Avid - Using Sourcebook Projects on Campus


This guide will walk you through how to properly source and create an AVID project via Bin (our on-campus server) and Sourcebook. This guide specifies how to mount Sourcebook and your Student Drive on Bin, set up a new project with the correct specifications in AVID, save a project to the Shared Avid Projects folder, and backup a project after every session.

Getting Started

AVID can be a tricky program to get the hang of because it is quite particular about the order in which things are done. Be sure to pay attention to the order of the following steps and ensure that you are following them in the correct sequence. If not, you may run into trouble. File management is also very important. Staying organized with your files will save you from heartbreak in the long run!

Part I: Setting Up a New Project

Connecting to Bin 

    • After logging in to the computer,  open a finder window and hit CMD + K to bring up the server connection window.
    • You need to mount the two following drives:
      • Students (your personal space): smb://bin.emerson.edu/students
      • Sourcebook: smb://bin.emerson.edu/courses/editing courses/sourcebook
    • Click on one, then once you select ‘Connect’, you may be prompted to enter your emerson username (firstname_lastname) and password. Repeat the process for the second drive.
    • You need these two drives for the following things:
      • Students Drive: This is your Personal Drive. You need this drive mounted in order to to back up project at the end of your work session
      • Sourcebook:  This is where you can initially locate all AVID project resources that you will need for class. This also is where the media files are stored for our pre-made projects.


Finding a new Project on Sourcebook

  • Open the Sourcebook drive off of your Desktop.


  • On the drive, refer to the ‘Sourcebook Index.xls’ file. This file is an index of all of the various AVID projects we have stored on Sourcebook. This document lists all of the essential information for each project, including the MXF folder, Title, Format, Aspect Ratio, Description, TRT, Project reference info, and Copyright information. You will need this information in order to create your new AVID project, so keep this file open for the moment.


  • Next, refer to the folder entitled ‘EDITOR’S SOURCEBOOK’. In this folder, locate the project you are looking for. Once located, keep this finder window open- you will need it shortly.

Creating your project in AVID

  • Now that you have the appropriate information about your project, open AVID by clicking the AVID Media Composer icon in the Dock.


  • The project window will open. Select "New Project" at the top.


  • Select your project location. 
    • Shared Avid Projects: *highly suggested* Project is stored locally on computer while editing (Avid's preference). If you forget to backup your project after you finish for the day, it will be retrievable 
    • Avid Projects: Saved locally on your computer - if you forget to backup your project at the end of the day it will be deleted permanently
    • Custom: Click the folder icon to save your project directly to a custom location such as your Students Drive or an external hard drive. (NOTE: Saving a project directly to your virtual Students drive on the server is not recommended - this method is prone to error messages upon saving your project.)


  • Title your project
  • Refer back to the ‘Sourcebook Index’ file. Refer to the relevant ‘Format’ and ‘Ratio’ specifications for your desired project. Select the exact same specifications in AVID and press ‘OK’.


  • Ignore the "MediaCentral" login. If you have text entered in these fields, it will prevent you from moving forward.
  • Click "Create" in the bottom right to create and open your project. 

Locating your Project Folder

  • If you’ve saved your project file to the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder and you're in one of the Digital Post facilities, you can find a shortcut on the desktop. (If you do not have a shortcut, the folder is saved in the following location: Users/Shared/AvidMediaComposer/Shared Avid Projects)
    • If you saved to 'Avid Projects' (not shared) then you can find the project in your documents folder
    • If you saved to a custom location like your Students Drive or an external hard drive, open that location
  • Inside you should see a sub-folder labelled with whatever your called your new project. If you’re having trouble finding your folder, click the ‘Date Modified’ tab, and your project should jump to the top as it was the last project modified.


  • Select your folder. This is your new AVID project folder. In this folder there will be a range of files and folders that have been automatically created. Do not mess with any of these items. AVID is very particular with its file structures so it is important that you do not rename or move any of this files or folders.


Copying bin files to your Project folder

  • AVID has a unique file sharing system. Unlike other NLE’s, footage and sequences can be shared via ‘Bin' files. This will take place entirely in Finder (or File Explorer on PC). Now that you have your AVID project folder set up, we can copy the bin files from Sourcebook on our server.
  • To do this, head back to Sourcebook to where you previously located your chosen project’s folder. Open said folder. Inside you should see the following (or something similar):


  • In a lot of cases, there will be a folder labelled ‘[PROJECT TITLE] BINS’. Select this folder, and inside you will find one or more '.abv' files like this:


  • Select these .abv bins, right click, and then select ‘Copy’ (just the bins, not the folder itself).


