Avid Tips: Placing SD and HD Together

When using Avid you have the option to place SD and HD video clips together. If you are doing this then it's important to follow a few simple tips which will make it possible to make the finished video look as good as possible. When watching just a Standard Definition video source the quality is acceptable. However, if mixing it with High Definition footage the results can often look lacking. There are a few simple tips that you can use to make this less noticeable and even use it as a feature.

Step 1: Starting a New Project

Open Avid and start a new project with the default settings. Name the project as something memorable. Change the format to 30i NTSC or change the format if you plan to play this on PAL TVs. Click OK and the new project will be set up.

Step 2: Settings

In the project window click the "Format" tab and take a look at the format. This should be the same as the format you chose in the previous step. When mixing SD and HD videos together you will need to keep on returning to this format tab to change the settings so that you can mix the videos together properly.

Step 3: Capture Tool

Open the capture tool. When it opens the resolution will be automatically selected as DV 25. It's then possible to capture clips to the project bin.

Step 4: Format

Click on the "Format" tab again in the project window and change it to 1080i to select high definition video. Now open the capture window again and the resolution will of automatically changed. You can then change it to a different bin and capture HD clips to the bin.

By now you will have High Definition and Standard Definition in the right bins. You're almost ready to start putting them together.

Step 5: Clip Color

In the status bar at the bottom of the screen click the first icon which looks a little bit like a hamburger. Now move up and select "Clip Color." Select "SD/HD" to make the colors look correct in the video.

Select the project window again and click the "Format" Tab. Now you need to change the format back to 30i NTSC so that SD Clips can be added to the project.

Step 6: Loading HD Clips

Now HD clips can be added to the project without changing the format again. They can be arranged at any time. The HD/SD clip color will give the High Definition and Standard Definition videos a slightly different color.

When loading HD clips you will need to adjust the aspect ratio because otherwise they will be squashed.

Once the HD Clips are loaded change the format again and select 1080i again. Now the SD clips will be darker and stretched slightly. The HD clips will be in the correct aspect ratio. Play one of the SD clips and click the "Effects" options then select "Reformat." Now you can select the 4:3 sidebar down onto the time line to make sure the standard clips are in the right ratio. Repeat these on all of the standard definition clips. The color of the blanking bars can be changed by clicking effect modes to open the effects editor and change the background.

Step 7: Burning

When you're happy with your project it's then possible to burn it to a high definition source or convert it to be burned onto a standard definition DVD.