Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet

Posted by Andy Field 
Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
December 05, 2011 09:57PM
Avid's new MC 6 site has a terrific primer on how to take your FCP 7 skills and use them quickly in AVID -- even though they demo on MC 6 everything they discuss applies to 5.5 as well -- this helped alot in speeding my migration from my "sad to say goodbye" FCP 7 to MC

(The tutorials are at the bottom of the page)

go here

Avid's FCP to MC quick switch tutorials
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 28, 2012 02:24AM
I watched these.

No Avid editor uses any of these techniques at all.

Unfortunately he also left allot out. In the editing a sequence tutorial he used the smart tool for everything which is the way that would be the closest way to edit in Avid like you would edit in FCP and I guess that was the whole point of the video but the smart tool method for everything he did is actually the slowest way possible in Avid.

I don't know what's better, doing things the slowest way that is familiar, or learning a new way: the Avid way, the non smart tool way, and being faster. The smart tool in no way allows you to perform any function the couldn't be performed before the smart tool came along.

The smart tool was only invented because FCP editors seemingly couldn't wrap their head around modes.
However, many aspects of FCP are modal like the trim window, and a lot of that non-modal timeline editing can be performed right in the Avid timeline as well, (minus the blade tool if you have your lasso/drag skills down). Modal editing is like billion times faster because it gives you an actual moving visual and audible reference of what you are doing while you are doing it... (go to the manual and learn everything you can about slipping in Avid and you will see what I am talking about).

He also said that you have to be careful of your track selection when making an extraction or ripple delete because only what you have selected will be extracted.
That way you would have to select every track with material on it in order to avoid knocking everything out of sync. But if you click on your sync locks in the track panel, then it makes no difference what you have selected in the track panel and it will make the full extraction without knocking anything out of sync.
The sync locks are the equivalent to having all of your auto selects in FCP on.

In the trim tool section he does the same thing and never goes into how lassoing a transition is the fastest way to get into a trim ( imagine G/Edit Selection but without hitting G ). Far more intuitive than hitting the U key or using the smart tool. You don't need the extra step of selecting a smart tool to do ANY "timeline editing" you just lasso and click and drag the transition without the tools.
You do have to select a side though and the fastest way is to click either side of trim window or map the cycle sides button to your keyboard or just leave it in dual roller or ripple which is the default.

He also didn't show that the fastest way to get into a slip is to lasso the section from right to left and that you can actually slip or slide audio and picture at the same time if you lasso the entire clip with it's audio or that you can slip or slide a series of clips by lassoing several. He also didn't show that you can scrub your audio with your JKL keys in the timeline while slipping or how to choose a slip side priority to view in your client monitor which are all advantages Avid has over FCP.

In terms of the effects section, he didn't get into how you can place effects above a series of clips to function as an adjustment layer, or how you can stack several transition effects on top of each other at the same transition to create truly custom transitions, or how to stack a segment-based effect over an edit point and keyframe it from 0-100-0 to function as a transition effect.

The way Avid handles effects, trims, slips and slides is so much more nuanced and so much faster than anything in this tutorial, but you would never know it based on what the tutorial showed. I don't know if teaching people the slowest way to work just because it's easier to learn is the best way to go. I also don't know if making a tutorial that fails to show functions that are unique and specific to Avid just because they don't want to confuse people by showing them functions that have no FCP equivalent is really going to help anyone truly learn the fastest way to work in the Avid.
There are allot of really cool things you can do in Avid that you couldn't do before when you were in FCP, like copy and pasting keyframes or having the option to setting your keyframes to fixed or elastic.

The basic rule of thumb is that in the Avid there are like forty ways to do everything, and the fastest way to do something is the way that is most dissimilar to FCP.
Once you are successful in learning to accomplish everything in the Avid you could do in FCP (whether you learned the Avid way or the FCP way) then you have really only learned about ten percent of what the software is capable of, and if you stop there you aren't taking full advantage of your toolset.
That being said I am usually annoyed with Avid tutorials because it's usually some guy who doesn't edit for a living showing you the most counterintuitive, slow may to accomplish very little as opposed to what I know is the fastest most intuitive way to accomplish something amazing.

I am getting closer to just doing my own internet tutorials. But I don't want to be a wet blanket and I am glad you enjoyed the tutorials. I just think that they teach bad habits (trying to make Avid work like FCP as opposed to making Avid work like Avid), but if teaching someone bad habits is what a company has to do to sell software than I guess that is what they will do.
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 28, 2012 08:40AM
hi ian.

good points.

"the fastest way to get into a slip is to lasso the section from right to left"

v cool tip.
if you get around to doing some tutorials, let us know.

Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 28, 2012 01:22PM
Good point there. I'd love to know more about multicam workflows in Avid. The tutorials I've watched usually involve remapping a lot of keys. And I bet I don't know a whole bunch of functions because I've never done assist work on an Avid.

