Editing and producing impressive videos can be difficult, more so if you have little or no experience with it. In fact you may not even know where to start.
Although there is really no substitute for experience, there are a few tips and tricks that can help. Not only will they provide you with convincing results, but they’ll put you on the right track so that you can get the experience that you need to improve further.
Be Organized and Back Everything Up
Before you start to edit videos, you should establish some sort of organization structure. While you work you’re going to be dealing with multiple clips of raw footage, audio, music, and various versions of the project you’re working on – and you need to be able to keep track of them all.
If you don’t organize your files and folders carefully, you could accidentally delete something you need. On top of that you’ll end up wasting a ton of time searching for specific clips or resources – which can be frustrating.
In addition to organizing everything, you should make it a point to back it all up. Use the 3-2-1 backup rule if you want to be safe, or at very least have a single copy of it on a separate location.
Always Start with Color Correction
Color correction is really the best place to start when you want to edit videos. The raw footage that you record using your camera is almost never going to be perfectly balanced, and in some cases could use a lot of improvement.
The goal of color correction is to make your footage look the way it did in real life and through human eyes – not a camera.
One of the reasons why color correction is a good place to start is that most editors will have automated white and color balance tools that can help you out. Admittedly they aren’t perfect, but they will make it easy to improve and correct the colors initially.
After that you can move on to manual adjustments of the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, exposure, and other settings that are available.
It is especially important to color correct your video footage when you’re joining videos together as different clips that are recorded in different locations or using different cameras will often be balanced differently.
Plan – then Trim
Trimming unnecessary parts of your video is a good way to edit it so that it is tighter and more succinct. However you shouldn’t just immediately trim all the parts that you think you don’t need.
If you do it is very likely that you’ll end up realizing later on that you needed some of the parts you trimmed – and will have to restore it from your backup (if you have them).
Instead of putting yourself through that you should start by planning out your video and deciding how the clips are going to fit together. Once you know that you can decide which parts to trim by considering how it will affect the transition between clips as well.
As a rule it is always best to plan out your edits, and it will save you time and let you edit your videos more effectively if you do.
Use the Right Types of Cuts
The manner in which your video is cut together is extremely important, and can affect its pace and flow. By using the right types of cuts you can make your video look much smoother and far more impressive.
While there are lots of types of cuts out there, the ones that you should start with are:
- Action cuts that transition between clips containing the same movement. Because viewers are focused on the movement, the cut itself will look smooth.
- L and J cuts that transition the audio independently of the video (after or before it, respectively). It will let you make sure the audio isn’t disjointed.
- Cutaways that transition to a different clip designed to provide additional context. Not only can they provide visual meaning, but they are a good way to mask jump cuts (i.e. cuts to and from the same clip) that are very jarring.
Don’t Overlook the Audio
Always remember that when you edit videos you aren’t just editing the video footage – but the audio as well. Some actions that you perform will affect it directly, such as when you trim parts of your clip or join clips together.
Not only that but you will want to edit and improve the audio quality as well. Typically that involves adjusting its levels so that it sounds crisp and clear, as well as reducing the background noise as much as possible.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re removing the audio track and replacing it entirely – possible with background music. If that is the case you will want to cut together the video first, and then add in the audio later.
Consider the Composition
The composition of the shots in your video will have a big impact on how impressive it looks. Unfortunately it is best to consider it when recording and not editing – but you can still make minor adjustments to improve it.
A good place to start is to use the rule of thirds and consider the spacing between the frame and the subject. If necessary you can crop the video to make small adjustments, but you should take care not to crop too much or it will affect the video quality.
It isn’t difficult to crop videos, and for example you can use Movavi Video Editor.
Between the tips and tricks described above you should be able to make your videos look much more impressive when you edit them. Think of the tips as a starting point, and you can start to build on them and edit your video in other ways to get more experience and make the specific alterations that you require.