Quite often, novices to the art of video editing will go to a local computer store and empty their wallets to purchase the necessities of an at-home video editing suite. And in many cases, it’s a rip off.
However, with a little help, you don’t have to get ripped off just because the geek behind the counter wants to cash in on a large commission. If you’re looking to set up an at-home video editing suite, here’s a few things you might want to pick up:
Apple Final Cut Pro 3
Versatile and professional. Apple’s Final Cut Pro 3 offers a wide range of tools from G4 real-time effects, Offline RT and colour correction capabilities. Add wipes, dissolves and colour correction in real time when using digital video and Offline RT — Apple’s new offline format that lets a Power Mac G4 or Titanium PowerBook G4 hold up to five times as much footage as it can with digital video, but no PCI card is required. Final Cut Pro 3 also comes with primary and secondary colour correctors, range checking, zebra-stripe overlays, and waveform and vectorscope monitors. Using a FireWire connection you can capture and convert DV footage to Offline RT, which provides over 40 minutes of video per gigabyte of hard drive space. Price: $1,499 (CDN)
Adobe Premiere 6.5
Powerful and precise. Adobe Premiere 6.5 comes with a variety of editing tools to create broadcast-quality video productions. The program is equipped with real-time preview options to instantly view effects, transitions, titles, motion and transparency. Use storyboard features, rearrange movie clips in the video timeline, and view all project settings in one location with the Settings Viewer. Use transitions and effect palettes to control clip effects and parameters, and Adobe Title Designer to create title-sequences with many typographical controls. Premiere 6.5 comes loaded with hundreds of predefined text and object styles and more than 100 professional templates for layouts. It also has animation control and crawl options. Price: $825 (CDN)
Ulead VideoStudio 7
Efficient and easy to use. Ulead VideoStudio 7 comes with a video tutorial where you can learn how to make your own movies with a step-by-step tutorial. Learn the basics of video capturing, editing and sharing, or create advanced videos with 3D graphics and text. Choose from over 190 special effects, edit in real-time preview and output, and create dual-layer DVD menus. VideoStudio 7 allows for easy editing and can output multiple videos on one DVD. Create a main menu that displays all videos, then, with a simple click, navigate to another menu to reveal each video’s scene selections.Create video intros, chapters and interactive menus as well as edit old film, adjust lighting, and speed of playback. Price: $130 (CDN)
Roxio VideoWave 5
Packed for performance. Roxio’s VideoWave 5 Power Edition allows you to choose from dozens of transitions, animations and title effects like swirl, ripple and fading options. Create professional video productions by adding narration, music and sound effects. VideoWave 5 offers personalized DVD and video CD options including interactive menus, buttons, backgrounds, audio and text. Adjust video speed to add fast or slow motion effects, create picture-in-picture playback and blend clips with transitions. Add titles and credits to video complete with motion and animation. Customize and adjust movie clips with trimming and touchup tools. VideoWave 5 supports AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, Windows Media, RealVideo, DV, MP3, WAV, BMP, TIFF, or JPEG files. Price: $109 (CDN)
A recommended 1.4GHz processor, 5+GB of hard disk space and 512MB of RAM for best performance.
Tweak up your editing capabilities with a FireWire or video editing card to hook your camcorder up to your PC.
Any digital video camera or camcorder. Canon’s Optura 20 digital video camcorder offers a wide range of features: It captures high quality digital video and offers numerous advanced still photo capabilities. The Optura 20 has a 3.5-inch bright LCD viewfinder and can rotate for high- or low-angle shots and swivel 180 degrees. The DV camcorder comes with image stabilization, direct print capabilities, and the ability to simultaneously record video and digital photos at the push of a button. The 1.33 Megapixel CCD image sensor stores still images directly to the camcorder’s memory card. The Optura 20 also offers a Super Night Mode and Low Light Plus Mode, which allow for recording even in virtual darkness. For those who have VHS and Hi8 video recordings, the camcorder can be used as a signal converter to digitize and transfer video to a computer for editing.
Get ready to burn. Putting a video onto CD or DVD is the final step in at-home film production. Ulead’s DVD PictureShow 2 — Digital Camera Suite is a complete photo sharing application for digital cameras. In addition to being able to keep track of, and sort images, PictureShow 2 allows you to blend photos with video, music, captions, titles, narration and customizable menu backgrounds. Whether it is creating a slideshow or burning video onto a CD or DVD, PictureShow 2 offers a wide range of features and capabilities. It also allows you to output videos as DVDs, VCDs or SVCDs. The program allows beginners to start out using guided steps, drag-and-drop photo tools and ready-to-use menu templates, and can be switched to offer advanced features at the click of a button.
More information about at-home video editing suites