We are learning about editing and we have started using Avid Media Composer. We were given a few sample clips of someone surfing and we had to edit them using Avid. You can use Avid just by using your mouse, but the program is optimized to be used with a keyboard. Using the keyboard to edit can save a lot of time as it is a lot quicker, so it is worth memorizing the keyboard shortcuts.autosyncbins-windowkeyboard-cropped

geniusdv.com. no date. Avid Xpress Media Composer Settings. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.geniusdv.com/weblog/archives/avid_xpress_media_composer_settings.php. [Accessed 2 November 2016].

The shortcuts we learned in the lesson are I,O,J,K,L,X,V,B. “I” and “O” mean in and out and they help you to mark specific parts of the clip. They tell Avid what part of the clip to do a specific action to. “J”, “K” and “L” are play reverse, play and play forward. Pressing “J” or “L” twice will either fast forward at x2 speed or rewind at x2 speed and pressing 3 times will make it go x3 and so on up until x5. “X” is “extract” and is used with “I” and “O” to remove sections of the timeline. “V” is splice-in and “B” is overwrite, they are both used to add clips to your timeline.

When you open Avid you will be confronted with the select project window where you can either select a project or create a new one. To create a new project click on “New Project” and name it. Select the quality under “Format” and click OK. To select the file location go to the folder icon at the top right, when ready click OK again.new-project-2You will then be greeted by the Avid GUI. You will notice there are 2 screens; the one on the left is the clip preview screen and is where you can preview clips before putting them on your timeline. The screen on the right is where you can play your timeline and see what it looks like. Underneath the screens, there is an empty area for your timeline to go. This is where you can put your clips. On the left, there is a window which is where you can view your bins. A bin is an old term in media for a folder.open-project-5000Press “New Bin” to create a bin and name it. Then right click on the bin and click “Import” from here you can add files to your bin.bins-2By dragging the files from your bin to your timeline you can start editing. You can use the shortcuts “V” and “B” to do this as well. You can order them in the way you want and add music and sound.timeline-cropped


To make your timeline flow, you need to add transitions between clips, so you will need to use “in” and “out” points. Create and in and out point each side of the clip change. You can do this by clicking on the in/out button or using “I” and “O”. This tells Avid what area you want the transition to take place in.transition-croppedExtract the marked point by clicking the extract button or using “X”. This will remove the clips between the markers.transition-2-croppedThen click on the quick transitions button (circled in blue) and a window should pop up. Under the “Add” drop-down list chose your desired transition and press “Add and Render”.transition-3-croppedThen the transition should appear on your timeline and you can watch it by pressing “L”.transition-final-cropped


In order to add an effect, select a clip from your timeline that you want to apply an effect to. Then in your “Bins” window, click on the “Effects” tab (circled in blue). You can then choose the effect category you want; for example I wanted an “Illusion FX”. Then a list will appear on the right telling you the effects in that category. Once you have chosen one you like the sound of, double click on it to add it to your selected clip from your timeline. You can then play it back using “J”, “K” and “L” and if you don’t like it hold “ctrl” and press “Z” and choose another effect.

effect-1-croppedThe effects with the green square next to them need to be rendered in order to properly view them. To do this, select the clip with the effect on it and click the “Render Effect” button (circled in blue). Then in the window that should have popped up, select the drive you want your effect to be rendered to. Please note this takes up storage space so choose a drive that isn’t full. Then click “OK” to render the effect.effect-2 cropped.png


When editing, you might want to cut your clips for a variety of different reasons. It might be to remove bits of the clip, it might be to insert other clips between a clip or it might be because you want to apply an effect to a certain part of a clip. If you want to cut just the audio or video, but not both, then deselect the V1 (video track 1) or A1 (audio track 1) or A2 (Audio track 2) track on the left of the timeline (circled in blue). Then move your play head (the blue line on the timeline) to the place you want to cut. Next, place an “in” and “out” point by using the buttons or by pressing “I” and “O”.cut-cropped-2Then extract it by clicking the extract button or by pressing “X” and you have successfully managed to cut the clip.cut-2-cropped


When your finished editing go to “file” – “export” and select the settings, format and quality you want your video to end up in and click export.

This is what my finished project looks like using the sample clips I was given, with effects and transitions.
final cropped.png