If you’re a content creator of any kind, you’re probably looking for some new video editing tips. Capturing footage for your next project is only one piece of the puzzle, after all, and even the most elegant 4K scenes can fall flat in the hands of an inexperienced and poorly equipped video editor.
Plus, in this eclectic era of ever-changing technology, there are a myriad of methods to achieve the same video effects with similar software; Ultimately, refining your own artistic process is all about amassing the right tools.
There are a thousand and one ways to tell any story, and your hero’s journey begins here. Read on for some simple, yet essential video editing tips everyone should know.
1. Always, always save your work
It might sound trite, but saving your changes is something you’ll want to keep in mind for every project. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting 30 minutes for a video to render, only to lose your last edits when the cat unexpectedly bounces on your keyboard.
Most video editing applications automatically save your work to local storage, but to protect these edited files, practice periodically using one of the best external hard drives and / or one of the best cloud backup services to back up your backups. You’ll be glad you did, especially if you’re collaborating with a team.
2. Know your (copyright) rights
Create content for Facebook, Instagram or YouTube? It can be tempting to lace your videos with some of the latest Spotify hits to increase the virality value of a given project. These platforms, however, are getting more and more strict about removing videos using copyrighted music; if you don’t own the rights to the songs you are using, your video will quickly disappear from the web. It’s time to get creative, folks.
If you already have the hardware to edit 4K videos, you probably also have most of the specifications for recording music. Do you know any independent musicians with a free afternoon? Using original music for your videos is always a great way to create original art and connect your friends! Instead of live music, however, there are plenty of websites that offer royalty-free tunes, such as List of artists, Audiojungle, and PremiumBeat.
3. Make the most of keyboard shortcuts
Most video editing software packs are very useful Keyboard shortcuts; you would be surprised how much time you can save with just a few clicks. Do some research to determine which shortcuts are most useful to your editing style, and keep a printout handy until you’ve memorized them.
Serious video editors, however, may want to increase the stake with their keyboard. The Astra LogicKeyboard for Adobe Premiere Pro CC Mac, for example, is a logical upgrade to your MacBook Pro’s built-in keyboard, assuming Adobe Premiere Pro CC is your software tool of choice. The company also makes custom keyboards for a variety of other editing packages, such as DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, and After Effects.)
These keyboards are color coded for easy identification of functions, and they use dedicated shortcut keys to keep all of your favorite tools close at hand, literally.
4. Pay attention to the right lighting and color correction.
The phrase “we’ll fix it later” is the bane of any video editor’s existence; there are plenty of ways to make it easier for you because the videos are shot in real time – if you have control over that process, of course. Use the uniform three and four point lighting for your shots whenever you can, which should make color correction a bit easier.
What is color correction, you ask? It refers to the process of maintaining color consistency. For example, a scene might be shot with two different cameras from two different angles, and when placed side by side, the resulting footage might look a bit fun until you’ve adjusted the brightness, contrast, and light. ‘balance for more consistency. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with color grading, which can dramatically affect the tone of a given scene (for example, adding an orange tint to evoke a post-apocalyptic atmosphere).
5. Don’t skimp on specs
There’s a lot you can do on your smartphone these days, but serious video editing requires serious hardware – which luckily gets cheaper with each passing year. A winning combination of high-resolution displays, fast processing power and a discrete graphics card is downright essential for any professional editor. The cost of entry might be a bit steep for such laptops / desktops, but you can’t edit raw HD footage or 4K videos with an integrated graphics card. (Premium Chromebooks are more and more efficient as lightweight video editing machines.)
If you find yourself editing a lot of videos on the go, you can definitely do better than the stock. video editing apps on your smartphone. (Especially with phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which features a large 6.9-inch 120Hz display and a convenient built-in stylus.) At the end of the day, go for whatever software you’re most comfortable with, no matter what. that implies. Remember: you get what you pay for.