video editing tips

In today’s digital world, video content is becoming increasingly important as a means of communication, entertainment, and marketing.

With the rapid growth of platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, there has never been a better time to learn the art of video editing!

Mastering the best video editing tips and techniques can help you create captivating and engaging content to convey your message and impact others.

In this article, we’ll dive into essential video editing tips and the best video editing tools for beginners, covering everything from mastering the basics to enhancing your videos with color correction, graphics, and the perfect soundtrack.

Get ready to take your video editing skills to the next level!

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Mastering the Basics: Essential Video Editing Tips

man in red t-shirt sitting in front of computer

As the foundation of any successful video project, mastering the basic concepts of video editing is crucial. Let’s take a look at a few basic video editing tips.

Make a Storyboard

white printer paper on gray table with a storyboard

A well-planned workflow is essential for efficient video editing. It begins with creating a storyboard and planning the story before you film a single frame. The storyboard visually represents the video’s scenes, helping editors understand the narrative and anticipate editing needs.

Sketching out each scene and adding descriptions in the pre-production stage can streamline the editing process in the post-production stage.

Developing a scene-by-scene sketch and descriptive details during pre-production can streamline the editing process when you reach post-production.

Using a storyboard can help you save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring that your video is produced efficiently.

Keep It Short and Engaging

One of the most critical aspects of editing YouTube and other social media-type videos, as well as educational and business videos, is keeping them short and engaging.

With the abundance of media sources and the fast-paced nature of people’s lives, capturing viewers’ attention quickly and holding it throughout your video is essential.

A great technique to achieve this is through jump cuts, which allow you to cut out portions of time, preserving visual interest and keeping the content dynamic.

Experimenting with different techniques can help you create short yet visually interesting videos.

Cut on Action for Smooth Transitions

Another essential tip for creating smooth and engaging videos is to cut on action.

This technique involves cutting from one shot to another while the subject is in motion, creating a more dynamic and engaging scene.

You can seamlessly transition between scenes and enhance visual storytelling by cutting from one shot to another while the subject is in motion.

Match action, another useful technique, involves cutting from one visually similar shot to another, further enhancing the visual flow of your video.

Balance Audio Levels

woman in black long sleeve shirt using black laptop computer, looking at audio levels

Ensuring clear and balanced audio in your videos is crucial for maintaining viewer engagement and delivering your message effectively.

Some effective techniques for audio balancing include separating audio and video tracks, adjusting volume levels, and using EQ to fine-tune the best audio mix.

Organize Your Footage

Proper file management is essential for maintaining an efficient workflow. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Backups: Regularly back up project files to avoid losing progress due to technical issues or errors. Consider using cloud storage or external hard drives for additional security.
  • Version Control: Maintain multiple versions of the project file. This allows for reverting to previous versions if necessary and helps track project progress.
  • Folder Structure: Develop a consistent folder structure that mirrors the project’s organization. This will make it easier to locate assets and track revisions.

Before transforming your footage into a work of art, meticulously review it and note the most captivating moments, along with their respective time codes. This is key to crafting a first-rate final product.

Tips for organizing media:

  • Align file names with the storyboard and scene numbers.
  • Separate media into folders based on type (e.g., video, audio, graphics).
  • Use color-coding or labeling to indicate media status (e.g., raw, edited, reviewed).

Choosing the Right Tools: Software

Video editing tips and tools

Selecting the right tools for video editing is essential in creating high-quality content.

From storyboarding and software comparison to hardware requirements, ensuring you have the right tools can make all the difference in your video editing process.

