Faster Version Of Video
What I recommend everyone do, and this is option one, is to create a faster version of that video. This is typically the version that you will upload to YouTube or to Vimeo, but it’s something that you should definitely keep, as the highest quality version of the video that you’ve created. So, when you’re exporting, Pick the best quality settings that you can for your video. So what you’ll end up with there is an archive-able master file in the best quality, best resolution, for the video that you’ve created. Beyond that, you’ll have to ask yourself the question or figure out the likelihood that you’ll ever have to open up that video editing project ever again. If you never, ever will be opening up that video editing project again, then that one archive-able, full quality master of your video may be enough.
In the case of these YouTube videos, that is exactly the process. For every video, we export full quality master and we save that, and we back that up. Our backups go to Google Drive, and they go to Drop box, and we’ve also got a physical drive that we copy everything off to, and put it on the shelf in the cupboard. So besides backing up our B roll footage or our overlay footage, footage that could be used in another video down the track, the rest of the editing project, it is extremely unlikely that we will ever need to reopen that and make changes, and then save out another version of these videos.
So that’s the main question you’ll have to ask yourself. Now if you’ve answered yes to that question, and there is a chance that you’ll need to go back and re-edit or make any changes to that video at a later date, or you just want to make sure that you’re saving everything with the video project that you’ve created, then you should look at step two and step three.
Now step two is to do a total backup or a full back up of your file and folder tree structure. So when you’re creating your editing project, it’s really good practice to create a folder on your computer where everything for that editing project goes into. I’ll link up on screen now video we did a while back talking about file and folder structures for your video editing projects. So in this folder should be everything that you’ve used for your video editing project, all your music, your graphics, your animations, your project files for the actual edit, everything in the one folder and then it’s just a matter of backing up that folder to something like an external drive or some cloud storage depending on how big that is.
Now the biggest thing you’ll notice with step two versus step one is the file size difference exporting only the finished product is going to give you much, much smaller file or smaller backup than backing up every file that you used in your entire edit. Even if you’ve got a one hour video that you’ve ended up using two seconds off in your finished product, then method two will back up that entire one hour file as well, even though you only used a short portion of it.
So now onto option three, and this is actually a tool that’s built into most professional video editing software, and it’s called media management, or project management. So what this does is you can either pick your entire video editing project from within your video editing software and choose to export, or consolidate is what it’s called, all of the files into a new folder. So the beauty of this method is it’ll copy your footage, from no matter where it’s located, and where it’s linked to or brought into your editing project, it’ll copy everything that you’ve used into a new folder, that you can then back up and that folder will contain everything that is used in your video editing project. Depending on your editing software, you can also do this on a timeline, or on a sequence basis.
So if you’ve got a huge overall video editing project and might have 10 different videos inside it, if you only want to export or backup one of those timelines, or one of those videos. In a lot of cases, now a lot of programs, you can just pick that one timeline and you can media manage or consolidate just the files that were used in that timeline. So not everything from the entire project, just every little clip, every little sound effect, every little bit of music, every graphic that was used in that one timeline, you can pull out and it will copy, and it leaves everything else intact, to a new folder, that you can then backup. Now, this is a great way to move projects between different editors as well because you’re only transferring the data that’s actually used, not the whole heap of extra data that just happened to be sitting in the project that may or may not have been used.
Now, this is something that you can do in Final Cut, in Premiere, in Avid, you’ll find it in most professional video editing software. But one step up from that, again, is that in some cases and with some programs, you’ll actually have the option to specify handles. Now what handles let you do, is if you’ve only used a small portion of a much larger clip in your end product, you can create handles, whereas it’ll only take the piece that you’ve used, and it would take a little bit, a handle, on either side, so you can choose five frames or 10 frames. So you’re taking slightly more than what was used in your finished timeline, so in case you’ve got to go back and edit again, you’ve got a little bit more wiggle room, in case you’ve got to apply and transitions or any effects, or you want to make any slight changes to that edit, you’ve got a bit more footage without having to export the entire clip when you’ve only used a short portion of it. So that was a pretty quick run through of three ways to backup your editing projects.