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Category: Avid Media Composer (page 2 of 8)

These articles are on the Avid Media Composer video editing software. Learn virtually any aspect of the NLE here. And if you can’t find it here, check out our ultimate list of Avid Media Composer resources.

There are tutorials, courses, quizzes, and tons of insights from an editor with more than a decade of experience churning out videos from Media Composer.

Learn everything from bin management to restoring offline media from these articles. Here are some more things you can learn here:

  • How to use the Trim to Fill effect
  • Clip Color
  • Every single keyboard shortcut
  • How to make a template sequence
  • The difference between fixed and elastic keyframes
  • When to use 3D Warp instead of the Resize effect
  • Using Markers properly
  • How to remap your keyboard
  • And so much more!

Black and White Video Tutorial in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial shows how to create black and white video in Avid Media Composer using the Color Correction tool. It also teaches how to keyframe the saturation of a clip so you can change from full color to black and white over time.

Recapping the Tutorial

Make Video Black and White

Place the time position indicator over your clip. This is the blue bar in the timeline. Make sure that track is selected. I tend to turn off the other tracks. You can use the keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+A (Mac) or Control+Shift+A (PC) to deselect all tracks. Then use the appropriate track selection keyboard shortcut if there is one to select the track.

In the Windows menu, find Workspaces then select Color Correction. This will open up the Color Correction Tool. Under the HSL tab, select the Controls panel (I think this is called a panel? Maybe not. Just hit the Controls button 😅). Now find Saturation and make it a value of zero. You can drag the slider all the way to the left or type in 0 in the space under Saturation. This clip is now black and white! You’ll see there’s now an effect icon on the clip in the timeline.

Keyframing Black and White Video Effect

Let’s say we want to keyframe this effect so we go from color to black and white or vice versa over time.

Open the Effect Controls Tool. There’s an icon for it in the Color Correction Tool. Move the time position indicator to the part of the clip where you want your effect to start. I find it easier to move it inside the Effect Controls Tool and in the Timeline in this instance. Next in the Effect Controls Tool twirl down HSL, Controls, and Master. Find Saturation. Now right-click in the space to the right for Saturation in the Effect Controls Tool (see video above if you need help finding this!) and choose Add Keyframe.

Next move the time position indicator to where you want the video to go to black and white. Right-click in the space to the right for Saturation in the Effect Controls Tool and choose Add Keyframe. Then change the Saturation amount to zero (0). Go back to Source/Record Mode and playback your masterpiece. That’s how to create black and white video in Avid Media Composer!


Suggested Viewing: Fixed vs. Elastic Keyframes in Avid Media Composer Tutorial

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

I Got A New Job!

It’s been awhile since I’ve truly written something for EVF. Actually it’s been awhile since I’ve written much of anything. My writing muscle was burnt out after letting my former daily blog expire and disappear into a digital black hole back in August. Two years of writing and publishing everyday…

Fast forward a quarter of a year later and I’m starting to get the itch again. But where do I write? I’ve always felt that with what I publish on EVF I need to be very calculated and stick to the facts and provide “expert-level” insights at all times. Well, even though I believe myself to be a more-than-successful editor and video professional, I can’t always provide that A+, top-of-the-line content with the tiny amount of time I can commit to EVF.

With that being said, I’m just going to let the words keep on flowing and write a bit about editing and life.

BTW I’m free writing right now. It can be a lot of fun and almost meditative at times. You should try it out if you ever get in a creative funk. Please excuse any typos or poor grammar because I’m just churning out the words.

Recently I took a new full-time position. I haven’t really broadcasted this anywhere. Nick and I recorded a podcast episode the other day where I talked about it some. It hasn’t published yet but should be episode 82. I’m absolutely positive I won’t remember to come back to this post and link it. 🙂

My new position is part editor (let’s call this ~70% of my responsibilities), producer (~20%) and project manager (~10%). Full-time freelancing is officially done. For now. I loved my time freelancing. Loved it. Even the stressful times when I couldn’t guarantee more than a few hundred dollars of work on a given week. I can absolutely see myself going back to that lifestyle too.

