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

Nine Segment Mode Tips

The following are a variety of tips that will help you get more out of using Segment Mode.

Sync Locks

By default, Extract/Splice In Segment Mode does not pay attention to the Sync Locks. However, you can force it to. Go to Project Window | Settings Tab | Timeline Settings | Edit Tab | Segment Drag Sync Locks. There is a discussion of this in the Segment Mode: Methods for staying in sync recipe in Chapter 5, Maintaining and Regaining Sync.


There are two methods available to make segments snap in a specific manner. The default method uses keyboard shortcuts which are discussed in the Snapping Actions for the Position Indicator and in Segment Mode recipe in Chapter 3, Polishing Gems. The second method involves this setting: Project Window | Settings Tab | Timeline Settings | Edit Tab | Default Snap-To Edit.

When the Default Snap-To Edit setting is enabled:

  • The Head (left side) of the segment(s) you're moving will automatically snap to transitions, Mark In or Mark Out, and the Position Indicator (blue line)

  • Press the option/Alt key to make the Tail (right side) of the segment(s) you're moving snap

  • Note that the Position Indicator will also snap, so you'll need to navigate using JKL, the Step Forward/Backward keys, or within the position bar below the Record Monitor

Selecting Methods

Media Composer provides several ways for you to select Segments:

  • Shift + Click – if you're already in Segment Mode, you can add (or remove) segments from your selection by pressing and holding the Shift key and then clicking on a segment.

  • Select Left, Select Right, Select Between In/Out Marks – by default, you'll find these functions on your Timeline Toolbar. They can also be mapped anywhere you'd like. They can be found in the Tools menu | Command Palette | Edit tab, and you'll find them in the fourth column. To use one of these three functions, you must do the following:

    • Step 1: Enable the track(s) on which you want to select segments.

    • Step 2: You will use one of these, depending on your situation. To use Select Left or Select Right, for this step you will park your Position Indicator on the first segment you want to select. To use Select In/Out, then you'll place Marks that include the segments you want to select. The marks do not have to totally surround the segments you want to select. In other words, the marks only need to be partially within the segments you want to select.

    • Step 3: Once you have prepared as discussed in step 2, then press the required function (Select Left, Select Right, or Select In/Out).

  • Lassoing – you can select segments and place them into Segment Mode by Lassoing around them in a very specific way. Lasso entirely around them, moving your cursor from left to right. Lassoing is discussed and pictured in more detail as it relates to Trimming earlier in this chapter. See the Enabling and configuring the trimming tools recipe (and don't miss the portion that discusses lassoing inside the Timeline with the option/Alt key).

Moving Segments

It is important to note that in versions of Media Composer, up to and including version 6.0, if you are trying to move multiple segments, then all the segments have to be touching each other; and this includes any Filler that may be between two Segments. In other words, all the Segments must be adjacent to one another. If you attempt to move multiple Segments that do not all touch each other, then they will not move, and you may get a system alert sound (for example, Beep). Note, however, that for those using Version 6.5 or later, you can move Segments that are not touching each other when you use the red Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode arrow. For emphasis, this is new programming that only applies to Version 6.5 and later.

Exiting Segment Mode

Just as there are multiple ways to enable Segment Mode, there are several ways to disable it. You'll find that you'll use some methods more than others, but it's helpful to be familiar with all of them:

  • Click on either the red and/or yellow segment arrow to toggle it off.

  • You can map the Segment Mode Arrows from the Command Palette to any location on the keyboard or interface that you like.

  • Click the left edge of the Smart Tool palette.

  • 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. To do this, Project Window | Settings tab | Timeline Settings | Edit tab and select the option that reads: Clicking the TC Track or Ruler Disables Smart Tools.

Segment Mode Track Placement

If you have selected both video and audio segments, and if you have multiple tracks in your timeline, it is possible to move segments not only horizontally but vertically as well. Whichever element, video or audio, that you want to move vertically should be the last thing selected before moving them. The entire selection will move horizontally and the last element selected will also move vertically.

For example, you have three video tracks and six audio tracks in your Sequence. You'd like to move a shot that has video and two tracks of audio to a later position in the Sequence, and at the same time move the shot's audio from tracks A1 and A2 to tracks A3 and A4. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the video segment and its related audio segments in order to place them into Segment Mode using any method described earlier in the Selecting Methods recipe.

  2. Select and hold down the mouse button on either of the audio segments (the video segment also remains selected).

  3. As you move the segments horizontally, simultaneously move the audio segments vertically to tracks A3 and A4.

Link Selection

Link Selection allows you to select one segment or transition and have other segments that are related become selected simultaneously. By default, you can enable/disable Link Selection from the keyboard with Shift + L.

Link Selection allows you to select multiple segments (and transitions) when:

  • The segments come from the same clip.

  • The related segments overlap by at least one frame.

  • The Link Selection Toggle is enabled.

  • You press the option/Alt key – if you'd prefer to work with Link Selection disabled, you may still get that 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 without selecting the others that are associated with it, then you can use option/Alt + Clicking.

Setting a Preference

When you lasso to select segments, or when you use the Select Left/Right/Between Marks buttons, by default you will be placed into the Extract/Splice In Segment Mode (yellow arrow). However, you can change that, if you prefer, by going to Project Window | Settings tab | Timeline Settings | Edit tab | Default Segment Tool | Segment Overwrite.

One at A Time

Prior to the introduction of the Smart Tool, it was only possible to have one Segment Mode arrow enabled at a time. If you prefer this behavior, you can tell Media Composer to do this by going to Project Window | Settings tab | Timeline Settings | Edit tab | Only One Segment Tool Can Be Enabled At A Time.