Keeping videos on your cell phone is a fabulous way to share footage of family, friends, colleagues or even marketing material for your work. Using video-editing software with a timeline option allows you to selectively edit your video to utilize the limited space and time you have when showing a video on your phone. A timeline allows you to edit tightly and eliminate the portions of the video you wish to sacrifice for the shortening of the piece.
Open the video in a video-editing software program that allows you to work with a video timeline. A wide variety of video-editing software exists, but not every program allows you to work directly with the timeline. Apple's Final Cut, iMovie and Adobe's Premiere all provide a workspace with a timeline function, but iMovie provides the easiest user interface at a reasonable price. The timeline shows the video, audio and additional media clips, such as graphics or still images, in a linear fashion using a timecode.
Make a list of natural transition points in the video and decide what sections to eliminate according to your preferences and any natural transitions that occur in the piece. A natural transition occurs with a change in setting, character or music and can also include special transition effects, such as fading to black between sequences. Make a note of the timecode at the beginning and end of the sequences or sections you want to cut and write them down on a sheet of paper.
Select the cutting tool, or a similar tool that allows you to slice the timeline into pieces, and begin cutting the sections using the In and Out timecodes that you noted. Try to cut as close to the transition as possible to avoid abrupt disruptions for the viewer. Add a cross-fade transition between sequences that fade to black to move the audience smoothly through the piece.
Watch the fully edited version, make any additional edits and save your project to your computer and an external hard drive for backup.
Export the video in a compressed format appropriate for your mobile device. This format most likely is an MPEG, or MP4, format. The format is highly compressed and small, which makes it ideal for playing on a cell phone and for using the video on the Internet.
- After edit the final version, export a larger version as well for your reference. You may wish to add the edited video to a DVD or play the file on your computer and the larger version, such as an MOV file, plays at a higher quality than the compressed version for the mobile device.
- Save the video project frequently throughout the editing process as video software uses large amounts of processing power and can close unexpectedly if the computer gets overwhelmed.
- Research your chosen video-editing software carefully prior to purchasing to ensure that you select a program within your skill set and within the proper specifications of your computer.
- Have ample hard drive space available before beginning your project or use an external hard drive to save your video files since they are large and use massive amounts of hard drive space.
- The video-editing software can be difficult to navigate and requires time to learn. Keep the software manual handy and choose a program with a large amount of online forums and users so you can troubleshoot any problems through the online community.
- If your computer does not possess the required features of the program, your user experience will be greatly hindered by frequent freezing of the program, loss of work and constant interruption of workflow.
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