Idea Editing, Fx's and work flow.

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Editing, Fx's and work flow. was created by Peter

Hi to all,
I have been meaning to post a message relating to a generalised work flow that encompasses how to successfully start with an imported video clip and end up with a fully rendered finished product from within Movie Studio or Vegas.
Please realise, I am not wondering how to actually undertake each process - those have been very clearly shown and explained in the tutorial videos Derek expertly has created and placed on this site.

What I am forever trying to establish is:

After the initial video clip in placed onto the time line - in which order are the next activities undertaken.
The activities may include:
Cutting and removing segments of unwanted material,
Adding required FX's,
Stabilization,
Colour correction.
The list potentially disappears into the distance - until eventually, one is satisfied with the edited "preview" and rendering is undertaken.

Is there any correct or even preferred order in which the "activities" should be undertaken to arrive at a clean looking product.

Any comment or directive advice would be most welcome - especially if reasons supporting the point of view are indicated.
"No-no's" would be good to be aware of!

Seeing as the slow and snow season is now well in place - I might have more time to dedicate to learning the correct way of video editing.
As ever - all the best,

Peter
12 Dec 2016 12:40 #1

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Replied by DoctorZen on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Hi Peter

This is one of the areas where people develop their own workflow, as they gain more and more experience.
So there are no black and white rules, but there is a basic logic.

Leave CPU/GPU intensive tasks like adding Video FX/Colour Correction to last.
If the project ends up becoming really large and complex, then I would start creating mini-projects, by breaking the Master project up into smaller chunks.
If you are using Vegas Pro, this is where "Nesting Projects" comes in handy.

My general workflow is this, which is basically a copy of what you have already said.
1. Import all media
2. Sort through media (preview media) and delete anything that is not going to be used. This normally means doing some large rough cuts.
3. If anything needs stabilizing, make sure it has been isolated from videos that don't need stabilizing. Often people have shaky footage located inside of a large single video clip. If the beginning and end are good and don't need stabilizing, I would chop the video into new segments, so that the shaky part is made as short as possible and then apply stabilization.
4. Add Video FX
5. Add Colour Correction

I'm sure some of the other forum members, will have something to say about this topic.

Regards
Derek
Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems.
Peace :)
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12 Dec 2016 14:07 #2

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Replied by Richard Jones on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Apart from the fact that, in Vegas, a clip on the Timeline is called an "event" I would agree with much of what Derek says save that I would sound a word of warning about applying stabilisation in the way he suggests. In general, stabilisation involves a degree of zooming which means that the borders will not match those of the rest of the event so creating a sometimes ugly effect where the borders change.

Richard
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13 Dec 2016 00:44 #3

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Hi Peter,

To piggyback on the excellent posts of Derek and Richard.......

I bring in everything from the camera to storage. Before adding media to the project I develop a rough plan (sometimes this is very specific and on paper) based on the complexity of the project. I decide if this is a simple film requiring only one project in Vegas, or is it a more complex film requiring multiple Vegas projects. If it's a simple film, such as an impromptu shoot of a social gathering, the seasons first snow, document a DIY project, or just gathering stock footage, etc......

