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Category: Time Management (page 2 of 5)

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

 

 

Understanding Workflows: A Tale from the Edit Bay

Understanding Workflows - A Tale from the Edit Bay

Last week you watched me speak about the importance of media management. Media management encompasses many aspects of video editing including workflows. Workflows, a set process on how to do something, are something I live by.

Workflows take all the mystery and thinking out of doing something. Boring? Maybe. Effective? Ab-so-[expletive]-lutely.

Set a workflow for something like exporting and do it the same way every single time. Do this because 1) it works, 2) you don’t have to think about how to do it each time and 3) there are less errors because the variables of the problem never change. You go to export and you have settings saved and you put the QuickTime Movie into a specific folder then open up compression software and add the specific compression codec to it and export the file to a set folder with a set naming convention and everything just becomes so much easier.

I have a quick story of a time when someone I know didn’t understand or use the established workflow. They were lazy and it came back to bite them when time was of the utmost importance.

When Workflows Aren’t Your Thing

When you join a company there are generally workflows already in place. You have your own for what you used to do but now that you are part of a new team you have to use theirs or morph theirs to fit yours. You can’t just continue to have it the way you are used to when you are using different equipment, have different deliverables and just flat out do different work.

I’m an early bird and had already left for the day. Someone on the team needed to shoot and edit a patch into an already existing video. It was urgent. That someone was new-ish to the team but was fully capable of doing it, plus it was their project to begin with. However over the past several months they had not taken the time to learn the workflows even though the team had been urging them to.

They had to use the company camera instead of their own. Then I start getting the frantic texts. “How do I get the footage off the card?!” I tried to walk them through it but I’m in line at Target and there’s only so much I could do before they got frustrated and gave up.

Then the complaints started. “Why is this so difficult?” “I can’t believe [camera company] hasn’t made this simpler!” Sigh. There is an established specific workflow for this. It’s not the easiest thing in the world but once you do it 5-10 times and understand what is happening between the cards and NLE you just “get it” and you never have to change the way you ingest media again. I had tried to show them this numerous times. Workflows just weren’t their thing…

They decide to break protocol; break the workflow that has worked for years. Eventually they figure out how to get the footage off the card but in a way that I nor anyone else on the team can ever repeat or help with (the standard NLE wasn’t even used!). They’re now on an island with this project and worked absurdly late into the night but it all could have been avoided.

Understand then Implement

To create workflows that work you need to first understand why. You need to understand why things work in certain ways with your NLE. Then you can start implementing them and over the course of a year (or a career) you’ll save an incredible amount of time and effort.

If you enjoyed this post and want to stick around for what’s next I’d love for you to go here so we can stay in touch. Next week I’ll dive into some of the X’s and O’s and why things work they way they do for managing media in Avid Media Composer.

Josh

Why Media Management is Important

Media Management is one of the *most* important parts to being a video editor. In this video I’ll explain why.

So…Media Management. How important is it to you? Leave a thought in the comments please!

EVF Tutorial – Template Sequence in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial will walk you through how to create a template sequence in Avid Media Composer. You’ll learn how to create a new sequence, add video tracks, add audio tracks, rename tracks and more so you can reuse the sequence over and over.

Useful link from the tutorial:

Leave a comment if you have any questions or shortcuts to add of your own!

Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 8: Timeline

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 8

This is the eight lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. Each lesson tackles a handful of shortcuts. By the end of all the lessons you should be flying through your editing sessions.

This isn’t just any old list of shortcuts. For many of them I explain exactly how they work and how I use them everyday as a professional editor.

If you’re just getting started, no worries. You can take this lesson and circle back to the previous lessons. You can find all the lessons here.

This lesson focuses on the timeline.

Lesson 8: Timeline

Lesson 8: Timeline

Hey real quick. If you missed my announcement about the Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts Exam, you can find it here!

