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Locked vs. Unlocked Tracks in Avid Media Composer — EVF Tutorial

What is the difference in locked and unlocked tracks in Avid Media Composer?

This video explains locked and unlocked tracks in Avid Media Composer. It is a companion tutorial for Lesson 4 of the Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts Series. Knowing this concept will keep you from knocking your clips out of sync. 👊🏼

(all of this ⬇️ is explained in the video ⬆️)

You have the choice to lock or unlock a timeline track. I highly recommend locking your tracks. In fact, I pretty much only edit with my tracks locked. There are a handful of times where it’s more useful for me to unlock them but 99% of the time they’re locked.

When you “lock a track” in After Effects or Premiere Pro it means you cannot make any changes to it. That’s not what this is in Media Composer. Locking tracks syncs the given timecode for all locked tracks, locking them together so if you make changes (i.e. adding or removing time to a track by editing in or editing out a clip) to one then you make changes to them all.

Here’s a scenario: You have clips on V1 and V2 and the tracks are locked. Both clips begin at 01:02:20:14 and end at 01:02:24:14 – they’re 4 seconds long. If you have V1 selected and you extract from 01:02:21:10 to 01:02:22:10 (1 second) then the clips on V1 and V2 shorten by a second. Both clips would end at 01:02:23:14. If the tracks were unlocked however the clip on V1 would shorten to 3 seconds and the clip on V2 would remain the same.

I find that more times than not I want everything on the timeline to react together. If I shorten a clip on V1 at 01:03:00:00 I don’t want to have to think about the rest of the clips further down the timeline that are synced up with clips and audio on other tracks getting knocked out of alignment.

Locking tracks keeps you from unintentionally knocking your timeline out of sync. It takes some time to wrap your head around it but IMO it’s the safest, quickest and best way to edit. Leave me a comment if you’re confused about anything.

Music used in this video, “Endless Summer” by Mikey Geiger, was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link). For 10% off a subscription use the code EVF at checkout.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Fix Offline Title in Avid Media Composer — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to fix an offline title in Avid Media Composer two different ways. If you have a title that is offline, there’s no need to worry. You can fix it in seconds. I show you how in this video.

Music used in this video, “Paper Trail” by Travis Loafman, was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link). For 10% off a subscription use the code EVF at checkout.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Prevent Offline Media Using Media Creation Settings in Avid Media Composer — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to use Avid Media Composer’s Media Creation settings to prevent offline media. MC’s Media Creation settings allows you to set what drive and resolution media is created to. TL;DR set this drive and resolution when you first open up a project so the next time you open the project none of your media is offline because it was created to the correct drive.

Music used in this video, “Back To My House” by PALA, was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link). For 10% off a subscription use the code EVF at checkout.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

23 Posts about Video Production, Post Production, Avid and More

23 Posts on Post

I’ve been writing for my friends over at ScreenLight for…well…a long time. It’s been over two years and in the Internet world that’s a really long time. Over that time I’ve been able to stockpile a bunch of writings that I want to share with you today. 23 of them to be exact.

The posts range from Media Composer tips to the Pomodoro Technique for time management to Apps for Editors and so much more. I’ve broken them up into a couple of categories. At the very top are a few of my favorites and ones I think you should definitely read.

My Favorite Posts

The Edit Bay – A Romanticized View of One Editor’s Relationship With Four Walls

Video Editor is Not a Synonym for Motion Graphics Artist

Editor: The Amateur vs. The Professional

How to Setup a Video Company on a Realistic Budget

Read more

Timecode: Is it still important?

Timecode: Is it still important?

Timecode: Is it still important?

The answer is yes. Timecode is still important. It’s a vital and fundamental skill that still has impact when shooting or editing in virtually every kind of video.

Monday night Shane Ross, one of my favorite editors to follow on Twitter, tweeted this:

This escalated to a remarkably civil discussion on the matter between him and a few other editors. I’m with Shane though. Timecode is incredibly important despite not being used in as many ways as it used to.

This post will go through a brief overview of what timecode is, some antiquated uses that I used it for and why it remains important to know and understand today.

