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  1. #1

    What's the difference between Online and Offline Editing?

    Hi Everyone,

    I don't understand the difference between online and offline editing. Could someone help me out. Also, anyone know where I could learn more about online editing? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    In professional editing situations, offline editing is the initial edit - sort of like a draft but a bit more than that. The goal of the offline edit is to create an edit decision list (EDL) which is basically a list of which shots go where. Once that's done you go to the online edit and just put the shots together as per the EDL.

    I think it's a bit of a hangover from the days when all editing was done with tapes. Copies were made of the original tapes for the offline edit so the originals weren't punished too much. Also, the offline edit could be done in any cheap edit suite and the online edit could be done in the best (expensive) suite. A lot of money is saved by only using the online suite for a minumum of time (because the hard work was done in the cheap suite).
    Dave Owen

  3. #3
    I always thought if you filmed in HD (for example), you would edit a rough cut on a lower resolution, then once you have a good edit - you would recapture with the full resolution ando thentyding up and add the effects and stuff.

    Or is that something else?

  4. #4
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Blog Entries
    Sure that can be done!
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  5. #5
    Member gomjabbar60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Jacksonville, Florida, USA
    As the technology has changed, so has the meaning of the terms we use.

    For example, "B-roll" has come to mean any footage of cutaways, or "color" at the scene of a news shoot, as opposed to "A-roll" which is sync sound of a reporter's stand-up or sound bytes of interviewees. In the days of 16mm film tv news production, they were literally on two different edited rolls of film that were run on the telecines at the same time.

    In the Analog high-end production days, Offline editing was the Creative editing, in a cheap cuts-only edit bay with a SMPTE time code burn window dub. Once this edit was done, you would take the EDL and the master tapes to a much more expensive Online editing facility where the Conforming was done. No time for creative editing here, as production time was billed by the hour, and VERY expensive. This was in most cases a very factory like process, and every minute lost trying to problem solve or make esthetic decisions at this point cost lots of money.

    With the Desktop video revolution, many of the post-production facilities lost much of their Offline business, as editors could now work on their own, unconstrained by scheduling edit bay time and being billed hourly.

    This term now has apparently come to mean something slightly different, meaning an edit on an NLE of a low-resolution batch capture "proxy" files, which is automatically re-batch captured and rendered at full resolution after the edit is done.

    Both the old Analog process and the new Digital NLE work flow imitate a similar process: the way motion picture film workprints are conformed using edge numbers with the internegative of the camera original for making the finished print.

    The more technology changes, the more the basic processes seem to be the same.


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