Video editing for beginners
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When editing, a person is faced with thousands of windows and rulers, difficult-to-comprehend functions and a confusing interface, especially if one uses mainstream editing software from companies such as Adobe, Pinnacle or Magix. Most simply overwhelm amateurs with their complexity.
But there are simpler options. There are a lot of free tools online for budding editors. Most of them measure up well to commercial options, offering everything, whether you want to trim a film, make multiple edits or convert a finished film. Much of it can also be used as an extension for commercial programmes.
Will you be making a Hollywood blockbuster on your machine? At least the post-production work will be Hollywood-ready thanks to products such as Lightworks. Or there's EditShare, a professional application that has been offered as an open source programme since 2010. Before it was made public, it was used for editing blockbusters such as Pulp Fiction and Mission: Impossible.
Still in its beta phase, it leaves no wishes unfulfilled, even for ambitious amateur filmmakers. Editing can be done independent of focus, format or codec. Ready-to-view high-definition films can be compiled and edited on multiple tracks.
Other functions such as media management and support for external programmes and plug-ins, however, are more likely to scare away normal users, rather than tempt them to the programme.
If you're not making a major film, but just want something to show at grandma's 70th birthday party, then you should probably check out Windows Live Movie Maker. The freeware from Microsoft offers countless effects and functions, all of which are easy to use, even for complete beginners, provided they have Windows 7 or Vista.
A much more widely used all-round programme is VirtualDub. The software allows editing of video files larger than four gigabytes, as well as separate processing of image and sound. "VirtualDub is the ultimate tool for free video processing and it can be easily expanded with plug-ins from third parties," says Andreas Greil of the German magazine Video-Homevisio
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