How do I edit my home videos

50 proven tips from the pros for better videos

We have put together this list for you with 50 practical tips from our recording studios. These recommendations will help you improve the quality of your videos dramatically. Learn tricks and tricks to shorten project times with targeted preparation techniques. Let our experts advise you on audio components, optimal lighting and the best equipment. Let's get started!

preparation

Have you ever renovated a house? Then you know how important it is to prepare and plan the work. Preparing for video production is extremely important in order to create better videos.

1. Schedule your video. A good plan is the basis for any project. The time invested in planning pays off. You will save time and money and avoid a lot of problems in the first place if you plan carefully.

2. Practice the process. Which work process works best for you? If you find that a script is helping you, make it a routine for any video project. Use a checklist to keep track of all the detailed tasks and not to forget anything. If you are new to experience, google the typical video creation workflows. Try what is best for you. Practice makes perfect.

3. Set a goal. What is the video supposed to achieve? Do you want to make your branded products better known or inform the audience about your service offers? Define this objective from the start.

4. Get to know your viewers. Where are the viewers located, how do the viewers relate to the topic? Do you want to show your video to internal employees, customers or prospects? What emotional reactions do you want? Think about the platform on which you will present your video and where your viewers are most likely to watch, share and comment on it. Maybe make different versions for Facebook, YouTube and other social networks and adjust the messages accordingly.

5. Write a script. Of course, you can also just turn on the camera and get started (especially if you're recording with your smartphone). A script almost always makes sense, except when you might be recording live at events. As you write it down, you can think of important details about how you want to structure your video. This is much easier (and less expensive!) On paper than it is after production. Even a script that contains only rough bullet points will help you structure content more clearly and present it better.

6. Make a storyboard. Don't worry, you don't need to be an artist. Simple stick figures and shapes (circles, squares) are sufficient. Together with your script, these visual notes will help you better plan your video. Instead of filming spontaneously, sketch out which scenes you want to have in advance. Think about which shooting angles would be best, whether you want to take close-ups and who or what should be in the picture. This visual preparation will save you a great deal of time, both in terms of recording and editing. You will like the finished videos much better. You can find a storyboard template here.

7. Collect all media in advance. Do you have all the logos? Are there any visual elements or music clips that you absolutely need to incorporate? The editing process becomes much easier if you organize all of the media before recording and production.

8. Ask for feedback. Show your script and storyboard to your colleagues. Feedback from colleagues and friends helps you identify gaps or errors in the script and correct them before recording. Constructive criticism and comments are desirable and very helpful. In this phase it should also be checked whether all internal company formulations and slogans have been correctly adhered to. Branding has to be right from the start and anything that viewers may not like has to be avoided.

Audio

Video may be far superior to radio shows, but believe it or not, sound makes up fifty percent when it comes to rating videos. Spoken comments or dialogues are the most important components of success in the production of high quality videos. Bad audio affects video rating more than any other factor. That alone is reason enough to always try to produce high quality audio.

Recording of spoken comments

9. For videos that don't introduce people, consider theRecord spoken comment first. After that, integrate the visual media so that it goes well with the audio. This works very well for screencasts, PowerPoint presentations, product demos, and other training videos.

Why is it so easy? This is because audio files are less flexible than visual media. You can use b-roll footage to make a section longer, or remove image clips, or cut out sections of video so that everything fits with the audio. Changing the timing of a spoken comment or dialogue afterwards is much more difficult. If you only realize during editing that an audio comment should be longer or shorter, the correction is complicated and takes a lot of time. Better to avoid that.

10. Record your own voice. You might think that your own voice doesn't sound good, but your voice in the video sounds familiar and natural to viewers. Speaking for yourself saves you a lot of money that you would otherwise have to spend on professional voice talent. If you want to establish yourself as an expert on a particular topic, it is very important to come across as authentic. Your own voice is an essential part of it!

11. Prepare for the audio recording and don't drink coffee (or milk, either!) A few hours beforehand. Better drink water. This loosens the vocal cords and your voice sounds better. Also, keep drinking water while recording for consistent sound quality. Do not record when you are hungry. Eat some healthy snacks beforehand so that you can stay focused during the intake.

12. If you make a mistake, clap twice. Double bludgers can be seen as rashes on the timeline. This way, the point with the error can easily be found and cut out later.

Choosing a microphone

13. Buy a good microphone. USB microphones are inexpensive and much better than the microphones built into the computer. Directional microphones work well when you are not moving your head or the sound will be lost as these types of microphones only pick up audio from a limited area; nothing from the side. Headsets are a good microphone choice, and wireless Lapel microphones work well too.

