Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Top and tail clips for quick edits, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110.
- [Instructor] If you have already completed my Beginner Skill course, you'll have learned about basic trimming skills on the timeline in Media Composer and you'll have learned about using in and out marks you'll have learned about using the Smart tool to work with clip segments. But there's an additional feature in Media Composer that's not actually part of the interface until you add it by finding it in the Command palette. It's an incredibly useful shortcut and, I want to show you how to use it right here. I've created a new sequence called Top and Tail.
In fact, the Top and Tail buttons is what we're going to use. I've got two versions here, one which is with the full length of all of the clips that we were just looking at in this Anesthesia project, and I'm actually going to work on the complete version, so you can start off with Top and Tail and compare your results with mine. What we have in this sequence is all of the clips. If I just drag through the contents, we can see we've got the clapper boards as well. But I'm being called out by a little gotcha here, look at this.
Now the reason I'm getting audio as I scrub, is that my Caps Lock is on on my computer, and I did not put the Caps Lock on. But if we look in the General Settings here, in the project window, you can see here we've got this Enable Caps-Lock Protection option, clears and restores on focus change. This toggles the Caps Lock On or Off when changing between different parts of the interface. In principle, this is supposed to make life easier, enabling the Caps Lock when you're in Media Composer so you can scrub and hear your audio and turning it off automatically when you leave Media Composer.
However, it does mean sometimes it doesn't quite notice whether you want the Caps Lock On or Off. So I'm going to turn this new feature off and click OK, and I'm going to press the Caps Lock key to turn it off. And now I can scroll up without having my audio on. So here you can see I've got my clapper board, I don't want it, and all the way through the media, I'm getting sections after the action where nothing's happening. And actually the shot's finished. Let's just listen here for example.
So we've got the director saying Cut, but we're still on the shot, and this is the part that we want to remove. Now I'm just going to focus on a particular detail here. We're going to remove the parts of the media that we know for sure we don't want. Or we're pretty sure we don't want. And this means we don't need to go right the way through the clips, carefully watching them. Instead, we can just get it roughly right and hit a button to remove the unwanted content. So let's do that. I'm going to go to my Tools menu and I'm going to choose Command Palette. Now my Command Palette's in Active Palette mode, and if we look in the Edit section, we've got these Top and Tail buttons.
I'll just show you here, first of all, and then let's put these on a key in our keyboard settings. There's one more thing that we need to concern ourselves with before we use these buttons. Which is down here. I've got my Audio 2 track turned on, and because it's turned on, Media Composer is going to use it, it's the longest unbroken piece of media, as a reference when Topping and Tailing my clips. I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to click the Top option here, to remove part of the clip.
Just watch the beginning of my timeline. Media Composer has removed everything up to the location of my play head, and that's because my Audio 2 track was turned on. I'm just going to Undo with Control-Z or Command-Z. Now I'm going to turn off Audio 2 and again, watch what happens on the timeline. So now everything up to the play head has been removed for that third clip, but that's all. I'm just going to Undo so you can see this. Effectively with one click of one button, I've marked this portion of the clip and then I've performed an extract edit.
The beginning is the beginning of the clip, and the end is the play head. That's when your Topping a clip. But if I Tail a clip, just watch this little section at the end of the clip, it's gone. This is a phenomenally useful shortcut. I'm going to Undo and I'm going to go to my keyboard settings in my Project window. And I've got quite a few shortcuts already set up here, but I'm going to hold down the Shift key, and I'm going to go to Button to Button Reassignment in the Command palette, and I'm going to take Top and Tail and put these onto Shift-C and V.
Now let's close these windows and I can go to my timeline and press Shift-V to remove the end of a clip, and Shift-C to remove the beginning of a clip. Now obviously you can use any keys you want. I would just recommend that you use a keyboard shortcut that you can apply with one hand, so that you can use your mouse to jump between different sections of your media. So here I'll do this pretty quickly. I'm Topping, I'm Tailing, and so on and so on, right the way through my media.
So provided you get the selection right, on the timeline, and you have your keyboard set up to do this, you'll find that the Top and Tail buttons will soon become one of your favorite shortcuts.
- Importing and transcoding media
- Creating a group clip
- Syncing picture and sound clips
- Making quick edits such as stringouts
- Recutting a scene
- Creating subsequences
- Pacing a scene with Media Composer's trim tools
- Mixing sequence audio
- Working with high-res media
- Retiming video
- Nesting effects
- Keying video
- Animating titles and graphics
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 10/13/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Media Composer 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9.