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February 25, 2014

by DV Fanatics

As a video editor, it’s important to know more than just a single editing tool. If you’re a freelancer, it’s very helpful to know all of the major tools that are used in your local market. Sometimes, what you may consider the Best Video NLE Out There, may not be the best system for every workflow. Everyone has their favorite set of tools, but those tools may not be the ones you use for every project.

The preferred video software tools for my post production workflow.

I’ll discuss my favorite tools for different workflows. Whether I’m editing video, retouching photographs, creating motion graphics, encoding video or recording and editing sound, these are the tools I prefer to use.

A source bin in the Avid Media Composer video editing system.
The Avid Media Composer bin.
    • Video Editing – The Avid Media Composer is my video editing tool of choice. This is the tool I would use if I’m doing an edit with camera source material and the decision of which editor to use is left totally up to me. I love the depth of the Avid’s feature set and find that its media management and trimming capabilities are the best out there. If I am doing a project that is mostly motion graphics and animation, my preference is to use Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Dynamic Link makes editing with Adobe After Effects sources so easy. There’s no need for export/import, Adobe Premiere Pro opens After Effects comps directly in its timeline (See What I Like About Adobe Premiere Pro).
Building a motion graphics in Adobe After Effects.
The Adobe After Effects interface.
    • Photo Editing and RetouchingAdobe Photoshop is the only tool I use when editing images or photographs (See Photoshop Panoramas Revisited). Photoshop has become part of the modern vocabulary when referring to doctoring an image. Most people now say a retouched image was “photoshopped”.
Encoding video to multiple formats in Sorenson Squeeze.
The Sorenson Squeeze interface.
  • Sound Editing – Since I am a video editor and not a sound guy, I prefer the tools that are built for us video folks. That’s why I prefer to use Adobe Audition or Apple Soundtrack Pro. Both of these applications offer me more flexibility when handling audio than any of the video editing systems that I currently use. The added bonus with Apple Soundtrack Pro is that it comes complete with a whole lot of sound effects and audio loops.

These are the tools I prefer to use when I have the choice. If I am working for a facility that uses a different set of tools, it is my responsibility to know those tools as well.