This position though was too good to pass up. I enjoy the content, my coworkers and my day-to-day work. Plus the paid time off. Uhhh I’ve missed the paid time off so much. I’m only 8 years into this career. It feels like though that I could always go back to freelancing. And vice versa. Yes, it sucks losing out on some gigs. Last week I had to turn down two projects. My network will take some sort of hit. As a professional though I think we should always be working on and building our networks. I recorded this fantastic Command+Edit episode with my friend and fellow editor Rhonda Thain if you want to hear me talk more about it.

I still have a couple small projects I’m working on on the side. And a couple pet projects I want to take on. The experience of running my own company, getting an LLC, doing my bookkeeping each week, having a real accountant, cold emailing, warm calling, invoicing and just overall doing many, many uncomfortable things have made me a better editor, professional and person.

Remember, I’m still free writing here so I know I’m about to lurch into a new topic like an unexpected jumpcut.

The software I’m using now is relatively the same. I’m in Premiere probably 60% of the time. Media Composer 30% of the time. And After Effects and Photoshop round out the rest. I’m rocking Premiere 2017 on most projects with the hopes that no one accidently updates to 2018 forcing me to update as well. And MC is on version 8.5.2. It’s a little behind and I miss some of the cool new features I’ve been seeing but it definitely still gets the job done.

Okay last topic before cutting myself off.

Next month I’m headed out to Los Angeles for the first time! Crazy, right?! How have I never been? I’m pumped. I know I mentioned it in a somewhat recent Video Editor’s Digest but again for anyone out there I’m thinking of doing a small happy hour. Seriously small. Like 4-6 of us max. If you want to join shoot me a message.

Thank you for indulging me and letting me get some stuff off my chest. If like this kind of post — more chatty, less instructional — let me know. Or let me know if you hate it and I should stick to basic little video tutorials like this one which somehow has 100,000+ views. Wut?

That’s it from me. Til next time…

– Josh

Using the Timecode Window in Avid Media Composer — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial teaches you what Avid Media Composer’s Timecode Window is and how to use it. This tool is hidden by default but can provide you with a ton of useful information while you edit your videos. You’ll learn how to change the display of the tool, how to add lines of information like the duration of a timeline and what lines of information could be useful to have available to you.

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

May 2017 | EVF Recap

I took this picture of my dog the other day. It appears though that she stole my phone and took a selfie. I swear the world would be a better place if dogs could use phones and we could text our dogs while we were out of the home.

It was the last day in month of May in the year two thousand and seventeen. Alone in a cold edit bay on a warm sunny afternoon an editor watches a blue bar slowly move from left to right inside of a gray box. 47 minutes remaining. He thinks to himself, “I’ve been wanting to write on my business’ blog for weeks but haven’t found the time or self-awareness to actually do it. Maybe now’s a good time to try.”

And here we are. If I haven’t lost you yet I’d like to take the next thousand or so words to talk about what’s been going on with EVF, the podcast and my freelance editing work.

The online comedy show I’ve been working on for the past several months recently launched! The only editing left to do is a small change in one of the later episodes and the creation of some more marketing material for them. This project is so. darn. close. to being done.

Let’s have some #realtalk for a moment. I’ve been so close to this project that I find it really difficult to share it with the world. All I see is imperfections, shots I wanted reshot and lines of dialogue I want changed. But deep down I know it’s pretty darn good and about as good as I was ever going to get it based on the constraints I was working under. Warning: the comedy show is definitely PG13. Here’s their website where you can watch the first two episodes. (yes, I’m still terrified to share my work. I believe most editors get the same way too)

Here’s some more #realtalk. I screwed up my 2016 taxes. I thought I had nailed it back on April 15th. However I met with an accountant to talk about 2017 and while going through 2016 he found two fairly significant screw-ups. And they’re probably going to cost me a couple thousand dollars. Whoops. But we’re sorting it out and it’s better to get it done right than risk getting dinged later down the road. Needless-to-say I’m disappointed. It’s a learning experience that I’ll grow from though.

