Changing habits are propelling video and audio content to new heights. According to a Renderforest survey, this year, 80% of all internet consumption will be video content, and audio content is also growing in popularity.
But is your post-production workflow getting the best results possible? Here’s a complete guide to streamlining this workflow.
What Is a Post-Production Workflow?
When it comes to creating video and audio content, there are three key production phases. To really understand how post-production works, here’s a closer look at each phase.
During the pre-production phase, teams work on planning, scripting, and storyboarding. Since the production phase is often expensive, it’s important for teams to properly prepare, in order to make sure the production phase is as cost-effective as possible. So you’ll want to write a brief to provide a concise explanation of your goals.
A sophisticated, accurate preparation phase will also enhance the quality of the work you create during the production phase.
During the production phase, you’ll call on the documents you created during the pre-production phase to coordinate the shoot and enhance your results.
The production phase varies according to a wide range of factors, especially the nature of your project. You might find you’ll have to rent a suite of equipment and studio spaces.
In this phase, you’ll edit and polish raw video or audio content. You’ll also shape the raw materials you recorded according to the expectations you outlined in your brief. This phase varies according to the type of project you’re working on and the details in your brief.
What Does the Post-Production Workflow Look Like?
This workflow will vary according to whether you’re creating a video or audio project. Here’s a closer look at these two distinct workflows.
Film and Video Post-Production Workflow
Film and video projects often have a similar post-production workflow. Let’s dive deeper.
1. Prepare the files
Your video engineers will start by organizing and preparing the various files from the production phase. You’ll often find that video files are large and difficult to transfer, so this process can take quite a bit of time. Software like Filestage can help to collaborate on video files and share them with internal and external stakeholders.
Frequently, the video files from the production phase are broken up into a wide range of individual segments. So it’s imperative for your video engineers to organize the footage in a logical way and back it up.
The files should be renamed according to your preferred method. Then everyone on the team can easily access and seamlessly browse the footage.
2. Edit the footage
Once the files have been organized in a logical way, it’s time to start editing them. Every video engineer has his or her own preferred method for navigating this stage, but it’s important to hit a few key steps.
First, the engineer should watch and organize all of the clips, trim away unusable footage, and provide as many great options as possible.
After the clips have been organized, it’s time to create the rough cut. So the engineer will use his or her favorite editing application (check out our 10 favorite Adobe Premiere alternatives) to reduce the clip count and start creating the first timeline.
Then the engineer keeps refining the clips he or she has chosen, trims away poor-quality footage, and make sure that the length and style of the timeline matches the brief.
3. Take a look at color correction and grading
You can turn a mediocre video into an amazing one by utilizing color correction and grading. If your goal is to produce a high-quality video, you should start thinking about the color correction and grading process before you shoot your footage.
Again, most video engineers have their own workflow, so this step will probably vary. But most of them start by adjusting the black tones in the image, in order to create a solid baseline throughout the process. From there, they’ll adjust the highlights and mid-ones as they make minor adjustments to achieve the desired outcome.
4. Mix the sound
A video can look beautiful. But if the audio isn’t up to snuff, the whole project can be negatively affected. Therefore, it’s very important to pass the video file along to an audio professional after you’ve approved the final cut.
With that cut, your chosen audio professional can work his or her magic by following the audio post-production workflow outlined below.
5. Export the file
Now that the video and audio have been mixed, it’s time to think about exporting your video file. The desired formats should have been specified in the brief, and you’ll most frequently want to deliver a suite of final cuts.
These final cuts will vary in terms of file size and type, which means that your client will be able to share the video on a range of channels.
Audio Post-Production Workflow
Here’s a look at a typical audio workflow.
1. Create the project file
First things first: Your audio engineer will configure the file using his or her preferred tool, according to your particular needs.
There’s a wide selection of audio-editing tools out there, which range from free options like Audacity to more refined tools like Adobe Audition.
2. Organize your media
Now that the file is ready, the audio engineer will import all of the media that was recorded during the production phase. To give you a basic outline, it should be trimmed and organized in a logical way.
During this step, you should make any basic adjustments, such clipping the recordings and adjusting the volume.
3. Edit the dialogue
Now it’s time for your audio engineer to start editing the dialogue, which is often the most prominent piece of audio. In fact, the dialogue is frequently the reason why your recording exists!
Your audio engineer will want to remove prominent non-fluency features while he or she cuts down the conversation as necessary. He or she will often carry out this step alongside the project manager, in order to get the desired result.
4. Think sound design
Next, it’s time for the audio engineer to start figuring out the sound design. Essentially, you should insert a range of auditory cues that will bring the piece to life. Generally, there are two types of sound design: creative and realistic.
Your audio engineer will add a range of music and other cues that will increase the depth and intrigue in the final collateral. Again, this process will be determined by the briefs created in the pre-production stage.
5. Add foley sounds
Depending on the nature of your audio project, you might want to add a range of these sounds, since they will add depth to the audio piece and give listeners a fuller experience.
But this process can take a while, so it has to be performed by a talented audio engineer. Overall, poor foley work can reduce the quality and feel of a piece of audio.
6. Prepare the final mix
Now that your file has been edited and adjusted, it’s time to finalize the mix and export it to your preferred file formats. The specific format will vary according to the file size and fidelity you have in mind.
