Editing Your Home Movies for YouTube
YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing community. People share all types of videos on YouTube, including home movies to share with friends and family.
It’s easy enough to upload a movie to YouTube – just click the Upload link at the top of any YouTube page. But you probably want to edit your movies a tad before you upload, to make them more presentable for public consumption.
Just how do you edit a video for YouTube? There are lots of little things you can do, if you have the right video editing program. Read on to learn more.
Choosing a Video Editing Program
You probably use a digital video camcorder to shoot your home movies. Depending on the type of camcorder you have, your movies are saved to hard disk, flash memory, DVD disc, or (on some older models) videotape. You transfer the digital video files from your camcorder to your home computer, typically using a USB cable.
Once transferred to your hard drive, your video movie files can be edited by any video editing program. These programs let you stitch together multiple files into one larger file, edit out footage you don’t want to keep, insert transitions between scenes, and add credits, titles, and other special effects.
When it comes to selecting a video editing program, you have lots of choices. You can spend as much or as little as you like – in fact, you may not have to spend anything at all.
That’s because some of the most popular video editing programs are free; they’re available as part of your computer’s operating system. If you’re a Windows Vista or Windows XP user, you have Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker program already installed on your PC. If you use Windows 7, you can download the newer version of the same program, Windows Live Movie Maker, for free from explore.live.com.
Whichever version of Windows Movie Maker you’re using, you’ll find it to be a very user-friendly program. It lets you do all the basic stuff – scene selection, transitions, titles, overlays, and the like – in a very intuitive fashion. And don’t forget, it’s free.
If you’re a Mac user, you have Apple’s iMovie installed as part of the iLife application suite. iMovie is a lot like Windows Movie Maker, with all the basic video editing functions in an easy-to-use interface. And, like Windows Movie Maker, it’s free.
These free programs do just fine for the majority of home movie makers. If you need a little more editing horsepower, however, in the form of more advanced functionality, there are a number of affordable mid-level video editing programs available. These programs include the following:
- Adobe Premiere Elements ($99.99, Windows-only http://www.adobe.com/products/premiereel/)
- Apple Final Cut Express ($199, Mac-only, http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/)
- ArcSoft ShowBiz DVD ($99.99, Windows-only, http://www.arcsoft.com)
- CyberLink PowerDirector Deluxe ($69.95, Windows-only, http://www.cyberlink.com)
- CyberLink PowerDirector Ultra ($99.95, Windows-only, http://www.cyberlink.com)
- MoviePlus ($79.99, Windows-only, http://www.serif.com/movieplus/)
- Nero Vision Xtra ($59.99, Windows-only, http://www.nero.com)
- Pinnacle Studio HD ($49.99, Windows-only, http://www.pinnaclesys.com)
- Pinnacle Studio Ultimate ($99.99, Windows-only, http://www.pinnaclesys.com)
- Roxio Creator ($99.99, Windows-only, http://www.roxio.com)
- Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD ($44.95, Windows-only, http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/vegasfamily.asp)
- Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition ($94.95, Windows-only, http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/vegasfamily.asp)
- Ulead VideoStudio ($99.99, Windows-only, http://www.ulead.com/vs/)
Any of these programs will do a fine job for your home movie editing needs – including editing high definition, widescreen movies in full surround sound.
If you want to go even higher-end, there are three professional-level video editing programs to choose from. These are literally the programs that the pros use, and include all manner of sophisticated editing tools. These programs include:
- Adobe Premiere CS ($799, Windows and Mac, http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/)
- Apple Final Cut Studio ($999, Mac-only, http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/)
- Sony Vegas Pro ($599.95, Windows-only, http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/vegasfamily.asp)
These pro-level programs are probably overkill for editing home movies, but are great if you’re an independent film maker.