1. Fetching your video file

The First Step is to get the video file you are going to want to edit and save it to your computer.  Depending on the source your video is coming from there are different methods to Fetch the video file.  

 

From DVD

Fetching a Video from DVD can prove to be the most complicated.  Video Files on DVDs are stored in .VOB format which is MPEG Video and AC3 audio usually, sometimes using proprietary codecs to prevent copying.  Depending on the video codec used you may need specific software to copy your DVD to your computer.  This is the only step where paid software will probably be needed.  

  1. Install AVS Video Converter or your favorite DVD copying software.  
  2. Select your DVD as the source, and Export to .AVI, .MPEG, or .WMV
  3. Save this File where you can easily find it.  
  4. You are done



From YouTube

Downloading from YouTube is so common there are many pre-made tools that will help to fetch the video for you.  My personal favorite is keepvid.com because all you need is java on your computer no additional programs.  

  1. Open the YouTube video you want to Download.
  2. Copy the Page URL
  3. Go to keepvid.com
  4. Paste the YouTube URL into the box with the download button on keepvid.com
  5. Click Download, allow Java to run if prompted
  6. When the list is populated download the MP4 file listed at the highest resolution.
  7. Save this file where you can easily find it.
  8. You are done



From Website Players

For more advanced users you may want to fetch a video from a site with and embedded player but no download option.  Most of the time the file can still be downloaded if you can find the path of the video file in the page source.    

  1. Open the web page containing the embedded video.
  2. View the Page source Code.
  3. Run a search within the source for .mp4, .mov, .flv, .avi, .swf, or .mpeg
  4. When you find the path to the video within the source copy it
  5. paste the URL into your browser and go to the page.  
  6. The video may download directly depending on you browser.  if it does not start you may need to save the page from the file menu to your computer(ex. safari) you will notice the file saves as a video if the URL is correct.  



From File

If you already have a video file located on your computer you may be able to edit the file as is.  just save a copy of the file to edit so your original is always safe.  If your editor cant use the file you may need to convert it to MP4, AVI, or MPEG format.  for example most flv files cant be edited directly and should be converted to MP4 prior to editing in Windows Movie Maker.  

  1. Open Handbrake, (download @ handbrake.fr)
  2. Click Source, Select your video file
  3. Change the destination to a location you will easily remember for the output video.
  4. Select MP4 as the container format.  (this is the most generic video format)
  5. Click Start,  Your video will process
  6. When conversion is finished your output file is ready to be edited.