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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.
As you've probably gathered, applying effects is both a very common and very powerful addition to the editing process. In fact, many times, you'll actually want to add more than one effect at a time. The way Media Composer works is that if you apply one effect on top of another, the second one actually replaces the first. So for example, if I wanted to add a flop to my existing resize, drag it onto this segment, you'll notice that the resize disappears and is replaced by the flop.
I'm going to undo that because as you can imagine, this isn't the goal I'm going for. Therefore, you'll want to use nesting, to add multiple effects to the same segment. Let's take a look at how it works. So let's take this resize and as you can see applying a flop outright isn't the way to go. Instead I'm going to want to nest this, and there's a couple of different types. The first type is Simple Nesting, which is basically going to allow me to climb inside of this effect and apply another effect to the raw video underneath.
So I'm going to step in and I do that by pressing the Step In button right here, and as you can see my resize went away, or seemingly. It's actually still there. It's just that I'm looking at the raw video in isolation, without looking at my resize as well. So I'm just going to grab my flop, apply it like so, there's my flop and if I step in again, notice that the flop is gone, the resize is gone and I'm looking at my raw video again.
Again, they're still there, but I'm just not seeing them. I'm going to apply a third effect. I'm going to actually apply the Color Effect and we're going to go into much greater detail on the Color Effect in a future movie, but for now all I want to do is just take the color out of this, which means I'm going to bring my Saturation to 0. Here's my Saturation, bump that down to 0, and let's take a look at how this looks. So we see our color effect. I'll step out one. Now we see our color effect in conjunction with flop.
I'll step out a third time and I see my color effect, my flop and my resize. We have what we need, but the process of getting there is a little disjointed because I don't get to see all the effects work together until the very end. So let's take a look at another type of nesting called Expanded Nesting and it's actually my preferred way of nesting. I'm going to go ahead and remove this effect. If I want to step in and remove my flop, remove my color effect, step out and I still have my resize.
To see all of my nested effects in conjunction with one another, I'm going to do Expanded Nesting by selecting my Lift/ Overwrite Segment Mode, double-clicking, and applying my flop to this new track that's appeared here. This is actually a track inside the nest, but we see it conjunction with the effect that's already there. Go ahead and apply that, so we see both our flop and our resize, double-click again, and I'll take my Color Effect, again just bump the Saturation down to 0.
And I never have to leave the full visual effect. I'm able to see them all in conjunction with one another. I'm going to go one more time and I'm going to apply a mask and I want to show you something. If I go to Film > 16.9 Mask and we'll emove our position indicator to the very beginning. I'll apply this. Again, when you're nesting, you're applying inside the effect. So I've climbed inside the resize, inside the flop, inside the color effect.
I'm applying it to the raw video. I'll apply it and you can see I have a nice mask here, the top and the bottom. However, as I go through the clip, notice that my mask disappears at the bottom. It's gone. The reason it's gone is that I applied the mask to the raw video, but the raw video itself was resized. So the mask goes out of the frame and I'm not able to see it. I'm going to click on this effect and delete it and I'm going to step all the way out, like so.
If I want to do that in one fell swoop, all I have to do is double-click on the bottommost effect. And instead of applying the mask inside a nest to the raw video, I'm going to apply it on top of all existing effects. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to take my mask and I'm going to auto nest or apply it on top of the effects by Alt+dragging. If I'm on a Mac, it'll be an Option+drag. Alt+drag, release, and now if I scroll through this effect, I have the mask the entire way.
It doesn't disappear when the image resizes and that's because it's on top of all of the other stacked effects. Nesting may seem a bit confusing at first, but you'll definitely get used to effect ordering as you get more practice. For now, my advice would be to stick to one nesting method, simple, expanded or auto nesting, and learn how the effect ordering works for that particular method. Then you'll be able to tweak and adjust as needed if you need to switch to another nesting method.
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