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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.
Once you've reviewed your footage and marked your shots, they're ready to be added to the timeline to form and build a sequence. In this movie, we'll talk about how to use the Splice Tool to edit shots into a sequence and we'll begin exploring the non-linear nature of Media Composer by splicing shots in different moments of the sequence to build the story. The first sequence we are going to edit is a montage, which just means we're going to edit video clips over music. The music we going to use is in our Audio bin, Dance montage audio. As you see, I've already marked an In and an Out at the beginning and the end of the clip so it's ready to be edited into the timeline.
We don't have a visual indication of this because it's audio only, but we do have the title up here. And we also have the Track Selector panel populated with one track of audio so we know it's going to be edited in. Before actually performing the edit, I want to open my _Sequences bin because I want this sequence to be separated from the master clips. We'll edit this by choosing Splice-In. The Splice-In is this yellow arrow right here. It corresponds with the V key on the keyboard which I'll press now. And we get this dialog box that asks us, where do you want the sequence to go? I want to go into the _Sequences bin, select OK and I'm immediately going to name it.
Never leave a sequence named untitled. It'll just be very confusing later. So we are going to title this Dance Montage and I highly recommend that you also date it and initial it. So we'll give it the date and my initials. Okay, I'm ready to go. Note that I can't close the bin because the moment I close the bin, the sequence will go out of the timeline so I'm just going to minimize it.
Notice in the timeline that we have one track of audio just like we thought we would. one track of audio correlates to one track of audio. We also have an empty track of video and another empty track of audio and we are going to talk about what to do at this point. I am going to go ahead and load one of my clips again by double-clicking on the clip icon and you can see I've already marked this. This clip has original audio associated with it when it was recorded. So if I play it -- (Music playing) It has two tracks of audio, 1, 2, associated with my video and I don't want to include those in this edit.
So I'm simply going to disable A1 and A2 and I'm likewise going to disable A1 and A2 on the timeline track selectors, because we don't need them. This means that we've a video- only edit and we are ready to go. Our position indicator is going to indicate where the edit is going to occur. We don't want it to occur at the end of the sequence. So I'm just going to hit Home to get us right to the beginning. And as you see here, we have 1, 2, 3 edit points and again I don't have an In point here, but the position indicator is acting as an In point.
And basically, every edit you'll ever make needs three edit points. In this case, we have both of our edit points in the source monitor and I am ready to make this edit. I am going to go ahead and hit this Splice-In again with using my V key and we have our first video clip. Notice that the position indicator is butting up right up against the end of Arabian dance. If it isn't, if it's somewhere else in the sequence and I need it to go to right to the end of Arabian dance, I can do so by Ctrl+clicking or if I am on a Mac system, Command+clicking.
And you can see I'm at the edit point, because I have a little white L right there. All right, I am going to go ahead and choose another shot. Again, I've already marked it, I am going to go ahead and splice it in using V, and we have two shots edited. A splice always adds material to the timeline. So as I'm adding shots, my video track is growing longer and longer. Let's take a look and see what we think. (Music playing) You know that's pretty fast music and this is a pretty slow shot.
I don't really think it's a good choice to have it at the beginning of the sequence. So let's go ahead and find a higher action shot at its beginning. Again, I'm going to bring my position indicator to the very beginning, and I'm going to choose my group dancers here. Let's see if this is a good candidate. Press 6 to play in to out, and this doesn't have audio associated with it but we can see that it's a higher action shot. So I am going to go ahead and perform the splice by hitting V. This gets spliced in at the beginning. my other two shots scoot down to let it in and let's see how it works.
(Music playing.) All right, that looks pretty good. I think I'd like another higher action shot right after this one. So I want to splice a shot right in between these two. I am going to zoom in so we can get a closer look and to snap right in between these two edit points, I'm going to Ctrl+click, and let's go ahead and get my Leapfrog Dancers. Again, it's already marked and we'll take a look at this one. All right, that's nice.
And we'll go ahead and perform the splice using V, zoom back out and take a look. (Music playing.) All right, so we're progressing right along. As you see, we are able to build our sequence relatively quickly using the Splice Tool. It's a really convenient way to edit shots to tell the story. But as you can see, the tool always adds material as we see the video tracks growing longer and longer.
In the next movie, we'll talk about a great way to not only add, but also replace material in our sequence.
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