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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.
Editing can be as much about what you exclude as what you include. Like a sculptor, once a sequence is being created, often our job is to keep chipping away at the material until what is left is the most compelling essence of the story, or message. So before we dive into techniques for removing material from my sequence, let me quickly show you another technique for creating a sequence. It's called storyboarding. I am going to just expand my bin a little bit here and switch this into Frame mode.
What this allows us to do is to start to sketch out a storyboard of our sequence before we start editing. Might be we want to start with the cafe view and then perhaps go to the downtown view, then to some skaters, and to a freeway and so on. By arranging the clips from top-left to bottom-right, I'm indicating to the system the order in which I'd like to have in dropped into the sequence when I lasso, click down and lasso all of the clips and then click down once again drag and drop into my Timeline.
There is the cafe clip at the very beginning, and the last clip will be the cityview. So as we drag through, there it is. You can see as well that the new sequence has been added automatically to my bin. Let's give it a name. Okay, let's just put the bin back to there and have a look at the Timeline area and some techniques for removing material. You can see in our graphical representation that some clips are longer than others.
This one here looks like it's got some camera shake. So let's say we decided to remove that clip from our sequence. How do we do that? Well, the first thing I am going to do is look at track activeness, because if I want to work on the video track, I am going to deactivate A1 and A2. Next, I am going to use the Mark Clip button to mark that clip in my Timeline. You can also do that with the T key on your keyboard. I have got these two tools: Lift and Extract. Just like the two segment modes, Lift/Overwrite and Extract/ Splice-in they are colored red and yellow, and indeed their functionality corresponds to the functionality of Segment Overwrite and Segment Insert.
For example, if I want to remove the clip and have the gap closed up, I would use Extract, like so. The clip has been removed, all other clips were shuffled up, the Timeline was shortened, and now that clip is gone. Let's undo that; Ctrl+Z on Windows, Command+Z on the Mac, and this time, instead of using Extract, let's use Lift. When I do so, the clip is still removed, but behind is left a gap. When you have a gap in a Timeline notice that Media Composer displays black.
So you can see that Lift is analogous to Lift/Overwrite mode. Using Lift/Overwrite mode will overwrite clips in the sequence and not affect the length, and Lift will remove clips from the sequence without affecting the length of the sequence. Similarly, Extract/Splice-in mode will insert clips into the sequence, thus making the sequence longer, whereas Extract will remove clips and close the gap thus shortening the sequence.
Okay! So that's working with entire clip. What happens if we want to remove a portion of a clip? Let's say, for example, we only need a little bit of the traffic here. Well, I can make an in point, scrub through my Timeline, and make an out point right here at the junction between the end of the traffic and the boardwalk clip. If I hold down Ctrl on my keyboard I can snap directly to that point. Just going back one frame, now I can see I have got the very end of this clip marked here.
If I hit O, now that's marked. If I use the Lift command, I am just going to leave a gap, and that's not really what I want, so I am going to undo that, and I am going to use the Extract command instead. Now, I have removed that extra material, and we go straight into the boardwalk clip, like so. Another way to do exactly the same thing will be to mark a section using an in point and an out point, and then I could use Command+X or Ctrl+X to remove that portion of my Timeline.
Look what happens if I do so. It got lifted out. Why was that? It's because I'm in Lift/Overwrite mode. If I undo that and switch toggle to Extract/Splice-in mode instead, and now use Command+X or Ctrl+X, I extract the material instead. So we can mark clips and either use Extract or Lift, or else depending upon the mode we're in here, we can use Command+X or Ctrl+X to do the same thing.
There is another way to delete clips from your Timeline, as well. If using Extract/Splice-in mode I highlight a clip and then hit Delete on my keyboard, now you see I performed an extract. Likewise, if I use Lift/Overwrite mode instead and highlight a clip and hit Delete on my keyboard, it's now lifted that clip out of my Timeline. So you can see that there is a trend in the Media Composer interface. The color red will lift or overwrite material not affecting the length of your sequence. The color yellow will insert or extract material from your sequence, thus making it longer or shorter.
Editing begins with a rough assembly and proceeds towards the final cut and ultimately the finished piece through a series of refining techniques. Removing material efficiently and accurately is a primary part of the refinement process.
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