Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Launching the software and starting a project, part of Avid Media Composer 8 Essential Training.
- In this movie, we'll talk about launching and setting up a project in Avid Media Composer. All right, so I'm gonna launch Media Composer, and when I do, the software's gonna go through a bunch of checks and handshakes with various parts of the system, your hardware, your drivers, your peripherals, just to make sure everything is in working order. And then you are brought to this screen, called the Select Project window. This is the hub that you come to before you enter your project. It's here that you'll make the choices about what project to work on as well as what user setting you'll use while you're working in the project.
So let's briefly go over the choices that you see here in the Select a Project portion of the window. Just so you know, I'm looking at the Select Project window as it appears as of the Media Composer 8.3 update. If you are running a prior version of Media Composer 8, then things will look a little bit different but most of the functionality remains the same. All right, so there are three main options, Private, Shared, and External. Projects listed in the Private view allow you to access projects in your system's Avid Projects folder, which lives inside your Documents folder on a Mac or your My Documents folder on a PC.
So you can store projects under Private if you're the only one working on the system and if you typically don't travel from system to system. So here are three projects within my Private folder. You obviously don't have these, so if you've been tinkering around in Avid Media Composer and already have some, they'll be listed here. Now, projects listed in the Shared view allow you to access projects in the Shared Avid Projects folder, which is in the Shared folder on a Mac or the Public Documents folder on a PC. So you can store projects under Shared if you're sharing a project with another editor that logs in under a different account on the same system.
So here I also have a couple of shared projects. And finally, projects listed in External allow you to access projects located anywhere. It can be on this computer, or an external hard drive. You can store projects under External if you need flexibility about where you work on your project. For this project, we will choose External. So to access externally located projects, you simply click up here on this folder icon, and you use the browser in order to navigate to your project. In this case, we'll navigate to my Media Drive F, which is where my Exercise Files are.
In your case, you would just navigate to wherever you've placed your Exercise Files. Inside Exercise Files, I have _Avid Projects, and I'm gonna select this, and choose Open. And when you select the parent folder that contains projects, you'll see all of the projects listed in this view. When you click on these projects, you'll see the project properties listed over here on the right. Then to enter the project, you would just click on it and say OK. But before I do that, I just wanna talk about a couple of other things. When you wanna create a new project, rather than access an existing one, you first choose the location that you want your project to live, Private, Shared, or External, and then you click on New Project.
So let's set one up in External, I'll go ahead and click New Project. And you want to give this a unique name, never leave it named New Project. So I'll call this Hot Glass Demo. And then you come over here and pick a format. As of the 8.3 update, this list grew from a healthy number to a massive collection. That's because Avid now has the ability to work with high-resolution projects like Ultra HD, 2K, and 4K. Now, the Media Composer timeline can really handle most anything you throw at it, any format, any resolution, any frame rate.
But there does have to be a base setting that defines your project, so I recommend just picking the option that matches the majority of your footage so that the software can work natively with the bulk of your material. So I know that most of my Hot Glass media is 720p, 23.976, I'll choose that, and I'll say OK. And now you can see that it's listed here in my External projects. Now, in Media Composer you can only work in one project at a time, but multiple projects can very easily share bins, which contain your clips and sequences, and we'll cover that later in the course.
All right, so I have three projects in External now, and they're always gonna be listed in alphabetical order. Now, if you ever need to delete a project, you can do so at the Finder level, but you can also do so within this window. And you do that with the Forward Delete button. Using the standard Delete or Backspace doesn't work, you've gotta use the Forward Delete. So I'll go ahead and click on this, and press Forward Delete, and then it asks if you're really sure you wanna delete it. And I'll say OK, and then it's gone. So it should go without saying that when you delete a project, you really should be sure that you don't need it anymore.
Now, one last decision to make in this window is what user profile you'll use. The user profile is basically your editing ID that you use while working in Media Composer. So when you're editing, you can set an entire set of options that will allow you to have a unique editing experience with regard to what tools are available to you, how you access those tools, the arrangement of your windows and your user interface, and so on. So for now, let's all go ahead and click on this menu, and choose Create User Profile. And I'm gonna just type my name, and say OK.
We'll be adding features to our user profile throughout this entire course, particularly in Chapter 6. So now that we've appropriately selected a user profile and a project, the important first steps to get started with editing, let's go ahead and launch Media Composer by clicking OK.
Note: This Avid Media Composer v. 8 Essential Training only addresses software updates up to v. 8.5. if you are using Media Composer v. 8.6 or later, please access the following courses instead:
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110
- Setting up the editing environment
- Importing media
- Building a rough cut with basic editing and trimming techniques
- Navigation and customization techniques
- Editing audio
- Adding effects
- Multicam editing
- Performing color correction
- Creating titles with Avid Marquee and NewBlue Titler Pro
- Managing media
- Exporting your project
- Troubleshooting in Avid Media Composer
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added and revised tutorials to cover the changes to Avid Media Composer in v8.2 and v8.3. Watch the "What's new" movies for an overview of the updates.
Q: This course was updated on 8/24/2015. What changed?
A: Avid released the 8.4 version of Media Composer in June 2015. We added two new movies to this course to describe the update and covering working with high-resolution files in the newest version of the software.
Q: This course was updated on 02/25/2016. What changed?
A: We added five tutorials covering the Avid Media Composer 8.5 update, released in January 2016.