Media Composer 101 – Lesson 8 – What’s new in v 8.3

Let’s take a look at the new features in the new Media Composer 8.3 update

The newest update to Avid Media Composer gives us access to higher than HD resolution(s), a new codec (DNxHR), and a few other bells and whistles that you'll definitely want to check out!

The 8.3 update is one that has been in the works for a while now.  Ever since NAB, when they first showed it off, it gave Media Composer editors a big sigh of relief.  We would finally be able to edit larger than HD projects inside of Media Composer.  But, is that it?  Is that all we get?  Of course not.  There are many other bells and whistles here to make Media Composer v8.3 a “must have” for any Media Composer editor out there.

The first thing editors will notice right away is the “newer” project window.  Why do I say “newer”?  Well, you’ll remember that in version 8.2, we had an update to the project window that gave us more information on the project we were working on, on the right side of the project selection window.  Now, we have access to all the different 2K, 4K and UHD formats we might need, and having the DCI specs in there as well is a big bonus.

Next, let’s talk about the type of “larger than HD” material that we can import/AMA link to inside of MC8.3:

  • DPX
  • XAVC-1
  • RED
  • QuickTime ProRes

Now, what’s important to keep in mid is that depending on the speed of your system, you might not be able to playback at full resolution.  No problem, you now have access to to Proxy Resolutions of 1/4 or 1/16th the frame size.  What’s important to keep in mind is that by simply changing this option in the project window, your computer will doing this conversion on the fly.

With that being said, if once you have AMA linked to your footage, you would rather just transcode it, you now have access to four new resolutions to choose from

  • DNxHR LB (low bandwidth)
  • DNxHR HQ (high quality)
  • DNxHR HQX (high quality 10-bit)
  • DNxHR 444 (cinema quality)

With Media Composer 8.3, editors are no longer confined to the “boundaries” placed on them, based on the type of footage they were working with.  Meaning that if you were working in 1080 23.98psF, DNX 175 was really your only choice.  You had a couple minor options, but DNX175 was for 1920×1080 23.98 media.  That has now changed in v8.3.  Any of the higher than HD formats can be transcoded using the new DNxHR codec to give you fantastic 2K/4K picture quality, at super low file sizes.

There are a few more bells and whistles, so check out the below video for all the details.



Now, I’ve only really scratched the suface of what’s new in Media Composer , and I encourge you to check out the read-me file for more details.  In the end, if you are a subscriber to Media Compser, this update is a no brainer.  If you’re new to Media Composer, welcome aboard.  You’re ready to start working on your next 4K project right away.

To keep up to speed when new tutorials are released, follow Kevin on Twitter @kpmcauliffe, send him an e-mail at kevinpmcauliffe@gmail.com, or subscribe to the YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/MediaComposer101 .

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Kevin P McAuliffe is a three time North American ProMax award winning editor and a Media Composer editor for over 15 years. He is a featured trainer at MacProVideo and is also one of the…