Little Known Avid Gems


During this year's NAB Show, I had the opportunity to attend Scott Simmons class on Little Known Avid Gems. Whether you are new to Avid, or an experienced user, I'm sure there are some tips on this list that you will find useful:

  • To preview a clip in the Bin, without loading it into the source monitor, click the thumbnail while your bin is in the thumbnail mode and hit the L key to play the clips forward; J to play it in reverse. 
  • Holding Cmd+K will make the thumbnails smaller.
  • If you would like to save the current bin layout within your Avid project, select Window>Bin Layout. From here you can save your current bin layout so that you can quickly recall it each time you open the project. 
  • To zoom in on the image in your Program window, first highlight it and then use Cmd+J to zoom in.
  • While the image in the Program monitor is zoomed in, use Cmd+Opt to change the cursor to a hand icon. This will allow you to move the enlarged image around in the monitor, just like the hand tool in Photoshop or After Effects.
  • Hold down Opt while dragging a file from Finder into Avid. This will cause Avid to automatically AMA link to that particular file.
  • To zoom in on the waveform while looking at audio tracks in your sequence, use Cmd+Opt+L. 
  • "H" key is the focus key. It will instantly zoom the timeline to a more standard view; it pops to a nice, mid-range zoom.
  • Hold down Cmd+M while highlighting a certain portion of your sequence with the mouse. When you release the mouse, Avid will zoom in, just showing the span you highlighted. 
  • Using the Resize effect within Avid will cause footage to pixelate relatively quickly. Instead, try using the Frame Flex feature. This is a good tool to use if you're dealing with 4K footage and need to zoom in to a certain section of the frame. To use Frame Flex, right click the clip, then choose Source Settings and then Frame Flex. You can also use Frame Flex to add Pan & Zoom effects to still images. However, you need to AMA link to your stills in order to use Frame Flex.

Hopefully there are some tips in this list that you can add to your toolset while working with Avid. If you have any tips, techniques, advice, etc. for Avid users, feel free to add them in the comments field.