Ah yes, the world of video editing. It’s expansive and impressive, and goes everywhere from humbling news stations to massive feature-length film productions. There’s many aspects that come to editing video and film, and we’ll get right to it in this article. Before understanding how video editing works, it’s always best to learn the language and terms, so that’ll be what we cover! Let’s begin.

Linear & Non-linear Editing

Before we can get into the details, let’s give a quick basis. Before the creation of digital film, editing was rather hard, and would require you to cut the physical film in order to actually organize it and review it. From there, one would arrange it contextually. Of course, you can see why this was inconvenient. It was a lot of long and hard work, rather time-consuming!

But at the birth of digital, this became a bit easier. Now, one can do linear editing on programs with tools, and it still has its perks and downsides. Linear video editing today still requires one to cut the digital film, and rearrange it contextually to fit with whatever is going on. This would also include the usage of audio, which must be aligned correctly too during video editing. And you can only do it in a linear fashion- just moving forward. It is the most common form of editing, and it’s important that you learn to do things linearly before moving onto learning non-linear editing.

If you are to edit something you should do it linearly due to the nature of this editing. It’s common to have issues where editing becomes tedious due to errors or issues with audio going over the set amount. Dubbing audio over it can be an issue too, as it can lower the quality of the graphics. It also requires live-editing, too. But, it’s still the most cost-effective, and it’s the cheapest way to edit.

Non-linear editing on the other hand consists of being able to randomly select anything out of your video content. You can edit any frame, any scene, and any bit of the video at any given moment. While you must move forward with linear editing, non-linear allows for you to jump back and forth, quickly edit times, change audio bits, and do things in non-linear order. You can make changes to one part without affecting the rest, unlike linear.

The issue that lies in this though, is that it’s incredibly expensive. It requires some pretty strong computers to actually process and take care of this video! If you’re already set up with a powerful rig, then that’s great, you’ve already saved yourself for spending money on having you computer process so much video.

Both types of editing have their perks, too!

Offline & Real-time Editing

Real time editing is a bit of an outdated way of editing video where the length of the video was the same time it took to render and process the video. It used to be common practice, luckily, now it’s not. It required computers with huge CPUs and tons of RAM (which are probably low numbers considering today’s standards), and some companies that did this with videos would even have multiple computers connected- all of them processing and rendering the same video to speed up the process quite a bit!

Due to the quick speed of newer software, this has been filtered out by offline editing, and other forms of editing. They follow similar ways of working, though.

Offline editing allows the video to be copied and worked upon, without editing the original whatsoever. Editors would be able to do this in a non-linear editing way, editing random parts and choosing how to edit it, due to the fact that it was a copy rather than the original film. Non-linear editing and offline editing walk hand in hand because of this! It allowed for a quicker paced work flow, along with a much easier one. Offline editing is managed by people, rather than a computer (which is the issue with real-time editing).

Batch Processing & Project Trimming

These two are also extremely crucial parts to developing and working with film. Batch processing refers to a computer process that is defined by a computer working over and processing many, many files, with or without people intervening. A batch can be multiple files, multiple projects, where it performs an automated job setup by whatever put said computer to work. There are many perks of batch processing, including that it’s automated- no one needs to be paying hours of time working with it and instead of having to launch and run the software over and over again, the computer will just keep processing in the given order of the files.

Trimming projects allows for easy cropping of projects, or simply by trimming certain areas of the project to move them elsewhere. This can be done via non-linear editing easily, and same with linear editing, although it may be a little more time consuming to re-edit things. Trimming is helpful when cutting and editing projects, and can make things much quicker and easier.

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash.