Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Create a new project, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] Now that's we've gotten to know the Media Composer interface a little, let's just go back a little step and begin at the beginning by creating a new project. I'm here at the Select Project window, which is what you get when you first start up Media Composer, and I've got my location set to External. We're inside our Exercise Files and Projects folder. I'm here with my maximjago user profile, and I'm ready to create a new project. So, I'll click New Project, and let's give this a name.
I'm just going to call this Climber as I think we'll keep using some of our climbing media. And then I've got a few options to choose between. First off, at the top we've got our Format options. Now, Media Composer will work with up to 4K media. In fact, you can set custom project sizes up to 8K. But most of the time you're probably going to be working at an HD resolution. Easily the most common delivery standard you'll be working with today is going to be 1080p/29.97 frames per second.
That's if you're working in NTSC. And if you're working in PAL, it's going to be 25. You might well be delivering at 24 frames per second, and you've got that option as well. In fact, you've got lots and lots of options. If you're working in broadcast, it's likely that you're going to have a delivery specifications document that sets out the options you should choose here. In fact, it's very likely you'll be working with a template project anyway that's based on a preset designed in house. But, in any case, if not you'll see that we've got a lot of different options here.
Notice there is a difference between Ultra HD, UHD, and 4K. 4K is 4096 or Full 4K, 4096 by 2160 pixels screen resolution. Ultra HD or UHD is 3840 by 2160. In a nutshell, UHD is exactly four times the resolution of Full HD, 1920 by 1080 HD video.
4K is a parallel image resolution that was developed primarily for theatrical distribution for cinemas. Which you need to use is up to you. But generally speaking, you will want to match your project settings to your original media, minimizing conversion. So, if your original media is HD, stick with an HD option when creating the project. This means that the system doesn't have to do as much work to play back the media, and it maximizes the quality because it's not converting it, and scaling it, and adjusting the number of pixels.
If you do need to deliver a different format for output, you might as well do that at the end of the process when you've finished choosing your content, applying your effects, and so on, and then you can apply a high quality conversion. When you're choosing a format in this menu it's critical that you get the frame rate right. You'll notice, for example, that we've got 25 frames per second options for PAL. That is most of the world today. But in North America it's going to be 29.97 frames per second for broadcast TV or possibly 23.976.
Both of these are just slowed down by 1% for broadcast television, I should say, terrestrial broadcast television. In this instance I'm going to choose 1080p/29.97. This is a classic frame rate and frame size. It's progressive media, not interlaced media for NTSC broadcast. So, let's just choose that. When you choose a format option the raster dimensions are set. Raster is just a fancy word for resolution.
And you'll notice that a couple of options are grayed out, I can't change the frame rate or the aspect ratio, and that's because Media Composer is going to make me conform to the standard that I've chosen. That's a good thing. I don't want to mess with those settings. Notice though that I do have the option to specify a couple of options for the color space. Now, YCbCr is the luminance, that's the Y, and then the color blue and color red set for Rec. 709 colors. This is the broadcast standard for high definition video.
RGB 709 is a similar idea but it's using the full RGB gamut. It goes a little bit further, a little bit more color saturation than broadcast television. It's really important that you know which of these you need to deliver to. Because if you are delivering for broadcast TV and your content is set for RGB color, you'll find that you just have too much contrast, your highlights are too bright, and your shadows too dark when that content goes out on air.
Equally, if you're producing content for an RGB screen like a computer screen, for web delivery for example, and your color is set for what is YUV color, it's a slightly shorter range, a shorter gamut. It'll look a little bit flat, not massively, just a little bit flat when it's shown on RGB displays. So, this is pretty important. Now, we're not going to choose stereoscopic. We're not going to work with a 3D movie here, so we don't need any of these options. And we're not working with a negative film.
If I turn on Matchback which is a feature Media Composer has had for years and years. It allows us to export EDLs which are based on 3 perf, or I should say perforation 3, or 4 perforation, 35 mil film, or 16 mil film, and Media Composer will convert the time code information from our media into an EDL that a neg cutter can use to produce a print. We're not going to work with a celluloid film, and obviously, that's very rare these days.
