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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.
One of the most common vertical effects is called a Picture-in-Picture effect or PIP. A PIP is an effect that produces multiple images onscreen simultaneously by way of a split-screen or vignette or other transposition, either with fully opaque images or a combination of opaque and transparent images. You've probably seen this in action a lot in television and movies. Let's take a look at how it works. So right here I've got four video tracks. V1 goes across the entire length of the sequence, and then I have V2, V3, and V4 come on in kind of a stair-stepped manner.
What I want to have happen is for V2 to be a smaller vignette that's going to start here and then travel across the screen. V3 is going to be a smaller vignette here in the middle of the screen and travel that way. And V4 is going to be a smaller vignette at the bottom of the screen and then travel from left-to-right. So let's set this up. I'll go into the Effect palette, into the Blend category, Picture-in-Picture.
And I'll apply it to my three video layers like so. And let's start with our Arabian dancers. If I go into my Effect Editor, I want to make sure that both the first and last keyframe are selected. So I'm just going to click on the first one and do Command+A to select both of them. By default it puts my Scaling at 50%. And that's kind of an arbitrary number, but I have the ability to change that if I want to. So I come into Scaling.
I'm going to probably bring that down to 35% or so, so that I can fit everything on, 35. And I can either come into Position and readjust my X and Y parameters like so, or I can just drag, which is what I'll do. And what I want to do is have a travel from here to over here. In fact I'll start off-screen on the left and then go off-screen on the right. To be able to see off-screen I'm going to zoom out and on my first keyframe, I'm going to take my X parameter and just drag it off like so.
And on my last parameter, I'm just going to drag this across. And if I hold down Shift, it'll actually go in a straight-line and that should do it. So I'm going to scrub from left-to-right, and it does exactly what I want it to. So let's go to my Ballerina long shot here. And again we're going to bring this down to about 35. I want to make sure that both of my keyframes are active, Ctrl+A. Bring my Scaling down to 35, Enter.
My first keyframe, I want to make sure that I have it off-screen. Again I can Shift+drag this so that it's in a straight line, starting here. And as I go to the last keyframe, I'll go ahead and Shift+drag it across the frame. So now I have both of these going at the same time. Everything is a little busy because I have the fourth video track popping on at the end. If I want to look at it in isolation, a good tip is to actually Ctrl+click or Command+click if you're on a Mac, the video track that you want to look at in isolation.
All right, so that's exactly what I want. Now we'll go to V4. And I'm actually going to Ctrl+click so that I can look at this and only this. I'll go into my Effect Editor. And again click on a keyframe. Ctrl+A to make sure they're both selected. Bring my Scaling down to 35. And we wanted to go from left-to -right so we'll come down here. And again on the first keyframe, we'll start off-screen.
Go to my last keyframe and Shift+drag it across like so. So there it is in isolation. Now let's go ahead and see everything within the composite and see how it's all working together. So I'm just going to click here and play through. Well, you know what? It has a little bit of work as far as the timing goes. But I can start with this and begin tweaking it. I do have a version of the sequence that's a little bit further.
And I'll go ahead and load that now. So you can see what it looks like when it's a little bit further along. I'm going to go ahead and monitor from V7. So you can see how it's working. I scrub. And this only has two layers instead of three but it's the same basic idea. I can keep going if I want to. Again I have another shot here on V8. If I'd like to apply the PIP characteristics from a different track, I can do so.
Save this out, apply it to my Flamenco shot. I'll do that really quickly. I actually don't have to save it to a bin first. I can just apply it straight from here to the segment. Let's go ahead and go to my first keyframe. We have to zoom out quite a bit so that we can see it. I'm going to go about that much. Shift+drag, and we'll come over to the last keyframe. And it has to be to the left of my Ballerina shot. So I will Shift+drag it right here.
So now my Flamenco shot should follow my Ballerina shot across the frame, which it does. And we'll zoom-in to look at it a little bit more closely. Showing multiple images like this is a common desired result. And by using a PIP you can achieve this effect in a number of ways. One limitation of it is that it does only allow you to adjust parameters in two dimensions. But keep in mind that Media Composer has a very similar effect called 3D Warp that allows you to transpose parameters in 3D.
This effect is beyond the scope of this course. But I definitely encourage you to check it out.
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