Scott demonstrates two different approaches to track layout within your template. One can be used for narrative film styles and one can be used for more documentary-style formats.
- [Instructor] As we break out AAF files into our template I want to introduce you to two methods of track layout that I found to be useful depending on the project type. One is much more appropriate for narrative, short, or feature films, and the other is more useful for documentary forms. I'll start here with a narrative film track layout in this short film called Vincent. First, I've left in the remains of the AAF import. If you want to see them, they're up here. So this is where I pulled all the information down into my template tracks, and everything that's left here is muted and grayed out, and it's just all the stuff that I didn't find useful or didn't need.
So when I'm done with that I can hide all the AAF tracks and I'm down into my actual template where I'll work on the audio. Now let's talk about how I've laid this out. Now since this is a narrative film you'll notice that I've used what I call a checkerboard method. Basically, you bounce back and forth between groups of dialogue tracks depending on the scene. To show this clearly I've color-coded the tracks and I've labeled different groupings of dialogue tracks with A, B, and C. So if you look over here, I made a marker for scene one.
Those exist on dialogue tracks A one, two, and three. When we get to scene one B, those now are in a different group of tracks, B one, two, and three. And then we go back to scene two, we hop back up to the checkerboard of A one, two, and three. The reason for organizing tracks this way is that you can reset and redesign all the automation on, for example, your EQ plugins between scenes. Since there is rarely repeated audio in narrative format, this allows you to recycle tracks efficiently and keep the track count relatively low as you move from scene to scene.
And if you go through the film you see I'm bouncing back and forth. There's even a grouping of C, which I've done in scene seven, I went down to C one, two, and three. These might have different settings on their EQ. So I've kept it to three groups and I'm moving between them as each scene plays out. The alternative to this style is a method I like to use in documentary formats. Here in the documentary piece we have several repeated interviews that return throughout the piece. It's pretty common for a doc. So instead of laying out tracks by the scene as I did in the short film, here I simply name and keep the tracks specific to who's being interviewed.
So I've got track one named Quyen for the person being interviewed in that track, and we consistently come back to this interview throughout the piece. So I can keep all my settings the same in that track. I've also got another track named Binh for another interviewee that we come back to again and again. Now notice I have a Quyen 2 because there's another interview with the same person but from a different location that might have different settings. I also have a Binh 2 for another interview that was done with that character. This way you can set EQ and levels for each interviewee and they can remain consistent throughout the session, and it makes it unnecessary to re-set up EQ's and other plugin parameters between scenes.
The only downside to this documentary style is if you have a doc with a lot of interviews. In that case you may want to do this method for most often repeating characters, and treat the others in the checkerboard method like we did in the narrative style. Ultimately, track layout is a personal preference you'll develop to your liking over time. But these two methods have served me well for narrative and documentary formats, and I'm happy to share them with you as techniques you can incorporate into your workflow.