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Avid Media Composer Export Options

This lesson focuses on exporting a sequence from Avid Media Composer.  Learn how to create customized export settings.


There are two methods of exporting your final sequence.

You can either export back to a physical device, or you can create a movie file.

If you are going to export to a tape device, make sure this video quality menu is set to full green for full output quality.

Leaving this set to yellow is only 1/16 quality, and as you can see here, it's obvious the video in the composer window is now of lower quality.

Okay, if you leave the video quality menu set to  yellow/green, you will get 1/4 quality.

While you are editing, it is okay to leave it set to yellow or yellow/green.
In doing so, you will experience improved real time playback performance.

Just don't forget to set it back to full quality before you play back to tape.

Also, this video quality menu only affects the quality of output to tape.

It will not affect the quality of an exported movie file.

Any easy way to export to video tape is to park the position indicator at the front of the sequence and press play.

Then press record on your device.
You may want to add black filler at the head of your sequence so you can initiate the record process while you are parked over a black frame.

To do this, navigate to the clip menu and choose Add Filler at Start.

Now you can begin the recording process on your tape machine and allow it to record a few seconds of black before playing your sequence.

If you have a tape device that is remotely controllable, you can also use the digital cut feature.

To bring forward the digital cut tool, navigate to the output menu.

In a simple sense, the digital cut tool allows you to specify a time-code value on the tape that matches your sequence.

In a real-world sense, you would only need to use this tool when outputting to a high end tape machine device that supports insert editing capability.  

Pressing the red arrow, will rewind the tape machine for you, and will engage its recording mechanism.  

Then your sequence will play.

Now, with all this being said, and for most of us, you probably won't be recording back to a tape device.

Which means you'll have to export a self contained movie file.

To export a self-contained movie file, highlight your sequence within a bin window.

Then, navigate to the file menu, and choose export.

To view your current export settings, click on the options button.

The export dialogue box will appear.

Now, in the most simplistic terms, choosing the Same as Source option will export a Quicktime movie using the same codec that matches your source media.

The term codec stands for 'coder - decoder', and it represents an algorithm for compressing video.  

The one thing you need to consider is that not everyone will have the same video codec installed on their machine that matches the codec of your final movie.

This means, if you are exporting a movie for a final delivery method, you may want to export a movie with a codec that is readily available to the majority of your audience.

To do this, click on the custom button.

Then click the format options button.

From here, click on the settings tab.

Now you can choose a different codec or compression type.

As a final delivery method, I recommend using the H.264 codec, which should allow your movie to be played on most modern computer systems.

Then press the okay button.

For the audio codec, I recommend you leave this set at the default codec, which should play fine on most computers.

Press the okay button when you're finished.

To make a custom export setting, you may want to click the save-as button to create the setting.

This way, you want have to navigate through all the menus each time you're ready to export your final movie.

Available export settings will show up in your project window, within the settings tab.

Finally, click on the save button to export your movie.

Okay, now you have the basics of exporting a sequence.

And don’t forget, GeniusDV also offers classroom and flat rate onsite Avid Media Composer training.

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Adobe Premiere video inside text was the previous entry in this blog.

Mapping keyboard commands in Final Cut Pro X is the next entry in this blog.

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