Video 101: Where's my stuff?

How to find your libraries while editing videos
Even short videos require lots of media. Locating your libraries of video clips, photographs, sound clips, titles, transitions, and backgrounds is the first step in postproduction video assembly.

When I open my movie software, the first thing I see is a desktop with three sections. Whether you are using the IMovie software that is supplied with an Apple system, Movie Maker that comes with PC computers, or any of the many computer movie suites, you will find similar modules. (See the online extras with “Video 101” in the last issue for a top-ten list of consumer video software.)

All of the media needed to create a video converge in a box on the upper left side of my computer screen. This is where the raw materials come together.
Visual media: Videos—links to the video files captured by my video camera. Photos—a link to my library of still images. In my photo software are all of the editing tools to adjust color, composition, and size of my images. Audio media: Music—links to my music library and sound-effects library (preloaded with your software); recording software—link to music software that will allow me to create my own music and record sound effects. Editing libraries: Titles—a link connects to titles that can identify images, people, places, and chapters in my movies; transitions—a link to transitions to use between video clips; backgrounds and maps—a link to backgrounds and blank pages that can begin and end your video. Help me! No link is more important than the “help” button, which takes us to embedded and online tutorials that show how components are used.

Is all this work actually fun? Some people think so. Making movies became fast and fun for me after taking some classes at the computer store, watching some videos about my software, and learning who to call for help and ideas. The best teacher is in creating your own movie to share, and knowing that you can’t hurt your computer by pushing the keys. (Most editing is “non destructive,” which means that files that are used in movies, then later deleted from the project, still remain on the computer. Yes, they can be permanently deleted, but not by the movie editing process (usually).


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