Did you know that you can start editing videos today?
That’s right! In this post you will see simple steps that you can follow to begin editing your first video in no time!
There is no mystery to starting learning and practicing video editing. As long as you have a computer, a smartphone or a tablet, the Internet is here to help you master video editing techniques, find media for your videos (music, footage, effects) and develop your editing style! Is just a matter of searching, learning and practicing!
So without further ado, let’s see 5 simple steps to start editing videos.
Step 1: Choose a video editing software
The first thing you need is a video editing software. Don’t overthink this step. You can choose your first software based on your computer operating system, then you can test other software later.
If you don’t have a computer, search for apps to edit videos on smartphones, tablets or iPads based on the operating system of your mobile device (Android, iOS or other). There are many free and paid apps that you can download.
If you have a computer, no matter its operating system, Windows, MacOS or any other, then choose a software to use on your computer as it will be better for more advanced editing.
Just be careful to don’t choose a video compositing software. Those are made to develop motion graphics visual effects and they don’t work well for video editing. Even advanced video creators use different software programs for video editing and for video compositing.
In case you have a Windows 10 computer, check our buying guides of the most recommended video editing/compositing software for Windows 10:
- VEGAS Movie Studio for Video Editing: The Complete Advantages Guide (good for beginning)
- VEGAS Pro for Video Editing: The Complete Advantages Guide (good for intermediate and advanced editing)
- VEGAS POST Suite for Video Editing and Post Production: The Complete Advantages Guide (good for creating special effects on videos that you’ve already edited)
In case your computer is from another operating system (MacOS, Linux…) do some search on the Internet and you surely find a good software that suits your needs.
Then it’s time to find copyright-free media to use in your video projects.
Step 2: Download copyright-free media to use as editing material
It’s a highly recommended practice to use copyright-free media as editing material from the beginning, such as free video footage (short video clips), free songs and even free photos/images to illustrate your videos.
This way, you will be able to publish your first edited videos on YouTube or any other platform without the risk of receiving copyright claims/strikes or getting chops in the video audio track.
Also, remember that you cannot download every media file you find on the Internet to use in your videos. If you do that, you risk breaking copyright rules. So take some time to check our posts that show you where to download copyright-free media for video editing:
Step 3: Record your own videos to use as editing material (optional)
Another great thing you can do is record your own videos to edit them. This is an optional step because with the free media downloaded on free sites as shown above you can start editing. But recording your own videos is a way to be original.
Just don’t think you need to go all pro to do that! It can be anything, and you can use your smartphone camera to do that. You can record something funny or interesting that you find at your home or somewhere you visit, like a nature place or a city park, for example.
So check our posts about recording videos with a phone:
In case you have an Apple’s iPad and you would like to use it as your video recording device, check our post A Guide to Use iPad as a Video Camera (the tips work both for iPads and tablets from any brand, so don’t miss it).
Step 4: Watch tutorials on YouTube and put them into practice
The next step is: be curious and start searching for tutorials on YouTube for the video editing software that you chose to use.
And don’t wait! Start putting into practice everything you learn from Day 1. Practice makes perfect, and when it comes to video editing you must do your training as you learn. So the best thing to do is to edit more and more.
And don’t forget to store your edited videos in a special folder to keep track of your progress as you keep learning. It’s a great experience to compare your first videos to the ones that you edit a year from today!
So let’s see the first types of tutorial that you can search for on YouTube based on your video editing software.
Step 5: Learn and practice the essential video editing techniques on-the-go
No matter what video editing software you use, be it on your phone, tablet or computer: the essential techniques that you need to learn are the same. To search for tutorials, you type something like this on YouTube “how to cut a video on VEGAS Pro”, where “VEGAS Pro” can be any software you’re using, VEGAS Pro or other.
When put together, the essential techniques you need to learn will make your first videos look professional from the beginning. So here it the a checklist of the essential techniques:
Apply color correction to your video footage
Learn how to apply Color Correction to all video footage you use in your video projects. You need to learn how to apply Color Correcting, Color Grading, White Balance and Brightness/Contrast Adjustment to every video clip in your project.
Cut and re-organize media clips
Learn how to cut videos (remove parts) and also cut videos in multiple pieces to reorganize them in different orders. Those are some of the most important tools of video editing: remove unnecessary parts from your video and change the order of different video clips. You can also learn to cut audio files and reorganize them as you like on your video project.
Add transitions between media clips
Learn how to make transitions between the “pieces” of the video footage and between two video clips in your project, two or more audio clips and even between images that you use in your projects. Those techniques are also good to know from the beginning and they give a pro feel to any video.
Use background music
Learn to combine music and videos and use background songs (instrumental or not) to boost your video quality and also give it a pro feel. Remember to use copyright-free music as it was explained in Step 2.
Add text and titling
Learn to add text and titles to your videos, then learn to add credits to your videos just so you can put your name as the video editor, something like “Edited by: Your Name”.
Great! You’re ready to start editing videos and you already know what are the steps to follow before beginning!
So don’t hesitate to choose your video editing software, download some copyright-free video footage or record your own videos, download some copyright-free music and images to add to your project, search for tutorials on YouTube for the software you choose and start editing!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!