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Questions about technique...
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Council Member

Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 9077

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see some new thoughts on this thread! More than two years later, this is something that still confounds me. It's always helpful to read a variety of different techniques. I hope this will help others, too.
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Expert Vidder

Joined: 14 Oct 2012
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a detailed walk-through of my video editing process with pictures and examples from my latest video!


Convert video - The first thing I do once I've selected my source material is convert the video file(s) to AVI if they aren't already. I can't speak for Vegas but AVI is by far the most optimal format to use when editing in Power Director. Trying to do any detailed editing with other formats make the program very clunky and you can't preview your work at all without rendering first. With AVI files though, the program runs very smooth and the playback in the editor is seamless, even with very rapid cuts.

Create timeline - The next thing I do is listen to the song a few times and brainstorm ideas about what the video will be about, how I plan to vid lyrics, etc... I write them down on paper or in notepad to make a rough timeline or storyboard. For example my timeline for my End is Coming video looked like this:

-Rick wakes up in hospital
0:47 "The enemy is among us so we had to take matters into our own hands" -Scene with Rick getting guns from police station
-Rick goes to city
-tank scene
-Rick leaves city, reunites with family
-Zombies attack the camp
2:00 "The enemy is among us and no one is doing anything about it" -Jim gets infected
-Rick & friends go to CDC
-CDC blows up
-Highway zombie herd scene
-Mark gets shot
-Rick takes mark to farmhouse
-Shane & Otis go for medical supplies
3:28 "The enemy is among us and we don't know who they are" -Shane bathroom scene
-Shane tries to kill Rick
-Rick kills Shane
4:06 "The enemy is among us" -Zombie herd invades farmhouse
-Rick & friends take over prison
-Glenn & Maggie go to town, get kidnapped
4:26 "The enemy is among us..." -Introduce the governor
-Rick & friends to the rescue
6:37 "The enemy is among us" -Darly gets captured

The notes with times mark where the lyrics are, and I was pretty set on what I wanted to vid at those parts. I used the time stamps as benchmarks to gauge how much of the story I needed to use to fill the gaps.


For the most part, I edit from start to finish. This is mainly because I tend to portray a chronological sequence of events in my videos. However, If I think of something I want to vid later on in the video I might skip ahead and get it done so that I don't forget. Also, when approaching the end of a video I often skip to the end and work backwards. Anytime I jump ahead and edit something later in the video I always make sure I move the video segments to a new channel when I'm done and then lock it. I do this to prevent them from moving around and getting unsynced with the audio when I'm doing editing prior to it in the video.

I edit my videos in sections, using a 5 step process.

Step 1: Clipping
In this step I bring my master clips into the project and clip out anything and everything I think I might want to use in my video. Sometimes just small clips, sometimes entire scenes. I do this by placing the master clip on channel 1, and dragging the video segments down to channel 2 as I clip them. When I'm finished I delete the leftovers on channel 1. Like so:

Once I have a decent ammount of clips or I just get sick of clipping, I move on to step 2.

Step 2: Cutting & Audio Sync
This is the major editing stage where I cut my clips down, arrange them in the timeline and sync them to the music. To sync my clip transitions to the beat I usually just play the clip and pause it right when I think the change should happen. If I want to be precise, I'll zoom in to the point where I can visually see the beats in the music (this is easier with some songs than others) like so:

If I make any changes to video speed, reverse the video, or flip the video, it is done in this step. Once I've used up all of my clippings I move on to step 3.

Step 3: Apply Effects - Motion and Fading
In this step I go through each of my video segments and apply any motion or fading effects to accent the music. This includes zooms, pans, shaking effects, fade ins, fade outs, flashing, etc..

Step 4: Apply Effects - Color and Layering
I do these effects last because the seamless playback in the editor that I mentioned earlier, goes out the window once I start applying these types of effects. Like step 3, I go through each segment and apply any coloring effects (hue, saturation, contrast, brightness, color filtering, etc...) any effects that involve layering the video on top of itself, or any other visual effects.

Step 5: Render & Replace
When I've completed steps 1 through 4 it will look something like this:


At this point I save my project, and then I remove everything from the project except for the segments (including audio) like so:

I then produce the segments as a high quality mp4, re-open my project, and replace the individual segments with the finished mp4, like so:

I then repeat these 5 steps for the next section of the video. When I'm finished, my video is made up of mp4 files and looks something like this:

If I need to make any final changes the mp4 files are easy enough to edit. If I want to add any textures or a watermark I do it at this point.

Audio Sync for YouTube
If you've ever uploaded a video to YouTube you may have noticed that the audio and video are slightly off after you upload it. For whatever reason, YouTube un-syncs the audio and video by about 1/6 of a second. It's hardly noticeable, but personally I like my videos to sync up exactly as I intended. So, to rectify this, once I'm finished with a video and ready to produce it, I offset the audio and video slightly. I leave the audio alone, and I add 4 or 5 frames of black screen to the very beginning of the video to make a "youtube ready" copy. Then, when I upload it to YouTube it will get re-synced to how it was originally.

And, the finished product
The most challenging part of making this video was trying to make everything fit and flow together and still hit all of my benchmarks. There were a few times where I would be editing and realized I needed to go back and make changes. For example, when I originally finished with the tank scene I realized I only had about 5 seconds left to get rick out of the city, back to the camp and have zombies invade in order to hit my benchmark with the lyric about Jim. So, I had to go back and shorten and remove some things and resync a bunch of stuff.

I hope you found this inside look at my vidding process useful or interesting! Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Vidstep on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Expert Vidder

Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 24129

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for going into such a play by play of how you edit. I for one am not the greatest with beats/beatuse so that helps A LOT.

As for Vegas I can't speak for everyone but my vegas HATES AVI. It's only dialouge I can get with AVI so I have to convert with WMV.
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