Tips for editing videos
Tips for more professional videos | Part 1
You go on holiday and are totally motivated to shoot a great video. You film a lot and start cutting as soon as you get home. After a few days of work, the video is ready, but somehow the result doesn’t look as professional as you had imagined. That’s for a variety of reasons. You can find out what these are in this and the following blog posts.
Before you start editing the video:
1. Plan your video
This is the first and one of the most important tips I can give you. It’s best to think about what you want to put into your video and what you want to record before you start filming.
One of the biggest mistakes is that you take too many pictures. Why are too many videos a problem? It is much more difficult to cut out the best scenes from 10 hours of video than from 3 hours. Probably you forget even the best shots in the finished video or you can’t decide and the film will end up much too long.
If you think about what you want to see in your video beforehand, you will automatically film less, but the recordings you make will become more thoughtful and automatically more professional.
But if you already have a lot of video material available and are about to cut and edit the video, create a folder where you can drag all the videos you want to see in the video. The preparation is one of the most important steps for which you should take your time. If you arrange the videos in advance, the results will be much better in the end and video editing will probably be more fun too.
A tip on how to proceed: Of course, the order in which the individual tracks are to be seen is also decided. Before you open the video editing program: Pick up a note and record how you imagine a professional video, i.e. in what order should your videos be arranged, when an effect or transition fits especially well, when do you blend in titles, how should the intro or outro look, etc.?
It is even better if you create a schedule before you start filming, because then you can use the preparation to record the videos. Of course, this only works if you know what the process will be like. When you’re shooting a holiday movie, you’re not planning every little detail. But when you’re filming events or celebrations, you can think about it well in advance.
2. Light for the camera
When you have planned your video and are ready to start filming, you should follow this tip. Light is one of the most important criteria for good videos. Make sure there’s always enough light in the lens of your camera. If you’re filming outside, you can’t change the lighting conditions much without a big film studio. But if, for example, you want to record a video in the house, make sure that there is always enough light and that it does not change. Of course, the sun is the best source of light, but when a cloud suddenly moves in front of it, the room where you record the video becomes dark and it doesn’t look professional. Optimal is the uncomfortable white light, because it resembles the sunlight.
When you’re out filming, you can’t take care of the light yourself, but you can take advantage of the best moments to film to get the best possible result.
The most beautiful and uniform light is in the morning or evening when the sun rises or sets. In the midday sun, it may be too bright under circumstances and overexposed shots do not look good.
When you film buildings, for example, make sure you don’t film against the sun, because otherwise you can often only perceive the building as a shadow. If you use the sun as a light source optimally and film in the same direction as the sun shines, you can take an excellent picture of the beautifully illuminated building.
Of course, you have to decide for yourself how important sound is to you. When I shoot travel videos, I usually leave the sound out completely and leave the videos with music instead. But if you’re shooting videos where sound plays an important role, such as when you’re standing in front of the camera explaining something, make sure it’s good enough.
Sound is one of the most important criteria for a professional video. Surely you have already clicked away a Youtube video, because the sound simply didn’t sound real. If the sound sounds normal instead, it doesn’t stand out at all and therefore is often neglected when filming.
You can attach an extra microphone to most cameras. Another possibility, e.g. to set travel videos to music, is to neglect the sound on holiday and when you are sitting at your desk at home, you can pick up a microphone and record yourself telling something about the holiday. Then you put the audio file behind the video material. At home, there’s no wind or other noise, and the video automatically looks more professional.
Good microphones that you can attach to your camera can be found on Amazon.
Once you’ve sorted all the recordings, you’re ready for video editing.
Tips for more professional videos | Part 2
After I gave three tips for the preparation for the video editing in the last blog post, we now come to the actual part, the post-processing of the recordings with the video editing software.
Once you have all the recordings in the box and sorted them, you’re ready to go. There are several procedures. Either you add all your movies to the Timeline and then adjust the cuts, or you drag the tracks into the Timeline bit by bit. I like to edit my videos chronologically from front to back.
1. The video material must match the music
Even if you might think it’s a matter of course, you always see videos on Youtube where the music just doesn’t match the video.
This point is really very important because the music is supposed to amplify the mood that is seen in the video. Beautiful landscape shots backed with rock music unfortunately seem rather unprofessional.
And not only the video material must match the music. The cuts must also be adapted. With fast music you can make as many cuts as you want. If the clip is slower, longer clips may work better.
Your video also looks much more professional if you set the cuts to the beat, which means that the picture changes with the rhythm of the music. Cuts on the beat are also more pleasant to look at. However, this requires a lot of work, especially if the video editing program or computer is too slow. If it comes to jerks, it is almost impossible to adjust the cuts exactly to the beats.
It’s helpful if the video editing program has a feature that lets you go frame-by-frame. With the Vegas program, for example, this works excellently. So you can really cut exactly to the beat.
The snap-in marker function that is included in some MAGIX programs is also very good. Here you can play the music and press a key in time. The program will then use the audio track “Rastmarker” to show you the bar changes.
2. Do not use too many effects
Even if it is tempting to add an aperture or an effect after each scene in the picture, you should use it sparingly. Effects and apertures should only be used if they really fit well.
Or do you often see fades between scenes on TV? In feature films, mostly only “hard” cuts are used, since these are often not so noticeable. A film should look as real as possible and dazzling doesn’t see the eye in real life. Therefore they are used very rarely, if at all, for scene changes or landscape shots.
Of course you can add effects and fades to your own holiday videos to make them more interesting. You just shouldn’t overdo it. For example, fades can be used when the location is changed or a new day begins.
An exception are slide shows, which consist only of pictures and are deposited with music. Here it is usual to install an aperture after each picture, so that the cuts are not too hard.
3. Leave time for post-processing
Once the rough cut is done and the video is decorated with effects, it’s time to bring the images up to Hollywood standards.
If your video is to look really professional, you should definitely take your time here, because with post-production you can get a lot out of your video, so you can’t believe which camera was used to take the picture.
With most of today’s video editing programs, you have super many ways to change the image. On the one hand you can easily adjust the sharpness and the contrast, on the other hand you have the possibility to change the colors manually with the color palettes. Of course a combination of both is optimal and it also depends on the personal taste. On Youtube you will find many tutorials on how to create your own cinema look.
Many video editing programs offer an automatic look adjustment, which adjusts the images filmed with different cameras to each other. If your video editing software doesn’t have this feature yet, you should do it manually. Videos that have been adapted to each other directly look much more professional.