Any expert in their field will tell you, they’re only as good as the tools they use. I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to make myself faster, more efficient, and, frankly, better at what I do. Over the years of editing, I’ve slowly started assembling a small list of software that is my go-to’s on a daily basis.
- “Free File Sync” – Offloading footage and backing up projects can be a pain sometimes. “What files did I backup already? Is this file newer than this one? Did I already copy the music track over, buried somewhere in these dozens of folders?” This free program makes backing up a project a breeze. With a few initial settings put in place, you simply tell it to look at your project folder and the destination folder. It scans and shows you everything that’s different about the two and offers you the choice of what you want to sync. It’s as easy as that.
- Keyboard Shortcuts – Should be a no-brainer, but taking the time to set up keyboard shortcuts for all your commonly used tasks and tools will speed up your editing time easily. While not necessarily a “tool”, cutting down the time it takes you to do a repetitive task is very important in getting your work done efficiently.
- “Motion by Mt. Mograph” – This little plugin is more for After Effects/VFX users, but it still doesn’t make it any less awesome. It helps refine two of my biggest issues with After Effects: keyframing and anchor points. Once installed, the tool allows you a one-click centering (or any corner) of your layer’s anchor point. Also included are sliders attached to the type of “Easy-Ease” the keyframes can offer. Instead of manually adjusting the motion in the graph editor, the sliders allow for a much smoother transition in and out. I have used this plugin so much for the motion graphics work I do, that it’s the first thing installed on every major update of After Effects.
- “Frame.io” – We all have to talk with clients, don’t we? The process of uploading your video for review and getting notes is part of the job, and Frame.io makes it so simple. Clients are able to watch the video, make notes at precise moments (all of which can be sorted by timecode and checked off as you watch), can draw on the video to better highlight changes, and can watch a side-by-side comparison of two videos to better visualize the tweaks between edits.
Obviously these tools are just some of the ones I use on a regular basis and help me do my job better and faster. I’m well aware there are alternate versions of the above tools that work just as well or perhaps better for you. I’m curious, what type of software do you as an editor like to use?