Post-production workflow

8 Ways To Improve Your Post-Production Workflow

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Editing is where the magic happens, but it can be a long, grueling process. Converting raw footage into an entertaining video quickly goes from exciting to exhausting if your post-production workflow isn’t up to scratch.

Don’t keep your audience waiting! Check out our most effective post-production workflow tips to speed up your video editing.

1. Organize Your Files & Footage

First, organize your footage! Precious seconds if not hours can be saved if you take the time to organize your files during the shooting process. No matter how tired you are after a busy day of filming, taking the time to store and record your files correctly will be worth it in the long run.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use different folders for every scene containing both audio and video files for each.
  • Use sub-folders to organize different shoots/times/locations. Whatever suits your project best.
  • Always check to see if your footage has the correct name. Give them detailed names that include the location and date.

2. Create a Rough Cut

Creating your rough cut is one of the most time consuming tasks in your post-production workflow. You need to select and catalog all the footage that you want to use in the final cut in the correct order. Organizing material, as mentioned above, is crucial to locating the footage you’ll use to build your plot and story arc.

You can choose from a variety of top video editing software including Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. They’re straightforward to use and will definitely speed up your workflow processes once you’ve mastered the basics.

3. Use a Pancake Timeline

A video editing method known as pancake timeline focuses on working on multiple frames at the same time. In this type of post-production workflow, there are two timelines:

  • One is to establish a timeline where you may play with the footage, and
  • The other timeline is for editing your footage

This is important for editors since it allows them to quickly go through the footage and decide which shot fits great with another. It helps you save time as you don’t need to create a new master edit. It’s easy to keep track of your progress as you can go back and see your edited clips at any moment.

4. Color Correct Before Grading

Color correct before you color grade, it’s as simple as that! This allows you to create even balanced shots, saving you all kinds of post-production headaches later.

Making sure all of your shots are corrected before color grading streamlines your workflow by giving you an even canvas to work from when you start the grading process. Do this and you’re well on your way to producing a professional looking video with time to spare.

5. Learn Shortcuts

The best tip when it comes to speeding up your video editing processes is learning keyboard shortcuts. If you want to bring your post-production workflow to the next level, learning a few quick shortcuts of commands and features that you use a lot can turbocharge your editing.

Just start with the basics like Undo, Cut, Copy, Redo, Paste, etc. to supercharge piecing together your footage in your timeline. The more shortcuts you learn, the faster your editing process will be.

6. Post-Production Plugins

You don’t need professional training or expensive video equipment to use new effects and features in your videos. There are plenty of paid and free plugins to help you out and there’s a huge variety to choose from.

A little secret about editing is that more often than not, professionals will use plugins to create the end product. While you may find your moral compass twinge at first, this isn’t cheating, in fact, it makes sense from both a time and cost perspective.

7. Use Video Templates

To make your post-production workflow more efficient, you can also use templates. These can be a great help to speed up the processes and come included in software like Premiere Pro.

Templates are premade videos with animations, sound effects, overlays, and video assets built-in. You can drag and drop into your timeline and add your own footage in seconds.

Once you’ve developed a style you like, you can always build your own templates to use when pushed for time.

8. Sound Effects & Music Libary

Lastly, another easy way to speed up your post-production workflow is to use royalty-free music and sound effects.

Not only do they save time but also ensure that you avoid any copyright claims. There are several music and sound effects providers to choose from, but we would recommend choosing a provider with direct licensing.

This way, you bypass all the complicated licensing agreements you might come across when dealing with several different rights holders, labels, and legal teams.

Wrapping Up

In short, speeding up your post-production workflow is crucial. It not only saves money and time but allows you to focus on being creative. Try applying these 7 top tips to your next project to help speed things up.

Bob is our content editor at the Video Collective. He's a videographer and a real tech geek with over 13 years of experience in video production. Loves coffee but hates Marmite.
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