Avid's Media Composer is a powerful piece of software, especially in terms of its media management and collaborative editing capabilities. However, Media Composer also boasts a powerful palette of effects that go well beyond the effects that are included in most other NLE's. Despite the fact that some of these effects aren't particularly easy to use, they do give editors the ability to create temp or finalized effects without the need for a specialized compositing program. Woody from Splice Training has put together an in-depth tutorial on how to create sci-fi energy blasts directly in Media Composer. Check it out.
Here's the excellent two-part tutorial from Splice Training:
While making sci-fi energy blasts might be one of the least-used tools in your repertoire, it's certainly important for editors to have a basic understanding of each and every effect that their software contains, and to have an understanding of what these effects can accomplish when used properly.
In the case of Media Composer's "Paint Effect", on the surface it's a simple tool to add various types of shapes to your video. However, when you start adding multiple instances, feathering them together, and keyframing the resulting objects, the seemingly simplistic paint effect becomes a powerful tool for compositing.
When you start incorporating some of Avid's other effects into the equation -- in the case of the above tutorial, it's the AniMatte Effect -- you can start building convincing composites that would otherwise be left to a visual effects artist.
Of course, Avid's tools are never going to rival what a skilled After Effects or Flame artist could do. However, considering that editors are getting asked to do more and more work in terms of post production audio and effects these days, having the knowledge to be able to pull off sci-fi energy blasts (or anything else for that matter) directly inside of your NLE can be the difference between landing a job or someone else getting it.
What do you guys think? Do you have experience creating digital effects inside of Avid Media Composer? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!