Learn about the video formats supported in Pro Tools, the Import > Video command, and the option to import audio from a video file.
- [Man] If you find yourself wanting to use Pro Tools to clean up audio for a video project, you'll need to know how to import your video files into a Pro Tools session. Pro Tools supports both QuickTime movies and Avid MXF video files, making it an easy solution for your own personal video projects, as well as professional productions where the video editing is being done in Avid Media Composer. To work with video in Pro Tools, you'll first need to enable the Avid video engine, which you can do under the setup menu by going into the playback engine.
Here there's a check box for enabling the video engine so we'll turn that on and click okay. And we'll see a progress bar as the video engine begins to launch. Now, I should note that the video engine does consume considerable resources, both in terms of RAM usage and your system processing. So, this is important because it may strain systems that don't meet Avid's recommended system specs. So, I'd recommend leaving off the Avid video engine for work on audio only projects or projects that don't include video.
With the Avid video engine enabled, you can import video into your session using the import video command. So, we'll go under the file menu and choose import and then select video from the submenu. Here, we'll navigate to the video that we're interested in and choose open. Next, we're presented with the video import options dialogue box. Now, this dialogue box gives us a couple of choices for importing our video file. First is where the file will be located when it imports.
By default, that selector is set to session start, which means the video file will be aligned to the beginning of our session, which generally fine for what we need to do. Underneath that selector is a checkbox for importing audio from the file. Now, this will be useful if you're importing a QuickTime video file that has audio embedded in it. If you want to import the audio into your session, make sure that checkbox is enabled. If you do not want to use the audio from the video file and instead use existing audio that you have in the session or creating audio as you go, leave that checkbox unselected.
In our case, we'll leave it selected for demonstration purposes and I'll click on okay. Because we're importing the audio file, that file gets extracted from the QuickTime movie and we're presented with a dialogue box asking where to save the audio file. By default, this dialogue box points to your audio files folder for your session, which is generally the right location for audio. So, we'll click open to approve that location and you might notice a progress bar at that point as the audio file is being extracted and converted into a file format that's compatible with your session.
Now that we've completed the import, we'll see two new tracks in our session. The first track is the video track that contains the video file and underneath that is a second track for the audio. Also at this point, we should see a separate floating video window, displayed on screen for the purposes of previewing the video during playback. Now, if this window does not appear, you should be able to access it under the window menu by going to window and choosing video.
So, do that to bring up the window if it doesn't display or for some reason, perhaps it's hidden behind another window. During playback, the video displays in the floating window and in our case, the audio plays along with it. Now, standard Pro Tools will allow you to reposition your video file relative to your audio tracks or other session media but that's about all you can do with the video files after importing. In standard Pro Tools, you can have only one video track in a session and only one video file in a session at any time.
You can optionally import a different movie by repeating the steps we've outlined but that will replace the original video file in the session. So those are the basics for using video inside of Pro Tools. You can import QuickTime or Avid video files, optionally import any audio embedded in a QuickTime file and view the video file playback in the video window. Just remember that the Avid video engine requires substantial RAM and processing resources, so be sure to disable it when not in use on an underpowered system.
- Getting started with Pro Tools menus, windows, and edit tools
- Creating a session
- Creating a click track
- Recording audio
- Importing audio and video
- Recording, viewing, and editing MIDI data
- Selecting and navigating within tracks
- Adding markers
- Editing clips
- Creating fade effects
- Mixing tracks and adding automation
- Backing up a session
- Bouncing a mix to disk
Skill Level Beginner
Q. This course was updated on 03/23/2017. What changed?
A. Challenges and solutions were added to chapters 3–10 and three videos were updated in the first couple chapters.