Introduction: Editing for an Internet Audience Using Sony Movie Studio
This Instructable will explore the process as well as some of the concepts of editing video content for the purpose of entertaining an internet audience such as YouTube. The video editing software in use is Sony Movie Studio 13.
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Step 1: Selecting the Project's Media
Each project (video in progress) starts by creating a library of material's. This library is often referred to as just "the media" in order to differentiate it from the library of other media kept on the workstations hard drive. It is important to have all the material necessary to make one cohesive video or series, but not too much as that can lead to unnecessary length, or sections of video disconnected from the rest.
This is one of the more simple parts of the process. The "Add Media" button on the forefront of their interface. Clicking on that will open a file browser and you can go about adding their desired materials from there.
Step 2: Creating Multiple Track Layers
What do I mean by "Track Layers"? A Track is where an element of the video resides. It keeps that item in a distinct area, away from the other items, and also houses options and settings that can be applied to any one item. The two major types of tracks are audio, and video. More subgroups of tracks develop within each individual project pertaining to specific items, such as special effects or sound bites, as they are needed.
This step is crucial to making a quality video. Each aspect of the project, video, sound, music, and any sort of special effect need to be in a different layer than of the other elements. This insures that it has it's own, unique place in the the video instead of just getting absorbed by a competing element. It also allows for easy editing and manipulation of just one item. If more than one item is any tracker a change to one item, will affect the others, leading to some catastrophic results.
The process is simple for most programs. Just right click on the track panel, usually to the far right of the screen, and select "insert new track" or it may give a specific option depending on the program. Do this for as many types of objects are being put into one project.
Step 3: Placing the Primary Video
Some programs may automatically place the video in it's track. Depending on which clips you want to use, you can reorder this be dragging and dropping each clip. At first you only want to put the primary video, and it's audio, into it's track. This is a general rule for internet based videos, as all the other elements have to compliment the video. All the the sound bites and music queues have to come from specific moments in the video. If there is one constant piece of music playing, unbroken, then it could make it seem like that piece of music is driving the content of the video, rather than the video is driving the music.
Step 4: Browsing the Video
This is generally the lest exciting of part of the process. Unless a person is a watching a podcast, a web show, or something instructional they generally want videos, especially on YouTube, to be under five minutes. The golden number is three, giving them enough time to get some laughs, but still leaving them more time for other things. It is very possible you can have two hours of content, but you will still only use about three minutes of it at a time for each video. This has lead to many editors spending several hours watching a video feed looking for specific seconds of content to be put into one video. Each individual upload (video put online) should be centered on something specific. Grabbing clips of a running joke that happened during recording, or cutting out any tangents and dead space in a 5 minute cutting of the video are easy ways to gather focused content and put it in a decent amount of time.
Step 5: Trimming Clips
Once you do find a clip worth putting in that specific video you need to trim it down and isolate it. One way to do this is the trim commands, found underneath the tracks. These commands delete the footage before and after the desire clip, so this is only to be used if you want one clip out of an entire segment of video. First, move the cursor on the track in front of the clip you want and click the trim start button. This will delete all the footage in front of the cursor. Then position the cursor behind the desired clip, and press the trim end button to remove all the following footage in the segment.
Step 6: Spliting
Another option to isolate out your clip is to split and delete the segment of footage. This is useful for editing out a clip when you want to keep the rest of the footage in the segment. This is done by positioning the cursor in front of the clip and clicking the split button. Re-position the cursor behind the clip and press the split button button again. this will isolate the clip with removing any of the other footage from the track.
Step 7: Deleting Dead Areas
Dead Areas are parts of the footage where either no one is speaking, or nothing crucial is happening. The most effective way to remove this is to use the splitting method, discussed in the last step, on the dead area. Once the clip has been isolated you can delete it using the delete button found out the button of the track. For online content this is critical as people want something crucial or entertaining to be happening for the entirety of the video.
Step 8: Jump Cuts
If you are worried about transitions, don't be. The current fade in internet content is jump cuts. Jump cuts are a rough, unmarked transition from one scene to the next. They are usually abrupt and are not seamless. The idea is more content in less time, without transitions taking up time in the editing or viewing process.
Step 9: Repeat
The most time consuming part of the process is going through and pulling out good clips, and cutting dead space. It most be done, though, in order to get the video to an appropriate length.
Step 10: Corrections
This step is very dependent on the quality of the recording in it's original state. If the recording was made with high quality equipment, it is likely that no corrections to the video or audio are necessary in post production( the editing process). However, in most cases in is important to make corrections to the different aspects. This usually involves adjusting the color scale, exposure, and contrast on the video. It can also include tuning the audio levels. This can be done by selecting either Audio Event FX, or Video Event FX in the tools menu. These will open up sub menus where specific choices can be made about hat needs to be altered in the video.
Step 11: Sound Bites and Special Effects
This step is completely optional. Some content creators use it to add flavor to their videos, others prefer a simpler approach. Sound bites( short clippings of audio) can be added in to emphasize certain points, or create a joke. This is done by dragging and dropping the sound file from the media to a separate audio track, made during the layering process, in the desired location in the time frame of the video. Simple special effects can be added to the video using the Video Event FX Menu. To add larger or more impressive ones, you would need a special effects specialty program such as After Effects.
Step 12: Minor Adjustments
Once the project has the look and feel you want, it is important to go though and make minor adjustments. Make sure the timing between the audio and the video on each clip is correct. Adjust timing on soundbites and special effects to make sure they don't come in too late, or too early.
Step 13: Formatting
Your video is almost ready to upload, now you just need to select the format you want to save it in. The general con consensus is that MP4s are the best selection for use on the web. The video should also be processed in an hd resolution such as 720p or 1080p, however the video needs to have been recorded that resolution that is equal to or higher than the one it is being formatted in. If the recording was made with equipment unable to record in hd, the format can not be helped.
Step 14: Uploading
Sony Movie Studio offers an online publication tool, however it is usually better to save the file to your hard drive first, and then publish, so that you keep a copy of it in case it needs further adjustments. The uploading process itself is simple. Simply decide which platform to use, most commonly YouTube or Vimeo, and use their uploader to publish your video.
Step 15: Publisher Settings
As far as the relationship between the content creator and the audience go, this is the most important step. This decides how your audience will see you. The settings adjusted on the site of publication include the video title, it's description, that keywords that trigger it in a search and it's category. Having information in each of these subjects that will grab the attention of a potential viewer can lead to audience growth, however, over reaching and click bait can turn an audience against a creator. Click bait being intentionally misleading information for the sole purposing of drawing views. The choices made here will decide the reception of your upload.