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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.
The classic workflow for editing in Media Composer is usually mark In and Out points, edit the shot into the Timeline using either Splice or Overwrite, and then if necessary, move shots around using Segment mode. However, if you like, you can also combine these functions and drag your shots directly from the source monitor to the Timeline. Let's take a look. Now we still have our gaps in our sequence so I think I will use our Timeline manipulation tools to drag something from the source monitor into the Timeline to fill the gap. I have already marked a shot here.
It's 2 seconds and 8 frames. And I will use this shot to overwrite the material right over where the gap is. So I want to check a couple of things. I want to make sure that my video is selected, and I am going to deselect my audio here. And I also want to enable my Lift/ Overwrite Segment Mode in the Timeline Palette so that it knows to overwrite this material rather than splice it in. All I do is I drag my source monitor down to my Timeline and as you can see there is an outline about where it's going to be dropped in.
We will go ahead and line it up where it looks like the music changes a little bit and release. The shot is edited in. Let's take a look. (Music playing) All right, it looks like that works for me. Let's go to the other gap and see what we have got. (Music playing) We have a clear change right here.
So I am going to mark an In, and that will help me when I am overwriting so that I can snap to that In point. Let's just grab our group dancer shot here and let's find another portion of this. Let's do the spin into the dancing. So we will mark an In, mark an Out. We have, oh, it's a little short. Let's make the Out a little bit later.
Let's finish the action, okay. So it's 2 seconds and 23 frames. Again I am going to make sure that my tracks are selected appropriately, that we have our Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode selected, and drag from the source down to the Timeline, and I am going to snap to my edit point there. So Ctrl+Drag and there we go. It looks like I have really overwritten a little bit too much there. Don't worry. We will learn in the next chapter how to fix that but let's take a look at this edit point for now.
(Music playing) Yeah, what'll want to do is actually extend the length of this shot and we will learn that little bit later but for now I like the way this edit lines up. So using Timeline manipulation with the Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode is pretty self-explanatory. If I wanted to the same thing but with my Extract/Splice Segment Mode, I could do so. If I wanted to get a shot, let's say, our Arabian dancers, and I wanted to insert that into the Timeline pushing all of the other clips down stream, I can do so.
Just make sure that I have my appropriate track selected, video, deselect audio, make sure I have my Extract /Splice in Segment Mode and drag. I am going to hold down Ctrl and release. And as you see it, it's dropped into the Timeline, pushes everything down, and now my video is longer than my audio. It's not what I wanted to have happen so I will go ahead and undo that. I can either do Ctrl+Z or I can go ahead and just select it using my Segment Mode and press Delete and away it goes.
Dragging-and-dropping clips to the Timeline is a much tactile approach to editing and for some editors, it's an absolute necessity to be able to use the Timeline as a palette of sorts and move clips around freely to build the sequence. Therefore, you may, very well, find it useful to drag clips around to create your sequences dynamically.
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