This HowTo will walk you through the basic video editing tasks listed below. We will use free software for as many tasks as possible.  This could be done on nearly any computer with at least 512MB RAM and dual core processor @ 2Ghz or higher.

    • Fetching your video file
      • From DVD
      • From YouTube
      • From Website Players
      • From File
    • Editing your video file
    • Exporting your video file
      • For use on your computer
      • For use in PowerPoint
      • For use in a website
      • For use in a DVD Player
 

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.  

 

 


2. Editing your video file

There are many Programs available for video editing.  most of which are pricey and don't offer many features worth the extra cost unless you are doing high end editing, in which case they may be essential.  For this reason we will use Windows Live Movie maker in this example, you may choose to use other software, the basic concepts of video editing will remain the same in any program.

You Can Download Windows Live Movie Maker for Free from Windows Live, as well as explore more about the program and find the following directions.

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-movie-maker-get-started?T1=t1

 

Import photos and videos

To make a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker, you'll need some photos and videos on your computer. You can import photos and videos from your digital camera, a flash memory card, DVDs, or your mobile phone.

 

To import your photos and videos into Movie Maker, connect the camera to your computer by using a USB cable, and then turn on the camera. Click the Movie Maker button, and then click Import from device. If the Photos and videos will be imported into Windows Live Photo Gallery message appears, click OK.

Click the device you want to import photos and videos from, and then click Import. On the New photos and videos were found page, click Import all new items now, type a name for all the photos and videos, and then click Import.

In Windows Live Photo Gallery, select the check box in the upper-left corner for each photo or video you want to use in your movie. On the Create tab, in the Share group, click Movie. When the photos and videos appear in Movie Maker, you’re ready to start making your movie.

 

Select photos and videos in Photo Gallery to import into Movie Maker.

Edit your movies

Using the video editing features in Windows Live Movie Maker, you can make your movie look the way you want it to.

Add a video

Get started with making a movie and editing it by first adding any videos that you want to use into Movie Maker.

On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add videos and photos. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the videos you want to use, and then click Open.

Trim video

To trim the beginning or end of a video clip so only the part of the video you want appears in your final movie, click the video you want to trim, and then drag the playback indicator on the storyboard to the point where you want the video to start or stop playing in your movie. Do one of the following:

  • To set a new start point, under Video Tools, on the Edit tab, in the Editing group, click Set start point.
  • To set a new end point, under Video Tools, on the Edit tab, in the Editing group, click Set end point.

 

Split a video

You can split a video into two smaller items and then continue editing. For example, after splitting a video, you can move one video in front of the other to change the order in which the videos play in your movie.

To split a video into two items, click the video, and then drag the playback indicator to the point where you want to split the video. Under Video Tools, on the Edit tab, in the Editing group, click Split.

Speed up or slow down a video

You can change the speed of your video in Movie Maker to make the video play faster or slower in your movie.

To change the speed of a video, click the video. Next, under Video Tools, on the Edit tab, in the Adjustgroup, click the Speed list, and then click a speed (depending on how much you want to speed the video up or slow it down).

Adjust the video speed in your movie.

Edit the audio

Get great sound in your movie by using the audio editing tools in Movie Maker. Make your finished movie feel polished and professional by adding a soundtrack and using the editing features to adjust the volume, fade music in or out, and more.

Add music

You can add music that plays during your movie. After you add music, you can edit it so it plays how you want in your movie.

On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add music. Click the music file you want to use, and then clickOpen.

Fade music in or out

Make the audio fade in nicely at the beginning and fade out smoothly at the end to make a movie that looks and sounds professional.

To make the music fade in or out, click the music. Then, under Music Tools, on the Options tab, in theAudio group, do one or both of the following:

  • To make the music fade in, click the Fade in list, and then click the speed for the music to fade in.
  • To make the music fade out, click the Fade out list, and then click the speed for the music to fade out.

 

Change the start or end point of the music

Trim the beginning or end of the music, so only the part of the song that you want plays in your final movie.

