The merging of technologies has paved the way for amateurs to learn video production on their own. By mixing tradition production principles with web production elements, you are able to introduce videos to a larger audience. With quick and free distribution over the web, you can distribute videos to billions of people with virtually no marketing expenses. However, shooting video for the web follows different rules than creating videos for TV broadcasting. This article will guide you through the production process, popular video editing programs, YouTube video creation, uploading and embedding videos on websites and must-know video production tips.
Video Editing Programs: A Look at the Most Popular Software Today
The availability of video editing software has helped even beginners create professional-looking clips. Amateur videos, home videos and professional videos can all be done through these editing programs since they are designed with flexibility and versatility in mind. Adobe Premiere Pro, Microsoft Movie Maker, Pinnacle Studio and Avidemux are the most popular programs for video editing since they allow users to create, edit and enhance videos directly to digital video formats. These programs also provide useful special effects and the ability to add text and audio to your videos as you see fit.
1. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 – Adobe Premiere is designed for both amateurs and professionals who want to dig their hands into video production. The CS5 features real-time 3D video editing, a high-performance 64-bit playback, script editing tools and a wide range of digital workflow formats. The trial version is available at Adobe’s website and it can be used for 30 days.
2. Microsoft Movie Maker – The Windows Movie Maker is included in the Windows OS. Designed specifically for digital editing beginners, the Windows Movie Maker is a user-friendly program that allows video editors to drag and drop clips into a simple interface. It also includes visual effects, animations, text adding/editing and plenty of options if you wish to produce the videos on DVD. Professional video makers may find the Windows Movie Maker limiting, since it features only the basic editing tools. If your Windows-based computer has no Movie Maker included, you can download the program at Microsoft’s website.
3. Pinnacle Studio – Like the Windows Movie Maker, the Pinnacle Studio also offers a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, but it can support High-Definition videos. It also features a variety of montages, themes, special effects, simple text-effect tools and automatic effect generators. The program is designed for both beginners and advanced video producers. It can be purchased from the Pinnacle website. You can choose from three Pinnacle Studio versions – Pinnacle Studio HD, Studio Ultimate and Studio Ultimate Collection-Edition.
4. Avidemux – If you’re using Mac or Linux, Avidemux is your best bet. It is an open-source program, which also caters to Windows users. Avidemux features audio and video recording, editing tools, automated special effects generators, video file conversion, video scripting, audio or video encoding, file splicing/splitting, multi-layer editing and a lot more. It is free to download from the Avidemux site and can be used as long as you like.
Be aware that most trial versions have limitations on the length of videos or features available. If you don’t want to spend for a video editing program, your best choice is to use Avidemux or Windows Movie Maker. Like using any other programs, make sure to read the Terms of Services (TOS) agreement before you download, use and publish a video.
Video Production Process
The process of video production may seem intimidating for beginners, but all the training you will ever need is found online. The possibilities of creating videos are limitless. However, like any other project, it is important that you start a video production with planning. Take down of your notes before any shooting takes place. Make a summarized step-by-step for your project, which includes the equipments to be used, format, and number of crew you would need.
Before any real shooting occurs, consider these questions first:
- What elements will be shot? Why are they included?
- What video size and format will be used?
- How much time do you have to complete the video (from editing to publication)?
- How many chapters will you include? What chapter points will be recorded?
- What formats and bitrates will you use in encoding the video?
- Will the video be used for the web, print or other media?
It is also important to delegate tasks, particularly if you have a deadline to follow. The project plan should also include a date, person assigned and location of task needed to be completed. In addition, be aware that video encoding is a bit time-consuming, particularly if you need the video in different formats or multiple bit rates. To estimate how much time you’ll need for encoding, a rule of thumb to follow is that every minute of finished video requires 20 minutes of encoding time. Add about two hours for testing and quality assurance after encoding.
Web Video Production Tips
If you want to take video production to the next level, you need to learn several important things when shooting clips. For example, shooting in long-range does not work well with online videos because the small frame would prevent the viewers from seeing what is going on in the clip. Close-ups are always preferred, particularly if you are shooting a person or a small object. This rule also helps in making a personal connection with your viewer, even if the viewer is watching the clip from the other side of the globe.
When you’re using a webcam or pocket camera, you may face having clips that are “too close up.” To prevent this, always adjust your gadget and test angles before shooting.
As with traditional video production, lighting will make or break your video. Contrary to popular belief that sitting directly under a light can do wonders to a video, this usually results in dark eye sockets or bad shadows overpowering your object. Always arrange light so it diffuses a bit and create well-balance lighting.
YouTube Video Creation using Microsoft Video Maker
Amateurs don’t need to get intimidated with making your home movies look professionally edited. Once you’ve mastered video creation, you can also turn your new skill into money-making. One of the most popular ways to publish your videos without spending a cent is through YouTube. Here are some basic steps to create, edit and upload your videos to YouTube.
1) Video clips – Depending on your project, you can use non-copyrighted video clips online, use digital home videos or create skits using your cell phone, web cam or digital camera. You can use old VHS tapes that have been converted to a digital file, but you’ll need a digital converter. Some phones can upload videos directly to YouTube, as long as you have created an account on the website.
2) Editing – After opening the Windows Movie Maker program, click on “File, Import into Collections” and choose one or more clips you have created. Select all the video files you need and click “Import,” which will send the clips to your “Collections.” Depending on the size of your files, this step may take a while. Once done, you can now add titles and special effects, cut out bad takes, and edit the video as you please. If you need a guide, you can always use the “Help” button to remind you how to use Movie Maker.
3) Adding Music – Import a song the same way you included the clips. Make sure to choose a song that would blend into your videos. If you created a short video, pick a short song so you won’t have to cut any of the music out. Unless you recorded an original song for the video, always add credits at the end of your video, which mentions the title and artist of the song, website where you downloaded the music and other credits applicable.
4) Save the Video – When saving you video, resize the file at 340×240 resolution so it would look best in YouTube. The website has a 10-minute length and 100MB limit, so always consider this when creating videos. YouTube only accepts .MOV, Windows .AVI, and .MPG files. Click “File” and “Save Movie File.”
5) YouTube upload – After creating a free YouTube account, click on “Upload Videos” on the top right corner of the page and select the movie you just created. Add a title, description, category and tags. Set the language and fill out other information.
Never publish videos that are libelous or copyrighted. If you asked permission from the original author, you can place a disclaimer stating that you don’t own copyright to the song or clips.