Step 3: Editing Your Videos
No matter how good a videographer you are, you’ll need to edit your videos before posting them online.
That’s because they might be too long or because there are some parts, which aren’t particularly interesting. As with TV shows, your audience has a short attention span and wants to see something that’s concise, to the point and easy to digest.
After connecting your camcorder, phone or digital camera to your PC, you’ll be able to transfer all the videos you’ve taken onto your PC’s hard disk.
DV camcorders require special software (usually a non-linear editor or NLE) to extract the videos from your miniDV tape, which are automatically split into separate video clips.
Now, you’ll have to splice your clips together, maybe trimming off some sections and reordering some clips.
No matter what NLE you’re using, they have the same basic interface: A video preview screen (to let you view your video clips), a media library / effects palette (the place where all video clips for your current project are listed) and a video timeline (the sequence of video clips that will eventually be the final product).
In its most basic form, video editing involves dragging clips from your media library and dropping them into the timeline, reordering and clipping them if necessary.
If you’re a little more creative, you could add soundtracks, titles and still photographs into the mix.
All of the NLEs listed below allow you to do these sorts of edits and more. And while all of them can import video from miniDV camcorders, certain video file formats produced by your digital camera or mobile phone may require plug-ins to enable compatibility.
WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER 6
WMM6 is bundled with every edition of Windows Vista. It’s an excellent video editor for beginners, due to its easy-to-understand layout and limited feature set (though extensive enough for creating nice looking videos).
All of the editing is done via drag-and-drop, and there are clearly marked buttons to help you to do the job. Titling and effects are easy to use too, though customisation is limited.
The only serious problem with WMM6 is its limited audio editing tools and the absence of multi video track support. And as far as video exporting is concerned, you can only use a small number of presets, advanced settings are not available.But if you’re a complete beginner to video editing, WMM6 is a safe bet.
iMOVIE HD 6
WHILE not suitable for cutting together a Hollywood film or professional TV show, iMovie is perfect for making video blogs and podcasts, as long as you have a Mac with OS X 10.4 installed.
It’s part of Apple’s iLife ’06 software suite (RM369), which also includes the excellent Garageband music creation program.
iMovie‘s interface is great for beginners and pros alike, allowing you to easily cut videos together, preview effects and perform precise audio editing.
And if you’re doing a podcast, you’ll find that the sound editing tools in Garageband a huge bonus. For example, the microphone effects are fantastic for making yourself sound “bigger.”
However, iMovie lacks of multiple video track editing and has nice-looking but inflexible titling capabilities.
There are a few other limitations here and there though you can download and purchase iMovie plug-ins that may address these problems. But other than that, it’s an excellent NLE for beginners.
AVID FREE DV
IF YOU have a professional video editing background, you’ll probably pick Avid Free DV to edit your web videos.
Its user interface is very similar to Avid’s professional editing suites and relies heavily on keyboard shortcuts and sticks to a more rigid workflow. If you don’t download the video tutorials, there’s no way you’ll figure out how to use it. As such, it’s not recommended for beginners.
Free DV is essentially a crippled version that lacks some of the advanced features of Avid’s pro offering.
For example, you are limited to two video tracks and two additional audio tracks.
But hey, it’s a free download (www.avid.com) so I don’t think anyone can really complain 🙂
Available for Windows PCs and PowerPC Macs.
ADOBE PREMIER ELEMENTS 3.0
FOR a supposedly beginner-oriented NLE, Premier Elements (RM289) has an incredible number of tools and features that almost caters to professionals.
If you’re thinking of doing some serious film editing, Elements offers everything from multiple video and audio tracks, plug-ins, basic composting functions, extensive file format support, highly customisable titling and more.
Its user interface may seem daunting at first (though not as much as Avid Free DV), but you’ll eventually appreciate how well everything gels together.
The only problem with Premier Elements is that it can get sluggish or produce odd errors when dealing with certain file formats (such as Quicktime audio-only files or high-definition video).
I highly recommend Premier Elements for both beginners and advanced users alike.
It’s really, really good. A 30-day trial is available at Adobe’s website (www.adobe.com).
It’s available only for Windows XP and Vista.
Source: Article by Chris Chong from the Star Online, 17 July 2007