5 Tactics for Streamlining Your Post-Production Workflow
If you’re going to get the most from your workflow, you have to strategize. So here’s a look at some tactics you can use to streamline your process…
1. Stay organized
First and foremost, it’s important to place a huge emphasis on organization throughout the post-production phase. Then you and your team can locate the files they need. By working in a predictable way, you can reduce the complexity that causes the inefficiency.
When it comes to staying organized in the post-production phase, you’ll want to guarantee the following:
- The files and folders should be organized in a logical, accessible way.
- The file names should follow a set of consistent rules.
- The materials should be regularly backed up.
- The feedback should be visible to the whole team.
These simple steps will make life much easier for you and your team. If you follow these rules of thumb, you’ll never accidentally replace work, which could create confusion.
You could choose to follow lots of traditional organization methods. Alternatively, you could develop your own strategy. It’s just important for your methods to be consistent across projects. To make sure, you don’t have to create anything from scratch, check out our post-production templates.
2. Choose the right software
It’s important for you to choose the software you need, and stick with it. You don’t want to change tools halfway through the project and lose your progress. Likewise, you don’t want your team members to run into compatibility issues because they used different tools.
You should assess the various tools available on the market, and make sure you have the appropriate licenses for your entire team. You should also confirm that every team member has the tools they need before the post-production process begins. This tactic can help drive efficiency and reduce downtime.
You’ll also find that your team will get faster and more efficient as their familiarity with software grows, which can allow you to save a lot of time in the future.
3. Create documentation
You should create and leverage documentation as much as possible. Guidance documents can harmonize the way your team works, as well as the final pieces they create.
In terms of key documentation, you’ll want to create style and brand guidelines. These documents offer a convenient reference tool for your team members, which will help them make the right choices without needing much guidance.
Likewise, you should consider creating a range of guidelines that outline the working processes you follow. This tactic could result in guidance about tools to keep everyone informed, such as folder structures and software.
4. Tackle one job at a time
We know that project managers often find themselves jumping from one project to another. So if your team gets pulled around too much, they could lose focus.
You should try to create schedule tasks in a way that helps your team members focus on one project at a time. Then they can find their groove in a given project and produce their best work.
This tactic will also save your team a great deal of time. A team may find it very disruptive to switch between projects and spin up new environments, which could cause a lack of focus that can have negative impacts on the quality of the project.
5. Get accurate feedback
One of the key ways to streamline your post-production workflow is to really own the feedback and approval process.
Most projects start spiraling out of control during this stage, which means it’s one of the most critical steps in any project. So you’ll need to find a solid strategy to collect feedback from your internal and external stakeholders, then pass that feedback along to your creative professionals.
All too often, this process involves endless email threads and messages that aren’t visible to the entire team. If your team members get too confused during projects, it could mean you’ll miss your deadline.
Therefore, you should use a tool like Filestage. Here’s a closer look at the ways our tool can streamline your review and approval process, in order to save time and boost results…
Best Software for Post-Production Workflows
If you’re going to get the best results from your post-production process, you’ll need to use the right tools. Here’s a closer look at the best software out there for this workflow.
Filestage is a project management tool that helps you simplify your review and approval workflow with your clients, coworkers, and stakeholders.
Our tool eliminates the complications that come with the feedback process. We give you the power to manage your project members, collect in-context feedback, master version control, and hit your deadlines.
Whether you’re working on an exciting new video or a complex audio project, it’s easy to collect feedback. For instance, your stakeholders can easily add annotations and make change requests.
We specifically created this platform to give project managers a fresh new way to manage their review and approval process. Over 1,000 companies use our tool to reduce complexity and hit their deadlines. Do you want to join them? Feel free to schedule your demo today.
- It offers an intuitive experience.
- It automatically generates tasks based on feedback.
- It provides clear communication with internal and external stakeholders.
- It makes life simpler for clients.
- No mobile app available (but still can be used on mobile devices)
Wipster is a tool that aims at helping media and post-production professionals achieve faster creative collaboration and reviews across internal and external teams.
It cuts through the noise, in order to give creative teams and stakeholders a place to review video. In other words, you’ll no longer have outdated YouTube links, long email threads, or other inefficient practices. But you will have the ability to leave time-stamped feedback, which makes it much easier for video professionals to interpret and implement requested changes.
But this tool is exclusively restricted to video. Meanwhile, other options (e.g., Filestage) can offer you the ability to work on any file type.
- An intuitive experience
- Tasks that are automatically generated based on feedback
- Clear communication with internal and external stakeholders
- A simpler experience for clients
- A narrow focus on video
- A poor mobile experience
- Limited pricing options
- Expensive price compared to alternatives
Frame.io is a review and collaboration platform that makes it easy to share video projects with the team and clients, so you can collect fast feedback.
This tool gives users the ability to directly leave feedback on videos. It also makes it possible to securely access media from one location while sleekly presenting work. These features help save time and impress clients.
- A fast, performant experience
- A rich feature set
- Less confusion
- It’s expensive compared to other options.
- Its complexity can cause clients to stop using it.
- Some features are hidden and difficult to use.
- Users have reported that it has various bugs.
We hope you’ve found this closer look at the post-production workflow to be helpful. To better streamline your post-production workflow, start investigating your current processes today. Let me know in the comments if you need any help with your post-production workflow. I’m happy to help.
Max is a SaaS enthusiast and loves actionable content that provides direct value.