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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Creating Videos with OpenShot Video Editor: A Comprehensive Tutorial

Getting Started with OpenShot

OpenShot Video Editor, a free-to-use open-source product that allows you to make your own videos quickly and easily, even if you're a beginner. It is available for all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. OpenShot boasts an intuitive user interface with the Project Files panel on the left, the Video Preview on the right, and the project Timeline at the bottom. Let's explore how to create a video with it!

Edit videos with openshot
OpenShot Video Editor

Initially, your project is empty, and you can add your media files either by using the Import Files button or by dragging and dropping them into the Project Files panel. Your files are organized by type (video, audio, or image) and can be placed on the Timeline as clips in different Tracks, which are stacked layers composing your final video. You have five default Tracks, but you can add or remove them as needed.

These Tracks accommodate both visual and audio content, displaying file names and thumbnails. You can also view audio waveforms by right-clicking on a clip and selecting Display, Show Waveform, which reveals the volume envelope over time. To navigate the Timeline, use Ctrl/Cmd + mouse wheel to zoom in and out around the red marker and Alt/Option + mouse wheel to move through time.

For detailed content review, use the Video Preview on the right, which shows the Timeline content under the red playhead. You can replace the playhead and drag it through time to view different frames. To playback with audio, use the player below the Preview. Adjust preview properties, like size and frame rate, by going to Choose Profile at the top.

Editing Timeline Clips and working with Keyframes

Now, let's delve into editing Timeline clips. You can click on a clip to select it and move it within the same Track or to a different one, allowing for overlapping clips and controlling their visibility order. Adjust clip duration by clicking and dragging its edges, which also trims video and audio content accordingly.

Copying and pasting clips is as simple as Ctrl/Cmd + C and Ctrl/Cmd + V. The pasted clip is inserted after the red marker in time. To delete a selected clip, press the Backspace key, and undo with Ctrl/Cmd + Z.

Right-clicking on a clip and selecting Properties provides a list of adjustable properties such as cropping, positioning, rotating, scaling, and shearing. You can use Scale to automatically remove black bars by stretching or cropping the clip, and Volume to adjust the audio level. Edit these values by dragging or double-clicking and typing directly, applying with the Enter key.

Some properties change over time, indicated by a green color and the creation of keyframes. Keyframes are markers that save property values at specific instants. Adding multiple keyframes creates transitions between them. Each clip has one default keyframe at the beginning, storing default property values. Placing the playhead at a different time and changing a property creates a new keyframe, enabling transitions.

To modify keyframes, right-click on the keyframe of interest to adjust the transition envelope or remove the keyframe. If you prefer not to use keyframes and transitions, place the playhead on the default keyframe and edit the property value directly.

Additionally, you can apply quick animations, adjust video and audio speed rates under Time, and perform basic clip editing with Transform by right-clicking on a clip. To separate audio from video frames, use Separate Audio, making them independent. To split a clip, enable the Razor tool and click on the clip directly.

OpenShot offers impressive visual and audio transitions. Right-click on a clip to apply Fade transitions that change transparency over time or Volume transitions to adjust audio levels. Explore more visual transitions in the Transitions panel, where you can drag and drop them onto the timeline to create blue transition clips. By default, these apply fade-in transitions, but you can reverse them or adjust their length for varying speeds.

Find various visual effects in the Effects panel, drag and drop them onto clips, and adjust their values while previewing in the Properties panel. To remove an effect, right-click on it. Create titles by navigating to Title, selecting a text template, and customizing its appearance, including font, style, content, and colors. Import titles into the Timeline and edit them like other clips. For advanced text, use Inkscape or Blender if installed on your computer.

To save your project, use Ctrl/Cmd + S, saving it as an OpenShot project (.osp). To export your final video, click Export Video, set the name, destination folder, profile, video format, resolution, aspect ratio, and quality. In the Advanced tab, you can fine-tune export settings, including video and audio options, the last frame, and detailed properties.

Thank you for watching this tutorial! Check out our YouTube channel to discover more fantastic free software!

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