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Social Media Spotlight: Video Editing Tutorial

July 26, 2011
at 11:55 am PST

As we heard at Cisco Live 2011, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers predicted that by 2014, video will account for 91% of internet traffic and will be the leading way we communicate.

And partners know of the importance of using video in their marketing strategies to give their messages an extra boost. We received great feedback on our Social Media Spotlight: Top 10 Tips for Setting Up the Perfect Video blog post and we know you’re ready for more tips!

Well, our video expert Andrew Phillips, is back to share a tutorial on how to get your video ready for primetime.

Watch this video as Andrew shares step-by-step instructions on how to edit your video clips in iMovie (standard video editing software on Macs), add transitions, title screens, music, and more! He also shares some general video editing that can apply to any video project.

Let’s get started:

Become a Video Editing Pro by following Andrew’s iMovie Tutorial.

0:08 – Step 1: Get Oriented.

When you open iMovie, you will see three main windows.

  1. Project window: Use this window to edit the video.
  2. Clip window: All of your various video clips are stored here.
  3. Video window: This is where you can play videos from your Clip and Project windows.

Also take notice of the Video Effects toolbar underneath the Video window.

0:20 – Step 2: Import Video Clip.

To import a video clip into iMovie, choose File > Import > Movies. Then a window will pop-up, locate the video clip that you want to edit, select the Create new Event radio button, and name your Event.

1:26 – Step 3: Adjust the Video Clip.

Once your video clip has imported into the Clip window, you can adjust the clip settings. To quickly adjust the color of the clip, click the drop down carrot at the beginning of the clip, select Video Adjustments, then click Auto. (The drop down carrot sits inside an icon that resembles a flower.)

1:50 – Step 4: Locate a Clip.

Depending on the type of video you are creating, sometimes you’ll want to cut out bits and pieces of a long clip to use in your final video. In Andrew’s example, he scrubs the video clip for the spot where the interviewer asks the question and the interviewee responds. You can do this two different ways:

  1. Hover over the video clip and press the spacebar to play the video in the Video window. To pause the video, press the spacebar again.
  2. Run your mouse along the video clip. The video will play in the Video window at the same speed that you are moving your mouse.

Once you’ve located the piece of the video you want to use, click within the clip and a yellow box will appear and higlight the section. Click and drag the ends of the yellow box to match the beginning and end of the clip you’d like to use. With the yellow box still around the clip, hover over the middle of the clip until a hand icon appears, click, hold, and drag the clip into the Project window. Repeat this step to add multiple clips to the Project window.

2:51 – Step 5: Add Transitions.

From the Video Effects toolbar, click the Transition button (fourth button) to see a list of default transitions available in iMovie. Hover over a transition to get a preview of what it will look like in the video. Andrew recommends sticking with the Fade to Black transition because it’s nice and simple. The cross fade is another good option to use if you’d like to indicate the passage of time, however, note that the cross fade will eliminate a short bit of your video, so be sure to select a bit of extra footage to allow for this.

To use a transition, click and drag a transition into the Project window, you should use one between each clip and another one at the beginning and the end of the project.

To change the length of the transition, double click the transition icon in the Project window and adjust the number of seconds in the Duration box.

That said, many videographers choose to use a quick cut from one clip to the next (think MTV), in which case you can forgo the transitions.

3:50 – Step 6: Add a Title.

From the Video Effects toolbar, click the “T” button (middle button) to see a list of default titles available in iMovie. Hover over a title to get a preview of what it will look like in the video. Andrew recommends the basic Lens Flare title. Click and drag the title into the beginning of the project in the Project window, from here you’ll be prompted to select a background and type in your title.

To change how long the title plays, double click the title icon in the Project window and adjust the number of seconds in the Duration box.

4:48 – Step 7: Add a Title Bar.

If the video requires the talent to be introduced with name and title, you may want to add a title bar to the video clip (also called a lower third). From the “T” button, scroll to the bottom to see a list of available Title bars. Andrew recommends the Gradient Black title bar because it’s simple and clean. Click the title bar and drag into the project window above the clip where the talent is first introduced.

To change how long the title bar appears, double click the title bar icon in the Project window and adjust the number of seconds in the Duration box. Andrew recommends that the title bar appear on the screen for 5-10 seconds depending on the length of the name.

6:09 – Step 8: Add music.

From the Video Effects toolbar, click the music note button (first button) to see a list of music clips to choose from. Once you find a music clip to use for your video, click and drag the music clip into the Project Window. If you drag the clip into the Project Window, either the entire background will turn green or the music clip will fit underneath a piece of video. If you choose the latter, you can drag the green bar to move it to where you want it to start playing in the video.

To adjust the audio in the music, click the drop-down carrot on the left side of the music clip and select Audio Adjustments. Drag the Volume slider to the left to lower the audio or drag the slider to the right to increase the volume.

One note about using music, make sure you have the license to play a clip of music before using it or simply use the included tracks that come with iMovie.

7:15 – Step 9: Export Movie.

You’re now ready to share your great work. At the top of the screen choose Share > Export Movie. (Your best bet is to use HD so your video looks its best for your audience.) A new window will appear, name your project, browse for the location of where you want your file to be saved, and then select the file size. Click Export and once your file is ready, upload it to one of your trusted video sharing sites. (We like YouTube.)

That’s it! You’re now armed with tips and tricks to help you become a Video Editing Pro. Need more tips or want to share the videos that you created after following these steps? Be sure to share with us in the comments.

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