Video Editing Software: Definition & Types

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  • 0:04 Video Editing
  • 1:11 Technical Terms
  • 2:27 Video Clips
  • 3:42 Tools
  • 5:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Misti Smith

Misti has taught courses in Writing, Information and Career. She has two master's degrees in Library Science and Education.

Video-editing software has come a long way and become much more user-friendly. Whether a professional video editor or a home-movie enthusiast, anyone can find a video-editing tool to suit their needs. This lesson will discuss the various types of software available and some important terms that will help you gain a better understanding of video-editing processes.

Video Editing

Video editing is the process of taking a video clip, or multiple clips, and modifying the original to create new media. There are many reasons for editing video clips, the simplest of which is to pare down video to remove unwanted portions. You may also need to put together multiple clips to create one longer video file.

For example, Scott's daughter has a dance recital coming up. She's in two different numbers, as well as the recital opening. He's able to record all three parts, but there's a lot of extra recording time at the beginning and end of each, as well as some shaky and low-light moments. Scott wants to share the recording with his family and have it look amazing. Scott needs a video-editing tool.

Now that Scott has the footage, or the scenes recorded on video, he can manipulate it using the video-design software of his choice to add some pizzazz. Some of the many post-production, or after-production, effects that can be modified are title screens, captions, color corrections, fade effects, music, and much more. From children's activities to workplace presentations, having video-editing skills is beneficial for everyone.

Technical Terms

There are a lot of technical terms and acronyms you'll come across when working with video files and video-editing software. Let's define a few common ones.

Resolution: This is the quality of the video, usually in terms of the pixels displayed. Pixels are very small dots that make up the picture in a video. The more pixels the video has, the more crisp and clear the image.

SD and HD: SD is standard-definition resolution, and HD is high-definition resolution. SD ranges from 480-576 pixels, while HD ranges from 720-1080 pixels. HD is the most common resolution type.

Aspect Ratio: This is basically the size of the screen your video is set to fit on. It is written in the form of a ratio of width to height. 16:9 is HD, so therefore it is the more common size. 16:9 (HD) is shown in yellow, while 4:3 (SD) is shown in red.

Aspect Ratio visualized

Compression: This is the process of making a video file smaller. When compressing a video file, you may lose a little bit of quality, but having a smaller file makes it easier to store, send, or upload.

Video Clips

The first step in video editing is getting video. Keep in mind that the original video files have a lot to do with how clean or polished your final video will look, so if you want it to look really good, you will need to have a decent video camera.

Some basic guidelines: get an HD camera with at least 1080p resolution. You'll want a camera that has either a lot of internal memory or that uses an SD card to store files. It should have 10X zoom or more if you plan on recording from afar, like a stage recital or sporting event.

Depending on how you've recorded the video, your method of importing may differ slightly. If you used a digital video camera, which most home-video cameras on the market today are, you can use a cable that will connect your camera to your computer. Once you open your video-editing software, choose ''import'' and then navigate to the connected video camera.

If you shot the video with a mobile device (i.e., a smartphone or a tablet) the easiest way to manage video files is to install a tool, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, on your device. This will allow you to store your videos in the cloud, file storage that is not located physically on your device, and then access them on any other internet-connected device, such as your computer.

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