When you first learning how to edit video it is important to understand the basic process of video editing. There are three main components you will need to begin making video. First is some video. Hopefully you have purchased a camera and have recorded enough footage to get started. The next thing you will need is a video editing computer. It is important that you use the best computer you have to edit video. This will really help make the process painless and prevent hours of watching the spinning hourglass. You are also going to need some software to actually start the video editing.
To get the ball rolling your going to need a camera. If you don’t have one yet I would recommend something like the flip, which is a hd camera for about $200 and creates some great looking video. I have been in the video business for over 20 years and this thing is awesome. Not only will it record about 2 hours of hd video but is super easy to use. There is one big red button to start and stop the recording, plus and minus keys for zooming and a tripod mount if you want to get in the picture. It is also very easy to hold at an arms length and point at yourself for a quick off the cuff video. The next thing I like about this camera comes from the name “flip.” So after you’ve recorded that great video and are ready to begin to edit your video, you simply push the button on the side and out pops a usb plug. That’s right, this little camera is already build to plug right into your video editing computer. It comes with its own software that loads when you plug it in so you can get the video off quickly and easily. But before we head down that road, let’s talk about what your going to need in a video editing computer to handle this job.
While most modern computers will do the job, a true video editing computer will turn long waits and chopping video into a fun project. All the video editing software programs will have some recommended specs. Here is an example from a popular piece of editing software.
- 2GHz or faster processor for DV; 3.4GHz for HDV; dual 2.8GHz for HD*
- Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
- 2GB of RAM
- 10GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
- 1,280×900 display with OpenGL 2.0–compatible graphics card
- Dedicated 7200 RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred
- DVD-ROM drive (DVD+-R burner required for DVD creation)
- Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray disc creation
- Microsoft Windows Driver Model– or ASIO-compatible sound card
So let’s take a look at these spec and pick out some important components to make your video editing computer fly. The recommended processor is a 2GHZ minimum for standard DV but if you want to use the Flip camera from above you will need a little bit more. These days processors are getting less expensive and a quad core cpu is what I would suggest. This will give you more than enough power and make all the difference when learning how to edit video. Video RAM is also huge when your trying to playback with your video editing software. If you don’t have enough RAM you will have choppy video that is hard to watch and even harder to edit. RAM is also cheap these days so get at least 4 gigs. If you have some extra to spend I would definitly put it here. This software says 10 GB of hard drive space and while this will give you enough room to install the software, it will not give you any sapce for video which can easy fill the largest of hard drives. I suggest about 750 gigs to really get going. That last important part is the video card. You need a good one for lots of screen real estate.
Now that you have a computer picked out there are a number of software programs that will help you get the job done. Most have 30 day trials so you can try them before plunking down andother $200 for the software. You might also be able to find some video editing computers that have some video editing software bundled with it. That will save you some money from the start. I will add some software reviews in the next few articles.