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In Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started, author Steve Holyhead explores the tools and techniques in Media Composer for producing great looking video, as well as the basics of high definition media formats. This course walks through the video production workflow from input to editing to output, covers key information such as trim concepts and frame rates, and introduces techniques such as color correction, footage stabilization, and real-time audio effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Timeline is the place where all of your media, ideas, and preparation come together. The better command you have of the Timeline tools, the more you'll be able to concentrate on the important stuff: the pictures and sounds. Here, in the Timeline window, I have a Scale Bar. If I click down, hold, and drag to the right, I zoom in my view of the Timeline area. Over here, I have the Scroll bar. So, if I drag to the right or to the left, I can move up and down my Timeline.
If I zoom all the way back out, I'd like to show you that in the bottom left-hand corner here, we have the Focus button. If I click the Focus button, I get zoomed in, so I can examine specific parts of my Timeline. Once I'm done, I can click the Focus button again, and I'm scaled all the way back out, so we can see the full sequence from start to finish. We can see in the Timeline here that we have the names of the clips. We can also add more data. In the Fast menu, I can go to the Clip Text submenu.
Here, you can see the Clip Names is already active. We can now go ahead and also activate Clip Durations. So, now you can see that data on each clip in the Timeline. I'd like to add some more data. Back to the Fast menu, back to Clip Text, and this time I'm going to choose Clip Resolutions. If I zoom in a little, you can see that I've got DNx 36 here, XDCAM HD 50 megabits here, and DVCPro HD here. Now, at the moment, the video track is smaller than the audio tracks.
For some editing, this may be appropriate. In this case, what I'd like to do is make the audio tracks a little smaller, and the video track a little bigger. First off, I'm going to deactivate the video track. Notice that it's gone gray now. The audio tracks remain active. They're blue. So now, using Command+K on a Mac, or Ctrl+K on a Windows machine, I can make the audio track smaller. Now, if I click down, hold, and lasso over the tracks, now I've inverted my selection.
So, this time, if I use Command+L or Ctrl+L, and I disengage these two tracks, I'll be making just the video track bigger, like so. Now, if I'm happy with that view, I can come down here to the View menu, and Save that customized view. Let's go back over here and look at track activeness in more detail. At the moment, video track 1 is active, and none of the audio tracks are active.
So, if I come to my clip, here in the Timeline, and I make a mark, notice that just the video track is highlighted. This means that when I perform an operation - let's lift this portion of the clip out of the Timeline - you can see that that operation has only affected the video track. The audio tracks remain unaffected. Let's make another mark over here. Notice again, the video track is highlighted, but if I click down, lasso, and invert my selection again, now it's the audio tracks that are highlighted.
If I perform an editing operation, you can see that only the audio portion of this clip is affected; the video portion remains unaffected at that point in the Timeline. Track activeness also affects source record editing. If I take his clip here, the sunset clip, and load it into my Source viewer, you can now see that I've got an extra set of tracks which correspond to the source side. If all of the tracks on the source side are active, but the video track only on the record side is inactive, let's have a look to see what happens when we perform an edit.
I'm going to clear my marks in my Timeline and go and park at the very beginning of the sequence. Now, I'm going to mark up the section of this clip here, and use the Splice command to insert that clip into my sequence. Notice what happened is only the audio portion of that clip was inserted, and what that did is it knocked all of the audio tracks further down the Timeline out of sync with their video counterparts. Let's undo that, and let's do the same thing with Overwrites.
Again, only audio has been written into the sequence, but because we use the Overwrite command, everything further down remains in sync. Okay, let's undo that, because what I'd like to show you is that the behavior is different when I use drag and drop. Let's come further down my Timeline here to this space. If I grab my clip and drag and drop from the Source viewer to the Timeline area, look what happens. The system has ignored the activeness of the Timeline and respected the activeness of the Source side.
Let's undo that once more. What happens if I now deactivate the audio tracks on the source side and drag and drop? Now, I get a video only edit. That's because when I drag and drop, we are respecting the activeness on the source side, but ignoring the activeness on the record side. So, that's a very important difference when you're dragging and dropping from either the bin or the Source viewer as compared to using the Splice-in or Overwrite commands here in the Composer window.
On the outermost edges of the record side and the source side, we have our Monitoring buttons; by default, the monitoring for audio tracks and video tracks is on. For example, here, on the record side, if I were to disable the monitoring for the video track, notice that we lose the picture. It goes gray. Likewise, on the audio tracks, I have these Solo and Mute buttons here. If I mute all of my tracks, I don't hear anything playing back.
If I solo one of the tracks, then I mute all of the others by definition, and I will only hear Audio track 1 playing back. (Clip playing.) Like so. This area is known as the Track Control panel. I can toggle the display of the Track Control panel just here. When it's toggled off, like so, I get more real estate in my Timeline window to display my sequence; when it's on, I get access to these controls.
This button here activates the Waveform Display for the current track that I'm on. I could go ahead and activate all of them if I like. You can see straight away, I get feedback in the Timeline. It doesn't look like I have very much audio data at all on audio track 3 or 4, but I do on audio tracks 1 and 2. This button here switches monitoring for a particular track, on or off completely. So, if I turn this track off, and this track off, and now play back in my Timeline, I'm not hearing anything.
But if turn them back on -- (Audio playing.) Now we have our audio back. Don't confuse the on/off state of the Monitor button with track activeness. Even if this Monitor button was switched off, and I performed an edit operation with the A1 track active, it would still be affected. When using Splice and Overwrites, or performing other commands on a track, you will need to pay attention to track activeness. On the other hand, drag and drop commands will ignore track activeness on the record side.
They will respect track activeness on the source side, however.
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