Video Editing and Authoring – The Basics

After diving with your video rig, you’ll have a tape full of video to review. But, before you show it to your friends, chances are you’ll want to do some editing and also put it on some form of media that’s easy to share with others.

The cheapest way to edit and dub your video is to use the VTR or playback mode of your camcorder. A camcorder’s VTR mode works much like a VCR with some editing capabilities. Your source tape is in the camcorder running in VTR mode. It is the playback device. You cable your camcorder to a VCR or DVD recorder functioning as the recording device. This is called ‘linear editing.’

If you have a capable PC, you’ll likely want to perform what is known as digital ‘non-linear editing.’ Again, the camcorder in VTR mode is the playback device. However, it’s connected to the PC using a Firewire cable (aka iLink) to transfer pure digital video to the PC’s hard drive. This process is known as ‘capturing’ your video to hard disk. Once the digital video is stored as files on your PC’s hard disk, you then use non-linear editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Pinnacle Studio Plus, etc to edit your video. The advantage to using PC-based non-linear editing over antiquated linear editing is that you can easily and quickly choose your clips, and add professional transitions, effects, music and titles. You’re then able to export your final production to various digital and analog formats for TV set-top, PC, and web playback. Modern PC based non-linear editing systems bring the power to get high-end professional results within the budget of many recreational videographers.