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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.
Once your sequence is all set, you can safely print to tape. In this movie, we will explore the Digital Cut tool and a couple of the more popular options you have in laying your sequence to tape. All right, so I have my sequence here, and it's comprised of two tracks: a video mixdown and an audio mixdown. Again, that's not required, but it's a really great idea if you have a lot of video or audio tracks. One other thing I did was I moved my audio from A3 to A1. A1 is a stereo track, as indicated by these two speaker icons, and I just wanted it that way so that I could have just one track of video on V1 and one track of audio on A1.
Another thing I did was I actually transcoded this sequence from its HD resolution to an SD resolution, as indicated right here in the Format tab. I did that because I just have a standard-definition DV camera connected to my system, so I wouldn't be able to go out HD. However, in my Video Quality menu, I am still going out at Full Quality. Lastly, I did shorten this just for demonstration purposes, so we only have about six seconds of the digital cut, but it will allow you to see how the digital cut starts and then we will allow it to finish so that you can see exactly how it works.
Before opening the Digital Cut tool, I want to go over the three types of digital cut. An insert edit is the most is the most precise method of digital cut and gives you an exact level of frame accuracy. In an insert edit, the sequence timecode exactly matches the timecode that is pre-laid on the tape and only video and audio are printed on the tape, not time code. Therefore, to perform an insert edit you need to pre-black an entire tape, which means that you have taken the time to record a black video signal to it, laying a control track on the entire tape.
An assemble edit also gives you precise control over your start time, just like an insert edit, but it does not require that you black the entire tape in advance. Rather, you only need to black the very beginning, enough for the sequence to grab on to the control track. The assemble edit then commands your deck to generate control track on the fly as the digital cut progresses. Lastly, crash-record edit can be performed with or without a small pre-black portion on your tape. Now, you usually don't perform a crash record with any expectation of syncing the sequence timecode to your tape timecode.
As with an assemble edit, your deck generates a control track and timecode on the fly as the digital cut progress. Now, if you are recording to a DV deck or camera like I am in this case, you will record a crash-record edit. I should also mention that if you just have your deck right beside you and you wanted to perform a crash record, one other method is to just press play and record on your deck and then play your sequence and then everything on your sequence will be laid to tape. However, we are going to look at the Digital Cut tool, assuming that you want remote control over your deck.
So, we are going to come up to Output > Digital Cut, and let's take a look at a couple of these tools. Here in the upper left are the tracks that are being laid to tape. Again, I only have two, so only two are listed, but if you had a lot, they would all be listed here. We have our Play Digital Cut button as well as our Hold button and a Preview button that will allow you to look at what it will look like without actually printing it. Here is our output resolution. And we have a couple of buttons here. Some of them are pretty useful. Entire Sequence will basically ignore any in or out points that you have in your sequence; however, if you leave this unchecked and you have in or out points, it's going to respond to any of those in or out points and just print that portion of your sequence.
Digital Cut Safe mode instructs Media Composer to take a look at your sequence and alert you if there is anything that might go wrong. For example, if you have both SD and HD in your sequence, it's going to ask you to transcode it. Or if you have a lot of un-rendered effects it's going to ask you to render those. You can also ask Media Composer to stop the digital cut if you come across any dropped frames, and you can also have it add black at tail, which is really useful for both assemble edits and crash records. Here is where you decide if you want remote control over the deck or Local.
Again, if you have the Digital Cut tool open, you are probably going to choose Remote control. And I am just going to come over here and show you that, again, because I just have a simple DV camera connected to my system, I only have the option to crash record. If you have a more sophisticated deck connected to your system, you will have the option to assemble edit or crash record accordingly. And then because we are only crash recording, we are going to ignore our sequence time. But again, if you wanted a timecode- accurate sequence, you would want to choose one of these other options.
And then down below here are our deck controls. Now again, I really shortened this up so we are only recording just over six seconds, but I wanted to show you the entire thing, so I am just going to press Play Digital Cut. It's going to ask me to mount the tape. The tape is already mounted, so I will click OK. (clip playing) All right, our digital cut is complete. Let's go ahead and click OK.
Printing your show to tape is such an important step because you don't want to have made all the effort in putting your sequence together just to have it printed shoddily at the end. Take your time with the step and make sure that you consider all of the time- code accuracies needed at this stage in the process.
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