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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.
Creating and managing projects is the first layer of control that you have over your media, which are the actual audio and video files you'll be working with, and your project data, which is going to be the information about your clips and the sequences you create. Let's start your Media Composer system, create a new project and have a look at how to set where the media files will go when you start importing them into your system. Now first off, Media Composer has various configurations. It can be used as software on a laptop or a workstation, and the software can also be used in conjunction with various hardware that expand the options for monitoring input and output.
Examples include the Matrox Mini, the Mojo SDI, the Mojo DX and the Nitris DX. First, power up all external devices before switching on your Mac or PC, and that includes any external storage devices. Next, wait for your computer and your operating system to completely power up. And as your computer starts, make sure you wait for all extensions, drivers and external devices to load and be recognized by the operating system.
Now, go ahead and launch Media Composer. And after a short while, you'll arrive at the Select Project dialog. Now this is a very important moment, because the first level of organization possible when using Media Composer are Avid Projects; these are the containers for your work. Let's take a moment to have a look at the Select Project dialog. You can see here, right at the top, my User name has come up as Producer.
And that's inherited from my OS logon. Now if I wanted to, I could create a User Profile here, and you'll see the reasons to do that as we go thorough the course. For now, we can just leave it on the defaults. Next, the Folder location. At the moment, I've defaulted to my personal documents. And that's because this radio button here is lit up: Private. In other words, these are the projects that I'm working on, and no one else who uses this computer can see these projects. If I go to Shared, then these are accessible to all people who use this computer.
On a Mac, this may well be called the Public folder. And then finally, External is used for browsing out to other locations where you may keep project data: on a thumb drive, on a storage area network, or a network share, something like that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to come back to Private here and show you that now, when I select New Project, that's the location where the new project will be created. I can give it a name. I'm going to call this one first project.
Next, over here, we would select the Format. At this moment, I don't need to worry about what you see in here. Just come and select 720p/23.976. And I will explain all of that a little bit later. Now, click OK. You can see the fourth project has been put in this location, which is specified here. And I can go ahead and open that project up. Great! There we go. So this is the Media Composer interface. We've created a project, and we've specified where that project will be saved.
The next thing I want you to do, when you first create a project, is come to the Tools menu. And I want you to go to the Media Creation settings, because it's here where we get to designate where the media will be put when we imported into our system. In this case, I'm using the D Drive. And I can use the same drive for all categories by simply applying to all, like so. With that done, we're pretty much ready to get to work. With the Project Selection dialog, we specified where our project would be stored. With the Media Creation settings, we specified where the media will be stored.
Organization is essential to the editing process. And these skills will be useful on a daily basis for every project that you do.
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