The Friday Roundup – Animated GIFs, Organizing Your Assets and Effects Tips

Hold the Bus!

This is a vital yet incredibly boring factor of editing you must get under control if you want to edit smoothly and not go nuts in the process.

There many things a professional video editor is going to be doing in his or her editing process that simply do not translate to the world of amatuer or simple video editing.

On the other hand there are things that they do, and steps they follow that have evolved over time which are applicable to all editing situations.

Probably the one that fits this description the best is that of getting organized.

It only takes a few attempts at your first editing project to soon descend into the madness of trying to locate the assets you are going to use in that project.

In no time at all you find yourself loading and viewing little clips and opening and closing images and generally going around and around in circles trying to find the stuff you want or worse, finding stuff you meant to include after you have almost finished!

Imagine how it is for a pro editor trying to edit together your average Hollywood blockbuster!

You would think for them it is a nightmare but it’s not, because they are organized BEFORE they even start.

There is a link below that gives a pretty good outline as to how you can get all your assets sorted but prior to this you need to complete a few steps that have nothing to do with actual editing.

First, you need to learn inside and out how the library section of whatever software you are using works.

How to create folders how to show all folders or files of a particular type and how to create a folder hierarchy.

The second thing you need to do after that is not just import your video, audio and image files into the correctly marked folders but to re-name them as well.

Most files regardless of video, audio or image will have absolutely meaningless names when you first pull them on to your computer.

By renaming them in a meaningful way you will be able to quickly identify the file you need by their names showing in the library.

Remember that the thumbnail for any video is going to be generated based on the first few frames of any video file.

This may or in most cases, may not actually give you any idea as to the contents of that video file.

Images are a little easier but audio definitely will not have any visual reference other than the file name that you can go by.

Once you have all of that under control you can then start creating the right folders for the project and import those files.

How to Create Animated Gifs for your YouTube Videos

Great video I wanted to include this week from Derral Eves who is one of the people I follow for all the skinny on YouTube.

This week he is possibly stepping a little outside the “strictly for YouTube” genre and covers how to create a GIF.

Although Derral approaches the subject from the point of view of creating Gifs for the promotion of YouTube videos as is his speciality, the video can be applied elsewhere.

A few of the major video editing software brands now include the ability to export to gif but you are looking for a super quick way to create one then some of the online services really can’t be beaten.

This especially applies if there is a property on YouTube you want to use.

Instead of trying to download the video off YouTube the online services simple get you to enter the URL of the video and they automatically pull it in.

From there it is just a matter of selecting the segment you want to use for the GIF and you are pretty well done.

Anyway, take a look at the video and see how simple it really is plus he offer three alternative sites you can go to.

PowerDirector Effect Room Tutorial

On the plus side, the better video editing programs at the consumer or amateur level these days are amazingly powerful and feature packed.

On the downside, you have to provide access to all those features somewhere on the user interface.

This is a downside because if you actually showed everything on the interface it would just be a mess of buttons and icons to click with no space left for the library or the video!

So the way most of the designers of video editing software approach this is to provide access to separate modules or to separate groups of effects or features.

Once you hit those buttons an entirely new set of possibilities opens up.

This of course has to be the trade off if the public are going to be demanding more and more features to consider the software to be attractive.

I can remember quite some time ago working on a project and for no reason at all decided to click on an icon I hadn’t clicked on before.

I was shocked to find that what appeared to be a completely new program opened up with knobs and dials and switches and heaven knows what else sitting in front of me!

I had no idea what it was for and obviously no idea how to use it!

So one of the things that would encourage everyone to do is to open and use your editor (whatever it is) regularly to create projects or to just have a play with the basics of importing, editing and the setups for rendering.

Once you have done that go to whatever the site is that you bought it from and check some tutorials (they all have them now).

Find something that catches your eye, check it out then at home open that feature up and give it a spin, you never know what you may find!

The video below is a little intro into the word of the Effects Room in PowerDirector but all software has something like this tucked away somewhere!

Audio Tips

In the past few weeks I have received a number of audio related questions and the general line they have taken is that of “how to fix my audio.”

In just about every case the person asking the question was trying to correct something in post production that should never have occurred in the first place.

Now of course just saying “you should have done it right in the first place” doesn’t really help much but the reality is that at the consumer level there always only going to be so much you can do in software to correct these mistakes.

The real handling for this situation is to learn what you can fix in post production for sure but in the meantime it is vital that anyone wanting to create video projects has to get up to pace on audio.

There are not really that many things you need to learn if you compare it to video or photography and the application of just a few simple things can ensure you don’t get into hot water to begin with.

YouTube for Vlogging Tips

I received an email this week from a site called Vloggingpro.com.

They were pointing out they have an updated list of tips for vlogging on YouTube.

Now it’s not unusual for me to get a lot of emails like this because factually they are usually thinly veiled attempts to get me to refer (with a link) to a site that basically has crap content or no content at all and is in fact generally worthless.

Much to my surprise the not only was the email polite in tone but also was actually directing my attention to an excellent article with heaps of information.

The world of vlogging on YouTube or even just getting videos online on YouTube requires constant attention to details.

Things like profile optimization, channel optimization and video optimization provide what seems to be an endless list of “things to do” in order to garner any attention on that service.

On top of the sheer number of things you have to do you then have to factor in that these points are in a constant state of flux.

Something vital to do last week is this week just “nice to have.”

Or something not really necessary this week is next week’s vital point that you simply must do.

Anyhoo the link below goes to their article which is a pretty current list of 71 points to consider when you are using YouTube and want to have more people than your family and friends to see your videos.

The site itself is aimed at the subject of vlogging but the tips they provide apply across the board.

Free Image Resources

I don’t know about anyone else but I am constantly on the lookout for free images to use in my projects.

Although you can just do a Google search for images, the problem is that if those images haven’t specifically been cleared for use then you may run into copyright problems.

Obviously you can filter any images found by “Usage Rights” to be sure but generally doing this tends to eliminate almost all of the good images.

This isn’t because you can’t use them, it because the images have not been given any usage attribution at all.

The way around this is to go to dedicated image sites where you know clearly what you can and cannot do with the images there and of course you want the free ones right!

There are many, many of these sites around but unfortunately many of them are not really based on any kind of sustainable business model.

This results in them popping up and then disappearing quite quickly or being hosted on servers so slow you just give up anyway.

This week I came across an excellent blog post over on Buffer that lists out about 50 image sites where you can get assets to safely use in your projects.

Most require a sign up of some description but really that’s a small price to pay for the knowledge that the images you are using are perfectly OK to use.

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