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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 take a moment to step back and go over the process an editor takes when editing a sequence. After the editor organize and sets up his project, he begins editing what is called the rough assembly. Essentially, the first draft of the sequence. The rough assembly is not over analyzed for timing or pacing. It simply puts the shots in relatively the right order. The next step is often called the radio edit, which is where the editor runs through the rough assembly with a fine- toothed comb to work out the proper timing and pacing focusing on the audio.
Then, once the sequence is timed properly in regards to the audio, the editor goes back a third time to adjust the video edits. We've really already covered how to lay down the rough assembly in the previous chapter. In this chapter, we will talk about how an editor fine-tunes the sequence to create the radio edit and final video edit through the use of trim. Trimming is probably the most important part of editing. Because it's where editors work out the timing and pacing of a scene. Keep in mind, anyone can string shots together in a sequence but that doesn't necessarily make them an editor.
It's through trimming the sequence that an editor can really breathe life into a scene. By starting a shot or ending a shot sooner or later, that gives the sequences of shots the proper energy and soul rather than having them fall flat. To do this, you must understand and use trim and to understand trim, we have really got to discuss handle. Now remember our Ballerina shot? This portion right here was the part that we chose to edit into the sequence. Now there is a whole lot before and after this that we chose not to include.
However, when this shot is edited in with other shots, we will perhaps make a decision that we would like it to start or end earlier or later. Therefore, we would access the handle or the portions of the shot that we didn't include in the sequence. Now when an editor trims the sequence, usually the editor goes through every single transition point, analyzing if the shot on the left or the shot on the right should begin or end sooner or later. Let's zoom in. Now the shot on the left is called the A-side and the shot on the right is called the B-side.
I am going to enter Trim Mode momentarily just so you can see exactly what I am talking about and we will go into the specifics of how to trim in later movies. To enter Trim, I have several things I can do. There are Trim Mode buttons allover the user interface. here, here above the Timeline, and here in the Timeline palette or the U key on the keyboard. So I am going to press U, making sure that my video track is selected and you will see that several things have changed. Instead of the source monitor now, I have what is called the A-side monitor, and instead of the record monitor, I have what is called the B-side monitor.
I also have little pink rollers on each side of my edit now and my cursor has turned into a trim cursor. I also have Trim buttons below my A- side monitor and all of these tools will work together as we fine-tune our sequence, which we will go over in later movies. To exit Trim Mode, I can either click U again, or I can click on my time-code track. Most experienced editors will tell you that trimming is the heart and soul of editing because by cutting and adding frames to shots around the transition points, we are making decisions about the feeling of how the shots should combine together.
Spend time with the trimming phase so that you can give the proper attention to this meticulous but essential part of the editing process.
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