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Editing with Avid Media Composer 5: Fine-Tuning the Sequence

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Learn how to fine-tune your rough cut in Avid Media Composer 5, including moving a transition point between two shots, fine-tuning shot length, smoothing the continuity of movement from shot to shot, creating split edits, and editing the picture to a musical beat or establishing other relationships between picture and sound.
This chapter is from the book

Understanding Trimming

Trimming is probably the most important part of editing. Why? Well, anyone can string together shots in a sequence, but that doesn’t really make you an editor. Rather, it’s through trimming a sequence to affect timing and pacing that you breathe life into a scene. By choosing precisely where shots start and end, you have the ability to accelerate or relax the viewer’s heartbeat, change your audience’s perception of a character, clarify or mystify an action, and turn a good sequence into a great sequence.

The Importance of Handle

To understand trim, it’s good to first understand handle. Usually, when you mark a clip’s IN and OUT points, some part of the shot remains that you chose not to include. Handle is simply that extra, unused footage. In reality, however, all of this unused footage is still available to you.

Why would you ever want to include footage that “didn’t make the cut”? In the fine-tuning process, you often need to loosen or tighten shots, which means that you must add or remove frames. When doing so, it’s convenient to be able to access those frames that you did not edit into the rough cut.

Handle can come before or after the edit points that you set for a clip. Any part of the clip that exists before the shot used in the sequence is called incoming handle. Any part of the clip after the shot used in the sequence is called outgoing handle.

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