Video Editing Workflow
Once you’ve created your footage and your audio, you need to cut it together in post-production. This page outlines a typical post-production workflow.
The post-production stage is where all your effort pays off (and any sloppiness or mistakes come back to haunt you). Post-production is a vital stage of the project. When finished, you’ll be able to view the project in a linear fashion, as well as publish and deliver it to your client or audience.
Post-production can seem intimidating to many professionals. However, if approached in a methodical way, it can be fairly straightforward. Like photography, the process begins with media management and then takes you into the heart of postproduction: editing. From there you can polish your video and audio by color correcting clips and mixing audio and then finally you’ll be ready to publish your project.
The workflows presented here are not exhaustive. Rather they are the essentials to a solid foundation. This demonstration is what we call a "component workflow", meaning that it does not show end-to-end workflow, but, instead, focuses on a specific set of tasks that are part of a larger process.
Before your footage can be edited, you must get it imported into your editing application. While each software package will vary on specifics, the goal is to load your footage in a quick, yet methodical, manner.
Figure 1: Learn how to import your DSLR footage in a nonlinear editing application.
The entire process of editing video requires you to analyze the footage you have while sequencing the best clips to tell an engaging story. Organization is critical to an effective video editing workflow.
Figure 2: Learn how to use bin structures to organize your video footage for nonlinear editing.
The built-in microphone on most DSLRs provides poor quality at best. Because you likely recorded higher-quality audio to a separate device, you’ll need to synchronize those pieces when it comes time to edit. There are both manual and automated workflows you can apply to this task.
Figure 3: When shooting video with a DSLR camera, audio is often recorded separately to another source. Learn how to sync that audio to your video in post-production using both manual and automated workflows.
The process of editing has often been thought of as somewhat of a dark art — a secretive process that happens behind closed doors. The truth is that the essential tasks of video editing are fairly accessible if you take the time to learn the essentials.
Figure 4: There are several core editing commands that are shared across most editing applications including the powerful three-point editing technique.
Your finished video project will often contain audio from several different sources and even recording periods. Because the volume levels will likely vary from clip to clip you will need to compensate. Additionally, as you combine multiple audio tracks, the overall cumulative volume will change. To correct this, you will need to mix your audio.
Figure 5: Learn how to properly mix your audio in a nonlinear editor.
The video that comes out of your camera is never perfect. This is especially apparent as you begin to sequence clips in a timeline that may have been shot at different times of day. There is a critical need to unify the look of your footage as well as to make small (and, in some cases, large) improvements to its quality.
Figure 6: Learn how to repair and color grade your footage using the most standard effects that can be found in most nonlinear editing applications.
One of the most popular ways to deliver and consume video is the web. Fast data connections and a myriad of Internet-connected devices are making this process easy and affordable. There are several potential pitfalls, including quality loss, file size issues, and playback compatibility, that you need to be aware of.
Figure 7: Learn how to export video from your nonlinear editor to make sure your movie is ready for the web.