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In Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate editing techniques in Media Composer, one of the most widely used nonlinear, video editing systems. This course covers how to build sequences, mix audio, color correct footage, apply effects, and troubleshoot common post-production issues in Media Composer. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's step back into our bins for a moment to talk about bin organization. In this movie we'll discuss how sorting and sifting clips can help you isolate exactly what you're looking for as you are putting your sequence together. Now as you remember, a bin has four different views. Brief, Text, Frame, and Script. Text view was our customizable view, where we could go into the bin Fast Menu, choose Columns and determine which columns of data to display. One more very powerful feature of Text view is the ability to create custom columns.
To create a custom column I'm just simply going to click up here in the bar above the clips and type a name. I'll make a Rating custom column, and I recommend using a star rating system, 1, 2, 3 or 4 stars. Normally you'd play these clips through, determine what rating you are going to give it, and then put that data in. For now we're just going to put in some stars arbitrarily, so that I can show you how this works. Four stars, hitting Enter will go to the next line, three, two and one, and once you've entered data, you can actually Alt+click or Option+click if you're on a Mac and bring up anything you've previously entered, like so.
I'm going to close this bin and I'm going to open this one which I've already setup and you can see I've made a Rating column, a Shot composition column, and a Day column. There were two days, Saturday and Sunday, that this occurred, so that's what that data means. Now there are a couple of things that you can do here. One thing is to sort the data. Sorting data simply reorganizes the data alphanumerically within the Bin. If I wanted to alphabetize my Shot composition, I just have to right-click, Sort on Column Ascending or Descending, and now I have all my close-ups together, all of my long shots, my medium long shots and medium shots.
If I want to sort by day, I can do so, and Rating, I'll sort descending here. All of my four-star shots at the top and all of my one star shots at the bottom. Sorting is really useful but the real power of custom columns comes with the Custom Sift command. That's accessible by the Bin Fast menu. Custom Sift, and it brings up a dialog box where we can choose what criteria we want to sift.
Let's first perform a basic sift where we simply say we want it to contain just one piece of criteria and then sift on that. Let's say we just want it to contain all my four-star shots, OK, and now my bin contains my four-star shots. Let's go back to Custom Sift. Notice that it says sifted here. If I want to display the unsifted view, I just have to go to my bin Fast Menu, choose Unsifted and everything is back in the bin. So let's go back to Custom Sift ands let's setup an And sift.
I want it to be four stars and I want it to be a long shot. I'll say OK, and well, what do we have here? We have a couple of long shots, but mostly we have medium long shots. The reason for this is that the Custom Sift was set to contains. NLS contains LS. So if I want just long shots, I have to change this to Matches exactly. OK, and there is my four star long shot sift. Let's go back to Custom Sift, clear out my data, and let's perform an Or sift.
An Or sift means that it has to match this criteria or this criteria. So let's pull up all long shots and all medium long shots. I need something far away. OK, and there is a lot. Most of the clips in the bin are a long shot or a medium long shot. Let's return to the Custom Sift one more time and let's do a combined And and Or. Let's go ahead and clear this out. It has to be three stars, and because I choose Contains it has to contain three stars, which means it can be three stars or four stars, because four-stars does contain three stars.
So Contains three stars and in my three- star close-ups, and I need my at least three-star medium shots, and I am going to change this to Matches exactly, and we'll go ahead and say OK, and here's all my best or all of my at least three-star and some four- star medium shots and close-ups. You can really hone in on exactly what you want by exercising Custom Sift in the right way. If I then wanted to copy out some of these clips to a new bin, I can do so by getting my bin setup. Let's go ahead and just call this Best close-ups and medium shots.
These are couple of things I can do here. I can highlight my clips and Alt+Drag them into this new bin. This is cloning the clips. This clip is this clip, but just in a new location. Anything I do to this clip is also done to this clip. Let me demonstrate. If I load Ballerina duo 2 and notice that there is a in and out point in there. I'll go ahead and make an in point there and an out point there, and I'll clear the monitor.
If I then come to this bin and load Ballerina duo 2, notice that the change was made there as well. So this clip is basically the exact same one but in a different location. Let's clear that. I am going to go ahead and delete those, which we'll cover in a later movie. If however, I duplicated the clips, I highlight the clips and I Ctrl+D or Command+D, if I'm on a Mac, the clips a re copied but they have a Copy.01 after them.
Let's go ahead and move those into this bin. This means that they are no longer associated with a parent clip. I can go ahead and load Ballerina duo 2, clear my in and out points by pressing G, clear my monitor, come over here, load Ballerina duo 2, and the in and out points are still there. This is no longer associated with the clip that it came from. Just keep that in mind, as you're moving clips around. You have the ability to either clone them or duplicate them, and each one has a different bearing on whether or not it shares characteristics with the parent clip.
Let's go ahead and show our Unsifted view again. We have all of our clips back in our bin. Our custom columns will be maintained for the next time we need them. The bin is a great organization tool and it can certainly be your friend. Be sure to organize your bin material well, so that these powerful databases can work for you in helping you find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Projects can get pretty large with literally hundreds of clips across dozens of bins, so using Sort and Sift are often a necessity as much as a luxury.
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