Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Non-Linear Editing Techniques

Non-linear editing and their aesthetics, techniques and usage.


Non-linear editing techniques

Introduction- Editing- 

The editing process is basic to the construction of every programme. It is the editing which constructs the narrative or flow of every programme by creating sequences into a structured shape. Editing decisions guide the audience through the movement of sound and images that make up an evening of television.

The aim is to create a rich but seamless flow, but every time there is a transition from one shot to another, a decision must be made on whether the change must be smooth, imperceptible to the audience or whether it will jolt them into attention. Editing conventions vary between genres, grouped loosely into those in which the logic of the programme is carried by action and dialogue, such as a drama or a documentary. Dziga Vertov argued that completely new meanings may be constructed through the rhythms of the editing and the juxtaposition of shots which are in themselves really meaningless.

The time and conditions available for editing vary enormously. Editing can be described both as a major art form and the most routine of technical tasks.

Technologies and contexts- 

Although the effect may be similar, television can take place in four very different contexts.

1. Real- time vision mixing-This is use for a programme originating from a studio or from an Outside Broadcast. It may be done from a studio gallery provided with equipment for production switching usually known as vision mixing.

2. Videotape editing- This includes the post-production editing that follows a studio programme which is usually little more than inserting corrections and adding especially filmed sequences on domestic equipment like VHS or Hi- 8.

3. Film editing- This is carried out in a cutting room, using specialized equipment, including a synchronizer and a Steenbeck motorized editing table.

4. Non- linear editing- Rushes are scanned into a computer where the images are stored as digital code on a hard disc.

Video Editing Software- 

Deciding which video editing software to use is not easy. There is a huge range available, from very basic applications such as Windows Movie Maker to professional packages such as Final Cut Pro, ULead MediaStudio and Adobe Premiere.

For most people, the main constraint is money. Good editing software is expensive and often requires a high-priced computer to run effectively.


How Editing Software Works

Most general-purpose editing software does three things:
1. Capture
2. Edit
3. Output

This means the software controls the capturing (recording) of the footage, provides a way to edit the footage, and allows the finished product to be output to a recording device such as a VCR or DVD.

If you like, you can use separate software for capture or output, but initially you will probably find it more convenient to use the same program for all tasks.

Non linear editing-  

Digital computer technology has brought us full circle, back to many of the techniques familiar from film than video editing. Rushes are scanned into a computer where the images are stored as digital code on a hard disc. Each shot is logged, located by its time code numbers, so that it can be played back instantly. The images and soundtracks are displayed on a large computer screen and the editor works with a keyboard and a mouse. The computer can jump between any shot or part of a shot so that sequences can be speedily constructed and reconstructed on the screen. The manufacturers refer to the system as a “media composer” as it brings together video, audio and graphics, rather in the manner of CD-ROM. Video effects are available, enabling one picture to burst through another o causing images to fold or swirl, and there are many other facilities. The sound track can be edited on the same equipment, placing it in relation to the picture and manipulating several sound inputs at once. When the off- line edit is completed, an Edit Decision List is prepared which then goes to an on-line suite together with the original tapes.

Editors working with non-linear systems say that it gives greater freedom to experiment with different ways of cutting a sequence, as well as the processes are speeded up.

New developments include the ability for cameras to record straight onto a computer memory which can then be brought directly into the editing room, avoiding the need to scan in the tapes, and an improvement in quality which means that broadcast quality results may be produced, doing away with the need for on-line editing.

Techniques of non-linear editing-   

The work of editing controls the flow of a programme. Yet successful continuity editing erases the evidence of its own operations by maintaining an illusion of continuous movements between the shots within a sequence and making a transition from one shot to the next as smooth as possible. It follows a series of conventions which achieve an illusion of reality. If the conventions are broken, the viewer will experience a jolt in perception and the illusion may be broken.

1. Continuity editing-   
An impression of continuity depends partly on the imagination and expectations of the viewer.  For example- A man climbs the steps to the front of a house and enters. We cut to an interior as he comes into the hall-way. These shots may be, and in most cases, probably are shots oftwo totally different houses or of a location exterior and studio interior. Even so, the viewer ‘reads’ it as the same house and as a continuous action. As well as temporal continuity, editing links action and reaction. The juxtaposition of two different shots leads the viewer to speculate on the relationship between the two. For example- In the 1920s Russian filmmaker and teacher, Leo Kuleshov conducted editing experiments by taking same shots of the actor, Mosjoukin with different angles like “now with a plate of soup, now with a prison gate, now with images suggesting an erotic situation.

If editing together shots of two people walking in the same direction, or one person chasing another, the two should consistently move either from right to left or vice versa, unless a bridging shot or a cutaway breaks the sequencing. Cutting away from a speaker wearing glasses , then back to the same speaker without wearing glasses will feel discontinuous, unless there is a shot of the glasses being removed. The editor must search the frame for other changes between shots including jackets that had been done up suddenly becoming open, objects and people suddenly appearing and disappearing, vases of flowers apparently jumping around into different positions on a table. In a conversation, cutting between say a news presenter and their interviewee, if A is facing right, B must be facing left or else they may appear to be looking in the same direction rather than facing each other.

2.  Relational editing-  
It is the form of editing which build up the rhythm of a programme through parallels and comparisons. For example- constructing an alternation between two or more different narratives for dramatic effect. In one episode  of Cracker, 1995, two meals were intercut. The interrelation between the meals is known to the audience but to none of the other characters. The complex dynamics of the intercut dinners makes each into a commentary on the other as well as drawing attention to protagonist as the pivot action.

3.  Analytic editing
It is the editing in which the sequence of images is constructed to follow an argument rather than a narrative. Sometimes the flow of the images matches the flow of narrating voice on the sound track and makes no sense if seen alone. Sometimes the images create a visual dynamic of their own.

4. Montage editing- 
A technique which is built up through the juxtaposition and rhythm of images and sounds. This may be independent of narrative or argument, as in some avant-garde film and video making or it may act to illuminate or enhance the narrative or argument.

Usages-   A multimedia computer for non-linear editing of video may have a video capture card to capture analog video and/or a FireWire connection to capture digital video from a DV camera, with its video editing software. Modern web-based editing systems can take video directly from a camera phone over a GPRS or 3G mobile connection, and editing can take place through a web browser interface, so, strictly speaking, a computer for video editing does not require any installed hardware or software beyond a web browser and an internet connection.
Various editing tasks can then be performed on the imported video before it is exported to another medium, or MPEG encoded for transfer to a DVD. 

Aesthetics- Non-linear editing gives editors much greater control over the available footage, with greatly increased abilities to access individual shots and manipulate them more easily in complex editing constructions.