Editing Your Videos and Computer Demos

There are many great (and free) tools out there for capturing your computer screen so that you can record videos for your students. These tools allow you to capture pre-recorded lectures, whiteboard explanations, software demonstrations, or other online activities.

Sherri provides a great list of these tools in her posts on Building Online Presentations and Three Easy Ways to Capture Course Content.

However, whenever I am recording something, I find that there is inevitably a loud noise in the background or a long pause when I lose my train of thought. Sometimes it is easiest and fastest just to start over and re-record the video, especially if it’s just a short clip. Other times, I know that a few simple edits will save a lot of time.

This post will provide some editing tips and essential techniques so that you can make error-free videos!

Good Editing Practices

These tips hold true no matter which editing program you use:

  •  When something does go wrong during your audio, video, or screen recording, pause for a few seconds and regroup. Then, give yourself an audio cue, such as “Take Two,” before starting that section again. The cue will help you find the right place to cut later.
  • When editing, you want to avoid “jump cuts.” They are cuts in the middle of an action that don’t allow a viewer to make a smooth transition and can create a sense of discomfort for the viewer (click here to see an example). If you have to make a cut in the middle of an action or sentence, you may want to re-record the whole section.
  • Always make a copy of your original file before you start editing in case something goes wrong during the editing process that you can’t undo. I always save a version of my edited video if I’ve been editing for more than hour, so I have yet another preserved version of my work that’s closer to my finished product should something go wrong.

 Basic Editing Techniques

The most basic bag of tricks for editing audio or video include:

  • Splitting a clip and cutting out a section
  • Trimming a section down to its most usable part
  • Adding transitions to mask cuts (and avoid jump cuts)
  • Exporting your video to the best file format for the delivery method (which may be Blackboard, SkyDrive, or YouTube)

There are many editing tools available, but the tools below are free and fairly easy to use. These links are downloadable documents that show how to accomplish each of the basic editing tasks using these tools.

If you would like additional training or support on how to use these tools, contact Jessica or Sherri!

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