Importing in Avid


This article will cover the basics of Avid Media Composer. To learn how to start a new project from scratch, see our other guide "Starting a Project in Avid." Avid is available in almost all of our labs in the DFL (6th Floor Ansin) and DPL (8th Floor Ansin), so come on by to get some hands on experience with the program. 

***DISCLAIMER*** If you are using footage from our server Sourcebook, you will be better off following our other guide: Avid Media Composer - Using Sourcebook Projects on Campus.  

Getting Started

Linking Your Media

  • Create a new bin and name it 'Linked Footage' - this label will be important for your organization later.


  • Navigate to File/Input/Source Browser


  • Navigate to your footage and highlight the clips you want to import (Command A to select all in a folder)
  • Select "Link."
  • Select your Target bin - we've created one named Linked Footage


  • Click "Link" in the bottom right corner
  • Give Avid a minute to link all of your media - after it finishes you should see all of your clips in the Linked Footage bin. You may now close the Source Browser window.
    • Notice that these clips display an icon with a film strip and a chain link covering it - this is the logo for clip that is linked rather than imported. 
    • Although you can begin editing with linked clips from certain cameras, we highly advise you transcode your clips with the steps below for the smoothest possible editing experience.


Transcoding Your Media

  • The AMA Linked clips are linked to the original camera files. In order for smooth editing within Media Composer, you must transcode these clips to an editing-friendly Avid codec.
  • Select all your AMA Linked clips, (Command A to select all in a bin) right-click and select "Consolidate/Transcode."


  • Check the bubble beside "Transcode."
  • Select your hard drive in the "Target Drives" box. This will be where Avid stores new copies of your footage in the proper Avid format. Select your external hard drive or your Students drive on the server.
  • Select the appropriate video dimensions and resolution. "Source Dimensions" will keep a consistent resolution and DNxHQ will provide a high bit-rate, high quality copy.


  • Click "Transcode."
    • Depending on the amount of footage that you’re bringing into the program, this step may take a while.


  • New clips will show up in your bin with the file suffix “.new.01.”
    • Notice that the imported clips have a different icon than the linked clips - we no longer see a chain link.


  • It is now important to separate your AMA source footage and your new Avid video files into separate bins. Create a new bin for your imported media, highlight the imported clips, and move them into their own separate bin.
  • You can now begin editing with your imported clips! For more information on the editing tools in Avid, see our guide: Basic Editing in Avid
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