Zwielicht

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I was going through this section recently to clean it up when I noticed we didn't have a good sticky thread in here that goes over the basics.

As a bit of background, some of you may have noticed that I have occasionally made videos for fun and posted them on the forum (examples here, here, and here). I did used to make videos for clients and the local film festival, although it's been a couple of years since I've actually done any video editing work for clients and about 8 years since I was really into it, but I thought sharing some of what I know here might help some of you figure out what it is you need to get started.

In this guide, I'll be going over various types of software and resources that'll help you get started with video production.

Software

Video Editing Software
Unless you plan on using cutting copies, chances are you're going to need to use some software. I'll sort this out into 3 sections: video editing software, audio editing software, and animation software.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro - This is the software I have the most experience using. I quite like it as I found it easy to work with, and the tools it comes pre-loaded with tend to do the job.
  • Adobe After Effects - A lot of people confuse this with Premiere Pro in the same way Photoshop is confused with Illustrator. I used this for, you guessed it, special effects (e.g., lightsabre effects). I never really got the hang of using After Effects, and a common complaint I've heard is that it is difficult to get the hang of.
  • Final Cut Pro - I haven't used ever used this software, but my wife has. She said she found the constant rendering in it to be a pain as opposed to Premiere Pro, but some people strongly prefer it to Premiere Pro.
  • MS Photos Video Editor/Windows Movie Maker - I haven't used this software since 2008. I used to use it for basic video editing, more specifically cuts since WMM loaded in and exported faster than Premiere Pro did back then.
  • iMovie - I used this software nearly every day between 2011-2012 (I was stuck using a Mac for a project I submitted to the local film festival back then). It had more functionality than Windows Movie Maker, but it wasn't quite on par with the bigger programs.
  • Sony Vegas - A friend of mine used this piece of software. He preferred it to Premiere Pro as it was what "all the big guys were using". I don't remember too much about it, but I remember he showed me all of the features as an example of how extensive it was.
Audio Editing Software
Whilst you can usually edit audio with your video editing software, some people do prefer using dedicated software to edit audio (probably the same people who still get dedicated sound cards). Unfortunately, I know less about these, so I've only listed two below.
  • Audacity - I used this software quite a bit back in 2008 for editing music and sounds, but I started using Premiere Pro for that as soon as I got it. I liked it back then, but it's probably a lot better now. It had a feature to record sound from the computer (what would normally come out of the headphones), and the quality of the recorded-sound was decent.
  • GarageBand - I've never personally used this one. At one point, I had some friends who used it for amateur music production. I never heard any complaints.
Animation Software
I used to do 2D animation as a hobby back when I had more free time. There were only a couple pieces of software I used, so this section will be some short.
  • Adobe Flash Pro - This is what I used to make 2D animated videos. It's easy to use and get started with, especially if you're planning on tweening. I often used Adobe Flash Pro to make the animations in conjunction with Premiere Pro, which I used to edit it all together, although I am willing to admit I was probably doing something wrong here. Regardless, it worked.
  • Easy Sketch Pro - I found about this software on the forum. I didn't think it was great, but if you need a few quick whiteboard-type videos done, it's not bad to use. I'm sure there are better alternatives out there somewhere.
Miscellaneous Software
  • Video & Audio Converters - You can find these online or as downloads. I've had to convert video and audio files for one reason or the other (usually because of an unsupported file format error). As they come in all shapes and sizes, I don't have any specific ones to recommend.
Procuring Images, Videos, And Sounds For Videos
You're going to need something to edit here, right? Unless you're receiving the footage, images, and sounds from someone else (e.g., a client, co-worker, etc), you're going to need to get it yourself