Read more

Preparing for Vacation: A Quick Guide for Jet-Setting Video Editors

Preparing For Vacation

Soon I’ll be taking my first trip out of the United States and I’m making it a big one – I’m headed to Japan! In this post I’m going to go over what I’m doing to prepare for this lengthy vacation. I’d love for you to chime in too with your thoughts on what you do before going out of town. Thanksgiving for us in the US is right around the corner and the other winter holidays are fast approaching so I think the timing of this post is pretty ideal.

There’s nothing worse than being bothered on vacation or someone messing up your projects/media/hard drive/etc. especially when there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m sure I’ll come back to 1500 emails but I’m going to prepare my company and team the best I can for anything that can happen while I’m gone.

Read more

EVF Tutorial – Quick Transitions in Avid Media Composer

I am SOOO excited. Today I’m launching my first ever product — an Avid Media Composer Bin with over 50 preset Quick Transitions. In the tutorial below you’ll find out how to create your own preset Quick Transitions. After watching the tutorial go here to get my Quick Transitions Bin.

As always I come out with a new tutorial every Friday. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and you’ll get an email when they come out. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to go more in depth on from this tutorial and if there are any tutorials you’d like to see in the future.

QuickTransitionsBin-Image2

The Power of Presets for Avid Media Composer Editors

Presets will make you a faster editor. Period. Putting systems in place for often-used tasks makes you a more efficient editor. Presets are some of these systems. You can preset many aspects of your NLE, especially Avid Media Composer. Below I discuss four of my favorite areas you can use presets.

This post focuses on presets in Avid Media Composer but some concepts should be able to cross over into other NLEs like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

Workspaces/Toolsets

Workspaces are the arrangement of tools on the screen.

Workspaces are preset arrangements of your tools on the screen.

There are 3-5 Workspaces (sometimes referred to as Toolsets – different but essentially the same thing which I’m not going to get into today) you should customize, save and map to your keyboard. These are preset arrangements of your tools on the screen.

The first is obviously Source/Record Editing. This is your bread and butter Workspace, which you’ll most likely spend the bulk of your time in. You use it for your standard editing – laying in shots, moving them around, manipulating time, etc. Why do you map this to your keyboard? Anytime you are done in another Workspace or you have random tools open, this will put you back in your default editing setup.

If you want the Timecode Tool, Markers, Audio Tool and Audio Mixer open while you are editing in this Workspace like I do, make sure the Source/Record Editing Workspace is selected under Windows > Workspaces. Then open all the tools you want and position them on your screen and hit Save Current under that same menu.

If you want to see a tutorial over on my YouTube channel let me know in the comments section!

Audio Editing is the next Workspace to setup. Besides setting up my audio tools where I want them, I like to tie this together with my Audio Timeline View, which will be discussed in the next section. To do this, go up to Windows > Workspaces > Properties… then type in “Audio.” If you have a Timeline View named “Audio” it’ll automatically switch to that view.

02-AudioLink

Color Correction is another Workspace that should be setup. I’ve found that the only real things you need to adjust are the location of the monitors and Color Correction Tool along with what goes into the monitors by default. I tend to like having the left monitor being set to Previous, the middle monitor set to Current and the right monitor set to RGB Parade.

03-FullScreenSettingsIf you don’t have a traditional confidence monitor or work solely on a laptop/single monitor system like I do at times, the Full Screen Playback Workspace should be mapped to your keyboard. FYI – sometimes Full Screen Playback won’t run on the monitor you want it to if you are running two screens or switch between 1-2 screens often. If that happens, go to Settings > Full Screen Playback. Then move the dialog box to the monitor you want to be full screen. Then click Select Monitor and click OK.