I was meeting with the accountant because I’m getting an LLC for my freelance business (which EVF will eventually reside under) and I wanted to see how my accounting would work with my new business. That’s when we discovered my mistakes in 2016. Anyway, back to the LLC. Getting an LLC is something I’ve been putting off. Why? It’s completely foreign to me. I hate things like legal paperwork (but who doesn’t?). As my freelance business matures I need to protect myself, “legitimize” myself and set it up in a way it can continue to grow. BTW, if you’re interested in the process for setting up an LLC let me know as I’m considering writing about my experience with it.

Oh, May marked the 1-year anniversary of going fully freelance. Woo!

Enough freelance. Let’s talk about the podcast.

This month’s episodes:

  • Command+Edit Episode 72: Nick and I interview Niel Guilarte of the All Things Post podcast about his documentary The Messengers that he directed and edited.
  • Command+Edit Episode 73: I interview David Colantuoni of Avid to discuss Media Composer | First
  • Command+Edit Episode 74: Nick interviews Mae Manning about unique journey from bartender to successful editor

We currently have two interviews booked for June. One is with an editing educator about their time teaching editing overseas and the other is with a screenwriter.

In Command+Edit Episode 73 (above) I chatted with Avid about their upcoming Media Composer | First release. MC | First is basically a free, lite version of Media Composer. It sounds perfect for anyone interested in learning Media Composer but might not be ready to pull the trigger on a year-long subscription without first getting to know Media Composer a bit better (because let’s face it, Media Composer is a tough software to learn). I’m [highly] considering taking a dive deep into MC | First and creating some training material around it. However it depends on if there’s enough demand. If you’re remotely interested in MC | First and using resources (guides, courses, tutorials, blog posts, etc.) that I create to help you learn it, I’d really like to hear from you. All you have to do is reply to this email.

Here on the EVF website you may have noticed I switched themes! However in the process I accidentally deleted my homepage. Oops. I don’t mind because I wanted to overhaul it anyway. I’ll be doing some other minor updates around the site while I continue the painful process of switching hosting companies as well. All I want to do is create videos and write helpful things on the internet and it feels like there’s always a thousand other obstacles standing in the way!

Anyway, thank you so, so much for reading. Please give me a shout if there’s anything you’re struggling with and you think I could help or if you just want to chat post or baseball or dogs or travel or anything. 🙂

Cheers,
Josh

Batch Exporting in Avid Media Composer

This article details how to perform batch exporting in Avid Media Composer.

The other day I had to export nine different parts of a training course I was editing in Avid Media Composer for one of my clients. Media Composer isn’t like Premiere where I can add a bunch of videos or sequences to a Queue in Adobe Media Encoder. From inside a sequence you have to export them one at a time. This isn’t convenient for anyone. In this project in particular I’d have to go back and check every 20-30 minutes and then go and export the next video. However there’s a trick you can do to batch export out of Media Composer and I’m going to explain that in this post. In fact, this trick is allowing me to write this blog post then go take lunch outside at a park next to the Potomac River.

Getting Started with Batch Exporting

Let’s jump right in. What is batch exporting in Avid Media Composer? How do you do it? Instead of exporting from a sequence we’re going to export from a bin. And to export from a bin we need to create copies of our master sequence(s) that we want to export.

To begin create a new bin. Label it something like, “For Export Only”. Take your master sequence, set in and out points and select just the tracks you want to export. If it’s all tracks, select every track (Hit Cmd/Ctrl+A to quickly do this).

