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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.
To be an efficient editor, you also need to know shortcuts for finding footage and customizing your workspace. In this lesson, we'll explore some of the most useful shortcuts for selecting tracks, zooming in and out of the Timeline, and matching frames from the sequence to the source monitor. Let's take a look at track selection. If I want to edit V1 to V1, right now what I would have to do is deselect all of the other tracks. Now, this can get very time-consuming, especially with sequences with lots of tracks.
Fortunately there are some shortcuts to help you out. If I want to select all of my tracks at once, I hit Ctrl+A or Command+A if I'm on a Mac. If I want to deselect all of my tracks, I hit Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A if I'm on a Mac. Therefore, if all tracks are selected and I know I want to make a V1 to V1 edit, I simply Ctrl+Shift+A, hit my V1, and I'm ready to go. If I want to select the inverse of the currently selected tracks, I can do so by lassoing through the track selectors, starting up here in the gray area.
Lasso through and all of my opposite tracks are selected and do so again to get back to where I was. If I want to turn on and off the tracks from a certain location, I can do so by Shift+dragging through my track selectors. So if I wanted to enable A1 through A4, I can do so by Shift+drag. If I want to disable V1 through A2, I can do so by Shift+drag. Let's go ahead and select V1 again. So I'll just Shift+drag A3 and A4, select V1 and I'm ready to go.
Let's take a look at how to enlarge and reduce the size of our tracks. If I want to make tracks larger, I simply select the tracks that I want to affect. And I'm going to Ctrl+L or Command+L if I'm on a Mac. If I want to make them smaller, I select the appropriate tracks, and I hit Ctrl+K or Command+K. A lot of times editors want to set up a view for various functions of the edit. When you are editing video only and audio isn't as important, a lot of times you want to make the video tracks a little bit larger.
So let's go ahead and select our video tracks. Ctrl+L to make them larger. I'll go ahead and just lasso through my track selectors to A4 to select the inverse. And now my audio tracks are selected. I'll Ctrl+K my audio tracks. And now I have a nice video view. I'll come here. Save this out. Name it Video View. Say OK.
And now this is the view that I'll use when I'm editing primarily video. Let's make an Audio View as well. We already have our audio tracks selected. So I'm going to just Ctrl+L to make them larger. And I'm going to make my video tracks smaller. So I want to lasso through to deselect my audio. And I'm going to Ctrl+K my video tracks. All right. So we have an audio focused view.
I'll come down here, save it out, and call it Audio View. Okay. Then we can go seamlessly back and forth between our Video View, which highlights our video tracks, and our Audio View, which highlights our audio tracks. Let's talk a little bit about zooming into the Timeline. If I know that I would like to work right here, we already know that I can do the scale bar to zoom right into where I want to go. There are a couple of shortcuts though. If I come to my Fast Menu and go to More Detail and Less Detail, I see that I have Ctrl+Right Bracket to give me more detail and Ctrl+Left Bracket to give me less detail.
So let's Ctrl+Left Bracket to zoom way out. Ctrl+Right Bracket to zoom way in. Let's go ahead and zoom back out. I'm going to hit Ctrl+Alt+M. My cursor becomes a double arrow. And I'm simply going to lasso over the area that I would like to zoom in on, and it opens up the entire view. If I want to zoom back out, I hit Ctrl+Alt+J and we've got the whole Timeline again. Finally, to bring a frame in the sequence up in the source monitor, if I want to access Tony's interview, because I want to edit it into the Timeline again, without going back to my bin, then I can simply do something called Match Frame.
Let's go ahead and switch to my Video View because we're dealing with video frames. So I want to bring Tony's interview up in the source monitor. I'm going to Alt+Ctrl+click to snap to the head of that shot. And I'm going to do a Match Frame. Match Frame can be found in the Timeline Fast menu. And it's this one right here. It looks like a little piece of film. I press it. And there is my Tony interview. I can then go to any point in this interview and edit another section into the Timeline. Now, Match Frame behaves in such a way that it only matches the topmost selected track.
So here, if I'd like to bring up Dr. Shannon's interview, the way it's selected right now is it's actually going to bring up this shot of the Nutcracker B-roll. So if I perform a Match Frame, it brings up my B-roll instead of my interview. To bring Dr. Shannon up, I'd have to deselect V2, perform the Match Frame again, and there we go. Let's go back however and I'll just clear my monitor and explore a feature called Match Frame Track, which is going to allow me to bring up Dr. Shannon's interview, even though my V2 is selected.
I just park right in the middle of the clip that I'd like to bring up, and then come over to V1, right-click and choose Match Frame Track. And there's my Dr. Shannon interview, even though I had V2 selected. Match Frame is an extremely often used technique for editors, because you're always wanting to access footage that you've already edited, so that you may edit it again. Editors don't like to always go back to the bin for all the material, so Match Frame is a great tool. While the tools covered in this movie are just scratching the surface of all the things you can do, knowing and using these techniques will greatly help you out going forward.
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