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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.
In this movie, we'll talk about setting up a project and user settings for starting a new project in Media Composer. Let's launch Media Composer by clicking on the Media Composer alias on the Desktop. If you're working on a Mac, it would be an icon within the dock. If you think about it, a desktop alias is a lot like the virtual relationship that we just talked about. The alias points to or refers to the software program installed on your computer. When you click it, it finds and accesses the program and allows you to use it.
Now we're brought to a screen called the Select Project window. Here is where you'll make choices about what project to work on, as well as what individual user setting to use while you're working on your project. We're going to start here in this Select a Project portion of this window. We have three buttons, Private, Shared, and External. The Private Button shows projects stored in the Avid Projects folder within the My Documents portion of your operating system. You'll use this if you are primarily the only one working on this system and don't need to share projects with another user under a different log-on.
Shared refers to projects in the Shared Avid Projects folder. You can use and store projects under Shared if you're sharing a project with another editor that works under a different log-on account on this system. You can see here the path that it lives in. External refers to projects listed in the external view. It allows you to access projects located anywhere. It can be on this computer, on an external hard drive, or on a thumb drive. You can use and store projects under External, if you need flexibility about where you want to work on your project. For this project, we'll choose External.
To access externally located projects, you simply click on this folder icon here to browse to where your project lives. In this case, we have a project living on our Desktop, in this folder here, the Avid Media Composer Essentials Training. I have an Avid Projects folder, which I'll click on. When I do that, you can see two projects listed under there. I can either click on them individually, or if I choose the Avid Projects folder, you'll see them listed here in the view to the left. If I wanted to launch a project, I would simply click on it and click OK.
Before doing that, I'm going to talk a little bit about how to set up a new project. To select a new project, you have this button here. But first, you have to choose where you want it to go. Do you want it to go to the Private portion of the Avid Projects folder, the Shared Avid Projects folder, or do you want it to go somewhere else? In this case, let's go ahead and put it on the Desktop. So we'll navigate to the Desktop. Say OK. Here is our path, and then click on New Project. We have some choices to make here.
The first one up here to the left is New Project. You want to name that immediately. Do not leave any projects named New Project. It will just cause confusion later. We'll go ahead and just name this project Urban Nutcracker Interviews. Then we come over here, and look at some other choices that we have. We have to choose the Project Format, Color Space, and Raster Dimension. We won't really get into this right now, but it's just important to know that whatever you shot in, or whoever shot your footage, you need to choose the appropriate project type.
So this was shot using an HD camera, the 1080p flavor at 23.976 frames per second. That's what we'll choose and we'll say OK. You can see here that it's externally located at our Desktop. It's listed here in this window on the left. We're not going to work on this. We're going to go back to the project that we saw before in the Avid Media Composer Essentials Training > Avid Projects folder. There is the one's that we looked at before.
We're going to be accessing the Urban Nutcracker Basics for these first few exercises. So I'll choose that. Before doing so, however, I would like to go over User Profile. User Profile is one last decision to make in this window. It's what User Profile you use while editing a project. The User Profile is customizable. It will allow you to have unique editing experience in regard to what tools are available to you, how you access the tools, the arrangements of windows in your user interface, and so on.
In this way, Media Composer Editors can isolate exactly how they like to work, make a user profile, and access that setting each time they edit. Many experienced editors consider their User Profile one of the most important parts of feeling at home in the editing environment. It allows them to move quickly and instinctually through the editing process. We'll definitely go into user profiles in Chapter 5. If I click here, you can see that I have two user profiles already loaded. If I wanted to access one of those, I would simply click on it and the checkmark moves appropriately.
If I wanted to create a new user profile, I simply click on Create User Profile, and type in here, we'll just say Default View. It's good to a have a Default View, in case you should ever need to go back to a user profile that has no customization. So we'll say OK. You can see that it changes here. A third option is Import User or User Profile. This is what you would use if you do have a user profile that you are saving to a thumb drive and you go to another Avid system, and you would just simply import it, navigate where it's located, click OK, and have it come in.
For this, we're just going to use this user profile. So, now that we have our project selected, our user profile selected, we're going to go ahead and click OK to launch Media Composer the rest of the way and get started editing.
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