Learning Avid Media Composer 7

Learning Avid Media Composer 7

If you’re looking to learn Avid Media Composer 7 then this huge round up of tips and tutorials will provide you with a huge amount of excellent information, all in one place.

The video at the top of this post is a nice little walk around in editor Leo Mahoney’s edit suite, in which he’s running Avid Media Composer with a whole lot of nice gear!

How To Be An Avid Assistant Editor

How to be an avid assistant editor

Learning the skills you need to be an assistant editor using Avid can feel a little daunting at first. Luckily, editors like Liam Hill are happy to share their knowledge and give you a leg up in the edit suite.

Liam has put together, and keeps adding to, an excellent series of tips for Avid assistants over on his blog. Here’s a quick run down of the whole series so far:

Consolidate vs Transcode | Using Animate & Spectramatte | How to Import your Avid User Settings | Understanding Avid Project Structure | Three Ways To Import Media | Customising Bins & Timelines | Exporting Split-Track Audio | Exporting AAFs for Pro Tools | Preparing to Conform In Avid | Conforming in Avid |

What traits are needed to be an exceptional first assistant editor? “One thing that’s really important is attitude; a friendly personality. An ability to adapt and change to whatever is thrown at you, especially on a big movie, because a lot of things can be thrown at you. You have to know enough technical stuff to be able to do the job.” – Julian Smirke

To get a feel for what’s involved as an assistant editor on a major Hollywood feature film, you can’t do much better than Boston Creative Pro User Group’s evening with assistant editor Julian Smirke (Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3 & 4, Super 8). The event was obviously filmed but until that appears online notesonvideo has a detailed write up of the whole evening. Well worth a read!

They were running 12 to 15 Avid systems at Bad Robot with 86 terabytes of storage. The movie was encoded in DNx 115 and the completed project was about 150+ GB. When they started, Media Composer was at version 5.5.3, but they upgraded to version 6 during the film. He noted that in the past editors have been reluctant to upgrade during a movie: “In the past you wouldn’t usually do that on a big feature, you stuck with what you’ve got. As technologies have gotten better and better, we’ve gotten more confident.”

Getting Started With Avid Media Composer

Avid has been rolling out a great new series of tutorials from Kevin P McAuliffe to help people get started with Avid Media Composer, and a second series (below) for FCP7 editors making the switch.

In this first tutorial Kevin covers: Project creation, the Media Composer interface, common settings including bin and keyboard settings, the Command Palette and tips on staying organised.

The second tutorial covers how to get your footage into Media Composer from tape, files or AMA linking in. Kevin also covers FrameFlex and Consolidating/Transcoding in the background.

Part 3 covers basic editing techniques, how to quickly perform a music mix, trimming and creating titles.

Part 4 covers basic transitions, like dissolves and color flashes, the 3D Warp tool, basic keyframing and using matte keys and alpha channels.

The fifth and final part of the series covers  how exporting from Avid to the web, blu-ray, dvd or tape. Kevin also explains how to export your sequence for an Avid Pro Tools session.

Avid Media Composer for FCP7 Editors

In this series of tutorials (only two have been released so far) Kevin P McAuliffe provides a hardened FCP7 editor with the information they would need to make the switch to Avid MC7.

In the first tutorial (above) Kevin covers the basics of moving your project from FCP7 to MC7 with a focus on AMA (Avid Media Access). Kevin walks through the AMA settings and how to link to a volume, demonstrates how to use FrameFlex and moves an FCP7 sequence into MC7 using Automatic Duck’s free Pro Export for FCP7.

In the second tutorial Kevin highlights some of the major differences between the two programs and how to make Avid more like FCP7, including keyboard mapping vs. command palette, FCP7 editing layout vs. composer window, moving clips around an FCP7 timeline vs. Avid Smart Tools, trimming, color correction, and exporting.

Part 3 is all about reliable media-management inside MC7. Discover how Avid keeps track of all your files, how to use the ‘Attic’ (autosave) and safely delete unused media from your project.

Part 4 covers how to transfer your knowledge of FCP7 effects and keyframes to get the look, sound, and quality you want using a host of built-in effects and audio tools in Media Composer 7.

For even more tips and tutorials for FCP7 editors switching to Avid, check out my (semi-) on-going series of (6) posts (so far) called Diary of An Avid Switcher.

More Twitter Tips For Avid Editors

If you enjoy these tips from Avid editors on Twitter, check out this previous collection for even more tips.

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