Printable Version of Topic

Click here to view this topic in its original format

FreewareBB _ Help, Hints, Tips & Tech Stuff _ Video editing solution, for me anyway!

Posted by: marko Nov 28 2009, 12:31 PM

Just recently I was faced with something I hadn't been faced with before, taking video captured on a recent trip with family and convert it into a presentable DVD!. Now, anyone who knows me will know I'm always up for a challenge but video is something I know very little about, but for anyone else in a similar situation here's how I did it but please bear in mind I am somewhat of a novice in video editing and so the following article will only describe the basics in transforming your capure into a presentation.

First of all, you basically need to get the video from your camcorder onto your PC. Now this is best left to the software that comes with your cam and it's impractical for me to try and explain this, so before you do anything dig out the instruction manual and software and transfer your film to your hard drive.

Right, you've done that yes? Good.

Now after trialing a few of the video editing packages on FreewareBB I decided to go for which for me presented the most obvious and easy to use functions. Download and install this.

From the top left of the screen, you will see various buttons which allow you to insert various functions into your movie such as sound effects, photos, text and so on. Like I did, experiment with these once you have imported your video files and get your video files into the "timeline" at the bottom, use the explorer functions like the drop down menu you will see initially, or use the tabs to the right to browse to your video files.

Now depending on how your cam software transfers the video to your PC you may simply have a couple of files or you may have considerably more. Obviously, each time you start recording on your cam and then stop recording, this would count as 1 clip therefore don't be daunted if your faced with a mountain of clips to add to the "timeline", you can take this opportunity of discarding those clips that you don't like - it may take a little time but go through the clips one by one and drag them down into the "timeline" at the bottom and continue doing this until all your clips have been added. You can preview the clips before adding them to the timeline using the player to the right of the screen. Simply hit the delete button on your keyboard on the highlighted clip and it will remove it for you if you don't want to keep it. Similarly, if you have already added a clip to the timeline that you don't want to keep, highlight it in the timeline and hit the delete button.

Now the idea behind the timeline is simply to show in what order the clips will be shown, each clip wll show in the order of the timeline so if you want a clip shown sooner, simply drag it to where you want it.

Inbetween the clips you can add "transitions" to fade in, fade out or add other effects which can sometimes be a great link between unrelated clips. Experiment with these, and remember you can always delete them if you don't like them. Adding text is also a breeze with this software, simply choose the text tool and drag your chosen effect down to the timeline, double click on it to open up the text editor where you can change the text, add effects to it, resize it, etc. As with all the effects, you can extent them or shorten them to suit, simply click on the edge of the effect in the timeline and drag it to the length required.

There really isn't much more to tell about the software, but as with anything you will no doubt enrich your own experience with the software through your own experiments, and don't worry there is also an undo function, so if you do make a change to anything you have the ability to undo it!. FAB!.

Another useful function I found indespensible was the ability to "split" clips so you can actually remove parts of a clip you don't want to keep. Let's say, for example, you have a 20 second clip which contains a load of camera swaying as you move from one subject to the next, what you can do here is move the slider (above the timeline) to the point you want to cut and "right-click" on it, then select "split clip" - this will create a split at that point. Then move the slider to where you want the cut to finish and "right-click" and "split clip" again, then select the bit of the clip you want to remove and hit the delete button on your keyboard. This portion will then be removed and the remaining bits of the clip merged together.

I also found that when adding music to my production, the music would sometimes run over the time of the footage but you can easily select the music track from the timeline and at the point you want the music to fade, or just before it "right-click" on it and select "Add Volume Setting". Then just after the newly created volume setting hover the mouse just above the volume line and an arrow with a speaker symbol should appear at which point click on it and drag it down so the volume then fades out. If this represents the end of your presentation you should then remove the remaining parts of the music by "right-click" and "split clip" then remove the later part of the music file.

Finally, once your done you can then select the "Make Movie" tab at the top of the screen and choose which options best suit, although for me I simply left the option at "AVI" for file type and "Full Screen DV" for preset.

From there, I decided to use to convert the avi file to DVD format. So, there you have it, I hope you have as much fun as I did throughout making your own presentation disc and please let us know about it!.

Posted by: James (Jim) Hillier Nov 28 2009, 09:07 PM

Hey Marko - Did you have a look at 'VideoPad' from NCH Software? VideoPad and Pinnacle VideoSpin sound very similar but there is one huge difference....the download size!!

Both offer a limited version of their Pro edition for free.
Both are simple, and relatively easy to use with an intuitive GUI.
Both include all the desired basic functions.
Download size for VideoSpin = 162.00MB ------- Download size for VideoPad = 1.80MB

As far as I know, the only feature missing in the free version of VideoPad (which is available in the Pro version) is a much greater choice of output formats. Not sure what features are 'crippled' in VideoSpin free.

Also, VideoPad includes an option to import direct from camera, not sure that is available in VideoSpin?

VideoSpin looks like a nice, easy to use software for the 'amateur' and your experience certainly confirms that but some may find the huge download size somewhat off putting. May I suggest VideoPad as a very good, viable alternative.


Cheers mate......JIM

Posted by: marko Nov 28 2009, 11:56 PM

I didn't give that one a try Jim, tried a few and decided I liked the look and feel of VideoSpin so just went with that one but might give it a whirl should I need to do another video. As for the download size, big difference there and it's impressive if VideoPad can boast similar features!.

Now what would have sold it for me is the ability to transfer the video from the cam to the software directly rather than having to use the cam's own software which I found really clumsy and quite dated so that's definately a major plus.

As for the output options, VideoPad supports the following:
Avi, Divx, iPod compatible, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, RealMedia, Sony PSP Compatible, Windows Media and 3GP. There is also the option to upload the video to the web through YouTube or Yahoo! Video though that's probably not for the faint hearted with dial-up!.

Isn't is amazing that people pay hundreds of pounds for commercial software when these apps are around?!

Powered by Invision Power Board (
Invision Power Services (