Timeline

The timeline is where all the magic happens in Media Composer. The shortcuts that follow will speed up your editing, guaranteed. One of my favorite milestones when I was learning Media Composer was when I started incorporating all the different zooming options available. I found myself flying through my edits faster each day as I got more comfortable with them. The shortcuts in this lesson are some of my favorites. Alright, here we go!

More Detail (Zoom In)

Shortcut: Cmd+] (Mac) | Ctrl+] (PC)

This shortcut will zoom the timeline in. Use this instead of the zoom bar at the bottom of timeline. For what it’s worth, I prefer to change this to Shift+].

Less Detail (Zoom Out)

Shortcut: Cmd+[ (Mac) | Ctrl+[ (PC)

This shortcut will zoom the timeline out. Use this instead of the zoom bar at the bottom of timeline. For what it’s worth, I prefer to change this to Shift+[.

One other note. I will quickly hit Cmd/Ctrl+[ then Cmd/Ctrl+] to re-center my timeline. When you use the shortcut for More Detail or Less Detail the timeline re-centers around where the Time Position Indicator (the blue bar in the timeline) is. This is quicker than reaching over to the mouse and pulling the scroll bar at the bottom of the timeline.

Show Entire Sequence

Shortcut: Cmd+/ (Mac) | Ctrl+/ (PC)

If you’re zoomed in, this shortcut will zoom you out to show the entire sequence. I like to change this to Shift+\ so it’s next to what I changed More Detail and Less Detail to.

Zoom In To…

Shortcut: Cmd+M (Mac) | Ctrl+M (PC)

When you hit this shortcut your mouse will change to two arrows facing opposite directions with a rectangle in the middle. Decide where you want to zoom in and where you initially click that’ll be the start of the new timeline view and while holding the mouse down drag to where you want the new timeline view to end.

I love this shortcut. I change this shortcut to Shift+= so it’s near my other timeline zoom shortcuts.

Zoom Back

Shortcut: Cmd+J (Mac) | Ctrl+J (PC)

After performing a Zoom In To… if you use the Zoom Back shortcut you’ll change the timeline view back to what the view was before you did the Zoom In To…

Make Selected Track(s) Larger

Shortcut: Cmd+L (Mac) | Ctrl+L (PC)

This is similar to the Bin shortcut in Lesson 7 where you can make the frame larger. Whatever track(s) is selected (aka active) when you use this shortcut the track will grow in height. This only affects your view of the timeline and doesn’t affect any of the clips. Also, think “L for larger.”

Make Selected Track(s) Smaller

Shortcut: Cmd+K (Mac) | Ctrl+K (PC)

Whatever track(s) is selected (aka active) when you use this shortcut the track will shrink in height. This only affects your view of the timeline and doesn’t affect any of the clips.

Create New Video Track

Shortcut: Cmd+Y (Mac) | Ctrl+Y (PC)

This shortcut creates a new video track. If you only have tracks V1 and V2, using this shortcut will create V3. Use it again to create V4.

Create New Mono Audio Track

Shortcut: Cmd+U (Mac) | Ctrl+U (PC)

This shortcut creates a new mono audio track.

Create New Stereo Audio Track

Shortcut: Cmd+Shift+U (Mac) | Ctrl+Shift+U (PC)

This shortcut creates a new stereo audio track.

Create New Video or Audio Track at Custom Track Number

Image-02-tracknumber

Shortcut: Cmd+Opt+Y or Cmd+Opt+U (Mac) | Ctrl+Alt+Y or Ctrl+Alt+U (PC)

If you want to create a new track at a custom track number, use this shortcut. For example if you have V1 and V2 as video tracks but want to create V9, use this shortcut. A box will pop up for you to select what kind of track and what track number to put it on.

Snap to Head Frames

Shortcut: Cmd+Drag (Mac) | Ctrl+Drag (PC)

Hold Cmd/Ctrl and drag the mouse across the timeline. This will snap the Time Position Indicator to head frames (the first frame of a clip). This is another shortcut that I absolutely love.

