Video Editing Tips

Video editing is one of the most fulfilling parts of the video creation process...if you know what you are doing. When you don't it can be a frustrating experience which takes up most of your time. If you take the proper precautions during the video shoot your have less issues to deal with during the video editing process. Beware of the common video mistakes and audio errors that videographers can fall prey to. It has taken several years for us to reach the level of expertise which we have achieved. We are willing to pass that knowledge on to you in order to make things as simple as possible. We will provide you with the information you need for successful video editing along with some handy tips.

First Things First

You'll need a computer with a lot of memory and hard drive space. The more the better. If your computer has insufficient RAM or hard drive space editing will take longer and you may not be able to capture all of your footage. 

If you are just starting out we suggest you go with a free video editing program. The free programs are simpler and allow you to get familiar with the editing process. If you are ready to move on and want more options and flexibility go with an established consumer editing program like Pinnacle Studio. 

Are you going to share online, watch a DVD or Blu-Ray, or will you stream it to your compatible HDTV? Make sure you have the equipment to share your video so when you are done you can start enjoying your production quickly and with ease.

Video Editing Essentials

•    Import Your Video
Connect your camcorder to your computer with a firewire cable, turn on your camcorder, and start your editing program. It should recognize your camcorder. Name your clips so you know what they are when you're ready to start editing. If you are using a SDHC card connect it to your computer and name the clips. Your editing software should have an import function which allows you to transfer the clips to the program.

•    Edit Your Video
Start off by placing the video clips into your software's timeline. Once all of your clips are on the timeline You should trim each clip. Trimming allows you to set the beginning and end of each clip where you would like them. These points of the clip are often referred to as "In" and "Out" points. As you play back a specific clip you can press the 'I' key on your keyboard to mark the "In" point. When playback continues you can press the 'O' key of the video clip to select the "Out" point. These points are now shown as markers on your video clips. You can drag the markers back and forth to adjust the beginning and end of the video clip if needed.

•    Fine Tune Your Footage
If your video footage didn't come out quite as sharp as you'd like, your video editing software should have some functionality which will allow you to correct any errors. Most programs allow you to adjust a scene's brightness, contrast, and color balance.

•    Add Transitions
Transitions create seamless shifts between clips. Your editing software should come equipped with an abundant selection of transitions for you to utilize. There may be many interesting transitions which look great and you may be tempted to use them. For best results you should stick to the basics. Use straight cuts, dissolves, and fade to black.

•    Add Titles and Graphics
Now that all of your video is in place and looks great it's time to add titles and text to your project. Your software should allow you to scroll text across the screen or fly in or fly out one letter at a time. You can add title screens or overlays with or without motion graphics as well.

•    Add Music Tracks
Most video editing programs allow you to add music and narration to your movie. You should be able to import most audio formats into your video. If you're planning on showing your video in a public setting or selling it be sure to obtain the rights to all the music you use. There are several royalty-free music collections online such as The Music Bakery and Beats 365.

•    Add Voice-Over Tracks
If you have audio editing software you can record narration with your computer and add it to your editing program. You may not get the best quality audio doing this so we suggest capturing your voice with your camcorder. Just import the video and audio to a new track in the software and then delete the video portion of the track. Stagger the audio so that the sound from one clip blends together with the next clip. This will create a smooth collaboration of audio between the two tracks.

Print out a copy of our Video Log Sheet to help you keep track of your shots and other important information that you'll need during the editing process.

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