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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.
Once you've edited shots in the Timeline, you'll often want to move them around. Whether this means switching locations entirely or just nudging them slightly one way or the other, it's important that you know how to reposition clips once you've edited them. In this movie, we'll take a look at Segment Mode to learn how to reposition your shots. There are two types of Segment Modes in Media Composer, represented by these arrows here. The one on top is the Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode and the one below it is Extract/Splice Segment Mode. Now, they do different things and in this movie, we'll take a look primarily at Extract/Splice Segment Mode, which is what you will use to reposition shots in the Timeline.
To enable a Segment Mode, you simply click on the yellow arrow and as you see, when I come into the Timeline, my cursor turns into a yellow arrow. If I go above it or below it, I go back to my arrow and I can also shuttle through the Timeline by clicking on the timecode track, but once I come over here I'm not able to do that. I'm telling Media Composer that I want to grab on to a shot and move it around. Now as you can see, I've edited to the rest of this sequence and I gave it to my producer for comments, and came back with a couple of suggestions.
If he wants to change this shot with this shot and this shot with this shot, that goes a little bit better with the music. So let's take a look. Let's go ahead and just grab on to the shot and as you see, it highlights, and I'm going to start dragging to the left and as you see, my interface immediately changes. What's happening here is the first and the fourth windows represent the frames on each side of my clip. The second and third windows represent the first and last frames of my clip.
So, basically this is showing where I'm going to drop this down. Now, I want to change the position of these shots entirely. So, I want to snap to my edit point. Again, as you might imagine snapping to behaves the exact same way that it does in traditional editing. So by hitting Ctrl, I'm snapping to edit points rather than just freely dragging it around. So, if we want to switch this shot with this shot, I simply drag over while pressing Ctrl, let go and I've changed my shots around.
(Music playing) I think that does work a little bit better. We are kind of ramping up with the music here with a little higher action shot and then music decreases in tempo here. So this works a little bit more better. Let's do the same thing here. Let's watch it though. (Music playing) All right, same sort of thing.
We want the lower action shot to precede the higher action shot as the music is ramping up. So again, I'm going to click here, press Ctrl as I drag to the right, and as you can see, as I pass over the position indicator, it also snaps the position indicator. So that can be useful at times too. But in this case, I'm going to move my position indicator out of the way so that it doesn't interfere. I'm going to drag to the right and release. These shots are now transposed.
Let's see if it does work better. (Music playing) Yes, I think it does. This really is a better order for those shots. One more thing I want to demonstrate is how to use Segment Mode to actually delete material. Before, we looked at the Extract command where we marked an In and an Out and we're able to extract the material between the In and Out point.
If I want to extract an entire segment, I can do so by highlighting the segment and simply pressing Delete. As you can see, it behaves the exact same way as Extract, but in this case it's bound by the segment rather than In and the Out point. I actually don't want to delete that segment. So I'm going to undo, Ctrl+Z, but that is very useful if you do need to delete the whole segments. To disable Segment Mode, I can click on my Extract/Splice-In arrow again and now I want to return to the timeline, my yellow arrow is disabled, and I'm able to drag through the sequence as usual.
In a later movie, I'll show you how to map these commands to your keyboard, but for now, go ahead and just activate and deactivate these commands via the timeline palette over here on the left-hand side of your Timeline. Moving shots around in the Timeline is essential to the editing process as it allows you to lay down an initial rough cut and then fine-tune by moving things around as you see fit. Extract/Splice Segment Mode is very important to this overall process as it allows you to freely manipulate clip locations without going back to the bin for additional material.
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