What is linear video editing?

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Linear video editing is the process of selecting, arranging and modifying the images and sound recorded on videotape whether captured by a video camera, generated from a computer graphics program or recorded in a studio. Until the advent of computer-based non-linear editing in the early 1990s “linear video editing” was simply called “video editing.”

Linear Editing is basically mechanical process, in that it employs the use of Camcorders, VCR’s, Edit Controllers, Titlers, and Mixers to perform the edit functions. This editing technique is performed in linear steps, one cut at a time (or a series of programmed cuts) to its conclusion.

Linear Editing consists of three main categories:

1. In-Camera Editing: Video shots are structured in such a way that they are shot in order and of correct length. This process does not require any additional equipment other than the Camcorder itself, but requires good shooting and organizational skills at the time of the shoot.

2. Assemble Editing: Video shots are not structured in a specific order during shooting but are rearranged and uneeded shots deleted at the time of transfering (copying). This process requires at the least, a Camcorder and VCR. the original footage remains intact, but the rearranged footage is transfered to a new tape. Each scene or cut is “assembled” on a blank tape either one-at-a-time or in a sequence.

There are two types of Assemble Editing:

A Roll–Editing from a single source, with the option of adding an effect, such as titles or transitioning from a frozen image the start of the next cut or scene.

A/B Roll–Editing from a minimum of two source VCR’s or Camcorders and recording to a third VCR. This technique requires a Video Mixer and/ or Edit Controller to provide smooth transitions between the sources. Also, the sources must be electronically “Sync’d” together so that the record signals are stable. The use of a Time Base Corrector or Digital Frame Synchronizer is necessary for the success of this technique.

3. Insert Editing: New material is recorded over existing footage. This technique can be used during the original shooting process or during a later editing process. Since the inserted footage is placed over the unwanted footage some of the original footage is erased.

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