7 Home Video Editing Tips for Beginners

September 28, 2021

Recording home videos has never been easier. Smartphone manufacturers put excellent cameras in millions of pockets. Virtually any of them can capture video at a good or even excellent level.

That’s to say nothing of the many inexpensive digital video cameras available in the market. Most DSLR cameras even offer video recording as a stock feature. If you want home videos, you can find a way to take them.

Of course, capturing the footage is one thing. Making it into something presentable is something else. If you’re a beginner, keep reading for some home video editing tips that will help you deliver a video your family will love.

1. Software

Good video editing is not possible with the camera. You have to take steps to improve your raw footage with good lighting and the right settings on your camera. In the end, though, editing home video footage will happen in some kind of software.

Most computers come with a basic video editing application. For the most part, that means you get a few functions for cutting and organizing clips. You typically see a few transition options and may also get to add some audio.

You should always try the applications first. Sometimes, they’ll do everything you want. If they don’t, you’ll need to look for more options.

You can look at the best video editing software options, but those can prove expensive and more high-powered than you want. Compare the features available in paid and free software options, then go with the one that offers the functions you need.

2. Watch Other People’s Videos

One of the best ways you can learn about editing home videos is to watch other people’s videos. Don’t limit yourself to home videos. Watch professional videos as well.

YouTube offers you access to millions of videos that range in quality from pretty bad to utterly professional. You can learn a lot about editing from the pro videos. You can also learn a lot about what not to do by watching bad videos.

You can even find some well-editing videos that will teach you about editing videos. When you run across helpful videos, you can bookmark them. Of course, that means you must go back online when you want to see them again.

Disclaimer- Before using any of the downloaders to download videos, make sure it is legally allowed to do so. We do not promote the illegal download of videos from any platform. 

Another option you can use is downloading the most helpful videos onto your computer. That way, you can just click on a folder and open the video you want. You check out some options for downloaders at https://setapp.com/app-reviews/best-youtube-downloaders.

3. Be Wary of Transition Effects

Next up on the list of home video editing tips and tricks is transitions. Most editing software comes pre-programmed with some transition effects. These help you connect one bit of footage to another smoothly.

Transitions are one of the most popular and overused kinds of effects in all videos. Yet, as often as not, these effects do not improve on the most basic transition of all: the cut.

The cut is when the footage simply goes from one clip to another with no effects at all. You see it all the time in TV shows and films. Professional filmmakers use it as their default, which means you probably should too.

The most common transition effects are fade-in, fade-out, and dissolve. Use them sparingly.

4. Get Organized

The last thing you want is for your video files to end spread across a desktop, laptop, and a couple still on the camera. That’s a great way for you to end up with accidentally deleted files. It’s also a recipe for losing files.

Create a folder with all of your video files in it. Label them by topic, so you don’t have to rewatch every video to know what you’ll find in it.

Once you make that folder, create at least one backup on a removable drive like a USB thumb drive or a portable hard drive. You can also keep copies in the cloud. This ensures that a computer failure won’t destroy all of your files forever.

5. Make a Rough Cut

When you put together a rough cut, it means you assemble the video clips in order in your editing software. You do this without editing any of them. Then, you watch the whole thing through once.

This gives you a feel for how the final version will play on screen. It also gives you a chance to rearrange the clips for better effect.

Beginners should always put together a rough cut first because the order of the videos may not play out the way you expect.

6. Be Sure Before You Edit

More expensive video editing programs typically offer what’s called non-destructive editing. That basically means you can make changes to the clip in the program without changing the source file.

Some free or inexpensive video editing tools may still use destructive editing. That means the program will permanently alter the source file once you save an edit in the editing program.

Always make sure you know what kind of editing a program uses before you edit a video clip. This is also a strong argument for keeping copies of the original files.

7. Have Some Fun

Assuming you’re working with a non-destructive editing program, have some fun with it. Play around with the effects to see what you get. Play with the tools or functions you don’t recognize to see what they do.

This kind of play makes the process less tedious and lets you learn about the editing software.

Getting the Most from Home Video Editing Tips

Getting the most from these tips begins with focusing on practical. Get your files organized and back them up. Once you do that, no disaster can put the project out of commission indefinitely.

Pick an editing program that offers you the functions and features you need, but won’t overwhelm you. If possible, get one that uses non-destructive editing.

Make a rough cut to get a sense of how the video will play. When you do start editing clips, go easy on the transition effect. Try to have some fun along the way.

Looking for more tech tips? We offer them in our Technology section.

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