Video Editing 101: Tips for Beginners

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Content is king, but first impressions count. Knowing how to edit videos that can compel more viewers to watch your videos and subscribe for more content is important. If you’re an aspiring content creator, here are a few easy tips you can learn!

Which video editing software should I use?

This is one of the first questions any beginner video editor will ask. Our simple answer is this: Choose a software you are most comfortable. As a beginner, what matters is getting started and getting yourself familiarised with the software you’ve chosen. Most importantly, these are the few factors you should look at when choosing which software to use:

  • Compatibility: Does the software support your recording device and operating system?
  • Features: Does it have all the basic features you’ll need as a beginner?
  • Affordability: Are you able to afford the software

1. Adobe Premiere Pro

Platforms: Mac, Windows

Adobe Premiere Pro is the choice for most video professionals, and it also has a user-friendly interface, making it a good choice to start with for beginners. Apart from allowing you to trim footage and adjust video sound with precision, you can also adjust colours and white balance, and add animation and video effects from other Adobe apps.

The only drawback is that if you want an up-to-date copy of Premiere Pro, you must subscribe to the Creative Cloud. However, this is a good deal if you’re an editor or creative artist, as you will likely use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.

If Adobe Premiere Pro is too daunting for you as a beginner, you can also try out Adobe Premiere Elements. A simplified version of Premiere Pro, it is easy to learn also available for much cheaper.


2. iMovie

Platform: Mac

If you’re a Mac user, you will have access to iMovie for free. iMovie makes it easy for you to add titles, music and effects. It’s drag and drop interface not only makes it a good video editing tool, but also one that is easy to use for beginners. However, iMovie lacks advanced video editing features such as audio-video sync capability, so you may find yourself upgrading to another software when your skills have improved.


3. Final Cut Pro X

Platform: Mac

Final Cut Pro X is one of the most popular video editing platforms for professionals. Even though Final Cut Pro X is only compatible with Mac OS, it is built by Apple and seems to make better use of integrated OS features and seems more fine-tuned for Mac use. Unlike iMovie, Final Cut Pro X requires a one-time purchase of US$299.99.


4. DaVinci Resolve

Platform: Mac, Windows

DaVinci Resolve is a free software packed with features like colour correction, smart video stabilisation, and facial recognition. Built by Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve is a tool designed for filmmakers comparable to many paid tools in terms of versatility and usefulness. Take note that there is a paid version called DaVinci Resolve Studio, but the free version should be more than sufficient for you to get started.


Keeping Your Audience Engaged

1. Be interesting right from the start

Facebook revealed that the average attention span on their platform for video content is 2 seconds. This means that you don’t have much time to get your audience hooked, and being interesting from the start is key. This can be done with a catchy video title, or a clickbait thumbnail. The introduction to your video must also be able to match expectations. Remove shots or dialogues that get too long. Keep your audience engaged by making sure that every single second in your video serves a purpose.

2. Include transitions for a smoother experience

Depending on what style of video you’re going for, you might want to consider adding transitions in at this stage too. Be careful with these as they can easily feel cheesy, but a good rule of thumb is to only use one when changing ‘chapters’ in your video or changing location.

If you put a slide-in or fade transition between every clip of a talking-head video your audience will get sick of it fast. However, if you’re changing topic, sliding to a new clip is a good way to visually signal the change.

3. Adding b-rolls and supers

‘B-rolls’ refer to supporting visual footage that you can use to give context to what you’re saying, or relevant to what is happening in the video. Including b-rolls help to add visual interest. For example, if you’re reviewing a car, you can include a few shots of the car from different angles. B-rolls is a simple way to add a touch of professionalism to your videos, and they can keep the pace of a video moving.

Supers is a collective term for titles, text, or graphics added to video. These supers on the screen indicating the name of the video or location can help add context. If you’re editing a video where you’re running through a list of points, having those points appear on screen as you say them is a great way to add visual interest.

4. Ensure good audio and include music

Watching a video is not just a visual experience. The sounds we are hearing are important too. Making sure your project has good sound is actually more important than the camera you’re using. The best quality audio has a consistent standard in audio quality. The music you’ve chosen also shouldn’t distract your audience from the content of your video. Rather, it should add on to the experience you are trying to provide.

5. Include subtitles

We’ve gone through extensively why you need to include subtitles in your videos. Not only does it make your video more inclusive and accessible, it is also a wiser choice if you want to increase watch time, audience engagement, and the searchability of your videos.

Adding subtitles to your videos can be a quick and easy task when done with Auris AI. Auris AI is a user-friendly, fast, and accurately subtitles your videos for FREE. Choose if you want to create open or closed captions, and you can even translate your subtitles to multiple Asian languages. Try out Auris AI for FREE!

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