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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.
Imagine that you'd like to start with a shot in real-time, then speed it up significantly, and then slow it down all the way to a stop, and then make it go in reverse. While the Motion Effect Editor and Freeze Frame Creation tool are limited in they can only produce non-variable motion, Media Composer's Timewarp effect allows you to vary the speed however you like. So in this lesson, we'll take a look at the basic functions of the Timewarp effect so that you can produce interesting variable motion shots. Let's look at our Ballerina shot again.
And let's start out with the clip in real-time. Speed it up significantly. Bring it down to a Freeze Frame, and then go in reverse motion. We can do that with the Timewarp effect. Go ahead and drag it over. And when I open the Effect Editor, you'll see it looks quite a bit different than we're used to. The way I'm going to look at my Motion Effect Graphs is to click on these buttons here. And in the left you see a Speed Graph and on the right a Position Graph.
We're primarily going to use the Speed Graph for all of our adjustments and we're simply going to use the Position Graph to monitor the amount of frames I have to make sure I don't run out of material when I'm creating my effect. So to do that I'm just going to make sure I see the entire graph onscreen at once. That will help me later. And I'm going to do something similar over here. So we start off in real-time. And as you see I'm at 100%, and there's my keyframe. It goes all the way across.
So I'm going to speed it up. I need to add a keyframe here. I can do so here or if I've mapped it on my keyboard I can do it there. So we'll go ahead and increase this to 304% here. And then you'll notice that it actually produces a nice S-curve here. This is called Spline. It eases in and eases out from keyframe-to-keyframe. I have a couple of other interpolation methods here that I can use.
One, if I right-click here, is Linear. It goes in a liner fashion from keyframe-to-keyframe with no ease-in or ease-out. Another is Shelf. It goes straight from 100 to 304. And the last one is Bezier. It gives me these direction handles that I'm able to manipulate the amount of ease-in and ease-out from keyframe-to-keyframe. I'm going to keep Spline and move on. So I'm increasing it in speed.
And then I'm adding a keyframe here and I'm going to decrease it significantly in slow-mo and then actually go to a Freeze Frame for a little while. And then I'm going to add another keyframe. We'll add two so that we can hold on a Freeze Frame for this amount of time. We'll add another keyframe that actually sends it into reverse motion. The negative numbers indicate reverse motion. You'll notice that I have a blue dot here. A blue dot effect indicates that it needs to be rendered.
So instead of just playing it out here, which if I do, it'll just produce a black image, I'll render it out. And I'm going to change my Render Type from Both Fields to Blended Interpolated. Again I'm not going to go into the specifics of what this means. Just know that Blended Interpolated is a far superior render method, and I'm going to come down here to Render Effect. Going to render my effect to my data drive, say OK, and let's check out how this looks.
Go fast and then slow down to a Freeze Frame and then in reverse, exactly what we wanted. Again this exact example probably isn't as practical as something a little bit more standard. Speeding something up, slowing something down, going in constant reverse motion. But it does give you a good idea of all of the variety that you can achieve within the Motion Effect Editor in the Timewarp effect. I'm going to talk briefly about the Position Graph. What you have to keep in mind is that you have a limit as far as what you do in the Timewarp effect.
Because we have a certain number of frames that makes up this segment, if I exceed that number of frames by burning through them too quickly, my Position Graph is going to indicate that. Notice how it's going to out the right side, so that indicates that I have enough frames. I'm going to go ahead and just delete these keyframes. If however I bring it up so it's going really fast, notice that my line goes up at the top of the graph. This indicates that I've run out of frames.
And as you will see, it's going to produce a freeze frame for the last quarter or so of this shot. It's a green dot effect. So we know it's going to play in real-time. So let's just see what we're talking about here. And there is my freeze frame. It goes from 212 to 413 to 428 as indicated by these keyframes here. And when it does get to this point, it becomes a freeze frame because I've simply run out of frames. So just use your Position Graph as something to monitor as you're building your speed in your speed graph.
The Timewarp effect is very powerful because it lets you do basically anything you want in terms of changing the speed, direction and feel of a segment within the Timeline. Unless you render, it doesn't produce any additional media or master clips like the Motion Effect Editor and Freeze Frame Creation tool do. So besides being more powerful, it saves on time and hard drive space as well.
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