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Home videos are drawing more attention thanks to new internet capabilities and uploading features. Even with no prior video or editing experience, a home movie can appear professional. These days, video camera and editing software are the only tools needed to make home videos. By following a few basic guidelines, these tools can lead to high-quality home video editing.
The first step in digital editing is moving the footage from the camera to the computer. The footage can be broken up into smaller files to be more manageable, and a program such as Adobe® Premiere® can help load the footage shot by shot. Once the footage is uploaded, shots need to be chosen. This is just a matter of finding the best angles filmed. The shots can be dragged into a time line so they will hook together and create a movie.
With these three steps, a raw home video can be created. Of course, additional steps can be taken along the way to improve the quality of home video editing. Smooth transitions should be inserted between scenes so the video flows from start to finish. Most computer editing software will have built-in transition features — including dissolves, fades, wipes and others — which can be dragged between two clips on the time line.
Videos have several sources of sound, including the natural sounds of subjects in the movie, background music and narration. A raw video will only have the first. Music can create certain feelings in viewers and change the entire tone of the movie, while narration can be used to clarify confusing points or to explain what is going on. These sound sources can make home video editing seem more professional.
Music must be imported into a sound file and will mix with the original sound track of the video. One or the other can be set to fade with the home video editing software so that both can be used at once. Narration should be read into the camera, and the narration sound track can be separated from the video track. Once narration footage is taken, it can be uploaded to the time line, along with the music.
Three free programs for PCs that can make home video editing simpler are Windows® Movie Maker, Avid Free DVD and Virtual Dub. Windows® Movie Maker is useful for cutting out unnecessary shots, and it’s user-friendly for beginners. Avid Free DVD is a little more intimidating, but it has helpful features for trimming video, editing audio and creating titles. VirtualDub is a fast program with special capabilities for adjusting brightness or clarity of images. For Mac users, iMovie® is well-known as user-friendly software for any level of home video editing.