Do you want to take your video editing skills to the next level? Becoming an amazing videographer or video editor isn’t an easy task. However with practice and patient, you will be able to edit like a pro and showcase your skills to a wider audience. This post covers 10 main tips which will help you become a professional video editor.
1. Use the Right Software
One of the most important decisions which you need to make is one regarding editing software. It has the power to make or break the video. There are many different types of software out there and it is important for you to choose one depending on your tastes and preferences, keeping in mind, the audience. Here is a quick breakdown of the most powerful professional video editing software.
Our recommended choice is Premiere Pro. It costs only $50 a month and offers you some of the most powerful tools to turn your video montage into a masterpiece. It is a fantastic program for both large and small projects. Besides, it is frequently updated unlike other programs out there. A great thing about it is that it perfectly integrates with its sister programs such as Media Encoder, Speed Grade, Audition and After Effects. It is more affordable as compared to other software editing programs out there.
- Multi-cam Editing
- Consistent Updates
- Customizable Interface
- A lot of Online Support
- Dynamic Link with other Adobe Software
2. Choose the Right Computer
Keep in mind that a great computer would not necessarily make one an excellent video editor. However, a faster computer allows one to focus more time on the story that is being told rather than the computer rending. When it comes to editing, everyone has their own opinion as to which computer to use. Here are a few ways through which you can pick and optimize the right computer.
Get an SSD
The truth is that a fast storage drive is an important investment which one needs to make for video editing. As you probably already know, videos take up a lot of space unlike pictures. There are multiple benefits to a fast storage drive. One of these is the fact that it allows your computer to quickly access the footage and software. It leads to faster render, loading as well as export times. The SSD would normally double the price of a hard drive, but is completely worth it.
Increase RAM (Memory)
Once the RAM is increased, it would lead to faster editing speeds. Most modern NLEs recommend that at least 4GB of RAM be used. However, you need a lot more if you are serious about video editing. The more RAM the better. Aim for at least 8 GB of RAM or more.
Better Video Cards
A video card is vital as it outputs graphic images to the computer’s monitors. It should give you an idea of just how important it is. Graphics cards are required for most of the major video editing applications.
3. Edit for a Story
Remember, the job of an editor is just like that of a storyteller. This means that editing is a lot more than just cutting footage. It gives you the opportunity to take the audience on a unique journey. You would craft that an experience for them. There is a deeper story that needs to be told, instead of just a simple corporate video or a complex narrative film.
Every sound effect, every cut, every graphic and every transition helps tell a greater story. So, when editing, constantly ask yourself how each of the scene is progressing towards telling the story. Besides, an audience loves conflict. It is your duty to find that conflict and emphasize it with the help of music and pacing.
4. Make Use of Keyboard Shortcuts
One can easily tell the difference between a novice and a professional video editor by looking at how much they use with the keyboard. Editors that have experience in the industry know that seconds can be saved here and there. So, if you want to save time on projects and meet deadlines, it is best that you learn how to use keyboard shortcuts. The good thing is that there are plenty of keyboard shortcut resources.
Simply print out a cheat sheet as it is known to be one of the best ways to learn keyboard shortcuts when starting out. Beginners can easily reference to the sheet when editing. There is a simple keyboard shortcut for just about everything, whether that is playback or cutting. Use the following cheat sheets.
- Premiere Pro
- Final Cut Pro
- Adobe After Effects
- Da Vinci Resolve
- Media Composer
Get an Editing Keyboard
In addition to the above, you could simply get an editing keyboard if you have some cash. Essentially, the editing keyboard is just like a normal keyboard. However, the keys would have keyboard shortcut icons.
5. Learn the Technical Language
Video editing is an industry and not just a profession or hobby. This means that one needs to be somewhat familiar with the technical language in order to become a better video editor. Now, you don’t need to know all of the terms, but a fundamental knowledge of all of the concepts would help you communicate better with clients and other video editors. Here are some of the basic concepts.
Basically, it is a cut which allows the editor to out portions of the time. It is used to preserve the visual interest without having the audience to watch the boring parts.
J & L Cut
J & L Cuts are an important tool for typing two different scenes together. In simple words, it is an overlap of wither video or audio onto the next scene. The term is used due to the shape that they make in the editing timeline.
