8 Pro Tips and Techniques For Professional Video Editing

Tips And Techniques For Professional Video Editing

In today’s world, video editing applications like Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Sony Vegas are accessible and extremely influential tools for video post production. Video editing programs like these are way more than just edit video clips together. They let you convert conventional edits into refined, professional video productions.

The methods that video editors practice to shape their content tell a lot about how people construct meaning in the world. Editors have a profound knowledge of how people think, feel, remember and learn, and we use these understandings and facts to form powerful, poignant stories and experiences. The best editing decisions come from compassion — together for the people who exist virtually on the screen and for the audience watching them.

Editing is usually the final procedure that happens before a video gets to the audience for final viewing. Making a video is a very time-consuming process.

Want to take video editing skills from beginner to pro? Becoming a great video editor isn’t easy, but with right training and patience anybody can do editing like a pro in no time. Here are a few of the most important tips and techniques everyone needs to know to become a professional video editor.

1. Selecting the right computer

Although having a great computer won’t necessarily make anyone a great video editor, but a faster computer will definitely allow focusing most of the time on the story you’re trying to convey rather than computer rendering. Everyone has their own preferences about what computer is best for editing. Let’s have a look at some of the tips for selecting the right computer for video editing.

Consider the following configuration before buying computer for Video Editing:


  • Multicore processor with 64-bit support
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (64 bit) or Windows 8 (64 bit), or Windows 10 (64 bit).
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)
  • 8GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280×800 display
  • Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model
  • Optional: Adobe-recommended GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance


  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.10, v10.11 or v10.12
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)
  • 8GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280×800 display
  • Optional: Adobe-recommended GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance

2. Be a storyteller

The most important role of an editor is to be a storyteller! Editing beyond more than simply cutting footage. It’s a chance to take the audience on a journey. Whether editing a complex narrative film or simply putting together a corporate video, there is a more profound story being told.

Every cut, every transition, sound effect, and graphic needs to depict a greater story. So before editing, ask yourself how each scene is progressing the story. Audiences love conflict. Discover that conflict and highlight it.

One of the simplest ways to think about the story is through the lens of the ‘Hero’s Journey’. The first thing before starting the final process, determine who your hero is. For a corporate video, the hero might be an applicant or even the spectators. Using this practice will change the way in which you edit and you’ll promptly see perfection in your video’s quality.

3. Learn keyboard Shortcuts

One of the best ways to learn keyboard shortcuts as a beginner is to take out a print out of a sheet that you can easily take the reference while you’re editing. Make it a habit to start using shortcuts on a regular basis. It should also be noted that one can change the keyboard shortcuts as per your liking. Therefore if a particular function uses a certain key combination that you don’t like, one can change it.

4. Speak Editor’s Language

Just like any industry, there’s a ton of idiom to learn. One doesn’t need to know all the terms, but a basic knowledge of the concepts may help you communicate better with clients or colleagues. Some of the concepts are as follows:

Jump Cut

A jump cut is a cut that permits the editor to cut out time portions. A jump cut can reserve visual interest without the audience having to watch dreary sequence of scenes. For example, one scene shows holding an egg over a house and then cutting to a clip and showing off a splashed egg on a walkway. Even though nobody saw the egg falling, it’s understandable what happened in between.

J and L-Cut

J and L Cuts is an essential tool for binding two scenes together.

A J cut is when you hear the audio first and then see the visual afterward. For example, if you were to hear a car horn and then cut to video of a car, this would be considered a J Cut.

Whereas, An L-Cut is where you see the video first and then hear the audio. The best way to think about an L-Cut is to envisage a documentary where a guy is talking about ice cream then cut to a video of someone taking a scoop of ice cream while he’s still talking. Most of the people get confused with the terms J and L-Cut and mixed up a lot. J and L cuts can enhance a lot of visual interest in the scene.


A montage is an arrangement of shows that shows the passage of time. For example, in Rocky movie, there is a training sequence where Rocky was taking training for his huge fight and then shows end up running up the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In those scenes, time passed and also Rocky’s character also sees a transition.

Match Cut/Match Action

It is a method where an editor will cut from one visually similar scene to another. This process needs to be planned out in advance — but when done correctly, one can create a very charismatic shot by simply cutting together two similar shots.

Cutting on Action

Cutting on the action is a method used to create a more interesting scene. The notion is simple. When the cut is done in the middle of an action, it will appear less juddering and will be much more visually interesting. Cut only when your subject is moving and not after the completion of the action and your scene will seem much more fluid. For example, in the scene from The Matrix, observe how infrequently the editor waits for actions to complete themselves. Visualize how jaded the scene would be if we waited for each action to be completed.

