Just about all of today's digital cameras are capable of recording video. Most are also capable of taking very good quality HD video. But a similar problem arises for most people in that it's not easy to view those video clips. Many would like to combine them to single playable videos, but don't know how. Similarly many others would like to create their own YouTube videos, but also don't fully understand where to start. This site's tutorials are intended to help those people. ONLY FREE SOFTWARE are used in these tutorials. That way, the average person can get started and try what they've learned immediately.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Basic Video Editing (Cutting & Joining)

If this information helps you, please pay it forward, and share this article with others who may also be looking for this info.   Your help in sharing will be appreciated, and karma will prevail!

Only FREE video editors are used in this tutorial!  The below videos cover each of the basic editing techniques of this article in detail.  They utilize three different freeware video editors depending on your taste or needs (FileLab, VSDC, and Freemake).   These programs are all no-kidding free and fully functioning programs, with no trialware, no watermarks, and will not ask for money.  In other words, you should be able to start video editing soon after reading this article!

Like most people, you probably have a very large library of video clips taken with your digital camera.  Unfortunately, they're all very short clips.   You've only viewed them maybe once or twice using either your camera, or possibly your computer screen.   How can you compile them into a seamless video that can be viewed just about any time that you want on your TV or, better yet, YouTube?  To do such, you'll need to learn the basics of Joining/Merging, Splitting & Cutting, and Transitions.



The first thing you'll need to do is identify the files that you'd like to utilize in your video.   If you haven't already done so, download your video files from your camera to a folder on your computer (recommend that "Videos" folder located within "My Documents"?).  This is important not just for video editing, but also to ensure that you have a backup of your videos in case something unfortunate happens with your camera's memory card.  

Within your videos folder, right-click and create an additional folder for your video project.  Identify and drag into that folder all the specific videos that you'd like to combine into a single video.  Now we're ready to start editing. 

Joining/Merging
Joining/Merging is the first step that would be needed to produce your video.  You'll want to combine all your project clips into a single video.  This is done using a video editor. Some software may allow you to simply drag them into the program.  But others may ask you to load them or add them.  Don't worry, this step will be covered in detail in each of the tutorial videos. 

FileLab Tutorial, Free and Easy Editor (download FileLab here)
This video is in HD.  Click "Full Screen" in lower right corner.


Splitting & Cutting
Your individual clips may also have short sections that you'd like to remove.  A particular section might be too jerky.  Or maybe someone walked in front of the camera.  With most editors, it is easy to identify these specific sections (splitting) and remove them (cutting) from the clip.  This is also covered in detail in each tutorial video.


VSDC Tutorial, Basic Video Editing
This video is in HD.  Click "Full Screen" in lower right corner.

Note that VSDC downloader will suggest installing additional bundled software along with VSDC.  This is why VSDC is free. Carefully read those installation screens and make sure to uncheck or decline any software that doesn't interest you (probably all). 

Transitions

Viewing your current combined video "as-is" may be unpleasant as it would abruptly transition from from one clip to the next.  We'd like to smooth those "Transitions".  Most video editing software enables you to do such.  At the very least, we'd like a "cross fade" as one clip would smoothly dissolve into the next.  Most software also have special transitions such as flipping or rotating.  However, care should be taken as overuse of these special-effect transitions may also make your video appear amateurish.  As mentioned, a simple cross-fade is suitable in most cases.  

The following video includes a download link for Freemake, the simplest of these free editors.  Freemake is included here, as IMO it is the easiest freeware software to accomplish all of the above steps.  It will even automatically upload your final video to YouTube, if you so desire.  But note that the Freemake downloader will suggest installing additional bundled software along with Freemake.  This is why Freemake is free.  Carefully read those installation screens and make sure to uncheck any software that doesn't interest you (probably all).  In other words, don't just hit Next, Next, Next, or you might install additional programs that you did not want:

Read each screen when installing Freemake


Freemake Tutorial, Easiest for Most Tasks (download Freemake here)
This video is in HD.  Click "Full Screen" in lower right corner.
Freemake also requires Microsoft's Net 4.0 to run (if you don't have it, get Net 4.0 here from MS).





