Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video What's new in Media Composer v. 8.3?, part of Avid Media Composer 8 Essential Training.
- With the release of Media Composer version 8.3, the software gained new high resolution project options along with some other nice updates. So here I'll be doing a summary What's New movie, but I'll also be inserting movies within the course when appropriate. Look for the version 8.3 label, and the new or updated tags in the movie name to locate those new movies. And just so you know, this What's New movie is more for people who are already familiar with Media Composer rather than the newbies. So watch this if you just need to know what's changed in 8.3, and if you're an Avid novice, you can certainly watch this or just go ahead and get started with the rest of the course in chapter one.
First and foremost, we've gotta talk about the new project format options available within the software. As of Media Composer 8.3, you can now edit and playback in Ultra HD 2K and 4K as well as transcode, render and export at those high resolution formats. I'm at the Select Project window, and if I choose New Project, we can see under the Format tab that we have a lot of options here. There really are a massive amount of possibilities now, you have basically every resolution and frame rate combination that you can dream of.
So you can see that we have our 2K, our 4K and we also have additional frame rate options in the higher frame rates. Let's go ahead and set up a project. I'm going to just set up a 4K project, and I'm going to set up the wrong type of project, just so I can show you another feature once we get in the software. I'm going to go to 4K Scope, and 23.976, and I'm just gonna call this Hi-res Test, and OK, and let's go inside.
And I have a 4K clip in the exercise files that I'm going to bring into this project, so I'll just right click and AMA Link, and it's in Exercise Files, Additional Materials, and 4K, and we'll bring that in, and if I load this, you can see that things don't look that good. So I've chosen the wrong format. But, fortunately, you have the option to very easily change format options right within the software. If I go to the Format tab, before we only had a couple of options to change, but now we can really dial in into anything that we need to, as long as we have the same frame rate.
So I can switch to the 23.976 flavor of Ultra HD, any of these 2K options, any of these 4K options, and then of course, my 1080 and 720 flavors in NTSC and PAL as well. I happen to know that this is really Ultra HD 23.976 so I'm gonna choose that, and things are looking a lot better. Changing back and forth between project formats, very easy as long as you stay within your frame rate family. Again you can throw anything you want into this timeline, and everything will pretty much convert beautifully, this is just our home project format.
Now there are actually a whole lot of format and frame rate options that went into this update, and for an essential training course, we won't go over all of them, but just to throw out an example, I'll show you one that I do like a lot. Now if you've converted your clip to this project's frame rate, but you want to convert it back to the original frame rate, you just right click and choose Source Settings, and then this tab is new right here, Playback Rates. Playback Frame Rate for project or clip, you can change back and forth. Now in this case, they are the same, but if you are shooting very slow motion or very fast motion footage, sometimes it converts wrongly and you can bring it back to the clip's original frame rate, so that's quite useful.
In addition to these new high resolution formats comes a new proprietary variety of Avid codec called DNxHR. I'll just go into my Media Creation settings here, so we can talk about this. Basically, DNxHR is kind of like DNxHD's big brother for resolutions higher than HD, so Ultra HD, 2K and 4K. Now, just to summarize, DNxHD has been around for a long time, it's a really great codec that allows you to work with HD media in a rock solid environment with high performance.
Avid loves working with DNxHD, so transcoding or importing media to the DNxHD codec is usually the way to go if you want to work quickly and efficiently. So DNxHR is the same idea, if you're importing media, you just need to set what DNxHR resolution that you want, if you're transcoding, change it to the applicable DNxHR resolution and you should be good to go. If this doesn't make sense now, then wait for chapter three when we talk about when and why you would want to convert your media.
Also, you can now work in a proxy timeline. If you're in a high resolution project, you can come up to the Format tab and choose Proxy Timeline, and then choose either 1/4 or 1/16 resolution. This lets you edit with greater performance using your original media. Also, all of your effects would render at this proxy resolution, so when you're ready to re-render the effects to high res, you just set this back to off and then you re-render your effects at the higher resolution. Now, there's more to this workflow than just switching back and forth from proxy to non-proxy, for example, you may want to first transcode your media to 1/4 resolution, and then set your proxy timeline at 1/4 resolution, because when you match the proxy settings to the media type, the performance increases even more.
But for all the details about this proxy workflow, check out Avid's website and documentation. Let me just go into my main Hot Glass project to talk about a couple more things. Now, Media Composer is getting a whole lot of new filtering options, in the 8.2 movie, we talked about the filtering options for bins, we also have the option to filter within the bin. If I open this bin, before, if I wanted to sift through this material, I had to go to my Fast menu, and then I had to go to Custom Sift, and then this tool allows you to go three levels deep on a couple of different tiers of criteria here.
However, if you just need to perform a very simple filter, you can do that right within the bin, That is down here. So if I wanted to find all of the shots of the vases, I can just type in vase, and here they are, my filter is live. If I wanted to get rid of that, just click on this X. Let me just load one of my clips here. I'm gonna go up to my Tools menu, 'cause I wanna show you one last thing and that's the Color Info tool. Before, if you wanted to check the red, green and blue values of your image, you had to open the Color Correction tool.
Here, I have the Color Info tool, where if I just bring my mouse into the image, I can see the red, green and blue values of any part of my video frame. And just so you know, you do have the option of changing some of these values as far as your measurements are concerned. Those are some of the main updates in Media Composer version 8.3. For updates that came about in 8.2, check out the previous What's New movie, and of course, any applicable updates will receive a new or updated movie within the structure of this course.
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.