Using 3-Point Keyboard Editing in Avid

Making the switch to keyboard editing rather that dragging and dropping clips will greatly improve your life as an editor. For one, you will be working with the technique of professional editors, not only causing you to be more efficient, but also more impressive to prospective employers.

Splice and Overwrite

You used these functions in drag and drop editing, but we will review them. Overwrite is the function that lays down new footage over existing space. Splice squeezes into the timeline and creates its own space. Now look at your keyboard which hopefully has the Avid command stickers on it. Find the yellow arrows representing splice and the red arrows for overwrite. There are two sets of keys with such arrows. The first are ; and ' which will only place your timeline into the corresponding mode. However, V and B will add a clip to the timeline using the appropriate function. Now, you only need to know how to control these keys.

Setting a Start Point

Many keys have a symbol on them that looks like a filled in letter D. This symbol represents a mark. Any forward facing D is a mark in and the backwards facing D is a mark out. Open a clip in the source monitor. Find the place that you want to begin your clip. Now, hit the mark in key which is either E or I. A little D mark will appear on the spot that you have marked. Go down to your timeline, and find the spot that you want to have this clip come into the sequence. In all likelihood, this will be at the end of another clip, so use the arrow keys to find the exact frame. Here, hit E or I to mark an in point.

Setting an End Point

Technically, you can now go ahead and add your clip to the timeline using either V or B, but you may end up getting way more material than you need. As you have marked your clip, Avid will use the whole clip after the in mark. You can clean this up one of two ways. If you are editing at the end of your timeline and have no other clips to interfere with, you can set the mark out on your source clip. Find the last frame of what you want to use and hit either R or O. Now you are only using what you need.

You should also do it this way if are splicing into the middle of your sequence. However, if you are going to overwrite an empty space in the middle of your sequence, you should set the mark out on the timeline. Find the last frame of the empty space and hit either R or O. Your clip will perfectly fill this empty space. Do not set out marks on both the source monitor and the timeline. Unless you go through a lot of effort, the two sets will never match perfectly, therefore confusing the program. Only use one out point, hence the 3 point system.

The 3 point editing system can be done entirely on your keyboard. Using this technique will make you much more efficient.

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