Video editing

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Linear video editing station with deck player and recorder, video editor, digital image mixer, waveform monitor and vectorscope, audio mixer.

With video editing , sequences of video source material are strung together by an editor by copying them to a target medium. This creates a broadcast tape or video that is designed in terms of content and drama . One differentiates:

  1. Linear cut that is carried out at a machine cutting station with the aid of several decks .
  2. Non-linear video editing (NLE) that is performed on computers that are equipped with video editing software and suitable hardware.

Linear cut

With linear editing, the video signals are copied from a source - for example a magnetic recording (VTR) - to a destination. A generation loss always occurred before the introduction of digital formats .

In the beginning, this was only possible with the assemble cut , whereby the individual sections could only be copied one after the other like a pearl necklace, and again picture and sound only together. Later on, individual image and sound sections could also be specifically cut into an existing section using insert editing . The originally existing section was always overwritten.

Non-linear cut

With non-linear editing, the signals are first saved on hard drives. Analog data are digitized accordingly. Subsequently, individual segments can then be joined together, also separated image and sound. In contrast to linear editing, this makes it possible to insert video signals into an existing sequence without overwriting anything - as was previously the case with classic film editing , when a film strip was glued into an interface. Digitization also avoids the generation loss due to multiple copying.

In order to reduce the amount of hardware required and the processing times, a distinction is made between online and offline editing:

  • With " online editing ", the material is digitized in the best possible quality and then cut in the computer directly onto the master - the broadcast tape from which new copies can be made for distribution if necessary.
  • In the case of “ offline editing ”, digitization is only carried out at a reduced quality, which often makes it possible, especially for feature film projects, to edit the entire project at once. In order to receive a broadcast-ready master, the editing data of the project are saved in an editing list (" Edit Decision List "), which is then automatically processed later in the online editing process in order to "recreate" the offline editing on the basis of the uncompressed data.

The digitization of the material means an undesirable additional expenditure of time in the current reporting on television . Lately, hard disk recorders have also been found on video cameras , which can be used to process the recorded video signals directly on the NLE system without copying them. To be on the safe side, you can also record on tape.

The software for non-linear video editing is covered in the article Video editing software .


see: film editor

See also