Friday, January 1, 2010

How to output an EDL from Avid Media Composer

You may also want to read How to export an EDL from Final Cut Pro

These instructions are conveniently provided as a ONE SHEET PDF for printing.

Before exporting the EDL, be sure the sequence is as flat and clean as possible (did you put garbage at the end of the timeline to extend it?). This will remove unnecessary clips that slow down the finishing process as well as reduce the number of video tracks you need to export. You will also avoid any unwanted groans from the finishing editor which will reflect poorly on you, as this is the equivalent of leaving the dishes in the sink for your roommate to clean up.

In this example, the clips on video track 2 should be brought down to track 1 to cover up the footage not seen in the final output. Titles and graphics should be on separate layers (a textless output will most likely be needed). From the bin, select the flattened sequence and choose EDL from the OUTPUT menu. This will launch a separate application called Avid EDL Manager. Set the options to match these settings...

Your settings may vary, of course... but only if you understand what you are doing. You must save a separate EDL for each video track. Do this by selecting V1 from the track selector panel. Click Update. Then append V1 to the end of the Title and click Update again (changes will not stick until you click Update). It is customary to append V1, V2, V3, etc. to the end of the file name to represent the video track number (AKA layers). More than likely you will be finishing picture and sound separately, so be sure to disable the audio tracks in the track selector panel. If you do need audio in the EDL, use V1 for audio tracks 1-4, and V2 for audio tracks 5-8, etc. Do not include the same audio tracks in more than one EDL.

You should verify that the reel names in the EDL are accurate and make sense to someone other than yourself. The reel name is the second column and immediately following the event number. You may need to use the source table at the end of the EDL to cross reference the eight character reel name with the actual Avid tape name. Ask yourself, "will the finishing editor be able to find this tape or media file?"

Save the EDL with an .EDL extension. EDLs are small text files (ASCII) that can be opened (and modified) using Notepad or TextEdit and can be emailed very easily. When you are done, your files should look something like this...

It is also a good idea to export an AAF file of the sequence (Linked Media, not embedded) and make a copy of the Avid bin that contains the sequence.

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