Finishing Challenges, Part 3

In my last post, I talked about my process for exporting trimmed clips to send to color that’s handled elsewhere. I explained the need for trimmed files because of challenges with file sizes. Once I get the footage files trimmed and exported, there are a few more steps I take.

Because I like to make sure that everything is going to work when the graded footage is returned, I import the trimmed clips back into the project and lay them over the original clips in the edit. All the trimmed clips included heads and tails, so this step takes a little time because the clips are a little longer than how they’re used in the edit. But once you get into a rhythm of placing the clips, it goes pretty quickly.

I then change the Opacity of the trimmed clips to 50 percent and watch the edit to make sure nothing is out of place. I’ll often use the Difference composite setting instead of Opacity to really check things out. If everything matches, all I’ll see is a black screen.

Next, I copy this sequence, disable the original (untrimmed) footage clips in the edit, and return the opacity to normal. I then use this new sequence to create the XML file to send with the footage to color.

Then it’s just a matter of getting the color back and replacing the clips in the new sequence. Since filenames and timecode shouldn’t have changed during the grade, you can either replace the clips manually or relink the original trim clips to the graded trim clips.

This process has worked well for me, but there are times when I will send a full clip instead of a trim. If there’s a speed change on a clip, particularly speed ramps, trims can cause lots of problems as I’ve detailed previously.

Otherwise, this is a fairly efficient solution when you ship files and are constrained by bandwidth.