Working with Vector-based Objects in Avid

The Avid media composer is a standard issue style non-linear audio/video editing software suite that is suited to professional video editors. It is available on both popular computing platforms – Mac and Windows. This article specifically takes a look at working with vector-based objects in Avid.

Step 1: Launch Avid

As an essential first step, you will need to launch the Avid software suite by selecting the Avid program application shortcut from the programs menu. Following a splash screen, you will be prompted to start a new project. You can select to either start a new project or continue your trial on a previous trial project if you wish to.

Step 2: Key In Effects

To start with a trial on working with vector based objects, you will load at least two different video tracks on your timeline. You will open the effect palette and go down to “key” and drag the “Animatte” effect icon to the upper track on the timeline. You will now click on the effect node icon, move to the “Node Section” and use the “Key In” effect.

You will also notice that you have other tools to draw and animate vector objects. Change the mode to key out mode and drag a rectangle or any other shape to the upper track. Once done, you will notice that a mask will be created, and you will be able to see the track below through that mask. You may move or resize this mask. You will try this with other shapes as well.

If you are using curve tool, you may create a curve by going in the freehand mode. Once the curve is completed, you will need to adjust the curve by adding or deleting certain points. You can do this by using the “reshape tool”. Click on it and use the resulting nodes to adjust a curve. It might take a few tries before you get it right.

Step 3: Key Out Effects

You will also notice that you can try out the Key Out option to create a mask on a layer that hides whatever is underneath it. To do this, you will click on the effect node icon and move to the “Node Section” and use the “Key Out” effect. Once done, you will notice that a mask will be created that will hide the view of whatever is underneath the present layer or track. You may move or resize this mask.

Another feature worth exploring is “feathering” that you can use to feather the edges of your vector-based object. You may use the horizontal and vertical sliders independently to get a range of feathering effects or have them move in tandem by fixing the aspect ratio.

You will need to look around the effect editor and see how the various features work in combinations to produce a lot of different effects that may be used in your video productions.