We live in a time when capturing and sharing a video is as easy as a few taps on your smartphone. Cameras that were once big, bulky, expensive and impractical are now small, convenient, and economical, and can produce high-quality results. There are even some elementary editing applications that enable you to trim and clip footage right in the device you captured it in. It’s a world that we haven’t known very long and the future looks even more promising.
However, there are times when simply applying a filter, adjusting contrast or trimming excess footage won’t create the honed and polished video project that you want to attract and satisfy an audience. You need video editing software for that. These applications offer you videos options that just aren’t available in your camera, smartphone or tablet. Tools such as video stabilization, audio mixing and title designers simply aren’t available in a smartphone app or in your camera. These powerful tools are reserved for desktop applications because they require processing power, ample workspace and a great deal of patience.
The best video editing software, such as Cyberlink PowerDirector, Corel Video Studio Pro and Adobe Premiere Elements, provides you with resources like transitions and effects libraries as well as organizational tools such as a media library and commanding control with features like Chroma key and key-framing. However, their main benefit is that they’ve distilled the workflow of video editing into an easy-to-understand and execute software package that can be learned by nearly anyone that owns a computer.
On this site, you’ll also find a library of articles about video editing that will help you understand the art and craft of the medium.
Ease of Use
When you hear terms like workspace, workflow and working environment, it is normally a reference to how the video editing software was designed at a very basic level. The best video editing software breaks down the often-complicated process of video editing into a learnable, step-by-step guide that takes you from an unorganized collection of video, audio and images to a finished project that you can share with family, friends and the world.
The best video editing software makes the workflow easily accessible to newcomers, with tutorials and in-app explanations of tools and features to guide you through the process. The layout of the editing tools should be efficient, taking advantage of available screen space without crowding out the video project. The best video editing software makes these tools easy to find and understand, and simplifies their functionality so they’re accessible to users of all skill levels.
The basic tasks common to most video projects are improving video quality, cutting and organizing scenes, and adding audio and visual elements. Video editing software should come with an array of tools to help you achieve the look you desire.
To improve on the quality of the video you take, look for an image stabilizer feature, which helps eliminate the effects of shaky hands.
Cutting and organizing scenes means using media bins (where video, still images and audio clips reside), timelines (where you’ll sync audio and arrange scene transitions) and storyboards (used to arrange scenes in order). The software should also include a large selection of transitions, which visually bridge the gap from one scene to the next.
Audio mixing tools enable you to add sounds and music to your video, beyond the ambient sounds or speech captured while filming. Using title design tools, you can overlay the screen with text.
If you’re sharing your video creation with an audience, you’re probably using the internet to do so. YouTube and Facebook are the most popular destinations for homemade videos, and most video editing software enables you to upload your creations to these services from within the program. The software should also let you export to a file optimized for a DVD, smartphone or tablet, or Blu-ray disc.
Training & Community
Working in isolation can be lonely and frustrating; sometimes it really helps to have someone there to consult and collaborate with. The best video editing software offers free tutorials, online communities and technical support that’s helpful and easy to find.
Transforming raw footage into a finished video that captures and entertains audiences is a time-consuming task that requires patience and great attention to detail. But the rewards are worth the hours it takes to learn the software and create a video that showcases your unique vision.