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In this course, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate video editing techniques in Avid Media Composer. The course explains how to build sequences, mix audio, apply effects, and color-correct footage. The course also shows how to create titles, manage and output media, capture and import footage, and troubleshoot common post-production issues.
Changing the timing of a clip or segment is a very common thing you need to do, and Media Composer can do this is a number or ways. If you simply want to speed up or slow down a clip without the need for a clip to change speed within the clip, you can use the Motion Effect Editor. And if you'd like to make a freeze frame out of a clip, which means the clip has absolutely no motion and is merely a static image, you can use the Freeze Frame creation tool. Both of these tools produce new clips with new media and for this reason, they're called source-based adjustments.
Let's take a look at how they work. I have a couple of clips here that I would like to change the speed for, and they're fairly short, so we can quickly apple these. Now to use the Motion Effect Editor, I'm going to need to map it to my interface or keyboard, and just so you can see it, I'm going to map it to a button underneath my source monitor. So I'm going to press Ctrl+3 or Command+3 on a Mac to bring up the Command palette, and under the FX tab, we see the Motion Effect Editor. And I want to make sure that Button to Button Reassignment is selected, and I'll just go ahead and grab that and put it on the user interface, right underneath the Source monitor.
So I'm just going to go ahead and click on that now with my clip loaded in the Source monitor and we get the Motion Effect editor dialog box. Now we have the Duration in frames and the Rate in frames per second (FPS). That's all tied in to the number that you input in this box here. So by default, it gives you a value of 50% speed, and if I wanted my clip to go half speed, I would keep it like this, but let's try something a little bit slower. Let's try 30%.
Notice that these values change based on what I put in here. I'll go ahead and just do that one more time so you can see. I'll go to 35% and everything changes accordingly. So this clip which was 694 frames is now going to be 1983 frames and while it was 30 FPS, in real time it's now going to be 10.5 FPS. We have some other choices here that we'll discuss in just a second, but I do want to come down to Render method.
Without going in to too much detail, I will just tell you that the best render method to choose, most of the time, is Interpolated Field. It's going to product a much smoother result than if you choose Duplicated or Both. VTR is also nice, but I usually choose Interpolated. This is going to produce new media, so you need to choose the target drive, and I'll go ahead and send it to my Data drive, and I'm going to Create and Render. I'm going to send it to my Motion 1 bin and say OK, and it takes just a little bit to create.
So we now have a new clip in our bin. This is the icon for a motion effect, and we also get an indication of exactly how fast it's traveling. So it's automatically loaded into the source monitor. I'll go ahead and just play through this so you can see how a 35%-speed clip looks. So you get the idea, and you can go ahead and just cut this into your sequence just like any other clip.
I'm going to load my original back in, and let's go ahead and open up the Motion Effect Editor once more. And this time I'm going to type in a speed greater than 100%. Let's go ahead and make this really fast, so I'm going to do 250%. And in addition to this, I'm going to make it go in reverse. So to make a clip go in reverse, you just type a minus in front of it, and I'll go ahead and Create and Render.
Let's send it to our Data drive. We've got Interpolated selected, so that's good, and Create and Render. Again, it does take a little bit of time. We're going to go ahead and choose the correct bin. OK. Now we have another clip and we get the indication of the frames per second, and this minus indicates that it's in reverse motion. I'll go ahead and play this through. It automatically is loaded in the Source monitor, and there's an indication of a 250% speed clip in reverse.
Finally, there's one more thing to show and again, we'll go ahead and open the Motion Effect Editor, and it's this button right here, Strobe Motion. I'm going to go ahead and choose something a little bit more reasonable, maybe 150%, and I'll leave that in forward motion, and I'll go ahead and click on Strobe Motion. This is going to produce an Update every X number of frames. So it starts of with 5 frames. To show you a more drastic result, I'll ahead and change this to 15.
So every half a second we're going to get a frame which is going to produce a Strobe Motion effect. We have Interpolated selected. We send this to our Data drive, Create and Render, send it to our bin, and OK. Let's go ahead and check this one out. I'll go ahead and press play, and that is a Strobe Motion of a clip updating every half a second. So if you have a need for that, that's how you make it. So Motion Effect Editor, you can go forward or backward at a constant speed, and you also have the ability to add strobe motion.
I do want to quickly show you how to create a freeze frame. I'm going to load the original clip back in the bin, and let's go to Clip > Freeze Frame. The very first thing you need to do is choose the render method. This is a little counterintuitive, but you need to come down to the last menu option, and again, you do not want to create a duplicated field render method. I'm really not clear why this is the default option. You want to choose Using Interpolated. It's going to produce a much smoother result. And you just simply come back into the menu and choose how long do you want your freeze frame.
I'm going to choose 5 seconds and send it to my Data drive. It's going to be this frame. I probably should have chose a more interesting one, but just to demonstrate this effect I'm going to hit OK, go to my Motion 1 bin, and here is my 5- second freeze frame. As you can see, there's absolutely no motion, and I can edit that right into my sequence. For basic speed manipulation for source clips, both the Motion Effect Editor and the Freeze Frame creation tool are great ways to give yourself options in regard to the speed and look of a clip.
If however, you'd like to vary the motion within the clip, the speed and direction of a shot, you should use the Timewarp effect, which is what we'll cover in the next movie.
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