Next duplicate your master sequence. Highlight it in the bid and hit Cmd/Ctrl+D to do this. Move the duplicated version into your For Export Only bin. Rename the duplicated version of your master sequence to the filename you want it to have upon export (i.e. abc-course-part1-v01-170418) but without the file extension. Go back to your master sequence(s) and repeat as needed until you have a bin full of sequences you want to export; each with their in and out points set and tracks selected.

Almost Ready to Export

Close out of every bin expect your For Export Only bin. You don’t have to do this but I’m OCD about screen real estate and digital clutter. Then select all the sequences in your For Export Only bin. Right-click on the sequence icon for any of them (it’s the little film stripe next to the name of the sequence).

In the menu that pops up find Export (pre V8.5ish) or Output (post V8.5ish; the name changed somewhere around MC v8.5). If you’re on an older version of MC it’ll open a dialogue box up immediately. If you’re on a newer version you will have to go into a sub-menu in Output then you choose Export to File… Once you do this the same dialogue box will pop up as in the older versions of MC.

Export... Menu in Avid Media Composer

Pre Version 8.5(ish)

Export to File... Menu in Avid Media Composer

Post Version 8.5(ish)

Export As... Window in Avid Media Composer

This is the box that’ll open after selecting Export or Export to File…

Ready to Batch Export!

Navigate to where you want to files to go like a watch folder or an exports folder or just somewhere on your hard drive. Then go to your export settings at the bottom of the box. Set your export preset to a QuickTime Movie or whatever you want to export it as for you to then compress in Adobe Media Encoder or Sorenson Squeeze or another compression software. Go into it’s options (click the Options… button) and make sure Use Marks and Use Selected Tracks are checked (this might say “Use Enabled Tracks” in newer versions of MC…I’m still on 8.4.4!). Doing this means that you are MC to export the enabled tracks and in and out points you set for each sequence.

QuickTime Movie Export Settings in Avid Media Composer

Make sure Use Marks and Use Selected Tracks are checked.

Click Save in the export settings then Save again in the Export As… dialogue box to begin batch exporting in Avid Media Composer.

Next go to your favorite local lunch spot and relax while Media Composer does it’s thing. Where am I going? Perfect Pita 🙂

I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below or shoot me a message here.

Cheers,
Josh

P.S. If you’re new around here and want to know more about EVF and learn more helpful tips and tricks on being a faster video editor go to this page to begin your journey. And please never be shy if you have a question or just want to chat about editing (or baseball!).

Recommended Reading:

April Update for EVF

It’s been awhile since I’ve just sat down and written. I’m through with my third cup of bad Keurig coffee, this export from Media Composer has another 20 minutes and a blank page is in front of me so why not give this a shot?

I’ve been “gone” from Edit Video Faster officially since February 12th. Since then I:
  1. Turned 30 years old,
  2. Went to Spring Training,
  3. Recorded a handful of fantastic Cmd+Edit podcasts,
  4. Started a practice of learning a new language (Vietnamese) and
  5. Been working my tail off seemingly 25 hours a day with freelance work.

Life just has. not. stopped. I’m sure you can relate.

#Freelancelife has been ever-consuming. I try to squeeze in an hour here and there. Go out for happy hour or dinner with friends then head to my iMac when I get back to make a quick revision and let something export overnight. This isn’t me complaining or whining. Quite the opposite. It’s kinda fun in a weird way.

Over the past 2ish months I’ve started a handful of small projects and, more importantly, two really big projects. The first large project is a massive training course in the healthcare field. Approximately 80-100 1-minute videos. Phew… FWIW I’m working in Premiere. This was my call and it’s odd to say that I choose Premiere over Media Composer. Why? Let’s admit it. Premiere still handles mixed media a lot better than MC, or at least it’s easier to get it in the NLE so you can begin cutting right away. My client is sending me all sorts of images, GIFs, .mpeg2s, .mp4s, .mp3s, etc. Everything is a different size or frame rate. Premiere just lets me edit. ::ducks under desks::

For this project I have to deliver a handful of videos each week. I’m maybe 25-30% done at the time of this writing.

