Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Strategies to improve file naming and timecode, part of After Effects Guru: Color Grading Footage.
- Once you have media brought in, you might want to keep track of things like clip names and timecode. This will make it easier when you have to go back to the non-linear editing tool, if you want to handle material back off to an editor or someone else who's working in the pipeline. In After Effects, there's a couple of options that are really useful. First up, if you select a series of clips and right-click, you could choose New Comp From Selection. This'll bring up a new dialogue. You can make sure that Multiple Compositions is checked, and what this will do is make a comp for each of the selected items.
When I click Okay, you'll notice that they automatically take on the name of each item. Additionally, if you open up one of these items, you'll see that it doesn't start at 00. Well, let's expand this panel here for a moment, and I want to show you something important. With a piece of footage selected, you can right-click on the top header here and bring up columns for Media Start. You'll see in this case the actual starting timecode for the file.
And you'll notice that the starting timecode of the clip by default matches the starting timecode for the sequence. Doing this will make things a lot easier. Now if for some reason these values aren't syncing up, you can always take a look at the Composition Settings here. And this is where you can check things. Notice you can enter in a Starting Timecode if needed, and change the name for the composition. They'll like to encourage you that these values should match. The new file that's generated will have the same name and the output timecode of the original.
Now, most of you aren't worried about using After Effects as a color correction tool. You can easily do this in most non-linear editing tools, but there are some advanced reasons that we'll cover a little bit later where sending a clip from your editing tool to After Effects may be warranted. But I do find nonetheless that keeping file names and timecode in sync is a good idea. If you are dealing with process files, you might want to slightly modify that name, maybe adding an underscore of edited or corrected after the original file name.
That way, you've got the original media and the newly-generated media. Now, this sort of media management is really a matter of personal taste and style. I just wanted you to see that After Effects can support things as you move through. Alright, now that we've got some of the housekeeping out of the way, let's move onto our next section.
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- Evaluating the shot
- Fixing white balance
- Fixing exposure and tone
- Adjusting color
- Converting to black and white
- Creating a film look
- Adding texture