Some videos flow flawlessly through diverse scenes while others are almost painful to watch in their attempts to create meaning with choppy, unorganized video clips. The difference? It's all in the quality of your video editing.



Prepare to Edit your Video
Before editing can begin, you must capture the video. If you have an analog camcorder (the kind that records on Hi8 or VHS tapes) you'll need a special video card that can translate the data from the format you use to a digital format the computer can read. For more information, read Copying VHS to DVD.

Install Video Editing Software
Make sure that you have quality video editing software installed correctly. To compare software features, see our Video Editing Homepage and Reviews. After you familiarize yourself with the software and its features, assemble the scenes on your video into a timeline or storyboard. Your software has the tools you need to do this.

Create the Point
The most important part of editing video is choosing your point   what you want to deliver with your video. This will determine what your audience feels and experiences when watching the video. For example, if you are creating a wedding video, decide if your focus will be on the beauty and sanctity of the day, or on the comical   highlighting mistakes and bloopers. Or you could do one of each! After you have chosen the point of your video, select shots that reinforce your point. Then name each shot so you can remember the content without replaying. Don't take on too much video at once. For example, get the wedding breakfast shots just how you want them before you tackle the three-hour reception. Divide your editing work into manageable sections or you may become overwhelmed.

Edit the Video
There are three types of video editing: combination, corrective, and duration editing. Combination editing rearranges scenes from the original order to reinforce your point. Corrective editing corrects errors you made while filming, such as straightening a crooked shot. Duration editing allows you to shorten video by eliminating everything but the highlights of a scene, or lengthen clips to add drama or suspense. If you don't know where to start, try combination editing first to get your shots in the order you prefer, then clean the scenes with corrective editing, and then add drama with duration editing.

Adding Labels, Transitions, Effects
Here comes the fun part   embellishing. Adding music to your video makes your message far more powerful. You can add titles, names of people or places to help tell the story. And you can add a menu to the beginning of your video to allow viewers to select a specific scene. Transitions between scenes can range from simple fades to complex animations. Also, consider occasional special effects, such as making people fly through a scene to wow your viewers (but don't overdo it).

To make your videos enjoyable for everyone, video editing is essential. Videos that were before just a collection of disconnected ideas will become meaningful, and even powerful. After you have revamped your own video collection, you may even find that you enjoy video editing so much, you offer to edit for others!


Benedetti, Wendell. Basic Video Editing Concepts. Primedia Magazines, Inc.

Birney, Bill. The Importance of Editing. What is Video Editing? Focus Enhancements.

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