Book Image

Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook

By : Benjamin Hershleder
Book Image

Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook

By: Benjamin Hershleder

Overview of this book

Avid Media Composer has become the tool of choice by editing professionals worldwide. Whether your project involves editing television programming, independent films, corporate industrials or commercials, this cookbook shows you exactly how to do so in a step-by-step and practical manner, and get the most out of Avid Media Composer editing. "Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook" is an expert, clear and logically-sequenced resource with highly effective recipes for learning Avid Media Composer essentials and beyond. It's task-based approach will help users at all experience levels gain a deeper, more thorough understanding of the software. It will help you master the essential, core editing features as well as reveal numerous tips and tricks that editors can benefit from immediately. Just some of the topics include understanding Import settings, mixing frame rates and understanding AMA (Avid Media Access), along with thorough explanations of Trim Mode, Segment Mode, and the Smart Tool. You will learn to customize your work environment with Workspaces, Bin Layouts, Timeline Views, Bin Views, Keyboard Mapping, and much more. The recipes inside are packed with practical examples, time-saving tools and methods to get you working faster and more confidently so that you can spend less time dealing with technical and operational issues and instead focusing on being creative.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Enabling and configuring the Trimming Tools

Media Composer provides editors with multiple ways to do things so you can have flexibility, depending on your personal preference or on what will work best at a particular moment. In this section we'll cover the different ways to enable the Trim tools (also known as Trim Mode) as well as the different methods for selecting (configuring) what to trim.

Methods for entering Trim Mode

There are four methods to enter Trim Mode:

  • Method 1 is to park the Position Indictor (the blue line) near the transition of the shot(s) you want to trim, enable the Track Selector(s) for the track(s) you want to trim, then click/press the Trim Mode button. By default, the Trim Mode button can be found in the following locations:

    • On the Composer Window (also known as the Source/Record Window), underneath the Splice and Overwrite buttons

    • On the far left-hand side of the Timeline Toolbar

    • Mapped to the keyboard on the letter U

    • Some of the trim tools can be found on the Smart Tool. More information about Trimming and the using the Smart Tool is later in this appendix

  • Method 2 is to use the Go To Previous and Go To Next Edit functions. By default, these are mapped to the A and S keys on the keyboard. See the the Understanding Track Sensitivity recipe in Chapter 3, Polishing Gems for more information on using them.

  • Method 3 is to Lasso. Lassoing to select segments and lassoing to enter Slip or Slide mode are discussed in sections later in this appendix. Right now we're focusing on lassoing single transitions on one or more tracks. This is done by clicking and holding the mouse button in the Timeline Window (the area outside the actual tracks) and then drawing a selection box (the lasso) around the transition(s) you want to trim. If you're not already in Trim Mode when you lasso, then it will be activated, which makes it a really great, fast way to get into Trim Mode. Following are some examples of lassoing to get into Trim Mode. The last example (lassoing inside the Timeline) is particularly helpful.

    • Single transition: The next image attempts to illustrate clicking in the Timeline Window, holding down the mouse button, and drawing the selection box (the lasso) around just one transition. It's important to note that the lasso must totally surround the transition in order to select it and enter into Trim Mode.

    • Multiple transitions: The next image attempts to illustrate clicking in the Timeline Window, holding down the mouse button, and drawing the lasso box around multiple transitions. Note that even Split Edits can be lassoed and trimmed.

    • Lasso inside the Timeline. When you have many tracks in your Sequence, there's a pretty good chance that you won't have easy access to the Timeline Window background area in order to click and make a lasso. Even so, it's still possible to lasso. All you have to do is press and hold the option/Alt key as you click inside the Timeline tracks and lasso the transition(s) you want.

  • Method 4 is to return to the last used Trim roller configuration. This is a very useful feature, especially when you've just performed a multi-track Asymmetric trim (discussed in Chapter 4, Creating Split Edits which covers making Split Edits as well as in Chapter 5, Maintaining and Regaining Sync. After exiting Trim Mode, you can re-enter Trim Mode and have the Trim Rollers placed into the very last configuration you used. To do this:

    i. Press and hold option/Alt.

    ii. Do one of the following:

    • Press the Trim Mode button on the keyboard (by default on the letter U)

    • Click on the Trim Mode button in the interface (for example, on the Composer Window, below the Splice and Overwrite buttons)

Configuring the Trim Rollers

Once you're in Trim Mode, the next thing you have to do is tell Media Composer exactly what you want to trim on each track by configuring the Trim Rollers. Here's how:

  • Clicking on the Composer Window:

    • A-Side Monitor (left window): When you're in Trim Mode and hover your cursor over the A-Side monitor, you'll see that the cursor icon has changed from an arrow to what looks a bit like a film canister (it's actually the Trim Roller icon) with a piece of film extending out from it. Since the cursor is hovering over the A-Side monitor (the left of the two monitors) the piece of film extends out to the left-hand side. If you click at this time, then you'll see that the Trim Roller(s) in the Timeline have been placed onto the A-Side (left-hand side) shot at the transition. This is known as a Ripple Trim.

    • B-Side Monitor (right window): Just like A-Side earlier, except that you'll be hovering over the B-Side monitor and the piece of film in the icon extends out to the right. Clicking the mouse at this time will configure the Trim Rollers onto the B-Side (right-hand side) shot at the transition. Again, this is known as a Ripple Trim and you'll see that the Trim Rollers are yellow.

    • Between the A-Side and B-Side Monitors: Rather than hovering your cursor over the A or B-Side Monitor, you'll place it in a region between the two. When the cursor is in this region, it will display two pieces of film, each extending out in both directions. Clicking the mouse at this time will configure the Trim Rollers in the Timeline onto both the A-Side and the B-Side shots at the transition. This is called Double Roller Trim or Dual Roller Trim.

  • Clicking on the Trim Counters: When you're in Trim Mode, you'll see two purple boxes right below the monitor screens. These will display how much you have trimmed for the A-Side and/or the B-Side shot at the transition. You can also click on these displays as a way to configure the Trim Rollers in the Timeline.

  • P, [, and ] keys: – By default, Avid has mapped the Trim Roller configuration buttons to the following three keys: P, [, and ]. Pressing the P key will configure the Trim Rollers onto the A-Side. The [ key will place them on both the A-Side and B-Side (Double Rollers). The ] key will configure the Trim Rollers onto the B-Side.

  • Cycle Trim – in the Command Palette (Tools menu | Command Palette | Trim tab), you'll find the Cycle Trim function that lets you press this one button to shuffle through the different configurations. When you're in Trim Mode, each time you press it, it switches to the next configuration, cycling through them. Information on mapping this to the keyboard can be found in the Mapping buttons and menu selections recipe in Chapter 2, Customizing Your Work Environment.

  • Shift + click to add or remove Trim Rollers: – This technique allows you to manually configure any trimming setup you want, and is essential to be able to perform the highly useful Asymmetric Trim (discussed in Chapters 4, Creating Split Edits and Chapter 5, Maintaining and Regaining Sync). It's very important to pay attention to the cursor icon in the Timeline when Shift-Clicking. The direction the piece of film extends indicates which side of the transition you are over. The following are two images to help describe the Shift + click feature:

In the image on the left, Shift + click at this moment would add a Trim Roller on the A-Side (left-hand side) of the transition. In the image on the right, Shift + click at this moment would remove the Trim Roller on the B-Side.