Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Use the overwrite edit, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] During the early stages of building your sequence, it's likely that you're going to focus mainly on inserting clips, just to build things up in the right order. As you get further into the edit, you're probably going to find that you want to shovel things around on the timeline less and less, and instead, you want to selectively add and remove content without changing the timing, and that's really where the overwrite editing mode comes into play. There are some issues with it, tho, and I suppose that's why it's a red arrow.
I'm just going to demonstrate by moving our playhead to the beginning of this sequence, and let's take a look at a couple of ways of approaching this. Before I kick off, notice that I'm in this Overwrite clips sequence, and I've got the R9_02 Bouldering clip open in the source monitor. We're just using the climbing media here. I'm going to demonstrate by marking a section of this clip. So I'm going to mark and in and an out, and I just want to reiterate again, I'm making pretty random selections.
You will, of course, normally be working through your media to identify exactly the sections you want. On that note, one of my top tips for editors is to go through each clip you have in every bin, one by one, and drag through the content over the course of about two seconds per clip, just like this. Now, as you get into the habit of doing this, and you're probably going to want to turn the audio on as well, which, if you recall, is holding down the shift key or turning on the caps lock.
You'll begin to build an awareness, a familiarity, with your media that is really valuable. If a clip is very long, then you'll learn to recognize just how quickly the action moves in the source monitor, and you'll get a sense for just how long the clip is. If the clip's short, it'll move much slower. And just through experience, you'll get a sense of how long the clip is based on the time it takes you to drag from one side to the other, relative to the speed that the action changes.
Most of our learning as a species is associative and relative. In fact, most of our perceptions are, and this is important when you're building familiarity with your media. Just get an overall sense of the colors and the shapes available, and you'd be amazed at how much more awareness you have of the content, even without having the time necessarily to play through it at normal speed. Okay, having said that tip, I've got my clip, and looking at the timeline, I can see right away, there's a problem. If I overwrite now, by clicking the overwrite button, I'm going to replace at least some of this first clip in the sequence.
I know that because I've got video one and two switched on and audio one and two switched on in my sequence, and I've got both my video one and audio one tracks enabled for my source. Well, let's take a look and see what happens. Yep, just as I thought. We've lost part of the beginning of this clip. Now, I'm tending to use language here that sounds a little bit worrisome, and I don't want to worry you unnecessarily. It's entirely possible that you would make an edit exactly of the kind I just have, because you've decided you want to replace the beginning of the shot.
That's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. There's nothing wrong with pushing clips out of sync, and there's nothing wrong with replacing the contents of them. What's important is that everything that happens on the timeline is something that you choose, something that you're in control of creatively, and this is fine, if that's what you want to do. But, maybe it isn't, so I'm going to undo. I'm pressing command + z or control + z on Windows, and I'm going to change around my track patching. Now, the first thing I'm going to do is just turn off these track-enabled options on the timeline, and of course, because I have auto-patching switched on in my timeline settings, my source V1 and A1 have jumped to the only other available tracks.
And you can guess what's going to happen here. This is perfectly okay. I'm going to click the overwrite button, and now, my source video has appeared on video two, and my source audio on audio two. Because higher video tracks are in front of lower video tracks, this means, if I just scroll through here, you can see, as I scrub, that we jump to the clip on video one. Nothing's happened to the clip on video one. It's just that the clip on video two is in front. This is probably a good moment to mention that if you compare the buttons under the source monitor and the program monitor, they are almost identical.
We have a couple of extra options over here for working with effects and adjusting the timing of your edit. There's also options for removing content we'll come to later. But the main playback controls are identical. If I press play on this button on the bottom of the composer monitor, I'm actually going to play back the contents of the sequence. (ambient audio plays back) Now, let's have a look at a slightly different approach to this edit. I'm going to undo, and...
My playhead's lined up, I've got my in and out marks in the source monitor, and this time, I'm going to turn on my A1 and V1 tracks, as well as A2 and V2. You can probably guess what's going to happen here. I don't have any media available on the source side of my track selection buttons, but I do have those tracks turned on on the timeline. So, I'm going to overwrite and yep, there it is, I've overwritten blank space on the V1 and A1 tracks, removing part of my original clip.
Again, this may not be a problem. This might be exactly what you want to do. In fact, if I undo, it may be that you want to select all of the tracks and make sure that everything's overwritten and replaced, just as you might choose all tracks to splice something in to avoid any sync problems. There's a shortcut to enable all of the track selection buttons, and it's pretty easy to remember. It's command + A, or control + A in Windows. Just like selecting every item in a bin or in a folder.
