Working on the Desktop

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1 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Duration: 30 minutes In this section, you will be familiarizing yourself with some of the basic elements in Avid DS Nitris, such as the layouts, toolbars, dialog boxes, and menus. The following topics provide information about the desktop: Restoring the Default Layout Title Bar Layouts Using the Menus Status Bar Accessing the Views Using the Toolbars Dialog Boxes Entering Values Using Keyboard Shortcuts Getting Help

2 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Restoring the Default Layout If your system was previously used by a different user, then you might not be viewing the default Editing layout. Before you start exploring the Avid DS Nitris desktop, you should restore the layout to its defaults. To restore the layout: 1. Select Layout > Restore Default Layout. A message window displays. 2. Click OK. 3. Close and restart Avid DS Nitris. In the Open Project dialog box, the name of your project is already highlighted. 4. Select Sequence1 and click the Open Sequence button on the right side of the dialog box. Name of last opened project is highlighted. Sequences available in this project. The layout is restored to its default settings. Turn to Layouts on page 20 to see how the Editing layout should appear. 18

3 Title Bar Title Bar The title bar at the top of the Avid DS Nitris window displays the name of the project and sequence, sequence video format, and buttons for minimizing, maximizing and closing the application window. Project name Sequence name Sequence settings Close/exit window Minimize window Maximize window 19

4 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Layouts A layout contains tools for performing specialized tasks. Whether you re digitizing media, editing, compositing, painting, or titling, there s a corresponding layout for the job. The default layouts in Avid DS Nitris include: Editing, Effects, Graphics, Compositing, and 3D DVE. Menu bar contains commands, such as opening and saving projects and sequences, editing layouts, and accessing online help. View is an area that contains a group of tools that are specific to the tasks you ll perform in a layout. The Editing layout below shows the Avid Explorer view, a file management tool that is useful when handling files and editing. Taskbar is a navigational aid for moving between layouts: Editing, Effects, Graphics, Compositing, and 3D DVE. View switcher lets you access different views within a particular layout. 20

5 Layouts n n Media Composer: Layouts are similar to Toolsets and Workspaces in Media Composer. Layouts contain views; dome views are similar to tools, but others are collections of tools with options for customization. The 3D DVE and Compositing layouts are not available in the Avid DS Nitris Editor product. Toolbar contains commonly used commands grouped together to make certain tasks quicker and easier. All toolbars can be customized. Viewers display the output of your sequence. During a graphics session, it serves as an area to create and arrange titles and graphics objects. Transport controls let you preview media in the viewer or play sequences that have been edited on the timeline. Timeline is where you place and edit clips to build a sequence. It graphically displays the position of video and audio clips, transitions, and effects over time. Status bar displays the timecodes of selected objects on the timeline, and shows toolbar, warning, error, and active command information, as well as the global animation controls. 21

6 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Accessing the Default Layouts Switching between the different layouts lets you access tools for particular tasks, such as editing, creating effects and graphics, compositing, and adding 3D DVE elements. When you click one of these buttons in the taskbar, its corresponding layout, views, and tools are displayed. Editing layout Taskbar Effects layout Graphics layout Compositing layout 3D DVE layout To switch layouts: 1. In the taskbar, click the Compositing button. The Compositing layout displays. Notice that the timeline and view have changed. You are now in a nested clip called a composite container clip. You ll learn more about this later in Compositing on page 135. n n 2. Return to the main timeline by clicking the Go to Top Timeline button at the lower end of the taskbar. Tip: If you hover over active buttons on the desktop, such as the taskbar or transport controls, tooltips will appear to help you identify icons and provide keyboard shortcuts. A clip called Composite is created on the B1 background track on the timeline. This clip was automatically created when you switched to the Compositing layout. Background tracks are usually used for compositing. 3. Click any of the other layout buttons to explore the other layouts. Some of the layouts can t be accessed unless a clip is selected on the timeline. 4. Switch back to the Editing layout when you re done. 22

7 Using the Menus If you viewed each layout, there will be a red horizontal bar, as well as a purple one on the Composite clip on the timeline. The bars represent what you have applied to the clip so far. You ll learn more about this in Applying Effects on page 77. Using the Menus n Menus appear in different places to make it easy for you to access commands. The menu bar is displayed across the top of the desktop directly below the title bar. The commands in the menu bar include general operations related to opening and saving projects, as well as setting project preferences, customizing layouts, and accessing Help. When you open a menu, you will notice keyboard shortcuts to the right of some commands. Instead of opening a menu, you can use the keyboard shortcut. For example, to save a sequence, press Ctrl+S on the keyboard. Arrows indicate that additional commands are available. Keyboard shortcut Pop-up menus are displayed by right-clicking individual elements or specific areas of the interface, such as the timeline, viewers, or tracks. These menus provide commands that are specific to the particular interface element you ve chosen. Right-click an area of the desktop, such as the timeline. A pop-up menu displays with a list of commands that are related to that area. Click the Help button for detailed information on each command. 23