1. Add media clips to the Project Media bin. Preview, and delete those clips not needed.
2. In the story book sequence, add clips from the Project Media bin to the Timeline, which then become events (I edit cuts on the timeline, others may like to go to the Trimmer first and then to the Timeline).
3. Make any adjustment requires to sync the audio, or add Audio FX.
4. I make the rough cuts on each event trying to get all the cuts within several frames or seconds. Once all the events have been trimmed, I playback the project and fine tune cuts that need adjustment. This is where I will do some preliminary transitions to check the trim length for the proper fade. If I do a preliminary transition here, and one or the other event needs something like Stabilization, I will remove the transition and add it in later.
5. If there are any events which require Stabilization, I usually perform this within Vegas (sometimes I will pull an event and pre-process the Stabilization in Mercalli stand alone).
6. If there are events which I want to change the speed, speed it up or slow it down (slow motion), then I will do that within Vegas (sometimes I will pull the event and pre-process this event in ReSpeedr).
7. This is when I usually make basic color correction, contrast, brightness, adjustment to those events which may have been shot with poor exposure, or color match if I used two cameras.
8. Now I add a corrective LUT (if I shot the film flat to increase HDR, which often I do), and any Look presets or LUT's for grading.
9. If I'm going to use any FX's, I will add it here, or depending on the FX it may be added before #7.
10. Transitions are added at this point.
11. Final color correction is added here if needed (almost always there is at least one event that needs to be tweaked, and often more than one!).
12. The audio Sound Effects and Music tracks are added here. Sometimes the length of music requires an event trim length change. If the event trim length is dependant on the beat of the music, I will add the music track before #4.
13. Render.
14. Preview results, then back to Vegas to make adjustments which could go all the way back to #3 (maybe even #2!!).
15. Hopefully the final Render.

If it is a more complex film, I will work on it in parts. For this, even though I use Vegas which allows for using Project Nesting, I prefer instead to Render Intermediates. I use CineForm YUV 422 Filmscan 1 for these Intermediate files. The render generational loss in quality is undetectable by the eye and they run smoother during preview. Once all the Intermediate files have been rendered (which are basically taking a bunch of clips and combining them into several larger clips, for example the whole film consist of 160 clips, which I organize into four Intermediates consisting of 40 clips each. Of course the quantity never comes out that even, but I'm sure you get the idea). Then the workflow goes something like this.....

- For each part I'm going to render an Intermediate file......
1. Add media clips to the Project Media bin. Preview, and delete those clips not needed.
2. In the story book sequence, add clips from the Project Media bin to the Timeline, which then become events (I edit cuts on the timeline, others may like to go to the Trimmer first and then to the Timeline).
3. Make any adjustment requires to sync the audio, or add Audio FX.
4. I make the rough cuts on each event trying to get all the cuts within several frames or seconds. Once all the events have been trimmed, I playback the project and fine tune cuts that need adjustment. This is where I will do some preliminary transitions to check the trim length for the proper fade. If I do a preliminary transition here, and one or the other event needs something like Stabilization, I will remove the transition and add it in later.
5. If there are any events which require Stabilization, I usually perform this within Vegas (sometimes I will pull an event and pre-process the Stabilization in Mercalli stand alone).
6. If there are events which I want to change the speed, speed it up or slow it down (slow motion), then I will do that within Vegas (sometimes I will pull the event and pre-process this event in ReSpeedr).
7. This is when I usually make basic color correction, contrast, brightness, adjustment to those events which may have been shot with poor exposure, or color match if I used two cameras.
8. Now I add a corrective LUT (if I shot the film flat to increase HDR, which I do often), and any Look presets or LUT's for grading.
9. If I'm going to use any FX's, I will add it here, or depending on the FX it may be added before #7.
10. Transitions are added at this point.
11. Render to Intermediate.
12. Start the final project......
13. Add all the Intermediates to the Project Media Bin.
14. Add all the Intermediate clips in proper sequence to the Timeline, which become Events.
15. Make the transitions as needed.
16. Final color correction is added here if needed (almost always there is at least one event that needs to be tweaked, and often more than one!).
17. The audio Sound Effects and Music tracks are added here. Sometimes the length of music requires an event trim length change. If the event trim length is dependant on the beat of the music, I will add the music track before #4.
18. Render.
19. Preview results, then back to Vegas to make adjustments which could go all the way back to #3 (maybe even #2!!). This could also mean opening a Project for a specific Intermediate to make adjustments.
20. Hopefully the final Render.

The only workflow I know of that is perfect me, is the workflow I developed and use for myself. And it didn't take long for me to change my workflow to improve it for me! The workflow I list above isn't in stone, I can change it during any project to better fit, and I often do!

I'm sure there is something I left out, and of course there are many parts within some of the steps.


Hope this helps a bit.
Best Regards......George
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13 Dec 2016 03:57 #4

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Replied by Peter on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Derek, Richard and George,
Many thanks for the time given to answer my question(s).