5. Good Music is the key

As editors, it’s easy to emphasise more on the visuals and to keep the audio as an addendum. This is a huge mistake. There is no use of amazing visuals unless and until some good soundtrack is added to it.

Most websites allow to download free watermarked audio previews and place them in the timeline. This way money is not wasted on the music that’s not perfect.


Every video editor follows their own preferences about what the audio levels should be. However, if you’re facing any issues getting your audio right, just follow these below tips and adjust your audio.

  • Overall Mix Level: between -10db to -14db
  • Dialogue: between -12db to -15db
  • Music: between -18db to -22db
  • Sound Effects: between -10db to -20db with occasional spikes up to -8db.

At the end of the day, the music should soothe your ears. They will be the ultimate judge.

6. Perfect Exporting technique for the Web

Nowadays, most of the projects are viewed on phones, iPads, computers, or TVs, so it’s essential to know the correct way to export for the web. The aim when exporting a video for the web is to create the maximum quality possible without ending up with a huge file size. There are four chief features that determine how large the video should be.
They are as follows:

Codec: a codec is the type of file format in which the video will be saved. The more compressed the codec, the smaller video’s size will be. However, smaller file sizes are of lower in quality.

Resolution: resolution is the video contains how many pixels. For example, a 5K video has 5 times the resolution of HD video.

Bit Rate: It is the amount of data assigned to a second of video. A higher bit rate will outcome in the video with higher-quality and large files.

Frame Rate: Mostly you will export your video in the film standard (24fps) or the TV broadcast standard of 30fps (or 25fps in PAL). If the video is exported in 48fps or 60fps, then file size will get doubled.

If you want your video to be of premier quality, try to follow the below specifications for different platforms:

1. YouTube

Maximum Resolution

  2160p (4K)

Recommended Codec


Audio Codec

  AAC-LC up to 96khz

Bit Rate Recommendations

 HD 8mbps at 24fps, 4K 45mbps   at 24fps

Frame Rate Support

  24, 25, 30, 48, 50 & 60

2. Vimeo

Maximum Resolution

  1080p (HD)

Recommended Codec


Audio Codec

AAC-LC at 48khz

Bit Rate Recommendations


Frame Rate Support

24, 25, or 30

3. Facebook

Maximum Resolution


Recommended Codec


Audio Codec


Bit Rate Recommendations


Frame Rate Support

30fps or Below

7. Color Effects

Color Correction and Adjustment

It is the process of getting your footage to a color standard. Some basic post-processing needs to be done to make the footage consistent. Most of the NLEs have color correction effects which can make it easier to perform basic color correction.

Color Grading

It is the process of actually stylizing the footage to match a given color ‘look.’ The whole process can be divided into two different types of grading:

  • Grading with presets
  • Grading with the help of hands

Color Grading with Presets

Most of the effects can be applied using drag and drop that can be easily applied to your footage. The most popular color grading presets are Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant. These presets are designed to imitate real Hollywood-blockbuster styles and the outcomes can be astonishing. Nonetheless, Magic Bullet Looks can be quite expensive, so other options like online free color grading can be downloaded online. Color grading presets are great if you are running short of time.

Color Grading by Hand

The best method is to simply color grade your film by hand, if you have ample amount of time. It requires tremendous creative skills. The results from a professionally graded film will always be superior to a film with a preset applied to it.

8. Simple Titles and Graphics

After editing the video, adding music, applying the color grading technique, the last step would be adding graphics and title. It’s better to keep things simple. Here are a few tips for getting the best graphics:

At the time of creation of titles, simple is always recommended over the complex. The first step should be, select a sans-serif font, make it a white color, and make it dissolve in and out. This will work most of the times.

How to create Flashy Graphics?

If you’re newbie to After Effects, but your project requires awesome graphics, After Effects templates are the best thing to use. After Effects is one of the world’s finest motion graphics software. However, it can take a lot of time and skill to create your own graphics by hand. The best place to look for amazing motion graphics is RocketStock. On RocketStock, one can find amazing After Effects Templates for all occasions.

Hope that these tips have been helpful.

Most essentially, always remember to convey or create a story when you are editing. Keep in mind the fundamentals of storytelling: what would be the beginning, what will come in the middle, and how the ending should be.

Editors – as a profession – are known as some of the best storytellers. Without them, you would only have a collection of random and unplanned shots with nothing to bond them together. They organize the random shots and provide the structure for the finished video. The best video editors are some of the highest-paid workers in the film industry.

While you probably not considering on becoming a professional editor, these tips should make you one in the meantime. Have fun reading it and try to implement these techniques. You never know things learned once can be useful for the lifetime.

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