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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.
Probably one of the most common effects you will use when editing is something you see all the time, but may not always be aware of it, the basic Dissolve. The Dissolve, which is a gradual transition from one image to another, is the most classic way to show a juxtaposition of time, space, or ideas. Fortunately, Media Composer gives you the ability to quickly add and customize dissolves, fades, and other transitions via the Quick Transitions window. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Quick Transition window and all the choices you have when applying dissolves and other basic transitions.
Here we have just a simple sequence. We've gone back to the basics, so that we can really focus on effects. I'm going to just park near this transition point. It doesn't have to be right on it. It just has to be relatively near it. And then I'm going to come up here to this button right here, the Quick Transition button, and I'm going to click it. By default, it's going to jump to the nearest transition, the one that I want. I get a dialog box that comes up. We're going to go from top to bottom and just take a look at all this information.
First of all, it's going to ask, what do I want to add? By default, it shows a Dissolve. I also have the ability to add various fades and dips to color. It's also going to ask me where I want this dissolve positioned. By default, it's on the center of the cut. You can also end on the cut. You can start on the cut, or you can create a custom transition by dragging like so. Notice that when I do drag, the duration of the Dissolve increases.
So while I was at 24 frames, it's now a quite a bit longer. I'm going to go back to my 24 frame Dissolve centered on the cut, and talk a little bit about why this is at 24 frames. By default, the Dissolve is one second and my footage was shot at 24 frames per second. Therefore, it's assuming that I want a one second Dissolve for 24 frames centered on the cut. If I want my Dissolve to be a little bit shorter, I can either enter a smaller number in this box.
Say for example 10, or like I showed you before, I can drag my Dissolve out like so, even move it around. Again, I'm going to go back to Centered and we're going to stick with a 10 frame Dissolve. Now we're going to go down to Target Drive, which is where I decide where I want my dissolve media or render media to be stored. Media Composer will add Dissolve without creating any media. But if you did want to create media, which is basically a guaranteed real-time playback. I could render it and therefore send it to the correct Target Drive.
The Effect Source Drive basically just means whatever drive my source clips are on. So we'd look and see what drive my source clips are on and send that render media there as well. I'm not going to render right now. So I'm just going to leave this alone. So we've got a Dissolve, Centered on the Cut, 10 frames long, and I just want to look here and make sure that I have enough media. I've 81 frames on the left and 63 frames on the right available, plenty of media. I'm going to go ahead and Add.
It adds the Dissolve. If I play through it, you may have noticed that I transitioned from one image to another through a Dissolve. If I'd like to add a Dissolve to more than one transition at a time, I can certainly do so. Mark an In, mark an Out around all the transitions I'd like to apply this to. Come up to my Quick Transitions button, I want to do a Dissolve, centered on the cut.
I want it to be a little bit longer. So we'll do 15 frames. Again, we're not going to render this, so we're going to ignore the Target Drive. I'm going to Apply To All Transitions between In and Out. This is a choice that appears when you have In and Out points in the Timeline. We already have a transition effect and it's a different duration than we have set here. So if I wanted to keep the one that I currently have, I could do so by hitting Skip Existing Transition Effects. Because I want them to all be the same, I'm going to leave this unchecked.
I'm just going to click Add. As you see, all of my transitions get a Dissolve. Let's just take a look. So it's a pretty classic way to transition from one image to another very, very common use in editing, especially montages. As you continue editing in Media Composer, you'll definitely find yourself using the Quick Transition window very often, because not only does it offer you a fast way to apply a very common effect, but it gives you instant access to customize the effect to the placement and duration of your choice.
In the next movie, we'll take a look at other types of effects we can apply via the Effect palette.
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