In an offline workflow, you use temporary low-resolution clips during the creative editing process. Once you have locked picture, you recapture the edited sequence at a higher resolution for final output. Whenever you are editing with clips at your project's final output resolution, you are using an online workflow. Many projects will begin with low-resolution clips, edit using an offline workflow, and move to an online workflow for the final finishing process. Some genressuch as documentary, film, and episodic televisionbegin with an offline workflow and finish with an online workflow. Other genres, such as news and live television, use online workflows exclusively.
Locked picture means that the edit is final. The edited sequence is complete; no changes will be made to the edited sequence after this point.
A typical online and offline workflow sample path would look similar to this:
With an online or linear path, once you have completed a task, you use the result of that task as a basis for the next. For instance, once you have captured your clips, you edit and create the very effects and color corrections you will use in your final output.
In an offline path, you refer back to your original media prior to final delivery, whether it's a film or video project. Keep in mind that there are technical differences between film and video in the offline path. The offline workflow example in the preceding image illustrates the general concept. (See Lesson 4 for a film workflow sample.)
The fundamental principle that distinguishes offline editing is that you use stand-in or proxy media to make creative decisions instead of using the final media.