To trim the beginning or end of the music, click the music, and then drag the playback indicator on the storyboard to the point in the music where you want it to start or stop playing in your movie. Do one of the following:

  • To set a new start point for the music to start playing at the current point, under Music Tools, on theOptions tab, in the Editing group, click Set start point.
  • To set a new end point so the music stops playing at the current point, under Music Tools, on theOptions tab, in the Editing group, click Set end point.




Change the audio volume

You can change the volume of a music item or the audio in a video. This way, regardless of the audio or music that's playing, it sounds just right in your movie.

 

To change the volume of a music item, click the music. Under Music Tools, on the Options tab, in theAudio group, click Music volume, and then move the slider left to lower the volume or right to increase it.

 

To change the volume of the audio in a video, click the video. Under Video Tools, on the Edit tab, in theAudio group, click Video volume, and then move the slider left to lower the volume or right to increase it.

Change the volume in your movie to make it sound just right.

Choose a theme

Use AutoMovie themes to make a great-looking movie in just a few clicks in Windows Live Movie Maker. Just pick your photos, videos, and a theme, and then the transitions and effects are added for you.

Add photos and videos

On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add videos and photos. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the photos and videos you want to use, and then click Open.

Add music

On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add music. Click the music file you want to use, and then clickOpen.

Choose an AutoMovie theme

On the Home tab, in the AutoMovie themes group, click the theme you want to use. Movie Maker automatically adds titles, credits, transitions, effects, and more for you.

You can continue editing as you normally would, or just save your movie.

Choose from several different AutoMovie themes to get the look you want for your movie.


 


3. Exporting your video file

Windows Live Movie maker is a simple program to get the clip you want, and best of all its free.  To save your video for use on your computer after editing simply Save Movie using the For Computer preset in the main menu.  

You will notice that when you save your project it will turn out as a .wmv file.  while this is suitable for playback on windows desktops it is not the most recognized format.  For this reason if we want to ensure proper playback on multiple devices we must use a common format, the most common are often MPEG-4 and AVI in computer and mobile device situations.


Note: ipads,ipods,iphones,etc... will need the .m4v extension when saving as a .mpeg it is the same file so no file conversion is needed just rename the extension, its just an apple thing.

For use on your computer

You can keep the .wmv file for playback on most windows computers.  If you plan to use the video in another program or on a Mac or Linux machine then it should be converted to .mp4 (MPEG-4) or .avi.  This Can be done with a variety of programs.  we will use handbrake for this example as it is the easiest and cheapest(free) solution for a simple project. Feel free to use whichever tools you are comfortable with.

  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)

 

Note: ipads,ipods,iphones,etc... will need the .m4v extension when saving as a .mpeg it is the same file so no file conversion is needed just rename the extension or check the box at this step if you plan to use this file for apple devices, its just an apple thing.  most computers will still recognize the .m4v extension although some may not.

  1. Click Start,  Your video will process
  2. When conversion is finished your output file is ready to be distrubuted for use on nearly any computer and mobile device.  





For use in PowerPoint

Powerpoint will play multiple file types however it will vary depending on the codecs the computer has installed.  That being said .avi seems to be the most dependable on windows machines, while .mp4 is dependable all around except a few mis-configured machines I have run across.  I suggest .mp4, if you have any issues install K-lite Codec pack and everything will run smoothly as it should.

 

You can get all the codecs you need to solve any of your video issues by installing K-lite Codec Pack,  I Strongly Suggest this be installed on any and every computer you plan to use video on a regular basis.  

 

K-lite Codec Pack:

http://www.codecguide.com/download_kl.htm

 

For use in a website

Most websites now will convert the video file format for you upon upload.  These upload engines generally accept .avi, .mp4, and sometimes .wmv.  If you are uploading to your own server you should probably use .flv for flash players or .mpeg for newer HTML5 browsers and the JWPlayer (strongly suggested over flash)

 

For use in a DVD Player

Simply Save your movie for DVD from the Windows Live Movie Maker Presets.  Or Use more advanced software to create custom dvd menus, effects, navigation, etc...