The last Workspace you might want to setup is Effects Editing. To be honest, I don’t use this. I have my Effect Editor positioned in my Source/Record Editing Workspace. Do this by opening the Effect Editor, save the current Workspace, close the Effect Editor then save the current Workspace again. This tells Avid Media Composer “I want this tool positioned here but don’t want it open when I activate this Workspace.” From there, I map Effect Editor to my keyboard always staying in the Source/Record Editing Workspace with it open. The advantages of having the Effects Editing Workspace setup is that you might want more room for your monitors or the Effect Editor than you would with the Source/Record Editing Workspace. For me, I don’t find it that useful but you might.

Timeline Views

When you jump on someone else’s User Settings the first difference you’ll notice is their Timeline View if they have one setup. Some like to drag the timecode track between the video and audio tracks. You’ll definitely notice if they color their tracks differently (I like pale yellow-orange for video tracks and a light blue for audio). However you want to stylize your timeline view it’s up to you – just make it efficient for your workflow.

04-Timeline

There are four basic timeline views that I use and firmly believe every editor should use as well. Those are: Default, Audio, Tiny and Big/Stringout.

I wrote a post over on ScreenLight’s blog some time ago where I go into detail on each one and how to manipulate your timeline for each workflow. The gist of it is to change the track sizes, color and pick the data shown then save it at the bottom of the timeline.

Seriously though, if you’re interested in doing this (and you should be), read the aforementioned post.

Quick Transitions

Quick Transitions are great if you use any transition frequently, which I assume you do. This is the dialogue box that pops up with you hit the \ key to set your dissolves. Media Composer comes with Dissolve, Film Dissolve, Film Fade, Fade to Color and a few others as defaults. But do you know you can add your own?

Create a bin labeled exactly Quick Transitions. Then drop in your own transitions (wipes, flashes, etc.).

05-QuickTransitionsPreset

This Friday I’ll be announcing the first ever product for Edit Video Faster. It’s a bin full of over 50 preset Quick Transitions. You can get it along with more information here. On Friday I’ll be coming out with an in-depth tutorial on my YouTube channel on how to setup your own custom Quick Transitions Bin. You can find that tutorial here.

Get a head start on creating your bin with 50+ preset Quick Transitions here!

Export Settings

Each and every time you export a file from Media Composer you should save an Export Setting if it’s something different than you already have. Why? You can export a QuickTime movie at least a thousand different ways but you might not remember every detail (frame rate, key frames, compression type, etc.) of the handful of types of .movs you use.

Why try to remember every detail if you can save the settings with a detailed name each time?

06-ExportSettings01

When you export, click on Options under Export Settings. Adjust the parameters for your export then click Save As… Give it a unique name – ex: QT 1920×1080 30fps or QT-HQ-WebDeliveryForCompression. Next time you go to export you can find that setting in the drop down menu and won’t have to change any parameters. You can do this for any file that Media Composer exports (.pngs, .wavs, etc.).

 

Summing Up

Presets save you loads of time and only take a few minutes to setup. Workspaces, Timeline Views, Quick Transitions and Export Settings all do this. What are your favorite presets to create in Avid Media Composer or your NLE of choice?

Lastly – if you want to get a jumpstart on your Quick Transitions bin, head on over to this page. It’s simple, affordable and only takes a few minutes until you have 50+ preset Quick Transitions.

See you on Friday with a new tutorial!

EVF Tutorial – Timeline Shortcuts in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial goes over some of my favorite timeline shortcuts in Avid Media Composer. I’ll go through how to zoom in, zoom out, zoom out to show the entire timeline and how to zoom to just a specific area.

Get the clips used in the tutorial on VideoHive! (affiliate link)

I come out with a new tutorial every Friday. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and you’ll get an email when they come out. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to go more in depth on from this tutorial and if there are any tutorials you’d like to see in the future.

EVF Tutorial – Clip Color in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial goes over how to set clip color in Avid Media Composer. I’ll go through two ways to set clip color, how to remove it and how to be able to set it to any color outside the default options.

Get the clips used in the tutorial on VideoHive! (affiliate link)

I come out with a new post production-related tutorial every Friday. Subscribe to the channel and to receive email updates to the website to make sure you’re the first to see them! Let me know if there is something you’d like me to go more in depth on from this tutorial and if there are any tutorials you’d like to see.