Comparing Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie

Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a powerful software suitable for professional and semi-professional video editors. Developed by Adobe, it is compatible with Windows and macOS. Key features:

  • Extensive plugin support
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
  • Versatile multi-camera editing
Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is another high-end video editing software favored by Apple users. Exclusive to macOS, it offers a clean, user-friendly interface. Features include:

  • Magnetic Timeline 2
  • Multicam editing
  • 360-degree video editing

iMovie is an entry-level video editor, perfect for beginners. As a free Apple product, it is available for macOS and iOS. With a simple interface, users can create basic video projects. Features:

  • Pre-built themes and templates
  • Integration with iTunes and Apple Photos
  • Support for 4K resolution

DaVinci Resolve and Other Alternatives


DaVinci Resolve combines video editing, color grading and correction, and audio post-processing in one software. Both professional and amateur editors can use this software on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Key aspects:

  • Fairlight audio workstation
  • Node-based color grading
  • Collaboration tools

Other options for video editing software also exist, ranging in price, complexity, and features. Here is a brief overview:

  • Premiere Elements: Adobe’s streamlined, beginner-friendly counterpart to Premiere Pro
  • Filmora: An intuitive, simplistic video editor suitable for casual users
  • Pinnacle Studio: A Windows-exclusive software with advanced editing tools for enthusiasts
  • Avid Media Composer: A high-end solution for film and television editing professionals
  • Sony Vegas: A user-friendly, flexible option with creative video effects and transitions
  • Lightworks: A professional-grade video editor with a free version for basic editing needs

Even newer AI video editing software programs exist, such as InVideo, Pictory, and Synthesia (for digital “talking head” avatars).

Depending on your skill level, budget, and needs, you can choose the best video editing software to suit your needs.

Hardware Requirements

Understanding RAM, Processor, and GPU Requirements

When working on video editing, it is crucial to have the right software and hardware components to ensure smooth performance.

RAM plays a significant role in managing your computer’s multitasking capabilities. A minimum of 16GB RAM is recommended for video editing, but 32GB or more is preferable, especially when working with larger files or complex projects.

The processor is the heart of the computer and is responsible for executing the commands in your video editing software. For optimized performance, a multi-core processor, such as an Intel i5 or i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7, is recommended. A faster processor with more cores enables faster rendering time and smoother previews.

A powerful GPU (graphics processing unit) is crucial for video editing, as it handles tasks such as color grading, colour correction, visual effects, and video rendering. It is recommended to use a dedicated video card, such as NVIDIA or AMD video cards, which have their own memory and processing power, resulting in better performance during video editing.

You can even use a tablet for video editing!

Storage Solutions: SSD and External Hard Drives

Storage is another vital aspect of your video editing setup. An SSD (solid-state drive) offers significant advantages over a traditional hard drive, such as faster read and write speeds, improved durability, and reduced latency.

Using an SSD as the main driver for your operating system and video editing software is highly recommended for quicker load times and better responsiveness.

Additionally, having enough storage space for your video and project files is essential. This is where external hard drives can be beneficial. Invest in high-capacity external hard drives to store your raw footage, completed projects, and backup files.

This will help you organize your workspace and reduce the strain on your computer’s internal storage.

Enhancing Your Workflow with Keyboard Shortcuts

black and orange computer keyboard

Utilizing keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your video editing workflow, allowing you to work more efficiently and focus on the creative aspects of your project.

Many video editing software programs, such as Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve, offer built-in keyboard shortcuts that can help you quickly perform various editing tasks.

Popular Keyboard Shortcuts

Some popular keyboard shortcuts for video editing include Shift + =/- to expand or minimize timeline tracks, Ctrl + =/- to expand or minimize video tracks, and Alt + =/- to expand or minimize audio tracks.

Other useful shortcuts include Command + +. Left or Right arrow to nudge a clip and E to extend a selected edit to the playhead.

Customizing Shortcuts

In addition to using built-in keyboard shortcuts, many video editing software programs allow you to customize your own shortcuts to suit your workflow and preferences better.

This can be especially helpful if you frequently use specific commands without default shortcuts or prefer a different key combination for a particular task.

The Power of Storytelling: Editing for Impact

antique, yellow pages, chapter of a book

Storytelling is a powerful tool in video editing, as it can evoke emotions and effectively communicate your intended message. You can create a captivating visual narrative by selecting the best shots and using transitions wisely.

Selecting the Best Shots

When selecting the best shots for your video, it’s essential to consider the message you want to convey to your viewers and the emotions you want them to feel at each point in the story.

