In Part Two we looked at ingesting and markers. In this part we’ll cover logging and rough editing (cuts).
As mentioned in Part Two, I’ll only be covering Subclip and Comment markers.
Once you click the Ingest button you will be brought back to the default Logging Workspace. The purpose of this workspace is to assist you in logging (trimming the ends of clips) so you can get to the rough cutting stage with the least clutter.
You can (and should) only log one clip at a time. The Project window displays a list of ingested clips. The Monitor plays it back. The Timeline looks similar to Premiere Pro but without a lot of its functionality:
The priority at this point is to find In and Out points for each clip. You do this with the Subclip Marker.
Double click one clip and it opens in your timeline. An open clip is always marked with a green tick mark.
Make sure you click the triangle next to ‘Show’ at the top right. Select Subclip. If you don’t do this you won’t see your Subclips. By default all markers are turned off, I wonder why. Next to the ‘Show’ triangle is a search field that will find markers for you (once you’ve created them, that is).
Go to the point where you want to set your In point. Hit ‘1‘ or click on Subclip (in the Marker Type window). Your subclip marker will start where your indicator is, and go all the way to the end. You can bring that back to your out point, or specify an exact value in the top right window, the Marker Inspector (it pops up as soon as you add your first marker). You can type notes into this (don’t go berserk here). You can also change the default name if you feel confident about it.
In the Project window, two new sub-clips are created automatically. All this works seamlessly. Subclips are also marked with a green tick mark (along with the open clip).
You can add as many subclip markers as you like on top of the current one (or at any other in and out points). Each subclip is represented as a blue line above your footage in the Timeline window:
To move the subclip, click on it and drag.
Double click the next video clip in your project window and it will brought to the timeline. Rinse and repeat. You can see how this job is easier on set where footage can be logged (trimmed) on a daily basis. Much easier than waiting to do this after having accumulated hundreds of hours of footage, right?
To view all markers for each footage, open the Marker List window (tab next to the Timeline tab). This is a handy way of reading your notes without opening each subclip individually.
Don’t forget to save you project as you go along. You might also be asked to save your subclip marker if you click the next clip without saving it. Once you’ve created all your subclips you can sort them in your Project window for easy access.
You add comments the same way, by selecting ‘2‘ or ‘Comment‘ in the Marker Type window. It behaves similarly to subclip, except it doesn’t show up in the Project window – it’s just a comment.
The subclip and comment markers are organized automatically. If Prelude finds space for both on the same line, it will do that automatically.
If you want to create marker templates, you can do so. E.g., it is tedious to type ‘Good take’ or ‘N.G.’ for every clip. Why not create a subclip or comment template that can be reusable forever? To do this:
- Once you’ve created a marker, click on it.
- Go to Markers > Save Marker as Template…
- Type in a name, and hit ‘Ok‘.
The new marker will show up in your Marker Type window. Create as many as you like. This isn’t all, once you’ve created a whole list of markers you want, you can save the whole set by:
- Go to Marker Type window.
- Click on the triangle drop down.
- Choose Save Marker Template Set.
- Type in a name for the set and hit enter.
If someone else has created markers on his or her system, they can save their metadata by:
- File > Save Metadata as…
- Choose XMP (the only option).
- Type in a name and hit ‘Save‘.
They can email that to you (or whatever), and you can open it in your Prelude project by:
- Window > Unassociated Metadata.
- Click Import and choose an XMP file (the only option).
- Click ‘Open‘
- Select Current Player Position or Marker Start Tim to place them accordingly.
After you’ve created all your subclip and comment markers, the Logging screen isn’t the most conducive to see everything at a glance. Hit the List button and the screen changes to the List workspace. It’s basically the same thing, but the timeline is out of the picture (pun unintended).
You can click each clip and subclip to review your notes, markers and In and out points.
Let’s say you’ve done all this, then the next step is performing a rough edit.
Why would anyone want to rough edit? Here are some reasons:
- The director wants to see something on set, and wants to convey his or her ‘intentions’ to the editor.
- The editor is running with the production editing simultaneously.
- The editor and director isn’t available and their assistants have to do the ‘dirty’ work.
Here’s my take: Just because Prelude has a rough cut option doesn’t mean you have to use it. The set is not always the right place to do editing. Even if there are scenes that need to be edited on set for whatever reason, it can (and probably should) be done with a proper NLE like Adobe Premiere Pro. Why would you want to limit yourself with Prelude? Might as well use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie in that case!
To start rough cutting, click the Rough Cut button, and get to the Rough Cut workspace. It looks similar to the Logging workspace, except the Marker windows are hidden.
A rough cut isn’t metadata, and isn’t going to be embedded with footage. Why? Because it uses multiple clips, that’s why. It needs its own sidecar, which is a .ARCUT file (stands for rough cut).
To create a rough cut:
- File > Create Rough Cut.
- Type in the name and choose your location. The extension is .arcut (no other options available).
- Click ‘Save‘.
- It appears in your Project window, similar to how a Sequence looks in Premiere Pro (Why didn’t they just call it Rough Cut Sequence?).
- Double click the saved file and it opens a blank Timeline and Monitor, ready to get clips.
To edit, drag and drop clips to the timeline. Every subsequent clip can be added before or after another one. If you want to add all or many clips at the same time, select File > Append To Rough Cut. The movie clips are added to the Timeline in the order in of their selection.
If you want to move the clips around in the timeline, select Rough Cut > Move Clip Right (or Left).
All your markers are available even during the editing phase on the timeline. Because clips aren’t allowed to overlap (there’s only one track), you never have a situation where markers overlap unnecessarily. Of course, in the timeline view, you can rearrange your markers again and save your rough cut. However, it doesn’t change the metadata in the file. If you view the marker information in the Marker Inspector, the In and Out points remain the same. This means the clips keep their metadata, and the .arcut file can play around with it without worrying about screwing up all the hard work that has gone before.
That’s about as much editing functionality as you can expect from Prelude. Now you know why I recommend using Premiere Pro if you’re really serious about editing on location. But as a basic tool, Prelude is okay.
In Part Four we’ll look at exporting, and finally understand what all this work is good for. After all, if you can’t make use of all this down the road, what’s the point?