Video Editing on a Computer

The days of video tapes and clumsy video tape editing systems are numbered. With today's powerful computers, a video capture card, inexpensive editing software and CD and DVD burners, now just about anyone can edit their videos like a pro.

The first step is getting the video from the camera and onto the computer. This is accomplished through a video capture card. Many computers come with a firewire connection or some sort of video capture card pre-installed. If not, cards and USB plug-in devices are available.

Once the video source is connected to the computer, use the capture software that came with the device to import the video to the hard drive. Depending on whether the video will ultimately be burned to CD or to DVD determines the file format you will save it as. Choose MPEG-1 for video CDs and MPEG-2 for DVD. Begin the capture and be patient. This is one of the most time intensive tasks when editing video on a computer. It is also advised to dedicate the computer to just this one task as it uses a great deal of the computer's resources.

Once the capture is complete, fire up the video editing software. You can use the program that came with your computer such as Mac's iMovie or Windows XP's Movie Maker, or you can purchase a video editing software package such as Adobe Premiere. These programs bring the ease of drag and drop to video editing. Simply choose the desired scene and drop it onto a timeline. Rearranging scenes is as easy as dragging and dropping. Titles can be added, special effects incorporated, transitions such as fades, dissolves, page turns and patterned wipes used, soundtracks and music laid down.

Once the video is complete, you can use the capture card and send it back to the video source or you can burn it to CD or DVD if your computer is so equipped. Many editing programs also allow you to create DVD menus, which is a nice feature. When exporting, once again, be patient and dedicate the computer to this task as it does take a lot of the computer's resources.

When the process is complete, make up labels and share your video with family and friends.