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Video Workflow for stock footage

Post processing workflow

If you only take the occasional video or 2, and just show them directly on your laptop, there’s not much processing that you need to do, so a workflow is overkill. But if you take a lot of videos, and especially if you are submitting them to microstock footage agencies, then you need to streamline your work.

Having a workflow lets you process videos out of the order in which they were taken, without getting confused as to what was done to each video, yet also eliminating the need to keep detailed records on each file. Any references to folders, etc, below assume you’re using a Windows PC.

The basic processing is
•· Transfer from camera
•· Decide whether to keep a video
•· Process, trim and convert
•· Upload to stock agency
•· Store in archive

The setup is simple – just create the following folders in your myvideo folder
•· 0 raw
•· 1 select
•· 2 work needed
•· 3 ready to upl
•· 4 archive

So let’s take our latest videos from camera through the process. You can stop the processing at any point, add more videos, or come back a week later and you will immediately know the status of each video in your folders

Transfer from camera

The easiest way to transfer your video footage is to directly link your camera to computer using the USB cable that comes with your camera; then turn the camera on. On your computer find the ‘0 Raw’ folder you set up previously. Click ‘start/computer’ and you’ll see the camera listed as a removable disk. Double click on that icon to open the camera’s files, then click on MP_ROOT to see your current video files. They’ll probably be in MP4 video format. There may be other files, too, depending on your camera. Click on ‘organize/select all’ and move all the files from camera to computer, leaving your camera ready to shoot again.

Decide whether to keep a video

Open the ‘0 Raw’ folder and transfer all videos into the ‘1 Select’. The reason is, you can now keep the ‘0 Raw’ folder as an archive of the unedited videos should you ever want to go back at a later time. And, you can delete from the ‘1 Select’ folder without worrying you’ve lost the original. I then check each video, and either keep it or delete it. If I decide to keep it, I move it to the ‘2 Needs work’ folder or directly to the upload folder

Again, if you only have a few videos, these steps will seem like extra work, but the key is that you don’t have to process all files at once. You can take one video all the way through, or bring multiple videos through a stage.

Process, trim and convert a video

Since this is a hub about workflow, not video editing, I’ll leave those details for a future hub. For each video in this folder, you’ll need to edit – it can be as simple as deciding there’s nothing to edit, but usually you’ll want to trim the beginning and end to remove any camera jitters. You may want to break a longer sequence into several shorter ones, especially if you’re going to be submitting to a microstock agency. And you may want to convert the file into one or more other formats, depending where you intend to use the video.

Upload to stock agency

If you’re not working with a stock agency, you can skip this step. Video stock agencies work just like microstock photography agencies – they offer footage from many artists, and buyers can download the footage they need. The agency keeps track of all the financials, and pays you a royalty. Agencies have different requirements as to length, audio, and technical aspects

Store in archive

You’re done with these videos for the moment, so just move them into the ‘4 archive’ folder. At some later time you should move them to your backup system, along with the ‘0 Raw’ folder.

That’s it. No matter how often you shoot, your videos will always be organized based on where they are in the editing process. This is very helpful when you return from a vacation and want to get a few videos ready to show, but have many more you’d like to work on later.