Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Import media, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Narrator] In the last lesson, we created a new project, and we set that project up to be 29.97 frames per second, and I want to show you importing media in this lesson. But before I do, I just want to highlight here, you can see in the format section of the project window that if I look under my available presets, a lot of these are grayed out, and that's because they have different frame rates, as I mentioned in the previous lesson. You cannot change the frame rate once you're into a project. This is a problem, because the media we're about to import is actually 23.976 frames per second.
It is a different frame rate, and if we import it, Media Composer's going to have to apply a conversion, which is not ideal. So, I'm going to close this project, and I'm going to make a new project, and this time around I'm going to choose 23.976 progressive is fine, and let's call this the new climber, just so we can tell the difference between the two, and I'm happy with the rest of those settings so that's okay. I'm going to double click to go into it. Now, if I have a bin selected, and remember you can tell because it's got colored buttons at the top.
In Windows as well, you'll see there's more color in it when the window is selected. I can now go to the File menu and I can choose input and import media, and this is going to bring up a regular browser window to locate media files that I want to import. I'm just going to cancel this for a second because I want to show you as well if I right click in the bin I can choose input, and I get the same menu. And you'll notice in Media Composer, there's a lot of doubling up in the menus, and this is because over the years Avid has added more and more functionality, and they don't like to take away the old functionality because it just confuses existing users.
So, you'll see a lot of this doubling up. As long as you get from A to B, you know that you're using the right options. So, I'm going to choose import media, and here on my desktop I've got our exercise files, and here's the rock climber QuickTime files that I want to import. I can just select all of these if I want. Let's just scroll right the way down. I'm using the shift key, and I'm clicking on the last item on the list. And this is going to allow me to import all of the items.
However, when you import into Media Composer, there are two options for the way the content is going to be connected to the clips in your bins. One option is just to create a link to the items in their local storage, and this used to be referred to as AMA, this Avid Media Acess. Now it is just referred to as linked, or linking to the media. It's a very sensible thing to do, but you'll get better performance on the system if you also take a copy of the media and transcode it and put it into the Avid Media Files folder that we saw earlier when we were transferring the files across to work in this project.
When you ingest or transfer and transcode and convert the media in that way it takes a little bit of time, and importantly there are some settings applied. In fact, if we look down at the bottom of this window, we can see there's an options button. And if I click on this, I get some additional options that relate to the import process. First off, there's an options button. And this takes me actually into the import settings that you can find under the settings list here in the project window. There's a few options here.
I'm not going to go into too much detail for these right away. Most of the default options will work for you. And there's a particular set of options here for XD Cam media which people are still using for a lot of acquisition. And you'll notice there's quite a few options that relate to image importing. If you're working with graphics, it's very likely they're going to be the wrong image size. They might well have the wrong color mode, and it's quite possible that they'll have the wrong alpha channel setup for Media Composer. More on that later on. I'm just going to cancel. Before I do, just notice here, we've got the option to auto detect sequentially numbered files.
This means if you're importing an animated sequence which is a series of still images, Media Composer can automatically convert that into a video clip. I'll just cancel this for now. Notice also that we've got the option to specify our input resolution, and there's a lot of options here. Far too many for me to go into the detail on right now. What I want to draw your attention to is here, the DNX HD options. We're working a project which is HD, rather than 4K or UHD.
We don't need the DNX HR high resolution codec options. They're not on the list, but you'll notice we've got 36, 80,115, and so on, and the question is which one do you use? In fact we've got lots of options on here. There's ProRes, as well. ProRes, like DNX HD, is great for post production. It gives you good quality results, and it's easier for the system to play back than a lot of the heavily compressed media formats that cameras produce. So again, what do we go for? Well, there's a debate to be had about it, and it's worth you doing some of your own research.
I would say, broadly speaking, most people edit at the 115 megabits per second. That's what these numbers refer to. Data rate, and you'll find you get good results for professional broadcast TV that way. For example, 175 is very high quality. You might use that resolution if you're working on higher end productions and remember this uses more storage space. It's more bits per second that are used to store the visual information from the clip. The X you see in DNX HD 175X indicates 10.
It's 10 bit processing, 10 bit storage for the media, which again is even higher quality, but even bigger files. 80 I suppose is acceptable for perhaps high quality offlining and the 36 megabits per second data rate is really used by most editors as a proxy resolution. Now Media Composer allows you to re transcode, or reconvert your media in the bin. So generally speaking, when you first import your media, you're going to go for something like DNX HD 115.
NXF is the file type you'll be using. That's the file type that Media Composer likes in the Avid Media Files folder. Once you've got the media in, you can select it in the bin, and have Media Composer convert that in the background to lower resolution proxy media. You can toggle fairly easily between those two resolutions. You would use the proxy resolution media if you're working on a lower powered machine or perhaps a laptop on the road. Anyway, that long explanation is my way of saying just choose this default option of 115 megabits per second for HD media and you're probably going to be okay.
The enable option is really just a way of filtering what you're seeing in the display. See here now, I've changed this to MXF, and all of these QuickTime movie files are grayed out. You'll generally have this on any, but if you're working with a folder full of mixed media, you might want to filter out the results a little bit. Mac OS does this a little differently to Windows, but the net result is the same. Now at this point, if I select one or more media clips, I can click open and actually Media Composer won't open the item. It's going to import it, converting it to DNX HD 115, 115 megabits per second NXF as it does it.
In the process, Media Composer's going to take a copy, and it's going to put that copy in the Avid Media Files folder, in the drive that is selected here. I've only got one drive, but if you have multiple drives, you can choose them here, including network storage, if that's the way that your system is set up. And at that point I can let go of the original media if I want to. So, if you connect a USB drive to your machine and ingest in this way, then you can let go of that USB drive at the end of the process and you're ready to work. I'm going to just cancel for a moment, because there is another way.
If instead I go to my Finder here on Mac OS, or this would be Windows Explorer on Windows, just browse into these files, and I go into the rock climber QTs. If I want to, I can click and drag straight into Avid Media Composer. If I release the mouse now, Media Composer's going to import the media based on the media creation settings. That's the import settings plus the media creation settings set up the way that new media files will be created. There's a short version of that in the dialog I just showed you.
However, if I hold down the ALT key, and release the mouse, Media Composer instead creates a link to the original file. If I double click to open this, you can see it's there, and I get a little chain link icon to show that I've linked instead. So, you have both options and if you are working with what I'd refer to as whole files, where the video and the audio are incorporated into one item, it's very likely that you're going to want to just drag and drop from the operating system. But, I want to encourage you to use the media browser instead, which I'll come to in the next lesson.
- 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