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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.
Sometimes instead of adding or subtracting frames from only the A side or B side, you want to adjust the transition so that you are adding frames to one side, while subtracting them from another. This is really common, when you like the timing of your show but need to adjust an audio or video transition. Or you may need to quickly close a gap in your sequence or remove a shot entirely. To do each of these, we'll use another type of Trim mode called Dual-Roller Trim. Now when we go over this sequence a third time, we are relying on the fact that our audio is as we want it.
Tight, well-timed, and exactly what we want. So as you see here, I have this sequence from the Urban Nutcracker completed, and I've spent a good amount of time making sure that my audio was exactly right. So now I am going to take a path and I am going to ask myself at each transition, what piece of video do I want to see? Often, we'll want to hang on the A side shot for longer or perhaps cut to the B side shot sooner. By splitting the audio and video transitions, we are creating what is called a Split Edit.
If I left the scene all as straight cuts, as we see now, it looks a little bit like a tennis match, back- and-forth, back-and-forth. Split Edits help make the scene a lot more interesting and it also helps move it along more dynamically. Let's take this first transition and I'll go ahead and zoom in, into our Trim Mode. I am going to go ahead and loop around and see what I think about this edit. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker: You have the mentor and the apprentice, Drossel?) Okay, so we have Tony coming in here, talking about what's going on in screen here.
He says, "we have the mentor and the apprentice." Well on screen right now, I just see the mentor. Let's use Trim Mode to see if we later see the apprentice. I am in Dual-Roller Trim and if I just drag to the right, you can see that I am accessing the handle of this shot and there he is, the apprentice. I think it would be really nice, if we heard Tony talking about these two onscreen and we saw them at the same time. So I'm simply going to drag this over to the right, let's go ahead and release there and let's play loop and see how we like this now.
(Male speaker: ...the mentor and the apprentice, Drosselmeyer and Mini-Meyer.) (Male speaker: And that's one of the themes in...) Okay I think that worked really well. We have Tony coming in, talking about these two figures, and we are seeing them as he is talking about them. We've created a Split Edit because the video is split from its audio but by doing this, we are moving this scene along in a much more interesting way.
Let's proceed to the next edit here. I am going to go ahead and enter Trim Mode, let's play a loop. (Male speaker: Is like you know the apprentice is trying to learn how to become a magician.) (Music playing.) Okay, it might be nice to see this apprentice while he is saying that. So again, I am going to take my Dual- Roller Trim and this time I'll use my Trim buttons on my keyboard, I'll trim to the left eight frames at a time.
Let's see how we like that. (Male speaker: Is like you know the apprentice is trying to learn how to become a magician.) (Music playing.) Okay, not bad. Now we would just keep going through the sequence transition by transition asking ourself, what do we want to see on screen at any given time? I am going to open up my Dance montage scene, and as you remember I have two sections here, where we made an edit and it left filler in its place.
I want to show you how you can also use Dual-Roller Trim to close those gaps. I am going to zoom in, let's play through this edit, and see what ourchoices are. (Male speaker 2: Join the international cast as they re-interpret a timeless Christmas classic.) Okay, we can extend our Spanish dancers, or we can have the shot Nutcracker lives coming sooner. Let's go ahead and grab Nutcracker and have it come in a little bit sooner. Again, I am just going to enter Dual- Roller Trim, make sure that I grab in the middle, drag over and let's play loop to see how we like it.
(Music Playing.) (Male speaker 2: Join the international cast as they re-interpret?) Okay, that works really well. We can also continue to do a Roller Trim if we want it in a different location. For example, if we wanted the shot to start exactly when he began talking, you can grab this, bring it there, and that's my new edit. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker 2: Join the international cast as they re-interpret a time?) All right, I think that works really well.
Same thing here. We can go ahead and close up our gap, extend Urban group dancers feet shot or bring this shot in earlier. Let's go ahead and just make a quick decision. (Music Playing.) I think it could go either way. I'll go ahead and just extend this shot over. Lasso, drag and we are done. As you can see, we'll continue through this sequence transition-by-transition, determining what video should be displayed at all times.
Remember, you can show any video at any time. So don't let the edit points be a constraint. Used Dual Roller Trim to fine-tune the relationship between the audio and video edits so we are always hearing the most interesting audio and always seeing the most interesting images. Knowing how to do this well is what makes a great editor.
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