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By: Jav Zeb Iqbal.
Last Updated: September 01, 2020.
Video editing is a creative field, and most of the skills come with practice. While one may learn the technicalities of making efficient transitions between clips, focusing on cut types, and others, the overall effect of a video clip depends greatly on the tone of the clip and how efficiently you convey the message. In this article, we shall discuss some tips that will allow you to edit your videos to perfection, even if you are a beginner.
Master the Keyboard Shortcuts
Novice editors often waste a good part of their day in clicking and dragging things on the screen because they are unaware of the easy way out. Before you get to use any professional video editing software, first sit back and learn the keyboard shortcuts.
You will be amazed to know that just by using the ‘L’ button of your keyboard, you can speed up the playback. Knowing the use of the function keys will save your time by streamlining the process of video editing.
Focus on Selecting Good Music
Music is an effective tool for triggering an emotional response from your viewers at certain crucial junctures of your video. Identify a royalty-free music provider and then, depending on your budget, look for songs or instrumental music that are relevant to your video theme.
Understand that music is an essential part of the video experience and if your budget permits, it is a good idea to invest in having a music scorer to help you select the music for your video.
Explore the Option of Reframing
With videos shot in high-resolution cameras, video editors have the luxury of pushing or pulling the footage or simply reframing it for better effects. For such videos, sit back and observe the finer details of the clip. If you find the eye-line to be off the target, try to reframe the clip.
Similarly, a push-in during a dramatic climax will give the video a professional makeover. However, hold yourself back from going overboard and scaling beyond 110%. This is especially true in the case of videos shot in poor quality cameras as that would make actors in the re-positioned clip look pixelated and take a toll on the overall video quality.
Stabilize the Video
As a video editor, you may not always have the luxury of getting videos shot in high-resolution cameras all the time. Such videos can get shaky and have a bad impact on your overall project. As an editor, you need to familiarise yourself with the different tools for stabilizing shaky videos. Warp Stabilizer, SmoothCam, ReelStaedy, Emulsio are some of the most popular tools that you may want to consider in.
Spend some time in tweaking the settings and experiment with the different parameters in each of these tools and then figure out the most comfortable one. As a video editor, you need to make the clip as coherent without distorting the image. At the initial stages, this will require multiple attempts, but knowing the stabilizing tool to use will simplify the process for you.
Create a Dramatic Effect
The video editor plays a significant role in deciding the dramatic appeal of the video. When the video reaches its climax (or if the protagonist makes an impactful statement), as a video editor, you need to ensure that the frame stands out.
Pause the a-roll while increasing the volume of the music to give the viewer some breathing room to reflect on the impact of the statements made. Putting an appropriate visual cap on the soundbite is another way of utilizing video as a tool to enhance the storytelling experience.
Space Out your Clips
Often, you may need to prepare a video, which is an amalgamation of several clips shot randomly. In such cases, you need strategic planning on the placement of videos to ensure an authentic flow.
When the clip is transitioning through a major change (such as the idea being discussed or a new location), use narration or instrumental music for the transition. This will usher in a sense of continuity for the viewer while letting the sentiments breathe and settle in their minds. The result here will be a beautifully crafted piece of video that your audience is likely to love.
Learn to Colour Correct Your Clips
Colour is the most important element of design, and knowing how to manipulate this will allow a video editor to highlight specific subjects in the story. Expertise in color correction will allow a video editor to make sure that the colors are consistent throughout the scene, and that will set the mood of the clip to evoke certain emotions. For example, a bright color setup symbolizes cheerfulness, whereas one would usually associate pastel colors with a gloomy air.
Being well versed in color grading will allow you to give a video clip a different look that sets it apart from the rest. A classic example of this would be the usage of monochrome or sepia texture to show a scene as something that has happened in the past.
Know When & How to Cover Up
Depending on the type of video you are editing, you will need to learn how to cover up for your subjects and create an impactful video. For example, if you are editing an interview video, you may have a subject who uses a lot of fillers (like uh, you know, and so, etc.) in their conversation. An effective way for you to cover up such situations is by rolling away from them and introducing the audience to a new setting while you let the audio play as it is.
The new setting maybe a video clip or a far shot of the subject speaking. Again, when they have something interesting or poignant to say, roll back the film to a close-up. Knowledge of a b-roll and a+b roll will enable you to do justice to such transitions and keep the story moving forward in an efficient manner.
With these tips, we have simplified the process of video editing for you. As you embark on your journey of creating exemplary videos that stand out, here’s wishing you the very best for the same.