10 Most Popular Video Editing Techniques for Beginners

Video Editing

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Developing a script and shooting a video is only half the job. The entire charisma or impact of a video lies in the post-production phase, where the video editor edits the footage, syncs the audio, and adds transitions and effects, thus, making the video ready for the audience.

That said, knowing the crucial video editing techniques is necessary for every video production professional, whether they are beginners or intermediates.

This article will cover the basics of a few such video editing types and methods that a beginner must learn by heart.

Let’s start!

Vital Video Editing Techniques

Why is video editing crucial in video production?

Video editing is the process of digitally rearranging and retouching the shot footage to give the final video a linear structure and a greater appeal. It is considered one of the most crucial stages of video production since it blends the clips and the audio and creates engaging and memorable content for the audience.

The editing phase includes color correction, and color grading, adding or removing parts of the video clip, adding special effects and transitions, syncing the audio and video, adding voice-over narrations, and integrating transitions between the frames.

There are several high-end video editing programs that professional editors leverage, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, etc. The more advanced and feature-rich the editing program is, the more hassle-free the editing process becomes, ensuring the utmost video quality.

No matter what kind of video content you create, how high-quality the camera is, or how engrossing the script or storyline is, all your efforts will go in vain without proper editing.

Top 10 ultimate video editing techniques every beginner must learn

Regardless of the platform or the objectives for which a video is being developed, whether for social media, a company website, a landing page, an online streaming platform, or marketing or promotions, one must focus the most on editing the video correctly.

For the same reason, aspiring editing professionals must be aware of all the nitty-gritty of the process as well as the techniques and jargon. Knowing them beforehand will save a lot of time during the actual post-production process as well as make the final outcome captivating and a crowd-puller. Check out the top 10 techniques for beginners to edit videos like a pro.

  1. Standard cut

    Standard cut, aka hard cut, is one of the most commonly used video editing techniques a novice must learn first. As the name implies, a standard cut technique is used to connect two different scenes shot at different locations. The cut happens in a fraction of a second, and the next frame starts immediately.

    Although the technique appears very ordinary, a standard cut, when utilized seamlessly, can amplify the visual flow and continuity between the shots. A background score or sound effect goes well with this editing technique.

  2. L cut & J-cut

    The L-cut technique aligns the video and audio tracks between the clips. In this cut, the audio continues to play as the visuals of the next clips are visible in the frame. This cut allows the editor to show the other characters even when the first character is speaking.

    It is named after the L-shape the video clips make in an editing tool’s timeline and makes the video more cohesive, enhancing the scene progression.

    A J cut is just the opposite of an L cut, that continues displaying a scene while the audio from the following scene fades in. This creative editing technique is utilized in documentaries, and interviews, where it helps to link all the scenes together through a background score, maintaining a certain theme.

  3. Cross-fades or Cross-dissolves

    If there’s any change or time passage, for example, a morning shot dissolving into a night shot, this editing technique is utilized. The cross-fade is one of the basic video editing techniques that beginners can easily implement within their video post-production workflow. It is also used for showing scenes or sequences from multiple different times with gradual transitions.

  4. Jump cut

    Jump cuts are implemented within a video or a film to deliberately disorient the viewers and depict the passage of time, or something amiss. Most of the editing techniques in media are made to be imperceptible, but jump cuts are intentionally made to be visible. This technique is mostly used within montages with the same composition and frame.

  5. Smash cuts

    This editing method is mostly used in comedy scenes or scenes where a character wakes up from a dream, i.e., to abruptly transition into a quiet and slow-paced scene immediately after a loud and crazy scene. Simply put, the smash cut technique is ideal for showcasing a contrast between two different styles of scenes or narratives.

  6. Montage

    Montage is an artistic film editing technique that shows fast-paced sequences or slow shots dissolved with the standard cut technique. It is mainly used in films and documentaries to portray plot development, giving an overall context to the storyline with quick cut shots. Montages work really well with the relevant background score.

  7. Match cut

    Match cuts are subtle yet aesthetic; they connect two different scenes sharing common audio and visual elements, regardless of the action, narrative, color, or shape. This editing technique combines the two shots, bringing cohesion and developing a connection between them. The transition speed can be medium to slow, allowing the viewers to grasp the connection.

  8. Wipes

    Another editing idea is the wipe, mostly used in modern-day animations to wipe away the first scene into the following scene. Wipes can be of two types, simple and complex. The intensity can be adjusted based on the editor’s prowess and skill set.

    The wipe is a highly effective transition cut that, when done professionally and sparingly, can depict the plot development in a natural manner. The editor utilizing this technique must also ensure a matching background score for an added effect.

    Professional agencies that are experts in offering top-grade video editing services often utilize this technique in their workflow.

  9. Fade in-fade out

    Fade-in and fade-out are common techniques used to ease a viewer into a certain scene or show a disparity in the scenes. As the name suggests, the editor fades out one clip and then fades in another.

    Most new-age movie trailers utilize this technique to add to the drama and push the plot forward without covering all the details. Suitable background music must support the transitions and increase the appeal of the scenes.

  10. Cross-Cut

    Cross-cut or cross-cutting, aka parallel editing, is a style of editing a video content that repeatedly swaps between two or more completely separate sequences. The cross-cut technique can also be used to depict the same events happening in two different timelines.

    This is an advanced video editing method that requires some experience and practice. It can be used for various creative reasons, such as implying a thematic or narrative connection between the scenes, or introducing comedy or anticipation.

What is the "321 rule" in video editing?

The “321 rule” is a golden thumb rule that recommends keeping at least three separate backups for each of the project files you need for the post-production process.

Also, it suggests that for every edited segment, the editing artist must utilize at least three distinct camera angles, two different shots, and one cutaway shot. Keep this rule as a handy guide to video editing if you are a first-timer.

Why must every video content creator know the video post-production basics?

Knowing a bit of the post-production basics can be helpful for any video producer, content creator, videographer, or even an amateur vlogger. Since the main creativity happens during the editing, knowing a few transitions, jargon, and some essential editing techniques can help them a long way.

Several video editing software are available online that are free to use and come with a plethora of features. Knowing how to wield these tools adds extra value to a content creator and strengthens a professional videographer's resume.

In case of further professional guidance for advanced video editing requirements, a third-party agency backed by experts is the best.

Over to you now!

There you are! A compiled list of some of the most basic and common video editing tips every beginner must know and learn to use. You never know which technique will work the most, so keep experimenting with each of them; that way, you can hone your skills and also upscale your resume.

Often editors keep using the same technique for every single video style; this is a common editing mistake that must be worked upon. Though some of the techniques might appear to have a steep learning curve, with practice and adequate time, an editor can grasp the concept and speed up their editing process.

So, over to you now. Start experimenting with the techniques above and be a pro from a beginner in no time! Good luck!