Editing 101: The Offline and Online Stages


Lights, camera, edit! We often find ourselves enchanted by the seamless transitions, captivating visuals, and flawless storytelling of our favorite movies and videos. But have you ever wondered how these moving images are created?

Behind the scenes, there are two fundamental approaches to video editing: offline editing and online editing. No, they’re not either-or editing choices. Rather, they both constitute stages of the entire editing process; one leading into the other. In this article, we’ll sneak a peek at the differences between offline and online editing, shedding light on where many a legendary film and commercial directors have proclaimed the real storytelling takes place……The editing phase.




Imagine you’re an architect designing a magnificent structure. Before you start building, you need a blueprint — a detailed plan that outlines every aspect of the project. In film and video production, offline editing is that essential blueprint. It’s the main part of post-production — involving the assembly and organization of the raw footage, making initial creative decisions, and shaping the overall structure of the video.

Offline editing is usually done on a non-linear editing system (NLE) software, like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. At The Studio Bridge, our editors import the raw video clips, arrange them on a timeline, and begin crafting the story. They can trim, cut, and rearrange the clips, experiment with different sequences, and get a sense of the pacing and flow.

During offline editing, editors often work with low-resolution proxy files, which are compressed versions of the original footage. These proxy files are smaller in size, making it easier to handle a large amount of media. Once the editing is complete, the offline edit serves as a guide for the online editing phase.



After the blueprint is set, it’s time to bring the vision to life through online editing. This is where the video assembled during the offline phase undergoes fine-tuning, color correction, visual effects, and other enhancements. In this stage, the editor works with the high-resolution, original footage to ensure the best possible quality for the final product.

During online editing, the editor replaces the proxy files used in the offline phase with the high-resolution files. They apply color grading to create the desired mood or atmosphere, add visual effects and graphics, and synchronize sound and music. This stage is also crucial for ensuring the video meets technical standards for broadcasting or streaming platforms.

Online editing often involves specialized software like DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, or Adobe After Effects, which offer advanced tools and features tailored for high-quality post-production work. Editors can meticulously adjust color tones, enhance details, and add the finishing touches that make the video visually stunning.


The offline and online editing phases complement each other in a seamless workflow, like two sides of the same coin. While we focus on creative decisions and establishing the structure during offline, online editing is the time when The Studio Bridge digital team polishes and refines the video, bringing it to its full potential.

The offline-online workflow provides flexibility and efficiency in the editing process. By working with low-resolution proxy files during offline editing, our editors can edit smoothly without the technical constraints of high-resolution media. This approach saves time, as it allows us to experiment and iterate on the creative choices before committing to the high-resolution files during the online editing phase.


Lights fade, credits roll, and now you have a glimpse into the wizardry of offline and online editing. The same wizardry that your brand can enjoy when you choose The Studio Bridge for your post-production projects. Let the creativity, technical skills, and attention to detail of our digital team create a lasting impression for your products and services.