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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.
Okay, so once you have the rough assembly laid down, you'll want to go through and begin trimming. Trimming can be seen as a methodical practice in which the editor goes through the sequence, looking at each shot and treating each side of each transition as a separate case for improvement. Remember to ask yourself questions about if the cut works, and if not, which side or sides need to be changed, the A side, B side or both? In this movie, we'll focus on tweaking the A side of a transition through the use of A side single-roller trim.
Okay, so we have our rough assembly here. I've also added some narration. What we're going to do is start going through transition-by-transition, seeing how we can improve these edits. I'm going to zoom in and I can lasso the transition to get into trim mode and as you see, we have the last frame of our A side, the first frame of our B side, and we have rollers on each side of our edit. This is the default view of dual-roller trim, and what I'm going to do is just play loop around this edit, and see what I think.
I can play loop by pressing the Play Loop button here, or just by pressing any Play button on the keyboard. So, I'll go ahead and just press Spacebar. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker: Start a Christmas tradition with Tony Williams's?) (Male speaker: Start a Christmas tradition?) A couple of things immediately come to mind. On the A side, everyone is just sort of in mid-twirl here. It might be nicer to have them finish their motion.
So, I think what I'm going to do is do an A-side trim, I'm going to be accessing the handle, and let out some of this shot. To enter A-side trim, I'm going to click on my A-side monitor. You'll notice a couple of things have happened. I now have just the A-side Trim Counter highlighted, and I have a roller just on the A side here. Now, instead of two pink rollers, I now have one yellow roller, because by default, I've gone into what is called Ripple Trim.
Ripple Trim is going to allow me to affect just one side of the edit, without affecting any other shots. So, we want to let this out. I'm going to use my Trim buttons here under my A-side monitor, and I'm going to trim right and let them finish this motion and maybe a little bit back, okay. You'll notice that I just added 21 frames to the A side. Let's go ahead and play through using Play Loop. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker: Start a Christmas tradition with Tony Williams's Urban?) Okay, I'm going to tighten it up just a little bit by trimming left, and I think that should do it.
Let's play. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker: Start a Christmas tradition with Tony Williams's Urban?) Okay, I thought that was nice. Now I'm going to zoom out and I want to show you one thing. Because I added 17 frames to the A-side here, I now am 17 frames over at the end of my sequence. Now, this sort of thing bothers some beginning editors, but please don't let it. This is going to change every single time you go through and trim your sequence and you'll fix that later.
Now let's zoom in and go to our next edit. I can either exit trim mode by clicking on my timecode track and then reenter trim mode here, then we go back into trim mode on this edit, or I can come here right under the B-side monitor and press the Fast Forward key. It jumps me to the next edit point on the V1 track. Let's play through and see what we think. (Male speaker: ? Williams's Urban Nutcracker, now in its 9th season.) Okay, so again, I'm looking at my A-side.
She's really not finishing her motion here. It'd be nice if she finished it. So, I'm going to access my Trim Right button. This corresponds by the way to the period key on my keyboard. I'm going to go ahead and enter A side, single-roller trim. Again, I am in Ripple Trim and I'm going to trim out. Let her finish this motion, like so. Notice that I've added 13 frames to the A-side.
Let's play through. (Male speaker: ...Urban Nutcracker, now in its 9th season. Don't miss the?) Okay, very nice! Now I would be going through and fixing each one of these transitions one by one, but I want to pull up one more sequence to show you one more thing about A side single-roller trim. I'm going to pull up my Magician sequence and this is also from the Urban Nutcracker, but it is actually an excerpt from a more documentary approach of editing and I want to look at this edit here.
I'm going to ahead and enter trim, we'll go ahead and Play Loop. I'll press Spacebar. (Male speaker 2: So there's this whole story.) (Male speaker 3: Show. It's almost like a?) (Male speaker 2: self? so this?) We don't really get a good sense of what he's saying. So what I'm going to do is change this amount from 2 seconds preroll. I'll change it to 4 seconds. 400, Enter, and let's play through again. (Male speaker 2: Becoming a bit of a master himself, so there's this whole story.) (Male speaker 3: Show. So it's almost like a?) I'm going to zoom in and what we actually want him to say is, "he's becoming a bit of a master himself." He has a few extra words and I want to get rid of those.
This is going to be an A-side trim, a reductive trim, and let's play through and see exactly where he ends his word "self." (Male speaker 2: Becoming a bit of a master himself?) Okay, right there! So instead of using my Trim buttons, I'm actually going to drag this back, and I'll release, and let's play through. (Male speaker 2: You know, he's becoming a bit of a master himself?) (Male speaker 3: Show. So it's almost like a?) Okay, the A side looks good now.
The B side has some problems, but we'll fix that in a later movie. Let's zoom out and taka a look here. Now I want to point out one thing, these buttons here. These are called Sync Locks, and what it does is it allows me to sync all of my tracks, so that when I perform things like A-side single-roller trim, the edits downstream are not affected. I'm going to undo this trim and I'm going to disable Sync Locks. If I want to disable them all at once, I come down to the bottom one and click twice.
I'll perform that trim again, again by dragging, let's go ahead and zoom in, and release. Let's look here. If I come downstream, you'll see that I'm actually 37 frames out of sync between my video and my music down here. This is what I mean. If you have Sync Locks on, it prevents that from happening. So, let's go ahead and undo, enter trim here again, put my Sync Locks on, trim back and play through.
(Male speaker 2: You know, he's becoming a bit of a master himself.) (Male speaker 3: Show. So it's almost like?) And everything's in sync. As you can see trimming allows you to really hone in on where shots begin and end, down to the exact frame. In this way, trimming allows you to really control the timing and pacing of the show, by focusing on each individual transition. We're only halfway there though. In the next lesson, we'll take a look at the B side.
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