Video Editing : The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
I have been trying to make a uber amazing video for the past few weeks now and sadly it would seem that I have met death by technical malfunction. Trust me, it was not for a lack of effort! I’ve written in dozens of support forums with dozens of different usernames that I’ll probably forget in about a year.
I’ve watched hundreds of “help” videos composed by people so diverse they could make a World Wide Web circus. The hippie/punk kids, Mr. “diamonds-on-the-soles-of-his-shoes,” harold – the town pimp, the lady with sparkle-laden crap smeared on her face, the spacey mechanic, the puppy, and the insanely angry cowgirl bar-brawler all had something to say about their video editing “skillz.”
So why is it so difficult for me? I must just be a loser.
Upon doing some more research (aka beseeching mercy from some Twitter friends) I found that it wasn’t actually my “skillz” that were in question. Apparently the program I was using to edit is just downright..
Windows Movie Maker – Microsoft
[lightbox http://nixiepixel.com/media/blogs/a/screenshot/window_movie_maker.gif [Windows Movie Maker Screenshot]][/lightbox]
Windows Movie Maker is a ticking time bomb of death. Interestingly enough it also happens to be the #1 choice of novice Youtubers everywhere. It makes sense – it’s free. You absolutely get what you pay for; an unstable, under-featured and virtually unusable program. Are my excessive use of U-words really warranted? You may be thinking to yourself: “It can’t be that bad.”
You’re probably right. If you stay within the small range of allowed video formats, this freeware allows you to efficiently edit video along with adding narration features, text titles and some special effects. The “unusable” part came in for me when I double clicked on anything. It would just freeze. Despite the program having not been updated for 5 whole years, Windows Movie Maker is good if you’re just coming out of the womb with a desire to edit your first few videos. After that, you really should graduate to bigger and better things.
(well, sort of.)
[lightbox http://nixiepixel.com/media/blogs/a/screenshot/adobe_premier_pro.gif [Adobe Premier Pro Screenshot]][/lightbox]
With this monster of a program we’ve definitely accomplished the “bigger” aspect. It is also unarguably better – no question about that. However, if you simply want to make newbie vids then jumping into this resource hog makes about as much sense as a having trap door on a lifeboat. As with a lot of editing programs from Adobe, the learning curve is huge, which is radical change from the intuitive nature of Windows Movie Maker.
For those who are planning to get serious about their work, all the required studying could earn a huge payoff. This application packs a punch with advanced video tools such as 3D rendering, one-click color corrections and multi-cam editing. In the end, Adobe Premier Pro is just that; professional.
[lightbox http://nixiepixel.com/media/blogs/a/screenshot/sony_vegas_screen.gif [Sony Vegas Pro Screenshot]][/lightbox]
People of the torturous land of distorted video and mangled audio – you have found your savior. It’s Sony Vegas, baby! A well supported, nicely structured program with all the bells and whistles and none of the confusion that usually comes with it. From the moment I started working with Vegas I knew we would be fast friends. I have the pro version but I’ve tried the demo for Platinum and here’s my take..
Like Windows Media maker it’s extremely easy to use. Unlike Movie Maker it doesn’t crash before you can save your work, so what happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas. From adding titles and filters to kicking it up a notch with HD editing and surround sound configuration, this program is an All-In-One package of technical delight.
Before I found the program that worked for me, I was fluttering about from one software company to the next, becoming frustrated as all get out. I’m now happy to report that I no longer have to spend hours on installing codecs while scratching my head. Finally, the many toils and troubles were worth it as I’ve found the software that does everything I want it to do. I am a very happy llama indeed.