Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Relink clips, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] It may be that, while you're working in Media Composer, you're going to lose the connection between the clips in your bins and the media files that they're linked to. I'm just going to move this Imported Media bin up a little bit so we can see it and our Selects bin. And I'm going to right click on the clip we have in the Imported Media bin and choose Reveal File. This takes us to a directory in our Avid Media Files folder.
Here it is on my hard drive. Remember that you can only have one Avid Media Files folder per drive and it's at the root of the drive. It's got to be at the top level of the drive. Inside of that folder, we've got an MXF folder because that's the type of media we're using for this project, and inside of there, we have a numbered folder which in this case is a number 2. You can actually have as many of these folders as you like, and Media Composer will just look inside of them to find the content. We only have one shot in here actually, this is the video in the audio in two files, because it's the only one that I've imported so far for us to use for this purpose.
The pmr and mdb files are database files, and we'll come to those later on. Media Composer is great at handling media inside the Avid Media Files folder. You can take things away and put them back, and usually Media Composer will just say, okay, no problem. I'm just going to open another finder window here. This is really the same in Windows Explorer, still on the root drive, still in the Avid Media Files folder if you're working on Windows. I'm just going to open up another window, and in here I'm going to make another folder just to demonstrate this.
I'm going to right click, choose New Folder, and I'll just call this Temp, so we have another folder, and I'll double click to open this up. So now with these two windows in place, I'm going to go up one level to see the MXF directory. This is 101 media which has got a lot more files in it, but this is the one I'm really interested in. And I'm just going to drag and move this to the wrong location. So this is no longer in the Avid Media Files folder. If I switch back to Media Composer, there we go, the media has gone offline.
Now this word, offline, has a couple of meanings. We often use it to describe a project that's incomplete, it's an offline version, maybe we got an offline version of a visual effect. But in this specific context, offline and online simply mean that the clip in your project is or is not linked to a media file. And I suppose the next question is how do we fix this? Well, it's easy. I'm going to go back to the folder, and I'm going to take this number 2 folder in my Temp directory and drop it back into the MXF folder in Avid Media Files.
If I just toggle back to Media Composer, immediately the clip is online again. This process of just putting your media somewhere inside the Avid Media Files folder only works if you're using imported media, that's media that Media Composer has ingested, transcoded, and converted and put inside the Avid Media Files folder itself, originally at some point. And I say this because it may not be this particular Media Composer machine. It just needs to be some Media Composer application that's created the media.
When the media is created in that way, additional metadata is applied to it and it's used to allow me to compose it to manage the content. In fact, the same applies if you're using the Avid Interplay System for network-based storage. Once that metadata is in place, the file is associated with the project into which it was ingested, and you can use that metadata to locate the content using the media tool that we saw a little bit earlier. It's possible that this entire system, this whole architecture of media management, is going to go awry, and there lots of reasons why there might be problems with it, and there are some pretty easy fixes.
If I go to the File menu and look under Media, I've got the option to Refresh the Media Directories. This just gets Media Composer to have another scan, to have a look through the content in the various Avid Media Files folders because of course, you might have more than one drive, and check to see if the database tallies up with the content that's there. You'll often find this fixes weirdness associated with offline and online media. And next up, we've got this Load Media Database option.
It's a little bit cryptic. When Media Composer is working with larger projects, it often doesn't keep all of the media database, that's the system managing the media, into system memory. That's just to conserve resources on your system. And in particular, closed bins won't necessarily be loaded up. Choosing to load the media database, it loads all of the media database up into memory, so that all of it's available for relinking purposes. Now if I just go back to the bin here, it's possible that you'll find that your media is offline because it's been moved to perhaps a different Avid Media Files folder.
I don't have another drive connected to this machine to show you, but what I'm going to do is right click and I'm going to go to the Modify option here, and I'm going to choose Unlink Media. This sets the media as offline. However, of course, the content is still in my Avid Media Files folder, so I can right click and I can choose Relink. The Relink dialog is pretty big, but most of the options you're going to skim through and just click OK on.
Because I've got the screen resolution pretty small here so that you can view this content on a lot of different devices, the very bottom is chopped off. You should see on your screen there's an option to click OK and Cancel at the bottom. So right at the top, we can specify which drive we're going to use. Here I've got All Available Drives. Actually the Macintosh HD is the only one that's really available, and we've got the option to Load the media database which is a good idea so it's all available, to Relink the selected master clips.
I've only got one selected, but it's the same dialog if you have multiple clips selected, and then I've got the option to only relink to media from the current project. And that's important because some of the relink options could mean the Media Composer looks at media originally ingested into a different project, and by that I mean the wrong project. Remember Media Composer treats separate bins as separate files 'cause that's exactly what they are. And if I did have multiple clips selected in multiple bins, I'd have this option to Select the items in ALL open bins and to Allow relinking to offline items.
That will ignore clips that are already online. Next up, I can specify how I'm going to relink. How am I going to select the media? Are we going to use one form of timecode or another? What source name are we going to use, all the metadata that you might have associated with your media. An important option is here to Match the case when comparing source names. You may find that this doesn't match, very often if relinking doesn't work, you can turn this option off. And next up, when we do get into working with multiple resolutions, you can specify which particular resolution you want to relink to.
This is very good if you're doing an offline, online workflow not in the sense of having linked or unlinked media, but instead in the sense of having high resolution and low resolution media. I'm going to press the Enter key here on my keyboard, again, I don't have the OK button visible on screen, and right away when I click OK, my media is back online. I clicked through there pretty quickly, but there was an option telling me how many clips were relinked, how many clips were reconnected. And it's just a summary report, and it's particularly useful if you find that there were problems with the relinking.
Just to show you very quickly, if I select one of the clips here that are linked, rather than imported, I'm going to right click and I'm going to choose Modify, and I'm going to choose Unlink Media. Actually before I do that, let me go to Reveal File so you can see what's going on here. I'm going to close these folders, and here's my R04_152 Matt Climbing.mov. I'm going to just delete this file. It'll go to my Trash Can here on macOS, it's a Recycle bin on Windows, and go back into Media Composer and now we can see this clip, of course, is offline.
I'm going to go back into my Finder. I'm going to Undo, Control + Z on Windows, Command + Z on macOS, toggle back into Media Composer and the clip is still offline. This is a key difference between ingested or imported media and the content that you just linked to. Media Composer does not manage the media that you have in those directories that you've linked to. However, if I right click, I've got the option to Relink to File(s), and here I get a regular browsing window.
Now both in macOS and in Windows, you've got the option to perform quick searches, and I'm going to do that here. I'm going to type in r04. Let's look inside the Rock Climber QTs folder. Now let's even add the 152, underscore 152, and there it is. I'll select that clip and click Open. Perfect, and we're back online. If you select the whole list of clips in a bin and do the same thing, you'll only usually need to select the first item on the list and the others will be found by Media Composer automatically.
So that's relinking your offline clips 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