Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Install AMA plugins, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] When working with media files, and it doesn't matter whether those media files are linked or ingested to the Avid Media files folder. What you're looking at is an item, here's a clip for example, that contains video and/or audio information compressed using a system called a Codec. Codec is short for compressor / decompressor. It's, I suppose, the language if you like, with which the information is stored, it could be French, German, Spanish or whatever.
Now, I'm not going to get into why some codecs are better than others, and which ones you should use. But what's important to understand is that the file itself is often described as a container or a wrapper, think of the wrapper on some candy, or a sweet, or a loaf of bread or something like that. Or in fact what's better still to use as an analogy, is a tin of soup where the label on the tin of the soup is the wrapper or a container, and the soup itself is the codec.
Take off the label on the tin of soup, and you've no idea what's inside it. Now, that's actually a pretty good power level for the way that wrappers and containers work with codecs. In fact, if you're working with a QuickTime movie for example, you can put quite a lot of different kinds of codec inside of it. And we'll get onto that when we're looking at exporting. It used to be that Avid would build into Media Composer, support for lots of different formats and codecs natively, so you could import and work with the media, and Avid was responsible for making sure that worked.
Recently, Avid changed the system, and now leaves it up to the manufacturers, the original creators of these formats and codecs to build support for Media Composer. Now this is a good idea for Avid, because it means they don't have to do the engineering work, and also it means that those manufacturers can update their plugins for Media Composer as often as they like. And that can do things like improve performance, and expand support for more variations on a theme, more versions of their codecs as new cameras come out.
So far so good. But as a user, when you install Avid Media Composer, it means that very often, some media types simply won't work, you either can't import them at all, but if you do have them for example, in your Avid Media files folder, even then, you might find that you can't play them back, so how do you add this support? Well, at the top of the Avid Media Composer interface, there's a menu here, Marketplace, which is pretty new in the application. And this gives you access to third-party audio plug-ins, video plug-ins, there are some media libraries where you can get stock footage, and so on and so on.
What we want is here, AMA Plug-ins. Now, Avid have changed recently, the language that they use to describe bringing media into the system by linking to the files in its location on your storage, that means not ingesting it and not converting it. This technology was previously called AMA, that means Avid Media Access, and now it's just called Linking. And you're probably going to find there's some leftover use of this reference AMA, and this is a perfect example.
And just before I click this option in the menu, I probably ought to mention what a plug-in is, just in case you're not familiar. A plug-in is an additional piece of software that goes inside of an existing application to extend its functionality. For example, if you install a video plug-in, it's probably one that's going to give you additional visual effects. Most visual effects will usually appear on the list with the other visual effects inside of Media Composer.
I suppose it's fair to say for example, that here BCC, this is the Boris Continuing Complete set of effects that you get with Media Composer. It's fair to say that this is an example of a plug-in. We've got Audio Plug-ins, Video Plug-ins, and so on, and AMA Plug-ins is exactly the same idea, except that instead of adding visual effects or some additional window in the application that you can use to work with your media, it's giving you core playback functionality. So, I'm going to click on this option, and this brings up kind of a funny window.
This looks to me very much like a browser window for the internet. Actually, that's exactly what this is, but notice the edges, this is actually an Avid panel. This is not actually Safari, or Chrome, or Internet Explorer, and so on. What we've done, is go straight to the page that we need on the Avid.com website, in order to access the AMA plug-ins. You can hunt these down for yourself as well. My advice is, when you first install Avid Media Composer, go straight to this page, and scroll down, and down, and down, and find any of these media types that you're likely to need, download and install them.
When you click download now, you're going to be taken to a regular download page, let's take the Panasonic P2 plug-in as an example. Here we go, we've got information about the plug-in. We've got where the downloads are, I'll go for English. And now we've got Mac and Windows, this actually is now, I think we're on the Panasonic website, rather than the Avid website, and we can download the Mac version. Here we go, we've got the Panasonic software license, accept and download.
And this is just an installer that you can work with, as you would any other installer. I'll just close this panel. Here we go. Now once you've installed the plug-ins that you want, you're probably going to need to Quit Media Composer, and start it up again, so that the application can discover the plug-ins you've installed. Once these AMA plug-ins are installed for Media Composer, they're just going to work, you don't really have to do anything, it just means that if you like Media Composer now speaks those additional languages.
So it's an upgrade for the application, in terms of its flexibility for working formats. So that's what AMA plug-ins are, and how to install them in Avid Media Composer.
- 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