Easy to Use Video Editors


You can make your old and new videos more interesting and meaningful by editing them with either of these two free and easy-to-use video editors – Avidemux or Kdenlive.

When I was in my teens, my father got me an 8mm movie camera. It was sparingly used, as the cost of the film was pretty high. Each roll lasted only a few minutes. Somewhere down the years, the projector stopped working, fungus grew on the films and I don’t even know if any of the films are still with us, stored in some box. I was reminded about this as the new smartphones and digital cameras make it so easy to shoot and share videos. These videos will not develop fungus and even if the format does become obsolete, some new tool will help to convert it into a new one.
The danger, however, lies in the sheer number of videos that can get accumulated. Considering the volume of clips we tend to store, you may just not be able to find the right one to share or enjoy, just when you feel like it. Hence, you might want to start editing the videos before the sheer number becomes too overwhelming.
Typically, you will probably want to share your videos sparingly with friends and relations — after all, they are as pressed for time as you probably are.

One of the simplest options you could try is Avidemux. I had to use the QT version as there was a minor bug in the gtk version.
It is very simple to do minimal editing with Avidemux. Open a video file and it will be loaded into the editing buffer. You can preview it, position the frame, etc. You can then operate on the video buffer by selecting the starting and ending frames of a clip. For example, to share only a part of the video, just save the selected clip.
You can make your video more watchable by selecting clips that may be badly framed or just boring, and delete them. You may even copy-paste a clip to show the same thing at multiple points.
In addition, you can apply a filter to the clip. The filter can be for transformation, colour correction, noise reduction, etc. You can also do format conversion as the output format does not have to be the same as that of the initial video. You may combine videos as well. You can open one video file and append another. You can find more details about all you can do with Avidemux on the wiki link: http://www.avidemux.org/admWiki/doku.php.

A more capable and versatile video editor that you could try is Kdenlive (https://kdenlive.org/).
The major difference between the two editors is the perspective. In Kdenlive, you need to treat your editing project as if you are creating a new video. Instead of opening a video file, you add video files as clips to the project. It may be easier to understand the user interface if you imagine each clip as being a strip of film that you can position, cut and splice.

Let’s start with a very simple example. Suppose you want to cut a section in the middle of your video. So, add the file to your project and drag it to the ‘Video 1′ track. Identify the start and the stop positions of the section you wish to remove. Now, use the Cut tool to cut the video at the Start position. You will now have two clips. Next, apply the Cut tool to the End position and you have three clips on the ‘Video 1′ track.
Select the middle clip and delete it. The position of the other clips will not change. There will be a gap between the two clips. You could remove the space between the clips. Better still, you can drag the latter clip to the ‘Video 2′ track. Position it so that there is a small overlap between the two clips. You can now add a transition, for example, a ‘Dissolve’. Now, when the video is played, the first clip will fade as the second clip is played, removing the jerky frames where the clips have been spliced.
After you have finished the editing, click on ‘Render’ to create a video output file. You can select the output video format and the file name.
The ‘Save’ option is to save the project. Any complex editing is not likely to be completed in a single sitting. Once you get started, you can experiment with the various options available. A good resource for learning how to use Kdenlive is http://en.flossmanuals.net/how-to-use-video-editing-software/.
I miss not being able to show my family the films of my childhood. Make sure you spend a little time cleaning up the videos you take, so that you are always able to enjoy and share old memories and not just preserve them on the disk in the expectation that some day you will find a use for them.

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The author works as a consultant. Prior to consulting, Anil was a professor at Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE) in Goa, managed IT and imaging solutions for Phil Corporation Limited (Goa), supported domestic customers for Tata Burroughs/TIL, and was a researcher with IIT-K and the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (Mumbai).


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