The other big project is a comedy show! Which I don’t know how much I can talk about! So I’m just going to say that I have six episodes to cut along with all the marketing material. Currently one and a half episodes have been cut and we want to launch in early May. ?

In the coming weeks I’ll also be working on getting an LLC for my freelance business (which EVF will probably ultimately rest under). That’ll be an adventure in itself; or at least I’ve convinced myself that it will be. I’m thinking of writing a post on my process of getting an LLC. Would something like that interest you to read?

The next several weeks are going to be how the previous weeks were. Jam-packed with freelance work and life. Which is fun and interesting and TBH thrills me to be in the middle of. I just wish I had more hours in the day to commit to my other projects like this one or new projects I want to pursue. I’m attempting to figure it out though, as we all are.

I’m still unsure if or when I’ll be back with any regularly scheduled content here on EVF but I’m always here for you if you need anything.

– Josh

Fixed vs. Elastic Keyframes in Avid Media Composer – EVF Tutorial

This tutorial teaches you the difference between fixed keyframes and elastic keyframes in Avid Media Composer. We’ll use an example clip with a 3D Warp Effect on it and I’ll demonstrate what both types of keyframes do and why you would use each of them.

BTW, I publish a weekly newsletter called the Video Editor’s Digest. In it you’ll get awesome tips, tricks, resources and news about video editing. I’d love for you to be a part of it. You can sign up here!

Rename Project in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial teaches you how to rename a project in Avid Media Composer. In this quick lesson we’ll create a project, find the project files on your hard drive then change the name of the project.

Recapping Tutorial on How to Rename Project in Avid Media Composer

Create a New Project

Renaming a project in Avid Media Composer isn’t the most straight-forward process. There’s a handful of steps involved.

Let’s create a new project so we’re starting fresh. Launch Avid Media Composer then click New Project. I called my project Rename This Project in the video so let’s stick with that. The format doesn’t matter for what we’re doing in this example. When ready click OK.

By default Avid Media Composer puts the Avid Projects inside of Documents then inside an Avid Projects folder. I don’t recommend this as it’s not very intuitive. It’s also recommended that you keep your Avid Projects separate from your Media drives. I do this as well. For my home system, I keep an Avid Projects folder tucked away in a special spot on my local hard drive. I backup this folder often. Here’s a write-up I did on a simple backup and archiving plan for my friends at Screenlight.

Renaming the Project

As I mentioned, renaming an Avid project is not intuitive. Quit out of Avid. Let me repeat — QUIT OUT OF AVID. Do not have Avid Media Composer open while renaming a project.

Navigate in Finder (Mac) or Computer (PC) to the Avid Projects folder. Again, by default it will be under Documents > Avid Projects. Find the project’s folder you want to rename. Change the name of this folder to what you want the new name to be. But wait! You’re not done yet.

If you were to launch Avid Media Composer you’ll see the name has not changed yet. Quit out of Avid again.

Go into the Avid project’s folder that you want to update. Wherever it says the name of the old project, update it with the new name. There should be at least three files:

  1. [project name] Settings.avs
  2. [project name] Settings.xml
  3. [project name].avp

Where I have [project name] above, update this to the new name. Make sure to leave the _space_ Settings after the new project name for the .avs and .xml files.

Boom! That’s it. That is how to rename a project in Avid Media Composer. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.


Additional Suggested Viewing: Bins Setup for New Projects in Avid Media Composer

Did you enjoy this video? If so, I’d love to keep in touch. All you have to do is go here to stay in the loop on new blog posts, tutorials, and announcements.

What are MXF Files?

This video explains what MXF Files are and how Avid Media Composer uses them.

This lesson is taken out of the Media Management Fundamentals for Avid Media Composer course I am putting together. If you want to stay up-to-date on it’s progress sign up here.

And if you ever have a question or just want to talk editing (or baseball!) shoot me an email — josh@editvideofaster.com.

– Josh