Footage
  • Stock Videos - Depending on what you're planning on editing, you're going to need to get videos from different sources. If I recall correctly, you can get B-roll from Shutterstock, although this isn't free.
  • Shooting Your Own Videos - This obviously requires camera equipment. I never invested in proper equipment, so I can't comment on this too much. If you don't want to invest a lot into fancy camera equipment, shooting things on your phone works well since most phone cameras are decent these days (I'm sure all of you have seen the "filmed on the iPhone" music video advertisements).
Images
  • Stock Images - Shutterstock can be used for this as well and you can find images in the Member Downloads section. Alternatively, people sometimes create their own royalty-free image websites. An example of this is @nonin's site mentioned in his thread from 2015 (the site is still up).
  • "Labelled For Reuse" Images On Google Images - I do not recommend using Google for this as some images, despite being categorised as labelled for reuse, may not actually be labelled for reuse.
  • Taking Your Own Pictures - This is my personal preference as I was the official wedding photographer for a few weddings and I used to take photos for business clients when I designed their websites. It's much easier to do this if you've already had some investment in it (i.e., a decent DSLR or, if you must, a phone camera), but if you're not confident in your ability to take decent photos, it's best to look for alternatives.
Sounds
  • (Free) Royalty-Free Sounds -
    • YouTube - You can find various sound effects on youtube simply by typing in "(name of sound) sound effect". However, using sounds and music available for free means you run the risk of using something that's been used a dozen times. I'm sure many of you are familiar with popular YouTubers all using the same kind of music.
    • Bensound.com - I used Bensound a few times for music. The music from this site is fairly high-quality.
    • Purple-planet.com - This one is similar to Bensound, although I haven't personally used it. It's really easy to find more sites like these by searching for them in Google.
  • (Paid) Royalty-Free Sounds -
    • PremiumBeat.com - I used this one for a large video project back in 2018. The music I got from this site was quite good and wasn't something I heard in a dozen other videos before (or any, for that matter, which I prefer).
  • Text Reading Software/Google Translate - If you combine a program like Audacity to record sounds from your computer, you can use text reading software or Google Translate if you want to add a robot voice.
Techniques
Learning new techniques is important as there are times when you might not know how to edit something. For example, you might want to learn how to use green screen at home, how to film in less-than-ideal environments or weather conditions, how to edit videos with bad lighting or grain, etc.

Sometimes you just pick these techniques up or, for those of you in school, you learn them that way. There are some YouTube channels that go over various techniques for filming and editing. One such channel is "Every Frame a Painting", which my wife showed me as we both enjoy the editing style of Edgar Wright. I've embedded a couple of their videos below, although they haven't uploaded anything new in the last 3 years.

Final Words
This guide won't cover everything as the topic of video editing is extensive, and there are a large array of software, resources, and techniques that you can find or discover yourself. The most important thing is to find out what works best for your particular style or goal. As I was once told back when I was a regular member of BHW, you can also find what your competitors are doing, and try to do it better than them. This doesn't mean copy them, but rather analyse what they're doing right and add that to your own skillset.
 
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This is a useful guide, I also didn't know about Google Images mislabeling usage rights so I will stop that from now on.
 

Zwielicht

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I’ll never understand how the hell you’re able to find time creating amazing guides like these while moderating the forum simultaneously. Hats off.
I have various threads drafted up and I work on them over time (I've been wanting to write this one for a year now).
Fantastic.

And you really have a thing for neon blue!
Nice Guide.

Ps. I like how you use the colours on your posts (Y)
I like to match the colour with my username. :)
This is a useful guide, I also didn't know about Google Images mislabeling usage rights so I will stop that from now on.
If I recall correctly, that issue is in regards to images and videos getting re-uploaded to sites like Vimeo without the approval of the content creator. That results in images like this one appearing under "labelled for reuse" search queries (I could be wrong about some of this, of course).
6723242d94c408fa686eb501896db04c.png


Sometimes, the license for an image requires an attribution to be added as well.
 
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ABeatC

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Consider adding Da Vinci Resolve :) It's free and it's industry-standard for color grading, but now they've upped their game in the editing realm too :)
 

imanseptian

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This is a great guide. Thanks.

For you who use Linux and prefer free and open-source software, here is my recommendation:
1. Kdenlive or Olive Editor as an alternative to premiere pro.
2. Natron as an alternative to after-effects.
3. Audacity already free and open source.
4. Synfig studio as an alternative to adobe flash pro.
5. FFmpeg as multi-purpose video & audio converters.
 

highflyers

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That was great info for the people who are looking for the right software to work with. Thanks OP for the info
 
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Complete and thorough! If you guys need to find places for sound effects, this works well:

1) SoundBible
SoundBible is extremely user friendly. The minute that you hit the front page of the website, you can start downloading thousands of royalty-free sound effects that you see immediately. For each clip, the specific license marked right next to it. Even better, request from the SoundBible community if you are unable to find the sound effects you want. How convenient.

2) Freesound
You need an account to download sound effects from Freesound, but the registration is free. Started back in 2005, the website adds free sound effects every day!

3) ZapSplat
In addition to having the best name of any website on this list, ZapSplat also has an immense library of 59,000 free clips. You can download the sound effects for free or upgrade to a Gold account to enjoy extra benefits.
 

doczilla

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I love you! I read the part where to find the sounds I only used youtube but the other sites are fantastic! thanks for everything !! :D
 

Pouya Eti

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Thank you so much for this guide. I just wanted to add another software which is very easy to use for video editing.
I create online courses for over 6 years and I mostly use Camtasia to edit my videos.

Since it is very simple I think every person can learn how to use it in maximum one hour.
 
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