Zack demonstrates his system for naming video tracks in Avid, which can also be applied to other NLEs like Adobe Premiere, so you can quickly and easily find media inside your timeline, akin to how a music composer would read sheet music. This system includes labeling your main footage, interviews, b–roll, titles, visual fx, and placeholders.
- [Instructor] In a previous lesson, I showed you how I organize my media and bins inside my main editorial project, and in this lesson, I'm going to show you my approach to organizing my video tracks inside my timeline. While it's easy to assume that the best editors get the best jobs because of their creative abilities, my philosophy is that not only should an editor be able to make great creative decisions, but also a truly great editor should be able to navigate a timeline, just like a great composer reads a piece of sheet music. At any given time you should know where anything is located.
And once you master this skill, you'll be able to wow any director or producer in the room. Because when they ask you, is it possible that I can see this? You can then respond with, oh, you mean this right here? Before they even finish their sentence. I'm going to show you how to make that happen by organizing your video tracks efficiently, and once again, just as a reminder, this isn't the system for organization, I'm just showing you my system. So we're back here in the main Avid interface where I showed you how to organize your folders and your subfolders in a previous lesson.
For the sake of this tutorial, I'm going to put our windows into a different workspace so we can see the timeline more clearly. I've created a template sequence for us to work from with a default one video track and two audio tracks. The first thing that I'm going to do is add four more video tracks, 'cause I like to start with five, just as a default starting point. So in Avid that's just going to be Command + Y. And if you're in other NLEs, the keystrokes are going to be different, but once again, this is about the conceptual idea behind organizing and naming your tracks, which can be done in multiple different NLE software.
So now what I'm going to do is just go into my RAW VIDEO folder. I'm going to be using bars for this tutorial, just because for confidentiality purposes, I can't show any of the footage from the TV shows that I work on. So I'm just going to open up bars and we're just going to go ahead and cut a couple of those into the sequence. What I've seen in the past from many editors when I take over their sequences are timelines where video clips are stacked like this.
I want to talk a little bit about something that I call the hit by a bus theory. If for some reason you are hit by a bus, and I certainly don't wish that upon you, but let's say that's the case, the next morning when another editor comes to take over your work, they should be able to look at your timeline and immediately understand what your creative intent was. So the last thing you want to do is have video tracks everywhere. So you can see right now, this is really, really messy. And what I suggest is that if you're doing scripted television and you have full screen video, you should only be using track one for all of your video.
So the first thing I'm going to do is drag all of these onto the first track to demonstrate what I believe to be a very clean and organized video track. However, the caveat to this is that if you work in reality television, if you work in documentary, or if you're working with multiple video layers to create split screen effects or box effects, for example on a show like 24 or a show that I worked on, Burn Notice, for four years, you're going to have to stack multiple layers. So what I like to do is name my tracks so I understand where everything goes.
So for V1 I'm just going to choose Rename Track... I'm going to call this MAIN VIDEO. Let's say that you're in the documentary world. I'm going to call V2 my BROLL layer. So that way if you have broll, you know that it's going to be on track two, your main video's going to be on one. I'm going to go ahead and undo that for now. Then let's say you're going to be doing multiple split screens, like you would on Burn Notice, for example.
We're just going to call this ADDITIONAL VIDEO. And I'll make another one called ADDITIONAL VIDEO. And I usually like to reserve my first five tracks just for video layers. From here, what I will do is create other layers for other pieces of media that you might require. That could be titles, graphics, visual effects, placeholders. There are so many different things you might be putting in your timeline. And the key is that at any time that you look at your timeline from a distance, you see something in a track, you know exactly what it is without having to zero in and really dig in through the details.
So what I'm going to do is add three more layers. I'm going to call this one TITLES. Going to call this one VFX. And let's say, for example, you're going to want to put burn in timecode, so we're going to call this BURN IN TC. So now I'm going to go and grab a template title and what I want to do is take this title and I only want it to be on the title track.
So now I'm going to edit it in here and I know that anywhere that I see any piece of video that's on track six, without having to dig in, I know that it is a title. If I know that something is sitting on seven, I know that it has to do with the visual effects. If I see a layer going across track eight, I know that's probably my burn in timecode layer. So now that you have your video tracks laid out in an organized fashion that will allow you to quickly find anything at the snap of a finger, in a future lesson, I'll show you how you can do the same thing for your audio tracks.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.