The following is a guest contribution from editor, Wim Van den Broeck. With more than a decade of Media Composer editing experience, he has a huge passion for Avid video editing, his main tool to achieve the best possible results for his clients. You can follow him as @editorbelga on Twitter.
It’s here! The latest version of Avid Media Composer | Software introduces Background Rendering. This new feature will increase your productivity, let you spend more time on creative storytelling, and deliver your projects on time, beating the deadlines.
But there’s much more. In this blog post, I will sum up all the new features that come with this second update of Media Composer | Software. You can find more details on these features and bug fixes in the Media Composer | Software Documentation. Notice that this version of Media Composer is supported on Mac OS 10.9.5 and 10.8.5, and on Windows 7 and 8.1.
If you have a Subscription, Perpetual or Floating License plan, you are entitled to this new version. Look for the update in your Avid Application Manager. Customers with internet connections will see notifications of an update in their Application Manager. Click “Update” in Application Manager to start the download and installation process without having to go to the Avid web site. Those without internet connections on their systems or those who wish to manually install the software can obtain the new version from their MyAvid account or the Video Download Center.
So here’s how the latest version of Media Composer | Software will speed up your editorial workflow.
The most exciting new feature in this update is the ability to Render your effects in the Background. Media Composer supports rendering in the background while continuing to work inside the editing application. The procedure is very similar to Background Consolidate and Transcode. By marking the “Run in Background”, you submit a render job into the background. At any time, you can check the render progress in the Background Queue Window or through the Progress Monitor in your internet browser. Once the job is completed, the sequence will link to the new pre-computes and the effect icons will reflect the rendered state. All background renders appear in the Background Queue as a single job.
Read the complete What’s New Guide v8.2 to get more in-depth information on Background Render, including details on new directories for Background processed media and a notification on some effects that are known to not render in the background.
Favorite Bins are bins that you can easily access regardless of the project you are working in. A Favorite Bin can contain the same items that a regular bin can hold: clips, sequences, effects templates, matte keys, and titles. Create one or multiple Favorite Bins to easily access often used music, transitions and effects. A Favorite Bin can reside on local or shared storage. From the Bin Settings, you can choose to have the Favorite Bins folder appear at the top or at the bottom of the Project Window. The list of Favorite Bins is stored in the Bin User settings. To let multiple users see the same list of Favorite Bins, just drag the Bin Setting to the Site Settings dialog. Any newly created User setting would then automatically see the Favorite Bins. You can delete a bin from the Favorite Bin Folder by opening the Favorite Bin Folder in the Project window, and deleting the bin you want to remove from the Favorite Bin folder.
Select Project Window Improvements
The Select Project Window (where you switch between projects) has been made bigger to allow for longer project names. Also, when clicking to select a project, a detailed project summary for that project will appear in the right-hand pane. That way, you can easily spot the Project Type, Color Space, Raster Dimension and Stereoscopic info for a each project.
Searching for Marker Comment Text
Now you can search for text in the Marker Comment field across all sequences and master clips within the project, including opened or closed bins. Just press Ctrl+F (Win) or Cmd+F (Mac), or go to Edit > Find. In the Find Window, click the Markers tab and type a word or phrase as your search criteria in the Find text box. You can refine the number of results, by entering additional criteria in the filters. Once you have found the Marker Comment you were looking for, just double-click the Marker in the results window to automatically open the bin, load the respective master clip or sequence into the source monitor and position the blue timeline bar at the selected Marker.
Image Cache Setting
Users working with large quantities of thumbnail images in bins with frame or script view enabled, or scrolling through the timeline with the filmstrip view enabled, will experience a big performance improvement, thanks to the new Image Cache Settings. Caching images in memory allows thumbnails to quickly be recalled as you load or scroll in bins or in the timeline. Furthermore, saving them to the disk cache allows them to be recalled after relaunching the application and eliminates the need for the application to have to create them all over again.
To change the Media Cache go to the Settings list in the Project window, and select Media Cache. Enter a value for the Disk Cache Size and Memory Cache Size. If you want to change the default location of the Cache folder, click the Set button and choose the location for the Cache folder. You can clear the cache from the cache folder by clicking the Flush button in the Media Cache dialog.
Quick Filter in the Project Window
In this new update of Media Composer, you can easily search for specific bins inside a project. A quick filter text box has been added to the Project window to quickly filter out bins in the Project window, leaving only those bins in a flattened view that match your filter criteria. This is really helpful when you have a large number of bins in a project and want to quickly filter for specific bins by their name. The filter results will show up in real time while you are typing, so there is no need to type the complete name of the desired bins.
More New Features in Media Composer | Software
Improvements in Application Manager
Improvements have been made to the Application Manager (2.1.1). View Feeds in chronological order and choose which feeds and notifications you’d like to receive (for Apps and/or Feeds). There’s also an option, allowing Avid to Collect Data to improve the Application Manager.
Redundant Floating License Server Support
Now you can configure an additional Floating License Server as a backup server in case of emergency. When the primary server goes down, the editor seamlessly uses a license from the backup server and will continue to work, without the risk of losing access to your licenses.
DMF Support for DPX Files
The Avid Image Sequencer plugin now supports DMF workflows. Use Dynamic Media Folders and profiles to automate consolidation, transcoding and copying of DPX files in the background. Avid Image Sequencer settings have been added to the DMF Profile editor and allow users to specify Reel and Timecode extraction as well as establish starting frame count and FPS.
Warning When Changing the Project Rate
With this release of the editing application, if you change the project rate you will receive a warning message. For example if you change a project from 50i to 25p, you will receive the following message: WARNING: Effective image update rate changing from 50 fps to 25 fps. This message is informational. Click OK to continue.
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