You might have heard about the terms online/offline workflow or proxy workflow and how they can be beneficial in postproduction. So what are these workflows? Do the describe the same thing? In this video, author Jeff Greenberg explains how the online/offline workflow came to be and how to use it in your edit process.
- Talking about online/offline workflow really harkens back to the beginning of nonlinear editing. This is a point where we only had a limited amount of storage. I remember buying nine gigabyte hard drives. We would capture all of our tape material, very low resolution, 320 by 240. Then, once we finished our sequence, we would recapture at full resolution. In that case, it was standard def at 640 by 480, or if you really want to talk about it that way, 720 by 480. It's just this idea that we would work with a low quality offline or proxy, and then later, we would recapture at full quality.
And to give you an idea what this looks like, it was just this idea here that we would work from tape, we'd capture everything we wanted, and it'd be in low quality, just like those video tapes there are on screen. Then, when we finalize our sequence, we would recapture the online version but only from our sequence. In fact, we wouldn't even recapture the audio. The audio was always at full quality. We would just recapture the video. And there it is in full resolution, those tapes. When we talk about this with Final Cut 10, Apple's really done a great job of making this easy, the way Apple does with a lot of things.
And it's this idea that the workflow is working under the idea that you've got your camera originals, and you'll make a tiny copy for a proxy. And then it becomes which version do you want to work with? The full resolution or the proxy? And it's just a switch. And at the very end when you go to export, you'll sit back and you'll export the full quality version and give that to your client. The beauty of an online/offline workflow is you get the ability to have your system really perform well because it's only handling tiny proxy files.
- Comparing workflows: online vs. offline
- Working with originals, proxies, and optimized clips
- Generating proxies during or after import
- Generating optimized footage
- Determining if a clip or library has a proxy
- Compressing footage
- Using a preset to generate proxies
- Placing custom proxies in the library
- Switching between offline and online
- Exporting the right quality for clients
- Moving media in and out of libraries