Openshot is one of the most basic softwares used for editing videos. It is available for free download on the internet. Here’s the link – Openshot.org (MAC computers also have iMovie).
Don’t be afraid of using any editing software. It is one of the most simple and user-friendly applications made. These days smartphones and tabs also have good editing apps. Try out the free versions of Kinemaster or Inshot app for basic editing.
Editing in any software is a simple 3 STEP process
Step 1. IMPORTING (video, audio files from your shoot)
Step 2. SELECTING and ARRANGING the required clips
Step 3. EXPORTING your final movie
Editing is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. You start with lots of pieces of video and audio. Then you need to select the right pieces and arrange them in an order that completes a meaningful picture.
VIDEO TUTORIALS (Very Important)
The best way to learn editing is through Youtube video tutorials, but you need to follow a specific order. There is so much content online that overload of information can leave you confused and hamper your learning. Therefore, to master any editing software quickly, you can follow the order that we are suggesting.
NOTE: In the beginning there will be many times you will get stuck. It’s very natural while learning a new application. If at any point you get stuck in the editing process, just click on the HELP option in the top menu bar of your software and search for the answer to your problem. In 90% of the cases, you’ll find a solution. If you don’t then don’t despair, for the whole wide world of internet is waiting to solve your problem. Have faith in Google and you shall have all the answers you need.
For those of you who are used to a little more traditional format of learning here are some handy notes. Every editing software will have 3 key areas to work in. (names may vary in each software)
- COLLECTION BIN – This is the area, where you collect all the video, audio pieces that you want to work with.
- TIMELINE – This is the area where you assemble the pieces that will go into your movie. A timeline has many tracks to put your video and audio clips. You can also add effects and titles here.
- VIEWER – This is the area where you can see your movie being built.
Here’s a quick guide to using Openshot. Follow the quick tutorials first, before going into the more detailed section. https://www.openshot.org/user-guide/
STEP 1: TRANSFER VIDEO TO YOUR COMPUTER
Most digital cameras these days shoot on memory chips and let you transfer video files directly to your computer with the help of a USB port or a memory card reader. It is always advisable to have two copies of all your footage in case something goes wrong with the files
Different cameras shoot video on different file formats which can be confusing. Some of these formats may not be editable in your editing software. Before you start editing, transfer one of the video files from your camera to your computer and check whether your editing software is able to read it. If it doesn’t then you will need to convert your video file into a format that is acceptable by your computer. Search for appropriate video converters on the internet. An incompatible video format can frustrate you so much that it can be the end of your movie making career, before it even takes off
STEP 2: EDITING
Check out this 10 minute video on how to edit with Openshot. The Correct order to practise editing when you are start on your own computer or smartphone is as follows:
- Learn to add clips in your timeline. Rearrange them. Change their duration by dragging clip edge
- Learn the Razor blade tool to cut clips
- Learn how to add transitions between 2 clips
- Learn how to add music and adjust it’s volume
- Learn how to add effects to your clips
- Learn how to add Titles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5n4sTh21_A)
STEP 3: SHaring
While EXPORTING your movie there will be many formats to choose from. The parameters you have to watch out for are: File size and Video quality.
For sharing on the internet, the mp4 format works well as it’s file-size is small. The tradeoff is in quality as the compression engine will reduce the quality of the video a little bit, but it’s not very noticeable. You can try out different export formats to see which one works for you.
Exercise: Create a Photo Story
The best way to learn an editing software is not by reading notes, but by opening it and playing around with different features. So let’s learn editing by using a simple game.
Challenge 1: Open your editing software and identify the 3 key areas.
Challenge 2: Find out how to import a few pictures and a music track.
Challenge 3: Select a 7 different pictures and drag them on to the time-line
Challenge 4: Resize the pictures to have a duration of about 5 seconds each.
Challenge 5: Add a dissolve transition in between all pictures (Transitions are placed between two adjacent clips to smoothen the edit)
Challenge 6: Add a title at the beginning and a title at the end of your film.
Challenge 7: Add black and white effect to your pictures
Challenge 8: Add audio / music to your timeline and edit its duration to fit the duration of the movie.
Challenge 9: Export your final movie and share it with the group.
If you are able to complete these 9 challenges, then give yourself a pat on the back, for you have successfully completed your short movie.
Getting familiar with the editing software is of utmost importance. It is the first hurdle one has to cross in becoming a movie maker.