70 comments:

  1. Please comment on your experience or needs for video editing. I use such input for future blog posts. Also use the comments to contact me, as I read each and every comment. If I don't reply, that means I don't know the answer to your particular question, and hopefully one of the other readers can answer it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I was just wondering whether there was any way to speed up the video speed using VSDC?

      Delete
    2. So I'm I using some of these all of these or just pick one I like ?

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    3. YES, VSDС allows speed up video

      Delete
    4. I'm having a lot of difficulty rotating my upside down video in VSDC. I know where to go (Editor> Video Effects> Transforms> Rotate) then in Properties I enter the desired degrees of rotation and I get nothing. Am I missing a final step or what?

      Delete
    5. I bet you're entering the value into the Ending Value settings. In the Properties Window, under "Rotate settings/Rotate angles" enter your rotation value into "All".

      Delete
  2. Do the Freeware Video Editing software utilize text?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but the program FileLab has the best text editor of the all, as seen here. As shown in this video, each text effect can be further customized by right-clicking on it and selecting "edit text".

      Delete
  3. it seems awesome but the websites wont load when i try to luanch it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There seems to be a problem today with FileLab. It's usually very fast to load. But just tried it now, and it took about 4 minutes to boot up. Would recommend trying again later. Or give it a few more minutes for it to load (again, this is not normal behavior of FileLab). But that's a downside of using a web based editor in that you're dependent on your's and their server and all communication in between. Although it still is a pretty cool program.

      As another option, depending on your needs why not also try one of the two other editors listed (Freemake or VSDC)?

      Delete
  4. Don't know where they went for the past few weeks, but FileLab is now back up and running! Hooray!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice tut, but I'm not a huge fan of transitions.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would like a video editor for slides that can flip or tip videos sideways or upside down. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, Freemake has that ability, and it's very easy to do. Notice the four green buttons in the lower-right of the editing screen. These are your left/right rotation and horizontal and vertical flip control buttons. Try clicking them with your video and see how easy it is to use.
      CR

      Delete
  7. do i have to use it online or can i download a software

    ReplyDelete
  8. There are three different video editors outlined in the above article. FileLab runs online through your browser. But it edits the video files directly on your computer without the need to upload them. The other two listed programs, VSDC and Freemake, are downloadable programs that you would install to your computer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. is that software are free or paid?

    ReplyDelete
  10. is here anyone have review about software given in these blog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Recommend reading the comments section of the videos on YouTube to read peoples thoughts on these software.

      Delete
  11. is it free or paid software?????

    ReplyDelete
  12. This blog only lists free software.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, I downloaded VSDC, turned down the extras, and tried using it. When I preview a video, the playback is very choppy. It skips like a scratched DVD. Is there any way to fix this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The quality of preview playback depends on the speed of your computer and its available ram. You really can't fix this short of buying a newer/faster computer. But it's important to keep in mind that it's just a "preview", and is not your final video. It's just a tool to help you assess the impact of the effects that you've added to the video. The final rendered version of your video will not be choppy and should be good quality.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I kinda figured it was my computer and not the editor. My computer just doesn't have the processing power to play the final project after it's been built and converted. It doesn't skip like the preview, but it does hesitate when it falls behind while running the video. At least in full hd it does. I think I'll try lower resolutions until I find one that my cpu can keep up with. Thank you for your response!

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    3. VSDC preview is also choppy in my system. My system is an I5 with 8GB of RAM, plus a good quality graphics card so system performance isn't the only limiting factor.

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    4. No there are other factors such as length of the project, amount of individual clips, amount of effects added, etc... Each addition adds more demand of both the software and processor to be able to provide a real time preview of your final video. But the important point to remember is that your final rendered video will not be choppy like the preview.

      Delete
    5. Yup, I noticed that my preview is usually choppy but so far, the end result (after exporting the video) is nice & smooth :) Thanks for putting this together!

      Delete
  14. Can I put music or remove sound using FileLab?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you can and it's very easy. To remove sound, right-click on the video in the timeline and select "Mute".

