Wondering how to start video editing? Our article is for those who have little idea about video editing. Let’s talk about the basics of video editing for beginners, so you can avoid common mistakes that beginners usually make. We’ll cover the basic techniques and explain why you should use them.
Basic techniques and how to use them
Specialists make up a montage list, in which they describe frames by seconds and mark where to insert an inscription, an effect or music. Beginners act on intuition and usually work without preparation, but this way you can forget about the cool idea or spend more time on editing.
We suggest that you get closer to the skill of professionals without the montage list. Eight video editing techniques for beginners are waiting for you ahead. How to choose a laptop for video editing – Kirill Yurovskiy.
Voice-over narration should match what is happening on the screen. If you talk about birds migrating offscreen and tigers frisking on the screen, the information will be poorly perceived by the audience. Put yourself in the listener’s shoes.
Pay attention to the following things:
- Prepare a voiceover script in advance. It helps to formulate the idea and concept of the video.
- Practice speed of speech. Users perceive best a calm pace, not fast or too slow. Don’t forget to take pauses.
- Think about intonation. Too monotone speech or, conversely, with feigned emotion, annoying in the same way.
- Do not forget about diction and literacy. Muttering, sudden shouting or mispronunciation of words can force viewers to close the video prematurely.
When editing your recorded voice, you can remove pauses, errors, and muffle ambient sounds. This will make the sound clearer and improve the delivery of information.
If you will be dubbing videos a lot, get a good microphone. Even the most professional workmanship won’t help if the recording was done through a bad microphone
Trimming unnecessary frames
The main principle of video editing is to get rid of unnecessary scenes. Spectators are bombarded daily with a stream of information, so they better be enticed by laconic and expressive video. There is no need to explain in detail situations or scenes that can be compressed.
As a rule, only 10-20% of the footage remains in the video, but these are the most valuable episodes. Long shots break into small ones, because the most interesting and funny thing can be in the middle or at the end of the video.
In some cases, you need to frame the video, for example, to hide unnecessary objects or emphasize the important things on the screen.
Now it is necessary to smoothly connect the frames with each other. If you leave everything as it is, the change from one picture to another may be too abrupt. The standard duration of the transition is 2 seconds. Don’t make the transitions too short, or the frame changes will not look natural, you may get a black screen or a static image.
Transitions don’t have to be noticeable or catchy. On the contrary, the classic options are suitable: dissolution, replacement, blurring, fading. So you unobtrusively move the viewer from one scene to another, and the focus remains on the video sequences.
But if you need to draw attention to a scene or create a dynamic effect, use 3D transitions. They literally expand the space within the frame. But don’t use them too often, so as not to “overload” the video sequence.
Background music emphasizes the mood of the video, enhances its effect on the viewer and makes it more exciting. Well-chosen melody merges with the video:
- When the picture changes quickly or the plot is dynamic, choose an energetic track;
- Slow music is suitable for quiet scenes.
You can add your own tracks or find a suitable melody in the catalogs of video editors.
Don’t forget about copyright, if you take someone else’s songs, and the video is intended for commercial use.
In video editors, you can adjust the volume of the original audio track or disable it altogether. This comes in handy if you want to add voice-over narration to your project.
Working with still images
Zoom in to view details, emotions or faces, and zoom out to view larger angles and change the perspective. Effects of zooming in and out can look so natural that the viewer will not notice the difference. To him it will be skillfully done operator’s work, rather than editing.
The zoom effect is created in a few minutes. In video editors it is presented as a separate tool or as a dynamic effect.
Another way to diversify static frames – short video fragments that can be inserted between them. This technique is often used in reviews or conversational videos when a monotonous frame is diluted with a video shot from another location or location but from a different angle. The fragment must fit the meaning and fit into the overall picture of the narrative.
It is believed that the average duration of a frame should be 5 seconds. The viewer loses interest if the same action in the frame lasts longer.
Color correction video
It is better to think about the quality of light in advance, even during the shooting of the video. But special color correction tools allow you to improve image quality during editing – manually or automatically. Brightness and saturation can be adjusted using curves or set the parameters in numbers. Automatic improvement is suitable for light processing, and manual correction – for more fine-tuning.
The main color correction parameters are as follows:
- white balance – is responsible for the “temperature” and tone of colors, i.e. makes them cool or warm according to the light in the frame;
- contrast: it shows the difference of colors in the same frame, it makes the image unnatural if its value is high, and flat if its value is low;
- saturation – adjusts the color intensity, i.e. at low values the picture becomes black and white.
Pay attention to the tones of neighboring frames – cool or warm. A video sequence in which a dark frame appears after a bright one is conspicuous. It can be distracting from the main story. However, directors often break the rule and use such contrast as an artistic device.
The correction tools also help to improve the quality of the video sequences:
- Stabilization. It removes or minimizes camera shake. This is useful if you were shooting in motion or in a strong wind.
The method is based on cropping: the outer edges are removed, and part of the image is enlarged to fill the space. To stabilize a single frame, you must first separate it from the main video sequence. There is no point in applying the tool to a long clip, because the quality decreases and the picture is cut off at the sides.
- Elimination of Noise. With poor lighting or graininess of the film, noise may appear when random color pixels deviate from the true value.
Not all editors can remove dirty video noise. However, it is not always necessary. To the human eye, even a lot of noise is not noticeable, so the tool is used when you want a perfectly clear picture. Sometimes noise is used as an artistic effect.
- Increasing the resolution. This can be done in a regular video editor or special programs that are designed only to improve video quality. During conversion, details may be lost, but this is noticeable when the resolution is scaled up.
One well-known program is Cinema HD 4. In it you can increase the size of the original image by 4 times, and convert to Full HD resolution.
Do not overdo it by adding effects, transitions and animations. Too many of them distract you and spoil your viewing experience. The rule of thumb is: the less the better. It is also one of the main principles of video editing.
In fact, this is the last stage in the processing of the video. It can take a long time due to the duration of the video, the resolution and frame rate selected for export, as well as the technical parameters of the computer/laptop. Rendering still compresses the file, so it will be easier for you to upload the clip to a video hosting service or watch it on any device without freezing.
Video editing is a creative process, so the above video editing rules for beginners are recommendations. We told you that you should leave only valuable fragments of video, and you shouldn’t get carried away with transitions. But you can act at your own discretion.
Try implementing these new rules and see how much better your video works became. With experience, you’ll learn to “ignore” some of the basics of editing for good reason, so you can make bold ideas.