When it comes to video editing, imparting a professional touch requires learning the latest editing tricks and techniques, and of course, a lot of patience. Here are six video editing tips to make the process a tad easier.
1. Get the Right Hardware
Want to improve your overall video editing experience? Invest in the right hardware. Pinching pennies on computers, storage devices, and processors can slow you down. You will spend more time fusing about rendering and processing speed instead of focusing on the story you’re trying to tell with the video.
Of course, you won’t magically become a great video editor by simply buying a fast computer, but it is the right step in the right direction.
Regardless of whether you use a PC or Mac, consider getting an SSD for faster loading, rendering, and exporting of digital files. The cost of an SSD can be twice that of traditional hard drives, but it is worth the investment.
Next, invest in a fast processor (such as an i7, for example) and a high-quality graphics card that is compatible with your non-linear editing system (NLE). Most major video editing programs have recommended graphics cards and processors, so be sure to check these out before you invest in one. You also want to get an 8GB RAM at least, but the more RAM you have, the better.
2. Choose the Right NLE
Choosing the right software is one of those video editing tips that boil down to personal preference. In reality, nearly all video editors will get the job done, but certain programs can make editing tasks a lot easier and might be more user-friendly.
A good approach to choosing a good non-linear editing system is to try out a handful of programs (using free or trial versions) before deciding on the best one for you. Here are some great options you might want to check out:
- Overview: Stunning visual effects, 8K video editing, vibrant color correction tools, audio post-production
- Price: Free version, $299 for a lifetime license
- Pros: Robust free version, lifetime license
- Cons: Steep learning curve
Avid Media Composer
- Overview: Adaptable to different file formats, exhaustive feature set, server rendering compatibility
- Price: 30-day trial, $49.99 per month
- Pros: Not difficult to master, great for large projects
- Cons: Not the best choice for social media and web
Adobe Premiere Pro
- Overview: An all-in-one video editor with many built-in special effects and editing capabilities
- Price: 7-day trial, $24.14 per month
- Pros: Plenty of editing tools
- Cons: Slightly slower video rendering on a standard computer
Final Cut Pro
- Overview: Fast and seamless video editing, built-in sound effect tool, supports third-party tools
- Price: 90-day trial, $299.99 one-time payment
- Pros: Up to 400 shortcuts, opens multiple projects at a time
- Cons: Not compatible with Windows PC
3. Master Keyboard Shortcuts
One of the powerful video editing tips that can save you a lot of editing time is learning and mastering keyboard shortcuts. You may have the fastest computer and other pieces of hardware, but you will still be working at snail speed if you have to reach for the mouse and navigate through several menus and submenus each time you want to perform an editing task on your footage.
This tip gets even better because you can do better than memorizing your normal keyboard shortcuts. There are free keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for some of the major video editing programs out there.
Earlier, we discussed the need to invest in the right hardware. If you are serious about mastering keyboard shortcuts and making your work significantly faster, go ahead and invest in a video editing keyboard.
Check out these recommendations:
- Logitech Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard (with Creative Input Dial)
- ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO (with RBG backlight and LED lighting effects)
- Logickeyboard Astra (for Adobe Premiere Pro CC)
- Blackmagic Design Keyboard (for DaVinci Resolve Editor)
4. Stay Organized
When it comes to the video editing process, nothing slows you down more than being disorganized. It doesn’t matter how fast your systems are and how well you’ve mastered the keyboard; if you mix things up easily, you might end up doing an entire project all over again – that’s not only a colossal waste of time and effort but also a display of unprofessionalism.
Even if you are not a very fast editor, this is one of the video editing tips you should never forget: always organize your video clips.
Spend time labeling and organizing video clips, audios, still images, and finished projects into appropriate folders. This will make your work smoother, as you can retrieve and export files without hassles or confusion. It will also save you the heartache of accidentally deleting a video clip because it wasn’t labeled properly during video production.
5. Include Great Music Effects
These video editing tips will be incomplete without mentioning the powerful effects music can bring to your story. Try closing your eyes the next time you watch a movie. Just by listening to the soundtrack, you’ll be able to tell if it is a blockbuster or an indie film.
Having powerful visuals is great, but ignoring the audio is a huge mistake. Professional video editors do not treat music as an afterthought because they understand that sound is as equally important as visuals.
For starters, great music sets the mood of your story. But don’t just include any monotonous sound into your story. You want to level your sounds differently to make your edited video dynamic. Therefore, ensure to use music dialogues and sound effects appropriately.
6. Learn Video Editing Language
Every industry has its lingo, and anyone serious about making professional-grade videos needs to commit time and effort to learn the language. How else will you communicate with other video editors and clients if you don’t understand video editing terminologies?
You don’t necessarily need to learn every term in the book, but you should get familiar with the basics of video editing software, such as montage, J and L cut, jump cut, cutting on action, etc. If you are serious about learning the video editing lingo, consider researching great video editing grammar books online.