      To add music in its place,click on the big "Add Overlay" button that's located directly over the timeline, then select your music file.

      Add Overlay can also be used to insert an overlay video or picture over your main video. You can resize and move this overlay using your mouse. Try it, it's neat!

      Delete
    2. Hello Camera Repair I thought I'd come here to ask you some things since I couldn't e-mail you through my Yahoo account. I'm the user who recently asked for help finding a .avi editor. (found here http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130608164119AAR2FWp) Anyway I was wondering what formats can the above editors use, can they copy/paste video segments to be placed elsewhere in the video, can they allow one to extend a video, and can they all add/remove music, If you wish you may e-mail me at Yahoo I'd see your response faster that way. Thank you.

      Delete
    3. All three editors support most file formats, especially HD. Yes they each can edit segments, and can place multiple segments repeatedly within a video to extend its length. Recommend that you start with FileLab, first viewing the FileLab tutorial on this page, plus this one:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYbAe-mUscs

      Delete
    4. Hello again Camera same poster as above. Thanks that's good to know, now unfortunately you've yet to tell me if all of them can edit/remove music, I imagine they can and I was curious since Filelab runs online through my browser does that pose any threats? I think I'd rather use one of the others that don't need me to go online if that's ok. Specifically I was thinking about Freemake VSDC sounds like it has alot of things I wont use.

      Delete
    5. FileLab is sponsored by Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. It even has a Facebook app. To save your final video, you must log onto one of the three. That's why the program is free. No threats.

      And yes, Freemake and VSDC have many other features that you probably wouldn't use. That's why I didn't recommend them (You're not planning on doing green screen special effects are you?).

      Of the three, I use FileLab the most for basic video editing. It has most features that I need, yet is very easy to use. To mute the sound from a video file, right-click on it in the timeline and select "mute". To add a music file in its place, click on the "Add Overlay" button (right next to "Add File") and select your music file. That's it, it's that simple.

      Good luck!
      CR

      Delete
    6. Hi agian Cr...It's me again the guy from above post huh ok is there a place I can go to for instructions for Filelab cause the and i quote "easy to use editor." is confusing the Heck out of me! I don't even know how to edit segments and it give me no clues as to how! I would appreciate it greatly if you could link me to a site where I could recieve free readable instructions on how to use the editor. Thank you and the sooner the better else I may rip out my hair in anger.

      Delete
  15. No readables from the vendor, sorry. But there are the many articles on this blog site (directory is over in the right column of this page). FileLab video tutorials include (click on the links below)

    Segment editing, merging, splitting, cutting

    Basic editing, title editing, color correction

    Color, gamma, saturation

    Picture in picture, split-screen editing

    Hope these help.

    CR



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooops just noticed that the split screen video was for VSDC. Here's the correct one for FileLab




      Delete
    2. Hi Cr me again, the guy from Yahoo answers, thank you I'll look at them and thankfully I'm beginning to understand the program, maybe I'll write a guide for others that may have trouble, perhaps you know a place I could post it? Maybe somewhere at my Yahoo? Anyway thank you again and have a nice day

      Delete
  16. Hi Camera Repair,
    I’ve just taught myself how to use VSDC following your youtube video - everything went well but when i converted the file it turned out pixelated.
    What im trying to edit is a wedding dvd that was taken by a professional. The original is definitely HD so not sure what ive done wrong.
    Thanks for your help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's likely one of two things (or both). First, when you first opened the program, did you set the screen resolution to the same resolution as your wedding video (See the above VSDC tutorial video at 0:15 seconds)? HD resolution is either 1280 x 720, or 1920 x 1080. Second thing it might be, when you saved your video, did you select high resolution (See the above VSDC video tutorial at 4:49)?

      Delete
  17. Is there anyway to change the playback speed on videos in VSDC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Yes, new version of application support this feature.

      Delete
  18. If this editor is free does ready video have watermark in it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of the three software listed in the above article have watermarks. They're all 100% free. But be careful as sometimes payware video editors advertise on this site, and they do sometimes disguise their banner ads to look like they're part of the article.

