Have you ever wished you knew how to edit videos, but didn’t have the time and money to learn? Maybe in the past you’ve found yourself thinking about how you could combine all those home movies to embarrass your kid at their graduation party. After all, who wouldn’t want to see little Jonny pick his nose in super slow motion?
A little while back I reviewed the newest app for video editing on the iPad, Avid Studio. In the past 10 years it’s become much easier for those without advanced training to edit on their own using software like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. Now Avid, a company that has been in the professional video editing business for over 20 years, has released this app to bring their product to the iPad.
So, even if you have no experience with video editing hopefully by the end of this article you’ll be able to edit like a pro. If you haven’t bought the app yet I would suggest getting it so you can follow along. Let’s get started!
Learning the Layout
Avid Studio consists of two main pages that you move between – the project page and the editing page. The project page lists all projects that have been created in a film strip style. Once you begin a project by tapping on the film strip you are taken to the editing page. Before you get started the app will automatically import all media already stored on your iPad.
If you ever need to update your library you’ll be asked when reentering the app or you can tap the gear icon on the projects page and choose Rebuild Media Library. This is also where you can change settings for photo duration, title duration, transition duration and enable automatic transitions.
This section of the app is where you will do all your editing and it’s divided into four main segments. On the top left is the bin (or library) that contains all your media and to the right is the preview window. To the left of the library are buttons that enable you to switch between the different types of media you’ll be working with. You can choose videos, photos, music, transitions, montages, and titles.
The middle is an area called the storyboard and the bottom is the timeline where all the editing gets done. The timeline is where you will combine all your media to create your final video and contains a video track (for any media other than audio) and three audio tracks. The storyboard is a zoomed out view of everything on your timeline, so you can easily navigate between every element.
You can also tap the record button to the left of the bin at any time to record your own video directly from the app using the iPad’s built-in camera.
Getting to Work
The easiest way to add media to the timeline is to simply tap, drag, and drop it into either a video or audio track. In fact, you can do the majority of your editing by dragging and dropping, such as rearranging clips and even creating montages of multiple video clips. If you want to edit where your video begins and ends tap the media to open it in the preview window and then drag the orange handles on either end of the clip.
In order to make your video look great you’ll probably need to do some really detailed editing. Tap on your media in the timeline to open the precision trimmer.
There are a number of other options that take advantage of the touch screen. For example, you can pinch to zoom in and out on the timeline and resize objects like pictures and titles. By tapping on media in the preview window it is automatically added to the timeline at the playhead. You can even create your own pan and zoom effects with pictures that are on the timeline by tapping on them and then selecting a starting and ending position (similar to the Ken Burns effect in iMovie).
The preview window switches between previewing your media and the video that has been placed on the timeline. You can change views by tapping on the two icons in the top middle of the screen. You can also watch your video in full screen using one of the buttons on the top right.
Putting on the Finishing Touches
When I edit I prefer to first do a rough layout of what I want my video to look like. Next, I’ll go back and tighten up any clips that need to be trimmed a little to make sure everything looks exactly like I want it to. Finally, I’ll check my audio levels and add any finishing touches like sound effects or music.
Unfortunately, Avid Studio doesn’t include a sound meter to make sure your audio is balanced, so you’ll have to decide based on how it sounds to you. You can adjust the volume of each audio clip and set it to fade in and out. You now have all the tools to create a film worthy of winning an Oscar, but before you can begin sharing it with your friends you’ll need to render all of the effects.
If you get stuck there is a pretty extensive help document included that can be accessed by tapping the question mark button on the projects page.
Anything like titles, transitions, or montages will need to be rendered before exporting a video. The easiest way to explain rendering is the process of converting graphic elements from a file into a visual form. You’ll notice that Avid tells you in the preview window if you need to render in order to play correctly. In order to render simply tap on the gears button below the preview window and your rendering will begin.
Depending on how long your video is and how many effects you have used this process can take a couple hours.
Sharing Your Work
One thing that I really liked about Avid Studio is there are a lot of hidden features available. The more I explored the app, the more I found. So, have some fun tapping and testing out the app to find more helpful tools and options.
Once you’re ready to share your video you can choose to share it through email, Facebook, YouTube, as an Avid Studio file to work with on your computer (if you own Avid Studio for Windows), or as a video file in 480p, 540p, or 720p size. Just look for the share button at the top of the app to get started. In a matter of minutes grandma will be able to see that video of Suzy covered in cake from her first birthday party!
Have you done a lot of video editing? What was your experience using Avid Studio?