It is a sequence of shows which portray the passage of time. Although, you might be familiar of the idea behind the montage, it is vital for you to remember that it is a powerful tool that helps progress the story.
6. Good Music Makes a Huge Difference
Music plays a huge role when it comes to the final product. Most films are 50 percent sound and 50 percent visual. And most of the time, sound overplays the visual. The audio is vital to the success of a video. Consider a royalty free music provider to license good music. You would need to spend a bit of money on music if you want to truly captivate the audience. You should use Videomark as it offers some of the best watermarked audio previews and more. This helps ensure that you do not end up wasting money on a track which is not worth it.
Audio level is something that every video editor has different opinions about. Here are some suggestions to help you adjust your audio here and there.
- Dialogue = – 12 db to – 15 db
- Overall Mix Level = – 10 db to – 14 db
- Sound Effects = – 10 db to – 20 db with occasional spikes of up to – 8 db
- Music = – 18 db to – 22 db
Exporting for the Web
Remember, most of the projects would be viewed on smartphones, TVs, computers or iPads. Therefore, you should know the proper way to export the video for the web. The aim when exporting needs to be to create the highest quality of video possible without having a huge file size. Four main factors determine the size of the finished video. These are as follows.
It is a type of file format which the video would be saved as. The smaller the size of the video, the more compressed the codec is. However, a smaller file size tends to have a lower quality.
The resolution is the amount of pixels that a video has.
It is the amount of data that is dedicated to a second of the video. The higher the bit rate, the higher the result of the video quality and much larger files. Some of the programs allow you to set the maximum and minimum bit rate.
Normally, one would want to export the video to the film standard that is 24 fps or the TV broadcast standard which is 30 fps.
Video editors have a strange relationship with YouTube. There is no doubt that it is the most popular video service around the world. In order to get the video seen by the most number of people possible, you would need to place it on YouTube. However, whenever a video is uploaded on YouTube, it would be re-encoded to a smaller file format. Hence, there would be a loss of quality. Therefore, make sure to preview the video.
8. Achieve Faster Editing
A faster editor doesn’t necessarily make one a better editor. But, what it does is that it allows for one to spend time on other things as well which results in better videos and films. Become a faster video editor by doing the following.
Organizing takes time when it comes to files and projects. Some time would be spent labeling and organizing the footage help save up hours which might have been wasted on the project. Create a simple organizational structure which can be used over and over again for each of the projects. Use folder structure such as audio, graphics, project files and footage to organize the footage.
9. Consider Color
It is the process used for getting the footage to a color baseline. It doesn’t matter how great the footage might have looked on set, some basic post-processing would always need to be done to all of the footage consistent. File formats such as RAW are much easier to format.
It is the process through which the footage is actually stylized in order to match with a given color look. Although, there is an infinite number of different ways through which the color grade be done. The process can easily be broken down into just 2 different types of grading, that is to say grading with presents and by hand.
Color Grading by Presets
These are drag and drop effects which can easily be applied to the footage. They are perfect if you are short on time and require quick color inspiration. Magic Bullet Looks by Red Gain is one of the most popular color grading presets out there.
Color Grading by Hand
Now, if one has the time, then they can simply color grade the film by hand. This technique takes a lot of time and plenty of skill to achieve professional results which is why it is not recommended for beginners.
10. Use Titles and Graphics
Once, the video has been edited, color graded and added music, it is time to add the titles and graphics. It is difficult to create good graphics by oneself and that is why one should keep things simple.
Simple is Better
Simple is actually better than complex when it comes to creating titles and credits. Select a good sans-serif font and you are good to go. Make it white and let it dissolve in and out. It works most of the time.
Learn to Use After Effects
It is a good idea to learn to use After Effects. It allows you to create awesome motion graphics as well as make VFX work. There are different places to make use of it. Consider using the best services as there is no need to compromise when going all out on After Effects. Sometimes, it is the After Effects that make a real difference when it comes to the success of a film.
Bonus: Have Fun
Finally, the best way to learn and enjoy your craft is by having fun. Think outside the box and give it your all. There is no reason to be too focused. Take a break and see what you can bring to the table.