OK, maybe “intimate” isn’t the right word. Anyway, in today’s article, TRG Reality Video Editor Bobby Dorrance reveals his favorite video editing tools, tricks and software. It might not be as cool as Batman’s tool belt, but it’s pretty close...
Take it away, Bobby!
Video Editing Tools
When it comes to actually creating and editing videos for TRG Reality clients, I rely heavily on Adobe Premiere Pro. With Adobe Premiere, I can edit video and audio without having to fuss around with difficult-to-use interfaces. Premiere has some great out-of-the-box tools that I use on nearly all projects. I also take advantage of some third-party plugins to extend Premiere’s functionality, but I’ll address those later in this post.
I spend a lot of time in another Adobe product, too: Adobe After Effects. This software has a steeper learning curve than Premiere, but that’s mostly because of its extensive functionality. I use After Effects to create motion graphics and complete basic compositing for our clients’ video projects, which I can easily import into Premiere. Which brings me to my next point: my workflow.
Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects sync together beautifully. When I make a change in After Effects, the file automatically updates in Premiere. I can’t even begin to describe how useful this seamless integration is. I’m an Apple guy, but I was finally forced to switch from Apple’s Final Cut Pro to Adobe software a few years back after Apple made some serious changes to the way Final Cut worked. Shortly after starting in Premiere, I realized I could be much more productive while maintaining the quality of work.
Even though I work primarily with video, I do occasionally need to use Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop for image editing. Are you noticing a trend yet? If you’re interested in making a career for yourself in video editing, I suggest getting your hands on Adobe products as they have a lot to offer for professional video editing.
The Adobe Media Encoder is, hands down, one of the best encoding tools around. I rarely have to use anything else. It works with so many video formats and video sizes, it’s mind-boggling.
On the rare occasion I need to render or encode a .WMV, I use Wondershare’s Video Converter. It does a nice job with the .WMV format.
Magical Little Helpers
I do the bulk of my work with the software listed above. Those are definitely the “heavy hitters,” but I also use a few plugins to make my life way easier.
Trapcode Suite 12 sets the industry bar with 10 tools for broadcast-ready effects and flexible 3D content. Its flagship product is Particular 2, which I use frequently in its most basic form. It’s a speedy 3D particle system with options for custom particles, particle shading and movement in 3D space.
Magic Bullet/Color Suite 11
It didn’t used to be, but Magic Bullet is now part of Red Giant’s software called Color Suite 11. Color Suite 11 includes six different products, two of which I use frequently for color grading and effects. Colorista II provides professional-level color correction, and Magic Bullet Looks 2 helps me add beautiful color treatments to a client’s video project. Actually, all of Red Giant’s software is pretty incredible. Like my next favorite tool...
Plural Eyes 3
You really need to check out the video to see how amazing this plugin is. It can honestly save you hours and hours of editing time. Basically, Plural Eyes syncs audio and multi-camera video automatically, preparing your sync in a matter of seconds (rather than days). This standalone application works directly with Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Media Composer and Vegas Pro. Monitor the sync with an interactive timeline and visual feedback, and use built-in fine tuning controls afterward.
Never Stop Learning
It’s incredibly important for me to stay up-to-date with the latest video editing trends, technology and software. If you’re interested in video editing, carve time out of your schedule and dedicate it to learning. There are tons of free online resources, forums and tutorials online to help you out, and here are some of my favorites.
Video Copilot offers their own video editing and video effects software, and their website is a terrific resource. Lots of videos, free presets and both basic and advanced training.
Creative Cow has tons of online resources, like forums, tutorials, videos, reviews, interviews, podcasts, and more. This site has been around forever, too (since 2001) and are a highly trusted resource in the creative community.
Like I mentioned above, Red Giant really dominates the video editing industry with software and tools. They’re also totally on-the-ball with providing their customer-base with free tutorials and resources. Check out their video database.
Greyscale Gorilla is 1) a beautiful website, and 2) an awesome place to go for tools and training for 3D work. They also have a highly active community, so if you have questions, there’s bound to be someone around to help you out. Even if it’s 3 AM.
But enough with the software, tools and resources talk. I wanted to talk about my archiving system. I spent a lot of time preparing this system, and it has made my job much easier.
Bobby Dorrance’s Tailor-Made Archiving System
I use a hard drive bay that holds four hard drives at once. I have multiple sets of two mirrored hard drives. So for example, 1A and 1B are clones of each other, and 4A and 4B are clones of each other. I’ll do all of my work on hard drive A, and then at the end of the day, I use Super Duper to back up all of the data to hard drive B. Super Duper allows me to copy only the new data, so when I copy from A to B, it doesn’t take forever to copy everything. This gives me an easy system to keep all of my work current and copied, in case I lose something.
Also, all of the media and project files for every single job I’ve ever worked are on seven sets (14 total, and growing) of 2TB hard drives. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of where each job, or project, is located on the drive so I can find anything I need at a moment’s notice.
If you want to emulate my archiving system, here are the specifics:
Well, that was an awful lot of information, wasn’t it? That’s my entire tool belt! It’s really not as complicated as it sounds, but if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask in the comments below. I’d love to help you out.