Learn How to Edit Video: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Beginners Guide To Editing Videos

Learning video editing, whether it’s online video editing or editing video using professional software, can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. You’ll need to get to your head around many concepts and process – starting with getting the right video equipment and editing software. However, video editing doesn’t have to be complicated or cumbersome. Becoming proficient in video editing isn’t an insurmountable achievement in itself; it will also help you to upgrade your existing skills, which will assist you in landing jobs in the media industry.

Remember why you want to learn video editing in the first place.

Acquiring the required tools and software for video editing is easy, what is difficult is to unveil all the bells and whistles of video editing in one guide. However, this beginner’s guide will help to get you started the right way. In this guide, we will show you what video editing software you should choose, whether to use a PC and Mac to edit your first video, how to start editing your first video, and things like that. So, let’s get to it:

Choose the Right Software

The first thing to kickstart your video editing journey is to determine the right software for you and your work. Most professional-grade video editing software typically includes everything you need to perform standard video edits, but you may prefer one over another. It all depends on your preferences.

Top favorites include

  • Premiere Pro,
  • Final Cut Pro,
  • After Effects,
  • Avid Media Composer,
  • and DaVinci Resolve.

If you’re looking for something less mainstream, yet highly capable alternatives, you may try out Autodesk Smoke, Lightworks, and Sony Vegas.

Get A Fast PC or Mac Computer

Let’s get one thing straight—we won’t talk about whether PCs are a better alternative for video editing to Macs. Choose whatever computer model or brand you want as long as it is fast and powerful with quick video rendering. Another important thing to keep in mind is to buy a computer that can store massive files. Therefore, invest in faster storage drives such as SSDs (solid state drives) and your computer’s memory (RAM) to at least 8GB to speed up your video loading, rendering, and exports.

Edit To Tell A Story

One of the essential takeaway from this guide is to remember why you want to learn video editing in the first place. Video editing should be your outlet to express your creative goals. All the videos you edit should tell a great story. Your video should be aesthetically-pleasing and dramatic, and compelling and should have the power to invoke the right emotions and effectively deliver the message you want to tell your audience. To achieve that you need to go beyond the basics, cut away superfluous footage, and rearrange the order of your video clips. Furthermore, use your technical and practical knowledge to reach this point instead of merely adding various effects to impress your viewers.

Keep You Workflow Efficient

It doesn’t matter if you have a super-fast computer system and editing software unless your workflow is systematic and organized, it will difficult for you to become a proficient and efficient video editor. It is imperative to improve your workflow by organizing all your projects and files in folders as you may use them again and again. Maintain separate folders for your projects, audio files, video clips, video effects, images, and graphics. You can also create additional subsections and folders if you need. Another way you can speed up your workflow is to utilize external storage drives for storing your footage.

 Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Almost all programs including video editing software come with keyboard shortcuts that perform various functions to speed up whatever work you’re doing. So, consider to memorize, review, and customize the different shortcuts for software programs like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Media Composer, and DaVinci Resolve.

To make things easier, invest in an editing keyboard with keyboard shortcut icons in them.

Learn Important Video Editing Terms

In order to become a pro-level video editor, you’re required to communicate with other video editors or clients in the industry which means you’ll need to memorize a lot of jargon. If you’re a beginner, some terms used in video editing can sometimes be impossible to figure out unless you learn or research them. We suggest you learn them as fast as possible to be up to speed.

Some basic terms include:

  • Jump Cuts,
  • J Cut,
  • L Cut,
  • Montage,
  • Cutting on Action,
  • Match Cut/Match Action,
  • Cutaways, etc.,

to name just a few.

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