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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.
An important part of the postproduction process is managing your media in a way that doesn't totally clutter your workspace and your drives. Therefore, deletion is often a necessary step in cleaning up after a project. There are several methods of deleting files. This chapter will address each one. In this movie, we'll discuss the differences between each of these. As you remember from the very beginning of the course, you need both the master clip and the media file for nonlinear editing to work. As you remember, once you take one of these away, the relationship is broken and you cannot edit.
Why? Because master clips, which are pointer files won't work if they're not pointing to something. Media files, which need pointer files to be read, are no good to you if nothing is pointing to them. So that part is clear. But sometimes you want to delete data so that you can clear up drive space or so that you can better organize multiple projects on one drive. Well, let's take a look at how you might want to do this. The most common practice of deletion by far is to delete media files from a project, but keep all of the project data.
Your master clips, your sub-clips, your sequences, essentially the entire project folder. Why? Well, we just talked about how the master clips are no good to us if they're not pointing to anything. Well, that's true, but because project data is so powerful and lists every piece of information about the clip even without the clip actually being present... For example, if we look in our Bin here. In Text view, I'm going to go ahead and display every piece of data I have.
We have so much information about each of these clips regardless of they are offline or not. You can use this to your advantage if you ever need to recapture media back into your project. You can bring an entire project back online even years after you deleted the media files from it as long as you kept the tapes or other source media. Because project data is so small, only a few megabytes, you can literally store dozens or hundreds of projects on a simple thumb drive.
I highly recommend that you keep your project files in at least two locations, on the thumb drive, in a special folder on your computer or just email them to yourself. You also need to keep your tapes or whatever other type of source media you use in a safe, well-ventilated box in storage. Now, the second option is to clear out both the project data and the media files. You would only ever do this if you're sure that you'll never ever need anything from that project again. To be honest, unless it was just an awful project or a throwaway demo project, you'll really never say that you can't spare a few megabytes of space to keep your project files safe.
Bottom line. Just keep your project data. You may thank yourself later that you did. So we've seen the benefits of clearing up drive space by either clearing out both parts of the equation, if we're sure we'll never need anything from it again, or more likely by deleting the media file, but keeping the project data. The only combination left is to delete the project data, but not the media file. Let me say that you would never ever do this. Why? Because you've cleared out all the small files, the crucial data, the pointer files that make editing possible and you've left the big media files that are of no use without something pointing to them.
These files are now called orphan files and are of no use to you. They're simply clogging up room on your drive. Deleting is an important and necessary part of the postproduction process, so you need to know what you're deleting and why. Again, 95% of the time you're going to choose option number one, deleting the media files but keeping the project data, so that you can bring your project back online in the future if needed.
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