Carefully consider the story arc, characters, and themes, and you will be able to communicate your message effectively. Remember to use techniques like cutting on action and matching action to create dynamic and engaging scenes.

Using Transitions Wisely

Transitions play a crucial role in maintaining viewer engagement and enhancing the storytelling aspect of your video. By using transitions sparingly and intentionally, you can create a seamless flow between scenes and emphasize specific points in the story.

Popular transitions in video editing include cuts, dissolves, fades, and wipes, each of which can create a different effect depending on the desired outcome.

Basic Editing Techniques

Importing Video and Audio

When beginning a video editing project, the initial step is to import video and audio files into your software. This is typically done through the File menu or by dragging and dropping files directly onto the timeline.

Ensure the media you import is compatible with your software, as different formats may require additional plugins or codecs.

Trimming, Cutting, and Rearranging Clips

One of the essential aspects of video editing is trimming, cutting, and rearranging the video clips used. Use the razor or scissor tool to make precise cuts at specific frames or timecodes to do this. Once you have made the necessary cuts, rearrange the clips on your timeline accordingly.

Having clean cuts and properly ordered clips can drastically improve the flow and pacing of your video. Remember to continually preview your work to ensure seamless and coherent edits.

Using Transitions and Effects

Transitions and effects can add polish to your video, but using them sparingly and purposefully is crucial. Some common transitions include:

  • Fade in/out: Gradually increases or decreases the clip’s opacity, creating a smooth beginning or end.
  • Crossfade: Overlaps two clips, transitioning from one to the other by gradually fading out the first clip while simultaneously fading in the next one.
  • Wipe: Affectively “wipes” one clip off the screen, revealing the next clip underneath. You can learn more here.
  • Cut to: One clip ends, and another immediately begins, with a hard cut between them.

When implementing effects, consider the desired mood or aesthetic of your project. Color grading, for example, can dramatically alter the visual tone, while audio effects may enhance aural elements. Experiment with various effects and find what works best for your video.

Remember that less is often more when it comes to transitions and effects. Too many can distract or overwhelm the viewer. Focus on enhancing your content without detracting from its core message.

Utilizing Stock Footage and Additional Software

Incorporating stock footage into video editing projects can help elevate the production quality and create a more professional outcome.

Multiple platforms offer free and paid high-quality stock footage for diverse themes and subjects, such as Pexels or Shutterstock. Using stock footage not only saves time and enhances visual elements, but it also helps you avoid copyright issues that come with using footage without permission.

Apart from primary video editing software, leveraging additional software is crucial for expanding one’s skillset. Tools like Adobe Photoshop can be used to create custom graphic elements to incorporate into the video.

Features like masks, layers, and blending modes in Photoshop help in achieving various creative effects when used alongside editing tools like Adobe After Effects or Autodesk Smoke.

Advanced Editing Techniques

Color Grading and LUTs

Color grading is a crucial step in the video editing process that involves adjusting a video’s tone, color, and contrast to create a unique and visually appealing style. One way to achieve professional results quickly is by using Lookup Tables (LUTs).

LUTs are predetermined color grading templates that can be applied to your footage. They save time and provide a consistent starting point for refining the final look. Some popular LUTs include the M31, CineStyle, and KODAK2393.

  • M31 LUT: Often used in Hollywood films, it offers a warm, cinematic look.
  • CineStyle: Provides a flat, desaturated image, perfect for color grading.
  • KODAK2393: Mimics the look of classic Kodak film stocks.

Remember that LUTs are not a one-size-fits-all solution; you should always customize and tweak them to fit your specific project.

Motion Graphics and Text

Adding motion graphics and text to your videos can enhance storytelling and convey the most important thing. Various techniques and tools are available for creating professional-looking motion graphics and texts.

  1. Keyframing: This is the process of assigning specific values at different points in time, allowing you to create smooth animations. Software like Adobe After Effects allows you to make advanced motion graphics using keyframing.
  1. Templates: Pre-made templates can save you time and maintain a consistent style. Websites like VideoHive offer a range of customizable text and animation templates.
  1. Lower Thirds: These are graphics that appear at the bottom of a video, usually containing the name and title of a person on-screen. Make sure the lower thirds are visually appealing and easy to read.

