How To Upgrade Avid Media Composer
So in practice for the anticipated installation of Avid Media Composer 7 I’ve decided to actually update my Avid installation to MC 184.108.40.206. As always with Avid nothing is as simple as it could be, so here is a quick guide on how to upgrade your Avid Media Composer installation.
The general workflow is:
0. Write down your system ID
1. Deactivate your licence
2. Uninstall Avid
3. Re-install Avid
4. Reactivate your license
To find your system ID load up Media Composer then go to: Avid Media Composer > About Avid Media Composer. You’ll see your System ID on the right handside of the branded Avid launch image. Scribble it down.
To deactivate your current installation of Media Composer from within the program go to Special > Deactivate Software License. You will need to be online to be able to do this.
Next head to Applications > Avid Uninstallers and run the uninstaller. You will want to have all the boxes checked for a straight forward update.
Download the update you’re upgrading to from the Avid site and run the installation. Once installed the next time you launch AMC it will ask you to reactivate your license, do that and then you’re done. Phew!
Avid’s official docs for this can be found here. Direct download to the installation guide. Oh and one final thing – thanks to Scott Simmons for point this out – you should, of course back up your custom settings before uninstalling. Here is a handy settings guide. On a mac your User settings are located here. (Along with your Avid Attic)
MacHD> Users> Shared > AvidMediaComposer > Avid Users
Speaking of Scott he recently posted this great collection of tips on his Pro Video Coalition blog sourced from editor David Michael Maurer but helpfully expounded upon. Definitely worth a read by Avid editors of any calibre.
AVID MC Pro Tip: Want your VO to sound awesome? Add an AudioSuite Compressor/Limiter to it. Set Ratio to 8.0:1 and boost the Gain to taste.
— David Michael Maurer (@1982films) May 22, 2013
Media Composer & Boris FX
So when you get Media Composer it comes with Avid FX a slightly lite version of Boris RED (as far as I can tell?). This was recently updated to version 6.3 and can be downloaded from here. So what do you do with this ‘in app’ titles and effects tool?
Well for some paid for training (looks a bit old?) you can hit the Boris FX site or for a searchable solution visit its user forum. For some freebies check out this free webinar presented by Steve Holyhead on creating ‘Everyday VFX’ in Media Composer which will take you through some Pan & Zoom techniques, creating a ‘beauty pass’ and a selection of effects from BCC 8.2. Although Steve is using Boris Continuum Complete 8.2 you can still learn plenty.
Pan And Zoom – Creating Ken Burns Effects
Title Tips and Effects
Ashley Kennedy from PremiumBeat demonstrates how to insert video inside some title text in this short tutorial, and below walks through how to create lower thirds with AutoTitler in Avid Marquee.
Motion Tracking in Avid Media Composer
No instalment of an Avid Diary would be complete without a tutorial from Kevin P McAuliffe and in this Creative Cow tutorial Kevin demonstrates how to do basic motion tracking inside Media Composer to composite some text behind a passing car.
Colour Correction Inside Avid Media Composer
I’ve previously blogged about the basics of colour correction in MC, or you might be better off round-tripping to Resolve. If you’re going to stay in Media Composer to get things done quickly this tutorial from Ashley Kennedy on PremiumBeat will show you how to use the Auto Correction tools.
Audio Tips and Tricks
To round up this collection of tutorials here is a third one from Ashley Kennedy on some useful tips and tricks involving audio keyframes (which have recently been updated too) I wish I had found this post earlier!
Assistant Editor on Star Trek Into Darkness, Evan Schiff shares some great insights into his process for dialogue clean up using RTAS (Real Time Audio Suite) plugins. Evan shares a quick tip (and a free preset download) for the EQ, Compressor and De-Esser tools. A quick way to get cleaner sounding dialogue.
Tip from Evan: To quickly copy RTAS effects from one track to another, hold down Option and drag the effects you want to copy from one track’s RTAS chain to another.
For a more in-depth understanding of the EQ tool check out this guest post on the Avid blog from Ben Hershleder (who has written a really great book on Avid editing). Ben’s post gives you a ton of detail about the inner workings of the EQ tool and an overview of audio frequency basics.