I did search the web - but did not find a concise list or flow diagram (and spent too much time being diverted from my original objective).
My intention is not too sponge off those who have no doubt passed many hours investigating the better work flows - but more of:

1. Attempting to have a listing generated for those who may not have formulated a generic work flow
2. Hoping to bring forth actions that should be undertaken initially in respect to others.

Reference to CPU intensive Fx's being held back is logical, unless one has lots of time to sit and watch whilst heating the room space.

Regarding stabilisation - the plugin supplied with Vegas and Movie Studio is one that from experience should be used only if one is really desperate - it indeed will zoom right in to establish a smoother ride - whilst chopping out a high % of the original view. Mercalli has resulted in a much better result - and surprisingly quickly.

The use of intermediates: A classic example of initial use appearing to be a simple choice but once the topic is delved into the choice becomes blurred with so many different POV, as well as more recent codecs arriving on the market. This may be simplified due to the supply of "free" examples being limited and others remaining with price tags that are only attractive to more professional users.
The topic of Intermediates does merit a discussion on this forum! - again to try and clarify into concise terms which would be useful for the less pro minded users (yours truly, and firmly included).

I have noted the accepted use of the term "clip" and "event" - I cannot guarantee that I will remain true to its proper use - please forgive any future lapse.

Are there any actions that must precede others due to an incorrect order resulting in an obvious degradation of the final rendered video?

Reading material associated with Colour - there appears to be a set order in which to apply corrections.

and finally, the use of stabilsation has been clarified for me - I could never decide when to apply in the cases where it was required.
Again many thanks,

Peter
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13 Dec 2016 13:12 #5

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Replied by Richard Jones on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

I tend to make stabilisation the last FX applied to the event as some FX (e.g. sharpen if I remember) will involve you in having to stabilise again.

I'm one who uses the rimmer to do his editing as I find it easier to use but this is just a matter of taste and, although points of view about this are sometimes firmly held, it is strictly a matter of personal preference.

My approach to colour ius to usecolour curves first, and the colour correction (one and/or two) and finally levels but this is just a personal habit which will vary depending on the problem and the results that are being thrown up at different stages.

Good luck.

Richard
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13 Dec 2016 22:53 #6

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Peter wrote: I did search the web - but did not find a concise list or flow diagram (and spent too much time being diverted from my original objective).
My intention is not too sponge off those who have no doubt passed many hours investigating the better work flows - but more of:

1. Attempting to have a listing generated for those who may not have formulated a generic work flow
2. Hoping to bring forth actions that should be undertaken initially in respect to others.

I certainly did not take your question as sponging, rather I took your question as sharing different points of view. I'm always out to learn and share from others.


Peter wrote: Regarding stabilisation - the plugin supplied with Vegas and Movie Studio is one that from experience should be used only if one is really desperate - it indeed will zoom right in to establish a smoother ride - whilst chopping out a high % of the original view. Mercalli has resulted in a much better result - and surprisingly quickly.

It's my understanding the Sony Stabilization plugin is actually an early version from Mercalli (version 1 or 2 perhaps). I use it occasionally when a light application is called for (resulting in less cropping). The latest Mercalli v4 is much better as the corrections are more precise and therefore less cropping is needed. Although the more I use, and learn, Mercalli v4 SAL and Plug-in, the more I will use them exclusively. Regardless of the tool used for stabilization, cropping to some extent will be required, so when I setup a shot which I know will need stabilization, I add to the frame from extra space if possible.


Peter wrote: The use of intermediates: A classic example of initial use appearing to be a simple choice but once the topic is delved into the choice becomes blurred with so many different POV, as well as more recent codecs arriving on the market. This may be simplified due to the supply of "free" examples being limited and others remaining with price tags that are only attractive to more professional users.
The topic of Intermediates does merit a discussion on this forum! - again to try and clarify into concise terms which would be useful for the less pro minded users (yours truly, and firmly included).