Elevating Your Videos with Color Correction and Grading

Color correction and grading are essential techniques in video editing that can help you enhance your video’s visuals and create a unique look.

Color Correction Basics

Color correction is the process of adjusting the colors in a video to make it look more natural and visually appealing.

This can involve correcting issues with the underlying image, such as making the blacks look black and the whites look white and balancing out the colors to create a stunning result.

By mastering the basics of color correction, you can ensure that your videos look professional and visually appealing.

Color Grading Techniques

Color grading involves applying a unique color style to your video to achieve a desired look or enhance the overall visual appeal.

This can include using color grading tools in software like Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve and understanding key concepts like highlights, shadows, midtones, hue, saturation, and luminance.

Adding the Perfect Soundtrack: Music and Audio Tips

flat-lay photo of headphones, MIDI keyboard, and speaker on black surface

Adding the perfect soundtrack to your video can greatly enhance its overall impact and captivate viewers.

Choosing Royalty-Free Music

Royalty-free music is an excellent option for adding high-quality music to your videos without having to worry about copyright issues or spending a fortune on licensing fees.

Some numerous websites and services offer a wide range of good music, both free and paid, allowing you to find the perfect soundtrack for your video.

Alternatively, you can use an AI music generator to create a unique feel for your video.

Synchronizing Music with Video

Synchronizing music with video is essential to creating a seamless audio-visual experience for your audience.

There are various techniques and software options available to help you sync music and video, such as using clapboards to create a spike in audio waveforms or leveraging software like Red Giant’s Plural Eyes or Premiere Pro’s “Merge” or “Synchronize” options.

Voiceovers and Sound Management

Incorporating voiceovers and managing sounds is crucial for creating engaging videos. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Record crisp and clear voiceovers: Invest in a good quality microphone, and find a quiet, well-treated space for recording. You may need to do some ADR work with your actor(s) if any of the dialogue is hard to hear or muffled.
  • Use suitable background music: Select music that enhances your video, considering the mood, genre, and tempo. You can use an AI music generator to help you create unique music for your video.
  • Leverage B-roll footage: B-roll footage can help fill gaps in your video and provide visuals to accompany voiceovers.
  • Adjust audio levels: Ensure that your voiceovers and background music are appropriately balanced, with neither dominating the listening experience.

Exporting and Sharing Your Videos Online

black iphone 4 on brown wooden table

Once you’ve completed the video editing process, it’s time to export and share your videos online.

Export Settings for Web Playback

When exporting your videos for web playback, it’s important to follow recommended export settings to ensure optimal video quality and smooth online viewing.

Many online video platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, provide guidelines for export settings, which can help you maximize the potential of your videos.


In conclusion, mastering the art of video editing requires a combination of essential techniques, the right tools, and a creative approach.

The possibilities are endless, from mastering the basics and enhancing your workflow with keyboard shortcuts to elevating your videos with color correction, graphics, and the perfect soundtrack.

Why not start experimenting with these video editing tips and tools today and unlock your potential as a video creator? The world is waiting to see your masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get better at video editing?

To get better at video editing, practicing regularly and learning new techniques and skills is important. You should also watch tutorials and take courses, experiment with different tools and software, use keyboard shortcuts, create a story when editing videos, and seek feedback from other editors.

Additionally, be sure to obey the 321 rule, maintain an efficient workflow, and focus on color correction and stabilizing the footage.

What is the 321 rule in video editing?

Using the 321 rule in video editing is a great way to ensure that you have multiple versions of your video available. It encourages you to make three copies, store them in 2 different locations, and edit until you’re happy with the end product.

What are the 3 aspects of video editing?

Video editing is essential to creating compelling films and videos, with three primary aspects – cutting segments, re-sequencing clips, and adding transitions and other special effects. Effective video editing allows a filmmaker to draw viewers into their story and captivate them with powerful visuals.

Interested in video production? Check out this other great article!

The 7+ Best AI Video Generators [Text to Video]

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