Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Video Editing Tips

People who know me, know I love to create videos. Although I have a mini-video camera, many of my videos are created using still photos. I generally use Sony Vegas to create my videos, but I have used Windows Movie Maker too. Sony Vegas is my favorite video creation/editing software though. 

While creating and editing videos is pretty straight forward, experience has taught me a few things and upon request, I decided to share those tips here. 

In a nutshell, here are my top video editing tips .....

  1. Create a new folder on your desktop for each video you create (one folder per video).  Give the folder a name that reflects the theme of your video (example, "Christmas 2011")
  2. Within this folder, create sub-folders .... one for pictures (if using still photos), one for video clips (if using video clips), one for music, etc.  The goal is to get all of the video, pictures, music, etc. used in your video into the same folder (away from everything else) so it's easy to find and manage.
  3. Copy the photos, video clips, music, etc that you intend to use in your video into their respective sub-folders which you created in step 2.
  4. Once you complete steps 1-3, open your favorite video editing software and IMPORT your video, photos and music from the subfolders you created in step 3.  
  5. When you save your movie, be sure to save it in the top level folder you created on your desktop (in step 1).  
  6. When you render (or make) your movie, be sure to save the created movie in the top level folder (step 1).
To some people, the six tips above may seem like overkill since it requires moving (and copying) your files into a new folder as opposed to leaving them where they are.  But believe me, there is a logical reason to this madness.  And here it is .....

By default, most people store their pictures in the PICTURE folder (or in their DOCUMENT folder) and their music in the MUSIC folder, etc.  While this is the preferred method for most everyday uses, it creates a problem for video editing. 

The first problem is that people tend to delete, move, or rename their photos, music, video clips, etc.   If that photo, song, etc. was already in your video timeline and you move, delete or rename the file, then the timeline can't find it anymore (your software will tell you it's "offline" or "missing").  This means you have to find the original file and reimport it into your video software so the timeline can see it.  This can be a major pain (not to mention time-consuming). 

But by COPYING these files (photos, video clips, music, etc) to a special folder (as described in steps 1-4 above), your video editing software will always know where to find them.  In this case, it doesn't matter if you move, delete or rename your original files ... your timeline will remain in tact because it will know where to find the copies you created in steps 1-4. 

The other big advantage in using the tips outlined above is that once the video is complete, you can copy this entire folder to your backup hard drive, flash drive or DVD and remove it from your desktop (to save disk space).  But then if you ever need to make changes to the video or make more copies, you can just COPY the entire folder back to your desktop, open your video editing software and you're good to go again.  The software will knows where to find everything. 

Everybody has their own system, but through experience, this is the best system I've discovered for creating and editing home videos.
Vegas Movie Studio Production Suite SPMSPSMS1100
Vegas Movie Studio Production Suite SPMSPSMS1100
Sony SPMSPSMS1100 Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Production Suite software has everything you need to produce professional-quality HD movies. Edit video in nearly any format, including HDV and AVCHD, as well as create breathtaking 3D video with innovative stereoscopic 3D tools. Included with this software suite are powerful features for video compositing, color correction and soundtrack creation for feature-film results. Choose from hundreds of professional 2D and 3D video effects, titles and filters. And best yet, exclusive Jump Start Tutorials help you get acquainted with the program fast.HighlightsVegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11Included Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 software enables you to produce spectacular movies in nearly any format. Powerful tools for stereoscopic 3D, video compositing, color correction and surround-sound mixing help you get feature-film results in your home studio. You can also personalize your movies with text animations, title rolls and scrolling credits. DVD Architect Studio 5With the included DVD Architect Studio 5 software, you can choose from dozens of ready-made templates or create your own custom backgrounds and buttons. Create titles, multiple menus, scene selection menus, slideshows, music compilations and more. All of this can then be authored to standard-definition DVD or high-definition Blu-ray Disc.Sound Forge Audio Studio 10Sound Forge Audio Studio software is the easiest way to record, edit, encode and master audio on your home computer. Customize your creations with built-in effects such as EQ, reverb, delay and chorus, or restore old vinyl and cassette recordings. To share, simply burn your own CDs or convert audio to formats ideal for online streaming or portable music players like the PSP, Walkman, iPod or iPhone.Vocal Eraser ToolSound Forge Audio Studio 10 software includes the Vocal Eraser plug-in so you can easily remove vocals from most recordings. You can also use this plug-in to extract vocals from songs for remixing and to create custom karaoke tracks.Twelve Additional DVD ThemesDVD Architect Studio 5 includes 12 new DVD themes that are a great addition to the theme bundle. These exciting, pre-produced menus contain backgrounds and buttons that can be used with any DVD or Blu-ray Disc project.