Make sure to stand when taking the picture. Not only does this allow you to hold the microphone easier, it also allows you to get more air into your lungs and your voice will be better projected and sounded better.

14. Use a windbreak on your microphone. Sometimes such a filter is also referred to as a "spit filter". This little protection makes hissing and popping sounds (where like S, T, D and P consonants) a little weaker. Without the filter, these sounds can otherwise sound irritating when you are singing and speaking.


15. Test your microphone (and then preferably again!). This is one of the most important detailed tasks before recording. Audio quality is a very important factor in the success of your video. Position the microphone so that your voice sounds good. Distortion can occur too close to the microphone, and too far away can sound impersonal and cold. Speaking a thumb's length from the microphone works well in most cases. But test it a few times to find the optimal recording position and volume.

Listen carefully to identify background noise. Fluorescent lamps, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other electronic devices can interfere with the recording. You can't turn off all background noise, but do it as much as you can (don't record next to a loading dock or in a flight path). Some video producers record in libraries, small chambers, or under a blanket. A quiet recording location makes audio editing much easier later.

16. Check the recording level while recording and adjust it in the system settings. The level should not be too high or too low. Correct this before recording. Later these setting errors are much more difficult to correct.

17. Background music shouldn't be too loud. Good music that fits the topic sets the right framework, but must not dominate. Better to record without music when in doubt. In most training videos you don't necessarily need background music (except maybe in an intro or outro clip).

18. When you are ready,test the playback. The sound should sound equally good on different devices. Try the headset and speakers. Think how your target audience will normally listen and optimize the playback accordingly.

production

The steps you perform during production are the hardest to undo. Here are important tips to avoid new admissions.

Video recordings

19. Avoid shiny faces. Rice paper works well. Dab your forehead and cheeks and any areas that reflect light. The speakers should look their best and without gloss effects it is also easier to find the right lighting.

20. Make sure the lighting is perfect (no old fashioned fluorescent lamps!). With the right lighting, shadows are avoided and the speakers appear in the best possible light in the truest sense of the word. Soft three-point lighting looks best. Compact fluorescent lights are fine too. The lighting can work wonders and completely change the mood of the scene.

21. Hide the microphone cables under clothes. That looks more professional and tidier. This also applies to other cables. If possible, they should not be visible on the recordings.

22. Do you only have a small budget? Rent the equipment. So you can test different equipment and find out what you like best. Experiment with different cameras, brands, mounts, lenses, and other pieces of equipment before you decide to buy. Renting is also ideal if you need special equipment for a very special recording. But be careful: only rent equipment that you want to be familiar with.

23. Note theRule of thirds. Imagine a vertically and horizontally three-part frame and position your speakers on the right or left and not always directly in the middle. That looks more interesting. Vary the position while recording to create a little variety.

24. If you have more than one camera,record with two cameras at the same time. In this way you can later combine recordings from two different angles. This gives you more flexibility in editing, looks more interesting, and appears more natural than just a single perspective. You don't necessarily need two digital SLR cameras. Use the "good" camera for the first angle and your smartphone for the second.

25. Take up a lot of b-roll material. It's easy to forget that, but these extra clips are wonderful for adding excitement and realism to the story. Take a few shots that go well with the topic, show the work environment or the cultural atmosphere. Take photos of things that illustrate the subject well or even take a time-lapse shot. You are guaranteed to need more b-roll material than you think. Let your creativity take over your mind and body. You can make many of these b-roll recordings before the official recording date.

26 and 27. Go for a close-up. Make an interview more interesting by taking close-up shots of the speaker. Show other elements in focus every now and then. This may be strange and feels strange, but in the end you will be glad to really have brought the topic and speaker up to the audience.Avoid digital zoomingbecause it can look pixelated and the result is disappointing. Really get closer or use the optical zoom (adjusting the lens).

28 and 29. Take short shots. Short clips are easier to organize and edit. Only interviews are an exception. You never know exactly what the other person will say in advance. Let the camera roll so you don't miss a great quote. Movement is importantbring variety into the game. Plan different shots from different angles, with different set-ups, close-ups, shots from further away and many B-roll clips.

Color and text

30. Show notes & text on the screen. In this way, you can specifically highlight important statements, summarize key arguments or provide additional information. Text should never be in the foreground and always have a clear relation to the audio. Listening and reading at the same time can be exhausting for the audience and distract from the actual content.

31. What you see through the lens doesn't necessarily look exactly the same in the movie. MakeColor corrections during editingif that should be necessary. Try to make the footage as natural as possible. A white light balance can, for example, help to balance out yellow light during the recording. Sometimes color enhancements help tell a story more dramatically (e.g. black and white for scenes from the past, or shades of green for science fiction).

