Avid Tutorial - How to Set Default Font Sizes

By default, the font size in Avid Media Composer for both your Project window and for all of your bins is 11. If you're like me, you need a slightly larger font size so your eyes aren't strained. However, you don't want to go through the trouble of adjusting the font size for all of your bins one at a time. Fortunately, there is a way to set the default font size for all of your bins and the project window. Watch the video to find out.

  1. At the top of your Project window, find the Settings button and click it.
  2. Scroll down until you find the settings for Interface (or just type "i" on your keyboard to jump all the way down to all settings options that start with "i").
  3. Double click Interface to pull up the Interface window
  4. Make sure the boxes next to "Override all Bin font sizes" and "Override Project font size" are checked.
  5. Type in your desired font size for each.
  6. Click "Apply" in the bottom right corner of the Interface window.

That's it. What other Avid Media Composer tips do you have? Leave them in the Comments section.

Save Time Editing With Top And Tail

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Two of the editing features that have been part of Avid Media Composer for quite some time are the Top and Tail commands. Using both will save you a little bit of time as you make your edit. Here's a basic rundown of how each command works:

  • Top - This command will remove the portion of the selected video and/or audio clip located to the left of the playhead.
  • Tail - This command will remove the portion of the selected video and/or audio clip located to the right of the playhead.
Notice the Top and Tail commands in the Edit section of the Command Palette

Notice the Top and Tail commands in the Edit section of the Command Palette

You can use Top and Tail to quickly remove sections of a clip you won't need in your sequence, rather than setting an In point, an Out point, and then lifting or extracting the clip.

By default, the Top and Tail commands are not mapped to the keyboard, so you will need to set up keyboard shortcuts to use them. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Settings tab in your project window.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Keyboard listing and double click to bring up your current keyboard shortcuts (or you can just type "k" in your Settings window).
  3. Hit Cmd + 3 to bring up your Command palette and browse over to the Edit tab. The Top and Tail commands will be there.
  4. Make sure the "Button to Button" button at the bottom of the Command Palette window is selected.
  5. Click and drag the Top button and the Tail button to the keys on your keyboard you have designated (Some editors map them to the "E" and "R" keys. I have them mapped to SHIFT + I and SHIFT + O).

That's it. When you are ready to use each command, all you need to do is hit the designated short cut keys. Make sure, however, that you have the specific Video and/or Audio track(s) selected first.

Do you have any other Avid tips? Leave them in the Comments section.

Color Correction: How to Evaluate Skin Tones

Courtesy of  Premium Beat

Courtesy of Premium Beat

Every post-production professional has struggled with color correcting a particular shot that just never seems to look "right." If you have ever found yourself going back to the same shot again and again, wondering why it never looks balanced, the problem may be in the skin tones.

Regardless of an actor's race, his/her skin tones should always fall on the same area of the vectorscope. It's called the Skin Tone Line and it runs from the center of the vectorsope up diagonally to the left, right in between Red and Yellow, at about 10 o'clock.

Courtesy of  Premiere Gal

Courtesy of Premiere Gal

As you make adjustments to your shot, make sure that your actors fall along this line. The shot will then have a more pleasing, balanced look.

However, sometimes it's hard to distinguish where your skin tones are falling, especially when your actor isn't the dominant object in the frame. How can you quickly and easily isolate just the skin tones to evaluate the shot?

Here's a tip I learned from Larry Jordan. Take a crop effect and apply it to the clip. Then, crop in to the portion of the frame that contains a selection of the actor's skin and nothing else. Now you have isolated the skin tone in your shot and can quickly evaluate the color on the vectorscope, making sure that it lands right along the Skin Tone Line.

Have any other color correction tips? Leave your advice in the Comments section.

Create Avid Shortcuts to Quickly Jump to Edit Points

I like to take advantage of short cut keys when I'm editing. It helps me to work faster and more efficiently. As I'm editing, I'm constantly jumping back and forth between edit points on my sequence. I would much rather use a keyboard shortcut for this, rather than using my mouse to place my playhead on a certain point in the timeline.

To do this in Avid I use the "A" and "S" keys. However, by default, Avid is set up to enter Trim Mode when you press either "A" or "S." 

A few years ago, I found this helpful tutorial that shows you how to map your Avid keyboard so that you can quickly jump between edit points without moving into Trim Mode.

Have any other Avid tips? Leave them in the Comments section below.