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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.
So far in this course, we've been working with media that's already been brought into Media Composer. Well, as you can imagine, it has to get there somehow. In this chapter, we'll examine all of the various ways that footage makes its way into a project, by capturing, by importing, and by accessing. In the first three movies, we'll take a look at how to capture. This movie will acquaint you with the Capture tool. Now, if footage was shot on a camera that uses tape, then you'll need to capture the footage via a tape deck or a camera connected to your system.
Once the deck is correctly connected and turned on, then you should start Media Composer. You should not turn the deck on when Media Composer is already active, or the software may not recognize the deck. So, we're in our project. It's a brand-new project and we're ready to capture footage. Let's go ahead and launch the Capture tool. The Capture tool is found under the Tools menu > Capture, or Ctrl+7 or Command+7 for a Mac. So, we'll Ctrl+7, the Capture tool launches, and let's take a look at what we've got.
We're going to ignore this row of buttons for now and come down to our Track Selectors. The Track Selectors are where you select the tracks that are going to be captured into Media Composer. In this case, we have one track of video and a left and a right channel of audio, as well as time code. Now, it's essential that you capture time code, because every single frame of video or audio in your system has to have an address. This address is dictated by its tape name and time code.
So, you really need to select time code when you capture each time. Making our way down, we have our Video and Audio input settings. Now sometimes you have lots of different options for capture. In this case, we have FireWire. You may also have Component, Composite, S-Video, HDMI. If you had each one of these options, they'd be populated in this list. We only have FireWire so that's the only thing we see, and making our way down here, we have Name and Comment entry fields. This is where we'll input data about the clips that we capture.
Here's the bin that we capture into. It says Please open a bin. So I will. By default, the project opens with a bin named after the project name and then Bin. I'm going to rename this. I'll call it Urban Nutcracker Selects, and that's populated here. Here's the resolution that I'm going to capture. Now, depending on if you're in a standard definition or high-definition project, you'll have a number of different choices here.
In this case, I am in a standard definition project and I have standard definition resolutions available to me. I'm going to stay on DV 25. Here is the drive I'm capturing to and in this case I'm going to make sure that my D drive is selected. Here is the amount of space I have on that drive for the resolution that I've selected. Notice that at DV 25, I have 10 hours available to me. If I chose 1:1, I have 1 hour available to me.
So, I'm going to switch back to DV 25 and I have plenty of room. Here I have my deck controls. This is how I remotely control my deck or camera while I capture footage into the system. Everything here should look fairly familiar to you. Play, Stop, Pause, Eject. I also can go backward and forward by one frame and here's my Rewind and Fast Forward. Below here is the deck or camera connected to my system. You can see here that the deck is recognized by Media Composer.
Occasionally, there is a problem with the connection between Media Composer and the deck. There is a pop-down menu in here that you can use to help you in reconnecting the deck. We won't go over this in this course, but just be aware that these options are here for you. Below that is Tape Name. We don't have a tape in our deck right now, but as soon as I put one in, the Select Tape dialog box pops up. Now, this is very important. We need to select a unique tape name. Do not leave it named New Tape.
I would recommend naming it a number and then the project name. In this case, I'm going to call it 001 Urban Nutcracker, and I select OK, and you'll notice that the tape name populated here and I have my time code from my tape populate here in the deck controls. So, now I'm able to control my deck if I hit Play.
(Music Playing.) I now have a remote connection to my deck and I can control it accordingly. So, once you've made all of the correct selections in the Capture tool, it's time to start ingesting the footage. We'll take a look at how to do that in the next movie.
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