32. If you're giving a PowerPoint presentation, you should the speaker not as a picture-in-pictureShow (Picture-in-Picture).It's better to switch back and forth between slides and the speaker. This shows the experts much better and the viewers also see the facial expression and the gestures, which seems much more authentic.

33. Use consistent color palettes and designs in your videos. Try different background colors, clothes, fonts, and props to reinforce your arguments and tell your story.

34. Text callouts are good, however use such Text blocks sparingly. Watching and reading is exhausting. However, text can explain interesting details and reinforce certain points. The viewers then also remember the content better.

Transition effects

35 and 36. Choose simple transition effects like dissolving or fading out to black. Most of the other transition effects look a bit over the top. Starwipe? No Please not. If you're using complicated transition effects, then the Transitions clearfit the story.An example: Show a rotating effect that symbolizes how time passes. We have more information on transition effects in this article.

Recordings in front of the green screen

37. The green screen has to look good. The lighting for the area and the speakers needs to be just right. Things can easily go wrong (weird shadows, incomplete color removal, transparent areas, etc.) But these types of shots can be a lot of fun too, but don't overdo it. This technique must also match the video content and the topic.

38. Don't just replace the background. Use the green screen in creative ways - show interactions (the speaker points at something or makes a touch gesture to create the illusion that giant apps are being used). Show silhouettes in inverted color or bring the background into play in other ways.

39. Make clips faster or slower. Use this technique to visualize the elapsed time or to show long processes faster. Clip speed is a parameter that can dramatically change the dynamics of your video.

40. Make videos with subtitles! These play a particularly important role in search engine optimization, since, for example, Google and other search engines can only read the searchable texts associated with the video (title, description, license plate number and subtitle). The subtitles ensure that your video is found and - more importantly - the subtitles make your video barrier-free and accessible to the hearing impaired. Many viewers also see the videos without sound. With subtitles you can still understand the context.

41. Choose the correct mounting dimensions. Where should your video be shown? What size is it played in? You should know this before taking the picture and choose the dimensions accordingly. Be especially careful that your recording dimensions are proportional to the output. If your final video is viewed at 1280 × 720, record larger (with the same aspect ratio) or record with the same dimensions.

Screencasting

Screen recordings (also from smartphones) are ideal for creating tutorials and video instructions or for showing process flows.If you present your company's products and services in videos, you increase awareness and strengthen customer loyalty.

Decent shots

42. Before recording, clean up your desktop.
Remove icons and wallpapers that would only distract your viewers. Close all browser windows that you do not need to demonstrate. It is best to create a video recording desktop profile that does not show any of your personal information. This saves a lot of time and you can always switch easily if you need to record something quickly.

43 and 44. If you do use your own profile, thenonly show programs you need to record. You should hide or close everything else on the desktop or in the dock so as not to distract viewers from the actual content. That also applies to Toolbars, bookmarks, urls and other browser elements,that make the screen look messy. Minimize or close everything that is not directly part of the recording (you can reset the desktop again later).

45. Turn off all notifications before recordingEmail, Twitter, Facebook and other apps are extremely annoying when these notifications suddenly appear on the screen while recording. Deactivate all messages before recording (you can reactivate these popups later if you still want to).

46. A good practical tip isconnect the laptop to the wall socket. If you run out of battery in the middle of a recording, you may lose all or part of your video. Better to play it safe and connect the laptop with a cable.

cursor

47. If you have theRecord cursor, move the mouse slower than usual.Set the speed down in the system settings. This may seem too slow at first, but then the movements are easier for the audience to follow. Hectic clicking around is confusing, distracting from the actual topic and frustrating learners. Move the mouse purposefully and not too quickly. Your video will be so much better.

48. Mark the position of the cursorwhen you pause your recording. Put a sticky note on the screen to mark exactly where the cursor was last seen. In this way, the recording can continue without "hops".

49. When you explain something on the screen,do not circle the mousearound the spot. The cursor is not a laser pointer and viewers find such circling cursors rather boring.

50. Make the cursor bigger. This allows viewers to better see where you are clicking and what you are doing on the screen. Professional tip: Some screen capture software can also record all cursor data, so that the cursor can also be edited afterwards.

What are your top tips for making great videos? Write us your suggestions in the comments. Do you want to make a video now? TechSmith Camtasia allows you to import, edit, and add animation, subtitles, and other elements to other media, and easily publish the finished videos.

Just give the free trial a try.