Copy an Effect Between Clips in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial will teach you how to copy and paste an effect from one clip onto another in Avid Media Composer.

It is super unintuitive. I’ll show you what to do, how to save an effect in a bin for use later, and provide a couple key points to remember when working with keyframes.

Using the Effect Icon to Copy Effect in Avid Media Composer

To copy an effect in Avid Media Composer, open the Effect Editor and select the clip with the effect that you want to copy. At the top of the Effect Editor is the name of the effect with a small icon next to it. Click on the icon and drag it into the clip you want to copy the effect to in your timeline. That’s it! You’ve copied the effect onto the clip. You can then go and select the clip and adjust the effect in the Effect Editor if needed.

Effect Editor in Avid Media Composer with Effect Icon moused over
Click and drag the effect’s icon onto the clip you want to copy it to

New to Avid Media Composer? Check out my Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts Series

Saving an Effect to a Bin

Let’s say the clip you want to copy the effect to is all the way on the other side of your Avid Media Composer timeline. Or you just want to store it because you know you’re going to want to use it later. Well, you can save an effect to a bin in Avid.

Open the bin you want to save the effect to. I typically call this bin “FX” or “Effects” FWIW. Back in the Effect Editor, click on the clip’s icon again at the top then drag it into the bin. You can rename the effect name in the bin to something more specific if you’d like.

Avid Media Composer bin with effect saved to it
Drag the effect icon into a bin to save it.

Copying Effects with Keyframes in Avid Media Composer

Something to keep in mind when you are copying effects is if they have keyframes on them. By default, keyframes in Avid Media Composer are elastic. Meaning that if they are on the first, middle, and last frames of a clip when you paste them onto another clip of a different length they’ll also be on the first, middle, and last frames of the new clip.

You can change them to fixed keyframes if you’d like. This way they stick it a particular frame such as 00:00:00:00, 00:00:01:00, etc. of the clip. You can watch this tutorial for more information on fixed and elastic keyframes.

To change the keyframes from elastic to fixed, select the keyframes in the Effect Editor then right click one of them. In the menu that appears choose fixed (or elastic).

Avid Media Composer Effect Editor with keyframes selected
Select the keyframes and right-click them then choose Fixed or Elastic to change them if desired

If you’ve read this article and you still need help to copy an effect in Avid Media Composer, please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to help troubleshoot. I hope you stick around and check out some of the other Avid Media Composer articles on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new blog posts and happenings around EVF.

– Josh

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