You don’t need to spend a lot to become a video editor

If you own a decent smartphone or camera, you’ll likely have endless footage. How hard can it be to edit it all together? Not very. — dpa

Video editing is well within the reach of anyone with a modern computer, but sometimes the large selection of editing programs and their complexity can be off-putting for beginners.

”Anyone who, as a complete layperson, buys a professional editing program for several hundred euros can quickly get frustrated, ” says Rainer Schuldt, who tests software for tech magazine Computer Bild.

In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot - or indeed, anything at all - to get a good video editor. If you have a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad you get the beginner-friendly iMovie for free.

”If you don’t want to do anything with the colours or any extensive sound processing, it’s enough, ” says video producer and trainer Markus Valley.

”With tablets like the iPad, there are apps that can be operated with a stylus like the Apple Pencil, which enables very precise editing of the clips, ” says Sebastien Bonset, a video editing pro with digital media magazine t3n.

For editing on Android devices, Bonset suggests the free app Filmorago. For iOS devices he recommends, besides iMovie, the paid app Luma Fusion and for Mac users Apple’s Final Cut Pro, which costs around US$300 (RM1,211)

Valley recommends two free editing programs that are available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers: the simple Openshot and the more professional Shotcut. Adobe Premiere is widely used, but it’s only available as a subscription model. It’s also not intuitive, according to Valley.

Adobe Elements, which is a one-off purchase, is better overall, he says.

Video producer Florian Soll has another Adobe tip: “Premiere Rush is not free, but it has the advantage that it looks the same on your smartphone as it does on a computer.” For anyone who wants to get into video editing more seriously, the experts recommend Davinci Resolve. The basic version is free of charge and runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows. However, it’s quite complex for beginners, Valley says.

For people who haven’t edited video before, there are plenty of helpful tutorials on the likes of YouTube.

Successful video editing requires patience and a feeling for the right effect and the right music, Rainer Schuldt says. “The music has to match the scene, ” he advises. For example, if you underlay a calm landscape shot with loud techno, the scene won’t work.

Before you start, “view all the video material, ” Bonset advises.

Which scenes should be used? How long should each clip last? Less is almost always more, he says: “You really should only choose the very best clips for your project.” Cutting is like a puzzle, Valley says. You shorten and sort clips and try to put them together into a coherent whole.

Florian Soll advises beginners in particular not to lose sight of the tone of the video. It is important, for example, to keep the volume at the same level throughout.

In general, the experts advise against using too many flashy effects, fonts or transitions as they can look unprofessional and distract from the video. – dpa

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