what's offline editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by arjen92, May 29, 2009.

  1. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    So what is it. I understand it's something like that when it's online the files are there, and that that is what I'm doing. (just editing everything on my own mac, with all the files on that mac). But what is offline editing. And what is online editing truly. Because it's till a little bit vague for me.
    And I heard that offline editing is editing without the actual files being there. But how can you do that. How can you cut, without seeing where you're cutting. It sounds a bit mysterious to me, so I think that I'm wrong.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    The quick answer is that you make a copy of (parts of) your material, often in lower resolution that the raw tapes/files, then edit on those copies, which is faster and leaves your raw footage untouched.

    Then when you're finishes you "go online" and can - relatively quickly - make the finished film from just the needed parts of your raw footage.

    That wasn't the best of explanations. It's been 10 years since I worked in editing. But I hope you're a bit wiser... ;)
  3. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Yup. The software keeps a record of the edits you've made on the low-quality material, then when you've finished, repeats it on the high quality material.

    Used to be widespread when computers weren't powerful enough to deal with full DV material. I thought I'd seen the back of it, but its come back with HD material.

    Also look at linear and NLE (non-linear editing).

    Linear is editing with reels of film, or videotape, either cutting and splicing the tape / reel, or copying from one reel / tape to another. Each edit decision is more or less final, and you can't easily go back to move things around.

    This used to be the way all editing was done until computer based NLE systems came in. Now most editing is NLE - you can jump back and forth, produce rough cuts, apply tweaks etc.
  4. arjen92 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    thanks for the reply's. I already heard of the technic to use sd to edit, and then replace that with HD when exporting. Just didn't know that that is called offline editing. But now I know.

    Just to be sure, it has nothing to do with the internet, right?
  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    yup, nothing with the internet...

    offline editing isn't really necessary for most people unless you have a ton of material or are working with stuff your computer can't handle.
  6. grumbler macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    How do you use offline editing with FCP? If I try to start it up without my external scratch disk, it protests.
  7. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2007
    Offline/Online are terms now more from the past. Years ago if one shot say Beta SP you would make dubs on 3/4" to edit with. Then take the list of edits and go back to an edit house to confirm to your lower quality offline. Today with FCP digitizing at almost 1:1 people routinely just make a dvd to finish. If one shoots true hi-def for broadcast you probably go to a post place to layback to a hi-def master. You could just take your drives or - at a higher price tag - have them lay-off again to their drives. So in that case off-line lives on.
  8. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    Actually, part of the whole point of DV was that it offered high image quality (near-transparent to the uncompressed original) at a data rate that "normal" computers could handle via IDE instead of needing expensive SCSI drive arrays. As soon as DV arrived, the need for low-res offlining pretty much disappeared, but the professional industry took a long time to realise that.

    The main reason for offlining was cost. It was perfectly possible to edit full uncompressed SD on a computer back in 1996, but the cost of the systems (especially the storage needed) was very high. So you'd spend the majority of your time in the offline suite, which was *much* cheaper per hour, and get your edit totally locked down there so that you could minimise the time - and hence money - needed in the much more expensive online suite.

    Ditto the days before computer-based offlining. As iPhoneNYC says, back when everything was edited on tape, you'd dub your footage to a lower-quality format like U-Matic (or even timecoded VHS) for editing, because a U-Matic or industrial VHS edit suite was much cheaper per hour than a 2", 1" or Beta-SP suite. It was all about getting the job done as economically as possible.
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    I work as an editing assistant for two companies, and both still edit with offline material, on quite modern machines and some older G5/4s. Those machines can handle online quality, but as those companies shoot endless hours of Digi Beta material, it would simply fill up the hard drives in 1:1 resolution (both companies edit with Avid Media Composer).

    Even with the 20:1 resolution they work with, some projects need more than three terabytes just for saving all the footage (it's multi camera).

    When the edit is finally completed one has just to make the final sequence online, which means only the clips needed from the tapes need to be (batch) captured in 1:1 resolution for final colour correction and sending off to the network. Funny thing for sure, especially with mixed sources (Digi Beta, DV, XDCam, ...).
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Reinforcing what spinnerlys already said, there are advantages in some cases with off-line/on-line editing. I on-line a lot of RED One stuff and those projects often have multiple terabytes of raw footage. Plus, the camera's proxy workflow is frustratingly slow, even on Mac Pros. Because of that, it's easier to provide editors with lower-quality ProRes off-line files that can be edited efficiently on any Intel machine.

    Once I have a locked edit, I can on-line to the master footage and color correct, saving tons of hard drive space in the process.

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