In our rebooted YouTube Thursdays series, we've had a few weeks of inspiration from other video creators. I hope you've been inspired for what potential there is for what is possible in creating video. Have you been thinking about your own YouTube channel? Creating video is NOT going to be for everyone. But if I can nudge even a small percentage beyond the "thinking about it" into "giving it a go" mode, then this series is successful!
Now it's the time for action phase of our project. If you want to lose weight you can't just watch a series of exercise videos, you've got to get up and follow along. So if you want to create videos, you can't just watch others do it. Time to step up! Don't worry, the goal line comes after a whole series of baby steps.
The two fundamentals for video creation are: (1) recording content and (2) editing your clips into a final composition. We're going to leap frog over into the editing topic as the focus for this post. We'll come back to the other fundamental point in other blog posts.
It's true, you could have a YouTube channel without ever doing a single edit. Press record, press stop, and upload. But if you look at any content creator that you enjoy watching, there are edits involved. The more complicated that you want to make it, the bigger the obstacle to the goal, and the less likely that you'll hit that goal. Let's start with some very helpful and useful BASICS. Trimming and cutting your footage is the first fundamental skill that you'll want to know. Consider recording yourself on a brief talking video. Won't you want to trim a little from the start where you walk from your camera to your seat? And the same applies to the end of the clip where you get up from your seat so you can hit the stop button. You don't want those parts in your uploaded video.
|You are three minutes into a short explainer video, when your phone rings. Do you have to record the whole thing from the beginning again?
Also consider that you are recording a talking video that's a couple minutes long. Right in the middle, your phone rings because you forgot to silence it. You think "but the beginning part of this video was going so well, I don't want to lose what I already recorded!" So what you do after you silence your phone is roll back in your mind to the last sentence that you finished before the interruption. Recompose yourself in the shot and then begin speaking right where you left off. In post production, you can split your clip into parts and simply delete the part that you don't want!
So for this editing process, we need to work with a video editing app. If you are on Mac, you've probably heard of iMovie. It's built in and ready to use with no additional installations. For Windows, we for a long time had the Windows Movie Maker app. That has since been discontinued and now Microsoft is including the ClipChamp app. I have done a little experimentation with ClipChamp and it has potential. However, I recently became aware of another app called CapCut that works both on Mac and PC and it's the one I'll feature in this series. We can put it through the paces and see how it performs. In order to recommend an app, I look for a good set of tools that we'll need for both simple and advanced edits and yet the interface should not be overly intimidating for beginners (like looking at the systems panels on in the cockpit of an airliner). Whether you choose to do your edits in CapCut, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro, or very long list of other options, the concepts that we mention will remain the same.
You'll see in the snapshot below, the interface is a really good balance. It's not too simple where you wish it could do more. It's not too complex where you don't know where to start. The bottom of the window is the timeline where you assemble your clips and trim them as needed. The top left is the bin where you assemble all the media (video clips, music, photos) that you want to use in your video composition. The top middle is the preview window. The top right is the properties panel where you can make adjustments to whatever element you currently have selected.
For the purpose of your first homework assignment, we're going to skip over the part of recording your own videos. That comes next and that's a whole new discussion. For now, let's get some video clips and see how we can assemble them in to a little composition. Let's head over to pexels.com for some free and royalty free video clips. For the homework, use one of these two links to get some source videos. Here's a link for animal clips and here's one for cooking clips (and you could also search for eating if you wanted a mix for a food theme) Pick one the two themes above and download 5 clips.
Next you will need to decide what video editing app to use. If you want to use CapCut, you can click that link to go to the download page for the desktop app This app is free to use. They have a subscription paid tier, but all the editing we need to do is in the free tier.
For the purpose of the homework assignment, you should assemble and cut all 5 of your clips down to the same length of 7 seconds each. That means if your downloaded clip was 12 seconds, you should scrub through each video to find the best 7 seconds and trim off some from the beginning and/or end to get it cut down. If you follow this pattern for each of your videos, 5 clips times 7 seconds and you will have a 35 second video that you should export to mp4 file once completed. If you have a YouTube channel, upload the mp4 and mark it as "unlisted". This means that you can get a link to the video to share with us but that anyone following your channel won't see your practice video. Come back to this post and share your link to your unlisted video in your comment. Will you take on this challenge? I hope so!
Meanwhile, you say, "Wait! I have no idea how to use the video editing app!" I'm so glad you mentioned that. Here's a getting started video by Jamie Keet from the Teacher's Tech Channel on how to use CapCut.
Here's a sample that I created by composing 5 different animal shots. I trimmed each clip down to 7 seconds. So the total runtime here is 35 seconds.
We're not getting fancy quite yet with transitions, background music, adding text, and more edits like that. If you can get these 5 clips assembled and trimmed, then you took a fantastic first step into the world of video editing!
Now whether or not you plan on creating business videos on a YouTube channel, having a video editing skill is a fun and useful thing anyway. Perhaps you want to assemble some clips into a highlight reel from a vacation or some special day. Now you are on track to being able to do this!
Also, a couple of reminders to all you following this YouTube Thursdays series. If you are creating and using videos in your blog posts, be sure and include your post in the YouTube Thursdays group. Visit the group page from time to time and see who else has been posting videos so we can encourage one another.
Also, you won't want to miss the next ActiveRain Zoom scheduled for Tue Feb 6 at 2:00pm eastern. In this call, our presenter will be Charlie Dresen who you can learn more about in my post linked above from a couple weeks back.