EDITING WORKFLOW SERIES: Ep. 01 - Folder Structure
Hey, this is Ben Gill from Oxenfree Film & Motion. Did you know editing workflow can help you with your creative process.
This is a series we’re making about our Post-Production Workflow, detailing it from how we make our folders, all the way to how we edit a video. And in this video, we’re going to be showing you our preferred method for organizing Folder Structures for projects.
And the idea is to be as meticulous and organized as possible so that if another editor were to come in and work on my project, they’d be able to find everything that I was working on and it would be in the place that they expect it to be.
Alright, with all that being said, let’s jump into it.
So, I’m going to go ahead and open a recent project we just finished. This project was a cinematic Brand Video for a church, but we’ve used this same folder structure for short films, corporate videos, and even documentaries. So the first thing that’s important to look at is the name of the project. We name all our projects starting with the date, and in this case the project started on October 17, 2017, followed by the clients name and then the project title.
Folder Name: 2017_10_17_CUMCFP_BrandVideo
So if we open up that folder we basically see a table of contents. Everything that's important and necessary for us to see straight away is right in here.
So we number our folders to keep them in a certain order because we feel that this structure almost mimics a post-production workflow in that it begins with your documents and project files and ends with final sound mixes and exports. It makes it a really fluid and seamless process.
So our PRODUCTION folder is where we'd put all of our documents related to production. We have our script, our schedule, shot list, and brand copy. If you have storyboards, production reports, script supervisor notes, or any other documents, they would also go in here.
All right, so number two is PROJECT FILES, and within it you'll find a bunch of folders dedicated to each application that we used in the project. For this project we used Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Audition. But if you work in other programs like DaVinci Resolve, Photoshop, or Lightroom, you could also make folders in here for those.
When we click on the Premiere folder you can see that all our Premiere files are in here along with all of the autosaves and scratch disks and any other folders that program generates. The same goes for After Effects and Audition.
In the third folder we have media, and this is all of the production dailies and all of the footage, and in the root we have a folder for each day of production with the date of the production in the title. For this project we had four production days.
So if we click inside one of these folders we'll immediately see that there are two separate folders, one for audio and one for video. Let's look in the audio folder.
We have a folder labeled A001, which represents the first card that media was recorded onto. So for that day we only filled up one card of audio. The next card would have been A002 and A003 and so on in descending order. Let's open up the video folder.
On this day we recorded solely on the A camera, which was the Sony A7s II. We filled up two cards that day, so you'll find the two folders, A001 and A002.
Alright, the next folder is GRAPHICS, and you can save whatever graphics that are relevant to your project here. You can put Photoshop and Illustrator files in here. If the client sent you over some logos and some vectors you could put them in here.
Some of our most used assets are also in here. We have frame guides from Vashi Visuals, the Oxenfree Film & Motion logo animation and several look up tables that we use in most of our projects. There's also graphics and animations that were made specifically for this project in this folder.
The MUSIC folder's pretty straightforward. It's just a folder for temp tracks and a separate folder for final tracks from either Premium Beat or your Composer. After that is sound effects and voiceover with separate folders for each inside of it. Pretty self explanatory.
Folder seven is for SOUND MIXES. And this is where you'd put your final mixes. So your final exports from Audition or Pro Tools can go in here. And I also put OMFs that I send to a sound designer in this folder.
And finally we have EXPORTS. Inside is a folder for cuts and a folder for stills, and this is where you'll put all your exports from Premiere and all the thumbnails and frame grabs from Premiere will go in the stills folder. Again, all pretty self explanatory.
And that's it.
We've provided a DOWNLOAD LINK at the top of this blog for our Project Template and the Folder Structure within it.
And there's two ways to use this template. So we have a zip folder on all of our drives. You can double click the folder and unzip it, and it'll ask you to rename that folder. And you can name it and it'll still maintain the original zip folder.
The other way is through a free application called Post Haste.
It allows you to upload a template of your folder structure so that it's always stored within this program. You simply choose the relevant template and input the necessary information. Simple as that. And you can make different presets for different types of projects. It's really powerful.