  • Now, head back to your project folder (likely in ‘Shared Avid Projects’)
  • In your AVID project folder, right-click in empty space, and 'Paste' however many items were copied from Sourcebook


  • You should see new files appear, mostly (but not always) '.abv' files or Avid Bin Files


  • Open Avid. At first, you will only see a single bin with the same name as your project. Right click and select 'refresh'


  • You will now have the appropriate footage for your project. Now, within your project the bins you copied should appear.


  • If you do not see the project bins after refreshing, retrace your steps and make sure you copied all the bins from Sourcebook into the correct project folder. 

Assigning the Media Creation folder

  • Before you start editing, you should check the setting of your Media Creation folder. You do not have the correct permissions to write new files to Sourcebook, so we need to make sure this is set elsewhere.
  • To do so, navigate to File/Settings


  • Double click "Media Creation"
  • The following window will open. Select the ‘Import’ tab. Below you will see the drop down window that assigns the Video and Audio drives. Select the drop down window, and ensure that it is set to ‘Students’ or your external hard drive. Do not choose Macintosh HD unless you are on a personal computer. Then press “apply to all” and ‘OK’.


  • Your project is now set up and you can begin editing in Avid Media Composer!

Part II: Saving and Backing Up Your Project

Saving Your Project

  • Once you have finished working on your project for the day, save it as usual by pressing CMD + S. Then close AVID.
  • The latest version of your project folder has now been saved in your designated location (likely ‘Shared Avid Projects’ unless you chose otherwise).

[NOTE!] Despite what the name ‘Shared’ may imply, this folder is individualized, or ‘local’, to each desktop computer. Your work will only appear in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder on the computer you are working on. If you go to another computer and open the same folder your project will not be there. This folder is not a cloud-based storage space.

  • With this information in mind, you need to save your project folder onto either your personal Student Drive or a personal hard drive at the end of your work session.
  • You must do this each time you finish a session in order to ensure you do not lose your work. As the lab computers are shared resources, you cannot rely on your project to remain safe in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder.
  • In order to Save your project onto your drive, open your Student Drive which should still be mounted on your Desktop. In the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder, right-click and press ‘Copy’ on your entire project folder.
  • Then, within your Student Drive, right click and select ‘Paste’. The same process applies if you are saving to a hard drive instead of your Student drive.
  • Be sure to save your entire AVID project folder, as you need the folder exactly as is in order to work on it in the future.

Part III: Re-Open your project next time

Connecting to Bin 

    • After logging in to the computer,  open a finder window and hit CMD + K to bring up the server connection window.
    • Mount the two following drives:
      • Students (your personal space): smb://bin.emerson.edu/students
      • Sourcebook: smb://bin.emerson.edu/courses/editing courses/sourcebook
    • Click on one, then once you select ‘Connect’, you may be prompted to enter your emerson username (firstname_lastname) and password. Repeat the process for the second drive.
    • You need these two drives for the following things:
      • Students Drive: This is your Personal Drive. We advise saving your project here between sessions of work.
      • Sourcebook:  This is where the media files are stored for Sourcebook projects.
  • After you connect to Sourcebook and your Students Drive... 

    • Drag your project folder from the Students Drive into the Shared Avid Projects folder on your desktop.
      • You always want to work out of this folder instead of the server, Bin.  Bin has the possibility of crashing, which could cause you to lose your work if you are working straight from there. Working from the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder eliminates this possibility.
      • If an older copy of your project is already in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder, be sure to replace the old copy in order to eliminate any confusion.
      • If you want to keep the older versions of your project, create a folder on your Student Drive labelled ‘Backups’. Label the older project folders by date and Save them in this folder.
      • This same process applies to working off of a hard drive.
    • Launch Avid and locate your project from the list on the homepage 


Things to Note:

  • Always backup your project on your Student Drive or on a personal hard drive. Never rely on your files being safe on a shared computer.
  • Never rearrange or pick and choose from your AVID project folder. AVID is very particular about file structure and this will corrupt your project. You should also never use finder to rename any of the folders/files created by Avid. 


Additional Resources:

Connecting to Bin

Exporting from Avid

Basic Editing Tools in Avid

Intro to Avid - Lynda.com - A step by step tutorial site with exercise files showing the essentials of using Avid Media Composer.

Intro to Color Correction

Basic Color Correction in Avid

Need additional help?  See a lab assistant in room 810.  You can see the Lab Assistant schedule here.




Start a new project under Shared with the correct settings (check the ‘sourcebook index’ for this info)

Using Finder, locate the desired project in Sourcebook and right click/copy the .abv files

Using finder, open your project folder under ‘shared avid projects’ then right click/paste the .abv files

Open Avid and edit, but be sure to backup your project to your students drive when finished for the day.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a ticket