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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.
Using multiple video tracks, we can stack clips vertically in the Timeline and then use effects to blend those various layers of imagery together. This procedure is known as compositing. Here, I've got some clips in my bin. Before I can composite these together, the first thing I need to do is add them to a Timeline. I am going to click down, lasso the clips, drag them into the Timeline area, and now I have created a sequence, as you can see here. Let's rename the sequence as Composite.
The next thing I am going to do is I am going to add some video tracks to my Timeline. I can right-click and say New Video Track, or I can use Command+Y on a Mac or Ctrl+Y on a Windows machine, to add those from the keyboard, like so. Because I'm in Lift/Overwrite mode, I am just going to grab these clips and start compositing them by dragging them up to the next layer and then putting them over top of each other. And then finally, the spider.
Let's put that up there on V5. I am just going to trim up the edges here a little bit. So I've created a bit of a pyramid. Okay, great! So now I have got my clips positioned. Of course, at the moment, I am monitoring video track 1, so we know that we will only see the contents of the video track 1, unless I go now and switch the monitor up to video track 2, and then video track 3, 4, 5. Great! If we want to start compositing now, I need to go to the Effects palette and find in an effect.
Up here in the Project window, to the Effects palette, in the Blend category, I am going to use Superimposition. I want to use the Superimposition to blend the bark clip with the water close-up clip. So I can see what I'm doing, I am just going to come back down and monitor from V2 downwards. Pick up the superimposition clip, drag it and drop it onto the bark. Immediately, you can see that the bark is at 50%, and is allowing us to see the water in the background.
That's pretty simple. Now let's start using some of the tracks above that. I am going to go back to monitoring V5. Here I've got the Picture-in-Picture effect. If I drag that and drop that on the spiderweb clip here, you can see that it automatically sizes it down to 50%. Another way to add effects more rapidly to my sequence is to multi-select clips using the Lift/Overwrite mode.
Now when I come back up to the Picture- in-Picture effect, I can double-click on it, and it will add those effects to any clips that are highlighted. Now let's focus back on the V3 for a moment where we've got the sky. That's a 50% size over the top of the bark and the water close-up. If we want edit this effect, we are going to have to use Effects mode. So here it is. Let's enter Effects mode, and now we enter the Picture-in-Picture Effect. All I want to do here is affect the scaling a little more, maybe drop it down a tad more, and now I would like to move it across to the left, and maybe I'll just push it up a little bit, too.
So I am happy with that. If I want to move efficiently to the next affect that I would like to edit on, I am going to just click here, and now I am going to be editing this effect, but I am going to have to just bump my monitor up to see what I am doing. Let's take this clip, and let's move it off down to the bottom right. Again, maybe I would like to scale it down a little. I am going to highlight the slider there and now use the arrow keys on my keyboard to take the scale down a little bit. Maybe I will take it down a bit more than the sky, like so.
Now I am going to click up to the spiderweb clip, again, bump up my monitor so I can see all of the tracks in context. With this particular clip, what I'd like to do is actually use the Crop tool to take some material off of the top and some material off of the bottom to create sort of a custom sized frame. That will do for now. If I close this, I can now go back to my Timeline and play back the results.
Okay. So, that looks pretty good. The fact that these Pictures-in- Pictures are sort of popping on and off of the screen is a little bit disconcerting to me. So I just want to show you one final thing. I am going to mark across these clips here, and now I want to go back to the Quick Transition dialog, and I am going to call up the Dissolve, and I am just going to add an 8 frame dissolve centered on the cut to all of the transition points between the in and out markers. Add. Great! Now let's play that back, and now they dissolve on and dissolve off.
The simplest type of compositing is the picture over the newsreader's shoulder, or a title over the start of your video. More complex composites are things like green and blue screen keys or tracking a new logo onto a basketball player's jersey. All of these things are possible inside of Media Composer. You have all of the tools at your disposal to really build up some quite complex effects inside of Media Composer. Have fun!
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