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Opinion regarding offline/online editing (I know, I know, it's been asked to DEATH)

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Marco Falcone
Opinion regarding offline/online editing (I know, I know, it's been asked to DEATH)
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:32:35 pm

Hey guys, sorry if this question has been asked to death but I had a couple of unanswered questions!

I plan on shooting (Canon 60d, 1080p @ 24p) a 30 minute short, and I'll be editing with Avid.

So I've just learned about online/offline editing (not a professional, but I know my way around programs) and I started to consider the benefits of it. It would use a lot less disk space, plus it won't be as hard on my computer.

Some questions I had were regarding other media. Does offline/online editing apply only to the video, or to audio as well?
Would you recommend doing an online/offline edit? If not, is it better to cut natively then transcode for color-correcting? I'll be shooting using cinestyle, so if there was a way to apply an LUT during transcode then professionally color correct later with the online files, that'd be appreciated too.

Thanks for your responses! Opinions are also welcome.

______________________________________________________________________

“I don't believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all. If there's one thing that's dangerous for an artist, it's precisely this question of total freedom, waiting for inspiration and the rest of it.” -FEDERICO FELLINI


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Opinion regarding offline/online editing (I know, I know, it's been asked to DEATH)
on Jun 16, 2012 at 6:25:36 pm

It really depends. I will say I think you have your wires crossed in thinking it will take less disk space. You'll need a set of "offline" files which, depending on the codec can be just as big as your original files, if not larger in some cases. Of course, if you transcode some low bitrate 720p offline files and then store the camera originals on another drive on your bookshelf, then yes it does take up less space and is easier to deal with if your system is a laptop or older desktop.

In terms of audio, yes and no. No in the sense that you don't work with offline files since audio is hardly processor or disk intensive. Unless you're delivering a final product, work with uncompressed audio. Yes in the sense that on some productions the audio in your NLE won't be used, but you'd be creating a full mix in something like ProTools or Adobe Audition and then marrying that with the final image at the end of the process.

As far as applying a LUT during conversion, that's an Avid-centric question and I don't primarily use that NLE.

Angelo Lorenzo
Fallen Empire - Digital Production Services


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Marco Falcone
Re: Opinion regarding offline/online editing (I know, I know, it's been asked to DEATH)
on Jun 16, 2012 at 7:38:13 pm

Thanks for the response.

______________________________________________________________________

“I don't believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all. If there's one thing that's dangerous for an artist, it's precisely this question of total freedom, waiting for inspiration and the rest of it.” -FEDERICO FELLINI


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Mike Smith
Re: Opinion regarding offline/online editing (I know, I know, it's been asked to DEATH)
on Jun 27, 2012 at 8:32:20 am

To an extent, cut and finish is replacing offline / online as a working approach for lots of single-editor projects.

Offline / online workflow has benefits in reducing stress or load on system in long story-construction phase, using captured or copied low-res footage or proxies, and of course keeping the editor focused on story construction until that's at least close to completed. Silly to waste a lot of time colour correcting and fixing material that's not going to make it into the final cut.

Once picture cut is agreed and locked then you recapture in full resolution, but need capture or transcode only the segments of footage you require - usually a tiny fraction of what's been shot.

You need to be sure that your software of choice can handle frame-accurate recapture and replacement (conforming). Testing this on a tiny sample project, end to end, is always worth considering; that way you can find and fix any gremlins before you've committed a lot of work.

Audio is not normally captured low-res for offline: the video takes so much disc space the audio file size seems less relevant I guess.

With offline / online, there's often a whole extra stage at the end after picture conforming that handles the audio sweetening and mixing.

With most modern systems now able to edit most camera footage in its raw state, without transcoding, the DV-style approach of working at full resolution is now very popular. This has big plusses in creative control; you can test and see as you go.

Many people, I think, still favour a two stage approach.

The first pass through the material concentrates mainly on story, refining the edit until that flows as desired, refining the storytelling in successive cuts.

The "finishing" stage comes after the picture is agreed and effectively locked sees the editor go through and sort out all of the technical and quality issues, fully render any remaining effects, and apply colour correction or grading as needed - a complete visual polish, if you like, followed by a complete audio polish.

This can be called finishing, and is very like online, though unlike traditional online it's quite often done on the same computer, perhaps using largely the same editing tools (not always), and even sees the same editor stretch from story construction to visual effects to technical polish to audio engineer .... a whole lot of highly skilled specialists being rolled into one person ....


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