Now that I have every track selected, I know that whatever happens, I'm going to replace this section of my sequence. So, I'm going to click the red button, and, well actually, the result is the same, because there wasn't anything on my video three and four tracks before or my audio three and four tracks. I'm going to undo once more, because I want to show you another approach to this. I'm going to press shift + command + A, that'd by shift + control + A on Windows, to deselect all of the tracks. So command + A selects, shift + command + A deselects.
Then I'm just going to turn on V2 and A2, and perform this edit again. This is a very common way to set up cutaways when you're working on a sequence. If you want to cut to another shot, but you want the flexibility to move the shot around to change the timing of it, you probably want to keep the clip underneath it intact, and, by placing the clip on another track, it effectively becomes a cutaway without ruining any of our existing media. So far, what we've been performing is described classically as a three-point edit, and those three points are an in point, and out point, and on the timeline, either an in point or an out point.
Media Composer can align either end of the edit. Now, these used to be called three-points, and as time's gone on, manufacturers have gradually migrated into referring to these as marks, and somehow calling it a three-mark edit doesn't have the same punch for me, but if you ever look up online and you want to look up tutorials on how this works, what we're doing here is a three-point edit. Just like the source monitor, the timeline prioritizes marks if you have them. So, let's say for example I wanted to add a cutaway here.
I can press i to add an in mark, and I don't really need an out mark, because I've got the duration of my source monitor. However long the gap is between my in and out marks in my source, well, that's how much of the timeline is going to be taken up. And now that I have an in mark, it doesn't really matter where my playhead is. Let's choose another shot here. Let's take this hanging high clip. And I'm going to mark and in, and I'm going to mark an out, and now, because my tracks are patched, my marks are in place, I can click overwrite, and I've now created a cutaway without doing anything to the track underneath.
Now, if this is referred to as a three-point edit, there's another version, and that's a reverse three-point edit. In the case of the edit we just performed, the duration is taken from the source monitor, but we can also specify the duration on the timeline. Let's do this with another shot. Let's take this Fingers CU clip. Looks pretty cool. Some nice cinematography here. So, I'm not going to add both in and out marks to the source monitor. I don't actually have to add any marks, because the absence of any marks means the playhead will be used as an in mark, but just to illustrate the point, I'm going to add an in mark and just move the playhead out of the way.
On the timeline, I'm going to add both. I'm going to put an in mark, pressing the i key, and an out mark. I'm pressing the o key. And when you do that, the highlighted region shows you not just when you set the marks, but also which tracks have been enabled. This is pretty useful when you're in a hurry. Now, when I perform the edit... Just this section of the source media is taken into the timeline. We just scrub through this, in fact, let's play this back.
(distorted voices and ambient noise plays back) - [Woman] Did you get it? - [Man] Nope. - [Woman] Sorry. - [Man] Nah, it's all good. - [Instructor] Well, creatively, it's pretty questionable, especially with this slow-motion shot giving us some odd speech in the background. But, you can see here, we've got one shot, it's almost a French new wave, isn't it. We've got another shot of a hand, and then we're off into the trees. We definitely applied our cutaway. I would say that when you get into overwrite editing, it's pretty likely most of the work you're going to be doing is going to be reverse three-point edits.
And reverse three-point edits where you're specifying the duration on the timeline, just as I have here, is so common, most editors don't even realize it's called a reverse three-point edit, so, at least now you can win in a pub quiz. Remember, it's not necessary to add an in mark at all in the source. So, here, for example, if I take the Climbing Vertical shot, position my playhead to the beginning of the clip, or at least the part of the clip that I want, if I overwrite edit, I'm getting, actually, look at that.
Coincidentally, it's the same shot as the one that it's over. And I'm getting just the part starting where the playhead is. Notice that I've got these numbers showing me that there's a sync problem, just as we did when we were splicing in. Actually, there is no sync problem. This happens to be the same clip lined up and overlapping on the timeline. Media Composer is warning us that this part of the clip doesn't line up with this part of the clip, and it's not quite sure what the problem is, but there's definitely a problem.
Notice that these two pieces are in sync with each other, just as the video on video two and the audio on audio two are in sync with each other. It's just really a warning. So if you do get the odd warning of this kind on the timeline, it doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem. You'll know if there's a really serious sync problem because lots and lots of clips will light up with these numbers in a single step. So, that's overwriting clips into sequences as distinct from splicing them in. This would be a good moment to have an experiment with the two forms of editing.
- 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