Understanding the Anchor Frame in Avid Media Composer

If you want to land at a particular frame in a certain clip, this can be done with the Anchor Frame effect in Avid Media Composer. This effect is important if the user wants to end a clip at a certain frame or simply slow down an entire clip.

Step 1: Using the Anchor Frame

The Anchor Frame is located within the Motion Effect Editor. The Anchor Frame button looks just like an anchor, and the anchor is listed before the box next the button. The purpose of this button is to lock a frame in place. The Anchor Frame is most often used to create a freeze frame effect. Basically, the clip will freeze when it hits the anchor in the timeline. This can also be used to slow down the entire clip.

To use the Anchor Frame button, users just need to figure out the spot in a video sequence where they would like the frame effect to be anchored. While it's most often done at the start of a clip, users can place the anchor anywhere they wish the action to stop. While not as common as the freeze frame effect, the Anchor Frame can also be used to add the Reverse Motion effect.

Step 2: How to Insert the Anchor Frame

To anchor a section, users need to open the video sequence, and then open up the Media Effect Editor. Now, to add the Anchor Frame, users should follow the below directions:

  1. Play the video sequence until the clip where the anchor should be placed appears.
  2. Pause the video.
  3. Click on the Anchor Frame button, and then click on the timeline where the anchor should be placed.

Now the Anchor Frame button is in place. Basically, this means that that frame cannot be manipulated anymore. All prior clips can be manipulated, but not the anchored frame. For example, if users decide to expand out how long the video sequence will run, the frame with the anchor will still be locked in place.

Step 3: Using the Anchor Frame for Reverse Motion

While not commonly used, the Anchor Frame button can also be used for Reverse Motion. Reverse Motion means that the whole clip will playback backwards. For example, if someone has a video of somebody diving into a pool, they can add the Reverse Motion effect to give the impression that the person is coming out of the water.

The Anchor Frame must be placed on the last frame of the effect. This can be done by adding an ending key frame, and then anchoring that. Then, the entire clip must be placed outside the purple timeline box. It will both begin and end outside of this box.

Now, the key frame rate must have a negative value. This means that the position graph is now rotated upwards, and the entire video sequence will play backwards. Once a Reverse Motion effect has been added to a video sequence, it will no longer play in real time.