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Avid posts a first look at Media Composer 4.0

This video has made the Twitter rounds today but if you don’t use Twitter then you may not have seen it. Avid has taken advantage of YouTube and posted Media Composer 4 — First Look at the World’s Most Advanced Film and Video Editing System. Nice, polished piece. I wonder if they mixed frame rates during this production just because you can?

New Avid course offered at fxphd

I haven’t taken any of the fxphd courses but I have seen a couple of them and heard many praises for the classes and quality of instruction they provide. The new term has just begun and you can view the different courses offered as well as check out the preview video. One particular course of interest to Editblog readers is the course Avid for Indie Film and Commercials. Final Cut Pro classes seem to be a dime a dozen these days so a good Avid course is worth noting. The class is taught by friend of the Editblog John Flowers from LIfeZero, That Media Show and That Post Show. John has been working (more) exclusively on Avid of late and will be a great teacher. From the fxphd website:

In this course, we cover the new Avid Media Composer 3 software, available on both Mac and Windows platforms, with a focus on Independent filmmaking and new media projects. In the first few courses, we take you from Final Cut – the standard tool for most Independent Filmmakers – into Avid – the standard in Hollywood. We will focus on the similarities and differences, with many, many examples.

Click on over and read the 10 class synopsis and then sign up and get started learning Avid for the first time or studying more in-depth Avid techniques.

Avid makes a couple of updates

So Avid updated Media Composer to 3.1 a day or so ago. That’s good, more bug fixes are nice but no Tiger 10.4support! Avid has also updated their official RED support page. From the Avid email:

The Avid® + RED workflow is simplified with the release of REDrushes 3.6, as reflected in the updated Workflow Guide at www.avid.com/red.

Direct transcode to all Avid DNxHD® formats
Corrected “End” timecode in ALE files
Proper representation of “Auxillary TC1″ column in ALE file
Faster import of QuickTime-wrapped Avid DNxHD files

REDrushes 3.6 is available at www.red.com/support.
Richer metadata is available with Avid FilmScribeâ„¢ 24.1

Custom columns now available
Subclips and AutoSyncâ„¢ clips supported in the FilmScribe Master XML
Removed erroneous characters from Master XML file (Windows)
False error messages removed from XML generation process

FilmScribe 24.1 ships with Avid Media Composer® 3.1 and Avid Symphony™ 3.1 and is also available on the Avid Download Center.
More events (now up to 999) are supported in the newly posted 16Char CMX EDL template. Download from the Avid Resources tab at www.avid.com/red.

Avocoda’s cineXML (Mac OS X and Windows) enables DPX file creation via REDCINE, regardless of how the ALE file was created and allows the footage to be archived or moved before the online process.

That sounds like we can now get DNxHD 36 out of REDrushes. Here’s a thread of discussion on the subject from Reduser. Finally we get Adobe support, better Avid support, new Final Cut Pro workflow options … who would have guessed all this RED post goodness would ever come along a year ago?

A few of Steve’s Avid questions answered

Steve was recently looking at the Avid vs. Final Cut Pro article archive and commented with some questions about deleting in Avid. It is a different behavior that in Final Cut Pro being that you have segment mode to deal with. All the things he is wanting to do are easy if you just forget about how FCP works and learn how Avid works. I’ll attempt to answer his questions:

* What ways can one rapidly select a clip and ripple-delete it?

Select clips with the YELLOW segment arrow and hit delete on the keyboard (backspace, delete):

Or mark a clip with MARK IN to OUT (T key) and hit the X key, for cut:

The second method is dependent on which tracks you have selected. You can see in the image above that V1 and A1 are selected so that’s what will get “ripple deleted” when I hit select with T and then hit X. It will throw the sync off since A2 will stay and all of the media in V1 and A1 will move earlier.

* What ways Non-segment can one rapidly select a clip and non-ripple-delete it?

In the above image example, all you have to do is MARK IN to OUT on a clip (T key) and hit the Z key, for lift. To me it’s very fast in the above example, actually faster than in FCP as I don’t have to touch the mouse (though you can do the exact same thing without the mouse in FCP). Two keystrokes and the V1 and A1 clip are gone.

* What ways can one rapidly select a GAP and ripple-delete it?

You do this the same way you “ripple delete” a clip as in the first question. Since a gap (really called Filler in Avid speak) can be selected just like any clip in the timeline you can move the piece of Filler with segment modes or you can delete or cut it just like any clip. If you life a piece of Filler out it doesn’t do anything since there is nothing there.

* What ways can one rapidly select a GAP and non-ripple-delete it?

Just like selecting any clip in the timeline, position the playhead in the gap and hit the T for MARK IN to OUT. Depending on how your tracks are selected will select the gap:

or when more than one track is selected and the gaps aren’t exactly the same duration you will select both of the tracks from edit to edit:

If you only want to select both bits of filler on V1 and A1 for exactly the same duration as in the above picture you would hit OPTION + T for MARK IN to OUT:

Of course you can’t “non-ripple delete” a gap as it’s either there as a gap or filled with something and not a gap at all. If you do a lift (Z key) on a gap nothing happens. You can select a gap MARK IN to OUT (T key) and then edit in material from the source monitor.

* How can one delete something in a BIN rapidly. (Why isn’t the Trash always visible? Why no right-click delete?)

Just single click the item in the bin and hit DELETE. You then get the delete pop-up which is a great thing in that it gives you a lot of options for the deleting of a clip:

This is a good thing. You want this as an option. It goes to one of the fundamental differences between Avid and FCP, Avid has better media management options and allows the editor a number of choices in how that media is managed. For me a click and delete key combo is preferable to a right click > select sub-menu.

There’s a couple of vital things to learn in Avid that makes life easier. First is to forget the mouse-based FCP stuff you do in the timeline. You can’t automatically have Avid always have segment mode turned on though that is a nice feature request. Best to just map the segment modes to your keyboard so you can easily get to them with a keystroke.

Second it to learn how to turn your track selectors on and off with the keyboard shortcuts:

If you select the proper tracks and then hit MARK IN to OUT (T key) you can easily and quickly select things for lifting, deleting or overwrite editing. Finally, read in the manual about sync locks and their behavior in the track patch bay:

When sync locks are turned on you can’t accidentally throw things out of sync and IMHO it makes Avid editing faster. Here’s an article about sync locks. Avid’s not better or worse than FCP, just different and you can do exactly the same things in one you can do in the other … just in a little different way!