8 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Status Bar The status bar at the bottom-right of the desktop displays the timecodes of selected objects on the timeline and provides status, warning, error, toolbar, and active command information, as well as the global animation controls. Avid DS Nitris Workgroup Status indicator shows the workgroup to which your workstation belongs. Hardware Sync Status indicator shows when external video and audio devices are synced. Timecode boxes display the timecodes of selected objects on the timeline. Audio Scrubbing button turns audio output on/off while scrubbing timeline. Viewer button turns viewer on/off. Global animation controls for recording keyframes and navigating between keyframes. To view the timecode of a clip: Selection Mode button 1. To select items on the timeline, you must be in Selection mode. Click the Selection Mode button just above the status bar. The button should be highlighted. 2. Drag the Composite clip towards the right on the timeline. Let go of the clip. The Start and End timecodes boxes on the status bar update. End Position indicator Out timecode Start Duration In timecode Duration between in and out 24

9 Accessing the Views 3. Right-click the Track button of the background track (B1) and select Delete Track. Track button Accessing the Views Views contain groups of tools for creating, managing, and editing media. Clicking a button on the view switcher at the bottom-center of the desktop lets you switch to the different toolsets within a layout. In the Editing layout, the Avid Explorer is the main view displayed on the left side of the desktop. View switcher To switch views: 1. Click any of the buttons in the view switcher to see each view. 2. Switch back to the Avid Explorer view when you re done. 25

10 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Combo Views A combo view contains a group of tools for a particular task, such as the Graphics combo view. Unlike the fixed layouts, you can move the combo views around on the desktop. To open a combo view: 1. Select View > Default Combo Views > Graphics from the menu bar at the top of the application. The Graphics combo view displays. This may be different than what you see in your version of Avid DS Nitris. It depends on what was last displayed. 2. Some of the tools in the Graphics combo view are dimmed for the moment. For now, move the combo view around on the desktop by dragging it by the title bar. 3. Close the combo view by clicking the close (X) button at the top-right corner. You ll learn more about the tools in this view later in Adding Graphics and 2D Titles on page

11 Using the Toolbars Using the Toolbars The toolbars contain commonly used tools and effects. The buttons on the toolbar let you activate tools or commands, and apply effects. NLE Tools toolbar Click a button to see additional commands. 27

12 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Dialog Boxes A dialog box lets you set options and parameters. Selecting a command often opens a dialog box, requiring you to provide input before a command can be executed. You cannot proceed with further operations while a dialog box is open. To open a dialog box: 1. Select File > User Preferences. To exit without applying changes, select the Cancel button or the close (X) button, or press the Esc or Alt+F4 keys. The changes you made are cancelled and the dialog box is closed. To apply any changes you made in this dialog box, click OK. 2. Keep the dialog box open for the next section on entering values. 28

13 Entering Values Entering Values Text boxes let you enter values for parameters. They are located beside or below a property name in a dialog box or property editor. You ll learn more about property editor s later in Working with Effects on page 99. To enter values in a text box: 1. In the User Preferences dialog box (General property page), click in the Number of Undo Levels text box. The contents of the text box is highlighted in blue. 2. Type in a new value for the number of times you can undo a task in Avid DS Nitris. The default is 50 and the maximum is In the Autosave box, enter a new length of time to automatically save your sequence at regular intervals. 4. Click the Help button for detailed information on each parameter. You ll find Help buttons or Help icons on all dialog boxes and property editors. 5. Click OK to apply the values and close the User Preferences dialog box. 29

14 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Using Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts let you quickly execute commands and access tools and views using a key or combination of keys on your keyboard. In Avid DS Nitris, you can define your own keyboard shortcuts. To customize keyboard shortcuts: 1 Select File > Command Mapping. 2 In the Command Mapping dialog box, click the New button. 3 Enter a name for the new template. A copy of the existing template is created and saved under the new name. You can customize it to optimize your work. 4 Select an item, depending on the shortcut you want to customize. 5 Select the command whose keyboard shortcut you want to change. Drag the command to a key on the onscreen keyboard. The key that you highlight will be your new shortcut. Tip: Press the Shift, Ctrl, or Alt keys to use them in a shortcut. 6 7 Click the Help button for detailed information on keyboard shortcuts. Click OK when you re done. 30

15 Getting Help Getting Help Avid DS Nitris comes with a comprehensive help system that contains information on all the interface elements, as well as task information. If you re looking for information on a particular interface element or property page parameter, or need help performing a task, the online help is the place to look. To access the online help: t Select Help > Contents and Index. There are three ways to search for information in the help system: Table of Contents The table of contents, on the Contents tab, lets you search for information by book. Click a book icon to view its topics on the right side of the window. To view a topic, click it. Index The online index, on the Index tab, is similar to the indexes you find in the back of printed books. To find specific information, type in the word you want to find. 31

16 Section 2 Working on the Desktop Search Utility The search utility, on the Search tab, lets you look for specific words contained in the Help topics that might not be in the index. Type in the keyword you re searching for and click the List Topics button. Tip: Deselect these three options for a shorter, more meaningful list of topics. Getting Help in Avid DS Nitris In addition to the online help system, you can get information right from the Avid DS Nitris interface. There are three ways to access information: Help menu The Help menu lets you access the Avid DS Nitris help system to quickly retrieve reference information. You can also access the Avid web site, where you can find product-related information and tutorials, as well as the Avid DS Nitris support center. 32

17 Getting Help Help icon or button Every view, property page, dialog box, and pop-up menu contains a Help icon or Help button. When you click the Help button/icon, detailed information is displayed. Tooltips Avid DS Nitris uses small pop-ups called tooltips to display the name of desktop elements when they have no text label. Position the pointer over an interface element, such as an icon, and pause for a second. A tooltip with the name of the element appears. 33

18 Section 2 Working on the Desktop 34

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