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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.
Another way to get material in the Media Composer is to import files. This involves importing movie files, graphics, animations, photographs, music, sound effects and so on. Before actually performing the import, it's important to understand the many options you can set for importing files. Let's take a look. To import a file, you need to have a bin open, you can choose File > Import, or just right-click in the bin and choose Import. Rather than just navigating to your file and clicking Open, you want to set a few options first.
You want to make sure that the Resolution is set correctly. I'm in an HD project now, so I have a whole host of HD flavors that I can choose. DNxHD 115 is fine. I also want to choose the drive that I want the import to go to. Again, we want to make sure that it goes to the same drive that the rest of our media is on. So, D drive is fine. The Options button here is the really important one. So, I'm going to click on it. When we're importing image files, that's graphics or photographs or movie files, I want to make sure that I adjust this accordingly.
I want to talk a little bit about image size adjustment. If an image is sized correctly, I choose option number one. What is correctly? Correctly simply means that I have the same amount of pixels in my graphic that matches my video resolution. Right now, I'm in an HD project, and my resolution is 1920X1080. So, if I have a graphic that matches that resolution, I'm going to choose option number one. Otherwise, if I choose a graphic that is not that resolution, it's going to resize it for me.
To explain this a little bit better, I'm going to show you a couple of graphics. This graphic is sized 1920X1080 or my video resolution, and you can see right here. This graphic is not 1920X1080. If we look in its properties, it's 1308X1080. So, it's a lot more square than our correctly sized 16X9 aspect ratio here. So for my correctly sized graphic I'm going to choose option number one. For right now, we're going to skip options two and three and jump to four.
If I have a graphic or movie file that is not sized according to my video resolution, I'm going to choose option number four. What it's going to do is resize my image, and then pad any extra areas in black. So, in the Import Settings > Image category, I really want to pay attention here. Down here is where I set my Video Mapping. If I want my image clipped at video black and video white, I'll choose this. Otherwise, I'll choose options up here. This is where I set my Import Duration. If I have a graphic or movie with an element of transparency or an alpha channel, I'll select Invert on import, if the graphic or movie was created in anything other than Avid.
If it was created in Avid, I'll choose Do not invert. Then if it doesn't have an alpha channel at all, I'll choose Ignore. We have other options here. We're not going to go over them right now, but I do want to point out one thing under Audio. If you're importing a clip, and it has video and mono audio, which means that it's only bringing in one track of audio, usually panned to the left, I can automatically center that so I won't have to do it later in the audio mixer. So, I'm going to choose option number one and I'm going to bring in my correctly sized graphic.
Here's my 1920X1080 graphic. Click Open. There we go! It's 30 seconds, because that's the duration I chose and everything looks good. I'm going to import my incorrectly sized graphic using option number one, just to show you what happens when you do this. Notice that it's stretched it to fit the video frame. This isn't want we want, so instead we want to go back in and import using option number four, Resize image to fit format raster, click OK, Open, and there is our correctly sized image.
It's padded the left and the right with black. Now, I could import any type of file that I want. If I import a movie file, I'll choose my resolution and my drive. Usually, movie files are sized correctly, so I'm going to choose option number one. And when I open, Media Composer creates the audio and video for me. As you see it takes some time to import, so I'm going to cancel this because instead of having Media Composer create brand-new audio and video files, I'm going to do something called Avid Media Access or AMA where it's going to instantaneously bring in the clips for me, thereby skipping the import process.
We'll explore that in the next movie.
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