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Avid Xpress Pro

Magnet Media trainer for Avid Xpress Pro comes as a DVD-ROM hosted by Steve Bayes. The introduction displays thumbnails to cover major sections of the training, much like a catalog of visual cards to represent the entire DVD. The headings and sub-topics of each section can be glanced quickly. There are visual cues that help you quickly inspect all the available areas and locate what you are looking for. An excellent view of Avid Xpress Pro’s interface, up to fifty thousand feet, deals with starting a project, creation of bins, and defining the editing process. A swift overview of Avid Monjo, a hardware accelerator of Avid Xpress Pro software is given in the introduction. Use of FireWire, Component Inputs and Analog along with formats offered by these input types is explained.

Avid Xpress Pro can use private as well as shared projects. As you start editing, the first thing you will learn is to differentiate overwriting and splicing in the timeline, and also learn synchronization. The flow is apt for beginners as it shows how you can work with audio only, or video only, and how they affect synchronization. You also learn to restore projects from the Attic. Further, you can customize every part of the interface, which will come in handy with repetitive tasks. These ‘Orientations and basic functions’ and render an experienced walk avoiding confusions later.

The ‘Timeline’ section gives several good tips for quick and precise movement of clips in the timeline. It helps with simple, quick and effective learning methods. Broad strokes are used to give you a universal lesson, to help in all your future editing tasks. You will learn to drag and drop clips exactly, to your preferred locations in the timeline. You learn to move, shift and delete, maintaining synchronization throughout. Timeline editing becomes more flexible giving you more control, as you learn to get the most from both worlds using ‘Snap to functions’ that allow snapping to edit points, as well as timeline, by default or keystrokes.

‘Trimming’ shows the editor’s experience, and as your editing gets refined in efficiency as well as flow, you get to learn the use of a rough cut, which is actually transformed to the final cut through trimming. Avid Xpress Pro provides precision controls for subtracting from the clip, and shifting the clip’s in and out points. Explanations of tools are action-based with illustrations, and you can observe when and why a tool is used, along with the results obtained. You can use them with the available footage and add to your knowledge and experience.

The ‘Advanced Basics’ section teaches you about less obvious tools that are needed to enhance your editing to create better workflows. Outstanding and swift transitions are displayed to help you learn to place and remove transitions, and also learn different ways of using these tools. A nice film dissolve explanation is given. Description of Match Frame tool, with regard to its modification using Command Palette is also thoughtfully done. You are taught about sub-clips, with regard to mapping a key for each of them and consolidating them, so that your hard drive space is freed up, still yielding benefits similar to capturing small clips, without hassle. There is an overview of using locators and clipboard.

‘Customizing the Timeline’ is a section, which shows how customizing brings tremendous difference in the entire timeline. Avid Xpress Pro allows customizing for almost all features. It could bring a better and faster flow than defaults given. Audio Editing gives techniques to set a global level for any given track of the timeline. You can learn to pan audio quickly, and use filters, solo and multi-solo, as well as view sample levels. You will also learn to change audio sample rate, and also project sample rate of some audios in footage from different sources. Six sub-lessons for audio are provided.

‘Capture’ section helps you learn to understand the bin names, and the part they play in forming a properly-organized structure. The Capture tool is likely to be used often and hence, this section makes you familiar enough with good tips, especially for beginners. Batch capture and decompose tools are dealt with too. There are seven lessons simplified to master the tool.

‘Titles’ section explains the two title tools of newer Avid Xpress Pro namely, the older ‘title tool’ and the newer ‘Marquee’. Marquee is dealt with in Artfxual DVD-ROM trainer. Though there are numerous ways for adding titles to the timeline, title tool is the fastest, and simple to use.

‘Basic Effects section’ is useful for advanced users, with seven lessons, and one hour of effects, nesting, key-framing instructions, rendering, and using 3D and motion effects. It gives a good understanding of Avid effects editing.

‘Color Correction’ a difficult feature, is effectively understood with a calibrated studio monitor. It gives basic and general concepts. You can see the effects of color correction on the clip, as you begin to follow the instructions. You can write down the definitions, and watch how to stylize and set moods to your clips by shifting properties of hue, brightness and contrast, saturation and using Avid’s popular curves. This section has real examples and adequately covers the tools, though not deep.

‘Bins and Organizing Your Project’ is a section which deals with bins, bin views, super bins and finding bins. Bin is the interface to find media, and new users must explore well. Find Bin feature helps you find the bin where a clip is located using the option key. Many tips are given here too.

‘Media Management’ helps you manage hard drives, projects, sharing projects and the ability to archive to make modifications later. Avid Xpress pro has the best media management system in the industry. This section helps you to solve basic problems arising from poor management. Four simple sub-sections give expert overviews of features.

‘Output to Tape’ helps you learn color bars creation, tone generation, and to ‘lay off to tape’ or rather ‘set up digital cuts’ as Avid Xpress Pro calls it. As you follow the instructions, plenty of time is saved with right methods to handle your tasks.

With more than seven and half hours of video instruction, all the novice and advanced features of Avid Xpress Pro are explored in this DVD.

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