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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.
We're going to jump back out of editing for a few movies to discuss some important navigation and customization techniques. In this movie, we'll explore one of the most important navigation tools in Media Composer, JKL. Moving quickly and deliberately or slowly and precisely through the Timeline is essential in the editing process. So far we've covered several ways to do this. Pressing Play, by hitting the Spacebar, scrubbing with the blue position Iidicator, and stepping through one or more frames at a time using the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys.
Probably, however, the most important and most often used techniques for Timeline Navigation is JKL. JKL is a variable motion and direction control device. At its simplest breakdown, J moves the Position Indicator backward in real-time, K pauses it, and L moves it forward in real-time. Let's just take a look. I'm going to press J to go backwards in real-time. (Music playing.) K to pause. And I'll press L to go forward in real-time. (Music playing.) JKL will also move you through the Timeline faster and slower than real-time.
If I press it twice, it will move it backwards or forwards at double speed. Both video and audio will play at this point. If I press it three times, it will go backwards or forwards at triple speed. Again, my audio is going to play at this point in time. If I press it four times, it will go backwards or forwards at 5 times speed. I lose my audio at this point. And if I press it 5 times, it will go backwards and forwards really fast, 8 times speed, and again I have lost my audio. Pressing K at any point during this time will stop the clip.
Let's take a look. I'll go ahead and press L once, and I'll go forward in real-time. (Music playing) Press it twice for double speed. Three times for triple speed. I press it four times and I'm at 5 times speed. I have lost my audio. And I press it 5 times and I am at 8 times speed. Notice that when I go backwards with J, I get the same result. (Clapping and cheering) Twice for double speed, three times for triple speed, four times gives me 5 times speed, and five times gives me 8 times speed.
Notice that I can also go through the clip in this fashion. Double speed, triple, 5 times speed, and 8 times speed. I really can navigate through very quickly if I use JKL. However, I can also navigate slower than real-time. Let's zoom in. (Music playing) If I press K while pressing either J or L, depending on what type of project I'm in, I can go about one-quarter speed.
Right now I'm in a 24 frame per second project, so I'm going to go forwards and backwards at 6 frames per second. I'll press K and go forward with L. You can see that I'm progressing 6 frames per second. And I'll go ahead and press K and go backwards with J. Again, I'm going 6 frames per second backwards. As you can see, there's a lot of power in JKL. One more powerful thing about it is the geography of those keys on the keyboard.
Notice that these keys are directly below I and O. Your Mark In and Mark Out keys. In this way, you can use your right three fingers to move through the footage in the source monitor or the Timeline to review the material, and then extend your middle two fingers just slightly to mark your In and Out. In that way you can use three fingers to navigate through your material. Mark it. Review it. Make your choices. And then mark your In and Out points. Because these five important keys are located so close together, you have a lot of control with just three fingers.
JKL navigation is an essential part of any editor's experience, and it's important that you work it into your muscle memory by using it to proceed forwards and backwards at variable speeds through your sequence and source monitor as you edit.
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