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

Smart Tool overview

At its most basic, the Smart Tool is a palette of tools that can be enabled/disabled individually, just like you're used to doing with the Red and Yellow Segment Mode Arrows. However, its real power is providing the ability to enable two or more individual tools simultaneously, which provides access to them in the Timeline simultaneously. What's nice is that with the addition of the Smart Tool, the engineers didn't remove the original methods from the software and simply gave us more options.

Following is a screenshot of the Smart Tool:

Enabling/disabling the Smart Tool

Individual Tools – each of the five tools can be enabled/disabled individually by:

  • Clicking on them in the Smart Tool

  • From their default locations on the keyboard:

    • Shift + A = Lift/Overwrite Segment Arrow (Red)

    • Shift + S = Extract/Splice In Segment Arrow (Yellow)

    • Shift + D = Overwrite Trim (Red)

    • Shift + F = Ripple Trim (Yellow)

  • Mapped to locations of your choice using the Command Palette. The Smart Tools have their own tab on the Command Palette.

Smart Tool – enabling one or more functions on the Smart Tool essentially tells Media Composer that those are the functions you like to use. Then you can enable/disable them all simultaneously by:

  • Clicking on the Left Edge of the Smart Tool (labeled above as Smart Tool Toggle).

  • Shift + Tab key

  • Mapping the Smart Tool Toggle button to a location(s) of your choice using the Command Palette.

  • After enabling the Smart Tool, you are provided access to multiple tools (of your choosing) based on where you place your cursor in the Timeline, allowing you to potentially work faster. The next sections discuss using both the Trim functions and the Segment Mode functions with the Smart Tool.

Link Selection and Smart Tool functions

Link Selection allows you to select one segment or transition and have those that are related become selected at the same time. By default, you can enable/disable Link Selection from the keyboard with Shift + L. Link Selection allows you to select multiple transitions and segments when:

  • The segments come from the same clip.

  • The related segments overlap by at least one frame.

  • The Link Selection Toggle is enabled.

  • Press the option/Alt key – if you'd prefer to work with Link Selection disabled, you may still get the Linking behavior whenever you want by using option/Alt + Clicking. The opposite is also true: if you've enabled Link Selection, and you want to select a segment or transition without also selecting all that are associated with it, then you can use option/Alt + Clicking.

Navigating the Timeline when using Smart Tool

When any of the functions within the Smart Tool are active, you can no longer click inside the Timeline in order to move the Position Indicator (the blue line) since the cursor is transformed into an active tool. Instead, Media Composer provides you with several places that you can click and/or drag to update your location:

  • Timecode track at the bottom of the Timeline (see the screenshot at the beginning of this section)

  • The Ruler (which also displays Timecode) that runs along the top of the Timeline Window, directly below all the buttons on the Timeline Toolbar (see the screenshot at the beginning of this section)

  • The position bar that is directly below the Record Monitor

Disabling the Smart Tool

There are several ways that you can disable (exit) the Smart Tool, which will then disable all the functions within it.

  • Clicking the left edge of the Smart Tool palette (labeled in the previous screenshot as Smart Tool Toggle).

  • By default you can enable/disable the Smart Tool by using Shift + Tab.

  • You can map the Smart Tool Toggle button from the Command Palette: Tools menu | Command Palette | Smart Tools tab.

  • You can instruct Media Composer to disable the Smart Tool whenever you click onto either the Timecode Track at the bottom of the Timeline or on the Ruler at the top of the Timeline Window (see the screenshot at the beginning of this section), which is a behavior that many long-time Media Composer editors have become accustomed to. To do this: Project Window | Settings tab | Timeline Settings | Edit tab, and select the option that states Clicking the TC Track or Ruler Disables Smart Tools.