Avid Media Composer Version 5
Below are video and text glimpses of just some of the new features that are in version 5.
Avid has additional details » (link opens in new window)
Avid Media Composer 5 named a "Top Pick" – "Post [Magazine] consulted with numerous post production professionals — from around the country and the world — who attended this year’s NAB and had them report back on what they believed, as users, were the top products of the show." The five "Post Picks" were: Avid's Media Composer 5, Red’s Epic Camera, Adobe’s Creative Suite 5, Arri’s Alexa Camera, and Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve.
The Short List of Features
Features Overview (with editorial comments added from me)
- Directly access and edit RED files through Avid Media Access ("AMA"), without transcoding (images are scaled to HD frame size). This means no transcoding and importing!
- Work natively (and instantly) with QuickTime video formats, including Apple ProRes and H.264 – This means no importing!
- Edit video and audio by dragging and dropping elements in the timeline. This means if you like certain operational features found in other NLE's like FCP, you can enable them if/when you want them (see video and screen grabs below).
- Keep high-end finishing projects in-house and gain great color precision with HD-RGB support (including dual-link I/O support with Nitris DX systems).
- Monitor video externally with support for the Matrox MXO2 Mini (about $450) – This means we're starting to see support for 3rd party hardware. Watch a video and get technical specs & features »
- Mix and match frame sizes and aspect ratios (this means that you can save time by not having to add effects to clips just to resolve them to their proper aspect ratio).This is in addition to features intruduced in MC4 of being able to mix formats, frame rates, and resolutions all in the same timeline.
- Take a break during long renders and have your system email you when the job’s done. – IMHO, this is cool. But... even cooler would be if they gave us background rendering.
- Import AVCHD files directly from cameras and other devices.
- Capture to and edit XDCAM HD and DVC PRO HD formats from baseband without additional hardware.
- Access low-res XDCAM proxies for offline work, with full-quality audio.
- Import text-based ancillary data and embed it in the video signal with the new “Data Track” and SMPTE 436M support using Nitris DX- and Mojo DX-based systems.
- View stereo audio tracks as single channels in the timeline for easier handling.
- Create high-quality sounds and mixes with support for RTAS audio processing plug-ins. – If I'm hearing correctly, Avid will also be including more audio plug-ins as well. In addition, I believe (not 100% sure) that we'll be able to combine multiple audio effects and that audio effects will be Real Time.
- Natively access and edit 4:2:2 MPEG-2 media from the new Canon cameras using AMA
Detail of Features
Work Directly with RED Using enhanced AMA Capabilities
With Media Composer 5, AMA (Avid Media Access) has been completely reengineered, so you can work natively with more file-based media formats now and in the future. With the new and improved AMA, you can speed up RED workflows by directly accessing RED files (.R3D) in Media Composer without having to prepare them through MetaFuze (all footage is scaled to HD frame size). Plus, you have access to its full metadata and color management data too.
Edit QuickTime Formats Natively
Get native access to all popular QuickTime formats, with full access to clip metadata. Thanks to AMA, you can natively access and edit any movie that can be played in Apple’s QuickTime Player (including Apple ProRes, H.264 and .mov files captured by Canon 5D and 7D cameras) right in Media Composer — no transcoding, rewrapping, or logging and transferring required.
Drag and Drop Video and Audio to Edit
Get comfortable — with Media Composer 5, you can truly edit the way you like. In addition to the standard way of editing, you can also now directly manipulate elements in the timeline to edit video and audio. Drag and drop clips anywhere you want on the timeline to rearrange sequences. And grab a clip’s in or out point and drag to trim a scene, dialog, or music.
Get Full-Quality HD-RGB Processing
Keep those finishing jobs in house, and deliver the highest quality color and effects work, with support for full-quality 4:4:4 HD-RGB color space processing in Media Composer. With the higher resolution detail, you can perform color correction, keying, and effects work with greater precision and ease. And if you have a Nitris DX-based system, you can digitize, process, monitor, and output (output in Symphony systems only) projects in HD-RGB, using the two HD SDI connections to handle the high-bandwidth resolutions.
Monitor Video Externally through Matrox MXO2 Mini
If you don’t have a Nitris DX- or Mojo DX-based system, Media Composer 5 opens the door to third-party workflows, enabling you to monitor video externally using the Matrox MXO2 Mini interface, which is available for Mac and Windows systems. When paired with Media Composer software, MXO2 Mini becomes a dedicated, high-quality monitor-only solution for file-based or workgroup production, so you can view your video work in real time without any major expense. Watch a video and get technical specs & features »
New Timeline Interface in Version 5
Notice that a stereo pair of audio (on track A8) occupies just one track. Also notice a ProTools-ish look which includes track-based EQ. And you'll also notice new editing features on the left that allow for editing capabilities (if you'd like them) found in FCP and other apps.
Avid's NAB Presentation
It's 17 minutes and well worth taking a look at.
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