I agree, there are a lot of aspects of post production, which are extremely complex when we drill down into the specifics, intermediates being one of them. There are many codec that can be successfully used for rendering intermediates. From my exploratory unscientific meager testing, CineForm consistently comes out on top. It has no cost and is easy to use from within Vegas Pro and Movie Studio. Although I'm sure many pro's use it, I'm not a pro and it 'flows' within my workflow. Using intermediates isn't the perfect solution for everyone, but it does work nicely for me, when I need it. I look at it, as another tool I can use when it becomes appropriate, in my opinion, to use as an advantage.


Peter wrote: I have noted the accepted use of the term "clip" and "event" - I cannot guarantee that I will remain true to its proper use - please forgive any future lapse.

It helps when we use the appropriate or specific terms when discussing issues, but this 'clip' vs 'event' thing, is I think a thorn in the side of many. From what I understand, the term 'event' stems from way back when Vegas was primarily an audio program. I try to refer to clips as events once they are placed on a track in the timeline, because that is what they are referred to within the 'help' pages of Vegas/Movie Studio. But honestly, I at times intermix the terms!!!
Best Regards......George
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14 Dec 2016 03:17 #7

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Replied by Peter on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Hi Richard and George,

Richard - interesting that you mention stabilisation / sharpen FX - I shall investigate that to see. I tend to steer clear of sharpening as my subject matter often suffers above a very slight application (edges start to "shine"). My eyes prefer the look resulting from the "unsharpen" FX.

George - The Avid DNxHR codec has produced very acceptable results - but have seen comments regarding Cineform many times and have been meaning to see how that would go.But, a little akin to getting too deep into HiFi - if the ears aren't sensitive enough, what's the point in buying the World's best; so since I have a generic monitor that I am not capable of setting for "correct " colour, I suspect I would be chasing the mythical pot of gold at the end of that celestial arc. Still, I am intrigued and wish to understand a little more
Colour: Now that is where I am capable of spending a fair bit of time, arrive at what I consider a pleasant result, only to view the event (!) at a later time and realise my eyes adjusted to some bizarre over kill.
A fairly common problem I see is moving from snow cover (correct white balance and exposure) into an area of dull rock, then back into snow. The result is a few seconds of blasted exposure and bondi blue sky! If I could find a sure fire correction for that foul colour, I would be so happy. This past weekend produced a classic occurrence. Poor dog happily tracking a guy on his snow mobile was most put out as she thought my verbalisation was directed towards her. Cost me a 2 cm thick slice of beef lung and tripe as proof it wasn't so.
I ramble, so, again many thanks for the thoughts kindly written.

Peter
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14 Dec 2016 11:55 #8

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Replied by Richard Jones on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Yes, Peter, I usually use Unsharp Mask as my main sharpening took but try never to go beyond the Medium preset. Sharpen is my second choice but again I limit myself to Medium. I have been known to combine these two FX (both set at Medium) if I have a difficult problem and will occasionally use the Sharpen preset in Convolution Kernel but, be warned, this can often be too fierce. Much will depend on the context and importance of the event --- for examp[le i will allow myself more latitude if it is an unrepeatable shot in a family record film.

Incidentally, I hope you are not falling into the old trap of treating the snow as pure white! Snow will always take something, however little, from the other light (e.g. the blue of the sky or the colour in the rest of the scene that comes from trees, rocks etc). Justas a shadow is not truly black, so the snowis never truly white no matter that the eye will have made an adjustment as you view the scene at the time.

Richard

Richard
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14 Dec 2016 21:22 #9

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Editing, Fx's and work flow.

Richard Jones wrote: Incidentally, I hope you are not falling into the old trap of treating the snow as pure white! Snow will always take something, however little, from the other light (e.g. the blue of the sky or the colour in the rest of the scene that comes from trees, rocks etc). Justas a shadow is not truly black, so the snowis never truly white no matter that the eye will have made an adjustment as you view the scene at the time.


This deserves a Double Thank You, Two Thumbs Up!
Best Regards......George
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15 Dec 2016 02:24 #10

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