It's not quite gone yet, but it's pretty rare. So, I'm going to turn that option off as well. You'll notice that we've got the option to specify a Search Data Folder, and this is a pretty tentacle option to have in the new project panel in my view. This specifies where search data is stored where you do things like find clips in your project. There is a Find function in Media Composer, and when you conduct searches, Media Composer will store the results from it's searches somewhere. By default, that information goes in the same location as your project file and your project settings and your bins.
But you can specify another location. This just brings up a browser window so you can browse to somewhere else on your computer. I suppose this is pretty useful if you're working with network storage, but most of the time you are going to want that search data to go into the Project Folder. There's a feature that Media Composer has available. It's an add on that you can get that is called Phrase Find, and it's analyse the audio in your media to locate contents. That produces larger files, but to be honest, they're still pretty small relative to media.
So, I don't think you're going to have any problems storing them with your project. At this point I'm ready to click OK, and I just want to mention before I do that, of course, I've done very little here really other than explain things. I've given the project a name, and I've chosen a format, and otherwise, I'm pretty much ready to click OK. So, when you are creating new projects, the only menu you probably need to concern yourself with is this one. What's the resolution going to be? And most importantly of all, what's the frame rate going to be? It's broadly speaking, a bad idea to change the name of a project once you've created it, because the name of the project file itself has an impact on the way media is managed for the project, so don't do that.
Get the name right in the first place. There's nothing to stop you moving bins from one project to another. So, you can always migrate the media, but don't count on changing the project name. But what's critical is that you cannot change the frame rate. If we're on, for example, here we are in an HD 720p preset. If we're at 29.97 frames per second, you can not change that to a 25 frames per second project later. This is absolutely fundamental. There's a lot you can change, but not the frame rate.
Also, I've got an option to specify custom values. And so here, for example, I can choose any resolution I want. So, maybe I can go for 100 by 100 pixels because I'm producing an animation for an art installation. I can specify any frame rate I like. Maybe I'll go for a non-drop frame time code 30 frames per second, which of course, is more suitable for web delivery, and I can save this as a preset. Or can I? And we can see here Media Composer is warning me, hold on a moment.
First of all, the values that you specify for the width and the height have to be a multiple of two, and secondly there is a minimum width and height. 256 pixels wide by 120 pixels tall. The maximum height is 8192. This is 8K media. So, I'm going to click OK. And let's change this to 256 by 256, and save that as a preset. And I'll call this Very Small.
Okay, and while we're here, let's make another one. I'll go back into Custom, and let's make a full size 8192 by 4320. There we go, a full 8K resolution. And let's set this to one of the other color spaces. You'll notice that when you choose the Custom option, you get all of the color spaces supported by Media Composer. And there are a lot.
Notice we got our YCbCr 709 option, we've got DCI-P3, this is used for theatrical distribution if you're producing a DCP for feature films, we've got the YCbCr 2020 option which is used for UHD or 4K media and so on, and so on, and so on. If you don't know what this menu means, if this is totally new to you, you're probably going to want this one. This is broadcast TV HD 709 color. It's possible if you're producing content for the web, that you'll want RGB 709 because computer monitors use RGB color.
Now, we don't really have time to go into all of the different color modes, but each of these relates to a different camera system or a different distribution system. If I'm happy with this, I can save this one as Very Big, and I'll click OK. So, now I've got my presets. I've got Very Big and Very Small. I'm happy with those. And if I go into Manage Presets I've got the option to add new presets or delete them. So here, if I delete, and delete, and click OK.
Now, if I go back, you can see already that those custom presets have disappeared. So, for now, I'm going to choose the 1080p/29.97 frames per second option, I'm going to click OK, and we're ready to go into our new project.
- Setting up the editing environment
- Creating a new project
- Importing media
- Finding, organizing, and linking clips
- Building a sequence
- Editing and trimming
- Adding transitions
- Applying segment effects
- Combining effects
- Applying freeze frame and motion effects
- Creating titles
- Exporting video projects