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How to edit videos: Guide for beginners
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How to edit videos: Guide for beginners

How to Edit Videos: a guide

In today’s world, an average individual prefers viewing a video as opposed to reading long lines of text. This has led individuals and brands to take to video as a preferred mode of mass communication. In this age, video editing is an essential professional skill.

Luckily for you, basic video editing is not as difficult as it looks. If you take a planned approach, you should be able to create professional-quality videos in a matter of days. To help you in your journey, here is a detailed guide to video editing.

Define Your Expectations

You need to set the filming expectations before you get down to editing. Start by listing your available resources, expertise, time availability, and goals. For example, when you film footage in 4K, the video quality will be exceptional. However, such footage will need extensive editing hardware, and not all computers can handle that.

On the other hand, a lower resolution video may not suffice for all forms of promotional video needs. This is especially true if you are editing for a client. That is why you need to set the specific hardware and software requirements before you start filming or editing a video.

Dedicate Your Efforts in Organizing

Before you set out on the actual editing, watch the actual footage and spend time labeling the files. Once done, create folders according to themes and group the files. That makes it easier for you to find the appropriate files when you need them and results in significant time-saving.

Create similar files for images, sounds, and music as well so that you can make any edits to your video (if needed). It is also a good practice to avoid sending things to thrash while you are amidst the editing process, as you may need to retrieve them later.

Alternatively, you can create a separate folder wherein you move the things that you do not need. Novice video editing professionals are often seen regretting their choice of video clips. Only when you complete the project and the client accepts the same should you consider deleting this file.

Identify Your Editing Tools

For any video editing professional, one of the first things to do is to identify the video editing tool that works the best for them. Depending on your budget, choose a video editing tool and ensure that you go for one that has guided tutorials.

As a beginner, you should go for a tool that has a simple interface. While it is a good idea to invest your efforts in finding a tool that works for you, make sure you stick to a tool once you start using it. That way, you will gain expertise at the tool, and the quality of your editing work will see a significant improvement.

Do Not Underestimate the Role of Color

In any video editing task, you cannot underestimate the role of color correction. As a beginner, start by learning the basics of color correction. That way, you can color correct each clip to get the desired consistency.

Such efforts will simplify the process of color grading the footage and make the video come off as classy. Understand that it is with experience that you will pick up the finer nuances of color correction. However, as a beginner, you need to have some basic knowledge of this before you get down to editing your first footage.

Follow the 321 Rule.

The 321 rule is a golden rule which states that you should ideally save three copies of your work in at least 2 different places. Ideally, one of the two places should be an online drive, such as OneDrive or Google Drive, while the other is a physical drive. Storing the progress in multiple places ensures that you do not lose your editing progress even under the worst situations.

Leverage the B-roll

B-roll footage is an absolute must if you want to come up with a professional video. A secondary camera helps to give a third-person perspective to the clip. That way, the viewer has a holistic picture, and they are more likely to relate to what is being told.

For example, let us consider a situation where you are filming an interview with an individual. Having B-roll footage will allow you to shift the focus to the audience’s reaction when there is a slur by the celebrity. Such planned moves will result in a significant improvement to the overall quality of the video that you are editing.

Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts

Editing a video is a long and cumbersome process, and you need to master the keyboard shortcuts if you want to ace the game. If possible, invest in a gaming mouse so that you can map the extra buttons to quick actions. These simplify the editing process and help you with a seamless editing experience.

Keep it Simple

One of the most common mistakes of novice editors is the fact that they are keen to try out every transition that the editing tool offers. Understand the implication of each transition before you set out to apply them. For example, a fade to black transition signifies a passage of time and is a beautiful storytelling tool. However, when overused, it may result in a monotonous film and that is not recommended.

The most important thing in the world of video editing is the fact that it is a creative field and experience is the best teacher. For a beginner, it is a good practice to save multiple edited versions so that they can compare and take a final call on which version is the most suitable one. Over time, you will figure out your video editing style, and saving multiple versions may no longer be necessary.

With this beginner’s guide, you are now equipped to set out on a video-making journey. As you go about creating videos that keep the viewers engrossed, here is wishing you the very best of luck for your journey ahead.

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