Non-linear editing system (NLE) is a video editing (NLVE) or audio editing (NLAE) digital audio workstation (DAW) system which can perform random access non-destructive editing on the source material. It is named in contrast to 20th century methods of linear video editing and film editing.
Non-linear editing is a video editing method which enables direct access to any video frame in a digital video clip, without needing to play or scrub/shuttle through adjacent footage to reach it, as was necessary with historical video tape linear editing systems.
It is the most natural approach when all assets are available as files on hard disks rather than recordings on reels or tapes, while linear editing is related to the need to sequentially view a film or read a tape to edit it. On the other hand, the NLE method is similar in concept to the "cut and paste" technique used in film editing.
However, with the appropriation of non-linear editing systems, the destructive act of cutting of film negatives is eliminated. Non-linear, non-destructive editing methods began to appear with the introduction of digital video technology. It can also be viewed as the audio/video equivalent of word processing, which is why it is called desktop video editing in the consumer space.
Video and audio data are first captured to hard disks, video server, or other digital storage devices. The data are either direct to disk recording or are imported from another source. Once imported, the source material can be edited on a computer using application software, any of a wide range of video editing software.
For a comprehensive list of available software, see List of video editing software, whereas Comparison of video editing software gives more detail of features and functionality.
In non-linear editing, the original source files are not lost or modified during editing. Professional editing software records the decisions of the editor in an edit decision list (EDL) which can be interchanged with other editing tools. Many generations and variations of the original source files can exist without needing to store many different copies, allowing for very flexible editing.
It also makes it easy to change cuts and undo previous decisions simply by editing the edit decision list (without having to have the actual film data duplicated). Generation loss is also controlled, due to not having to repeatedly re-encode the data when different effects are applied.
Related topics: Acoustical Engineering, Amplifiers, Analog-To-Digital Converters, Audio Editing, Cinematic-Techniques, Digital Audio Workstations, Digital-To-Analog Converters, Film Editing, Linear Video Editing, Music Sequencers, Non-Linear Editing System, Offline Editing, Online Editing, Sound Effect, Sound Reinforcement, Special Effect, Streaming Media, Video Server, Virtual Reality, Vision Mixer, Visual Effect, 3D Rendering,3D Modeling.
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