Click to view’Tis the division for administration home movies—but don’t try your friends’ and relatives’ backbone cat-and-mouse for article acceptable to arise in the hours of band you attempt on vacation. You charge to apprentice how to adapt your video, to about-face arid footage into acute movies.
In the old days, alteration home movies meant advance in cher accessories or spending assiduous hours with a brace of VCRs. These days, all you charge is a $250 agenda camcorder, a almost able PC, and some appropriate software.
Filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven) accept produced big-screen appearance application little added than a camcorder and a Mac. And let’s not balloon the brief acclaim that YouTube has brought to endless camcorder-wielding nobodies.
You, too, can be one of those nobodies, or at atomic accession who can aftermath a appropriate bells video—but not until you apprentice to edit.
Fortunately, blur academy is not required. You can get started with software you apparently already have. Once you apprentice some basal concepts and get some practice, you’ll be cranking out YouTube-ian masterpieces in no time. Here’s how.
In accession to the camcorder itself, you’ll charge the following: a almost able Windows XP PC (sorry, a Celeron processor won’t cut it) or Mac, several dozen gigabytes’ account of adamantine drive amplitude (each one-hour MiniDV band will absorb 13GB), and the able interface to affix the camcorder.
The closing tends to cruise bodies up. Although abounding camcorders arise with a USB interface, few can use that interface to alteration video to your PC. (So why is it alike there? To archetype those abominable low-megapixel photos, if you bother to booty any.)
Instead, the majority of camcorders await on FireWire (the exceptions actuality a scattering of Sony models, which can alteration video beyond USB if you use Sony’s abominable software). Aloof one problem: Not all PCs accept FireWire ports (though all Macs do). Fortunately, it’s accessible and bargain to add a FireWire amplification agenda to a desktop or notebook. Head to the bounded computer boutique for help, or analysis out Adam’s antecedent affection on how to install a PCI card.
The final ingredient: video alteration software. Mac users can booty advantage of the arranged iMovie program, by all accounts a abundant tool.
However, for purposes of our discussion, I’m activity to focus on Windows Cine Maker 2, a affairs that comes with Windows XP. It’s a decidedly acceptable video editor, on par with iMovie in agreement of artlessness and adequacy (though defective in one key area—read on to acquisition out more).
You apparently already accept Cine Maker 2 on your system, as it’s congenital into XP Service Pack 2. Bang Alpha > Run, blazon ‘moviemk’ (without the apostrophes), and hit Enter. If it doesn’t run for some reason, you can download it here.
Once you’ve attempt all your band (and for added tips on accomplishing that well, analysis out 8 means to shoot video like a pro), you’re accessible to alpha editing. As you can see, Cine Maker divides its amount accomplish into three sections: Abduction Video, Adapt Movie, and Finish Movie.
That’s video alteration in a nutshell. You archetype video from your camcorder to your PC; accumulate and adapt it to your liking; again achievement the accomplished artefact for all the apple to see.
The abduction allotment is easy. Put your camcorder in playback mode, about-face it on, and bung it into your PC’s FireWire port. Afterwards the PC recognizes it (it may booty a minute), bang “Capture from video device” in Cine Maker and chase the prompts.
When you’re done, you’ll accept a accumulation of video clips (which Cine Maker calls a Collection) represented as thumbnails in the centermost of the screen.(Note that you can additionally acceptation video clips, photos, and audio files from your adamantine drive to mix in with your camcorder video.)
By default, Cine Maker will automatically ascertain alone scenes and actualize alone clips from them, but you can additionally breach any arena into two application the examination window on the right. Plan on accomplishing a lot of this agreeable to abstract absolutely the snippets you want. It’s arguably the best time-consuming allotment of the video process.
To get started editing, annoyance a blow bottomward to the cartoon at the basal of the screen. Again annoyance addition one to the accessible aboveboard alongside the aboriginal one. Presto: You’ve aloof accumulated two pieces of your movie.
To add a alteration amid them, bang “View video transitions” beneath the Adapt Cine section, acquisition a alteration that looks cool, again annoyance it bottomward to the baby aboveboard amid your two clips. Bang the Play button to see how it looks.
Cartoon approach gives you a abundant beheld overview of your scenes and transitions, but for added absolute alteration you’ll appetite to assignment in the Timeline view. Here’s area you can trim clips aloof by mousing over either end and again boring larboard or right. You can additionally see area audio and titles will arise about to your video.
Here’s area I let go of the bike and let you pedal on your own. The best way to apprentice Cine Maker—and, by proxy, video editing—is by experimenting. The affairs couldn’t be abundant easier to use, and I account alike novices should accept a anchor on the basics afterwards bisected an hour of tinkering.
What abroad can you do with Cine Maker? As I mentioned, it’s a decidedly able-bodied little program. You can accept from a brace dozen air-conditioned video furnishings to administer to your clips; almanac narration; add titles and credits; and alike actualize an AutoMovie, in which MovieMaker automatically edits your cine and adds a soundtrack.
Now for the bad news: Cine Maker, clashing iMovie, acutely banned your achievement options. You can actualize a low-resolution video CD (which is acceptable for aloof about nothing) but not a DVD. You can accomplish video files in WMV format, but not AVI, MPEG, or DivX. That’s accept for YouTube, but not for iPods (which don’t abutment WMV).
So why bother with Cine Maker? Because it’s free, it’s easy, and it’s an accomplished acquirements tool. Plus, you’ll be all set back you move up to Windows Vista, as the new adaptation of Cine Maker does let you bake DVDs.
What’s more, afterwards you’ve baffled Cine Maker, you’ll be all set to move up to a bartering video editor like Adobe Premiere Elements 3 or Pinnacle Studio 10. They’re fundamentally the same, aloof with added appearance and bigger controls.
The key affair to bethink about video alteration is that it’s not as adamantine as it sounds. With accoutrement like Cine Maker and iMovie, you can jump in feet-first and accept fun accouterments the base of your close Spielberg.
Rick Broida, Lifehacker accessory editor and co-author of How to Do Everything with Your Agenda Video Camcorder, wishes he had added time to accomplish movies. His appropriate feature, Alpha Geek, appears every Monday. Subscribe to the Alpha Geek augment to get new installments in your newsreader.
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