|An analog film archive.|
This week we’ll be discussing the best practices for outputting your video. When I say outputting, I’m talking about saving your video for archiving, and not the format for distribution. The output for distribution depends more on the needs of your client or end-user, so we won’t be discussing that here. We discussed that in greater detail in our "Encoding Video for Web Deployment and Archive" blog. The goal of the output for archive is to do our best to maintain the highest quality and to try to guarantee that it will be a usable format in the future.
Archiving of your video involves saving the final sequence as a single video file, as well as saving all of the source files used to create that sequence.
When saving the sources, I am of the school of thought to save the clips used in their entirety rather than truncated versions of those clips. This is a personal preference. There is nothing wrong with consolidating your sequence before archiving, but I prefer the added flexibility of archiving the original full-length clip.
In some cases it might be a good idea to save the final video in two forms: the same format as the original sequence and, if the original format is proprietary, in a generic format as well. A lossless compression codec such as the Animation codec, keeps a version that is available to all editing systems.
After you’ve collected both your source files and sequence file(s), it’s time to put everything into your archive system. At this stage it's important to add the metadata about the project so that the elements can be easily found in the future. I generally include the Project Name, Client Name, Producer and any other information that can help in a search.
If you are at a facility and use shared storage, put any generic clips such as sound effects in a common partition that is available to all to use. You've done the acquisition of these elements, why not make them available to everyone. A lot of time can be wasted by starting from scratch gathering generic files that are repeatedly used in projects - keeping those files online and available, increases the efficiency of all components of the post production workflow.