Now that video camcorder capability is built into many digital cameras, most smartphones, all iPads and many tablet computers, you’re likely to be carrying around a video camcorder — and readily shoot candid, fun or any type of videos at any time.
But don’t just let your videos pile up and fill your memory cards — put them to use so that you and others can see them whenever you want. It’s easy to do: You first need to copy your video into your computer for backup and organization, and then consider using a video editor to turn those clips into an edited video that you can enjoy and will want to share with family and friends.
We found that using a video editor is a lot of fun and very fulfilling as you turn those video clips into a creation that includes music, narrations, titles, special effects and more. Although simple editors may be included with your devices, we recommend using a video editor that makes it easy to create a quick video from your clips and also has enough features to allow more advanced editing as you gain experience.
One such editor is VideoStudio Pro X6 (www.corel.com, $69.99). The program includes three ways to archive and/or share videos: 1) Burn a DVD directly from your digital video camera; 2) Use instant projects to quickly create a complete movie, or 3) Use the VideoStudio editor to fully control how your movie looks. The program can also create fun slide shows, and — even better — it supports HD and ultra HD (4K) from transfer to burn, including Blu-ray discs.
To use VideoStudio Pro X6, you first need to transfer your videos into your computer, but the program helps with this job. For a quick edit, just select the Instant Projects feature, choose a design template for your selected video clips, and burn your movie. The Instant Projects module also offers a multiple overlays feature, which uses the first clip from your movie to automatically create a cool opening sequence, complete with music and motion.
For the maximum in editing flexibility, use the full-featured VideoStudio editor. Here you select just the scenes you want and then, if desired, choose a template. Next, trim individual scenes for time or content, select transitions, add music (your own or theirs), sound effects and narration, choose from a wealth of special effects, and add a title and end credits if you want. The timeline display lets you trim audio to match the scene length and adjust the volume of music and narration separately. When finished, burn your project as a DVD or Blu-ray movie, complete with menus, chapters and such.
An amazing feature is SmartSound Moods and Quicktracks music, which offer easy selection and matching of the included music, along with the ability to control individual musical layers. Don’t like the drums? Reduce their volume or take them out, without affecting the other instruments.
Another feature allows direct online uploading of your creations to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and other online sharing sites, or you can transfer it to your iPad, iPod, smartphone or other portable video devices. Other new features include stop-motion animation for creating your own animated features, time lapse effects, 3D movie creation from your 2D movie (glasses included), and enhanced templates for quick and easy movie creation.
Other video editors include:
MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 2013 (www.magix.com, $69.99) a video editor that lacks many of the whiz-bang features of VideoStudio Pro X6 but is somewhat easier to use because it includes several automatic features such as automatic video editing, audio dubbing and image optimization. The software also includes an optional beginner’s mode to get you started.
Adobe Premiere Elements 11 (www.adobe.com, $99) is available in both PC and Mac editions, and is the “lite” version of Adobe Premiere professional video editor. Of this group, it is probably the hardest to learn and use, lacks many of the automatic features of the others, and relies on manual adjustments. This takes a bit of practice on your part.
All three video editors above offer free 30-day trial downloads, so you can try any of them before you buy.
A note to remember: You’ll find a learning curve associated with the advanced features of all these programs, but help is available from tool tips, online and web tutorials and forums. You may need to spend some time learning the advanced features, but the results will be well worth your efforts. Then just sit back and enjoy your creations and memories.