Avid Media Composer: Sorting and Sifting Video Clips

When you are making a movie, sorting and sifting video clips will save you time instead of going through several clips that you might not need. If you are making a short movie and you have something detailed in mind, it wouldn't help if you have a pile of video clips eating up your time as you go through each one trying to find the few seconds that you need. Whatever the case, sorting and sifting video clips is always useful when editing videos.

Step 1: Starting Avid Media Composer and Selecting What You Need

The bin has four tabs, "brief" "text" "frame" and "script." You can customize your text view to suite your needs. You can also make columns that you can customize. You can choose between character columns, color theme columns to shot type columns. By doing so, you can select the clips which will be used and leave the ones that don't relate to your clip.

Step 2: Sort Out Entries

You can easily sort out the entries by right-clicking on any of the custom columns. Hitting the right mouse button will open up a menu which includes the following options:

  • Sort Column, descending - Click this one to arrange your clips from Z - A based on their titles
  • Sort column, ascending - This arranges your clips from A -Z depending on their titles
  • Choose columns - You can choose a certain column with this option
  • Hide Columns - Hide a bunch of columns when choosing this option
  • What's this? - Grants a small explanation of what the menu is about

By choosing the column that you wish to sort out, you will have complete control of your video clips.

Step 3: Custom Sift

Click the "Fast Bin" menu and choose "Custom sift." This will take you to a dialogue box where you can sift through criteria. This is useful when you need specific clips for a certain scene. You can always revert back to viewing everything by clicking on the "Fast Bin" menu and choose "Unsift."

Step 4: Adding Other Criteria

An "And Sift" means that you will have more than one criterion on your sifted menu. Simply add other criteria on one of the text tabs and the clips that are tagged. They will then appear next to the former sifted clips. To view your newly added criterion, simply enter the criterion on the text tab within the sift dialogue box and when you go back to your list all the clips tagged will be visible.

Step 5: Make Individual Bins

By making individual bins, you can quickly access sifted material while editing your clip. You need to create a new bin with the required title desire. From your last bin, sift out all those clips that are tagged with the title and hold down Alt and drag them with the mouse over to the new bin. This way, you can access your movie clips by criteria, as your bins will be displayed on the left corner of your screen.

Now that you have the general grasp of sorting and sifting in Avid Media Composer, your editing jobs will be much more organized.