Snap to Tail Frames

Shortcut: Cmd+Opt+Drag (Mac) | Ctrl+Alt+Drag (PC)

Hold Cmd+Opt/Ctrl+Alt and drag the mouse across the timeline. This will snap the Time Position Indicator to tail frames (the last frame of a clip).

What’s Next?

That’s all the shortcuts for Lesson 8 of Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts. What’d you think? Learn anything new?

Ready for Lesson 9? Click here (or the image below) to go to it.

Give me a shout if you have any questions. Leave me a comment below, message me through the contact page or send me an email – josh [at] editvideofaster.com.

– Josh

Keyboard Shortcuts Exam Pre-Sale!

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Exam

Please note the pre-sale is now over. Please visit this page for more information on the exam.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been creating a bunch of lessons about Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts and their related functions. This is because I want you to become a keyboard shortcut master. If you know the keyboard shortcuts and understand their functions, you’ll be a faster video editor. That means you finish projects sooner, get paid faster and make your bosses and clients happier.

When I was learning Media Composer I wish I had a way to check my progress. I didn’t. I didn’t have a teacher. I couldn’t afford a class. There were no lessons to follow. I just plugged away each day, screwing up and knocking clips out of sync, until I eventually got to a place where I believed, “I think I finally understand all this.” Not knowing your skill level is rough, especially if you’re new to an industry or software. You don’t have to go through that pain and mystery like I did.

I’m in the process of creating an exam to solve this very issue. It will be a simple, convenient and affordable way to test your abilities with Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts.

The exam will be launching February 13th (my birthday!). It will take place here on EVF. If you’ve taken any of my free Media Composer quizzes the format will be familiar. Please take a crack at a quiz so you know what to expect for the exam.

The multiple-choice exam will cover everything in the Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts lessons. There will be two more lessons released before February 13th. To do well on the exam you need to know what the keyboard shortcuts are and how their associated functions work.

Before we go any further, please remember that I have no affiliation with Avid. I’ve written for their blog before but that is it. They do not compensate me and this exam is purely based on my experience with Media Composer. Cool?

Your results, if you choose, will be displayed on the leaderboard. On the leaderboard you’ll have the opportunity to link to your website, demo reel or piece of work you’ve done. The leaderboard will be in order by score then by date. The first person that gets 70 out of 70 will be at the top of the leaderboard permanently. So that means if you want to be near the top you better 1) study the lessons and 2) take the exam before others do.

The exam will cost $35. I want anyone attempting the exam to take it seriously. I want you to study and master the keyboard shortcuts. If you study the shortcuts, take the exam and feel that it wasn’t what you expected and you now hate me and feel wronged, I’m happy to issue a refund. I’m positive that will not happen though.

Once you purchase the exam you’ll download a document with instructions that will direct you to the exam and the password to access it. Go to the page, enter the password, enter your first and last name and your email address. This email address is how I will contact you about the leaderboard. Take the exam. Get a great score because you studied and relish in the fact that you’re a keyboard shortcut master.

If you are not pleased with your score you have one week to retake the exam.

A few days following your completion of the exam I will email you to get the link to your website, demo reel or piece of work you want associated with your name on the leaderboard. If you do not want to be on the leaderboard you can opt out; just let me know! I will be emailing you from josh@editvideofaster.com.

Okay, one last thing.

The exam will go live on Saturday February 13th. It will be $35. I am doing a special introductory offer of $15 if you purchase before Friday January 22nd, 2016 11:59 EST. The price will never be this low again.

To get this deal click the “Buy Now” button below. You can use PayPal or a credit card. After that you will be prompted to download a document with instructions. Please email me at josh@editvideofaster.com (this is reiterated in the document) saying you’re part of the pre-sale for the exam! I should get your email address when you make the purchase but I want to make 100% sure I have it to send you access to the exam once it is launched. Once it’s launched I’ll send you the link to the exam with your password.

