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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.
In a professional environment, you are expected to ensure that your work is saved and backed up regularly. Even when you are working on a solo project, it pays to spend the extra time to label and back up your project data, because in the long run, it'll prevent wasted time searching through files, or having to redo lost work. Now, Media Composer is saving in the background at all times. If I exit the application, an auto-save occurs, as well. How do we specify the frequency of these auto-saves? Here, in the Project window, on the Settings tab we have the Bin command.
This is telling the system, hey, when I have an open bin, auto-save it every 15 minutes. Now when it auto-saves, Media Composer places the snapshots of your bin in a place called the Avid Attic, and the way the Attic works is this. It says, okay, what's the maximum number of versions of a Bin that I'll store in the attic? In this case, it's 50. So that basically means when we start working, we can save up to 50 copies of that bin in the attic before it starts to overwrite the oldest of those copies.
I'm going to change my Auto-Save Interval to one minute, for the purposes of our exercise here. Click OK. That means that all of my open bins now will auto-save a new snapshot every single minute. Now, of course, Auto-Save, super- useful, and the fact that Media Composer will save all of your work on exit from the application is useful, too. However, if you've just been working on your masterpiece, and you've put a lot of effort and time and energy into that, it's always worth coming back to the Project window and Ctrl+Save or Command+Save.
What that does is it saves all of the open bins. Let me show you what I mean. If I go to a Frame View here and I start to reorganize things in this Bin, notice straightaway, I'll get an asterisk here. That would be a diamond on a Mac. Same thing in this bin. If I start to change things around, the bin knows that things have been changed and has not yet been saved. If I use the shortcut, Ctrl+9 on Windows, Command+9 on the Mac, that'll highlight the Project window. Now, if I hit Ctrl+S or Command+S, that saves all open bins.
Notice now, the asterisk has disappeared from both of these bins here. Okay, so we know about auto-saves, and we know how to do an explicit save. How do we back up the entire project? Let me show you. What I'm going to do is close these bins here, and I'm going to exit Media Composer to the desktop. If I close the Project window, I will return to the Select Project dialog. Since I know I want to completely exit the application, I'm going to close from up here.
Now, I'm back at the desktop. What I'm going to do is navigate to the location of my Avid Projects. In this particular case, I placed my Avid Projects in My Documents. So, I'm going to click on Documents, and then inside of Documents, is the My Documents folder, and there are my Avid Projects. This is the project we've been working in. We just saved it, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy that.
Now on my desktop, I'm going to create a new folder called avid_project_backups, and inside there, I'll paste the copy of my project. Obviously, I'm using my desktop here as an example. The whole point of backing up is to make your data safe, and if we're going to put the safe copy of our data on the same system disk where the original copy of the data is hey, what have we really done? Of course, what I'd really recommend is that this copy be on a thumb drive, a DVD, or on a network location somewhere safe, away from the original copy of the project.
Setting auto-save intervals is a good start. However, pride and professionalism should encourage us to set our own policies to manually back up the project data to a thumb drive or other location at the end of every day.
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