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In Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started, author Steve Holyhead explores the tools and techniques in Media Composer for producing great looking video, as well as the basics of high definition media formats. This course walks through the video production workflow from input to editing to output, covers key information such as trim concepts and frame rates, and introduces techniques such as color correction, footage stabilization, and real-time audio effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
The first step in the Media Composer workflow is to bring your media into a bin. There are various ways to do this; one way would be to capture clips from a camera. Here we're going to look at importing multimedia files. First though, let's remind ourselves about the relationship between our clips in the bin here and the actual media files to which they're linked. These are references, they're shortcuts to these media files, and we specify where the media files will go with the Media Creation settings here. For example, I'm pointing all of my media to the D drive on my system.
Let's go have a look at that. I'm going to minimize the Media Composer application and show you here that on my D drive I have a folder called Avid MediaFiles. If I open that up, go through, down to the level where the files actually reside, you can see here these are the raw audio and video files to which the clips in my bin refer. It's very important to never delete or move these clips manually; always use the tools inside of Media Composer for that. However, what I wanted to point out is that this folder is known as the managed Media folder, and that means that Avid Media Composer manages all of the media in that folder and keeps track of it with its own internal database.
And it's here that files will be placed when they're imported or captured into the system. Let's close that up, and let's go back to Media Composer. I'm going to highlight the import bin, and this is what I'm going to be importing my first file. Before I do that though, I'm going to go to the Format tab in my Project window, and I'm going to select 1080p. The reason for that is that my particular preference is to always import my graphics and still images at the highest quality possible for my project.
So with the bin highlighted, I'm going to right-click on the bin and say Import, and here's the Import dialog. Here, I'm going to browse to my desktop and to my MC getting started resources. Inside there, I've got various different files. You can see I've got one here called Blue Flower. It's a TIFF Image. It could be a JPEG Image. It doesn't matter. Media Composer supports all sorts of different file types. Once I've selected the file I want to import, then I can come down here, make sure that I'm actually pointing to the drive that has the managed Media folder on it and then also I check my Video Resolution.
I'd bumped my format up to 1080. I'm now going to bump put my quality to the maximum available. Before I go ahead and open this, let's go to the Options dialog. It's beyond the scope of the course to really go into all of these details; however, I'm going to cover this stuff on the Image tab here so we can get our material in looking good. The first thing I'd say though is if you're importing a lot of files, just select one of them to start out with and play around with the settings until you get it to look the way it should.
For example here, Image sized for current format, if you got a file which is in the standard HD 1080, or HD 720, or SD frame size, then you might want to use this option right here. Alternatively, Resize image to fit format raster can also help. So sometimes you'll have to do a little bit of experimentation in order to get things just so. I know that for my particular file I'm going to use Image sized for current format. Next, File Pixel to Video Mapping, what does this mean? Well, I would suggest you leave this at 601, 709 which is for video color space, unless you happen to know that the file was created using RGB color space for computers.
Underneath here, Frame Import Duration. If I'm importing a still image or a graphic, I could specify how long that clip will last in my bin. Finally, Alpha Channel. If you're not expecting an alpha channel, just click Ignore. Once we've set all of these options up, click OK and then Open the file. Now the file is in my bin, and the media has been written to the managed Media file location. What's really great about this is that if for some reason the original file that we just imported now got deleted or moved by accident, we would still have access to it, because it's now in the managed Media file folder.
Okay, we've just imported a still graphic. What about if we need to import a video file? Well, it's the same procedure; however, the first thing I'm going to do is to switch my format back to 720. Next, in the bin, right-click and Import. Here in the same location on the desktop I've got urban nutcracker, a Windows Media file. I'm going to select it. I'm checking that it's going to the managed Media files location. I can choose my Resolution. I'm going to choose DNxHD 90 and open up.
And there you go. Now I have urban nutcracker in my bin, and I can play it back. (Video playing.) So we've got that clip into our bin pretty simply, and again, if the original was deleted or moved, we'd be okay because our copy is now in the managed Media files location. Finally, let's look at importing an audio clip. Again, right-click in the bin, Import, and here I've got an MP3 sound effect.
Going to the same location, the video resolution doesn't really matter at this stage. Click Open. That also is now being imported into the system; you can see we got the audio file icon, and if I load it into my Source viewer, I can play it back. (Audio playing.) Importing a multimedia clip creates a new Media file in the managed Media files folder. The files will be created according to the Format tab and the media creation settings specified.
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