What Is Ingest in Video Editing?

Have you ever wondered what “ingest” means in the world of video editing? It’s a crucial step in the post-production process that ensures your footage is ready for editing. In this article, we’ll explore what ingest is, why it’s important, and how it works.

What Is Ingest?

Ingest is the process of transferring video footage from a camera or other recording device to a computer or hard drive for editing. This step involves copying the raw footage files from the source and organizing them in a specific way to make them accessible for editing.

Why Is Ingest Important?

Ingest is an essential step in the post-production process because it ensures that all of your raw footage is backed up and organized properly. Without proper organization, it can be challenging to find specific clips when you need them, which can slow down your editing workflow.

Additionally, ingesting can help prevent data loss. By creating backups of your raw footage files on multiple hard drives or cloud storage systems, you can ensure that even if one drive fails, you won’t lose all of your precious footage.

How Does Ingest Work?

Ingesting typically involves four main steps: copying, transcoding, naming conventions and metadata tagging.

Copying: The first step in ingesting is copying the raw footage from your camera or other recording device to a hard drive connected to your computer. It’s important to copy all of the files associated with each clip so that nothing is lost during the transfer process.

Transcoding: Once the files are copied over, they may need to be transcoded into a format that’s easier for your editing software to work with. Depending on what type of camera you’re using and what software you’re using to edit, this may involve converting video files into formats like ProRes or DNxHD.

Naming Conventions: It’s important to use consistent naming conventions when ingesting your footage. This makes it easier to find specific clips later on. For example, you might use a naming convention like “Scene_Number_Shot_Number_Take_Number” to keep track of all of your footage.

Metadata Tagging: Finally, metadata tagging involves adding descriptive information to each clip. This can include things like the date and time the clip was shot, the location, and any other relevant information that will help you find and organize your footage later on.


Ingest is a critical step in the post-production process that ensures your raw footage is backed up, organized properly, and ready for editing. By following best practices for copying, transcoding, naming conventions and metadata tagging, you can streamline your workflow and prevent data loss. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make the most of your video editing experience and create high-quality content that tells compelling stories.