When you buy a Mac there will be tons of software on it. One of these is iMovie. This is a basic movie editing software that comes standard on all Macs just like Windows Movie Maker comes on all Windows PCs. A great starter program but it has its limitations.
In truth, it is really only intended for basic editing of family videos or short, homemade productions. It isn’t intended for the more complex tasks such as having several audio files overlapping at once, detailed transitions and perfect timing of video and audio insertion into a final draft.
For this I suggest getting HyperEngine – AV movie editing software. It’s 100% free and it’s the best movie editing software I have seen for a Mac at no cost to the user.
Basically, it succeeds where iMovie has failed. I think it is not focused on the home user who may only ever use iMovie once or twice. This is for someone who will use their video editing software on a regular basis, for example producing a regular video podcast or producing an online mini-series.
Once you have completed the download and it is installed, run the program. You will be greeted by the home screen where you can begin editing videos. Obviously this will be blank as you have not yet imported any video.
Firstly, I’d suggest you just look under all the different tabs along the top so you know where all the extensive tools are.
Open up your video folder with the videos you want to edit. Drag them into the HyperEngine window. This will import them into the program ready to be edited. Do the same for any audio files that you want in the video.
There is a capture mode in the program which allows you to use a camera connected to your computer (such as a webcam) to capture a video that can in turn be used in the final edit. Simply click the “˜Record or Playback‘ function to open the video capture screen as shown in the screenshot. It will detect any cameras you have connected to the computer for your selection. Once you have selected a camera click record to begin recording the clip. When you have finished, click stop then click “˜OK‘. The video will be imported along with the others.
When you have all the media you want in the video, begin to drag them onto the timeline. There are several different levels for video, audio, subtitles, effects and transitions. So if you are dragging in a video file, drag it into the allocated space for video. Edit the length of the video to select what section you want from it by dragging the sides inwards or outwards until it is of the desired length. Do the same for all the other different types of media.
You can edit the media further by clicking on it. So for example, with text (which could be subtitles) by clicking on it you can change the size, font, colour and whether or not the background is transparent. With transitions and video you can change the look and feel such as brightness, colour mode (sepia, black and white etc..) and size.
To add in dozens of different effects such as zoom, exploding shots and wipes and swipes, position where in the production you want to add the effect and then select “˜Effects‘ from the menu bar. This will open the window seen here in the screenshot where each of these effects can be altered using the easy slider bars.
When you have finished your video, you can use the “˜text‘ function to add a title and credits to the film. Like in most video software programs you literally have dozens of different styles you can choose from including the traditional scrolling credits to exploding pop-ups.
As with other creation software I have wrote about here on MUO such as BlueVoda Website Builder, there are hundreds of little adjustments you can make to your film which you will discover as you go along, all of which are easy to use with slider bars and simple options. I’m still finding new little tricks here and there, but for the majority of the time you’ll be using the methods outlined above.
A piece of advice that I’ll give about this software is to step into it nice and slowly. This can cut films accurately to the millisecond and its tools are astounding for free software. Once you edit a few small productions then you’ll be able to start producing that mini-series. Take your time and concentrate on the more directorial, artsy side of thinking and you’ll have a great film with video, music, a voiceover, good audio quality, great transitions and suitable colour saturation and mode. Enjoy!