5 Ways to Edit Faster
Whether you’ve been editing for years or you’re new to the process, everyone wants to edit faster. Although these tips are geared toward new editors, even seasoned editors will hopefully pick up a few tips to speed up their workflow.
A bit of preparation, in the beginning, can speed up your workflow through the whole process. At my old job at a post house, we had some massive video projects and when I was the low man on the totem pole and helping in an assistant editor capacity, I got the job of logging the footage on a few major projects. I had to watch every clip, mark in and out points, rate the clips, adding notes where needed, and tag the clips with keywords. It was a daunting task with over 250 hours of footage to sift through. It wasn’t fun but I learned a ton and I know I took days, maybe even weeks, off of the lead editor’s work. This was in the 1990s so there are so many tools that are available now to make this process a lot easier than I had it.
1 Organize Your Media to Edit Faster
A little file management goes a long way. I have an example below of a basic file structure. You’ll want to modify it for each project and tweak it to your own preference.
Animations – After Effects files or renders
Audio – Sound effects, music, voice over
Documents – Scripts, storyboards, notes, etc.
Graphics – Titles, logos
Media – Your captured raw video, images needed in the edit
Export – Exports, tests, different mixes, etc.
These are a few well-written articles that dive into organizing your media.
- An Exciting Post About File Management! (Seriously, This is For Your Own Good) – No Film School has a great article on File Managment with some great resources.
- Create a Media Composer Project Structure That Will Last For Years – Chris Bové talks about file structure. This article is useful for any editor, not just Avid users.
And a few videos:
PRO TIP: Organize Your Project
How To Organize Footage! – Best Folder System For Post Production
If you’re using Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Prelude was designed to streamline post-production workflow. It lets you quickly tag and ingest your video, and create a rough cut fast.
Batch renaming in Adobe Prelude to Edit Faster
Your media files need unique names. Colin Smith explains batch renaming of hundreds of files with Prelude.
Free Tools for File Management for Video Editors
Post Haste – Free Mac App for organizing post-production assets
This free app allows you to organize your project before you start editing. You can set up your automated naming parameters and it will create a file/folder structure for you.
Editing Folders – Free for Mac
Editing Folders was created by Adam Schoales and uses the build in Automator that comes with the Mac OS. Its job is to create a batch of folders.
Rename it – Free for Windows
If you need to rename a bunch of files, Rename it will “safely rename of thousands of files and folders at once via regex and all kind of other renaming filters.”
2 Log Your Footage and Get Rid of Junk to Edit Faster
After everything is organized, you’ll want to open your NLE and start logging it. Go through each and every clip and watch the duration. Get rid of clips that you know you won’t use. Create bins for your footage and keep things organized inside your NLE.
How to Log Interview Clips in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
6 Easy Steps for Logging Footage – Rocketstock has some tips
3 Transcode First and Work with Proxies (or Online/Offline workflow)
Transcoding your footage will change the codec of your native footage into a format that will play back faster and help you edit faster. You don’t necessarily have to transcode but if your NLE can’t read the raw files or if the files are huge and are making your editor sluggish, transcoding can help. You can transcode at any point in the editing process but if you know your system is going to run slowly and choppily, get rid of the footage you know you won’t use and transcode the rest to speed things up.
Transcoding for Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro
Proxy editing allows you to work with lower quality clips when editing so that you can edit on a less powerful machine.
5 THINGS: on Offline / Online Workflows (episode 208) with Avid, Premiere Pro, and FCP X
Using Proxy Media in Final Cut Pro X
Ways to Work with Proxies in Premiere Pro by Sofi Marshall
Proxy workflow – from the Adobe Premiere Pro User Guide
4 Learn the important keyboard shortcuts before you edit
No matter which editing tool you use, learning some of the most basic shortcut key combinations will save you minutes per hour and hours per week. Using the mouse while editing can slow you down. Make yourself a cheat sheet and keep it next to your computer until you know them.
You’ll want to know the shortcuts for Add Edit/Blade, go to the Next Edit/Previous Edit, adding markers, the Hand tool, Lift and extract, and more.
- Premiere Pro CC Shortcuts (Mac)
- Premiere Pro CC shortcuts (Windows)
- Avid Media Composer Keyboard Shortcuts
- Final Cut Pro X: Final Cut Pro keyboard shortcuts
- Davinci Resolve 14 Keyboard Shortcuts
- Burning Question: Keyboard Shortcuts in Premiere Pro for an FCP User? This is about FCP 7 but if you’re making the switch to Premiere Pro, this could be helpful.
And a few videos…
Premiere Pro Keyboard Shortcuts
26 Simple Tricks For Faster Editing (Premiere Pro CC)
Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts – Lesson 1: Tools
There are 9 lessons in total. Here’s the first.
15 Essential Final Cut Pro X Keyboard Shortcuts
5 Use Markers in the Timeline and on Clips
Use markers to label layers and clips can help you as you edit with pacing or editing to the beat. Markers can help you remember what you did or need to do, and help other editors who are navigating your project.
Final Cut Pro In Under 5 Minutes: Editing with Markers in FCP X
Making the most of Markers in Adobe Premiere Pro
5 Ways to use Markers in Premiere Pro
Posted by Michele Yamazaki