The Complete Guide to Video Editing: How to Edit Video on Mac and PC 

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Have you ever had the urge to create your videos? Have you wanted to breathe life and excitement into an otherwise dull video?

Perhaps you want to put a bunch of clips together for a great slide show full of action, visuals, and pounding music. Either way, video editing can help you accomplish all of these things.

Here's how to get started with video editing on Mac and PC:

What You Need to Edit a Video

What You Need to Edit a Video

The process of editing videos can be daunting for beginners. Luckily, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on professional-grade equipment or even hours learning your software's ins and outs. You can produce great results with the right tools and a little effort. Here's what you'll need:

A computer with a good processor and plenty of memory (RAM). 

Macs are usually preferred for editing because they are more stable and have better integration with the software. However, PCs can also be used for video editing. Some PCs come with more powerful processors than Macs.

A video capture card (or device) plugs into your computer via USB or FireWire.

This device allows you to capture video from your camcorder or camera.

An editing program includes Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, or Avid Media Composer.

These programs allow you to edit your footage together into a finished product (such as a movie or commercial). You may also consider using an app such as YouTube Creator Studio if you're looking for an easy way to upload your videos online without worrying about creating an edited version first.

The Best Video Editing Software for Mac and PC

Video editing is a complex process, and many different types of video editing software are out there. To help you find the software to edit videos for your needs, we've put together this guide with all the information you need to know.

There are two main types of video editing software:

  1. Video editing software designed specifically for macOS or iOS devices, like Apple Final Cut Pro X, iMovie, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC (CC stands for “Creative Cloud”).
  2. Video editing software designed for Windows computers, such as Adobe Premiere Pro CC (CC) and Sony Vegas Pro 14.

Basic Video Editing Techniques

Professional editors use the most basic video editing techniques you can learn. These include:

Cropping. Cropping is cutting off the edges of a video clip to make it fit the dimensions of your final output.

Trimming. Trimming is cutting off excess footage from the beginning or end of a clip to shorten it and make it fit into a specific time frame.

Splitting and pasting clips. Splitting clips means splitting one clip into two separate clips while pasting them together allows you to move one piece of footage around within another amount of footage without affecting its original length or position on the screen.

Crossfades. A crossfade is when one clip fades out while another fades in at the same time, which creates an organic transition between two scenes that can range from subtle to dramatic, depending on how long both clips last before they meet up again in the middle of the screen.

Common Video Editing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Video Editing Mistakes

Video editing is a complex process that can be made easier with the right tools and techniques. However, even if you know what you're doing, there are still some common mistakes that many editors make.

Not planning ahead

This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make with video editing. Knowing what you want before you start working on your project is important. If you haven't planned, then your time could be wasted trying to figure out what needs to be done instead of doing it. If you don't know what kind of music you want or how long your video will be, start by thinking about those things before putting together clips.

Planning is the key to successful video editing. You need to have a plan before you start editing to make smart decisions about what goes into the final video. Make sure you know your final product's appearance before you start shooting or recording. If necessary, write down a detailed script for each scene so that when it comes time to edit, you know exactly what needs to be done in each scene.

Using too many effects

Video editing is all about making choices and sticking with them. Once a decision is made during the editing process, it's best not to change anything unless necessary because this can lead to problems when another edit is made later in the production or post-production stages. For example, if you choose a particular filter for some footage but later realize that it doesn't look right next to other shots.

Use only one or two effects per clip. If you want to use multiple effects in a single clip, then use them sparingly and make sure they don't compete with each other for attention. For example, if you use an animated title card followed by an effect like a wipe transition or an animated lens flare, then viewers may struggle to understand what they're looking at and what the point of the clip is supposed to be.

Using the wrong aspect ratio for your footage.

If you're working with footage from a camera or smartphone, it's essential to ensure that your video editor is set up correctly for the aspect ratio of your video. If you fail to do so, you'll end up with black bars on either side of your video or a distorted picture.

Make sure that any footage you use has been cropped or edited to fit properly within your project. Otherwise, viewers may miss key details in the scene and won't enjoy watching it as much as they could have.

Not using color correction techniques when necessary.

Video editing is all about making sure that every shot looks as good as possible — but sometimes, that means adjusting the color temperature or saturation levels to eliminate any inconsistencies between images or scenes. This process takes time and patience but can completely transform your project into something spectacular.

Use color correction techniques whenever possible. If you're unsure what areas need to be corrected, ask someone who knows what they're doing or check out some online tutorials.

The Essential Video Editing Terms You Need to Know

The video editing world is a big place. There are so many terms and processes that it can be hard to keep up with them all. If you're new to video editing, this list of the essential terms and processes will help you get started.

Storyboarding: A process in which the director creates a visual representation of their script by breaking down each scene into individual shots and sequences.

Rough Cut: The first cut of a video where the director assembles all of the footage in order of events as they appear in the script.

Music Editing: The process by which music is removed or replaced from a scene or sequence.

Color Correction: Altering an image's color balance (contrast) to make it appear more realistic or aesthetically pleasing. This can be done using software such as Adobe After Effects or Final Cut Pro X's Color Board.

Effects Compositing: Creating effects using multiple takes from different angles and combining them into one shot. For example, adding rain onto a sunny day shot or removing someone's hand from an actor's face to appear transparent in front of their body during a scene transition trick (like when someone walks through a wall).

Cut (or edit): The process of removing sections of a video and splicing together the remaining segments in a new order.

Grain: Visual artifacts caused by digital compression, which can appear as lines or dots onscreen; the grain is usually considered an undesirable effect in video editing, but some filmmakers use it deliberately in their work as part of their aesthetic style.

Frame rate: The number of frames per second (FPS) at which a video plays back; most modern cameras shoot at 24 FPS by default but can be set higher or lower depending on what kind of footage you're working with and what effect you're going for.

Takeaway: Just like there are many different types of photographers, there are countless different types of video editors. A wedding videographer has very different needs than a corporate video producer, so it's essential to find what fits your needs.

If you're interested in creating videos for business or marketing, consider Premiere Elements as an option if you want something simple to get started with. If you want more features and complete control over all aspects of the editing experience, consider Final Cut Pro. We wish you the best of luck in whichever program you choose to learn!

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