The ultimate checklist for video editing basics

There is a lot of basic video editing software available today - but how do you decide which is best? Take a look at this quick & dirty checklist for all the video editing basics you'll ever need and your blockbusters will never miss a step again.
February 11, 2019

So you're ready to create your first video. Maybe you want to explore YouTube stardom or start a new hobby; maybe you want to start a new career. There's so much that goes into the video production process, and thankfully here at Trint we know a lot about streamlining that process.

Welcome to our video editing tutorial

After you've recorded all your video footage it's time to turn all those individual shots into your video. But where to start? Perhaps the most important, and lengthiest, workflow in your video production process is the editing phase, but it can be intimidating. This is where you turn all of that footage into something artfully cut together and, hopefully, watchable - maybe even viral.

Editing doesn't have to be a challenge. Follow this checklist to ensure you've ticked off all the essential steps.

First things first: Choose your software

There's a lot of video editing platforms out there for you to choose from; a simple search on Google will give advice on which platforms offer which benefits, which software is the easiest to edit in and how to maximize their potential. The most widely used platforms by beginners and seasoned videographers alike are Adobe' Premiere' Pro CC, iMovie and Final Cut Pro X. Depending on the hardware you're working on, some platforms may not be supported.

Check out our comparison of basic video editing software here.

Keep video clips organized for the easiest editing workflow

Keep your video footage organized

Once you've imported your video clips and they're safely housed on your device, it's time to organize them. Make a folder for your project with a subfolder for all the raw, unedited files you've just transferred across. Organization will pay you back in time saved. Don't forget to name your files, so you can recognize the sequence you're hoping to create.

At this stage it's also handy to delete your unwanted takes; keep only the best version of each shot to save yourself time in cutting these down the line. Be ruthless! A range of factors such as poor camera angles, quality of audio and delivery of any speech can throw your project off.

Trim out the dead space

Most of your clips probably start too soon or end too late. Trim each clip down so that only the action you want to include in the final cut remains.

Don't neglect audio

All good videos have background music; awkward silences should definitely not make it to your small-screen project, unless they're intended to build suspense. Make sure you're using royalty-free background music to avoid any copyright issues later down the line (another great time-saving tip).

Read why sound is more important than picture in video production

Use  b-roll to tell the story

B-roll is an essential part of any final cut. It adds context to your video; it aids the transition between shots, including angle transitions and changes of scenery; and it adds that professional touch to your project.

Curious about the wonders of b-roll and how to make sure you're adding the good stuff? Check out this great breakdown.

You need captions and subtitles

Accessibility is key to any video. Not every member of your audience will watch with sound. This could be a lengthy process if you're transcribing your audio manually, but with Trint you can automatically create your captions and subtitles using powerful artificial intelligence (AI). Trint allows you to create your subtitles in a range of file formats that are easily imported into your video software, taking the hassle out of accessibility.

Correctly render your animation for export

If you're using the powers of animation in your video, you'll need to render this properly for export. It's possible to export animations in lots of different video formats, so do your research on which video format you need for your chosen platform.

No matter the platform you use to create your animation - for example, Adobe Photoshop - it will have specific instructions on how to render your animation and export for video, so it's important you research within your specific platform.

Knowing the right video format will save you time

Know your video formats

You'll need to know which video format you're exporting your animation to since it directly affects how you publish your finished video.

Different video file formats will operate in different ways; your file will comprise a 'container' which stores all the information on the video and audio elements, as well as any synchronization and subtitling information. Your video is compressed and can be accessed by a 'codec' within the program it is played.

Best practice would be to explore the video formats your video platform supports, although many support a wide range today. Popular examples of video formats include WebM (.webm), Flash Video (.flv), Windows Media Video (.wmv) and QuickTime (.mov).

Choose the right video exporting settings

Video exporting settings can seem like a minefield, but they're important to know. You'll need to export your videos to share them with the world. Each video editing software platform will have its own method of exporting, along with its own set of video exporting settings.

You'll dictate the video format to export to and the presets, such as the bitrate of your video, which tells the software the level quality you want to export your video in.

Editing is the most important process in producing a video; don't skimp on the small details when assembling your final cut. How do you make a great video? With attention to detail and an eye (and ear) for what works. Take the sting out of time-consuming processes like captioning and subtitling with automated software from Trint - free up your time to get creative with your footage and streamline your workflow today.


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