The auto select buttons... Y'know, most Avid editors I've seen are usually quite active on using those things, and use them far more often than they really need, and slows them down a lot. The auto select buttons are kind of the equivalent of selecting tracks in Avid, but also not really, because FCP is more clip based. There are similarities, there are differences, and sometimes they are different but similar. Just like I see AMA/consolidate to be very much like log and transfer except that you can still do some edits before you get them into Avid's favorite format.
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 28, 2012 01:25PM
strypes Wrote:
Just like I see
> AMA/consolidate to be very much like log and
> transfer except that you can still do some edits
> before you get them into Avid's favorite format.

Woooo, AMA and native editing bit us big time recently when trying to get our show from Avid to Resolve. In the end we got 12 days behind schedule, had Avid logged into our systems for the equivalent of about 3 or 4 days, had Bob Russo flown in for an entire day. End result, still could not get it to work correctly due to Avid's database management system. Awesome system if you're going to stay inside of Avid all the way through, but gets in the way of moving projects, especially those involving any sort of AMA, out of Avid.

I have a very long article coming out on the Cow about the entire set of issues. Hoping to work with Avid soon to address this to see how the back-end of the workflow can be opened up like they're doing with the front end.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 28, 2012 11:49PM
I'm sorry to hear of your difficulty. AMA demos well, but AMA bins must be their own animals, you can't mix the workflows, and doesn't support multicam-- it's a great idea having manufacturers chip in with their own plugins to bring in native footage, but not every camera codec makes a great editing codec, especially on less than top grade hardware.

It's not a full-functioning reliable way to edit, just a great way to rapidly see the content of a card and make single stream cuts. All the pro colleagues I talk to, starting with Steve Cohen, recommend a transcode to DNxHD for reliable performance, especially in longform. Same as FCP. Editor Kyra Coffie has published a great book for those assisting in Avid, based on her years in LA working reality shows, and counsels transcoding after viewing in AMA. It's why the transcode dialog is easily accessed in MC from AMA bins, as a choice.

- Loren

Today's Media Composer keytip:
Loop Play In to Out with the 6 key!

The MC 6 KeyGuide?: your power placemat.
Now available at
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 29, 2012 02:23PM
Ian, to your point about using Avid "The slow way but familiar":

I recently finished my first Avid show. It was a reality show with tons of effects (nearly every broll shot had some sort of a timewarp). Coming into this show, I was made aware that the show had seen some very experienced Avid editors not able to handle the intensity of cutting such a fast paced show.

Mind you, I learned Avid in college almost 10 years ago (I think it was the first version of Xpress Pro) but other than doing some basic A.E. work I literally had not cut on an Avid since that time. I was basically starting from scratch. I did some tutorials leading up to the gig, which were great. But needless to say, I was sweating bullets my first few days on the gig.

Luckily I'm a quick learner, and basically my Avid editing indeed combines some of the habits I learned from FCP and incorporates them into how I use Avid. Sort of a healthy mix of both. I mostly lasso to get into trim mode, but I do use the smart tools for some of the more complex edits that I really didn't have time to think about "the Avid way". Sure I could learn it that way...sure it might be faster in the long run...but take this into consideration:

One day another editor on the show was sitting behind me and kinda joked about and said he could tell I come from FCP and I definitely do some things he would never do on the Avid. Always wanting to learn everything, I asked him how he would do that particular edit. He showed me how he would do it but admitted the way I did it was just as fast as the different way he did it...if not maybe a little faster. He insisted my way was just as good as his way and to do whatever was most comfortable for me.

By the end of my 2 months on the show, I had cut the Network's favorite episode of the series and had majorly cut my teeth on Avid. I guess the point is, be open minded to learning Avid techniques but if something you learned from FCP comes naturally to you in Avid, then really just do what feels comfortable. A lot of Avid editors are anti-smart tool and I totally get it. It's a fairy new tool-set that long time Avid editors are not used to but I disagree that it slows down the editing process. Maybe it does for some, but not for all.
Re: Best FCP to AVID Tutorial yet
May 30, 2012 01:48PM
I'm with Ian on the smart tools. They aren't very smart when you're using a tablet, micro misses changes the edit tool.

Are you using Avid keys yet? I'm still on my FCP keys when I work in Avid, as I'm used to the FCP keys and I also have a lot more FCP jobs than avid ones.

I have a love/hate relationship with effects in Avid. The blend modes aren't something I look forward to, and I find general effects work a litle counter intuitive. It took me a while to figure out how to resize a bug as using the 3D tool causes the background to be resized too. Yet I like adjustment layers, and I prefer spectramatte to anything in FCP, although there is a reason I have AE on my com... It is simply easier in AE. And no, I won't compare Avid Fx to AE. There's a world of difference there.
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