Top Tips for Video Editing
Once you have shot your video you may need to remove content that you don’t need and re-arrange the video into an effective narrative. This short guide provides key advice on editing your digital video.
Image by WCN 24/7. CC BY-NC 2.0
- Most modern computers are powerful enough to run some sort of video editing application, but not all hard discs are suited to the task. Try to ensure that your computer has discs which run at 7200 rpm rather than the more common 5400 rpm ones.
- Be aware of the limitations of your editing software. The main ways in which different software varies are:
- The number and type of video formats that it can import
- The number of video and audio tracks which can be edited
- The number and type of formats it can export to
- Don’t forget a good set of headphones or speakers – and if you opt for speakers, make sure you have a quiet room where you can set up your edit suite.
- Look after your content – ensure that you backup the video you have shot to your workstation's media drive. This will free up your SD or Compact Flash cards for re-use.
- Once you’ve imported all your footage and before you begin to edit it, make sure you normalise your audio. This is usually a simple menu operation. It ensures that your sound will be uniform and with as little extraneous noise as possible.
- Before you start to organise your footage, go through it and trim off all of the unwanted material. This can reduce the amount of material you have to manipulate by quite a large amount.
- Unless you are editing a montage or a “poetic” video or sequence, the shape of your video will almost certainly be determined by the dialogue. As a result you should concern yourself strictly with how the audio fits together in the first pass of your edit. It’s relatively easy to adjust the picture to fit the sound, but adjusting the sound to fit the picture can quickly become a nightmare.
- Remember to save your changes whenever you think of it, even if your software has an auto-save function.
- With every edit think of your audience and pace content to aid understanding. You may have seen the content many times before and understand it very well – but your audience may only see and hear it once.
- When you are satisfied with your first pass, make a duplicate of the timeline and produce your second pass with it. This will ensure that you can return to your first edit should later changes not work as you hope.
- Editing is an iterative process. It is almost certain that your first version will not be satisfactory. In fact, it is through editing the video that you will discover how it is best assembled, so don’t despair.
- When adding titles or captions to a video, leave them up on the screen long enough to be read aloud at a moderate pace. This ensures that viewers will have time to read them.
- Don’t forget to check the spelling on your titles (including people’s names!) before finishing the video.
Published in: Creating