Video Editing: A Beginner’s Guide

By on December 12, 2011
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We go through the basics of video editing from applications to techniques.

5 Best Editing Software (Free & Paid)

Your choice of editing systems vary greatly on the operating system you wish to use on your computer. But here are the list of 5 editing software that are best fit for editing work.

  • 1- Windows Live Movie-Maker (PC Only) – On the PC, the only significant free editing software is actually made by Microsoft itself. Now keep in mind that this is the most basic that an editing software can get and only fits usage if you’re into editing home movies and other basic work. The templates are barebones and so are the functionalities. But then again, it’s geared towards the most casual video editor and anyone looking to do a more professional job should absolutely look elsewhere. But for the average user, this is a good fit and the learning curve is extremely easy. You can download it for free as a part of Windows Live Essentials here.
  • 2- iMovie (Mac Only) – For Mac users, their version of Moviemaker comes in the form of iMovie. However, the software is available as a part of the iLife suite so it’s not really free as the former is. But once you’re past that, it has more features and a better interface for editing than Moviemaker does. There are audio editing features along with titling effects and functions to upload the movie on social networking sites as well as integration with other Apple devices. That’s not to say that it’s a very advanced application, since it’s bigger brother Final Cut Pro is made for that job, but for most users not making professional-level content this is a great base. You can find out more about it here.
  • 3- Vegas Pro (PC Only) – This is my editing software of choice and ends up as the perfect balance between professional features as well as ease of use. It’s not a free software by any means, but it has enough advanced features with plugin support, advanced rendering features, timelines and animations, 64-bit support, unlimited video and audio tracks and more which gives you a lot of options and freedom when editing something to the highest quality possible. The best part is that it’s easy to use and learn and is also much less taxing on your system resources than something like Adobe Premiere Pro. You can check out the latest version of the software here.
  • 4- Adobe Premiere Pro (PC & Mac) – Being the only software out of the list that actually works on PC and Mac, Adobe Premiere Pro is hands-on the most comprehensive and advanced system out of them all. This didn’t use to be the case before but Adobe really stepped up to the competition with their CS 5.5 version that added a lot of professional quality features. I’ve been using Premiere Pro for the high-end broadcast-level editing work that I do that Vegas sometimes cannot handle and there’s a lot of stuff here including sequences, seamless integration with other Adobe products like Photoshop and After Effects, and even greater control over editing and audio that make this the top choice for editing professionals. Keep in mind though that you need a computer with more than decent specs to handle it at its best and it’s a bit of a memory hog. Also, it will take time to master. Check out the latest version here.
  • 5 – Final Cut Pro (Mac Only) – Up until sometime earlier this year, Final Cut Pro 7 used to the industry standard for editing. And for good measure – it’s a robust and extremely professional system that Hollywood films use to edit their stuff on. It doesn’t have an easy learning curve at all but it rewards you handsomely. However, Apple made a  major update with the software with the release of Final Cut Pro X which looked extremely promising but ended up lacking most of the elements that made its predecessors so useful. It ended up being less professional and more prosumer because of which many professionals jumped ship to Premiere Pro and never looked back. But as it stands, it’s still a polished editor for the prosumer user that packs a lot of punch. Find it here.

Whatever you choose, the next step is getting the footage into the software.

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Filmmaker and film writer. An ironically strange combination. Follow his tweets on @faisalhashmi for his escapades in film.

  • Jeetindersaggu

    Thanks for bringing this issue to light.Many people like to make there videos at home.These are some easy steps for making home video.1)Get the footage onto a computer2)Sequence the footage together to form a movie3)Output the movie to a format it can be viewed 

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