The Video Production Process is a measured formula.
Whenever you are taking part in video production, after gathering all of your footage, there’s a simple way to bring it all together and start structuring the ultimate creation. The post-production phase is where you really start to see where your effort has come down to and what the outcome is. Presented below are the steps for a general outline.
1. Importing Footage for processing
You can follow your camera manufacturer’s instructions for attaching its storage device to your computer. Once you are able to digitally contact its files, it’s time to shift all that is stored in your camera to the computer.
There are multiple different applications that can be used for importing, managing, and copying data. These particular applications recognize all connected storage, whether it’s an external hard-drive or an SD card, and allows you to easily administer your inputs and outputs. You can link the storage to the computer by drag and drop method or even handling multiple sources quickly at the same time.
The applications specifically made for this purpose are purposely built for speed and assurance. As file sizes continue to increase, other methods of copying are becoming less and less convenient and helpful. They also provide a checksum copy with a log of failed and completed footage, so you know that your transfer was safe and to let you know if some task was not completed.
Now that all of your footage that was gathered through video production is imported, it’s time to make it easy to work with.
First, it’s essential to make backups of your media so that in cases of emergency or losses your data is not compromised. This is as simple as setting up 2 hard drives for storing your data. This will prevent you from losing footage and will allow you to continue working on the project. Don’t feel limited, as there are lots of different ways to set this up.
Next, comes the most important task of organizing your files. Instead of having them all randomly scattered about, it’s important to create folders that has all your data categorized into multiple folders.
We also recommend that you rename footage so that you know what it is via file name. When naming project files, it’s also important to label revisions of each project. For instance, I’ve named files “v05_CompanyName_SpecificProject.”
There’s no established way to best organize your files. What works best for you is the recommended strategy but the point of it all is that it must be done to make sure that the video under process is produced to its potential.
3. Planning is key
Now that all the footage is ready to go, you need to establish and stick to a plan that will get your work done. The major advice to follow at this step is to plan everything out prior to the video production. Many of us have the attitude of a procrastinator that makes us think that we can think about it when the time comes that makes it extremely inconvenient for us. There are a lot of resources available on the internet to help you determine the best workflow for you. Your goal should be to make it well-organized and understandable. This way, you can draw to a close on projects quickly without getting bogged down in details.
This step is helpful if you have high-resolution footage which is what is recommended to all people indulging in video production as the audiences deserve and expect every production to be high resolution. Rather than simply attempting to edit the footage as it is, it’s much more convenient to create temporary, lower-resolution versions of it. If you try to work with your 4k media right away, for example, your computer will need to process it every frame and will cause you to waste a lot of time. There are different tricks that can be used to make your work faster and your life easier.
Depending on what software you are using to edit, there are different procedures for building proxies.
5. Rough Cuts
This step means that you start creating early versions of the final video to keep in check the timeline and the progress of the videos. Start throwing footage together as soon as you have gathered it all so you can start to see the final picture come into view. This stage is supposed to be “rough,” so you should line up your media in your editor in a way that you basically imagine the final product to look a certain way. Don’t worry about visual effects (VFX) or great audio and just focus simply on editing it all together and make sure that the content flows through with your idea.
Repeat this until you are satisfied with how the video cuts are set together. Again, don’t worry yet about VFX, audio, or coloring. Once you are content with how the video comes across, you are ready to go into the next step that includes picture locking the video.
Simply put, “picture lock” means that you assign how you’ve edited the visuals and the way you technically want the picture to turn out. The picture that you see will not change from this point on. Thus, it’s essential that you are satisfied with the entire edit as you won’t be changing that from here on out.
6. VFX and Audio
Now, you can start to improve your audio and add visual effects which truly make an impact on the video and really make it memorable. It’s generally not compulsory to produce and put into practice your VFX before finalizing the audio, as the sound design will usually depend upon what the VFX looks like. VFX will vary from one editing software to the next, so go check out online resources depending on what you’re doing because it can vary.
When editing audio, make sure that it sounds apparent and is striking a good decibel level. In most video editors, you’ll be able to see a measuring device that shows you the level where the audio objectively plays. Make sure that it isn’t peaking – going above 0db – and is at a suitable level, close to the 0db mark.
If the audio is muddled or needs to be re-recorded, that’s okay! Read up on the ADR process in order to re-record voices. If you don’t want to do this, find some creative ways to improve that audio. Maybe you can fade it in a certain way or use some filters to make it sound better.
If you need to add sound effects use some existing sound libraries to place sounds into your edit. You may need to look into sound design, depending on the project that you’re doing.
7. Color Grading
At this point of your video editing your final master piece is almost ready, the picture has been locked, your visual effects have been added in, and the audio has been finalized. Now, it’s time to find an overall visual style that you like and start modifying the colors in your video to line up with that.
Depending on the software that you use, first, you need to create a standardized light/dark balance. If your software has a waveform monitor, you will be able to see the objective amount of light coming off of your project. Adjust every clip so that the whitest white and blackest black are essentially at the same values
Second, regulate your white balance to objective white. Using an RGB parade scope you can see the objective color values of your footage. The goal is to adjust all of your colors so that they read as white as possible. Whatever you decide you can apply it to your whole film.
8. Final Cut
After all of this hard work you have reached the final step where your master piece is ready to present to your audience. At this step, your video is done! The only thing left to do is export it. Congrats on seeing a concept through from start to finish!