playing) Let's do it about right there and let's see where there might be another spot down the road. (Music playing) How about right there? We are going to choose a shot to go from right here to there. Again, we can lookup in Center Duration. It's 2 seconds and 7 frames. Let's choose a shot. Let's get our Dancers medium shot in here.
Let's choose a shot. Let's go to our Dancers group and let's see if this might be a good candidate. (Music playing) Now this is an example of where I might want to tell Media Composer where I want the shot to end. There was a really nice moment there where everyone just changed positions and I think I'd like to include that as the last part of the shot. So what I am going to do instead of marking an In point in the source is I am going to mark an Out point.
Let's go ahead and find exactly where that occurs. I am scrubbing through. Tight there. I am going to mark an Out. Again, we are going to come down here, 2 seconds and 7 frames. Instead of front timing it's going to back time. It performed that edit for me. I am going to ahead and Overwrite. One thing I have to do before doing so is check my track selectors down here. Because this has original audio associated with it, I am going to need to deselect A1 and A2, because I am not interested in editing that in. And I am going to perform the Overwrite by pressing B and it's overwritten that segment in the Timeline.
Let's go ahead and take a look. (Music playing) All right, not bad. I am going to continue going through this sequence matching video to audio with my Overwrites and Splices and continue building this out. Adding and replacing material in your sequence with Splice and Overwrite consists of much if not most of the editing process. As you can see it's important to be aware of where your in and out points are at all times.
And once you are comfortable with that you'll establish your routine that will ingrain itself into your muscle memory. Just remember efficiency comes with using the keyboard as your main tool. So memorized those keyboard shortcuts to get yourself on the path to becoming a fast and capable editor.
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