Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Personalize the interface, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] There are certain features that really set Media Composer apart and I want to show you one of them. On the surface, this is kind of a boring feature but when you get used to using Media Composer, I think you're going to love this as much as I do. Here, I'm in the Project panel and I'm looking at the Settings section of this window and you'll notice that we've got all of these different settings and some of them have little check marks next to them and some of them don't.
In particular, you'll notice that here for example we've got lots and lots of different kinds of Export settings and when we get into exporting media files, we'll look at each of the main settings you'll choose between but only one of these has a check mark next to it. That means that it's the active setting and what's great about Media Composer is you're free to duplicate any setting you like on this list and apply one or other version of it. I'm going to illustrate this using the Interface setting.
Now, you'll notice right away this is a User setting and that's important of course because it means it's going to follow your user profile wherever you take it. Remember, you can put your User settings on a disc, a USB stick, an email, Dropbox, whatever you want and carry it with you from one Avid Media Composer system to another. I'm going to select this Interface option, I'm going to right click and I'm going to choose Duplicate. Now, you can't really see it because there's nothing in the interface to indicate it but if i hover my mouse just next to the name and then keep moving and moving and moving and moving, now, I get an I-beam and the I-beam, this little text editor icon tells me that I can click and I can give this new setting a name.
Well, let's call this something obvious. I'm going to say Maxim Likes Color. There we go, I'll even give it the American spelling. Press carriage return to apply that name. I'm going to click to add the check mark to this version of the Interface setting. So you just click where you want the check mark to go and it activates it. Of course, nothing going to change immediately because this is a duplicate of the existing Interface setting. So let's double click on the name and go into the options.
Most of these options will make sense if you just click on them and try them out and I'm a big fan of learning how applications like Media Composer work by clicking on things randomly but it's key that you look at the results of your clicks and see what happens. It's the really only good way to learn what you're doing and the impact that it has. Of course, it's important to make those kinds of random changes when you are safe to do so and remember, we're working on a duplicate here so it doesn't matter. You can change anything you like. We're just going to go back to the original setting in a moment anyway and we can always restore to default.
You might have noticed there on the right click menu we've got the option to do that. So I'm going to go in here and I'm going to choose new Highlight Colors and let's have something really bright. I'm going to choose a custom timeline background color. Let's go with something like this and maybe even a custom project window background color too. Nothing seems to be happening because I haven't clicked Apply yet. So let's click that and suddenly, that is really rather a lot of color, isn't it? I can also change the project font size and that's particularly useful if you're working on very high resolution screens and I'll just change this to 13 and you can see we've got bigger font.
You can pretty much work your way down the list here and see the results by clicking Apply. There's one thing I want to note though is these rather unusual options, Default Timeline V for video tracks or A for audio tracks and TC is time code tracks. You can see down on my timeline here, it's a bit difficult to look at now. I've changed the color this way but I've got V tracks and A tracks and these are different kinds of time code tracks that display the passage of time from left to right in the timeline window. Default Timeline Video Tracks overrides a setting in the timeline window.
So I'm going to click Okay and I'm going to go into this Fast Menu in the timeline window and I'm going to go to Track Color and choose something different. Let's go for something like a red kind of color and you can see what's happened is the tracks that are selected and that's the ones that have the selection buttons on have changed color to suit. If I go back into the Interface setting, just double clicking to open it up, you can see these check marks have gone and that's because we're not looking at the default colors anymore.
Let me move this over a little bit. If I turn these options back on and click Apply, the setting I applied on the timeline is overridden. I think that's the only part of this setting that makes no sense unless somebody shows you. Most of the rest of these you'll work out as you click on them and click Apply to see the results. So I'm happy with these options. I'm going to click Okay. Now, if I switch over to the original Interface setting which I can do by clicking to apply the check mark, you can see we're back to the original colors.
Go back into the Maxim Likes Color interface and we've got this, I don't know what to call that, mauve I suppose, purple, mauve and green. It's not particularly satisfying. By the way, it's important generally that you don't use color in the interface in this way particularly when you're working on visual effects. Our perception of color is relative and associative and if we do have multiple colors on the screen as we do now, actually within about two and a half seconds, it'll change your perception of the color in the image. So it's fine when you're doing general cutting, when you're doing assembly, edits, throwing things together, organizing your project, no problem at all but when you get into color work, you're probably going to want to switch back to the default interface colors.
If I select this Maxim Likes Color interface and of course it's jumping on the screen because I changed the font size by the way. If I want to, I can select this setting, right click and choose Delete but Media Composer's not going to let me. Here we go, active setting cannot be deleted and that's because we're using the setting right now. So I'll say Okay. I'll choose the original Interface setting. Now, I'll select the Maxim Likes Color interface setting, right click, choose Delete and I can claim to have always had dignity and never to have had such terrible taste in color.
Again, you can duplicate any item on this list and I encourage you to do so, switch to the duplicate and play around and see the impact on the system. It's a great way to learn how applications like Media Composer work. By the by, as well, if I go in here and maybe set the interface brightness very dark, let's apply that, say Okay. It's just changing the brightness. It doesn't change any of the other functionality in the interface. I can always select this, right click and Restore to Default.
I can choose to make a copy of this modified version first if I want but I'm not going to. I'm going to click Restore and we're back to the way things were. So you really can modify these settings as much as you like and then go back to the standard settings knowing that no harm was done.
- 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