Are you interested in pursuing a career as a video editor? Or maybe you have a few projects now and then that you need to help your colleagues or classmates with?
Learning the basics of video editing is relatively simple, but if you want to become someone who can consider yourself a pro, there are certain things to work out first. The 10 tips below ought to push you in the right direction.
#1 – Pick Suitable Video Editing Tools
Since video editing is so popular and necessary in the digital world, it should not come as a surprise that there is a plethora of available video tools to choose from.
Picking the right video editing software comes down to a few things—your experience, budget, and needs.
For starters, you do not want to complicate things early on by getting a tool that has a wide range of various features. Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start will set you back.
The budget part plays an important role as well. If you have the money to spare, then you obviously have more options. But similar to the experience and what your needs are, there is hardly any reason to go overboard. You can start with simple video editing tools and go up from there.
#2 – Mind the Computer Performance
Video editing takes a toll on the computer’s performance, particularly if you have multiple tabs of the video editing tool open.
The more features software offers, the more it demands from the computer to make those features available.
You need to accommodate the demands of the software by optimizing the computer’s performance. Otherwise, you will run into various issues, such as the spinning wheel of death, a significant amount of time taking for the computer to load, or even random crashes and freezes.
Since we established how video editing tools require computer resources, the first thing you can do is check the background processes. Applications that are not necessary can be closed while you are working on video editing.
Next, keep an eye on storage. The data accumulated from video editing itself has to be accounted for, but so do other files. If you find redundant media and other data, remove it from the computer.
Finally, do not discard the possibility that malware has infected your computer and is causing performance issues. Scan the device with antivirus software and make sure that your computer is malware-free.
#3 – Discover Visual Effects
Visual effects are arguably the most important part of video editing. From simple transitions, such as fade to black, to brush effects and explosions, editors can spend hours and hours trying to find the most suitable effects.
It takes practice and more practice to enrich your videos with effects rather than make them worse. Do not be afraid to test different variations until you find a personal style that you can accept as good.
#4 – Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Using keyboard shortcuts improves overall efficiency, and it is no exception with video editing software.
Sure, you will need to figure out the basics of the software first, but when you are comfortable and know your way around it, look at what shortcuts you can set to access certain features faster.
Some tools also let you personalize shortcuts and create presets that you can then save on external storage. In case you need to use a video editing tool on another computer, you can download and install the keyboard shortcut present instead of setting everything up from scratch.
#5 – Organize Your Files
Poor and good file organization is one of the factors that separates amateur and professional video editors.
Let’s say that you have a few dozen different clips that you want to combine into a single video. Add multiple music tracks that will be used throughout the video, third-party effects, and images, and it is easy to feel lost.
A proper file organization can be a drag to deal with, but it is an inevitable part of professionalism that you need to have.
Establish naming conventions for your files, separate everything into different folders and subfolders, add labels where necessary, use custom folder icons to distinguish data, and use other means to keep track of your files.
#6 – Be Mindful of Static and Dynamic Shots
If you watch videos regularly, you likely see some that fail to capture your interest. If a video is not compelling, then there is hardly any basis to watch it, right?
One of the main reasons that make you yawn is the lack of dynamic shots. If a video is mostly static, the footage will not be enough to carry the content.
It is crucial to mix dynamic shots in to make the content more engaging. Remember this rule of thumb when you are building your profile as a professional video editor.
#7 – Find Background Noise That Works
Background noise should be treated as a way to enrich the video. Take music, for instance. There are plenty of videos that are memorable precisely because of the background noise.
Videos are visual content, but it is hard to imagine movies like Interstellar or The Lord of the Rings having the same impact were it not for the soundtrack used.
Of course, it is one thing to talk about blockbusters and another to talk about casual videos, but the point about the importance of background noise in videos still stands.
#8 – Avoid Multiple Projects Simultaneously
Multitasking can put a toll on your overall productivity. If you have to switch between multiple projects and disrupt your workflow, it could lead to mistakes that you have to fix later.
Once you gain enough experience to juggle different jobs and are confident that you can manage it, go for it. But early on, it is better to focus on a single job and see it through before moving to another.
#9 – Rewatch Your Videos
Get in the habit of rewatching your videos after you finish. You are bound to notice mistakes that you can go back to and fix.
The aspect of watching your videos over and over is one of the most tedious things about video editing, but unless you are some kind of a genius, you should not expect to produce flawless videos on your first try. You will have to go back and look for ways to improve.
#10 – Back Up Data
The last bit of advice is to back up data. You can count on your computer’s hardware, but remember that it will not last forever. As such, you cannot predict when the hard drive might break down, erasing your files.
Portable storage accessories add another thing to your routine as a video editor, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Take the time to back up your files to ensure that the content is safe and sound.