Editing Videos On YouTube


FinalCut Pro X is expensive.  As is Adobe Premier.  And they’re confusing too.  Even when you think you’ve “got it,” you’ll continue to find new shortcuts or new tools a year or two after you initially learn to use the program.  Luckily you’ve got a few cheaper and easier options to help you edit your videos.  One of them is the YouTube video editor which comes free with your YouTube account and can be used to for basic editing and color correction.  Here are some of the tool’s pros and cons.



-Surprisingly robust color correction tools.  You can freely change white balance and saturation and also add fill light and contrast.  This means that if you shoot yourself in unflattering lighting conditions (maybe with too harsh contrast, for example)  or under an unpleasant light source that you’ll be able to compensate a bit and come out with something more appealing looking.

-A neat array of filter effects such as black and white, cross-processing, and sepia tone.  These filters, in conjunction with the color correction tools, can really give your videos a very personalized feel.

-There is a good amount of free audio tracks to select from to add music to your video which is so much easier than going on the royalty free music hunt every time you want to add a song to a video clip.

The original video on the left, the edited video on the right with the Cross-Process filter and Fill Light +2 and Contrast +2



-The color correction tools are good but suffer from one serious problem: they all have significantly reduced numerical scales.  Most of these tools go from 0 to +5 or -2 to +5.  What this results in is very big changes with each increment so it can be a touch difficult to get things just right.

-There is free music, but don’t forget that free music is generally just terrible.  Like really bad.  Most of the free songs here are enough to make your ears bleed and make your brain want to pack its bags and set out for greener pastures.

-There is on really really big issue with this tool: you can’t make cuts in the middle of the video, you can only trim time off of the beginning and end.  It is this one downfall that holds the YouTube editing tool back from being a truly useful and robust editing tool.  No matter what you want to use it for, you’ll always first have to make your edits in a separate program.

The YouTube editor is a tool, not a program.  It has some very useful elements, especially the color correction stuff, but it will not be a replacement for FinalCut or Premier or even iMovie or Windows MovieMaker.  That being said, it is something worth looking into if you want to just make some quick color changes or add a neat filter to your video.



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