Life Hack 2: Choosing the right video editing software

Your choice of video editing software will depend on the level of complexity and control over the end product you need. There are three levels to which the university IT services caters for.

Choose your difficulty

Basic

The first level is quite simple trimming and snipping out of content within a video. You might want to ‘top and tail’ i.e. remove unneeded bits of a lecture capture at the beginning and end. This is usually done ‘in tool’. For example, it could be within a piece of software called Panopto. This is our primary method of delivering and creating video content.

Intermediate

The second level is where you need something a little more complicated. You could: have multiple videos that you need to edit and string together to export as one video; want to add some text over the top; OR even give it that Phantom Menace vibe with transitions like ‘slide wipe’ between videos. For this you will need a more powerful tool but not a crazily complicated one.

Advanced

For more complex editing you’ll need a proper video editing suite these can be quite complicated to use. They are not for beginners they will allow you to layer video and do things such as chroma keying (as in use a green screen). This is the advanced level and very few people will need to do this.

Suggested approach to video editing

For basic editing use Panopto

The basic level is best met by using Panopto’s in built editor. You will need to go to the cloud version of Panopto and find the edit the video you want to edit. Select the video and you will need to press ‘edit’ to access the editor. This system is known as being a little bit clunky however for trims at the start and end of videos and trimming out conversation you don’t want people to hear, it is easy enough to use. This is all done through a browser.

The brilliant bit is once you have edited then you can re-publish to the same video. One known problem we have with this workflow is that it does not amend the captions. So, the captions will be done on the original video and when you snip out parts of the video that captions will not accommodate this so please be very wary before snipping too much. It will make the automated captions even less accurate.

Resources

LDC Training on Panopto (Look out for editing one)

UWE Editing Guidance

For intermediate editing use Adobe Premiere Rush or Windows Movie Maker

For the intermediate level you have two options. The university subscribes to a piece of software called the Adobe Creative Cloud. This is available from AppsAnywhere. Within this will be a piece of software called Premiere which will be used for the advanced video editing. There is a smaller version of this that is far easier to use and is perfect for stringing together some videos, editing the transitions, adding in audio and overlays / text. The smaller version is called ‘Adobe Premiere Rush’ you can download it from the creative Adobe Creative Cloud once you have it on your machine.

Resources

Getting Adobe Creative Cloud

Using Adobe Premiere Rush

Your second option is a Microsoft product called Windows Movie Maker. You’ll have to consult with IT about the best way of getting that on your machine as it is provided by the Windows Store and this provision changes over the course of a year. Windows Movie Maker is a tool that has always been around and is free. It will do the simple stuff well enough and give you a bit more agency about your editing.

Resources

How to use Movie Maker (Thanks to Exeter Uni)

For advanced editing use Adobe Premiere Pro.

This is a level of complexity few will realistically need. For the more seasoned editors you can get Adobe Premiere Pro from the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Resources

Getting Adobe Creative Cloud

Crash course on Premiere Pro