If you're just starting out in digital videography, you may be confused about the entire process of creating a digital video. Say you've an excellent video of your son's birthday and can't wait to share it with your friends. How do you proceed to capture that video into the computer and cut it into a VCD, DVD or BluRay disc?
Most camcorder manuals will not tell you much. There are also not many resources out there which help answer these questions.
Well, allow me to help you out. The end-to-end process of creating a digital video is really simple if you break it down into five distinct steps: Buying your equipment, shooting, capturing, editing and sharing video. Once you understand these steps, you'll have no problems coming up with your very own video production.
First, you need to select and buy the necessary desktop video equipment. Given the plethora of digital video equipment out there, this can often be the hardest step. The minimal set of items you'll need include a camcorder, a video capture card, a good computer, video editing software and a DVD burner.
That's certainly a lot of stuff to buy and I know how confusing it must be for the novice. To help you out, here's my guide on selecting good digital video equipment.
Second, you obviously need to shoot your video. While you do not need to have the directorial skills of Steven Spielberg, there are some basic video shooting skills that one needs to master. I've seen many good videos marred by bad lighting or shaky hand movements.
Don't make these mistakes. By learning a few basic steps to shooting quality videos, you will vastly improve your videos. No more boring scenes that make your audience yawn - capture some entertaining footage that everyone will want to see!
I've written a little guide on shooting a quality digital video which you can read about.
OK, on to the third step. Once you've shot your video, here's where you need to capture the video into a computer. For many people, this tends to be really confusing. But this step simply really boils down to what format your video is shot in.
If it is in an analogue format, you will need a analog-to-digital conversion device to capture the video into a computer. If the video is shot in digital format, then you simply need a use a Firewire card to stream video into the computer. You may wish to refer to my article about selecting video capture equipment for more info.
Fourth step - once you've got that video into the computer, you need to edit the video file to trim and cut scenes, then add special effects, titles and screen transitions. You can even add in a soundtrack as well.
Now, there are many excellent video editing software packages out there, ranging from the higher-end Adobe Premiere and MediaStudio Pro to the more budget Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle and Roxio products. To help you choose the right software, I've written a guide to the best video editing programs.
Once you've edited the video to your heart's content, you're almost done! You just need to share the video with others by burning the video into a VCD, DVD or BluRay disc. You can then ship the package out to your mom and dad, friends or family and allow them to be entertained. An increasingly popular option is to also post your video production online, to the likes of YouTube.
How do you create a VCD, DVD or BluRay disc? Well, you need to choose a good DVD authoring package. Most video editing suites also have DVD authoring capabilities built-in. If you want to upload your videos online, check out this guide that I've written.
Well, that's all there is to creating your very own digital video. Not that difficult is it? Don't worry if your initial efforts look kind of crappy. Do it a couple of times and you will be an expert in no time! If you want to find out more, read my digital video product reviews and also well as these tips and tricks.
If you've been looking for a good video editing program, you may want to check out Corel VideoStudio Pro. This software allows you to quickly create and share a movie using built-in templates, special effects, titles and transitions. You can apply unique effects such as stop-motion animation, time-lapse and chroma key to create brilliant digital videos.
You may also wish to read the following related articles:
How to buy your first digital camcorder
A guide to selecting a computer for digital video editing
Video editing software and how to choose the right product
A guide to selecting and buying VCD and DVD authoring software
Top 5 video editing software programs