      Delete
  19. Hello,
    I recently downloaded VSDC and it's really good. However the audio effects (fade-in an fade-out) seem to have no effect. I've tried contacting them, but no reply. Have you tried these effects?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately you are correct. Although you can adjust the volume for the entire clip, the audio fade-in and fade-out does not seem to work.

      Delete
    2. I can't upload video in YouTube to freemake because incorrect and what can I do please help me

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. how do I upload a 1080p video onto youtube?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll need to use either Freemake or VSDC as your editor. Both can save in 1080P. Unfortunately the max resolution currently available with FileLab is 720p.

      Delete
  22. I have an old video of me playing guitar. I want to edit it for two reasons: It is too long, and I made a couple mistakes in it. Using converters and audio rippers, I now have a video file and an audio file. Also, the video file has music on it as well (old school). Also, in one area, the audio and video have slipped, and the motion does not match the sound. So, I want to edit (on downbeats) and/or slip/slide/stretch the video to match the audio (again). I am using VSDC which is most like Premiere Pro, which I used to have and learned well. VSDC is a bit more complicated; less intuitive. So, if you could do a video on importing an existing video with sound, adding a duplicate video and audio track, and then locking those two together (and unlocking them), super-imposing (my video is too long, I want to remove a section from the middle and place a section from the end tin here; all in synch to the downbeats. As well as stretching, I'd also like to see how to do slow motion as a visual effect (without affecting the audio). How to place markers for insert & exit points, So far, all the videos I have seen seem to wander a bit, making it a bit boring, and confusing at times. I would like a video that follows a linear path, from begin to end, covering all of these topics, in a concise manner. Start to finish. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi there,
    Sorry if you've possibly already covered this, but I've been looking everywhere and I just cannot find an answer.

    It is possible to change the speed on VSDC video editor, but how? I've searched for a way on the program and I've tried asking everyone and even googled it but can't find the answer. If you could help me out here, I would be so appreciated!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I hadn't covered speed yet as it's a new feature of VSDC. In the left "Layers" column of the timeline, click on the specific video clip that you'd like to edit its speed. Then open its Properties window. Scroll down to "Video object settings" and notice the "Speed (%) setting there. Click on it and adjust to the desired speed.

      Delete
  24. How do I speed up a video on VSDC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lihz,
      In the left "Layers" column of the timeline, click on the specific video clip that you wish to alter its speed. Then open its "Properties" box in the right column. Scroll down in the properties box until you see "Speed (%)". Click on this and adjust the speed as desired.

      Delete
  25. Useing vsdc, and everytime I save my video, open the file to watch it, the screen is black but the audio is fine, is there somthing wrong with the file format or somthing?

    ReplyDelete
  26. How do I add a sound file to a video?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on which editor software program that you are using. If VSDC, click on the "Add audio" buttone located directly above the "Add video" button. It's the button shaped like a musical note. Next select the audio sound file that you'd like to add.

      Delete
  27. I want to crop video file margins in VSDC video editing software but couldn't do it despite repeated attempts. will anybody please give me step by step instructions. thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    Portable Software Download

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have made a video of using vsdc
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=76GpQ_QkOuc&itct=CGQQpDAiEwj0ycXnvqrJAhWLP74KHUifDIYyCWM0LWZlZWQtdVoYVUNyNWtGSUlYRnAzeWlNYzVaemI2NEhB&gl=IN&client=mv-google&hl=en

    can u tell me iam using it correcty or not

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very informative and unique tips dear. Thanks for sharing.


    Click here for more information's film processing services

    ReplyDelete
  31. Learned nothing from the video. The sound was too distracting. Could not concentrate on the information being given.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I was contemplating upgrading the Freemake program, but there is no indication of the cost before I commit myself.

    ReplyDelete

Please comment on your experience or needs for video editing. I use such input for future blog posts. Also use the comments to contact me, as I read each and every comment. If I don't reply, that means I don't know the answer to your particular question, and hopefully one of the other readers can answer it.