If you’ve been around here on EVF for a while you know that I’m completely honest with you. I believe this exam is a fantastic way to test your Media Composer chops. It’s something that I wish I had years ago and that’s why I’ve created it for you.

If you have any questions whatsoever email me or use my contact page. But remember you have until January 22nd, 2016 to get the exam for only $15, more than 55% off.

Please note the pre-sale is now over. Please visit this page for more information on the exam.

Cheers,
Josh

Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 7: Bins

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 7

This is the seventh lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. Each lesson tackles a handful of shortcuts. By the end of all the lessons you should be flying through your editing sessions.

This isn’t just any old list of shortcuts. For many of them I explain exactly how they work and how I use them everyday as a professional editor.

If you’re just getting started, no worries. You can take this lesson and circle back to the previous lessons. You can find all the lessons here.

This lesson focuses on bins.

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Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 3: Moving

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 3

This is the third lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. Each lesson tackles a handful of shortcuts. Those shortcuts should be practiced until the next lesson in a few days. By the end of the lessons you should be flying through your editing sessions.

This isn’t just any old list of shortcuts. For many of them I explain how they work and how I use them everyday as a professional editor.

If you’re just getting started, no worries. You can take this lesson and circle back to the previous lessons. You can find all the lessons here.

This lesson focuses on moving. By moving I mean having the Time Position Indicator (the blue bar in the timeline) go from one frame to another frame. There are a bunch of different keyboard shortcuts that do this for us faster and more accurately than clicking the mouse around the screen. Let’s get started!

Lesson 3 Shortcuts - Moving

Lesson 3 Shortcuts – Moving

 

02-NumberPad-AllKeys

Like my coffee-stained number pad?

Time Position Indicator...this is what we're moving

Time Position Indicator…this is what we’re moving

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Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 2: Marking and Playing

Mastering Media Composers Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 2

This is the second lesson in a series on mastering Avid Media Composer’s keyboard shortcuts. In each lesson we tackle a handful of shortcuts that should be learned and practiced until the next lesson in a few days. This isn’t just any list of shortcuts. For many of them I’ll explain how they work and how I use them everyday as an editor.

Lesson 1 was on Media Composer’s Tools. Lesson 2 is on Marking and Playing. These are some of the most basic shortcuts I want you to learn. Some other shortcuts (Z, X, V, B, etc.) you can do damage to your timeline by accidently doing something you weren’t expecting. With these shortcuts the worst thing you can do is clear an In or Out Point. Let’s get started!

Lesson 2 Shortcuts - Marking and Playing

Lesson 2 Shortcuts – Marking and Playing

Marking

Mark In Point

Mark In Point

Mark In Point

Shortcut: E or I

Marking an In Point is one of the must learn keyboard shortcuts. Media Composer works on three-point editing. Basically you need two In Points and an Out Point or vice versa. Put an In and Out Point on the clip in the Source Monitor then an In Point on the Timeline then hit Splice-In or Overwrite Edit and the clip from the Source Monitor gets edited onto the Timeline. Kind of make sense? There’s a bit of a hierarchy when it comes to In and Out Points and three-point editing but that’s for another lesson.

Even though I stand up here on my soapbox preaching about how important keyboard shortcuts are you will still use the mouse. It’s inevitable. So if you’re right-handed you will generally have your left hand on the keyboard. If so you’ll find you use “E” way more than “I” to mark an In Point. I however am I lefty so my right hand is always on the keyboard. That means I use the “I” key to mark an In Point more often. The same goes with our next shortcut.

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What’s Working for Me in Post – Summer 2015 Edition

 

WhatsWorkingInPost2015

Last summer I wrote a post called What’s working for me in post right now. In it I mentioned a handful of items, methods, services and more that I’ve been using which have been helping me tremendously in post production. I feel like it’s time to update it with what’s been working for me more recently in what I’m calling: What’s Working for Me in Post – Summer 2015 Edition.

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